Hello and welcome to the sixth chapter of The Way. I appreciate every ones comments. I hope you all enjoy it and thanks for reading.
Chapter 6: Proving
Over six months, the pups get faster and more evasive. During lessons they are getting more and more eager to learn of the many things that I know. Today is the day that I start them in their actual weapons classes for I plan on taking them with me for a small travel experience later this week. I am currently waiting for the kids, in the gardens beneath a tree. Inutaisho, Mizu, and Yuki walk out and into the gardens with smiles on their faces. For the last three weeks they have expanded their game of chase to the outside of the castle. This allows for greater speed and more tests of endurance and hunting skills as well as evasion skills. They started developing some very creative and useful skills a little over three and a half months ago.
Yuki comes over and stands beside me as I am still the keeper of the game. I watch over and make sure nothing gets unfair and no fights break out. Three fights have broken out since the start of this game and they have all been easy to break up but I do not want them to start fighting today since I need them ready for weapons training today. I nod my head and Inutaisho and Mizu run off at quick speeds. Mizu seems to be the fastest of the three but Yuki is a good tactician so it is always fun to watch how these two face off. I allow the two twenty seconds to get a head start before signaling Yuki to go ahead and go. I climb to the top of the castles tallest tower so I can keep a close eye on the game. Yuki catches her sister Mizu first in a flourish. Mizu is able to last five minutes heads on before her sister touches her.
"Mizu come and stand with me," I command her.
Mizu sighs slightly before joining me up on the top of the tower. As we watch Yuki hunt down their brother who is hiding from his sister in the gardens and is hiding his scent and aura. Mizu is still searching for him from her height advantage but I know she will not find him even from this height. I watch for half an hour as Yuki continues to hunt for her brother. I smile at Inutaisho's patients to wait out the training time.
"Enough, Mizu cover your eyes and Yuki stop where you are. Inutaisho join me and Mizu at the top of the tower," I command. A few seconds later Inutaisho is standing in front of me. "Come on up Yuki."
"Where were you," demands Yuki.
"You will just have to find me next time," Inutaisho teases.
I smile widely. It is very rare that one of them is able to keep away from their siblings for very long. I believe tomorrow I will step up the game. It is time that portion of the training raises in the stakes. I jump my way down the tower and wait at the bottom for my charges to be there. I nod my head in approval as they make their way down with no problems at all. Usually someone slips and falls on the way down.
"Today we are stepping up your combat training. You have been studying hand to hand combat for the last three and a half months and have progressed much more than I thought you would. As a reward we are moving to the next step, weapons training," I tell them.
I walk them to the usual training dojo where other demons are currently training in combat as well. I walk over to the weapons rack and grab two wooden swords. I throw one to Inutaisho and hold the other one for myself.
"What about us Lady Kagome," asks Mizu with a confused look on her face.
"Ladies are expected to never have to wield a weapon," states General Hito with a grin on his face.
"That is true but there will be instances where the princesses will be in need of weapons training and I will give it to them General Hito," I growl out with a shake of my head.
"You are unnatural woman. You have tought the girls hand to hand even though they will have gaurds. They have no need of knowing such information. You have broken many of the codes set up in court. I do not know why my lord does not just kill you for your insolence and why it is he allows you to teach his children," Hiro growls deeply with a smirk on his face.
I can feel that my lord is coming up behind me. I duck just in time to avoid being hit in the head by my lord's sword. Damn it all. Why is he attacking me now of all times to test me why now. I swing my wooden sword up to block his sword. If I am careful I can block his sword and not break mine to smithereens.
"Show me what you can do Hantā," commands Lord Raitonin as he lunges at me.
I duck under his swing for my stomach and try to kick his legs out from under him. These maneuvers cause many demons to gasp in surprise most demons and humans would not chance ducking so low for fear of taking the chance of not ducking low enough and taking the blow to the head. I leap forward and swing my wooden sword at his head while keeping myself constantly in motion never allowing Raitonin an easy moment. The demons gasp when I land blows on Raitonin and laugh when he lands hits on me. After an hour and a half, I can hear them murmuring about how no one has lasted this long against their lord with so few injuries. I have trained for this type of fighting. I have trained to be fast and to last long periods of time while fighting. After a few more minutes, Raitonin holds up his left hand signaling for me to stop and an end to our fight. I pull myself out of my attack much to the amazement of most of the demons surrounding us and the young lord and ladies. It takes a lot of control to be able to stop oneself in mid-attack.
"Good work. You may teach the girls to fight with weapons," Raitonin tells me with a slight smirk on his face.
He is showing a bit of emotion as of late because he has two new sons. The boys were born a little over a month ago and it seems that Raitonin is very smug about having produced two more boys. I can only hope he does not go into full conquest mode soon. The children are too young to go into fighting and have much more to learn.
"Alright. Girls go over to that crate by the door and open it," I command them with a nod of my head towards the box.
The girls go over and open the lid to the box just to pull out three smaller very ornate boxes. One is white, another is light blue, and the final one is black.
