Rieve allowed his arm to drop tiredly to his side, the tip of his claymore digging into the soft sand of the sparring grounds. "Alright, that's it for the day." He grunted to his many apprentices, who nodded in return to the Master Warrior. He watched the boys leave the grounds, muttering incomprehensible words to one another as they exited the sands. Once they had left, Rieve sighed heavily, and leaned against his sword whose blade he'd pressed into the ground. "Damned boys." He growled to himself. He had decided to end training earlier than normal, which seemed to please the idiotic apprentices he'd been assigned. They seemed to have no regard for the rules of battle, and he learned that about them the hard way. As Rieve was training one boy, one who seemed to care about honorable battles, Rieve found himself distracted once again by a careless apprentice who seemed to think training was a game.
In his annoyance - or should he say - rage, he had picked up a stone and had thrown it at the running boy; knocking him out cold in one shot.
Needless to say, practice was ended much earlier than he'd intended. There were at least two apprentices who seemed disappointed, after all, the end of training was free sparring, and also the end of Rieve's back being ripped to shreds by idiots. It was also a shame that he wouldn't get to watch the apprentices spar that afternoon - he liked to laugh when they knocked each other out. There weren't really any strict rules to free sparring, except the most important: no killing.
Those idiot boys though, they seemed to consider Rieve invincible. He grunted as he attempted to stand up straight, his back was riddled with painful stripes from the idiots' carefully planned attacks. After the last one, he'd had enough, especially once he'd realized that he'd knocked an apprentice out with a rock.
"Gods..." Rieve huffed, picking up the heavy claymore that he'd embedded in the sand. The muscles in his back seared in pain, and he grunted that he did not need a reminder of how many wounds were back there. He knew they were there, the pain was completely unnecessary. He suddenly whipped around, dragging the blade with him when he swore he heard a woman cackling. Rieve craned his neck to the right, and then to the left, peering up and around several times but seeing nothing, no women were in sight.
"I'm hallucinating...?" He stepped backwards towards the doorway that led inside. Before going inside, he faced the empty battlegrounds. A smirk adorned his face as he imagined what it was often like during the games. A series of battles were always held in the arena. The area was a massive circle of sand, surrounded by a large wall with hundreds of seats for the spectators. He remembered his very first game, the fight had been intense and when it was over the crowd was booming, their voices still echoed in his ears to the day. Rieve yearned to hone his skills in the games once again, instead of hurling large rocks at his students. The season hadn't yet begun, but it was so close he could almost taste it.
Though, it would be more enjoyable to think on were there no wounds on his back. He couldn't even sling his claymore over a shoulder without straining the wounded muscles. So, he put away his daydreaming and turned to push open the doors, grumbling as he moved to find a healer.
"What happened this time?" Noee, a skilled healer, dabbed a sponge with salve on it against Rieve's back. He cringed a slight when he felt her drag the sponge across yet another stripe down his back. She was aiming to be gentle, but he wasn't so sure how one could be gentle when putting a burning medicine into open wounds.
"You know, the usual. My apprentices." Rieve replied, giving a shrug with the tilt of his head. "Gods..."
"Hang in there, I still have a few more to clean."
Rieve looked around as Noee continued her work, dabbing on medicine and running cold water down his back. He noticed a few other people sitting around the room on cots and tables. Some were slightly injured, but then there were others as well who were pale as ghosts. His brows furrowed deep and he cleared his throat, "Noee."
"What's wrong with that man over there?"
Noee glanced to her left, "You haven't heard? Something has been going around, it's probably just a fever..."
"Oh." Rieve watched as the man coughed into his fist. He didn't put much thought into it, Noee knew what she saw and she was probably right.
It was probably just a fever.