*It's early next morning, after everyone's had a chance to rest and recover. Kyrie's in the training room, having changed into a spare gi of Serena's, going through basic stretches as best she can around her injury.*
*Oleai was up early, sitting atop the mat she'd slept on for some time before noticing Kyrie was up and preparing for the training they'd spoken of. The tall lagomorph couldn't fit into any of the available training clothes - so she went digging through her things for some bandages to create a workable bodywrap to wear beneath her usual top and loincloth. In she came to the training room.*
Oleai: "G-Good morning! How is your uhm.. how's the cut?" She pointed at Kyrie's previous super-stabbed side. "It's not too bad, is it?" A nice reminder on how Oleai had failed to shield the one person in this caravan that was the most kind to her.
Serena: *Serena is also there, wearing some simple ass PJs (How positively Wellsian!) and drinking a cup of tea.*
Kyrie: *slight smile* It's gotten much better.
Serena: *She's sitting up in the stands, though. Totally out of the way.*
Kyrie: Do you feel ready?
Kyrie: *she offers a quick glance to Serena, never having seen her teaching style and hoping it isn't too sharp towards Oleai*
Oleai smiled back, tugging on an ear. Even if it was to make her feel better, she could appreciate the effort. She eased further in, noticing Serena. "Oh.. Good morning to you too, ma'am! Is this where we .. do this?" Back to Kyrie, "No! But when was the last time we've had time to be ready for anything on this trip?"
Kyrie: *laughs* True enough.
Kyrie: *a slight frown of concern, pausing a short bit before speaking* Before we begin, though, I did want to make sure...we aren't breaking some Plainsrunner taboo, are we? I won't be getting you...exiled for violence or anything?
Oleai was taken aback, trying to hide the fact from the others and doing a poor job of it. She was never a good liar. "U..Uh, no. No, no danger of me being exiled or anything like that!" She waved a hand as if to dismiss the idea, "If that was the rule I'd already be out! B-but no, we Windspeakers .." Another lie, ".. we can defend ourselves. So this is good!" She gave a little hop, and a smile to try and bring the mood up.
Kyrie: *quiet laugh* All right. *her reaction seems a bit weird, but Kyrie shrugs it off for now; she's sure she has her reasons*
This will be your first lesson in fighting, yes? So we can start with the basics to begin. No forms just yet, just basic strikes.
Serena: It will be quite difficult to teach a Plainsrunner proper form.
Oleai nods twice sagely, "All my lessons as a kid were for my control of wind... and tribal law, but uhm.. Yes! I haven't had proper training to fight." She patted one of her thick legs, "I can kick, though! So, lets learn some of that!" She had a thought, looking to Serena, "Why would it be hard for a plainsrunner?"
Kyrie: ...*she waits for Serena's response rather than speaking up, moving near one of the dummies*
Serena: *Leans onto her knee, indicating with her tea hand while not even looking directly at the Plainsrunner* Just look at that body of yours. It's massive and unsubtle. Your every movement screams betrayal of your intent.
Kyrie: She exaggerates, Oleai. Don't let her words worry you.
Oleai: Oleai glanced down at herself. Never bothered her any. ".. I thought it was an advantage." Then again, if Nekana combat was the end-all-be-all they'd rule the world now - wouldn't they? She moved to join Kyrie near the dummy, just smiling off the comment by Serena. "You can show me as best you can! All we can do!" She was the optimist.
Kyrie: Stand here, side facing your target. Whichever side is your stronger.
Oleai: Oleai moves up to the dummy, looking down at the shorter-than-her training implement. She turns slightly to her right, left side toward the dummy. "Okay.. how do I stand?" At current, she was just.. standing. It would be easy to simply push her over.
kyrie: Keep your legs further apart. You want to keep stable, for more control. You don't want someone knocking you off balance.
Oleai: She glanced downward again, like she needed to monitor their movement. She took a wider stance, and lost a bit of height as a result. "Like this?"
Kyrie: *she glances up to Serena, having been about to speak, but gives Oleai a slight nod* A little more.
