Nieda Brightwalker – Exercise 1.0
She panted heavily, and the sweat started dripping from her forehead as she ran. The blood pounding in her veins, filling her ears with the exhaustion as she kept stating to herself “One more step, one more step, one more step.”
Nieda kept running, even though her tiny body protested loudly, due to the heavy weight of plate on her legs and chest. She carried her armor at almost all times, but knew her skinny stature did not aid her with strength.
The path in front of her suddenly attacked her, as she was forced down on her knees, struggling to breathe. “Up again, Brightwalker!” a nearby Blood Knight stated, with a mix between pity, encouragement and a frown.
Nieda coughed violently. The blood still pounding in her brain, the metallic taste of blood on her lips, and the eyes of those nearby, did not help her much. After a few minutes, she managed however to continue, forcing herself back up on her feet, to stumble those last few steps towards the commander, who were waiting as the other runners returned, most a bit more graceful than Nieda.
The order was given to spar two and two. Nieda felt a bit nervous, when almost immediately, Maroleus stepped in front of her. “I promised to teach you a thing or two about your short sword didn’t I?” He grinned.
Nieda looked up, inspecting the face of the male, who seemed honest and friendly. She nodded slowly, accepting the challenge.
At first, she was slightly nervous. Maroleus went through the basics – and although Nieda knew most of them, she felt grateful that he started slow, and calmed her a bit. Eventually they got to the actual spar.
Nieda soon realized, she had met her superior – as Maroleus easily blocked or avoided most of her attacks. This was no surprise, as she was not trained very well in the usage of shield and one hander yet, but she did her best nonetheless. Anything else would have been disgracing herself, and the Light she served.
In the end, she took a wound to her arm. Nieda gasped from the pain, and panicked slightly, responding in the only way she could think of. She aimed to head-butt her opponent. She did not even think, she merely wished to get out of the fight at that point, and paid no attention to the fact, that Maroleus was wearing a helmet, with a sharp edge. As she slammed her head towards it, she very late realized what a stupid move it was. She stumbled backwards, decided to hug the ground as everything suddenly started spinning, and reached up to her forehead, which instantly began to bleed.
Nieda groaned. Maroleus inspected her for a short moment, and then called for a mender. Fanldorn rushed to her side and mended her, despite his own exhaustion from throwing a defensive Holy Nova towards a too eager opponent aiming for his head.
Inethiels dishonourable actions towards Fanldorn were stopped however, by Ther’rana, who jumped in, and punched him on his nose, breaking it with a loud cracking sound.
As Fanldorn was severely fatigued from the Holy Nova, Nieda found herself to be mending, only moments after being mended herself, as she restored Inethiels nose to its former angle. She aided her mending with a prayer, to strengthen herself and the restorative powers in her ability to wield the Light. She hesitated a bit, and then added a few additional words of soothing, aiming to calm the fighter, as she feared he would carry a grudge against Fanldorn. Nieda hardly worried about Ther’rana – he seemed able to take care of himself.
As Nieda finally allowed the Light to fade from her palms, she unwillingly yawned. A very tough evening was definitely taking its toll on her by now.
The commander did not however, seem eager to let his men go, as he gathered everyone around him, ordering them to line up.
An order was given, to step forward. Most of those, who had been serving for a while, were asked to step forward, after a bit of discussion amongst the councilmembers. Master Ithuriel was not however. Nieda was confused. What was going to happen now?
Lord Phoenixborne started talking about ranks, offering them all a rank as Oathsworn, and asked them to speak up, if they did not wish for such a rank. Nieda hesitated. She felt tremendously honoured, although she had no idea, why the council would ever consider her an asset. Of course, they did not know about her dishonourable past, a thing she was ashamed of, each and every day, as if she was living a lie, by keeping it hidden.
She glanced back at Ithuriel, as she suddenly realized: He had not been offered a promotion. Nieda was puzzled. Master Ithuriel had been a good example to her, a lot more skilled in combat, and for her stood as a fine example of a Blood Knight. She simply could not grasp, why he had not been offered a promotion with the rest.
Hesitatingly she raised her hand, despite not wishing to give up her incoming promotion; she knew she had to make the right decision. She stuttered but finally managed to mention her suggestion to the council present, that Master Ithuriel was to be granted her rank instead of herself, as she believed he deserved it more.
It was quickly declined. Nieda realized she could do nothing more, but felt sad on behalf of Ithuriel, who definitely had offended the council somehow. She spoke the oath as the rest, Inethiel excluded – who refused and thus lost his promotion.
Lord Phoenixborne seemed amused, for some strange reason. He proceeded to ask Ithuriel to step forward, and then offered him a Blood Warden. Nieda felt utterly embarrassed. She had just offered her rank as oathsworn to a Blood Warden. The usual words echoed in her mind, as she kept her face neutral, struggling not to show her embarrassment. “Stupid… stupid… stupid Nieda. ”