Chapter VII: The Newblood's Celebration PT. II

After a few hours of cleaning himself proper, Swift-Knife walked into the Sanctuary and looked around abit; the sounds of Gogron training on a dummy banging into the hall with the blanketing sound of young Antoinette practicing her vital strikes in a crouch. Walking towards the hall leading to Valtieri's room, he immediately stopped. If those two were working at the same time, that meant…

The doors to the living quarters pushed opened to reveal a stern-faced M'raaj-Dar. His cold eyes looked over to a caught Swift-Knife and clicked the roof of his mouth with his tongue, "Look who returns. Did you finish your contract or did you muck it up like your defense training?"

With hot cheeks, the Argonian retorted to the freshly-awakened mage, "I've completed my assignment flawlessly." He said, presenting his new saber.

As usual, M'raaj-Dar didn't look an ounce impressed as his brow arched some, "Could have taken it from some other hapless pirate who couldn't hear a juggernaut stumble towards him like a drunken Nord." He said before stepping forward. Swift-Knife's face was on the borderline of a fine line of neutrality and annoyed anger to the insult. The Khajiit certainly saw that and gave a cruel grin as he walked towards his Argonian chew-toy, "And when you are done reporting to Valtieri, you will come to me for training."

Swift-Knife felt his cheeks burn in anger, embarrassment and...something else foreign to him before quickly walking off, nearly bumping into a wandering Valtieri, making the poor Argonian gasp in a swift slide back and bowed apologetically, "I-I'm sorry, honorable brother. I didn't expect you to be out of your room so soon."

The vampire blinked at the sudden activity and glanced around to find themselves alone in the room before placing a comforting hand on the Argonian's shoulder, "Calm yourself, brother. You are quite flustered on this day. I can only assume you completed your contract, yes?" He said.

Nodding quickly, Swift-Knife lifted his head up to his mentor and presented the former captain's saber to him as a gift and trophy. The corners of the elder assassin's mouth curled in a smile before gingerly lifting the blade and hilt up with his clawed fingertips, examining the steel craftsmanship; worn and used in many battles. "So...the pirate has been eliminated." He mused with a hint of pride to the young Murderer, "Excellent. No one will mourn his passing, and Sithis have been appeased."

Lowering the saber back to Swift-Knife, who took it in his hands and looked up to Vicente with his own reptilian smile. Gasping out in soft realization, the vampire fished into his pocket and produced a large ring. The Argonian's eyes looked at it; it was most of dark brass with a noticeable black inside, intricate markings running around it with a certain ebb of magic from it. Noticing the younger man's stare, the vampire held it out to Swift-Knife, "Please accept this Black Band as your reward."

The Murderer looked up to Vicente for confirmation before slipping his smaller pinky finger into the ring and took it, feeling its magics flowing through his body. The rush was new to him, far different from the painful experiments of his master and the grown resistance that followed. It was actually benevolent. "It is a ring whose powers are quite useful to those who value..." The vampire said before glancing at the training room to the loud clangs of Gogron's battle-axe contacted with his training dummy, his smile knowing and innocent to the hint, "discretion."

Swift-Knife certainly understand and chuckled to that, "Yes, Vicente." He answered with another bow of his head and stood up, feeling more at ease in his home. The Vampire pats on the Argonian's side and nodded approvingly, "You still have much pain, my boy." Those words were so simple and direct, and like the arrow it mimicked, they struck deep and on point by Vicente's masterful wisdom.

"Yes..." He answered, looking into those red inhuman, yet heart-warming, eyes while they looked into Swift-Knife's own cold, yellow eyes. Nodding slowly, Valtieri stroked on the younger male's neck tenderly with his cold fingers as if feeling the blood pumping under his smoothing scales, "It will pass in time. If you need any consul, don't be afraid to come to me."

"Of course." The Murderer answered and the elder left it as thought, continuing on his daily stroll through the Sanctuary with a hand naturally on the pommel of his dwarven longsword, a weapon that Swift-Knife have never seen before and an awe to him. Just then, he remembered M'raaj-Dar's words earlier. Grunting out in a mix of eagerness and hesitation, the Argonian was tired and wanted to sleep...but that is what the Khajiit wanted. His student at his weakest to beat him another lesson. Swallowing abit, Swift-Knife walked to the training room and opened it with a muscled pull. The thick ancient doors pulled to reveal the room; it was abit clustered but spacious enough with its twin pillars on either side, Knife saw Gogron in his orcish battle-armor, swinging his 'training' steel battle-axe with fine and brutally beautiful movements. Each swing a death-blow on the thick wooden doll, each movement on either a effective defense or fatal offense. With a flick of his tongue, Knife had the unpleasantries to smell the orc in his long training. Moving himself to the shadows, he saw little delicate Antoinetta working on her target doll.

