C.o.t.w Chapter 115: Darkness Becomes Light

  • Hasir felt the familiar sensation of being light as a feather followed by a tornado squeezing his insides through a tube and then. Just

    when he tought he was about to suffocate, his feet found solid ground. He loooked around and, as before, his companions were all

    gasping for breath - all except for Nanaki. 


    Hasir looked up and saw a giant effigy of an Aedric godess with wings of stone extended from her equally cold form. A thought not

    pertaining to the statue cross the Argonian's slippery mind. He glanced toward Inigo who was mourning the loss of his tiny friend and

    saying how much he would like it here.

    "Inigo, I thought the red khajiit would be winded. He doesn't seem affected by molecular displacement."


    The blue khajiit scratched his head, confused. The argonian hissed in annoyance.

    "Teleportation, yarnbrain. Go chase your tail... Your brain is probably in there. Be careful when you sit down, He said smirking, You

    might squish it."


    Inigo snarled and flacked the Argonian's snout with a black clawed finger.

    "If that is an attempt at condescension, I am not amused." He said, huffing in anger

    Hasir sniggered at his friend's shocking lack of a sense of humor.

    "I'm sorry Inigo but that was too funny not to say. Lighten up, for Hircine's sake."


    Inigo waved him off and turned his attention instead to the rest of the group who had just ascended the stairs and stood near Inigo

    and Hasir in a way the reminded Hasir of one of those rituals circles he'd heard that happened at certain times in Blackmarsh from

    Drujeeta. Everyone was looking at Inigo as if he had something nasty on his face. This implication was not lost on Inigo as he tried

    brushing the invisible scat from his face. Nanaki broke the circle and laughed.

    "Relax Inigo, you do not had any malodorous substances on your fur. The reason they, and by extension, I was looking at you was

    because we think you should be the pick of the litter to retrieve the sword that brings light to the darkness." Inigo stared at him and

    asked if this had anything to do with his father's bedtime story all those moons ago. The red khajiit scratched his neck sheepishly,

    "Yeah, it's, er, something like that. We, I, just thought that you would like to exact revenge upon the creatures that you despise."


    Inigo merely nodded, descended the steps and entered the temple. An acrid smell of death met his notrils making him gag. He took

    a cloth from his bag, using it to act as a barrier between the foul fumes and his facial orrifices. When his breath started to come

    naturally instead of it short, sharp intakes, he saw that he was in a tomb - though whose tomb, he couldn't say for certain. He

    proceeded deeper into the tomb  He followed its many twists and turns until he came to a circular room. Against the far wall was

    what looked a bit like the beacon that his father, Da Vinci told him about. He walked up to it and inspected the ball which looked lie a

    small white sun with a thin strand of sunlight stretching from it. He looked deeper into the temple and saw another white sun-like

    ballalong with a door on the western side of the room. He deduced that he had to somehow connected the rays of sunlight together

    to open the path ahead. 


    He tried multiple ways of connecting the light; he even went so far as to unsheath his blade and tried to direct the less than sufficient

    light to open the door, nothing worked. He looked up and saw a small eye-like hole above the door which held another miniature

    white sun. Inigo unsheathed his bow and fired an arrow at the miniature sun. The arrow bounced off harmlessly as a rock off a haj

    mota's shell.


    Inigo cursed under his breath and looked at the three white suns. He sheathed his bow and tried prying the door open with his claws.

    "Dmnit! Now what? Not only do I have one less arrow but I've no clue how to open the door." He sat on the cracked stone ground

    and prayed. He wasn't sure who to pray to by he had to tried if he hoped to proceed further and obtain the sword. He opened his

    eyes and saw a figure bathed in transparent yellow light standing at the far end of the chamber. He got up and went to investigate

    but just as he got within a foot of her, a stream of holy light shot from her hand and enveloped the orb nearest him like a lovable

    child in a warm blanket.


