Kyra was on her way back to Lucerne after having experienced the Tournament of Arms in full. She was eager to get back and see Lunie, and hopefully Alphonz again, if he stuck around. She planned to make sure and pay her mother a visit as well, and maybe stay at home for a week or so while deciding where to go off to next that was within the same distance as it was to get from Lucerne to Bern. Getting a bit lost in her own thoughts about what she'd do upon her return home, Kyra didn't even notice the large, burly man coming up to her from the side.
The man was wearing a set of studded leather armor, and had a lance strung across his back. He wore the uniform of the Bernese military, though it was worn and beaten. Approaching the young novice, he spoke, "You there, girl! I don't believe you've payed the toll for this 'ere stretch of road yet. You'd best pay up 'fore somethin' bad 'appens to ya. It's fifty gold to pass, so pay it, or face the consequences."
Shocked, Kyra responded to the armored man. "U-Um, sir... I don't remember there ever being anyone collecting any toll when I was headed towards Bern, so why would there be any in the return trip? You look like you're in the military, but you seem like you're trying to trick me out of my money, by the way you're talking. I refuse to give you any of what I have, which won't even pay for that absurd toll anyway!"
Clearly angered now, the man took his lance off his back. "Wrong choice, little girl. Looks like I'm gonna have to take the money from ya. 'Ere's what 'appens when you disrespect your elders!"
Dimino was walking along the road with his lance and shield strapped to his back. He was in a fairly good mood, considering that he's managed to avoid any more bandit and monsters on his way. Considering what happened back in Lycia, he was just thankful to be on his way. The defenses in the village he assisted in was per say...well it needed improvement even after the attack. He just hopes that things will be slightly more peaceful as he traveled.
That hope quickly vanished as he spotted what seemed to be a ruffian that was harassing a young girl along the path. Dimino released a frustrated sigh as he looked at the direction that was happening. He slowly and quietly walked up to the commotion that is going on. He managed to overhear the last bit of what sounded like the brute threatening the young girl. "Or we can go with this option...you leave the girl alone if you know what's good for you" Dimino said sharply. The brute turned his head as he glared at Dimino. "Back off boy, this is none of yer concerns" the brute said. "...least you want to pay the toll for her and you instead" he added on, still looking quite angered. Whatever the young girl said to him, the bandit clearly sounded angry.
Dimino was clearly annoyed by the ruffian that stood before him. "It's the same with all of you...It's people like you that makes me sick" Dimino said as he spat on the ground. He grabbed his lance and shield as he glared down at the bandit. "This is your final warning, back off now or YOU'LL be the one that'll be facing the consequences!" Dimino said. He just hopes that the young girl will seek safety, or if not, that she'll know how to fight back.
Kyra began preparing herself to fight, drawing her sword just as another man with a lance came over. However, this one seemed a hit younger than the one trying to get money from her, and was also apparently on her side. Well then, that is definitely fortunate for me that he showed up. I don't know for sure if I could have handled this man completely by myself. Backing away a bit, Kyra didn't run when the stranger told her to, though she did get well out of reach of the bandit's lance, allowing her new ally to get more up close and personal. Kyra knew she was at a severe disadvantage against lances, and the fact she'd never trained against them before only amplified that.
Guess I'll have to wait for an opening. Then, maybe I can help out by attacking from the side or something before he can respond quickly enough. I really hope this person knows what he's doing. He does look pretty strong though, and he at least sounds like he knows what he's doing, so I'm hoping we'll both be alright. He wouldn't help if he didn't think he could handle it, right? Readying her sword in a defensive stance, she prepared herself to parry whatever lance jabs may come her way, just in case the bandit decided to make a bold move while her ally stood right there. She may not be able to block it all the way, but she didn't know how else she'd become accustomed to fighting the long reaching weapons if she didn't get a feel for how they worked first hand, even if it meant getting banged up a bit, hopefully just not too much, if at all.