"Throw me the black one darling. It has been a while since I have used one of these but they are the perfect weapon for the two of you," I tell the girls as I catch the black box that was thrown by Yuki. "Go ahead open the boxes."
I open mine and pull out twin black fans with silver full moons on the middle and a black sitting dangling from the bottom the fans. I smile as I twirl the fans in my hands showing off some of my skills with dance, form, poise, and balance among many other things. I hear the soldiers say aw at the beauty of my fans.
"Ha, what are fans going to do for the girls. They would be better off with bamboo sticks," Hito mocks.
In less than three seconds, I have hit Hito over the head with one of the fans, kicked his feet out from under him, and pinned him to the ground. By five seconds after what he has said, I have my fans at his throat. I smirk down at him as he gazes up at me in amazement.
"Those are some of the basic moves of using these fans. As you can see the bases and sides are made of metal. These fans are both beautiful and deadly," I say in a sickeningly sweet tone.
"As if that could kill anyone, knock someone out yes but actually kill someone no," Hito mocks yet again.
"You do not know how wrong you are," I tell him.
I press a hidden button on my fan and there is a click before spikes come out of the fan paper at the top as well as one from the top of each side. A few of the spikes poke into Hito's skin causing him to bleed. I shake my head at him as he starts to struggle against me pinning him to the ground with my fans at his neck. I click the buttons again and the spikes go back into the fans. Sweat is pouring down Hito's face.
"Now can you say they are not deadly. These are the perfect hidden weapon for the princesses. Who would ever expect for the fans themselves to be weapons," I say with a chuckle as I get up and allow him to stand. "Come on you three we must get started with your training. Inutaisho grab me another wooden sword. We shall continue your lessons outside children"
I lead the children outside and start to train them in their new weapons. They all seem uncomfortable with their new weapons. I run towards them and hit them all upside the head for their stupidity of holding their weapons wrong. I have corrected their holding innumerable times in the last three hours but they keep loosening up their hold.
"These weapons are supposed to seem like an extension of yourself. You hold must be hard but loose enough to allow full range of movement with it," I tell them after I finish whacking their heads.
They keep this up for the next hour and I sigh once again. They need to relax with these weapons not be so tense. It seems that they fear their weapons instead of hold an appreciation for them. If they keep this up, I will have to push back my plans.
"Well, I was going to include some dance lessons today but seeing as none of you can properly hold your weapons right. It will not happen. I was planning a surprise for you all later this week but it will not happen because of this failure," I tell them with a frown.
"But Lady Kagome, please let us learn dance," begs Yuki.
"What surprise," asks Inutaisho at the same time.
"This is pitiful. You all were doing so well and unless I see improvement tomorrow there will be no dance lessons for a few months and the surprise will be pushed back by a few weeks," I tell them. "Come on your math and reading lessons need to get worked on."
I lead the children inside and start their lessons of the day in math and reading. Many times they seem to focus on something else or look at the weapon at their waists. I can tell they are longing to pick it up again but they will not do so while I am watching them today because I am severely disappointed in them and have no wish to see it again today. After finishing their lessons in math and reading, I start them on a bit of geography work. I assign them some reading to do for the night before heading down to my room to relax before dinner tonight. Today has been stressful and things are not going as I have planned for the week but I will not have to wait for much longer hopefully.
I walk to the female guest spring and step out of my yakuta and hakama before walking into the springs. Since it is the end of winter, no one is visiting the palace. I sigh as I relax in the waters before cleaning with supplies from this time. I have been using my supplies from home sparsely hoping to make them last longer. Many of the servants are confused about the supplies I use and I have tried to make the supplies but it takes more time than I have available to me while I teach the children. Once I finish with my bath I step out and grab my black kimono set from the dressing station. The servants leave me my kimono set every day for when I go to dinner and any other important events. I use five layers kimono for regular days and eight for important events.
When I arrive at the dining hall, Lord Raitonin is already there but none of the kids are there. I sigh and sit down on my usual spot. I wait for Raitonin to start eating before I do. All throughout the meal none of the kids appear. They must be focusing on something else really well.
"How did things go today," asks Raitonin emotionlessly.
"They are not ready for what I had planned my lord. I will have to delay my plans by at least a few days if they keep it up," I answer smoothly and just as unemotional.
"Very well. I want to see some progress soon," he demands as he stands from his seat and leaves.
I sigh and walk away from the dining hall and back to what is going to be my garden come the spring and I can get some work done to it. I can feel the children up on the surrounding roof tops. I ignore them as I take my sword from my waist and start moving through some of my favorite forms. I move through the moves with speed and grace. Once I finish with most of the sword moves, I place my sword back in its sheath and pull my fans out of my sash. I start with my dance forms and move slowly into attack forms. I move smoothly from one style to the other with no problems at all. Occasionally as I work, I can the children working on their forms. I smile slightly because they are improving and starting to cover the basics. Good this means less work tomorrow and maybe no big changes in my plans.
Alright this is it for now. Please tell me what you think I take both criticism and good comments. Both help me make the story better and make my writing better as well.