U.O.T.W. Chapter 237 School of Hard Knocks

  • Author’s note: The chapter has not been edited except for mistakes and errors therefore the content may change at a later date although the plot will remain the same. The content you read now is as I written it in 2014-2015. I hope this fact doesn’t lessen your enjoyment.
    As always, should you see an error or something you feel is off then by all means let me know.
    Sotek Loyal Hound of Hircine

     

    School of Hard Knocks 

     

    It was late in the morning when Sotek got up. He headed straight to Aela’s room then tapped on the door. After waiting for several seconds he slowly opened it to find the three girls still sleeping in a mangled pile of limbs. He smiled to himself then quietly closed the door and headed upstairs.

     

    Tilma was sitting at the table, muttering to herself. When she saw Sotek come up the stairway to the hall she called out to him.

    “Have you any idea what went on last night?”

     

    “Ermm regarding?”

     

    “Well it’s the table! I cleared it all and set it up before I retired for the night. But now the end tables all messed up and no-one knows anything about it”.

     

    “I’m sorry, I got no idea what you’re on about but Aela and the others stayed in her room last night. I was in my bed listening to them”.

     

    “There you see! No-one knows”. She shook her head slightly trying to work it out.

     

    Sotek walked over to the table and picked up an apple then he sat on his step, smiling broadly.

     

    “And what makes you so happy this morning?” The Harbinger asked.

     

    “Simple, I’m training Kul-et with axes this morning”.

     

    Farkas looked across the table at him.

    “I thought you weren’t looking forwards to that?”

     

    “Farkas, you’re absolutely right. However, Aela is asleep, and drunk, with Ebony, who is also drunk, and Kul-et, who is absolutely trashed. So, no training today”.

     

    Vilkas wasn’t overly impressed.

    “That’s not a good example you know. Aela’s going to be hard enough with Kul-et without the drink. While we’re on the subject of Kul-et, she hasn’t exactly made a good first impression”.

     

    Sotek smiled at him then he turned to the Harbinger.

    “Actually I think she has. When Aela pinned Ebony to the ground, Kul-et stuck up for her; and she didn’t back down”.

     

    Vilkas replied systematically, cutting out Sotek’s opinion altogether.

    “Yes, but it’s her first morning and she’s drunk”.

     

    “What would you prefer? Those two outside shooting at each other? Here, a fifty gold bet. You have a go at Kul-et. I bet Aela would stand up for her; as long as you’re out of order. Have a go at her for something she hasn’t done wrong”.

     

    Vilkas scoffed at him.

    “There’s no way Aela would back her up! You’re on”.

     

    Farkas threw down a bag of gold.

    “I’m with Vilkas”.

     

    The Harbinger threw down a bag of gold as well.

    “I’m with Sotek; he knows her well enough. Fifty septims wasn’t it?”

     

    Around half hour later the three girls slowly made their way upstairs to the hall. Aela sat on Sotek’s lap then tucked her head into his chest. She sat there with her eyes closed and murmured.

    “I feel awful”.

     

    Sotek smirked at her.

    “Yess well; the other two aren’t looking so great either”.

     

    Ebony slumped down on the table and buried her head in her arms, while Kul-et tried to sit up and drink a flask of water. She turned to the Harbinger apologetically explaining why they were in a state.

    “I’m sorry; I’m in no state for training. It won’t happen again”.

     

    Vilkas saw his chance and with Aela so rough, he decided to go for it. He snapped straight at the Argonian girl.

    “You’re sorry you’re unfit for duty? Damn right it won’t happen again”.

     

    Aela forced herself up then glared at him although her eyes couldn’t focus.

    “Don’t you have a go at her! You want to blame someone then blame someone else”.

     

    “Yea? Who then?”

     

    Aela laughed half drunkenly.

    “I dunno”.

     

    Kul-et sat there with a worried look on her face. Sotek looked across at her then laughed.

    “Don’t worry; he’s just annoyed he didn’t see me train someone”. Then he tried to move Aela. “Hey, mind out. I want an apple”.

     

    “No. Don’t move, it’s like an earthquake. Stay here”.

     

    “I’m hungry, I want an apple”.

     

    “Tough! You’re staying here”.

     

    Kul-et started getting up.

    “I’ll pass you one”.

     

    Aela turned to her and snapped.

    “No. You’re not his slave”.

     

    Sotek smirked as he looked at the bowl of apples on the table.

    “Here apple, come on apple”.

     

    Aela laughed at him.

    “It’s not going to come to you, you know”.

     

    “Yes it will. I called it”. He then cast his telekinesis spell on one of the apples in the bowl. It lifted out then flew towards him then he simply plucked it out of the air.

     

    As he bit into it Aela looked up.

    “That’s cheating”.

     

    Kul-et sat bolt upright.

    “How did you do that?”

     

    “Telekinesis. It’s a spell form the Alteration school”.

     

    “You know Alteration magic? I only know some destruction and the odd restoration spells; and of course my bow spell. Where did you study? At the college?”

     

    “Oh, I learned from the college but my studies are mainly out there on the plains. In dungeons and caves… dark creepy tombs of undead where remnants of Aela’s cooking stalks the unwary”.

     

    “What school do you specialize in? I’ve made destruction as my specialty; though I’m not very high at the moment”.

     

    “If I had to pick one it would be restoration. That one I made a priority due to an ermm certain experience I had which I don’t want to repeat. Yess, I would say restoration, but I’m well versed in all the schools. At least I try to be”.

