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(Created page with "{{ArcNav|Arc=Time Heals All Wounds}} '''Synopsis:''' ''Penelope meets Krice at dawn to begin their first day of training. Krice is brutally honest in admitting that Penelope...")
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Latest revision as of 21:00, 11 January 2020

Part of the Time Heals All Wounds Arc

Synopsis: Penelope meets Krice at dawn to begin their first day of training. Krice is brutally honest in admitting that Penelope is very soft and fluffy and she needs to show and feel strength when carrying herself. Penelope surprisingly shows that she does, in fact, have confidence and strength in her expression and healing ways. Krice now wants Penelope to transfer her patience, neatness, and cleanliness through her bow and arrow. The woman learns a clean shot and Krice promises her that she will continue her training if she can make fifteen clean shots in the same place in a row. Penelope is determined to impress herself and her teacher.

Abandoned Archery Range

Part 1: Strength is Key

The sky was lightening back up from midnight to a purplish hue. The sun had begun to rise from the tree lines. The forest was silent, and the only sound was the rustling of branches and the songs of birds. The girl had sent letter to Mesthak in the tavern to send word from Krice. She had mentioned dawn in the letter that was sealed from golden colored wax. The freckled herbalist with the frizzy hair was draped in black leggings, boots, and a very light, flexible red coat. She wore a plain grey long-sleeve underneath the coat. She was trying to bite back the chill of the morning. The healer had uncovered some of the leaves from the different training dummies, however, she left leaf growth on some of the dummies to resemble hair, or left the moss on the dummies to resemble clothing or eyes. Nearby, Penelope lingers against a tree and around her flexible outfit, she wears a new bow with a new back of bone arrows that had golden tails. The bow is much smaller and fit to her size and twists in beautiful carved oak. She knew the size was better, for she went to the professionals to get a decent sized weapon. The girl also wears a dark-steeled dagger at her upper thigh. The woman was ready for whatever the warrior was bound to offer her. Whether punching or weaponry, she is prepared for anything—hopefully. The healer now waits.

Krice wasn't late, though Penelope could be forgiven for thinking so; he didn't actually -appear- at first. From within the shadows, he observed the little healer, from the mess of her hair to the type of boots she wore, and the new bow slung over her shoulder. That was a good start. While she played with the leaf-hair of her dummy friends, he remained out of sight. The woman might have heard something akin to foliage rustling before his voice broke the silence from behind her, just two metres away. " You got a new bow," he observed, scrutinizing the weapon - until she presumably turned toward the source of his voice.

Penelope had been expecting Krice, but not for him to already pop out two meters away from her. She sucks in a startled breath. “You got to stop being so spooky,” she breathes out. Moss eyes then flick to her new bow. “I did. We don’t have to use it yet,” she picks up her speaking pace, “I just figured I would get a new one for myself to practice more for when time came, or just practice by myself,” she shrugs. “I’m glad you made it, though,” she smiled. She then gestures towards the dummies that are dressed to par. “You like the new and improved set? A little realism, eh?” The smile turns into a grin instead. Not like he cared about her pretty puppet games, but she was one amused and proud woman.

Krice tilted his head to regard Penelope with a quizzical stare. She startled easily, something he'd have to sort out if she was going to be successful on the battlefield. As she brought attention to her leaf-haired companions, he glanced past the woman to note the training dummies and his brow furrowed. " First thing's first," he began, heading straight into her lesson; it wouldn't benefit her to waste time. " You need to be more aware of your surroundings. Half your success will rely on your awareness of where your enemies and allies are."

Penelope found herself becoming stoic to his serious business, however she mentally understood what he was trying to do and she straightens her posture in attentiveness. She had a lot to learn. He mentions that she should be keen to her surroundings and start to pay attention more often. The girl might have not been the most focused person unless it came down to healing the wounded, also in order for her to know when someone was entering the hut, there was a bell. She had those lazy tricks of knowing. She was observant, so that was not hard, but listening in on what was going on outside of her bubble would be a better first step to take. “Well, how do you know when the listen in on your surroundings? Do you multi-task?”