    Inigo looked over his shoulder to see the orb slowly begin to ascend. The blue khajiit heard a sound like stones rubbing against one

    another as the sunken orbs parted from their earthy basins. He watched in awe as the smallest amount of artificial sunlight

    connected all three orbs in what lookedd to be an invisible chain of impenetrable light. He gazed at the door as it began to open as if

    fueled by the light-gathering orb.


    The khajiit grinned to himself as he saw the glowing apparition grin and slowly fade. He summoned a small white sun in his hands as

    he crept down the slope and into the next chamber. He glanced eastward and ssaw that the light had activated three other orb

    pedestals that, like the other pedestals, had a chain of light linking them. He whipped around as he heard a sound like teeth grinding

    together as a shadowy figure with red eyes floated out of the darkened corners of the room. One shadow soon became ten as nine

    more drifted out of the shadows they were born from. Inigo unsheathed his ebony sword and swiped at one of the skeletal beings

    and found that his sword phased straight through the being - or perhaps  the shade that phased straight through the sword. 


    The blue khajiit cursed his bad luck and was about to call the mission a failure when a idea struck him. He walked over to one of the

    orbs hovering over its pedestals and positioned the blade perpendicular to the light. He was shocked to see the sword's metal acted

    like a mirror, making the light bounce off and burn a hole into the opposite wall. He smirked to himself as he directed the light

    towards the shade. It exploded with the force of a small bomb. Inigo repeated this until all the shades were defeated.


    Once that was done, he ducked under the light as he didn't feel like getting charboiled or his whiskers singed and proceeded into the

    room at the northern end of the chamber. He eyes surveyed the room and saw four floating orbs; each with sunlinght connecting

    them to the other. His eyes followed the chain of yellow and white and saw, on a rocky overhang was the most beautiful sword he'd

    ever seen - it had a gem of purest light encircled by a cicrle that connected the blade to the hilt. Upon closer inspection, he saw that

    the blade was surrounded, and enveloped, by eternal darkness, even the gem he'd thought was a glorious sun was as cold as the

    pits of Coldharbor.

    Inigo ascended the steps and attempted the breach the shield of darkness by found the wall impenetrable. He started to doubt

    himself when a voice dominated his thoughts.

    "By swift, chamipon. There is a grow darkness in my temple. Before you obtain the blade of brightest day, you must destory one

    more sahe. This one far stronger than any you have faced thus far. Be careful, I can sense it approaching, good luck champion."


    Inigo wheeled around, and sure enough, the shadows of the chamber started to converge until a massive shadow the shape of one of

    the atronachs he'd heard tales about but never saw first hand stood before him; its head a foot shy of hitting the ceiling. Inigo

    unsheathed his ebony bow, pulled it back and fired. He knew it was of no use, but he had to try. As he expected, the arrow passed

    throw the shadow. Disheartened he sheathed his bow. He glanced about him and saw torches burning in their sconces - this gave

    him an idea. He knew that darkness would wail like a cliffracer if subject to the intense heat of fire. He jumped from the overhanged

    to confront the new threat when a black furred khajiit materialized out of nowhere.


    He approached Inigo, reached through the dark shield and grabbed the tainted sword.

    "You thought you were rid of me didn't you?" The doomstrider said smirking, "I bet you never guessed you would see me in a

    desecrated holy place like this." He said, gesturing to the temple as a whole. "You may wish for shadow to be defeated but they need

    each other, light and darkness. They are two sides of the same coin. Tamriel would crumble if its link to each Aetherius or Oblivion

    was shattered. Much like if a mirror was shattered, the normal world would cease to exist as it is the same world, only reversed. I

    will not have you mess up the natural order of things."


    Inigo stared with hatred at his 'shadow self' and unsheathed his bow.

    "So you're saying that its 'natural' to rip up trees and deprive one group of people or 'beasts' as you so eloquently call them, their

    food source? Do you think its also 'natural' to suck nature dry so you master's children can start life anew and erase all the bad

    things that they falsely percieve? Light and shadow are black and white concepts. Surely you know that the entire world is more

    expansive than that. Your master will doublecross you. All daedra are famed, or infamous, for being doublecrossers. You do know

    that right? When he has no need of you, he willl dispose you like a useless bit of armor. "


    The doomstrider gave the blue khajiit a look of purest loathing and disappeared. Inigo sheathed his bow and unsheathed his sword

    and swung at the atronach, as with the arrow, the sword phased straight through the atronach. He narrowly dodged its fist as he slid

    under it to reach a burning torch and waved it back and forth in front of the atronach frocing it back. 


