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The young woman stood in a an open field, amethyst eyes staring hard at the broken sword on the ground. She had left the small mountain village a week ago, with weapons she'd been told were hers, and a another sword, of which laid beside the broken one, that the fisherman had bequeathed to her upon her departure. She had been walking too much, a desperate attempt, a pathetic hope, that she would suddenly remember who she was or why she had a broken sword anyway. But as she stared at the metal objects, she came to realise that she may never remember. She bent down and her hands circled around the well aged sword the fisherman had given her. The piece wasn't outrageously heavy, but it certainly wasn't light, and yet it was extremely easy for her to hold in one hand. She was right handed, but the hilt of the sword felt wrong in her right hand. She switched it to her left, and while it felt like a better fit there, something that told her her sword hand might be the left, her right hand now felt horribly alone. It'd be nice to have two swords, she thought.

 

She looked around at the clearing, there was nothing for her to cut, but she figured she could try swinging the sword. She'd had one, hadn't she? Perhaps she remembered how to use it. Standing with her feet apart, both hands on the hilt, she would swing the sword from her left shoulder to her right like a baseball bat. She was surprised at how fast she swung the weapon, and stumbled on her feet in response a bit. Her actions still felt wrong, but she didn't know how. So she tried swinging again and again, changing her grip and her stance each time, but still none of her actions felt quite right. After about an hour of attempted swings, she dropped the sword to the ground and crouched on her haunches. Her hands slipped into her hair and she released a frustrated noise. Why couldn't she get it right?She dropped further to her knees as a white, hot, cloud misted over her senses. The air felt hot as she inhaled, her sight fogged over as sweaty fingers dipped deep into damp earth. She ripped handfuls of dirt from its earthen abode, grains of soil and grass flung into the air. She did it again and again, as if possessed to disturb the dirt, and ignored the slight grit in her mouth. She didn't stop until a hole was bared. At the sight of it, she came back to herself, a single tear streaking down her cheek. How ridiculous she felt. Here the ground was, now it was missing something, the pieces of which were scattered about to who knows where. Just like her, but the dirt didn't go around lashing out at stupid things. She quietly smoothed what dirt she could back into place, and rose to her feet. She knew the damaged part was never going to be the same as it was; the best she could do was smooth things over and move forward.

 

She picked both of the swords up, the broken in her left and the full one in her right. She was left handed, but the broken one fit there better. Her strong hand should hold the weaker, smaller, weapon, and the weaker hand the stronger. It was odd, but she was odd. If she was unbalanced, perhaps she should relearn by being unbalanced. She spread her feet apart and breathed in slowly as she raised her arms out, the swords angled inwards in front of her. She exhaled and closed her eyes, allowing herself to listen to the echo of the fisherman's flute in her mind. She flowed into a stance where she raised the whole sword over her head before bringing it down in a vertical cut. Just like with the Tai Chi, she flowed into the next form, twisting her body one hundred and eighty degrees and angling the sword over her right shoulder like a bat and sliced it through the air with a horizontal cut, the broken sword held behind her back. From there she swung the long sword over the opposite shoulder just as she did the first time, and brought it down diagonally to be parallel with her right leg, and slashed the broken sword outwards behind her. Then she raised the sword up straight, her hands against her right shoulder, spun one hundred and eighty degrees, and swung the sword to the left in another horizontal cut. She raised the sword over her left shoulder and brought it down diagonally so that it was parallel to her right leg, then raised it over her right shoulder and brought it down diagonally to a parallel with her left leg, from there she twirled the two swords and flipped them to the opposite hand. From there she flowed into the next position, raised the sword back over her left shoulder and sliced it to the right in a horizontal cut. She repeated this pattern twenty times, until her arms ached and, more importantly, the swords felt comfortable in her hands.

 

It occurred to her, an idea, to have some fun with what she was doing. It wasn’t necessary to remaind so structured in her practice, in fact, she figured it was likely better for it to be fun. She was a decent brawler, so she knew that fights were never ever structured. No, one could never quite predict what a fight would be like, and neither should her form be predictable. Her amethyst gaze ook in her surroundings, trees everywhere, an open opportunity fulls of potential for her training. She screamed into the empty forest, a cry of ferocity, as she sprang into a run. Her feet carried her up the side of a tree, and to one of its uppermost branches, where in which once she reached it and twirled off of it, upside down, to land feet first on the ground with her knees bent against the impact. She grinned to no one, and didn’t let herself stop. She jolted across towards another tree, ran up its side, leapt upwards so that her hand firmly grasped a flexible branch, and used the branch to swing herself around and out. She descended towards an invisible foe with her body angled downwards, left shoulder first, and slashed the long sword in her right hand down where an enemy would have been. Her elbows bent and connected with the ground first, and she used her momentum to continue and roll forward to her feet.

 

Laughter bubbled forth from her, absolute exhilaration, as the girl continued to run around performing her own sort of practice, a rather gymnastic version of the tai chi she had done earlier. Not at all a standard form, but to her this way of moving, as if the winds of a storm were blowing her like flame into a conflagration across an ever flowing sea of waves, felt right. Her heart raced as she skidded to a stop on the ground. The frustration from before towards herself has dissipated, exchanged by a childlike glee that something, at least one aspect of herself, had clicked into place. The day was looking up, and she slid the two swords, one old and one broken, into sheaths. Head held high, she made her way through the trees, a skip to her step. She may not know who she was, but she could figure it out. There was hope.

 

 

wc: 1255

 

Edited by Nevergreen

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