Alexandria sleeps soundly only to be quietly awoken by Kei. She rubs her eyes and yawns to see Kei standing above her.
Kei: Let's go.
The sun had barely begun to peek over the horizon.
Alexandria: But I'm sleepy...
Kei lifts her out of bed and then looks away while he waits for her to gets dressed. She slowly does so, returning to the black dress she had wore here. The two exit the room and go out towards the dirt path.
Kei: Ten mile jog, let's go.
Kei slows his pace so Alexandria can keep up, and the two begin jogging. After about ten to twenty minutes of jogging, Alexandria is wide awake. Kei's jogging could be barely even called that now. He was certainly jogging but more in place then forward. Two long hours pass and they complete the second mile. Alexandria struggles to continue.
Kei: Hmm, perhaps ten was too much for you?
Alexandria: No, I can do it. I can...
Alexandria finally stops to take a breather. Her body exhausted.
Kei: Can you continue?
Alexandria: I'll make it.
You've got guts kid, Kei thinks. The two get back going and three long hours pass again before they finally reach the midpoint. By this time, the sun was high up in the sky above them.
Kei: Has to be about noon.
Alexandria looks spent. It didn't look like she could take another step.
Kei: You've made it this far, I think we'll end here for the day. There's still other training.
Kei lifts Alexandria up on his shoulders. And he takes off back towards his home. It take him an hour running, to go five miles. Alexandria is impressed.
Alexandria: You are fast.
Kei: Well, years of training.
Shigure comes to the front door.
Shigure: Alright you two, come on in, we've got to eat. Alexandria has to grow up to be a healthy girl.
Kei: Well, you heard her.
The lunch hours passes without notice. The training then moves to the backyard of Kei's home, as Shigure sits and watches on the back porch. Each one held a wooden stick, or so Alexandria wanted to call it, but it was a piece of wood carved like a sword. Alexandria held it up and Kei would smack a body part he didn't like with his own sword. He'd smack her leg.
Kei: Straight, don't bend it.
He'd smack her arm.
Kei: Have to hold your arm steady. Confidence is key here.
Even her head.
Kei: Stop daydreaming.
An hour passes with sword technique training. They then move on to their next training. Off to the side, Athena was lying on the grass napping. Kei decided to use her for his training.
Kei: Look, at Athena over there.
Alexandria does so.
Kei: What can you tell me?
Alexandria: She's napping.
Kei: Is that all?
Alexandria: Well, she's napping on grass, her tail kind of twitches every now and again and so do her ears.
Kei: I want you to sneak up on her, and pounce on her like a cat.
Alexandria: Pounce on her?
Kei: If she wakes up you fail.
Alexandria decides to do it like cat. She gets on her hands and knees and slowly crawls toward Athena. Each movement she tries to make it so she makes as little noise as possible in the grass. She gets right beside her. Alexandria felt like she was about to pass one of Kei's test. You're mine Athena, she thought. She jumps from her spot in the grass, only to have Athena roll over and her smack into the ground. Athena then sits up hearing the noise.
Athena: Huh? What'd I miss?
Kei walks past them.
Kei: You fail.
Alexandria grumbles underneath her breath.
Alexandria: You just had to roll over in your sleep at that very moment.
Alexandria walks away from her, leaving Athena confused.
Athena: What just happened here?
Before the day ends, the training continues with one more training session, Kei instructs Alexandria to stand on one of the wooden poles. She had to stay up there until the next morning, much to her dismay. If she fell, she failed. She sits quietly. The pole was far from comfortable. Rearranging herself was difficult. The pole was hardly wide enough to stand on, let alone sit. She looks down at everything on the ground. Her mind wanders as she looks down at the grass. It all looks like ants, she thought. Then her mind wondered why it was getting closer, until she realized she had fallen off. She tried to grab on to the wood, but it was too late. She impacted with the ground, though at a decreased speed due to her flailing to grab the wood. Kei doesn't even have to look from the house to respond.
Kei: You fail!
Alexandria grumbles again and walks inside. She might have failed but at least she'd get to sleep inside tonight. With the training done for the day, Shigure decides to do her own training.
Alexandria: Huh? You want me to do training?
Shigure: Yeah, while Kei does his training, I'll do my training. I'll teach you how to cook and a lot of other things.
Kei: Basically seeing as your body is new to this training, it'll be difficult to determine how you'll feel the next day. Its likely your body will feel like a ton of bricks tomorrow. So we'll be alternating. Shigure will teach you stuff on her days, and I'll teach you stuff on my days.
Shigure: Good, growing girl has to have a role model.
That kind of hurt Shigure, Kei thought, you just claimed I wasn't a good role model.
Shigure: Kei isn't a good role model.
Kei: Hey, that was a private thought!
Shigure and Alexandria stare at him in awkward silence before they both break out laughing.
Freaking mind reader, Kei thought. Eventually they calmed down, but the plan was now in place. The two would each have something to teach her. Kei would deal with the physical, making sure her body was in shape. Shigure would deal with the mental and emotional half, making sure she was balanced and educated.
Alexandria: What about Athena?
Kei: What about her?
Alexandria: What is she going to do?
Kei: Lie around like a lazy cat, what else?
Alexandria: So she's not going to do anything?
Kei: She's technically your nanny, so yeah maybe I should include her in more stuff since she'll be a pest around here.
Shigure: Don't do anything mean to her, Kei.
Kei: Oh, don't worry, she'll come in handy for training.
The rest of the evening passes by uneventfully. Alexandria, however, couldn't sleep. Whatever it was, it was keeping her up. She comes out of her room to see Shigure reading there.
Shigure: Hm? You're not asleep?
Alexandria: Couldn't sleep.
Shigure motions for her to sit beside her, and she quietly does so.
Alexandria: I figured you'd be with Kei.
Shigure: He's out cold. Guess he was really tired. He does put a lot of thought into his lesson plans for you.
Alexandria: Why did Kei not want me to train?
Shigure: I don't think that's what he meant.
Shigure: Kei is just looking out for your best interests.
Alexandria: My best interests?
Shigure: The training Kei goes through is intense. If he didn't see something in you, he wouldn't train you at all.
Shigure: Let me put it this way, Kei doesn't just train anyone. You have to show some kind of promise. He believes in you.
Alexandria seems happy to hear those words.
Alexandria: He...believes in me?
Shigure: You gave it your all in training today, didn't you?
Shigure: That's all Kei wants from you, to dedicate yourself to your training. If you give it your all, I'm sure you'll see results.
Alexandria: Oh, okay.
Shigure: You promise to give your all in training, right?
Shigure: Then it'll pay off in the end. Just give it your all.
Alexandria nods. The rest of the night passes on uneventfully. The next morning, Kei begins right where he left off the other day. He begins his stretches in front of the house, when he is surprised by the appearance of a second person joining him.
Alexandria: I never finished the ten miles yesterday, I have five miles to finish.
Kei is surprised at her insistence to get five more miles.
Kei: I won't stop at five. You're well aware of that, right?
Kei: Very well.
The two take off jogging. To his surprise, Alexandria seems to be keeping up with his pace this time. Another hour passes and the two are already two miles in. Kei seems impressed by her resistance this time. Where was this energy on the first day, he thought. She looked dedicated, like she had a reason to give it her all. It didn't seem to matter to him though. He was glad that she had found a reason to give it her all.
Kei: Lets see if you can go the full ten miles then.
Alexandria: Don't worry about me...I'll make it.
Whatever it takes I'll make it, she thinks.