I now had to choose a weapon and although it was tempting to go for the whip directly, I knew this was going to basic training and more of empty-handed skills more than anything. Something all our battalion learned first and which we almost totally forgot because we had more powerful weapons in our hands.
So I grabbed a flail and this was what I seemed most comfortable with, as my father had trained us with nunchucks as kids.
I now looked at the guard’s weapon my mind mentally comparing what I had to his. He had a Kanabō which had blunt stubs instead of spikes. Looking at the condition of his weapon I noticed that it was badly maintained and although it was a deadly weapon it now looked more like a weak baseball bat than anything else.
“Why no funding for the elite army?” I spoke my voice full of spite. He ignored my question and looked away, probably thinking he was not obliged to speak with someone so lower than him, ranking wise.
We now finished gathering our stuff and with my mother, sister, and me carrying some part of my armor as we headed down the path towards the prison, the guard of course refusing to carry anything, which made me hate not only him but the whole ‘elite army’ even more.
All the way to the prison we met many of my friends including Vare and Serosa along the way all of them asking many questions and wishing me the best also promising to somehow attend the event.
We now reached the prison and Freag suddenly stood up alarmed by what he was witnessing. It seemed like he had never seen the elite army as he looked at the guard in amazement. Almost thinking it was his duty he stood and gave the guard a salute much like Lanka, this certainly pleasing the guard whose face was still covered by the before mentioned helmet.
If our army had anything of a ranking system which, now looking at me, the guard and Freag, it was apparent, that Lanka, Freag and few others were part of the lower level of security and although had armor on, it was very thin and flimsy metal much worse than what I wore.
He now upon seeing such a high ranking official got to work opening the metal doors in record-breaking time, this time not even bothering to use his whistle, which only proved that he used that damn whistle only to annoy me and my sister.
But as I tried to pass the gate to go to my father he raised his baton and this angered me. He seemed to think his puny mind working on something no doubt.
“Only his highness," he said gesturing to the guard. I was pissed but the guard spoke. “You heard him.” and walked in, no doubt a smirk on his face right now.
The two walked in speaking like they were greatest of buddies. They also spoke in tones which could not be heard by us and after what seemed an eternity they returned with a strong figure following behind them in handcuffs.
“Father!!” my sister exclaimed as she ran and hugged him. He was confused as to why he was out and seemed a little dazed to be out in such bright sun after so long, but thankfully he seemed in good health at the moment.
As he hugged my sister finally feeling her skin without metal bars hindering them his eyes fell on my mother who was standing only a few feet from my sister adoring the beautiful scene.
He instantly let go of Xaya and looked at her in disbelief. My mother very rarely visited my father because of fear of going near the prison but today she had come confidently probably because I had requested our father to be free for today.
“Melina!!” he spoke in an urgent whisper and instantly there were tears in his eyes. He sprang forwards and hugged my mother embracing her in his arms. My mom too returned the hug tears already flowing down her cheeks.
“Herof! It’s been so long!” she said and my father replied. “Indeed it has been, my loutche!!” and hug seemed to grow stronger and I wished I had something to capture the moment right then and there, but alas such technology did not exist in our small village.
This went on for a good minute while me and my sister looked on awkwardness quickly filling the air. At least the two idiots that were Freag and the guard were in their own world and not paying attention to my parents.
My father suddenly let go of my mother maybe it finally occurring to him that all of us had come to meet him which would have only meant something bad was going to happen or had already happened.
“What’s going on?” he asked and my mother’s tears turned from joy to sadness as she wept, my father’s arm still around her.
“I have to fight in the Zelia tonight at nine pm.” I said and I asked him to walk with me to a clear, dusty ground nearby, that would be perfect for training.
We spent some time speaking about the event and how we had gotten into this mess and my father listened carefully to every detail. Then after all of us had filled him up with details he told me that since we had so little time we had to start training immediately and he assured that we would be done within the afternoon and if I needed his help before the fight anytime, he would available.
So we began practicing speaking about many things as we sparred back and forth. My father was given only a long wooden stick to fight with but that was not a problem for him.
Luckily I had remembered his training because he was so brutal when he taught us and ensuring we remembered everything in the case that any such incident ever occured.
My mother and Xaya sat near a shrub nearby taking shade from the sun that was gradually rising.
Training with him, my mind was forced to forget about everything else because having a full mind, according to my father was the easiest way to die. And so I totally forgot my fears and anything else that worried me, as I tried to defend my legs with another stick Freag had provided me my, from father’s strong blows.
Sadly age had taken its toll on my father and so he tired fast but then asked my sister to replace him.
Now as I fought my vicious sister I could not help but feel like the old days when we were nothing but teeny kids beating each other up with our father’s supervision.
I now reeled back into reality as I blocked a fast and brutal blow to my head from my sister and then sensing the recovery time of my sister to be weak as she was tired, I now brought the stick in a long outward arc as I aimed and stuck my sister in the ankles, hitting her hard enough to make her fall.
She did fall but not before grabbing my shirt with both her hands, leaving the stick in her hands and using her momentum to throw me off balance and behind her as she fell on her back.