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Day 145: Word Training 4

Lanternon2 Jun 18th, 2017 575 Never
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  1. Day 145: Word Training 4
  2.  
  3. “What have you learned so far?”
  4.  
  5. I stare at the beautiful face that's staring so coldly back down toward me.
  6. “Our healers are really impressive.”
  7. “And what else?”
  8. I lift my head from the smooth stone.  “Did I die?”
  9. “No.  What else?”
  10. I set my head back onto the stone.  “My guts smell terrible.”
  11. “And what else?”
  12. “Dying hurts.”
  13. “You mentioned that one already.”
  14.  
  15. I take a moment to catch my bearings, as is usual.  She always gives me a minute's rest after I reawaken.
  16. “We don't have much time left.  I really would have expected that you'd be a bit better at this for someone so highly recommended.”
  17. Now if only she also gave me a moment's peace.
  18. “I've gotten myself stabbed rather a lot.  I like to think of that as progress.”
  19. “A barbarous definition if ever there was one.”
  20. “Fitting, then, for barbarous training.”
  21. “Is that how you see it?”
  22. “You gutted me like a fish.”
  23. I finally get that moment's peace before she admits “That's not an unreasonable point of view, I suppose.”
  24. “What other point of view is there?”
  25.  
  26. “After nine days, that's all that you can come up with?”
  27. Her phrasing and tone of voice make it clear what she wants to hear, but I'm not having any of it.  “I haven't exactly had time to come up with more.”
  28. “Stand.”
  29. I roll over, grab the sword that had fallen from my hands earlier, and lift my weary body to its feet.
  30. “Be ready.”
  31. I grip the sword with both hands and face her square on.
  32.  
  33. “Advance.”
  34.  
  35. ---
  36.  
  37. “What have you learned so far?”
  38.  
  39. I stare at the beautiful face that's staring so coldly back down toward me.
  40. “My brain is pinkish.”
  41. “That is correct.”
  42. “Is it really that easy to restore the dead to life?”
  43. “You've been getting healed before your flesh has truly died.”
  44. “Ah.  That explains it.  There was another student in my class who'd wanted a resurrection performed.  I'd hate to think he'd worked so hard for something so mundane.”
  45. “Think.  What have you learned so far?”
  46. “Life is short and painful.”
  47. “And what else?”
  48. “The war would've ended a lot sooner if everyone could fight like you.”
  49. “And what else?”
  50. “That's about it.”
  51.  
  52. She turns and walks away, releasing a weary sigh.  “It's a wonder that you've managed to learn as many words as you have.”
  53. “They aren't terribly difficult to memorize.”
  54. “That's exactly what I'm talking about.”
  55. I don't bother trying to figure her out.  I tried, during the first few days of my first training, but it didn't get me anything other than frustration.  I've better things to do with my energy.
  56.  
  57. After a pause she turns back to me.  “Stand.”
  58. I reach for the sword that had been knocked from my hands and lift my weary body to its feet.
  59. “Be ready.”
  60. I grip the sword with both hands and face her square on.
  61.  
  62. “Advance.”
  63.  
  64. ---
  65.  
  66. “What have you learned so far?”
  67.  
  68. I stare at the beautiful face that's staring so coldly back down toward me.
  69. “After nine days of being stabbed?  Nothing.  I don't think I've actually learned a damn thing.”
  70. “I've feared as much, myself.”
  71. I shrug, pressing my shoulders back against the cold floor.  “What am I supposed to learn?”
  72. “I can't simply tell you that.”
  73. “Fair enough.”
  74.  
  75. “Do you think it matters, this?”
  76. I refocus my gaze on her.  “Yeah.  I need to learn that word.”
  77. “No this training, Victor.  This world.  All of these meat bodies moving around, eating and shitting and fucking.  Do you think that that's important?  That there's some great metaphysical weight to each dog shitting in the woods?”
  78. “Not when you put it like that, no.”
  79. “Then do you think it matters that I've been cutting you open?”
  80. “I'd really like to think that there's more 'metaphysical weight' behind that, yes.”
  81.  
  82. “Stand.”
  83. I pick up the sword resting at my side and lift my weary body to its feet.
  84. “Be ready.”
  85. I grip the sword with both hands and face her square on.
  86.  
  87. “Advance.”
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