Krice considered Penelope with a lingering stare, but he agreed with her asking questions; his features reflected as much, more amenable to discussing her awareness and fighting technique than the hair on the dummies. " You're a healer, first and foremost, so you haven't been trained to listen to everything." Lifting his left hand, he gestured to their surroundings. " But what you should -always- do, regardless of your background or profession, is listen to your surroundings when you're alone, out in the open. A surface-hating drow could have popped out instead of me."

Penelope wanted to be completely offended by him calling out her being a healer, though he was correct, so she holds her tongue. The girl was only good at listening to breathing and the rhythm of heartbeats. ‘Listen to your surroundings when you’re alone, out in the open’. Her cheeks flood slightly in puzzlement as he mentions how someone a lot crueler could have taken his trustworthy place. Perhaps the drow that had captured her in the past… The one who named her Copper. A hesitant nod is given to the man as she mentally cannot wrap her mind around what had happened in her past. A moment pushed to the back of her mind. “I’ll practice that,” she makes a mental note. “I’ll practice being aware instead of… thinking the innocent is bound to happen.” Sven knows, she knew. She was patient that would come a lot naturally to her to just listen. She listened to others all the time who were hurt, the sound of the beating heart, uneven tones of breathing, kicks of a baby and more. She would be just fine. “What’s next?” She pushes onward past the blatantly obvious first rule that she was so oblivious about.

Krice lowered his hand as Penelope digested his words. If he noticed her retreat into her own thoughts, he didn't mention it. Instead, the warrior opted to clarify something she had spoken in response. " Always expect the -worst-. If you expect the worst, you won't be as surprised when something -does- happen." He diverted his gaze to the woman's posture and then up to her face, scrutinizing the depths of her eyes, the swell of her cheeks, the pout of her mouth. " You're very pretty, and your soft." He straightened his shoulders. " You need to project strength. If you look like a victim"--not that she did--"you're more likely to become one."

Penelope furrowed her brows. Was that even a way to live? Thinking the worst? “That’s rather negative,” she says bluntly with a flatter tone, but well, she should probably listen. As he scrutinizes her appearance, her eyes look down at her feet momentarily. Well, yeah. She was Penelope Halifax, though… strength was something she needed to work on. She could be hot-tempered, yet she did not express that much. Perhaps that was why she could not reach much magic within her. She was not resembling the strength she needed. “Then, teach me. I know I need to believe in my own strength, but teach me to resemble strength that inner strength.” The woman tilts her chin up towards him to symbolize confidence. “I don’t want to be the victim. I never did,” she confesses.

Krice pressed his lips together, considering Penelope's initial response. Thinking of the worst was indeed 'negative' in some ways, but it kept you alive. He was thinking like a warrior; he needed to find the middle ground for her. He was silent as she worked through the rest of her reply, which inspired a nod from the warrior. If she didn't want to be the victim... " Then you're not." He took a single step back and gestured to the space between them and around them. " Projecting strength is about finding it within yourself - but until then, you can pretend. Walk normally, like you usually do." He wanted to get a baseline.

Penelope seemed relieved from his response—a middle ground. The herbalist lets him have his space between them, but her moss eyes linger carefully on him with his every move. Her face is stone as he backs away. The thought of pretending was easy, but finding the strength, not so much. “Then, I’ll find it,” she says simply enough, although the words that pass through her mouth are strange sounding, though her shoulders are pulled back while she speaks calmly and confidently. Penelope Halifax would find strength. “Now… what about… the fight?"

Krice furrowed a brow once more. " What fight? Don't worry about fighting. Don't even think about wielding a weapon. Focus on your strength." He gestured to the space between them and arched his brows expectantly, guiding her to do as he had already requested. " Walk around. Come to me and then back to Wilson."