Dimino tightly gripped his lance as he glared at the "soldier" that refused to back down. He took a quick glance in the young girls direction. She didn't flee like he hopped that she would, but she did have a sword in her hands. So, she's able to defend herself? No matter, there was no way that she would've been able to handle this brute by herself though Dimino thought. He then turned his attention back towards the brute. "Alright hotshot, you asked for it!" the brute said as he swung his lance at Dimino. Dimino rose his shield as the lance scrapped by the metal of the shield head.
Dimino looked up with a glare. "Time I show you how a true warrior of the tribes of Nabata fight!" he said as he trusted his own lance at the brute. It hit the shoulder of the brute, but the "soldier" then swung the side of the lance at Dimino, knocking him off balance and causing his lance to remove from the wound that was inflicted on the brute. That was when the brute looked back at the young girl that gripped her sword. "Aww, aint that cute? What are you going to do with that little blade when you can barely get close to me?" the brute said as he stared at the young girl. Dimino quickly got up as he quickly picked up his lance. "You can't even get close to me, by the time ye do, you'll be meeting the end of my weapon!" the bandit added on. Dimino quickly looked over. It was true, unless he can keep the attention of the brute on him, there was no way she'd ever get close without risk in getting hurt by him. "You'll have to get through me first!" Dimino said as he rose his shield and bashed the brute with it. The brute was sent to the ground, but was clearly conscious...and angry! "Alright Mr. Wise guy, your first!" the brute said as he rose his lance, getting ready to thrust it at Dimino.
Kyra had gotten a bit worried when her ally was knocked away by the "soldier", but luckily he was able to get back up to further distract her assailant while she prepared to move in. Perhaps this classified as dirty fighting, considering it was two versus one and she'd be attacking from the side or behind, but Kyra had little choice if she wanted to actually land a proper blow against the lance wielding soldier. As he was preoccupied with the new ally of hers, Kyra began closing in, slashing at the ruffian's side, landing able solid blow a blend making him bleed a decent bit.
Before Kyra could celebrate her clean hit however, the man spun around slightly, hitting Kyra with the shaft of his lance, causing her to land on the ground, winded for the time being, struggling for a solid in and out breath at first. Ouch! Even against two, this guy is pretty solid. Hopefully my wound to him starts to wear him down though... That must hurt, bleeding out of your side while still trying to fight. Hopefully this friendly stranger can manage to finish him off pretty soon. I'm going to have to sit here for a few moments and catch my breath, I think...
Kyra watched on, holding her side where the lance shaft had whacked her. No bones seemed broken, so that was good. It was definitely going to leave a good bruise for a couple days though, at least. That wasn't something to worry about though. Now, she simply watched the fight of two clashing lances, preparing herself to spring up and out of the way if she absolutely needed to.
Dimino watched as the young girl caused a wound to open up on the side of the brute. But she seemed to have been hit by the shaft of the lance. Dimino rose his lance as he got ready to trust it at the brute. "Alright, it's time to end this!" he said as he jammed his lance in the stomach of the brute. The "soldier" dropped his lance as he looked at what happened to him. He shakily looked down as he realized what happened. "D-damn...you! This was supposed to be...just an easy...way to get...coin...Damn you...all...to...hell!" the brute sputtered out as blood spilled out of his stomach now. He then crashed down on the ground, clearly lifeless. Dimino could only sigh in disgust. If he truely wanted to make some cash, there surely was more honorable ways in doing so. Heck, he could name a couple of things that could be done back in Lycia that could have paid a decent pay considering the amount of monsters that are there.
Dimino could only kick the lance of the now dead bandit aside as he slowly walked toward the now hurt girl. He held his hand out to help her up. "Are you alright? You looked like you needed help, there was no way that I could pass by without at lest offering my help..." Dimino said. He put his lance and shield back to his back as he looked at the girl. "My name is Dimino, I come from the deserts of Nabata. What's your name?" he said. He was hoping that he could keep her calm. But he couldn't help but feel that he could help her somehow. "I can't help but notice your swordplay during that conflict. I don't wish to be rude, but you looked like you never fought against a lance wielder before. Maybe I can help you?" he said. Honestly, he didn't know why he was offering to help train this girl. Perhaps she somewhat reminded him of himself when he was younger considering his rigorous training back in his tribe in Nabata. Or maybe he was just being nice. Either way, he could clearly see that she had potential.
