“True. But why, then, would I go straight to him? Why would I willingly walk to my death? Fact is, I wouldn’t—and I wasn’t,” she paused, “and as far as you tracking me down, I didn’t view that as a problem. I was planning on coming back within a few hours…Before sunrise, even." She glanced down at the sword, still at her neck. "Not that you believe any of that," she muttered.
"Sure. Get inside." he said. He began dragging her to the base. He pushed her into a room for her. He walked inside. "This is your new room" he said, looking around the small room. There was a bed, a dresser and a bathroom. "This should function" he said with a smile.
She had stumbled clumsily behind him as he dragged her back inside—to a room. It was your typical bedroom, nothing special. “Great. Thanks,” she said, rubbing the red marks he had given her yet again. “Do I ever get to leave? Go outside? At this point, I don’t care if someone follows me—or whatever security measure you want to take.”
"Yeah just inform me. My room is down the hall. It will always be locked. Inform me of your prescence with a knock and your name. the guards will double check." he said.
She walked over to her door and knocked. "Xylia. I want to go outside," she said, turning back to face him. "But you already know that, because you're the one who dragged me back in here."
"Not now. Wait till tomorrow morning. Training first. Then you get to have your fun" he said, smirking at her. He went outside and locked her door from the outside. "Sarcastic little brat," he muttered. He cracked his neck and and went back into his room. He locked the door and crashed on the bed. He closed his eyes and passed off to sleep.
She frowned as he locked her in. “I heard that,” she muttered quietly. She couldn’t believe she had gotten herself into this mess—He was in charge of her! She shouldn’t have been so humane as to wait for a clear shot to his heart. He didn’t deserve an instantaneous death, and it would’ve been worth two arrows to send him to his grave. She threw herself on the bed and stared at the ceiling. It would probably be sword training tomorrow. She hated swords.
She just stared at the ceiling until the door unlocked.
In the morning he awoke, refreshed and strong. He pulled on some new clothes and walked out to the door. He unlocked it and stepped out. He was greeted with salutes. He knocked on his new apprentices door then opened it. "Training is in 15 minutes. Guards will escort you there" he said, a cheery smile on his face. Two guards stood at both sides of the door, weapons in hand. He cracked his neck and hurried to the training grounds.
Sighing, she withdrew her eyes from the sea of white and rolled out of bed. It’s not like she needed 15 minutes. All she had to do was splash some water on her face and stand by the door. “This is going to suck. I can feel it….” She allowed herself another sigh as she waited for time to be up. Her magic was working today, at least.
Ziad twirled his sword around, practicing his techniques. He was still waiting for his apprentice. He didn't like people being late. He ordered his guards to fight him. He flipped around and eventually beat them. He got bored fast. He shook his head and sighed.
That’s probably long enough, she thought. There’s no way she was going to be early for this stupid sword training. She could handle his anger no problem; it was better than spending even an extra second holding a sword. She walked in front of the guards to the training area, until she saw Ziad. She wondered if he did this out of a sheer love of fighting and boredom. She dismissed the depressing thought.
He turned and saw her. "Took you long enough." he said. He sat in a chair and put his sword down. He breathed deep. "Sit down" he said, motioning to a chair in front of him. He motioned for the guards to leave. He cracked his neck. A young boy brought her a sword. "No. No swords. not today" he said, waving him off. He began running.
Unhappily, she did as she was told and sat down in the chair. She worked diligently to suppress her smile when he said there was to be no swords today. Thank god. She wondered what else he could possibly plan to do in training. She waited grimly, thinking she probably wouldn’t like it.
"I have a few questions for you. Do you have an instinct? Are you an elve, a human being, any form of living thing?" he asked. He looked into her eyes. "Do you have a will to live? Do you need to stay alive?" he asked further. He kept a straight face.
She was not expecting this. Her face showed her confusion clearly. Was he serious? Was he messing with her? Was this an insult of some kind? She was pissed. “A joke?” she said, her anger seeping through her voice.
She was not expecting this. Her face showed her confusion clearly. Was he serious? Was he messing with her? Was this an insult of some kind? She was pis.sed. “A joke?” she said, her anger seeping through her voice.
"Nope. Now answer the question." he said. He looked her right in the eye and made a serious face. "Answer the question" he said.
She frowned. “Yes, I have an instinct. Yes, I’m a living thing—an elf. Yes, I have a will to live, and yes, I guess you could say I need life,” she said, glaring at him.
"That's all you need to know. You fight for your will to live. You are an animal with an instinct to guide you. This is the true meaning of fighting." he said, meaning every word he said. It was truly how fighting worked.
Her mouth dropped open in disbelief. She thought back ten years ago, to the northeast dungeon—twenty-third cell. She had just finished her last day of torture. She had made them believe that they had finally broken her, the last of her people. That was when the king came to her. That’s when he had said those same words. She didn’t believe them then, and she didn’t believe them now. She swallowed as she fought to regain her composure. Stupid flashbacks. “What a disgraceful belief,” she muttered.