“Ma’am? Is that you? May I ask what you are doing here?” Lucas’s frantic voice took a minute to register in my head.

“What? Oh sorry…um..I was” I quickly dropped the piece of paper that I was holding and finally came back to my senses.

“Yes…um….I got lost and I couldn’t find you or in fact anyone else so I found myself in here.” He gave me a scrutinising look which was more of a death stare.

“This room is a private one and I don’t think you can enter without permission. Now, if you’ll follow me.” This time he did not turn and walk away, expecting me to follow, instead he waited for me to go before him. His long muscular arms and piercing eyes told me not to ask any more questions.



The training room was exactly how you saw it in movies. For one, it was spacious and full of knives and Sabres and swords and chakras and all sorts of weapons.

In the centre of the room stood Mr. Know it all. He was swinging his sword in one hand and in the other turning a chakra. He aimed both of them at a dummy and threw. Somehow both of them landed in the heart of the dummy.

Oh hell, how am I supposed to defeat this guy?

“You know I have no clue how to use these weapons right?” Hale exchanged a look with Lucas.

“Yes, we do know which is–”

“What’s your first name?” I asked. He fixed me with a glare that made my knees buckle and my whole body shake.

What did you say?” I looked at Lucas for help but he just had a look that said ‘sorry can’t help you there.’ In two long strides he crossed the room, held my chin firmly and said, “You will not ask me such personal questions, do you understand, Catherine? For the last time we are here to kill each other, not to get to know each other. And for god’s sake I am giving you a place to stay, isn’t that enough for you? His blue eyes bored into mine as if daring me to answer back.

Well I was not one to refuse a challenge. “Oh really? We really are here to kill each other? My god, thank you so much for telling me because, really, I would never have have noticed.” Sarcasm dripped from my words and I could almost taste it as it hung in the air.

He glared at me and for a few moments it was a staring contest between us. Then out of the blue he takes his sword and makes an attempt to plunge it down my throat, but I beat him to it.

As his sword is inches away from my face my hands come up reflexively and grab the it, so that we both are holding it–he’s holding the hilt and I’m holding the blade. I’m breathless and panting while he is nothing but shocked.

I take this as an advantage and push the sword as hard as I can so that he is shocked once again and is thrown off his feet. There is a loud thud as he drops to the ground, the shocked expression on his face was the most amusing part.

Cue the imaginary hair flip.

To my surprise Lucas just stood there, looking at me.

“What?” I asked, “Oh nothing. It’s just that no one, has ever been able to knock Master Hale off his feet. I know because I have worked with him for his whole life,” he answered.

“Oh.” Maybe I was a little dumbfounded. I mean, it just took a slight push to knock him out. Meanwhile Lucas was still staring at me, his eyes full of wonder.

“Maybe you will…..” Before he could say anything else, Hale was on his feet again and this time, he was glaring at Lucas. Wisely, Lucas shut his mouth.


“Today we will just learn how to wield these weapons. Or should I say, you, Miss Gilbert, will be learning and I will be teaching.” Said Mr. Mood Swings.


Oh so we were back to, ‘Miss Gilbert,’ again? Great. I have no problem playing along.

“So, Mr. Hale, what are we starting with?” I turned to look at all the awesome weapons stacked neatly on a rack, a giddy expression on my face.

He turned to me, a lazy smirk etched on his face. “We are going to start with sword fighting. Very common, and a skill The Circle holds dear.  So, to begin with, I want you to pick one of the swords kept on the rack and tell me how you would make one, if you didn’t have it.”


I did as I was told and went over to the rack to pick my sword. I wasn’t that materialistic so they all looked pretty much the same to me. Although, there was one that did catch my eye. It was bronze and had a strange sort of engraving on the hilt, in Latin maybe. And, as cheesy as it sounds, I was pulled towards it. Almost as if it was calling out to me.I reached out for it almost immediately and th-

A jolt went through me. My back straightened and my grip on it tightened.

I turned, slightly dazed, but he was right in front of me. “The sword chooses you, never the other way round. Quite impressive that you chose the right one on the first try. Most of the times things become quite….ah, difficult.” He stood there with an expectant look on his face, obviously expecting something better than a look of, ‘What the actual heck is going on.’ Finally, he sighed, giving up. “Anyway, let’s get on with the training.”


And so we did. It was precisely three hours and 48 minutes of arm exercises, push ups and sword swinging.



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