Sweeten Ch2 bit – Combat Reflexes

Kibito could see that stubborn ingenuity flare in brown eyes, as Ikoma slid a subtle glance Kurusu’s way.

‘We need to find a way out of this, right damn now. You know crazy bushi. Find me an opening, I’ll back you.’  Kibito let his grin spread a little wider. Oh, this is going to be fun.

Kurusu stood, bushi-formal. “I am opposed to this.”

Oho, he was going to try logic. Kibito relaxed, knowing they’d won half the battle. After all, logic relied on reasons – and reasons could be countered by better reasons. Though he was curious to know what Kurusu thought were good reasons to oppose an adoption. Ikoma was brave, strong, determined-

“We need the flexibility of one who is not bushi.”

…That was different.

“We are trained to fight and die for our people,” Kurusu went on. “That is honorable, and right. But one trained to die in place may not look for alternatives.” The samurai’s gaze swept them all. “Jet bullets will change the world. We must change with it.”

“Surviving by sacrificing our own isn’t living,” Ikoma said fiercely. “I invented jet bullets so we could all fight! Sukari and the others are already nervous learning to shoot. Don’t frighten them more.”

Damn. Those were good reasons, Kibito had to admit. The kind that could only be argued by example, not logic.

Time for a temporary retreat. “Eh, you have a point.” Kibito fingered his beard, and glanced at their lady. “Think Ikoma could adopt us?”

“It hasn’t been done before, but….” From the sparkle in violet eyes, Ayame agreed on the need for a strategic withdrawal. They’d planted the bait. Now to sit back, and wait. “We should give you more time to consider this.”

“Consider-?” Kurusu cut himself off, and gave Ikoma a look of pure exasperation. “Hooking two Hayajiro together could not have gone smoothly. Did they suffer concussions while we were gone?”

“We don’t know how rough the last part of the trip was,” Ikoma said thoughtfully. “None of them have trouble keeping their balance. We should start with a candle lantern to check pupils. Then reflex tests.”

“I can think of reflexes to test,” Kurusu growled.


15 thoughts on “Sweeten Ch2 bit – Combat Reflexes

  1. Well, evenly matched fights are more interesting . . . . through I do understand the appeal of the occasional complete Pwned! type fight. Just not all the time.

    You know, where both sides are strong and clever, have to use all of their strength, cleverness, and resources to have a shot at winning – not ones where the villain has been in God Mode from the beginning of the story and somehow knows everything the Hero can do or has planned and his/her allies can/has planned and the Hero only stops them by discovering how to go into God Mode too . . . *ahem* Sorry, certain shounen anime (and they know who they) . . . just prefer it when the bad guy is smart, got reasonable intelligence on the good guys, not can just know everything and can counter everything no matter what because the author said so . . .

    Side-Thought: Isn’t it annoying when the author has the characters forget their own abilities when it would be inconvenient for them to remember them? Or just doesn’t take fully advantage said ability might give them for no adaquetely explained reason? Or just isn’t consistent with the said ability.

    Sorry, was re-reading the books I have the Collegium series for Valdemar and some stuff is bugging me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read the Valdemar books as a teen, and I must admit I’m a bit glad I borrowed them from a friend and can’t re-read all of them. I suspect I will find they have not aged well. (I seem to remember them having some version of the “destined soulmates” thing going on and I DESPISE that literary device as an adult!)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes. Though personally, my own biggest issue with the series (of which I have read most of the spinoff/side stories and none of the original/main story) is that the things I like and the things I don’t like are usually the same things. It’s confusing. Also, because I have mostly read the more recent stuff I didn’t even know the whole soulmate thing was a thing until it was resurrected for this one Romeo and Juliet remix. Though, to be fair, she did an excellent job of portraying what that kind of relationship would actually look like instead of the double suicide over a week long relationship that Shakespeare had going on. Which is a plot development even more confusing than Hamlet’s hesitancy over killing his uncle.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Collegium is only bit of Valdemar I’ve read, aside from Friends Across Borders and of course your fic. It takes place about five hundreds before Take a Thief (if the timeline in the front of the book is to be believed). Main character is a kid called Magpie “Mags” . . . I like the characters. The plot is interesting enough to follow.

        My bunnies mostly grumble when the book tells me that Companions are better mind-speakers than any human and while the human main character can reach and speak mind-to-mind to people with no Mind-Speaking Gift, apparently Companions cannot do the same to Heralds they are bounded to who don’t possess the Mind-Speaking Gift except for when they are Chosen. My bunnies don’t understand why, if a powerful human Mind-Speaker can speak telepathically to anyone than why can’t the magical white not-a-horse? They find it annoying as a Companion’s ability to relay messages to each other and then to their Herald is one of their most useful abilities – fast communication is valuable in an age without telephones or telegraphs.

        It’s not their only gripe. But it’s a big one. Some of them are chewing on ideas and threatening to throw fic at me.

        Liked by 1 person

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