    Inigo got an idea and dipped his ebony sword into the fllame. Instantly, the sword lit aflame. Inigo looked at the furiously burning

    sword and smirked,

    "Brilliant. Still. its no dawnbreaker but this will do."


    Inigo lashed out with the sword lighting the atronach aflame. Inigo smirked and continued his assault until the hulking creature faded

    away altogether. He smiled to himself as he sheathed his sword; doucing the flame as if it was dunked into a pool of water. 


    Inigo stared at the now empty pedestal where the sword of fire once stood. The voice once again blossomed into his mind.

    "Khajiit, do not fear. The sword is not lost, that was just a clever replica the other khajiit took. You have proven yourself with valor

    and bravery in the face of danger. I will now bestow upon you my resotre beacon."


    The chamber was filled with a blinding light as a sword slowly descended from the realm of Aetherius. The blinding light disappeared

    into the sacred blade. The blue khajiit walked cautiously towards the blade as if afraid he was about to be burned by its holy light. He

    picked it up and examined it. It was as magnicificent as his father said it was. The scabbard depicted a sun with rays stretching from

    it in all directions. He grinned as he fastened the sword to his belt, thanked Meridia and left the temple.

    When he exited the temple, Inigo heard his companions conversing in hushed tones as if they were attending the funeral of a friend.

    Hasir's looked over his shoulder and gulped as his feline friend drew closer.

    "Hi my friend. What are you guys talking about? I wouldn't be about my percieved death would it?" Hasir stuttered a respone, almost

    as if he was protecting some precious treasure from a graverobber. "You can drop the curtain on the act because I am alright... and,

    I have something to show you..."


    Hasir inquired what this 'something' was that Inigo wanted to show him.

    "My friend, I managed to free the sun from the shadows of the underworld." Hasir narrowed his eyes, not understanding the obscure

    metaphore. Inigo huffed in annoyance and unsheathed the holy sword and help it aloft like an offering given to a thane by a Jarl.

    "Boy, you argonians are as thick as the horns on your head something, you know that? The thing I was referring to was

    Dawnbreaker... I slew many shades of darkness and freed the SUN, dawnbreaker from the undwerworld, the skeletal shades." The

    argonian screwed his faced up in thought. Inigo sighed, "My friend do I need to make this plain as the snout on your scaly face?"

    Hasir nodded and said that would be helpful. The blue khajiit sighed again and unsheathed the sun of which he spoke. 


    Hasir took the sword from Inigo and looked with awe at the sword. He even passed it around so that each companion could get an

    eyeful of the beautiful sword. Getting increasingly annoyed that one of them might drool on it and dull the silver of the blade or dull

    the brilliant light at the center of the sword, he grabbed the attempted to grab it out of Nanaki's hands.

    "Nanki." He said, eying the khajiit with deep distrust, "Give it here, I found it and, that being the case, it is mine. You probably don't

    even know how to use it." He made a lunge for the sword but the red-furred khajiit held it just out of reach. Feeling even more

    flustered Inigo bellowed out and lunched head first at Nanaki. The force of the impact knocked the shaman off of his feet and sent

    him tumbling down the mountainside.


    Hasir went to intervene but Inigo rounded on him, eye blazing orange as the lava in Oblivion.

    "Stay out of this, my friend! My father told me about this sword and nearly lost his life in pursuit of the sword. Butt out or I swear I

    will throw you down the mountain to join him."


    The argonian gulped and went back to join the companions. Inigo turned and ran toward the edge and jumped down the mountain to

    find Nanaki sprawled out in the grass far below the temple, the sword inches from his limp hand.