Oleai: Another glance downward, she spread her stance more - teetering a little until she rotates her feet as well. "O..okay! Now what?"
kyrie: *nod* Better. *she steps up, nudging the small of her back* See how you have better footing this way?
Oleai: She made two lil hops to bring her legs back to something more natural, snickering. "Hehehe.. Okay. What do I do now?" This was going to be an uphill battle.
Kyrie: All right. Your forward leg; I want you to push off with it, balance on your back leg, and kick out at the dummy. A quick snap, as much force as you can.
Oleai: Oleai nods, biting her lip to try and focus. Over focus, really. Her left foot slid back, balancing her weight on her right leg. She could sprint, and leap among the best of them - plenty of power and coordination! Just.. not so much aim. Her leg shot out with tremendous force and absolutely pummel the air directly to the right of the dummy - clipping one of the wooden arms and sending the thing twirling so fast it whipped 'round and tagged her on the backside. The Plainsrunner knocked off balance just enough to drop her foot sideways - and out. She fell into involuntary splits. "AHHH!" She was agape, eyes wide. "... Owowowow!" And fell forward. Plop.
Kyrie: Oleai? *quick to her side, she helps her into a more comfortable position*
Oleai: Oleai is up with Kyrie's help, twisting her legs in to sit crosslegged. ".. Ow. I'm sorry! I guess I got over excited or nervous or.. something." She tried very hard not to look at Serena - who she was certain would be laughing or worse.
Kyrie: ...it was your first try. You hit the dummy, at least. *smiling, holding back her own* Do you feel all right? Can you stand?
Serena: Indeed, a dummy was hit.
Oleai: Hands planting on the matted floor, she eases up to her feet again - stretching one way then the other. Only a little wince. "Yeah.. yeah I'm okay." She took a deep breath, "Want me to try again? Or something else?" To her credit, Oleai at least performed a kick! Wildly inaccurate as it may have been. She looked to Serena, "Thanks!" She didn't catch the insult.
Kyrie: Let's try again. *throwing a glance up Serena's way, eyes narrowed behind Oleai's back* You almost had it. Just...focus on your target a little better.
Try lining yourself up a little better. Point your hip at the target.
You want your strike to be straight as possible.
Oleai: "Okay!" Oleai made two little bouncing hops in place to get herself worked up before spreading her legs back into stance. She took a deep breath and focused on aiming, lining her hips up as Kyrie suggested. Foot slid back, leg rearing up - there was a bit of wobble in her form as she was up on one leg - but once more that machine of hers shot out and this time landed square in the body of the dummy. There was a loud crack! Two of the four bolts holding the dummy in place were pried from the floor beneath! The lagomorph hopped back on one foot before stumbling backward and landing on her butt. At least the kick was dead on.. and a little too powerful.
Kyrie: *grins* Very good!
Kyrie: *and she can't help but shoot a smirk Serena's way, again out of Oleai's sight*
Kyrie: You'll need to work on keeping your footing. But your strike was perfect.
Oleai: She was all power, with absolutely no finesse. At least as far as fighting was concerned. Or her legs. Thankfully magic is cast with the hands.
Serena: ...I'm charing your mother for that.
Oleai: She beamed, tugging on one of her tall ears. The other stuck up proudly. "Thank you! That felt good! But.. oh no, I'm sorry about the dummy!"
Kyrie: She can afford it. No need to worry, Oleai.
Kyrie: Now, though, let's work on your balance. Improving that ought to help your form.
Oleai: "Maybe I'll just.. not kick as hard!"
Oleai: She stood, "Okay!"
Kyrie: Close your eyes, and steady your breathing. In and out, in a steady rhythm. Let yourself be as calm as you can manage.
Oleai: "Ohh!" She grinned, "That's easy!" Her eyes closed, hands coming in front of her palms-up as her breathing calmed. Like a master! THIS was an extensive part of her training as a windspeaker. There was a slight breeze circling her hands, even. If unintentional.
