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The Trip Back - After Training 01 from Dareos Kironos's blog

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Credit to: KatroArt

Pain.

His entire world was pain.It took a few torturous attempts for the Shadow "Priest" to finally be able to whistle and call his mount. To the beast's credit, Beak arrived shortly after, being his usual energetic self - excitement that soon turned into worry as soon as he noticed how badly his master was hurt. Standing up threw Dareos’ world into a spin, as he felt like he was falling into an endless pit, but after a few weak slaps Dareos managed to compose himself and discourage the Gryphon from trying to lick his wounds, and so they were finally heading back to Stormwind.

The wind that often greeted him with the sense of freedom he adored now served only to add to the torture. A mangled wrist, with the fractured bone poking at the deeply burned skin surrounding it, coupled with an equally roasted neck and probably a minor concussion - those were the souvenirs he had gotten from his first training session with Sergeant Alanaus Lightstrider.

Pain.

Another bolt of torturous agony flowed through his body, and so the “Priest” laid down against the Gryphon’s neck and closed his eyes, letting the sound of his wings help him relax.

The very meeting that had resulted in such wonderful gifts had been, by itself, very troublesome to arrange, he sighed.

After a rather lucky escape from a Bounty Hunter that managed to counter his Shadow Magic, the young Kironos had started seeking a close combat teacher, someone to instruct him in ways to get the upper hand against opponents who weren’t expecting a martial “Priest”. Not any kind of teacher would do, of course, for he wished to be taught by nothing less than a professional, someone with proved combat experience and a veteran in their field. So, in order to find such a mentor, he had been forced to pull some of the leverage he had on a few Paladins and Priests from his old days at the Church of Light.

He had asked only for credentials, so when he secured the deal of having an actual Drill Sergeant train him, he was satisfied enough to not bother with further trivialities. The discovery that the person in question was a Hordling, however, had changed everything.

A light chuckle escaped from his sore throat, and he shuddered at the pain, but smiled to himself at the memory of how the session had gone.

A tall Sin'dorei, clad in well kept blood colored armor, which only added to the irony, was there, waiting for him. A quick glance was all he needed to understand her - Drill Sergeant Alanaus Lightstrider was used to being in charge, her body language screamed authority, and with their first exchanges betraying her as the professional he had hoped she was, he knew exactly where to push.

To her credit, her lessons were as insightful as one teaching a “Priest” could be, with the Sergeant explaining to him the motivation behind each and every move, approach and strategy.

So Dareos started with the nicknames, as he usually did. Testing her patience, her seemingly professionalism and, for a while, he was surprised. The annoyance was there, and she cut through it whatever she could, with either threats about her mate or actual lessons that would force him to pay attention to stances and positioning while in a fight.

And then they started practicing. The first move involved a simple disarming punch to the chest. At first, Dareos focused all his attention on getting his stance right and following her instructions regarding upper body movement, but as soon as he saw an opening, he went for her. Applying the move he had just learned, he tried to get her by surprise and throw her to the ground.

Whatever satisfaction the “Priest” might have had from it evaporated when he noticed she had let him do it. Pathetic, he thought back then, as the Sergeant got up and congratulated him on his success.

Only to then punch him in the same spot, to demonstrate how well the move could subdue an unarmed opponent.

This had the young Kironos pleasantly surprised, but only after he was thrown to the grass, gasping for air for what felt like a little too long.

Now, going through the events in his head as he flew home, Dareos realised that this was when their little disaster started to brew.

It had taken a great amount of effort for him to swallow his pride, at least for that moment. Alanaus seemed to have deemed him pacified, and so she went ahead to teach him a grapple move specially aimed towards taking down larger opponents.

The demonstration was simple enough, and after a failed attempt of his own, best left forgotten, he had managed to replicate the move and throw her to the ground. Excitement flowed through Dareos then, despite the suspicion she had let him do it again, and sheer joy filled him as he realised he was actually learning to fight. As a small revenge for what she had done earlier, and as a last gloat before their next lesson, he had pinned a laid down Sergeant to the ground with an elbow to her neck and flicked her long ponty right ear.

The young “Priest” had done lots of things, gone to lots of places and interacted with countless races - from the true High Elves themselves to the odd races inhabiting Pandaria and the Broken Isles - but still, despite all his travels, he wasn’t prepared for what happened then.

His interactions with Night Elves, namely his friend Darlanah, had him assuming their pointy ears were similar to humans’, with no special feature or inclination to them. Maybe Darlanah was the odd one among her kind, or maybe, and the thought made another painful chuckle escape his lips, the Sergeant was the sensitive one.

Turned out such a small touch to her ear made Alanaus sing. From all reactions he had been expecting, from the usual indifference and dismissal to another bashful threat, it never crossed his mind he would end up staring at a very blushed, and annoyed, Drill Sergeant.

Now THIS was golden.

So he did it again, before a single word of protest left her mouth. For the first time since they met he had gotten past her armor. Lots of questions ran through his mind on that brief second, but after she sang another one of her melodies her body started heating up in the most menacingly of ways. A very direct and serious threat was uttered then, that she would break him if he dared to repeat the act.

With a moment to think, Dareos came to the obvious conclusion - he HAD to do it again. This time, however, he gently held her ear between thumb and forefinger, and then faintly caressed it with his digits.

Surprisingly, she could indeed reach all the high notes, even to the point the young Kironos honestly wondered if she had ever considered a career as a singer.

Then the price came, as he had expected. He saw it before it hit him, of course, for her expression, body language and, in a less subtle way, change of eye colour screamed danger. The whispers from his dagger, lying just a few feet from them, tempted him to answer, to use his power to snuff the she-elf’s flame before it fully erupted, to strike first and truly have her at his mercy. It would be so easy, a single whisper, or even a nudge from the hand that still held her ear, to simply come barging into her mind, breaking all the walls she had been trained to raise in order to fully appreciate the joy exposing her deepest secrets, and having that ever so professional Drill Sergeant laid out before him.

But that would end things right then and there, and where was the fun in that?

The impact of Beak’s talons against the stone floor rose him out of his musings. They had finally arrived at the Capital, where he could finally rest and end his torment. The Flight Master stared at him in awed surprise as he took Beak away, leaving the “Priest” to make his way home with a smile on his lips.

What an amazing way to start my week, he thought to himself, as people were now staring at his wrist. Apparently the broken bone had finally ripped the skin, and his blood flowed freely, leaving a red trail wherever he walked. What a bother.

Dareos had paid the price for his entertainment, of course, and that’s what had led to his new teacher leaving him such special departing gifts. The look of flustered distraught on her face, however, as she muttered the name of her mate with guilt, embarrassment and shame, had been priceless.

And, for the tiny crack he managed to make in Drill Sergeant Alanaus Lightstrider’s armor, the Void Mage could take as many gifts as she deemed fit.

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By Dareos Kironos
Added Feb 5 '18

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