There was one problem, Penelope Halifax did not have the patience for this strengthening hoodah, though perhaps that was one of the barriers. Either way, she is sighing out her nose with the rejection from him to not teach her to throw hands. The woman was not sure what to focus on. Her own confidence? Her own skills to make her feel proud? Was she even strong? How would she know? He told her to pretend, right? The petite woman keeps those shoulders back with posture straightened. There is a cautious stare at first when he asks her to come towards her, but her chin sort of tilts where her stare is head-on. Her eyes are more serene rather than the normal soft innocence she portrayed--no one would be able to see what she was thinking although her head is spiraling inside on wondering what the hell she was doing. She walks with a simple stride to Krice, but her posture shows confidence—no slack. She then pivots and walks back to Wilson the wooden dummy in a quiet manner. The girl then pivots around after her little confidence strut. “I feel weird,” she finally blurts and breaks the silence and her confident character. “This is weird, right?”

Krice tilted his head subtly as Penelope progressed toward him, his eyes never wavering from any part of her; if he looked away from her face, it was to note the angle of her shoulders, or the movement of her feet. He nodded before she turned to walk away from him, in the direction of her dummy friend, Wilson. He shook his head when she turned to talk, his expression one of bemusement. " Why's it weird? Walking is one of the most natural things a person can do. And that wasn't bad." The way she walked; she actually did quite well.

Penelope gazes at him sort of impassively for a moment. “Because I’m walking and you’re correcting my walking form.” Her bright-eyed gaze then returns. “Besides, of course my walk wasn’t bad. I’m very known throughout Kelay and I kind of have to look like I know my crap,” she admits. “Which I do for the majority of it, mind you,” the Ardelian human says boastfully.

Krice 's brow twitched slightly, but not in irritation. Penelope was being sassy, she must have known it. Lifting his chin and shifting his weight predominantly into his left leg, the warrior assumed a more casual posture and gestured to the woman. " I haven't corrected you at all," he said. " And that's -exactly- what I'm talking about. You walk around Kelay with the confidence of 'knowing your crap'. It's the same thing just for a different reason; projecting confidence in yourself."

Penelope was bemused briefly, but her eyes blink back into her ordinary gaze. He had not corrected her, and perhaps she was beginning to understand. “So you’re telling me when it comes to… the battlefield or any… endangered situation, confidence is key? Not just physical strength, but mental strength in yourself is key?”

Krice's lips twisted slightly as he considered Penelope's question, which he answered without delay. " Being on the battlefield requires it all; mental strength, physical strength, everything in-between. You need mental strength to remain steadfast in the decisions you make, confident and calm in the face of danger. And obviously, you need physical strength to fight if necessary. I'm just saying, mental strength is the start." A beat, and then he continued, " You have to project to the people of Kelay that you are a good healer, that you know what you're doing - so if they need help, they can come to you and rest assured that you'll be able to help them. -Are- you actually confident in that ability?"

Every word that flows out of the warrior’s mouth makes sense. ‘Mental strength, physical strength, and everything in-between’. The man begins to connect the dots for her and she gives him a long look as she pieces his words together. The woman could, in fact, relate to a certain degree on what he was saying. His last question is the start of her discovery. “I’m confident in that ability. I am quick on my feet while calm and patient when learning to mend others with non-magic, though, I know there are areas that I need to grow in to be the best that I can be and… continue that growth. I understand what you mean… it’s like when I heal. I am normally very reassuring that I can, in fact, help them recover no matter what degree in certain areas of the field. Herbalism, non-magic, although I am always still growing in any way. Mentally… I am there enough to believe in myself.” The girl had never talked so vainglorious about herself. Normally she had been humble and most people knew that. “I admit, physically… I am poor in that area of strength. I can’t even access my own magic which… my friend Lanara has offered to give me a helpful start. I’d say physically I am patient and neat with my work. I’m clean.” Beat. “Either way, I have mental strength to start. I do,” she repeats to herself for her own proud reassurance of realization. The girl had never truly admitted this to herself. There was the step forward she needed.

