The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 48

Salles woke in the early hours of dawn as the first light of sunrise just began to peak through his windows. After Noone had left, he’d been able to move into the room that Noone had occupied, a room with windows looking out on the city.

After rising from his bed he walked down the hall to Darma’s room and tapped lightly on her door. When she didn’t respond, he opened it and saw her sprawled across a large bed, covered by her luxurious sheets and wearing an elegant nightdress. “Mistress Darma,” Salles said, “Would you like to join me for exercise?”

“Salles?” she asked with a groan as she moved around in her sheets. She sat up in her bed, her dark hair fell somewhat messily over her face and her eyes looked a bit baggy with sleeplessness, but she still emanated much of her youthful beauty at even this, her least attractive time of day.

“Do you have something to wear for exercise?” Salles asked.

“I don't think I have such a thing,” she said groggily, “But I’ll find something. Leave me so I can change.”

Some minutes later, Salles was standing in the large open space of the living room and began the movements of his exercise in the dim purple light of morning. He wore a loose, string-belted cloak of light material and no shoes, as was traditionally worn by the Sages for summer exercise. It shifted and twirled around his body as he moved.

When Darma entered the room he stopped and looked at her in surprise. She’d taken one long narrow cloth and wrapped it around her waist and between her legs like a loin cloth, securely pinning it in the front; then she’d taken a another cloth and wrapped it around her chest, pressing her breasts against her body, and pinning that one also in the front; then she’d taken a bit of ribbon and knotted her hair into a bun. This was all she wore: her legs were exposed up to her bottom, her belly was exposed and her shoulders and arms were bare.

“I don’t think you should be appearing so lightly dressed in front of me,” Salles told her.

“Well I think it’s my choice how lightly dressed I appear in front of you,” Darma replied, “You can always look away. This’ll be good for exercising, I say: nothing to impede my movements. If you can avoid being distracted by me, then this shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Considering an important element of our exercise is focus, then I’m afraid to say it that it could be a problem — for a younger and less experienced sage, that is,” Salles said.

Salles began by standing in a straight, rigid posture, with his arms to the side and his feet together. “Each exercise is like a dance: it has many complex steps and movements,” Salles explained, “They all start in this position. Now, if you will just follow my lead.”

Salles then began to move. Salles’ entire body was in motion as he began to steps of the exercise, which included jumps and twists and would periodically transition from fast to slow. The exercise also included many stalls, during which Salles would freeze in a difficult to hold position, and many lifts, in which he used his body weight for strength training. Darma had difficulty keeping up with Salles: she couldn’t move with the grace and precision of his movements; she couldn’t keep up with the faster movements; she couldn’t coordinate all of the motions he made at once and she didn’t have the strength and flexibility for many of the steps.

“It’s difficult to learn,” Salles said upon completing the exercise, “I’ve been doing them, I should say, almost fifty years now. I can barely remember first learning them. And this is only one of the exercises. There are twenty-nine others. We typically do them four times a day.”

“I can’t see why Noone is so secretive about this,” Darma said breathlessly, collapsing to the floor in fatigue and rubbing her overstrained muscles, “It’d take a lot of work to learn these. I’m not going to learn anything by just happening to watch you once or twice.”

“It’s one of the three pillars of the Sage’s longevity,” Salles said, “It’s tradition for them to be our exclusive secret.”

<-- Go to Part 47         Go to Part 49 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

No comments:

Post a Comment