Kyrie: *smiles* Good. Now, lift one leg, and hold yourself still and straight. *keeping ready to steady her if she begins to fall*
Oleai: She remained still breathing for a few beats, but tilting ever so slightly to the right as she lifted her left leg off the ground. Wobbling slightly as she tried to find what position was easiest to balance on. Without the power of a kick to knock her on her ass, Oleai keeps herself upright fairly well. Deep breaths.
Kyrie: Very good. Now, I'm going to start nudging you, and I want you to keep your balance. Are you ready? *a warning she never got, but she can't help but go a little easy on Oleai; she's still got a bit of "not Nekana" in her judgment herself*
Oleai nodded, still focus on her breathing. The muscles in her right leg tighten, waiting to be shoved. She had no idea how hard it would be.
Kyrie: *she starts with light nudges in random directions, just to test her balance at first; she doesn't want to shove Oleai to the ground right off the bat*
Serena: *Sips her tea. Always watching. Always judging.*
Kyrie: *Stepping quietly, she gives Oleai no hint where each shove might come from before nudging her*
Oleai: The first few nudges she weathers fairly well - but Kyrie was going easy. A little wobble, but so easily shoved down.
Kyrie: *as she continues, she starts increasing the difficulty; a little faster, a little harder, sometimes more than one at a time*
Kyrie: *always circling around her, never letting Oleai get a sense of where the next will be*
Oleai does fairly well! Until the first time Kyrie gets her from two different angles - she overcompensates. Eyes opening, and yelping "Ah!" Before teetering to one side and falling to the ground. "Ugh!" She groaned, but was smiling.
Serena: You're too jumpy.
Kyrie: ...*nod* For your first time, that wasn't bad. But you do still seem a little nervous; you're too quick to move away.
Oleai levied a stare at Serena. She's a rabbit. But she doesn't backtalk, as much as she'd want to. "It's instinct.."
"Normally, the pullers or scouts do all the confronting. I've always just.. ran or jumped away. It's what I'm good at."
Serena: Your instincts betray you.
Kyrie: *another quick glare to Serena* She's blunt, but...she has a point. You're better at more than that, and those instincts aren't...bad. But when you're fighting, you'll need to better stand your ground. With enough practice, that will come easier.
Oleai: She slid her hands back behind her, holding herself up. "You remember that.. wolf.. monster? If I hadn't ran when I did.." Of course, that same fleeing got Kyrie stabbed, she quickly clammed up - and stood. "Okay."
Kyrie: There's nothing wrong with speaking your mind. You're right that sometimes these instincts serve you well. But in a fight, you need to press towards those that want to hurt you, not away.
Kyrie: We all have those instincts when we start, Oleai. *another look towards Serena* All of us.
Kyrie: Part of training is to learn when to fight, and when to run.
Oleai: She nodded, "Okay Kyrie. So.. more of the same?"
Kyrie: *nod* And this time, don't try and bend away from me. Bend towards me. See if that helps.
Oleai: She took another breath, and lifted her leg back up to balance. She was a little less wobbly this time. "Okay. Ready."
Kyrie: *she resumes, starting a bit harder right from the start this time*
Serena: Lower yourself, rabbit girl.
Oleai: Oleai nearly loses it on the first nudge, but on the second the tall lagomorph leans into the pressure the moment she feels it which.. makes it a lot easier. Once Kyrie's hand withdraws she nearly goes toppling over in THAT direction, though. For the third, she bends her left leg. Harder on the leg, maybe, but far easier to keep her balance. "Yes ma'am!" Her ears dipped a little at Serena's coaching, but only briefly.
Kyrie: Much better! *each push is a little harder than the last, now, as she sees how much Oleai can handle*
Oleai: Apparently taking very well to the softer instructions (She just responds better to it.) and a gradual ramp-up, she weathers all the nudges and shoves. The much larger Plainsrunner was feeling very solid now. Kyrie wasn't going to casually push her down. Maybe if she were a bit more aggresive.. but does she want to strike a rabbit?
Serena: You're better at this than I would've thought.
Oleai: Her ears perk up at the compliment, ".. Really? Th-" Her focus broke, Kyrie's last shove nearly toppling the rabbit - her arms shooting out to try and strike a balance. It takes a small blast of air from the palm to get herself centered again. Whew.