Part 2: Patient, Neat, and Clean

Krice watched Penelope work through the points of her reply, observant and attentive to her every word. He nodded at her mention of Lanara offering assistance in the field of magical healing, and then focused on her conclusion - because it segued her nicely into the next part of their conversation. " That's good. You've already got a strong foundation to build on. You're confident in your abilities as they are, but not arrogant to know that need to learn more." He paused before speaking a little more centrically, just to offer an example. " I've been a fighter since... Well, for my whole life. I'm confident that I can outlast anyone on the battlefield. I'm fast, skilled, efficient. But I also know that there's always more to learn, or achieve." Dismissing talk of himself once more, the warrior pivoted to angle his left side toward Penelope, though he was still mostly facing her. " Being 'patient, neat, and clean' are mental strengths as well. Patience particularly will help you if you wish to master the bow. An archer needs to wait until the perfect window of time in which to release the arrow at her target."

Penelope found herself smiling at his response. The woman found praise to be comforting, although eventually she would let go of that small bit of praise. As she listens to him, she finds herself at ease. He admits that he is good at what he does as he points out his positives in battle, but he comes clean about needing to learn. Like her. They were both humane, and not totally different. There was always that middle ground. She only listens and nods with him. As he mentions the bow, her eyes flick towards the bow string that is sitting on her chest. She feels the sensation of the arrows that are strapped to her back. The woman almost had forgotten as she was wrapped up in the base of their training. The girl grins. She had chosen the right weapon, after all. Linken had always known that was her calling, but Krice was going to help her slowly start to perfect it, although not a master of the bow. He could at least teach her to hold the weapon properly. She wants to jump eagerly to ask if they would be able to play with the weapons now, but she refrains, only because he had been so stubborn about it before. She briefly skims the conversation to casually say, “I got a new bow, like you said. It’s smaller. The guy who works at the weaponry shop in local Kelay fitted me,” she then pulls the bow off her torso in case he wanted to give the weapon a scope.

Krice 's overall demeanor seemed to soften slightly, perhaps because Penelope appeared more amenable to the words he was saying. As they spoke, they found similarities between each other, 'common ground' on which they could build her training. Otherwise, he was completely different from her and the other humans walking around, but that was a story for another time. As she spoke of the bow and procured it from her torso, the warrior nodded and did not hesitate to take that direction in their conversation; it was going to be his next focus. " Good. Have you wielded it, yet?" He nodded to the dummies. " Tried to shoot at poor Wilson? What a betrayal." He cast a sideways glance at the woman, his expression almost amused, before he turned to stride away from the dummies and the woman. He would pause several metres back and turn inward, a good distance from which she could shoot her arrows.

Penelope finds herself nodding yet shrugging at the same time. “Aww, Wilson is fine. He’s a tough dude. He’s taken my blows before and well, he loves bearing scars. For the ladies, y’know?” She was amused that he fell into her Wilson trap and plays along all-the-same. The girl had to be the best of both worlds. Comedy and seriousness, or she would not survive the reality of darkness the world had to offer. “I have tried shooting, but my aim is still not what I want it to be. I notice that I’m closer to the heart than last time. I just keep shooting the chest.” The woman then continues onward as he steps back. She lets the distance indicate she was able to finally shoot with a weapon. The herbalist pulls one of the bone arrows with the gold tail and places the arrow on the nock point of the bow while her hand grips the handle. She lines the shaft of the arrow on the shelf of the carved bow. The woman pulls her elbow back, but her elbow is at a lower angle than straight on—flimsy. She holds the handle a little too low than spot on, but her posture in her back is straight with maybe… too wide of a stance. As the arrow pulls back, she breathes out, but forgets to inhale. The arrow is released and the arrow flies into the abdomen of Wilson. “See?” She drops the bow to her side as she looks at Krice with a confused gaze. “I hit the torso, but… not where I aim. The heart.”

