Princess Leyva fell to the floor of the bonding chamber, blood splattering on to the white flooring, a resounding crack echoed through the expansive room, dropping the wooden training sword covered in Leyva’s blood to the floor I sighed in exasperation.
“This isn’t working,” I stated as I reached down to help the Princess up.
She took my hand and smiled through bloody teeth, “I’m getting better.”
“Yes, but it’s not good enough.” I replied, “This is life or death we’re talking about here, Korv or his minions won’t be coming at you with a wooden sword, we need to up the tempo!”
The Nanites in my suit started to separate as the suit shrunk down to a small object no larger than a flash drive, standing in front of Leyva in just my underwear, I handed my suit over to her.
“Um… Red, don’t take this the wrong way,” she laughed as she took the object and stared at it in wonder, “But you’re a little bit bigger than me.”
I grinned, “Just put it on.”
Leyva sceptically placed the object to her chest, as she did she gasped in surprise as the nanites started to bind around her, within seconds, my suit of armour had woven itself around Leyva’s body and to the Princess’s surprise, it was a perfect fit.
“Wow!” was all that Leyva said as she started to feel the armour, testing its movement and no doubt finding that it felt as though you were wearing nothing at all.
“Now we can move on to Blades,” I said as I tossed Leyva my Skyshard sword, she caught it deftly and gave it a flourish before bringing it up into a defensive stance.
She’s a natural, I thought as I pulled out another blade, a half-shard this time, a training sword designed to act like a Skyshard blade, able to withstand the cutting power of Skyshard but with a cutting edge similar to standard iron, it was perfect for blade practice.
“Red, are you sure you want to give me a Skyshard blade? What if I accidentally hurt you?” Leyva asked, a hint of concern in her voice as she stared in awe at the blade in her hands.
“If you accidentally hurt me, you’re not doing it right!” I growled, “I want you to try and hurt me. If you actually do, I’m either the world’s best trainer, or I’m not paying attention. Now, come at me!”
She did not hesitate, with a fluid grace that belied her training, she was on me in under a second. Her attack was relentless, but it was repetitive, after seeing off a few attacks I was able to counter, and with my half-shard, I delivered a painful blow to Leyva’s arm, I heard bone crack and the Princess cried out in agony.
“You projected your attacks, you might as well have told me what you were planning!” I stated.
Already the suit was hard at work repairing the damage to Leyva’s body, within seconds her cracked bones had healed and a shot of adrenaline coursed through Leyva. She came at me again, showing me the same attack but at the last moment she altered the direction of her attack, as I blocked the blow, the Princess spun around with almost otherworldly speed and landed a fist to my midsection that did little damage, before retreating back into a defensive stance.
“We must put a knife in your off-hand, that was good! Again!”
She charged at me from a different direction this time, she was learning to mix things up, something that I wasn’t expecting from her for a few months. Yet she still was no match for a seasoned warrior like myself, each attack either resulted in Leyva retreating to try another angle or Leyva nursing broken bones.
“That’s enough for today,” I said, cautious not to push her too far, the suit could heal her but the trauma would still be bad enough to lay her out for a few days.
“One… More… Go?” Leyva asked through ragged, pained breaths, the suit was still working but my last counter-attack was particularly nasty, at least a few cracked ribs, potentially broken.
“Please,” she begged, colour returning to her face as speech came to her easier, “I felt something just before you struck me. I think that I can use it.”
Anger flashed into Leyva’s eyes, she rushed me with sword raised, it was as if her unleashed fury fuelled a dormant reserve of primordial power, one second she was twenty feet away from me, the next, she disappeared into a puff of dust. I’d seen this before, no, experienced it!
Instinct took over as I felt a sword rushing towards my head amidst a cloud of rematerializing dust, banishing the panic that I felt deep inside, I sidestepped the attack just in time to avoid the blow that would’ve taken my head and thrust my fist into Leyva’s face.
Hard… Too hard.