Kyrie: *She hesitates, but she does begin to ramp up the force, just to see how much Oleai can take. Nothing that would actually hurt her, but she's definitely putting significantly more effort behind each shove now, actively trying to knock her over.*
Serena: I didn't mean you.
Oleai: She lasts longer than one would think! Taking at least three of Kyrie's more assertive attempts to topple her. Needing to rely on a bit of magic to keep herself upward, but either way the trained martial artist doesn't have to spend too much time in actual effort to topple the novice. At least this time when she goes down it's with a bit more grace, rather than a total collapse. "... Oh." Her ears and tail went down.
Oleai: ".. She's right though, Kyrie! This is fun!" it's not meant to be fun, but that's just the rabbit's way of complimenting the training.
Kyrie: ...She's covering, Oleai. But...good. *laughs* Now, let's try applying this. Get back in your stance at the next dummy.
Oleai: She nods, smiling sweetly. Jumping back to her feet and repositioning. Straight into the stance she'd done before. "Kick it again?" She hesitated, dropping stance and approaching the dummy to pull it back straight. Not bolted in, but at least not cocked to the side. "Okay!"
Kyrie: *nod* That's right. This time, use this practice to keep yourself steady.
Oleai: Leaning back onto one leg, as she did during the kicks only this time at half the speed - her left leg draws back before shooting out again - knocking the dummy back to its cocked position. Since the post had give, there wasn't as much blowback and so Oleai kept her balance. "Hey! That worked!" Thanks in part to circumstance.
Kyrie: Good! Again.
Oleai: "Should.. we use another post?"
Kyrie: *nod* Move to the next.
Oleai: Staying on one foot, she bunnyhopped to the next in the line - wobbling a little before going solid again. Another kick - higher this time - bending the pole back but not breaking it. Sacrificing raw power for balance and aim. "Ha!"
Kyrie: *nods* Keep going. Down the rest of the line, quick as you can.
Oleai: "Okay!" Down the line she went, each subsequent kick was a little weaker, and a little balance was lost. The last few poles received their kicks in the arms, sending them spinning. This earned Oleai two cracks on the front and backside of her outstretched leg. The last pole was hit deadon, and the rabbit paused there. ".. This is a workout!" It doesn't help she moved from pole to pole by hopping on a bent leg.
Kyrie: Very good start, Oleai.
Kyrie: Take a breath, let yourself relax, and we'll pick up shortly.
Oleai: Her leg went down, "Okay!" She took the time to catch her breath. "So.. you trained just like this, huh?"
Kyrie: *nod* For both of us, yes.
Kyrie: *she looks up to Serena inquisitively*
Serena: When we were kits, at least.
Serena: *Places her tea to the side, and steps onto the floor*
Kyrie: How early does training begin for plainsrunners?
Oleai: "Haha.. Well, I'm no kit - but I feel like one." She rubbed the back of her head.. she wasn't very old, but she wasn't a child. Maybe as far as combat was concerned. "Uhhm.. Well, as children like you. But it's all different depending on your clan, and tribe. I learned to control my element, and how to run a caravan. But the bulls would be doing physical training like this. You know?"
Kyrie: ...I'm afraid not. Bulls? Men?
Oleai: "Well, the men of their race, yes. .. Plainsrunner is a kindof blanket term outsiders use. I mean literal bull-men. They pull our wagons. They're so strong!"
Kyrie: Ah, of course. *small laugh*
Oleai: "Well, they HELP pull our wagons. As far as our Tribe goes, it's us Windspeakers who do the majority of the work."
Kyrie: What about the male rabbits? What do they do?
Kyrie: *stepping to the side a bit as Serena approaches*
Oleai: Her arms fold, standing completely upright again. She towered over the Nekana, but still somehow felt smaller. "Oh, the males do the same work as the females as far as windspeakers go. We rotate two or three of us per wagon, to keep them going all day and night bellowing air into massive sails. Usually not as many boys as girls, though. Ahem."
Serena: But I'd imagine they don't do it as well.