Krice dismissed talk of Wilson as Penelope readied her bow, nocking an arrow in preparation to fire. He stood beside her and scanned everything about the way she stood, aimed, and ultimately released. He watches her fire the arrow at Wilson and it hits the dummy's abdomen, not her apparent intended target of the heart. He noted her bemused expression and nodded in acceptance of her unspoken request for an explanation. But first... " Each time you try, do you change anything about how you fire the arrow?" Rather than go headlong into all the things she was doing wrong, he wanted to explore how much she knew about her technique - what was wrong, what was right, what felt like it worked.

The woman lowers her bow for a moment as he questions her. “I mean, I just sort of… pull my arm back and try to aim. I know that I always keep my feet apart and well, I know I nice steady back keeps my arms more steady. Though, otherwise… I guess I don’t focus on my change on how I fire. I just sort of fire and make sure I feel not shaky,” she says slowly in hesitance on whether or not he notices something wrong. There was definitely something wrong. She then holds the bow up again and pulls an arrow from the back. She lines up the arrow again and widens her stance again and pulls her arrow back. She does not release; she only feels her position out to notice any change. The girl does not even look at her elbow to adjust or straighten out, she just pulls the arrow back and forth to see if the arrow dips or not. “What do you think?”

Krice listened attentively to Penelope's reply, because knowing how she did things would better help him help -her- figure out what needed changing in order to be successful. When she lifted the nocked arrow again, the warrior reached out to stay her leading arm in a straight line, lifting his other hand to her loaded elbow - the bent one - and pressing beneath it to raise it. " You have to keep your body aligned with the target. Think of your arms as a ramp - and the arrow is traveling down from your bent elbow to the knuckles of your leading hand." He straightened his fingers and moved them along Penelope's bent arm, not touching, to follow an imaginary line along both her limbs. If her leading arm was lower but straight, he'd kept going well past the woman and approach the dummy to show her where the arrow would land. From beside Wilson, the warrior would turn to regard Penelope intently. " It doesn't matter too much at this distance, but typically the further away your target, the higher you have to point your arrow - because everything falls if not held up. When you shoot your arrow, it arcs toward the ground and it's only a matter of time before it hits dirt or the target." The warrior straightened his shoulders and shrugged, adding, " It also depends on the range of which your bow and arrows are capable."

Penelope listens to him intently and follows his motion of her to straighten out her arm. Too bent—clumsy. She then raises her elbow and the new position seems unfamiliar and extremely tense, but this was all about muscle memory. Eyes trail at his metaphor. Her arm was a ramp. She holds very still as he continues to talk about the different angles of the arrow when she shoots. The herbalist nods at him and sort of fidgets with the arrow to move the arrow up and down before returning to the first, extended; straight-on posture. With the straightening of her arms and elbows, her feet move automatically into a more comfortable condition. The girl then breathes in to keep from shaking in her rigid position as she pulls back the arrow. She then breathes out as she releases, though her bow sort of shoots down lower because she lowered her arm at the end of her breath. The arrow flies and hits an inch or two below the heart, but the target was closer than before. “Oh!” She exclaims. “That was better! I think I get it a little more. Angles! Like… the game of pool.” Sort of, but yeah, she meant angles to get the arrow where it needs to be in the right pocket of the opponent.

Krice considered Penelope's answer after contemplating how best to burst her bubble of success without bursting it. The warrior stepped forward until he was just within the woman's reach, regarding her with an unwavering stare. " Well done," he said first, glancing down to note her feet. He used the tip of his left foot to nudge her leading one until it was pointed forward. " Always keep your front foot pointing where your target is. Remember, it's all about angles and lines. If thinking of it like 'pool' helps you remember, fine." The warrior maneuvered himself beside and slightly behind the woman, turning to face the dummies. " Breathe in as you draw your arm back--push forward with your leading arm at the same time, to distribute effort between both." and her chest and back muscles, but he didn't need to say that. She'd feel it if she did it right. " And never loose an arrow at the dummies when a friend is right next to one." In an effort to reassure her for her mistake in the face of rushing success, the warrior added a casual, " I would've been fine, but not everyone would be. Just remember for the future."