    "Hmph! Serves you right. How dare you steal from me. Did you join me in that temple? No, you did not. Looks like I am the hawk

    and you are just a rotten egg that got pushed out of a tree."


    He reached for the sword but Nanaki got to his feet, grabbed the sword and lashed out at Inigo, forcing the khajiit to roll out of

    death's way. He unsheathed his ebony sword and swung it in a downward arc. Sparks flew from the two swords as they met like

    embers from a dying fire. Nanaki advanced, forced the blue khajiit to place his foot behind him as a kind of tool to slow or even stop

    his backward momentum and closed his eyes to remember what his father had told him of swordplay and footwork. He gasped as the

    red khajiit swung his sword downward and slid between his legs and slashing upward.


    As the khajiit finished his forward momentum, he watch as Nanaki gripped his stinging groin, eyed Inigo with utter contempt and


    "The sword is mine! You gave it to me freely, with no strings attached. I will not give you this most treasured possession. It is a

    symbol of the elements coming together. Kynareth herself would be glad one of her faithful found the sword. to destroy the evils of

    this world."


    Inigo sidestepped as the red-furred khajiit rushed toward hm.

    "Destroy the evils of-? That was the last thing the doomstrider said when he disappeared with the fake dawnbreaker. Are you...?


    Nanaki grinned hugely as his blade cut a horizontal path through the air. Inigo leapt back and nearly fell over as he avoided the holy


    "Quite perceptive, aren't you? I am not in league with the Doomstrider but he did promise me a place at Molag Bal's side if I bring

    him Dawnbreaker." Inigo's forehead creased. "Don't be a fool. Of course he knew the sword he obtained was a fake. He'll reward me

    greatly when I return with this." He said, holding up the sword. 


    Inigo snarled as he gripped the ebony sword tightly.

    "So, you're plan was to help us open the portal and slip in with th sword and scurry to Molag Bal's side like the cunning spider you

    are, only to leave us with a portal that is closed forvere? Very impressive..."  Nanaki grinned darkly as he envisioned the shocked

    looks on everyone's faces when he told them. "But you don't have the means of opening the portal. Didn't think of that did you?" He

    said as he dodged Nanaki's furious strikes.


    Nanaki rolled out of the way as Inigo brought the sword in a horizontal arc.

    "Actually, I did. When you were off procuring the glowing sword. I was planning how to obtain the other four items from that scaly

    idiot." He said gesturing to Hasir. "He is so stupid that he could just as easily give me the items and he'd be none the wiser."


    Inigo's eyes narrowed and his tail lashed like a whip behind him.

    "When you insult me, I can let that slide but when you insult my best friend. That is when the claws come out."


    He dropped his sword onto the ground, unsheathed his sharp, dagger-like claws and ran at the red-furred khajjit. He tried to block

    Inigo's furious swipes but failed miserably. Inigo successfully disarmed him and, wielding the dawnbreaker, he drove it into

    the khajiit's heart and twisted. The red khajiit toppled over like a wolf that just had a paralysis spell cast upon it. Inigo grinned and

    spat in Nanaki's face, "that is for Mr. Dragonfly."

    Inigo placed a foot on the dead khajiit's chest and wrenched the holy sword free. When he ascended the steps again, he apologized

    for his actions.

    "I am sorry that you all had to see that. I had a sneaking suspicion that Nanaki would turn out to be a double-agent but I didn't

    really know how much that would come to be true. He decieved all of you. I did what I had to do."


    He began sobbing uncontrollably. Hasir heard this and crossed the stone floor to comfort his friend.

    "We all thought you were mad as a hatter when you attacked that khajiit but hearing what he said, well, I can see why you did it.

    You saw something in him that we didn't. Heh, funny. You are the one who usually counsels me on matters of the heart." He pulled

    his best 'Inigo' voice, "My my... how the tables have turned, my friend."


    Hasir released him and they both shared a well deserved laugh. He told Inigo and the companions that they should give Nanaki a

    proper burial before they head back to Whiterun to finalize there plans prior to heading to Krovaxis. He looked to the companions

    and they agreed.