Oleai: "It's the bulls that are more divided on sex. The women usually tend to cooking, sewing, children and the like." She shook her head, "Oh, that's not really true! My father is the chieftain, and tells me in his day was quite the wagon driver. He taught me a lot of what I know. Well, when he had time. Lots of kids to teach."
Kyrie: ...no offense to your father, but I don't believe I'll ever get used to hearing from men in charge. *light laugh*
Oleai: Her head tilted, "Nekana is a matriarchy, right?"
Kyrie: *nod* That's right.
Oleai: "So what do the male Nekana do? I don't see a whole lot of them. .. Oh! Except your husband, Serena. He's really nice!" She beamed. How sweet.
Kyrie: Oh...cleaning, caretaking...service jobs. Things like that.
Oleai: Oleai scratched her head, "Huh." It doesn't sound like being a male Nekana is very fun.
Kyrie: I'm sure it's different for others, but they just seem better suited for those roles.
Kyrie: I don't think I've ever even seen one in combat training...Serena?
Serena: They don't get combat training.
Oleai: "What if they're no good at service? Or just really good at fighting? We had a cow once stronger than a lot of the bulls! She pulls a wagon!"
Serena: A man?
Serena: No good at service?
Serena: *YOU CAN ALMOST HEAR THE PSHAW*
Oleai: Her head tilted the other way. "Sure. Everyone is different!"
Kyrie: *a slight quirk of her mouth at Serena's comment* If they have no skill at one job, then their mother would find them another they are good at. Though...good at fighting? I mean...I suppose it's not impossible.
Kyrie: Maybe...animal care or the like, in that case.
Oleai: "Hmm." Oleai didn't bother going in to debate what was likely a long history of inequality in Nekana culture. There was a reason the mostly-free and open Plainsrunners didn't get along with the rigid and sneaky Nekana.. Even if their two races were literally the same. She wasn't so dumb as to bring up THAT topic. "Well, what now?" She was fishing for a topic, or to continue training. Or maybe food.
Kyrie: Now that you've practiced the basics of strikes, and you've found better balance, I think we can return to stances. And from there, perhaps we can begin basic sparring.
Oleai: "Sparring? I don't know.." She approached the mat again, and took her balanced stance. Not that it was in any way a real stance. It was solid, but all over the place by Nekana standards.
Kyrie: Try to spread a little further again, like we started. Keep yourself low. Find a balance between height and your own comfort.
Oleai: Oleai nodded again, going into the wide stance. She was nice and limber at this point. She lost a lot of height in the pursuit - her proportions were much different than a Nekana's. So much leg. She needed to squat much more to strike a decent balance. "O.. Okay! Like this?"
Kyrie: Good. How does it feel?
Oleai: "Feels.. awkward, to be honest."
Kyrie: *nod* Finding the right balance is tricky when you start.
Kyrie: A stance you can move quickly from, but others can't move you easily from.
Kyrie: Relax it a bit, and see if that helps.
Oleai: She took a breath, shoring her legs in a little. Maybe not as low down as wanted, but certainly more comfortable. "Okay.. " She sounded serious. So serious ms. bunny.
Kyrie: Good. *she gives her a few nudges* See how it's easier to stay in place? When you're fighting, you want to avoid being knocked down as best you can. You always want the position of strength.
Oleai: The nudges, compared to earlier, are much easier. "Yeah! Though I still want verymuch to just jumped away. But the only thing I've fought have been.. some giant wolf thing and a monster lady."
Kyrie: *nod* That's all right. Most of us had never fought when we began our training, so you're starting with experience already. *small smirk*
Kyrie: There's nothing wrong with that instinct. It's a question of control.
Kyrie: You can't get rid of fear. But you can learn when to act on it.
Oleai: "I'll try my best, Kyrie." She offered a smile, keeping her stance. "What.. do I do with my hands?" Compared to her legs, her arms were rather twiggy. Not bad, but certainly not used for much more than moving boxes and making swishy gestures in the air. Granted, most things are tiny compared to her legs. "I have no idea."
