Vulcan observes each of the Pentad as they spar with one another. He sees Hawk sparring with Fox gaining an upper-hand with a skill beyond his years, but he sees Fox adapting just as quickly.
Vulcan sees Desert attempting to overpower Pork with every strike, and he sees Pork moving with more agility than Desert, complementing each other well.
Vulcan watches as Santhemum and Firose spar with one another. He watches as Firose, a skilled Rniti he asked to help aid him with training the Pentad, eases into a series of complicated movements that should have left Santhemum tripping into the dirt, but he watches as Santhemum seems to expect the change and jumps into her own series of complicated movements, throwing Firose off-balance and into the dirt.
Vulcan smiles at the display when he yells, “Enough! Hawk, pair with Desert. Fox, pair with Boar. Santhemum and Firose pause for the moment.”
After watching Hawk and Desert and Fox and Pork attack one another with ferocity, Vulcan enters the first ring and approaches Santhemum and Firose.
“Santhemum,” Vulcan starts, “you are performing quite exceptionally, in fact, did you realize that you performed a series of movements no less than three years past your current level?”
Santhemum merely stares at Vulcan with her serene green eyes twinkling in the sunlight.
Vulcan pats the girl on the head where he then speaks to Firose through their aura connection, ‘Please do not allow them to defeat you, Firose.’
‘I did not,’ Firose retorts. “I do not know how, but she performed a move even I have only witnessed and never performed.′
Vulcan nods, then says aloud, “Very well, you two, continue to spar with one another.
After another few hours of sparring, Vulcan finally stops the Pentad and releases them for the day. He makes mental notes of the progress they have made and the areas of weakness for all of them.
After the Pentad have left the ring, he addresses Firose, “Santhemum is truly as remarkable as she appeared? The only flaw I saw in her form was that she seemed a bit shaky in her movements.”
“She is just... she just seems to be moving faster than her mind can comprehend so her movements are jerky,” Firose admits.
“Do not inform me that she got the better of you?” Vulcan asks.
Firose scoffs indignantly before flashing away in a red light.
Vulcan smiles as he flashes to the Chamber Rniti where he informs Vaiqon of the Pentad’s progress.
“So, Hawk is performing extraordinarily, as expected, Santhemum holds her blade reverse grip, as does Fox, and Desert and Boar seem to hammer at one another with as much strength as they can muster with each strike?” Vaiqon clarifies.
Vulcan nods, “I believe Santhemum may be the best swordsman I have ever witnessed. Even better than-”
“Don’t say it,” Vaiqon blurts. “This is a time of peace and prosperity, why does darkness have to envelop such a time?”
Vulcan gazes warily at Vaiqon with confusion, “What is bothering you, Vaiqon?”
When Vaiqon’s gaze refocuses on Vulcan, Vaiqon shakes involuntarily.
“Oh, uh, forgive me, Vulcan, I did not have a peaceful night of sleep last night,” Vaiqon responds.
Vulcan waves Vaiqon away, “No matter. We all have had nights such as that. Care for some dinner in the Gallery?”
“You go on,” Vaiqon responds, “I will be there shortly.”
Vulcan nods and disappears in a flash of red light leaving Vaiqon alone with his thoughts.
‘What did I see last night and how can I make it go away?’ Vaiqon shivers to himself.
Teqqc replaces the blood soaked bandage with a fresh white cloth around Uxxok’s leg. She caresses his cheek while she hums a soft, melodic tune. She watches as Uxxok’s grimaced face relaxes somewhat.
She looks out the window to a star filled night sky. The image of Uxxok collapsing before her into a puddle of his own blood still terrifies her.
“What were you doing, Uxxok?” she asks to herself but feels as if Uxxok can hear her.
She rises from sitting next to him on the bed and disappears in a flash of white.