The Best and The Worst of Us
“Hit me!” Daniel demanded.
“Again, but harder this time” He repeated.
“It’s no use, I just can’t seem get it” Lillian sighed exasperated .
“You are doing great trust me. It will just take some more practice” Daniel replied as he kindly looked down at her.
“Ok everyone take five and we will start again in a few minutes” He announced and the group quickly dispersed upon following his instructions.
They were practicing self-defence techniques in Afriel’s back yard. The young Nephilim had adapted a little of the curriculum they had followed at the Celestial College to their current situation. For example they had transformed Demon Warfare into more of a Self-Defence class that focused on basic protection and fell completely under Daniel’s remit but not without the support and encouragement of the others.
It was a blazing hot Sunday afternoon and they were already starting to push their limits. As expected the girls were picking up the techniques at different speeds and Lillian seemed to be struggling the most. She really couldn’t hurt a fly and was therefore finding it even more difficult to face Daniel one to one in combat. She was yet to tap into the necessary ferocity that just seemed to light up Celeste, Geneva and Faye’s eyes so easily. Granted Adele, Mae and Cora also struggled to tap into their more combative sides but they seemed to be getting there. Whilst Lillian seemed to be making next to no progress at all and her usually positive attitude was slowly starting to dwindle, as she became more and more frustrated.
She made her way to the veranda steps in an uncharacteristic huff and defeatedly slumped down onto them. Archon excused himself from the conversation he was having Cora and Michael and tried to discreetly amble over in her direction.
“Hi beautiful. Why the long face?” He said as he sat down next to her.
As upset as she was Lillian always found herself feeling just a little bit happier when Archon gave her compliments. Her bubbly nature meant that lots of them were thrown her way but when he said them she really felt like he was being earnest. It wasn’t just something he said because he thought she deserved or wanted to hear it but instead something he actually believed. She felt herself subconsciously providing him with a small smile in return, even though it had been the last thing she had wanted to do.
“I just feel so defeated, you know. I seem to be progressing so much more slowly compared to the other girls and because of that I can’t help but feel like a complete failure.” She mumbled quietly and Archon’s heart broke as he saw her shoulders droop in defeat.
“You know what makes you so wonderful? Your ability to see the world in so much colour which you in turn use to fuel this unending positivity to bless everyone else with. You give everything you have all the time without a seconds thought and as exquisite as that makes you. It also leaves you vulnerable to the hardest of falls but I love the fact that you get up even faster after each and every disappointment or let down. It is a quality I am trying to have a little more of nowadays because you ladies are all relying on us to help you fulfil your destiny and I still sometimes doubt my ability to help you do so, because I am so scared I will ultimately fail you. I suppose that is why each one of us is so important in making this happen, we can all be exceptional teachers to one another as well as each other’s support systems.” He explained as he playfully nudged her in the shoulder.
Lillian felt herself completely rejuvenated by Archon’s powerful words of encouragement. Even though she felt like he might have exaggerated her resilience, she would make every effort to be the wonderful version of herself that he believed her to be.
“Lets get back to work she we?” Lillian suggested in the happy tone that Archon treasured. She then pulled him up and he found himself yet again shocked by her strength but this time it was in the physicalform.
He quickly followed the small woman back onto the grassy field in front of them. Everyone took note of Lillian as she bounced along with renewed spirit and positivity. She then took up her position in front of Daniel and they began sparring again one on one.
At first the improvements were subtle and Lillian began to feel the clouds of doubt starting to close in on her again but Archon caught her eye. His eye’s sparkled with reassurance as he nodded his encouragement in her direction.
Taking a deep breath she tried and tried again. She wouldn’t give up. Each time she listened to Daniel’s critiques and as a result subtle improvements began to occur. As her confidence grew so did her intensity and energy in each stroke and movement.
Daniel’s smile transformed into a full beam as they finished up and he made sure to rain praise down on her in order to show her how proud he was of her.
The group then came together for their final combat session. The girls all stood one side of the field and Daniel stood on the other. He asked them to attack him as a unified front, which was returned with multiple looks of speculation.
“You guys have to trust me. You are called the marked ones for a reason. You will only be able to defeat Lucifer when you work together as one. I only started you off sparring one on one in order to get you used to the idea but that is not how you must fight when you are together. Make no mistake Lucifer will provide you with formidable opposition, so you must learn to stay alert whilst having each other’s backs. It is important that you can each defend yourselves but you must make an effort not to be separated. This is merely a practice so don’t over think it, you will learn more from your mistakes than you ever will from not trying at all. Besides the others will watch from the side lines and try to give us some vital feedback” Daniel explained.
The other Nephilim moved away from Daniel and the girls in order to have a bird’s eye view. The girls moved forward in unison facing Daniel head on who stood a few paces away.
“Ready” Lillian stated as she looked at her closest friends that stood right next to her.
“Ready” The others said in unison.
They charged forward completely letting their instincts take over as the adrenaline pumped through their bodies and their heart beats began to ring in their ears. The other Nephilim watched from the side lines with expert eyes as the girls fought Daniel one by one. As expected within seconds he bested each of them.
“Right team huddle!” Sablo announced putting an end to their blatant defeat. He beckoned the girls over and encouraged them to form a huddle, each angel then gave them some advice trying to keep their words short and sweet so as not to confuse them. They emphasised ways they could better work together when waging their attacks as well as how to utilise their newly heightened spatial awareness.
Once the pep talk was completed they squared up once again with the same zeal that provided no indication of the merciless tail whipping they had just experienced. This time they encircled Daniel and effectively managed to keep him at bay for a respectable number of minutes working in squads of two, zoning in on his weak points.
By the time training had come to an end it was not just Lillian who felt greatly inspired by her improvements. The young angels then provided them with subsequent congratulations and even Daniel felt his hardened teacher persona melt slightly. He was very impressed with their teamwork but he knew they still had so much work to do.
Hidden from sight Afriel and Kwame stood watching the group at a distance with analytical eyes. They too were impressed, though the young women were still hesitant and unrefined in their movements to a trained eye. Something shined brighter than all their imperfections, hope.
They definitely had potential and it seemed they had the perfect support system and together they just might be able to save the world.