Kyrie: Keep them up, like this. *takes her wrists, helping her position* Even if you don't plan to punch, we can still show you some basic blocks. And at the least, they'll be ready to cast as needed, in position so it only takes a few motions. Maybe you'll even find your own style to combine striking and casting, given enough time?
Serena: Striking physically whilst casting? That would be...impressive. A very enhanced shaman technique.
Oleai: "Hehehe.. I think you're holding me to a high standard!" She snickers as Kyrie moves her arms around like a posable doll. Her fingers waggled, "I'll need to be careful not to cast in a panic with my hands like this.." She could snap her own wrist, which was left unsaid. "So.. blocks? But that's only if it's like.. a fist, or something?"
Oleai: "Shaman?" Nekana had spellcasters? "Do Nekana control elements too? I've never met one!"
Serena: Ah..No. No, Nekana have no relation to the elements at all.
Kyrie: *nod* We have no talent with magic, I'm afraid. Though we've known others. And it would be very advanced, but not impossible.
Oleai: "Oh. ... Maybe I can do that, eventually!"
Kyrie: Anyway, fists can be blocked, but also kicks. Any strike to your body can be blocked. Keep your arms ready, I'll demonstrate. *stepping back*
Oleai: Her arms came up and together. More a flinch than a block. "Okay! Go slow?"
Kyrie: *she nods, and slowly comes up into a sidekick, giving Oleai plenty of time*
Oleai: Oleai tenses, and she clearly struggles to not just hop to one side to dodge. Her arms lock together and move to block the kick - one leg raising to join the two smaller limbs.
Kyrie: ...interesting reflex. *said honestly, not teasingly, as she watches Oleai move to block it with her leg as well* Or is that learned?
Serena: It is large enough to be a shield.
Serena: A shield made of meat.
Oleai: She planted her leg again, "S-sorry! I just kindof did that. Is that bad?" Serena's insult didn't really take.. it wasn't a lie. Oleai was proud of her legs. It would be like mocking a Nekana for HAVING a tail.
Kyrie: Not at all. It's just interesting. Our reflexes are usually to block with our arms, though I suppose that does make more sense for you...hmm.
Kyrie: I'm going to move a bit faster this time. I want you to hold your ground, and block what you can. When you're ready.
Oleai: She laughed nervously, "W.. Well, if it's realistic to use in a fight. I feel a bit better about that at least."
Oleai: A nod, "I'll try." She gulped, steeling herself.
Kyrie: Take a breath first. Calm yourself. Remember, this is an exercise.
Oleai: Eyes closed, she did exactly that. A deep breath to calm herself.
Kyrie: *Kyrie begins a basic routine at about a third normal speed, a combination of strikes and kicks in place, watching Oleai's reflexes; what she can block and what she can't. Not trying to gain ground, just a routine meant to test an opponent's defenses, going on for minutes or until she loses her footing, whichever comes first.*
Oleai: Attempting to use just her arms for the first several strikes, Oleai's firmly grounded stance holds up surprisingly well! She tries rotating her arms between hits, quickly feeling a bit of soreness from her poor method of blocking. When Kyrie kicks for the first time, instinct takes hold and is only barely caught - resulting in an unintentionally impressive looking block with her leg. Encouraged by this, she takes to staying on one leg, while blocking lower hits with the other. Two arms and a leg form a decent shield, only...
Kyrie: *at the end of the routine, she stops, ears perked* Very good! Your instincts are better than you give yourself credit for, Oleai.
Kyrie: *looks to Serena, to get her impression*
Oleai: She relaxes, bringing a hand over her heart to calm it. "Maybe! But that wasn't as fun! It was hard to keep up!" At one third the pace.
Serena: There's one problem.
Oleai: "W.. What's that?"
Oleai: Having dropped her stance for some kind of wrap-up, she was far too slow to react to Serena's sudden attack. Instinct on her side - she got a leg up to avoid being hit bare in the flank but had nowhere near the balance to not be immediately sent back onto her ass.
Kyrie: *with a sideways grin to Serena, Kyrie moves to help Oleai back to her feet*
Serena: You cannot balance that way. You may feel defended, but you are quite vulnerable.