The girl slides her foot in the correct position, and she does not nod to his note—instead she keeps a mental note for herself. As he moves behind her, he would now slowly see that nod as she pulls another boned arrow from her pouch on her back. The woman grips the bow on the right gripping point and places the bow on the shelf and the string. She would practice breathing in and drawing her arm back. Her arm would lead forward and the tension between muscles would become extended. She would then release the arrow flying as he talked about never loosing an arrow at the sight of a friend. She jolts a little and sort of scratches her head. “Sorry,” she mutters. “Okay… well, I know you don’t have a lot of time, but that sort of gives me basics for my form, right?” She then pivots to fully gaze at him. “Now what about… hand-to-hand combat?”

Krice wasn't pressed for time, but likewise he couldn't stay here forever teaching one person how to fight. There were things to do. He observed Penelope's stance and posture following his instruction and knteslly noted a vast improvement. Having received the larger bow from her ex-boyfriend, the warrior surprised to note that it looked as though he hadn't given her any tips at all. Whatever the case, he arched a brow when she turned to ask about hand to hand combat. His tone was one of slight incredulity. " You can't learn everything in a single day. If you try to squeeze it ll in, you'll find it harder to retain - and harder to learn a variety of things."

Penelope paused at the warrior’s non-believability. Although she had been practicing with a bow before this lesson, she had lost information to retain throughout the years about Linken’s approach. She never thought she would have ever had to pick up a bow again, for she did not want to live the life of survival and violence, however… times had changed throughout the years. With a bow, however, she was a natural. Other things, not so much. Throughout the months. His words that cross her mind made sense. The bookworm was cramming too much in to retain like someone who was cramming for an exam. “Right, I need a clearer head, don’t I?” She then lowers her bow. “If I practice on my own, give me a couple weeks, would you be able to give me a lesson for hands-on combat? Same spot? Right here? I’d leave word again with Mesthak,” she begins to start her plead all over again from the day he found her. He had been patient towards her. Kind, patient, yet stern. That was exactly what she was looking for.

Penelope didn't need to plead with him. Krice hoped to communicate as much in the look he gave her when she started. To put her out of her anticipatory misery, he was quick to answer, " Two weeks, practice with the bow. As soon as you're able to hit the target's heart, or its head--choose a point and stick to it--at least fifteen times in a row, then you're ready enough to move on. If you achieve that goal sooner, contact me sooner." His expression softened. He wanted her to feel comfortable in their training but he wanted less for her to slack off because he was being nice.

The herbalist stares at him with those giddy big eyes as he automatically starts confiding in her two weeks. The more he spoke, the more that smile faded and the more her eyes began to slowly turn serious in discipline. There would be no messing around anymore. If she was going to do this for herself and her future, she would have to buckle down. “Fifteen times in a row, got it,” in the back of her mind, that was going to be nearly impossible, but her expression remains determined. “Two weeks it is,” she would then reach out to shake his hand in appreciation. “I think now I need to get to practicing a little more until I see you again. I truly owe you, Krice, and thank you for helping me believe in myself,” she would nod his way with that calm softness she normally endured. She would find the balance. “Until then?”

Krice shook his head as Penelope spoke of owing him. When she reached out with a hand, he did the same and pressed his palm to hers, a firm - not painful - shake concluding the gesture. His fingers slackened a moment later, and he would withdraw once she released him. " It's within you to learn the bow," he said, thoughtfully. " I don't think you'll have any problem achieving that goal." The corner of his mouth twitched upward slightly, but the expression was fleeting. " Until then."

Penelope finds herself smiling for a moment at his compliment and his agreement. “Thank you,” her tone his appreciative. The Ardelian then slowly nods and waves in a short departure. The girl then turns to focus on the target at hand as she lifts her bow to sail an arrow through the sky. “Safe travels,” she calls back as by now, he was probably leaving. She then sinks back into her zone of focus completely blocking him out to stay tuned into her goals.