Warm UpMature

Artonus Gleave

Art checked the area he had chosen to train his newest interest: Fallen. It was a clearing he had found not far from the campsite and close enough to make it back should these Nightwings attack. On the edge, a woman sat lazily reading a book. He had forgotten her name, but as long as she was prepared, he didn't care.

Lastly, Fallen stood in the center looking curious. 

"Any questions before we begin, boy?" Art asked his trainee.

The boy glanced to the woman. "Should I tell her to leave?"

A laugh escaped Art. This was going to be fun, seeing how far he could push this bundle of talent. "She's there to heal you, boy."

He nodded, though a hint of nervousness escaped his persona. He was young, of course, so Art let it slide. "First lesson," Art shouted, creating a sword identical to Fallen's dark one - which lay against a tree near the woman - and tossing it to the boy. "Try to land a hit on me. I need to assess your current skill with a sword."

"Yes, sir," Fallen said, gaining confidence and taking a sloppy stance. 

Art simply placed his hands by his sides and made sure his bandanna was on good enough. "Come whenever you're ready," he said. "Oh, and no magic. That is something I can't help you with."

Fallen nodded, then charged in a way that reminded Art of some neophyte angrily challenging the master. It had a little bit of talent, but... It needed lots of work. Then again, with no formal training, this was a promising start. But still...

Art dodged the blade to the side, grabbed his leather gloves with his magic, and slammed his fist into Fallen. Using more magic - levitation mostly - he grabbed Fallen and pushed with his fist. The result: the boy flew across the clearing and crashed into a tree, leaving a chunk taken out. 

"Heal him." The woman complied, though only after coming out of her shock at seeing a boy fly into a tree. Once Fallen was up and fine, Art cleared his throat to grab attention. "Again. This time don't let me get past your guard."

The boy nodded once more. "Understood," he said, barely speaking loud enough for Art to hear him across the clearing. He charged once more, but at a more moderate speed. He was still planning to stab, but he also seemed more cautious. Boy was a quick learner, but... 

The blade was knocked to the side by Art's fist, then he went to strike the boy once more in the gut. To Fallen's credit, he did try to move out of the way, meaning he SAW the attack, but he wasn't fast enough. Magic pumped into Art's fist - the little he did have, that is - and Fallen was once more sent flying into the same tree. 

"What are you doing?" the woman scolded as she healed him. "You nearly broke his back!"

Art grunted. "Then he needs to learn to fight better. This isn't even the training yet."

Fallen stood once more, looking even more determined, if that was possible. He said something to the healing mage, making her sigh and move back, and walked toward Art once more. 

It went on for another hour the exact same way. Fallen was a natural at picking up the basics and learning to avoid attacks on the fly, but he was nowhere near good enough to touch Art without his magic yet. But... with time... Art nearly giggled thinking about what he could turn this boy into. Even Grimlock would be at a loss. 

For what seemed like the thousandth time, Fallen slipped up in dodging and Art got a hit on the boy. Only, this time, he didn't use magic. Instead, he punched Fallen in the gut, then slammed his fist into his face, and finished by grabbing him with levitation and tossing him across the ground toward the medic. 

She hurried over to heal Fallen, of course, and scowled harshly at Art. Yet, he paid no mind to her. Instead, he was formulating what he would have to do to make this boy an elite. It was possible to make him the youngest ever, but... it would be hard. 

"Alright, boy!" Art shouted before Fallen could attack again. "That's enough warm up. Let's get to the first lesson, shall we?"

The End

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