Oleai: Eyes pinched shut from yet another land on her rump, she stood with Kyrie's help. "W.. Well, I wasn't expecting that!" As soon as she said that, she knew the response she was going to get.
Serena: Kyrie, mimic that pose.
Oleai: She mumbled, "I bet I could." This is about as fiesty as the rabbit woman could get.
Oleai: ".. She's so much smaller, though."
Serena: Size is meaningless!
Serena: *Comes in high with a jab, but then suddenly drops in fluid motion, sweeping Kyrie's single leg out from under her.*
Oleai: Oleai quieted, but couldn't bring herself to agree with this master instructor. Not the best student, or maybe her pride was a little wounded.
Kyrie: *crashes to the ground* ...fair point. *slight grunt as she picks herself up*
Serena: Your center of gravity is far too high that way. A low strike will topple you every time.
Oleai: ".. What if I jumped over low things?"
Kyrie: *raises a brow silently to Serena, keeping quiet for now*
Serena: Do you wish to try?
Kyrie: *was that to Oleai or to her?*
Oleai: No. No. No. No. No. ".. Yes." Damnit. She stood, showing a lot more fire than comes to her nature. Some actual fighting in a safe environment was getting the otherwise peace-loving but certainly full of potential Ms. Canyonsunder confident. She took her stance, this time actually expecting a blow from the older Nekana instructor. An intense expression on her face. This was it! Time to prove she wasn't a complete coward!
Serena: *Falls into an advanced stance* Defend yourself.
Oleai: Oleai is entirely unable to recognize an advanced stance from a basic one. "Yes ma'am!"
Serena: *Serena snaps forward, going for a simple jab at Oleai's fleshy soft parts*
Oleai: She'd just seen Serena pull this trick on her friend. She blocked just as she'd grown comfortable doing - two arms an a leg. Her right leg, tree-trunk that it is, planted firmly on the ground but ready at a moment's notice to give in to instinct and send her skyward. She would jump right over this old cat!
Oleai: A recycling of what Oleai had just witnessed, the rabbit pushed with her right leg and launched herself up. With only one leg to do it, it was a short jump. (Compared to her average, she still easily doubled the Nekana's full standing height). While she HAD dodged, this put her in the air with no followup plan. So, she dropped the martial arts and fell back to basics. Hands shooting forward to launch a powerful gust of air downward at the old cat while slowing her own descent. She'd land on both feet. That is, if nothing unexpected happened.
Serena: *OH SHIT THE TOTALLY NOT OLD CAT IS TOTALLY ON TOP OF HER AGAIN*
Kyrie: *Kyrie watches quietly, silently urging Oleai on from the side*
Oleai: Oleai backpeddles, and tries to get into a position to defend herself again before Serena can attack. More than likely not.
Oleai: ALL REFERENCES TO OLD CATS WERE OF COURSE SPEAKING ABOUT MARTIAL ARTS EXPERIENCE, NOT AGE.
Serena: *Oleai has a dagger point at her throat!* Better than I thought, but you've a long way to go, rabbit.
Serena: *Flicks the knife back into the sleeve of her pajama shirt* She was in no danger and you know it.
Kyrie: That doesn't matter. You wouldn't do that to a kit. *glaring*
Oleai: Training confidence gave way to actual fear as there was suddenly a dagger to her throat and a ninja-cat at the helm of it. The rabbit backpeddled further and fell onto her backside. That's four times now, for those keeping score.
Serena: *Pauses a moment, ear flicking wildly.* I would if the kit insisted she knew better than the master, now wouldn't I?
Oleai: Oleai shook her head, "N-no! I don't know better! I was just.. I wanted to try." Her ears sank, rebuffed. She tugged one, a nervous tick she seems to have developed over the weeks of CONSTANT MORTAL DANGER. "I'm sorry." She pulled up her knees, hugging them. She wouldn't cry, though! Still, this entire scenario held an uncomfortably close paralell to the last time her ego reared its head and and caused her to act without considering.
Kyrie: *frowning, she goes to Oleai's side, putting an arm around her shoulders* ...Kitspeak, Serena. Does she have potential?