    Hasir knew that with Nanaki gone, there would be no teleoprting back; no matter how painful it may be. He sighed and walked down

    the stairs and walked eastward towards Solitude. His companions soon followed and caught up with him just past the bridge that

    seperate the shrine with the cobblestone road that led to Solitude. 


    Inigo put his hand across his forehead and spotted a stable in the distance.

    "My friend, I bet we can ask someone there about our return trip to Whiterun."


    The argonian nodded and motioned for the other Argonian to follow him and Inigo. When they arrived at the stable, they saw two

    nords outside tending to some of the most beautiful horses Hasir had ever seen. K'hairi looked at him and shook her head.

    "Hey egghead, rember we are here to aqcuire a carriage. Besides we have enough horses already."


    Hasir shot back that those 'beings' back at the Whiterun stables weren't horses. K'hairi silenced him and told him to ask the stable

    owner for a carriage.


    Hasir nodded and walked over to the stables and greeted the two nords.

    "Hi... er..., mind if I hire a carriage from you guys?"


    The female Nord stopped what she was doing and smiled at the Argonian.

    "Sure but that would be my husband, Geimund's forte. He's out back tending to the cabbages."


    Hasir worked his way behind the stables and found a small farm, much like the one he'd visited near Whiterun and saw a man busily

    working the crops.

    "Excuse me. You wife told me to speak to Geimund about hiring a carriage." He said, loudly, not sure if the man was hard of hearing

    or not.


    The man put down his hoe and looked in Hasir's direction and waved him over.

    "You didn't need to shout, I heard you just fine. You wish to obtain a carriage? I have one near the stables but I can only take you if

    you hhave coin. You do have coin, don't you?" Hasir said he did. The man smiled and walked with the Argonian to the front of the

    stables where a carriage stood pulled by a chestnut horse. The man got into the driver's seat and grabbed the reins.


    "Where are you off to?" The man asked. "Where are my manners? I'm Geimund, I assume you've met my wife? What am I saying?

    Of ccourse you did."


    Hasir introduced himself and gestured his companion over, introducing them and told Geimund that they would like to go to

    Whiterun. Geimund furrowed his eyebrows.

    "Whiterun? What for? Bad business going there. You'll likely get rip to shreds by werewolves before you even set foot in the gate.

    Jorrvaskr." The man shudder slightly at the name. "Bad reputation, that place."


    Hasir narrowed his eyes and hissed at Geimund's apparent lack of faith in the meadhall.

    "I happen to be one of the companions at that 'shithole.' Are you talking us there or not?"


    Geimmund placed his hands in front of his face as if warding off some unseen evil.

    "Keep your scales on. Look, I only meant... fine, I'll take you there if you really want to go. Don't say I didn't warn you. The price is

    twenty septims, now, climb in back and we'll be off."


    Hasir scoffed at the driver's apparent disdain for they city as well as the mead hall.

    "Fine... whatever..." He said in a resigned tone as he handed over the septims and climbed in back with the other companions. He

    heard the neighing of the horses followed by the steady drumbeat of the horses' hooves on cobblestone. He yawned audibly and

    settled into a comfortable position; letting the steady motion of the carriage to lull him to sleep.



    Inigo glanced over to Hasir and gently shook him awake as soon as they neared the Whiterun stables.

    "My friend, wake up, we're almost there." Hasir nodded groggily as he saw the carriage slow and finally stop at the stables. Inigo and

    both Argonians leapt from the carriage. Hasir walked over to where Bjorlam sat, paid him the gold and waved farewell to him with a



    Hasir and his companions passed under the archway, walked up the walkway and pushed the gates open. the Argonian led the way

    as Inigo and Xelzaz followed him up to the mead hall. The black-haired Argonian was about to enter the hall when he saw Kodlak

    sitting on the halfwall near him. 

    "I heard from Bjorlam how you retrieved the last item necessary for our incursion to the realm of darkness."


    Hasir eyed him with suspicion; unsure of what he meant.

    "Realm of Darkness? what are you getting at? Speak sense old man." 


