The Mandalorian Wars

Training days 000

“In lightsaber fighting, the attack should always be a feint for the attack sinister.” – Master Dreksis

Master Teran Jakar waited patiently in one of the training rooms. While not normally his style of training exercise when he’d talked about this exercise with Master Dreksis he’d decided it would be good for his students. So, he’d placed each in a separate starting area with orders to get by the droid defenders and traps, and then fight him here.

His first student arrived barely after he’d sat down. Serena Gaunt was a beautiful girl, and he took a moment to admire her while she caught her breath. She’d probably avoided most of the defenders in her part of the complex by simply running through with an acrobatic display. Her violet lightsabers certainly added an air of exotic to her looks. They were finely built, long and vibrant, perfect for stabs, lunges, and wide arc attacks. She barely paused a second to make sure her peers hadn’t arrived then dashed at him with the raw speed only the users of Ataru and Juyo could muster.
Her style wasn’t pure Juyo but it was closer to that anarchic art than to any of the other classical forms. Master Jakar rapidly retreated under her onslaught. He didn’t bother attacking, just parrying her twin sabers. She was no blademaster… but she certainty qualified as good. On offense she was capable, creative, able to use the learned katas by rote but gifted enough to improvise when the tactical situation permitted. Between her natural grace and force enhanced speed she should have been truly terrifying to stop. But something was missing. It probably wasn’t even noticeable by those who weren’t trained in lightsaber combat but she simply lacked the raw strength required elevate her attack from good to top tier. Even one handing his saber he could easily parry her dervish attacks hard enough to stumble her footing. And her defense was probably the worst of any of his students. Her wide swings and violent lunges often left her unprotected from hard counterattacks.
Perhaps it was time for a pointed lesson in that regard. Two handing his blade Jakar halted his retreat and countered Serena’s double swing so hard that she was forced to twirl around to redirect the strength of his parry. He force kicked her back, sending her bouncing across the training area floor. Gathering his energy he force leapt after her, intending to stab the training saber down on her. He stifled a grimace. This attack would be painful, would be devastating even with just a training saber. Perhaps even requiring a stay in the medic wing. But now was the time for harsh lessons before she was out in the wider galaxy.
Or not. Saloman broke his obfuscate, emerging from nowhere to stand defiantly over his downed teammate. Jakar grinned. He’d been wondering where the Breen (I have no idea what your race is called seb.) had been hiding. Jakar crashed into Sal, who only barely held his ground against his master’s charge.
“You put a whole new meaning on the phrase ‘never turn your back on a Breen’.” Jakar joked as he flipped over Sal almost catching the quiet padawan by surprise. Jakar’s sapphire saber met Sal’s blazing orange in an almost painfully desperate parry by his student, who was clearly unprepared to be flanked at the start of an engagement.
“You can do better than that.” Jakar encouraged as he began an offense that quickly pushed his Breen student away from his downed compatriot. It would be unfair to call Sal a poor combatant… but he’d never particularly taken to the art of lightsaber combat, and graveyards were made to be filled by mediocre swordsmen. The boy was workmanlike, capable enough with basic katas, but he struggled against heavy offenses or unorthodox maneuvers and often seemed hesitant and uncertain when attacking a prepared defender. Even now it was clear that Saloman was using the force to increase his speed and strength but he simply wasn’t used to fighting at this pace, his brain lagging behind his body and his footwork just wasn’t keeping up with the rapid dance of the lightsabers.
Still. There was no need for a harsh lesson here. Sal knew his weaknesses, and had even built his twin sabers to help cover them. They were noticeably shorter than Serena’s blades and far better suited to twirls and other wrist maneuvers for close range defense work and parrying blaster bolts. Gathering the force Jakar halted his attack and fell back. A probing sweep of Sal’s blade gave Jakar the opening he needed, he did a lazy flip over the half-hearted attack, and flung his training saber into his student’s face.
“Crap!” Sal wheezed in surprise before stepping forward into the strike, the hilt knocked his head, cracking his faceplate and leaving him momentarily blinded. Jakar gave a nod. That had been surprisingly clever, while probably painful by stepping into the hilt Sal had prevented himself from taking a hit from the training blade which would have hurt like sodomy from a hutt and taken him out of the exercise.
Jakar summoned his blade back to his hand. Serena was just getting to her feet and Sal was desperately trying to rip his helmet off one handed while waving a lightsaber to fend him off with the other.
Po Ard dashed into the room. His robes dirty and damaged from the training robots in the first part of the room. Jakar smiled. “One student avoids the robot, one sneaks by it, and one fights his way through.”
“Am I late?” the boy asked, probably stalling for time for his teammates to get back in the fight.
Jakar laughed. “A true Jedi Master never deducts points for a last minute rescue, though your team probably wishes you were here a few moments earlier.” Jakar glanced around, his students were ready. Serena was on her feet and looking murderous. Her twin blades held point toward him, ready to lunge in an instant. Sal’s monstrous breen face was on full display, his eyes nearly as orange as his blades which he held downward, ready to raise in defense or lightly slash at his master’s legs. Po held his own sword in a guard across his body, ready to swing or parry in a moment.
They charged. Well, Po and Serena charged. Sal disappeared while he wasn’t looking. He probably shouldn’t let them surround him, but something about this spar made him nostalgic and he let them come. Po was technically the best of the three. He had powerful attacks and with his near mastery of fortitude he had the ability to absorb any lesser attack. His defense was workmanlike, but he over relied on his ability to simply shrug off anything less than an attack sinister.
Jakar weaved through the attacks of his apprentices. It was a good spar and showed all of their talents to the fullest. But all good things must come to an end. Jakar maneuvered rapidly using his celerity to twist around Po. For all his skills Po had one glaring weakness. A lack of true awareness on the battlefield. Po whirled, swinging a blind attack where he thought his master was, only to catch Serena. Had his blade been a true lightsaber he’d have cut her clean through. As it was she simply got a horrifying jolt and fell to the ground unconscious.
“Crap! Sorry Serena.” Po apologized. Jakar grinned.
“You gotta say it.” The master joked.
“Don’t you dare master.” Po snarled, “I hate that joke.”
“Hate is of the dark side.” Jakar said, “but it doesn’t matter, cause you-“
“Don’t say it!”
“Poked her hard!” Jakar said with a thrust of his hips.
“NNNNNOOOOO!” Po screamed, years of frustration at the endless childhood teasing he’d endured boiled over and his technique disappeared as the young man screamed madly. Jakar sidestepped his sloppy swing and gave him a gentle tap with the training saber, sending Po sprawling to the floor in electrical agony.
Of course his jest had a secondary effect. Saloman broke his obfuscate with a hacking laugh. His lightsabers shaking in mirth. Jakar easily pierced Saloman’s now shaking guard sending his last student down to the ground in an electric spasm of pain.
“Ah. I’m going to miss you guys when you all become knights.”

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