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 (Flashback 3) - Empress [Training Records]

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Dark S3cret
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Registration date : 2009-01-17

PostSubject: (Flashback 3) - Empress [Training Records]   Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:49 pm

From the Scrolls of the Elite Martial Arts Academy

Student: #2002
Name: n/a
Days since enrollment: 654
Level attained: n/a

*n/a: indicates unapplicable information because of special case

Entry written by: Yondan F. Barretta
Date: 06/20/2249

Testing today. There are two hundred fifty students waiting to graduate, to become full-fledged warriors. While patrolling through the ranks, as we are ordered to do so, to keep the students on edge. When one has been doing this for as long as I have, it is easy to spot abnormalities. The fear shimmering in their eyes, the trembling of their exhausted bodies... that was customary. That was not new.

I passed by the first row nonchalantly, as if I had seen nothing out of the ordinary, but inside, I was struck with incredulity. It was child's play, to hide my surprise -- as a martial artist, one learns to mask emotions to a point where it sometimes becomes difficult to show them when actually needed. I continued through the ranks, as they stood, ram-rod straight in attention stance -- this was as much of a break they would get. Five hours of the testing had passed already, and the sun was setting, its reflection was burning in their eyes.

As I made my way to the back, viewing hundreds of other students, I could not get that picture out of my mind. She was the one of the youngest one's there. Nine years of age. Small -- tiny really. Compact. Chinese. Narrow eyes. Black hair with straight edges framing her face. She looked much more suited to a dance academy -- indeed, the thought crossed my mind, why didn't she want to learn ballet? Or at least, something less physically dangerous, more girly?

It was a question that always plagued me, but one I never dared ask.

I have been a teacher for a very long time, I have been a sensei for generations of students -- and never once had I seen such fire and determination burn in eyes of one so young. She was trembling, like the others -- who wasn't? But the power with which she held herself spoke for itself. Even more so, when I later saw it all in action.

There was a loud yell, a martial call. As the grandmaster called for the final hours to begin.

They were paired off into groups, the final two hours would be a fight of survival. Full-contact sparring.

I took my place, standing beside the seated grandmaster, and watched as the fights began.

All across the 10 acre courtyard were grunts of pain, soft thuds of bones colliding, cries of triumph and of exertion, the muffled whispers of fabric. It was all very exciting, very dynamic, and I was sorely tempted to focus on one group in particular, but my duties as a sensei required that I supervised all, so I did. But then the grandmaster plucked at my sleeve.

"Yes, sir," I said, bowing.

He smiled. "I'm sure you've noticed already. But look --" He pointed.

The little girl was remarkable. Her stature, as unremarkable and disadvantaged as it was, meant nothing. Her speed was incredible, her technique was flawless, her explosive power fearsome...

There was a collective murmur within our circle of masters, she was a force to be reckoned with... we could only imagine what she would later become.


[to be continued...]
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