    Hearing this, Kodlak eyed him with his trademark glare.

    "Mind who you're talking to, Argonian." Hasir's hand went for his sword. Kodlak laughed. "Relax, I wasjust kidding, no need to kill the

    messenger. I was refering to Krovaxis." He smiled at Hasir while he got up from the wall, "Well, withthat done, we can finally strike

    out against Molag Bal. About damn time too, I want to get that brute back for all the pain he's caused the wereowlves for

    'besmirching' his good name." He ascended the stairs, "Before we go to Krovaxis though, you lot will need to dosome training. The

    beasts we'll face are likely far behind anything you've dealt with. Hasir, you and your comrade go to the trainingyard. Aela is waiting

    to train you."


    Hasir hissed in indignation, a bit aprehensive of having to face the fiery-haired Nord.

    "Great. Just what I need; a foul wind to blow more trash in my direction." He said, sarcastically. Hasir sighed as he ascended the

    steps to the mead hall. "Let's get this over with." 


    He pushed the door open and stepped inside the mead hall following the blue khajiit and the Telvanni argonian. Kodlak motioned for

    him to keep moving as the comapnions, he told them, were waiting in the training yard. Inigo shot Kodlak a confued glance and went

    over to him, tail swishing nervously behind him.

    "Erm... harbinger? Mind if I have a quick word?"


    Kodlak nodded and sat at the nearest table, inviting Hasir to come over and sit with them. Delighted, the Argonian jumped at the


    "Well, what is this about, khajiit?" He looked up and signaled for Tilma to bring them three meads. The maid beamed and

    disappeared only to return later with three mugs of foamy, honey-colored liquid. Kodlak took a sip from his and eyed the khajiit with

    concern. "well, out with it." He said motioning for Inigo to divugle him on the reason why he called this 'meeting.'


    The khajiit looked at his mug, pulled a face and slid it over to Hasir.

    "My friend, do you want this? Mead and I don't mix. I thought Kodlak..." He shot the harbinger a scathing look, "Knew this, but yet,

    his continues to tempt fate." Hasir nodded and said he would be happy to take it off his hands.


    The khajiit smiled and turned back to Kodlak.

    ""As for the reason of this meeting of sorts, I... was wondering.. do the companions know any other method of fighting other than

    the standard practice of using a bow and arrow or a sword to deal with their enemies?" 


    Kodlak shook his head; stating that, for as long as he knew the companions, they have always settle disputes with either a bow or a

    sword. Inigo grinned. It became broader the more Kodlak stared at him.

    "What are you thinking? I can see the wheels turning but fail to see the end of the production line." He said, leaning back in his chair


    The dam finally broke as the khajiit let him in on the inner machinations of his mind.

    "I was thinking about teaching the companions martial arts." He said with a sly smile.


    Both the harbinger and Hasir glanced at each other; confused expressions on their faces. Inigo read these looks like an open book

    and knew what they were thinking. He shook his head to anser their worried looks.

    "No. I can't have the tsaesci teach them. He's dead and Tigress is all the way in Akavir lighting up who knows what with her fire



    Hasir turned to Inigo, drank his mug of mead in one gulp.

    "Inigo, what are you going to teach them? How to play jump ropes with your tail?" 


    The blue khajiit shook his head and his grin became even wider.

    " Better. I am going to teach them Whispering Fang style." Hasir looked confused once more. "This fighting style uses claws, the tail

    and, yes, weapons to quickly subdue, or kill, anyone unfortunate enough to cross paths with such a practitioner."

    Hasir picked up the second mug of mead, drank it and narrowed his eyes at Inigo.

    "Inigo, you said your suggestion was an alternative to using weapons."


    The blue khajiit eyed at the Argonian, who was swaying a bit in his chair.

    "Are you ok, my friend? You seem a bit worse for wear. Maybe giving you two mugs of mead was a bad idea." Hasir shot him a look

    that could've made his fleas run and hide. "Back to the topic at hand. Whispering Fang style uses weapons like the sword and bow to

    supplement, or add to, the standard fighting style..." He trailed off a sighed, getting up. "I guess you'll have to see it for yourselves

    in action then. We shall see if you lot have what it takes to master this deadly martial art." 


