It was dark outside of the starkly decorated room. A low table in the middle surrounded by velour cushions was the only furniture in the room, and the way the paint on the walls danced as though the water on the walls was real was it’s only distinguishable aspect. Out of the open rear door, the descendants of cicadas chirped into the lonely mountain night.
Inside a woman with silver hair and eyes, wearing a worn training gi, poured tea into four handleless cups. The red headed woman nodded and said something polite as her cup was filled, the black haired man following her example, while the blonde haired man skipped the pleasantries all together to launch into conversation.
“Well, it looks like all our special training has finally paid off,” he says.
“Oh yes, well some of us had more special training than others,” the red head replies, glancing over at the silver haired woman.
“Be nice Mara,” the black haired man warns.
“What, it’s only true,” Mara replies.
“I am only property, I do as my mistress commands in all things,” the silver haired woman interjects.
“So you don’t deny it then, Shiala,” the blonde interjects.
“Oh come off it you two,” the black haired man says.
“Interesting choice of words, Jenji” Mara says, prompting a laugh out of the blonde, and a coy smile from Shiala.
“Come on, you can’t say you’ve never been the least bit curious,” Mara smiles at Jenji.
“Well nothing like you and Tion seem to be… but, do you really do it just because the master tells you to?”
Shiala smiles and shrugs slightly, “perhaps.”
“Typical, an answer as clear as mud,” Tion laughs.
“You three don’t seem to be worried about tomorrow at all,” Jenji says. “I just can’t stop worrying about it.”
The mood sours slightly, and Shiala picks up in the absence. “We’re all nervous Jenji, some of us possibly even more than you, we just each have our own way of dealing it.”
“I’m worried I won’t be able to notice the soul of the sword speaking to me,” Mara says while spots of rose blossom on her cheeks.
“Hell, I’m worried what happens after we meet our swords. Do we get to stay here till we feel ready to go, or will we be sent off to serve some lord or other. Or worse, are we just going to find ourselves out on our assess to fend for ourselves,” Tion says, placing his hands behind his head and leaning back slightly.
“Even if that happens, I don’t think you three have anything to worry about. I mean, Mara, you attack like the wind, and you’re only getting better. Shiala, you’ve got the greatest balance of all the students, some of them say it’s even better than master’s. Tion, well, I don’t think anyone outside of this room, except master of course, has even managed to touch you lately. I don’t think I have anything like that, so what would I do?” Jenji says.
“Haha, you’re in this room for a reason Jenji. You may just need some time to find your own strengths.” Mara smiles to him.
“In fact, Jenji, you may be the most talented of us all. You’ve managed to keep up with all of us despite our specializations, that takes no small skill.” Shiala adds.
“Anyways, tomorrows the big day, so let’s drink up! To the Master and the pursuit of honor!” Tion interrupts.
“To the Master and the pursuit of honer!” the rest repeat.