Wednesday 26 November 2014

Scent: Part 17

The training continued this way for a week. Everyday the aspirants were ferried into the classroom and each evening they were ushered back to their cells. They sat and listened to Hultz as he spoke about the world and the various races that lived within it and how different countries were ruled and governed. They rarely paused and were not allowed to speak when they did so. Occasionally people would appear at the back of the room and listen to Hultz and then disappear off somewhere.

Reven was given a slight reprieve as Fang was allowed to be exercised in a hall that was further down the corridor from the classroom. It was only ten minutes a day but Fang appreciated it and Reven enjoyed running around with him knowing that the other aspirants would already be secured in their cells. Reven was growing tired of the constantly flickering torches and braziers that decorated the halls and rooms of The Deep. He longed to feel the wind on his face and the suns rays upon his skin. Each time he attempted to broach the subject with Master Hultz he was shushed into silence. Reven was contemplating this very thing whilst Hultz talked about the many cults of the world and the threats they posed to decent people. He was so lost in his daydream that he didn't notice that Hultz had asked him something until he realised the whole room was looking at him.

Reven's face burned with embarrassment and he squirmed under Hultz' withering gaze. 'Are you going to answer me boy or shall you just sit there gazing at the wall?' Hultz spat. Reven stammered 'I....I....sorry...' before being cut off yet again by one of Hultz' raised hands. 'Bah' he shouted, 'Useless, the lot of you. You will never learn if you never listen.' Master Hultz' composure seemed to reassert itself and he relaxed his shoulders as he let out a long sigh. 'Maybe that is enough for today', the aspirants looked at each other, confused. There were hours of the day left yet. Hultz continued to speak, 'Today you will be moving from your cells to one of the common rooms above. You will enjoy your first meal that isn't gruel and be given the opportunity to bathe. Beds will be allocated to you and you will be given new clothes to wear. Say farewell to your old clothes as they will be burnt.' Hultz let this news sink in before continuing. Reven had never seen the other aspirants smile before. 'As of tomorrow the nature of your training will change. You will all attend lessons with me in the mornings as you have been, but your afternoons will be spent learning the more physical aspects of life in the order. Weapons training will commence at midday.' This news was not as well received as the promise of a proper meal but Reven for one could not wait to see more of The Deep and to have a sleep in a proper bed.

Reven made his way upstairs with the other aspirants. Hultz led them into a large room that had ten beds in it, five to each wall. Each bed had a wardrobe next to it on one side and a small chest of draws on the other. The centre of the room was dominated by a long table that had chairs on either side. Hultz addressed them as they moved into the room. 'Beyond the door at the far end of this room are washing and toilet facilities which I suggest you use before donning your new clothes.' he motioned towards the beds. Each bed had a neatly folded pile of clothes on it and a pair of boots tucked under their foot. 'When I call your name you will report to your bed then you have an hour to wash, dress and get used to your new surroundings.' With that Hultz walked to the corner of the room and started reading out names as he made his way round the room indicating a bed each time he did so. With only two beds left Reven listened as Fang's name was read out. He trotted over to where Hultz pointed and jumped onto the bed. He circled around and scratched at the blanket before settling down to rest. Some of the aspirants giggled including Reven but Hultz silenced them with a stare. 'Reven. This is your bed.' he said indicating the corner bed. 'Your hound will stay with you here until he outgrows the room at which time we will find somewhere else to keep him'. Fang tilted his head and raised an eyebrow without ever moving his head from the blanket at Hultz' words whilst Reven responded with a curt 'Yes Master Hultz.' Hultz nodded as if satisfied with his work and lefty the room leaving the door wide open. 

Reven sat down on Fang's bed and stroked his head and leaned in to whisper in his ear 'They won't separate us again Fang. Don't worry.' Reven wasn't sure if Fang heard this or not as he promptly started snoring as soon as Reven drew his head back but he smiled anyway, his own words reassuring him. 

The aspirants made there way in to the wash room and went about cleaning a weeks worth of dirt and grime from their bodies. One of the older boys who announced himself as Dodger groaned with pleasure as he lowered himself into the hot water of the communal bath, 'Ahh, the Great Bull's ball's that feels good.' This drew sniggers from two girls that were on the other side of the bath, fully clothed to hide their modesty. 'The great who?' asked a wiry framed youth who was climbing in. 'The Great Bull! Zorn! God of the harvest and fertility' Dodger responded. The wiry youth paused at the top of his climb, 'Never 'erd of 'im' he said with a raised brow. He moved to swing his trailing leg over the edge of the bath but caught it and fell face first into the water. All of the aspirants laughed at this and they relaxed in the warm water swapping names and the tales of how they came to at The Deep.

Reven dried himself using one of the rough blankets provided as he walked back to his bed. Fang still slumbered in the berth next to him as he looked at his new clothes. They were made up of black trousers that had leather patches on the knee and at the side of the thigh. A white undershirt and a loose fitting black shirt that was fastened by thin cord at the neck. The shirt had three badges sewn onto the shoulder facing forward. All red rimmed with a white background but each sporting a different image. One had a bow and arrow stitched on to it, another a sword and the final one a dogs head. He looked at some of the other aspirants as they dressed and others sported the sword or a dagger on their shoulder. The wiry boy who Reven had learnt was called Essen had a skull on his. As far as he could make out only Reven had three badges and he made a note to ask Master Hultz about this next time he saw him.

No comments:

Post a Comment