    He led Hasir and Kodlak to the porch and over to a chair that stood against the mead hall wall. Hasir gasped as he saw a tiger-like

    figure with prominent amber eyes sitting there. 

    "Hold on. I thought Tigress was in Akavir." He said with a tinge of annoyance. "You didn't tell me she is here. Er, what is she here

    for... exactly?"


    Inigo chuckled at his reptilian friend's apparent lack of faith.

    "My friend, I am teaching you. I just need... an extra paw to help me in that regard." He grinned and gestured to Tigress who stood

    up and grinned. "I am sorry for not informing you sooner but as I said, she was busy with other things. Hasir gave an annoyed side

    long glance at the blue khajiit. His train of thought kept on rolling, not wanting to be de-railed by the Argonian's annoyance,"She and

    I go way back; as far as our kittenhoods in Running Sands orphanage."


    Hasir's jaw dropped; looking more like a dumbfounded Wamasu than an Argonian. Inigo laughed while Tigress strode up to him.

    "What the blue khajiit said is true. I was abandoned at birth by my mother and was brought up alongside Inigo in Running Sands

    orphnage before the greybeards found me. I learned the way of the voice and when I was ready, they sent me off to Akavir to train

    further with a Ttsaesci named Quinchal. He taught me various martial arts styles that are native to the region: Whispering Fang

    style, Sturdy Wind style, Tang-Mo Xin, Shin Ma Xue and Rattlefang style."


    Hasir wasn't quite sure what any of this meant. The argonian flinched as the tiger-like khajiit lunged forward.

    "You have much to learn Hasir. If I wanted to attack you, you'd be on the ground, bleeding before you knew what hit you. Come, I've

    a class to teach." She led to startled Argonian and the sniggering khajiit down the steps to the training yard - where the three nords

    and various weapon racks waited - each with a variety of weapons. 


    Tigress stood with Inigo near the wall seperating the training yard from the market district. Tigress approached the eagerly waiting

    Argonians and Nords and told them each to choose a weapon. Hasir raised his hand causing Tigress to groan.

    "Yes, Hasir. What is it?" Hasir told here that both he and Inigo have their own weapons. 


    Tigress nodded while she watched the Argonian and khajiit unseathe their weapons.

    "You can use your own weapons if you wish." She turned gazed over the assembled Nords and Agronian. "Baring Inigo and Hasir,

    does anyone else wish to use any weapons they may have on them?" Everyone not weilding a sword, axe or other weapon shook

    their heads.


    Tigress gestured to the weapon racks laying near the ramp to the Skyforge.

    "Very well. Those of you that have come unprepared may choose a weapon from the rack; any weapon will do, find one you're

    comfortable with. Once you do that we shall begin.

    When everyone found a weapon they were satisfied with, they stared, confused, at Inigo and Tigress who unsheathed their weapons

    of choice. For Inigo, it was his bow and for Tigress, it was her fists. Aela looked from her bow to the tiger-like khajiit.

    "We have our weapons, now what?" She asked, shrugging, "Pardon my rudeness but this all seems a bit stupid."


    Tigress narrowed her eyebrows, stepped forward.

    "Oh reallly? Shoot me, I dare you."


    Aela looked taken aback,

    "Excuse me?" She asked, insulted


    Tigress got into her fighting stance.

    "You heard me; try and hit me." She said. Aela shrugged and fire three arrows in quick succession. Tigress blocked each on with her

    arms. The third one, she sent whizzed past Aela to embed itself into the dirt by her feet She stared at the arrow.in shock. Tigress 

    knelt down and ran at Aela. She punched the Nord so hard that she was sent crashing into the entrance to the Underforge, causing it

    to crumble. 


    Tigress lent down to help the Nord to her feet.