The Breton woman was crouched low on the toes of her feet, muscles of her legs and glouts tightened from tireless training. Her blonde hair drapped on her shoulders and moist cheeks, she wore her armor dutifully as her dominant arm slashed in coordination with a intricate silver dagger in her hand, fingers fluidly flipping and twirling the blade in any form to keep her imaginary foe guessing before giving her signature killing move; a wince-worthy deep thrust in the groin. Each time she did, Swift-Knife could feel the past's rage and hatred burning through her veins and into her strike on that. Made him shift abit.

"Swift-Knife!" M'raaj-dar called impatiently with his paws resting on his robed hips. Immediately the two training assassins halted and turned to see the watching Argonian caught in surprise. "Brother!" They both cried out with excitement, making him blush and warm inside.

They moved as one and embraced their dark brother as their own in tight hugs. Wrapping one large arm around the musky Gogron and the other around little Marie. They certainly gave the Argonian more energy and life in his form, squeezing the two tightly before releasing. "How was the contract?" Gogron asked with eager eyes. "Oh yes, please tell us you made that pirate worm scream to his mums in terror and pain!" Antoinetta joined in flustered cheeks from the training and big blue eyes in childish joy.

"How many pirates were on the ship?"

"Did you get any treasure off the ship?"

"What weapon did you use to kill them with?"

Swift-Knife was abit flustered at the storm of questions and was about to answer when M'raaj-Dar interrupted with a spatting growl, "Gah, you two dolts! Swift-Knife have training, he'll tell all about his little first contract later!"

The two gave a disappointed aw and lowered their heads, trying to give the firebrand of a cat a hard time but he didn't seem to have none of that, turning his head and pointed to the door, "Out you two, I am giving the little newblood another lesson before letting him off the bloody hook." He ordered and the two left, waving to Swift-Knife, who waved back, "Bye."

Looking to M'raaj-Dar, the Swift-Knife shifted abit before starting to undo his shrouded armor as per rules of the Khajiit. Standing nearly naked before his teacher of magic and martial arts, the Argonian truthfully didn't know which one and that is what frightened him. The dark mage stripped off his own robes and stood in short breeches, revealing a strong toned body that certainly spoke of martial training besides his vicious dedication to the arcane arts. His bare clawed toes clenched and rubbed against the stone floor as ready to pounce, Raaj slowly leaned over with his clawed fingers bare with one hand more out than the other, which stayed in defense. Seemingly standard pugilist but Swift-Knife learned it as a feinting stance of Goutfang, and from the look in M'raaj-Dar's eyes, he knew it too.

Swallowing some, Swift-Knife got into a similar stance with his clawed hands open and legs curled in a pounce. Work on your strengths and minimize your weaknesses...

M'raaj-dar twitched his ear, the signal for ready and the two lunged at the same time. Swift-Knife struck his back arm as if to strike the cat's head, who immediately ducked under and stroke a powerful fist. However, the Argonian was more than ready-striking his feint into a elbow drop onto the coming fist towards his chest and palm-struck the Khajiit's shoulder. Immediately followed that was his other hand coming at M'raaj-Dar's exposed chest. A loud oof of air left the mage's lips but he curled backward. Swift-Knife had a couple seconds before both of the feline's feet came in a double kick under his chin. His powerful jaws snapped on contact and from the sounds of the floor, a couple teeth clattered on the floor. Stomping from the floor and nearly falling flat on his rear, the Argonian righted himself fast but not fast enough to defend as the angry Suthay-raht came charging with a flurry of swift claw strikes and knife-handed slashes.

The crocodilian barely managed to block at the attacks with his powerfully-built arms, small cuts through his 'armor' but over time the pain was growing. This was M'raaj-Dar's usual tactic for his pupil, waning the large beast down before finishing him off, "Come on, whelp! Hit me, fight back!" He ordered with a spat, "Scared to break one of the Tenets?"

Honestly, Swift-Knife was afraid of Lucien's warning and harming a family member. The last thing the Sanctuary needed was a crippled member...but then again, the Sanctuary also didn't need a weak link.

Snarling out, the Argonian tightened his muscles and took a double palm strike to his pecs. The very force of it made him jump back a couple feet. Coughing out from the attack, Swift-Knife held his hurt chest and felt the heat of fire magic halted by his natural resistance. Blinking, his secondary eyelids flipped over and everything went black, right after a roar.