Still catching her breath from the blow caused by the lance shaft, Kyra watched as her assailant bled out, crumple to the ground after a few moments. The young man who helped her began walking over, introducing himself as Dimino, and who had apparently traveled all the way from Nabata. Somewhat amazed, Kyra said, "Wow, you're from Nabata? That's so far from here. I mean like, the entire other end of Elibe! Uh, a-anyway, I'm Kyra. I'm from Lucerne, a few days away from here. It's nice to meet you, Dimino. I was just headed back from the annual Tournament of Arms in Bern, and, well, that guy started pestering me just before you showed up. Thanks for that, by the way. I dunno if I'd have made it otherwise, had you not helped me out."
Realizing she hadn't answered whether she was alright, Kyra continued, "O-oh yeah! I'm okay, I think, as far as my injuries. He bruised me up quite a bit, but I don't think it's anything serious, as long as I don't put too much pressure there or anything." Pausing for a moment when Dimino mentioned her form, or lack thereof, during the fight, she became a bit flustered as she answered honestly, "Well, um, yeah, I've never really had to fight against any lances before, aside from one close call with a cavalier recently, but I was just running away, and not really fighting back in the slightest. I guess you can see now why I wouldn't have even bothered anyways. But, um, what do you mean help me? As in sparring? Right now? I'd prefer to at least sit down away from the road for a bit while I make sure these bruises don't become a serious issue or anything, if you don't mind. But afterwards, I suppose I could give some sparring a shot. You're not in a hurry to be anywhere, are you?"
Dimino nodded when the girl, whom introduced herself as Kyra, said that she was alright. "Of course, we should rest up before then. Though likely preferably away from that" he said as he pointed his lance at the dead corpse of the bandit that was slain. He couldn't help but smile when Kyra sounded impressed when he said he came from Nabata. "Yeah, I came from Nabata, a warrior-like tribe in Nabata to be exact. I was trained from a very young age to become a warrior above all even though our tribe valued peace above all else." he added. "I bet it feels nice to live in a remote village away from the business of everyday activity that likely occurs in the major cities" Dimino said. Though he mostly seen Lycian business so far during his travels, he knows for certain how busy...and chaotic at best it can get.
He then sat down as he looked up at the sky. "You know...if I may be honest with you, I see a lot of potential in you. I see you likely becoming a very powerful warrior in the future, what do you think?" Dimino asked Kyra. He kept looking up at the blue sky as he asked her another question to help pass the time...and to help him and her regain some energy after the skirmish with the bandit. "So...if you don't mind me asking, what convinced you to pick up in the art of swordplay?" he asked. He was very much curious as to how she got into swordplay...and why she is going out alone at such a young age. Then again, he was one to think since he himself left his tribe when he was likely her age.
Looking over at the body of the dead bandit, Kyra was inclined to agree with Dimino's assertion that they should head at least a little ways away before resting. When he began talking again after she had gotten up, she was taken a bit by sheer prise at what he said. "M-me? Potential? You think so? I mean, I guess my father always said that sorta stuff to me, but nobody else really ever has that I can remember. I wouldn't have even been able to bring down that man without you there, so how do you figure I'll be a powerful warrior someday?" Trailing off a bit at the end, Kyra began mentally trying to fill in those answers on her own. How could she be a powerful warrior? What would she have to do, and at what cost?
Unsure of just how far she wished to divulge to this stranger about her training with the sword, Kyra decided to keep it fairly brief. "Well, I was taught pretty much exclusively by my father, who I already mentioned. He was a member of the Bernese military, and was fairly well known throughout Lucerne. He had retired from his military around the time I was born, and when I turned ten, he started having me practice with wooden blades. He showed me everything he knew, or at least he tried to. Then one night a couple years ago, he... died..." Not wishing to go into exactly how he died, Kyra let her sentence drop into dead silence, and the air between the two grew somewhat awkward.