    "That," She said, "is why you don't take you eye of your opponet. Getting distracted usually results in getting killed. Lesson number

    one in Whispering Fang style is never underestimate your opponent They will tend to use your weakness," Tigress aimed at sweep

    kick at Aela's leg causing her to fall flat on her back, "against you." She lent down helped the Nord to her feet. She strode back over

    to where Inigo stood. "Today we, Inigo and I, will teach you how to be swift as a shadow and gain the advantage using Whispering

    Fang style as well as sprinking a few other martial arts styles to sweeten the victory stew."


    Again, Hasir raised his hand.

    "What if we already knew a martial arts style?"


    She groaned audibly,

    "Hasir, Quinchal told me what you two 'trained' in and no. Battle-spirit is not a martial arts style. It is simply the energy needed to

    peroform martial arts. It's like 'Chi' in a sense. If you have no Battle-spirit, which is the energy that flows through your body, you

    cannot hope to succeed in mastering any martial arts.


    Hasir and the companions exchanged glances.

    "How does one gain 'Battle-spirit'? Moreover, Quinchal did teach me what it means to be a dragonknight."

    Tigress applauded. Hasir felt an enormous wave of pride wash over him at this. He smiled and thanked her.

    "That was sarcasm you foolish lizard." She snarled. "A dragonknight is like have a gift. It may be wrapped in pretty paper but the

    item of interest is contained within waiting to get out. When the gorgeous paper is ripped aside and the gift is removed. It is often

    put aside and quickly forgotten about."


    Hasir stared, utterly confused, at her.

    "What'ss your point?" He said, tail dancing uncertainly behind him.


    The tiger-like khajiit walked up to him, arms sporead wide as if going to embrace him.

    "You deluded Argonian. My point is if you you dress something up that is rather mundane, anything can seem more special than it

    actually is."


    He snarled, embedded his axes in the dirt and unsheathed his flame whip.

    "Take that back! Being a dragonknight does mean something! Quinchal told me himself. His entire generation were apostates to the

    emperor and was said to learn that Akavirian style directly from the Septims themselves."


    Tigress folded her arms and glared at the fuming Argonian.

    "The khajiit's out of the bag now, isn't it?" She snarled, "When one is stressed, their true colors shine as brightly as the sun."

    Hasir lashed out at her with his flame whip. Tigress smirked and unsheathed her Akaviri wakizashi and thrust it outwards causing the

    flame whip to coil around it like a snake around a tree branch. The argonian looked stunned as she ripped the whip away from him

    andfed the Argonian a faceful of dirt.


    Hasir got up and spat the dirt onto the ground.

    "You bitch! You'll pay for that." He snarled.


    Tigress mimicked a leaf shaking on a tree.

    "Ooh, I'm so scared. Heh. You know what they say, all's fair in love and war."


    The Argonian told her, angrily, that this was not war and her definitely did not love her. The tiger-like khajiit laughed and said she

    was be metaphorical and that there obviously isn't a romantic infatuation between them. She also told him that in not a war on; at

    least, not yet."


    Hasir got fed up with this and lunged towards her. Inigo intervened abd held the Argonian back.

    "My friend, calm your scaled hide. You don't have to take revenge on her just becuase she insulted you. The reason she's doing this

    is because she is trying to inflame your spirit so you can become a better fighter." He look at the sky while inadvertantly tripped the

    Argonian up with his tail. "My friend, what are you doing down there?"


    Hasir looked at him, got up and swept his tail as if it was a sun-dial. 

    "I don't know, you asked me." He said, laughing as he helped Inigo to his feet


    Inigo glared at the mirthful Argonian; silencing the raucous laughter.

    "What was your motive for do that?" He asked. "I only did it on accident. Listen." He said, wearily, "We should call it a night and pick

    up where we left off tomorrow. He glanced at Tigress and she nodded, signaling she shared his idea. 

    Tigress thanked Inigo and adressed the circle members.

    "We will pick this up tommorow. Rest well. Tommorrow, neither I nor Inigo will take it easy on you."


    Hasir sheathed his whip, helped the other companions put their weapons on the racks. Tigress bowed; which Inigo and the other

    companions copied and they all went inside to their seperate beds.