For the next few weeks, everyday had the same basic pattern. There would be some form of physical training before breakfast-usually running-and then afterwards, she would spend the rest of the day with Zoisite, learning how to control the stone and her own power.
It was absolutely exhausting. She had not seen Cearul since the feasts, and even then they had barely gotten to do more than wave at each other. She had stopped caring about whether the others would accept her or not, as she simply had no energy to spend thinking about that. All she did was get up in the morning, run, eat breakfast, and then spend a grueling day with Lord Zoisite before being forced to eat dinner and collapsing into bed.
It was almost impossible for Siobhan to imagine that there were children who envied her. If they had any idea what exactly it meant to be a Shitennou, or at least a Shitennou in training, they would be very glad it was her and not them.
That morning, Tuon had finished the run a few steps ahead of her. It was not a lot, a couple of seconds, but Tuon was positively celebratory, and Siobhan was too tired to care. She'd smiled, congratulated him, and completely ignored his taunts.
"You did well today." Lord Zoisite's voice held a touch of pride in it, and Siobhan blinked, not sure to what he could be referring.
"I did?" She frowned, her brow wrinkling slightly as she tried to puzzle over her mentor's words, tried to understand why he wasn't pressing the piece of Zoisite into her hand or running her through centering exercises.
His smile was warm as he gestured her to take a seat on the cushion set on the floor for her. "Do you really not know what you did?"
Siobhan's frown deepened as she sat cross legged on the cushion, trying to think. After a moment, she shook her head, "No."
Zoisite laughed, "You ignored Tuon's taunts. I wonder now if that was the mark of maturity I thought or just a sign that you're exhausted."
He laughed before she could apologize for her failure. "Perhaps you do need a rest day. I'll talk to Nephrite about it, and perhaps I'll lighten the load a bit today."
She frowned, afraid that he thought her a weakling. "I'm fine."
"No, you're not." Zoisite sat down opposite the girl, his legs also crossed as if for meditation. "There is no virtue in such pretense. But neither is there any virtue in me working you into such a state either. I sometimes forget how hard this is. It's been a very long time since I had to learn these lessons."
"I don't understand. Why do I work so hard at freezing a glass of water? Is… is Lord Nephrite right? Is it not supposed to be me?"
Again, Zoisite laughed, "You work so hard to freeze so little because you have no control. Your power, the power of the North, is to draw energy… heat. You do not feel it, so you do not realize how cold you can make a room. You have the power. But real power lies in control, in finesse."
Siobhan looked towards the glass of water that sat between them and sighed. "Oh."
"Relax. It's not an impossible task. You'll get it." He gestured towards the cup, the water in it freezing instantaneously. "However, one cannot be expected to have such control if she's barely awake. Today, we'll simply meditate."
Siobhan nodded, trying hard not to frown more. There was nothing "simple" about meditating.