Serena: *Flicks her knife out again, fiddling with it slightly* ...She does.
Serena: I will teach you a better way.
Kyrie: *nods, rubbing Oleai's shoulder*
Serena: You've done far better than I had expected, rabbit.
Oleai: Oleai raises her head, looking to Kyrie and smiling sweetly. How is it she'd made friends with a Nekana again? Trip hasn't been all bad. (No mention of her crush on Guy, here. Retcons!) "Thank you.. ma'am." She said, unable to make eye contact.
Kyrie: I'm not surprised by her performance. She did save my life, Serena.
Serena: *STARING AT OLEAI*
Oleai: Her head sinks further into her shoulders. Eventually she looks up.
Serena: *STARING INTO HER EYES*
Oleai: "W.. What is it?"
Oleai: "What better way?"
Kyrie: ...*quiet whisper* Don't blink first.
Serena: *THE MOST INTENSE STARE*
Oleai: Thankfully, she was on the verge of tears. So, that helps? But it was more that this Nekana was terrifying. She had Kyrie there, though! She stared back with ABSOLUTELY NO INTENSITY.
Serena: *Suddenly looks away, flicking her ear*
Serena: That is your choice to make.
Serena: Will you join us, Kyrie?
Kyrie: *nods, helping Oleai back up*
Oleai: She looked to Kyrie, not following Serena very well. But, in for a penny. She stands, and from now on is just a little more tense.
Serena: We'll skip the rite. You were never good at staring contests anyway.
Oleai: Nekana rituals were odd.
Kyrie: ...*slight snicker* The both of us?
Serena: If you wish to learn.
Kyrie: Of course. I just hadn't expected it.
Oleai: "W.. What is it we're doing? Or.. learning."
Serena: As I said.
Serena: The choice is yours to make.
Serena: I know two exotic and very effective forms.
Oleai: Her ears stuck up, "O-oh!" She had options. Or was this all a trick? Argh! "Which do you think I'm more suited for?"
Serena: I refuse to answer that.
Serena: I can teach you the Palm of Quaking Earth, or Fist of Flowing Water.
Oleai: "Oh..." So much for admitting Serena's expertise. She looked to Kyrie, "What do you think? Well.. What 'forms' are these?" She had only the faintest concept of what a 'form' was to begin with.
Kyrie: You know yourself better than anyone, Oleai. No judge would be better than you.
Kyrie: They're styles of fighting.
Oleai: When she heard the names, her ears sunk again. Both of them were ironic and depressing.
Kyrie: I'm sure they'll need some adaptation to your build...can you at least speak a bit more on them, Serena?
Oleai: "They both sound more... punchy."
Oleai: Punchy. She's clearly suited to be in an expert's dojo.
Serena: The Palm of Quaking Earth is very stabilized and it will feel as if your body is rock solid. The Fist of Flowing Water, on the other hand, will allow your body to flow like a gentle river.
Oleai: Judging it on simply the worst criteria, Oleai couldn't bring herself to know anything called 'Quaking Earth'. "Flowing Water, then." She at least tried to sound confident in her decision.
Kyrie: *nod* If you are asking both of us, I'd agree with her choice.
Serena: Flowing water then. Are you ready, Ky-chan?
Kyrie: ...*trying not to react to that* I believe so. *nodding*
Serena: I had assumed I'd be teaching you the way of the gusting kick, if anything...
Oleai: Oleai tried not to smile at 'Ky-chan'. Whatever that meant. It sounded funny.
Serena: *Walks to the center of the room, whipping towards them* Ky-Chan! Ears-Chan! Bow to your sensei!
Kyrie: ...perhaps if you'd offered that as an option, Sensei. *slight smirk*
Serena: If I tried to teach Ears-Chan that form, she would die.
Serena: I mean that quite sincerely. It's even more unbalanced than her normal stance.
Kyrie: A future goal, perhaps. *still bowed*
Oleai: Oleai bowed, after only a moment of watching Kyrie do it. "Gusting kick sounds a lot more like me..."
Serena: *TRAINING MONTAGE*