Again, Arias tightened his grip on Sheala’s shoulders as she wanted to speak. Again she held back at his unspoken request and let him respond. “If that’s the problem,” Arias said coolly, “I will take her on as my novitiate. That means she can be paid out of my cut. Until at least she becomes a full member.”
“Fine,” Darvin shooed the two of them away, glad to be done with the whole thing. Although probably not very happy with the solution from what Sheala could tell. With a gentle pull, Arias guided Sheala away from the table, out of the room and into the hallway. Sheala heard the door close behind her as she and Arias left Darvin to his tasks as Guildmaster.
There was silence between them as the two walked down the corridor of the old, dilapidated building. Sheala let Arias guide her along the path he wanted her to take, around every corner that he led her around. Eventually they came to a small room without a door. It was a storage room but there was little of value kept here. Mostly just an assortment of junk piled up that the guild had no use for. He urged her inside. “Wait here,” Arias said, finally removing his hands from her shoulders and disappearing into the piles of trash. Sheala felt almost naked without him holding her.
She did as she was told however. Before she could draw two breaths though, he reemerged carting before him a stuffed, burlap dummy. It was mounted on a platform with rusty and misshapen wheels that creaked and shook awkwardly as it was rolled on the floor from its place in storage. Arias put it in down front of her. Sheala looked at the weird structures that protruded off to the sides, a mass of pulleys and springs and wires that seemed to have to rhyme or reason to their placement and that reached out like extra, spiderlike appendages.
Arias replied to her unspoken question. “This is your new training partner.” He proceeded to meddle with the devices and move them until Sheala heard them pop and latch one by one into new positions.
“That old thing?” Sheala asked skeptically.
“Yes – this ‘old’ thing.” With his hands on her shoulders again, Arias placed her behind it. There was a set of five hooks at what would have been waist level on a grown man. He draped the straps of a coin purse over and around them and Sheala could hear its contents jangle. Stepping back Arias told her what he wanted her to do. “Try and take that purse.”
Sheala looked at the contraption. She reached for the pouch just like she had done a hundred times before and without much thought. The second her hand touched the prize she as told to acquire she heard one of the springs pop. A flat piece of rusted metal whipped around from the side and slapped her in the leg with force enough to stagger her and leave a sizable welt. Sheala stumbled with a pronounced, “OUCH!”
Arias reached for the trap she had sprung and reset it. The spring clicked back into place. “Again,” he told her without seemingly a care for any pain she felt.
Sheala rubbed her leg where she had been struck but she did as she was told. Again she reached for the purse. Again with the slightest touch from her fingers a trap was sprung. This time a different piece of metal whapped her on the back of her hand. Again she cried out in pain. That one hurt more than the other.
Attempting to shake the hurt from her hand, Sheala watched again as Arias coolly reset the dummy once more. “Again,” he prodded yet again.
Time: 27 minutes 02 seconds