I sighed, placing the complaint letter down and pinching the bridge of my nose. Only three days into the new term, and fourth-year prodigy Aaryan had already managed to incur the wrath of several Yin congees, demanding he be punished or expelled over his blatant disrespect for Yin energies.
Otherwise, they argued that his access disk might be revoked since he had no business touching corrupted items.
This was a matter I needed to discuss with Tethys.
But first, I had to attend to the Sento class with the new congees. They seemed an impressive enough bunch on paper, with almost two-thirds of them Supplicants, and the remaining third having entered the Faculty with impressive results. I gazed over the entrant papers spread over my desk, and settled upon the papers of one Elora Young – her father had been a general, and her mother a Healer. The result of such formidable parents was that her reiki had been unbelievably strong from what I had sensed last Gold-day. She was one to watch, I was sure.
I neatly filed the papers into my drawers and sealed them with Yin energy – even if my rooms were locked, it paid to be cautious these days.
Leaving my office for the training grounds, I nodded approvingly at the full attendance of congees. It was good to take punctuality seriously, I did not regard tardiness well. Tomokai extricated himself from a group of congees and came to stand by my side.
I surveyed the thirty-eight congees – already, they gravitated to certain cliques. A strong presence tingled at my senses, and I found my eyes drawn to Elora. Frankly, her aura was on par with Aaryan and I suspected she had Yang Affinity. I fervently hoped she was not going to be a female version of him. A girl of similar height stood next to her, but this congee was broader in build compared to Elora’s lanky proportions. The girl’s black hair was shaved at the sides and the top tied into a ponytail, her grey eyes shifty and observant. I focussed, and felt a thread of cool energy. Yin characteristics in that one then.
I crossed my arms, and ran my thumb over my lip. A name from the entrant papers popped into my head: Aletheia. A non-Supplicant.
Perhaps Elora would not subscribe to Aaryan’s ideologies. They were conversing with two other males – one was Enki, a congee I knew to be older than me. It made me vaguely self-conscious.
Interlacing my fingers in front of me and cracking my neck, I cleared my throat.
“Good afternoon congees,” I said with a faint smile. “Today’s class will be quite simple. Tomokai and I will be demonstrating a few sequences for you to understand the art of Sento.”
I nodded at Tomokai. This was probably what he was looking forward to the most – he would like the attention. It was a necessity to demonstrate techniques that would pique an interest, and it made sure the students respected my proficiency. The attention, however, I could do without.
“After that, we will teach you some basics to get you started.”
Tomokai beamed and walked onto the training mat in the middle of the training room. He begun a sequence of cha’anko which was typically well suited to those who favoured the Yang. It was fast, precise and intensely athletic. I smiled to myself as the congees marvelled at Tomokai’s performance, his aeriel flips, jumps and a series of powerful punches and kicks.
Then, he winked at the congees and bowed off the mat, a sheen of sweat dripping off his self-satisfied face.
I clapped together with the other congees as Tomokai bowed off the mat. It was no wonder Tomokai was lithe, if he had to execute so many leaps and aerials. It was like watching a panther coil and pounce on its imaginary prey. I hoped we weren’t expected to learn that? I doubted I could land into a split...
Advisor Lokni took his place in the middle of the mats. He had swapped his Qun from the other day to a similar attire to ours. It was the standard issue Sento outfit, same length as a regular shirt but with a stiff collar, short sleeves and Mandarin buttons that ran down the middle. His face was solemn as he took a deep breath in as he brought his palms up, and then breathing out as he returned them to his hips.
Beginning in a wide stance, he started a gentle, slow form that was the complete opposite of Tomokai’s earlier showcase. It was no less riveting though, his fingers curling and pointing nimbly as he lowered into extremely challenging single leg holds, and occasionally executed graceful spinning jumps into silent, stable landings. It was like watching water personified, so fluid his movements were. Yet it was also like being faced with the earth at times, with all of his stability and strength. I was no expert, but anyone with eyes could have recognised that Advisor Lokni was a master in the art.
I turned back to Advisor Lokni’s speech. Certain forms like the cha’anko that Tomokai had shown were Yang stimulating, while other forms like the ta’aeci that he had demonstrated were Yin building. Elora and Enki were chattering excitedly about the cha’anko, but my mind was looping on Advisor Lokni’s demonstration of ta’aeci and the fluid grace.
Then, the torture began.
A/N: What do you think of Ramiel?