December 22, 2019 at 11:54 pm #4392TylerParticipant
They’d been out in the snowy forest for an hour or two at this point, battle training that consisted of Kass more or less avoiding Hawkpaw instead of attacking back head on. He’d gotten in a couple good nicks, as shown by the new puncture wound on the base of her neck, but so had she. Perhaps she was getting some aggression out on him, going for so long without a break. She enjoyed watching him become more tired, a sign she was winning out. He would be a warrior soon, maybe another couple of moons and he’d be expected to take a warrior name and follow the same path that his peers had. He’d been doing good so far, but there was more to do on the agenda she’d put together in her head.
Perhaps it was time for a break.
With a final bout of pressure on the tom, a low swipe to his left jaw, she stepped back with a finality in her stance. “Alright take a break, I’ve grown bored.” she decided with a sigh, taking her eyes off the tom for a moment to scan the tops of the trees around them. “I’m assuming you’ve figured out my plans for you, my plans for your future here in this clan.” Her bi-colored specs returning to the dark-furred tom catching his breath, “If not, I’m going to tell you now, but I’ll only tell you once. By the end of your training, you’re going to be vastly more skilled than your peers. I don’t know if you’ve noticed yet, but the other warriors don’t train their apprentices nearly to their full capabilities. You’ll be the first of a new generation of ThunderClan warriors who aren’t just battering rams, but strong-minded warriors. That being said, your training doesn’t end after you graduate to warrior-hood, it just changes. You’ll be expected to keep up with your training on your own- and at any time I might call upon you for another session. You’re my test dummy for the clan, should I say.”
Kass let the issue sit for a moment before letting the topic change as a lone breeze whipped through them. “So tell me Hawkpaw, are you afraid of heights?”December 23, 2019 at 12:45 am #4394ChrisParticipant
The young tom had to put conscious effort into remaining standing when she finally let up, he swayed slightly but nonetheless maintained his footing. He was bleeding freely from several places, some new, other old wounds reopened by the strain. He’d get an earful later from Peachblossom, and Chanterellepaw too. Lightpaw was about the only cat in his life who didn’t nag him, but his watery gray eyes always betrayed his disapproval. Still, it was their faces who kept him going during these harsh lessons. He had to be ready if something were to happen to any of them.
“Gee, I’m honored.” He eschewed, tone dripping with petulance. Her plan did intrigue him, but he didn’t care for the ‘dummy’ part. “Chanterellepaw’s no battering ram..” He added under his breath, thinking of the clever traps she could make. Somehow he didn’t like the idea of her joining in the extra training though. It was awfully brutal.
“Heights? Are you kidding? The buildings in the city would make these Clanners tremble.” He snorted.December 24, 2019 at 2:31 pm #4404TylerParticipant
“Good, we’re going to try out a little thing I’ve been working on then. Follow me.” And with that Kass turned on heel to the base of a large oak tree, narrowing her eyes at the stalk before shaking off her uncertainties to scale the large tree. Kass climbed about half way, her claws digging into the bark to hold her in place as she spared a glance towards her apprentice, “Keep a move on, make every pawstep sure and controlled,” she coached.
It didn’t take long to find a strong enough branch for her to step off onto, balancing idly while the tree’s arm swayed slightly underneath her. She waited for Hawkpaw to join her, tail tip twitching in annoyance and anxiety of being high off the ground settling in. Is this what her brother felt in the tree when they faced the coyote? A thought for another time.
“So look around,” she began when he finally did join her. “What advantages do we get from this high up? What purpose could this serve in the long run?”December 24, 2019 at 3:25 pm #4407ChrisParticipant
Ah, up into the trees. Where else? Hawkpaw obeyed, gracefully ascending until the spray of branches grew sparse and thinner in composition. It was at that point that he had to make more weighted decisions where footwork was concerned. High up buildings were one thing, but he’d never been concerned that the concrete towers might bend or refuse to support his weight. He cursed the woods quietly as he finally broke the surface where only the faintest wisps of branches swayed in the breeze. Surrounding them was a sea of bare tendrils, forming gnarled valleys and sloping wooden hills. It was an alien world. Between them though he glimpsed patches of void where the ground reached up, he even saw shapes moving like ants at a distance. It felt queer to spy on them from up so high.
The tom swallowed and steeled himself. He did not want to show fear in front of his mentor.
“Well.” He began, eagerly focusing on choosing his words and not their altitude. “We can see enemies from up here. Or drop down from above, or rain objects down on them.”
There seemed something craven about hiding up in trees and hurtling debris at enemies who could not see you, but he imagined that question had been broadly directed at all possibilities. Yet surely his Kass was no such coward?
Why does that bother me? Winning is winning. Honor is for the dead.
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