Dimino paused when Kyra questioned as to whether she'd ever become a powerful warrior. "Hey, don't get discouraged about what happened. Even some of the best warriors had to start out somewhere. Heck, even I was not a very good fighter myself when I first started being trained to use a lance back in my tribe." he said, hoping to encourage her. It was true, when he first started being trained back in his tribe, he could barely even keep a good grip on his lance, nevertheless defeat someone with it.
He then stopped when Kyra mentioned that her father was the one who trained her in swordplay. The same father that she just told him had died when she was still quite young. "Oh...I'm sorry Kyra...I didn't mean to bring up any painful memories...He sounded like he was a very kind and strong man from what you've told me" Dimino said. He couldn't help but feel that there was something more to what she was saying about her fathers death, but he decided to not push any further. Granted, he never saw neither his father nor mother ever since he was sent to train in his tribe at the age of seven, but he knew that they were well. And to grow up and learn that their own father was gone before she even became an adult...it tugged at his heart greatly. "Well...at least he'll be watching over you..." he said, hoping to offer some sort of comfort to Kyra. Now I got two reasons as to why I want to help her grow more powerful...not only to show that she can AND will be a powerful warrior, but so she can carry on her fathers legacy for him he thought.
He stared at Kyra as he started to walk again. "So...just let me know when your ready to begin I guess..." Dimino said.
Kyra's demeanor brightened a bit as Dimino reassured her that heroes don't start as such. Everyone has pessimistic than stellar beginnings in some way or another. "Yeah, I guess you're right about that, Dimino. Thanks for the reassuring words. Although I have to say, imagining someone of your stature as ever being less than adequate at fighting is a bit baffling to me, all things considered."
When the topic of her father was addressed by Dimino, Kyra was quick to make sure he didn't feel obligated to apologize. "Please, Dimino, it's alright. I don't mind bringing it up from time to time, really. If anything, I suppose it reminds me why I choose to keep trying to better myself. I'll admit that sometimes it does feel like he's watching over me, living on in this old sword of his, so that he might guide my hand in battle. Of course, I'm sure that just sounds like some silly childhood fairy tale to you. I get it. It's more of a comforting thought to me. I know it isn't real, but sometimes having a streak of good luck or something really can make someone almost believe that stuff like guardian spirits really do watch over certain people. Honestly though, my father always told me that ghosts and spirits were just a bunch of superstition, and that real power comes from the strength of one's own conviction, and the power of their sword arm. Of course, he also saw the merit of diplomacy and talking problems out before blood even needs to be shed."
Closing her eyes and shaking her head a bit, Kyra changed the subject. "Well, I guess I've gotten far off topic, haven't I? I suppose I'm ready to begin now, so long as you are."
Dimino smiled, seeing how his encouragement for Kyra worked. He then nodded in agreement with what Kyra said about getting better. "Yeah, your right, to a since, I suppose that he can be helping guide your sword." he said.
He then pulled his lance and shield from his back. "Alright, one of the things that you should know about fighting someone with a lance, is how the wielder uses it. Just like how you have your own style of swordplay that you've learned, theres also multiple different styles that lance wielders like me use them" he said as he showed her an example by trusting his lance to his side away from Kyra. "Notice for example how I hold my lance" he said. "As you might have figured out, many lance wielders prefer to keep their foes from a short distance to fight. If their enemy can get close to them, then they can't hurt them." He then brought his lance down. "Of course, some fighters, like me, prefer to fight with a lance and shield. You may have seen many use it in combination from your travels or may have even seen some swordsmen use that combination themselves. You'll need to keep an eye on how they fight with it. Some prefer to be aggressive and not give their foes a chance to even land a hit. Some like me prefer to be defensive and keep their foes at a distance and protect themselves with a shield"
He then rose his shield and lance in a defensive position as he stared at Kyra. "Of course, some disadvantage about using lances is how it lacks flexibility. With a sword, you can parry with it and then slice whereas Axe users can just chop anything away. For lances, it's just about keeping our enemies at a distance. But if they manage to get up close, they can't do much." he said. He then pointed his lance at Kyra. "Now, try and find a way to get close to me. Don't worry, I won't try and hurt you since this is training after all." he said as he drew his lance back into a defensive position and lowered his helm to cover his face. Honestly, he was hoping that he wasn't giving her too much information to process at once. After all, it can be tough to take in all at once.
Different styles of lance fighting, huh? I kind of assumed as much. Fighting with any weapon wouldn't be too exciting if everyone used them the exact same way. So, Dimino fights defensively, huh? Perhaps if I'm aggressive enough, I can break through his defense, but at the same time, I don't want to be too aggressive, or he might be easily able to retaliate while I'm focused on hitting him. Hmm... As Dimino lifted his lance and pointed it towards Kyra, she drew her sword, the flat of the blade shining in the midday sunlight as it showed off the battle scars of her father's past battles.
Alright, he's got a shield up, and that combined with the lance makes it basically impossible to approach from the front. Although, with his build and his armor, I'm betting he's a lot slower than I am, so I should have the advantage of speed if nothing else. I should use it to the best advantage, if I can. Slowly taking a few step closer to Dimino to close the distance between them, Kyra was also making sure to move sideways in a circular direction, trying to get a good angle towards Dimino's side. Unsure of whether she could truly get a better position from where she currently was, Kyra decided to just go for it, sprinting towards Dimino, but also keeping an eye out for his lance, preparing to (hopefully) duck or roll beneath the lance before it got close enough to actually make contact. If this actually works, I'll be massively impressed with myself...
Dimino noticed Kyra move towards him in somewhat of a circular pattern. Ahh, a wise move Kyra, she also knows how she has speed advantage over me, but is she prepared to show more than her speed? he thought to himself. He also noticed the many scratches on the blade she carried, proof of the many battles her father had fought, and likely won during his time. Some day, her own scratches will be made in that same blade.
He lifted his shield as he attempted to bash Kyra to push her back only to miss slightly. "Very good Kyra. You know full well how limited most lances are in their range and attacked from a different angle. But you need to pay attention to not just the weapon that is being used, but their defenses as well!" he said as he stepped back with his shield in hand. "A shield is also good for offensive maneuvers such as in this case, keeping you off balance. Keep going, I want to see how much you can do!" he said as he banged his lance against his shield.
He then stared at Kyra as he smiled. To be honest, at the rate she is showing him, she might end up being a even more powerful warrior then even his own instructor! But of course, she'll need experience to back it up. "Remember Kyra, pay attention to the posture of your foe!" he said as he slid his feet back and then suddenly prepared to charge at her with shield forward and lance in front.
Kyra appreciated the praise that Dimino was giving her for her choice in maneuver. She did notice that she'd been getting quite better at fighting lately, especially since the incident at Bonerock, and her training session with Kisaragi. However, she was forced to be serious again as Dimino also mentioned how she had overlooked the shield, and how she would now need to deal with his choice in posture. Alright Kyra, he's getting ready to charge... How would one deal with someone charging...
As Dimino pointed the lance straight at her, shield out in front as he started to charge, Kyra had to think fast. Wait, yes! This should work! If he's focused in charging at me, then he might not expect a last second dodge, and he'll be forced to keep his momentum going, while I can strike him from behind... That might work... Taking her plan into action, Kyra stood, sword action the ready, action the waiting Dimino to move closer. It seemed almost completely against her own instincts to just stand there helplessly while a large, intimidating figure barreled his way towards her, but she hip ed that the payoff would he worth it.
Just as he was about to run into her, Kyra quickly dashed to the side, turning around as fast as she could in hopes that she'd be able to get to Dimino and make contact with her weapon as a mock strike before he was able to recover from the momentum of the change. Alright, time to see if my plan was truly idiotic or not...