     

    “Saber said you practice with all the weapons; axe, sword, great axe, shield, why don’t you specialize? Your skills would be far greater”.

     

    “That’s a fair enough question, and the answer is down to Eorlund the blacksmith. You see… when I first came here, he said to me that I’ll never beat these three Companions on their terms and he’s right. So, I changed the rules. I use strengths which they have no counter to. That was how I beat them. I use the same methods out there; whoever, whatever I face I have a weapon that’s effective, one which they can’t easily counter”.

     

    “Yes but if you concentrate on fewer skills than they would be far stronger; wouldn’t they?”

     

    Aela sat up then shook her head at Sotek.

    “Yes they would but he’s a stubborn bloody lizard who won’t listen. Therefore his archery’s crap and everything else. I bet Kul-et will wipe the floor with you! No, in fact I bet we would all wipe the floor with you. Even the Whelps”.

     

    Farkas looked overjoyed.

    “You’re on! I’m with Aela, you won’t stand a chance”.

     

    Sotek gave a sigh.

    “Oh, what the hell, why not. What are we going to use?”

     

    Aela smiled at Kodlak.

    “Harbinger?”

     

    “What? Oh ermm… Aela, bow’s, Kul-et, axes duel wield. Farkas, sword and shield, Vilkas two handed of your choice. Ebony a single sword, no shield. Sam, swords. I noticed he’s been trying to duel wield lately.  That leaves Saber and his daggers. That’s their favorite weapons I think”.

     

    Sotek stared at him.

    “Everyone?? Oh rats!”

     

    Aela laughed at him.

    “You’re gonna get creamed. You’ll wish you never hatched”.

     

    Sotek gazed at Kul-et.

    “This is your doing so guess what? You’re first”.

     

    Aela gave her a smile.

    “Put him on his ass”.

     

     

    Over the next few minutes they all made their way to the training area. Sotek drew his two axes then stood in the middle while Kul-et made her way to the side of him.

     

    Kodlak called out.

    “Only axes. First definite body strike wins. No head hits and try not to draw any blood. Kul-et, start when ready”.

     

    She stood there as still as a statue with her eyes closed then her eyes flicked open and locked on to Sotek. She stepped forwards, swinging both axes in an overhead arc, Sotek stepped back from the two blows, but then she span around with her arms outstretched. Sotek blocked both attacks then countered with his own sweep. Kul-et locked her axe around his then span, sending him around in the opposite direction. Within a second her second axe slammed into his back. Moments of the sparring starting, the fight was over.

     

    Aela called out to her cheerfully.

    “Hey, Kul-et! He’s still standing”.

     

    Kul-et looked at him then smiled. With lightening reactions she swept his leg, sending him crashing to the floor.

    “Sorry, I was under orders”. Then she walked over to Aela and Ebony.

     

     Aela gave her a high five, and then she smiled at Sotek.

    “Don’t just lay there, get up”.

     

    He got up to his feet then turned to his next adversary. Ebony walked over to him, swinging her sword around in controlled arcs. Sotek just cast his bound sword spell.

    “When you’re ready”.

     

    She charged at him, dragging the tip of the sword across the ground. She lifted the blade in an upward arc but Sotek sidestepped, blocking it.

     

    He threw her arm back and turned to strike her. Ebony stepped backwards then struck overhead which Sotek blocked once again. He copied her blow, striking overhead but she also managed to block. They both had crossed swords as Sotek started pushing against her, forcing her back.

     

    Farkas called out to the pair of them.

    “Hold it! Don’t move”. He quickly made his way to Ebony, all the while Sotek and Ebony paused. Farkas smacked Ebony on the back of her head. “What did I tell you? You’ve locked swords; now it’s down to strength. You need to break away”.

     

    Ebony’s eyes fixed on Sotek’s.

    “I can’t, he’ll get me”.

     

    “He’s stronger than you. You must break off… Follow my lead, just like we’re training”.

     

    “I’ll try”.

     

    Farkas stood near her as he guided her through the fight.

    “Take the strain! You both ready?”

     

    Both Sotek and Ebony nodded, and then Farkas shouted out.

    “Begin… Ebony, wait for it… Now! Back two, go high! Elbow, circle… double strike!!”

     

    As he shouted out the commands Ebony followed. She stepped back quickly bringing Sotek forwards. He kept his balance but the swords lowered by several inches, then Ebony forced her hilt higher than his, quickly gaining the height advantage. A second later her elbow struck Sotek in the face, breaking the sword lock and his concentration. Within a second, Ebony twisted around the side and delivered two solid hits onto Sotek’s back causing him to stagger forwards from the blows.

     

    Sotek stood up then spat out some blood from his mouth.

    “I’m not entirely sure that was fair! Who’s next?”

     

    Kul-et called across to him.

    “Your lips bleeding. Do you want a heal?”

     

    “I’m fully capable of healing myself thank you. Next?”

     

    Kul-et went and sat next to Aela.

    “Why doesn’t he heal himself?”

     

    “He won’t until it’s over. He pushes himself and he won’t quit”.

     

    Sam got up then walked over to him.

    “I’m next”.

     

    He swung both swords in a slow arc then called out to Sotek.

    “I’m gonna collect your head and wrap it in a box for Aela as a present. You should have never climbed out of the swamp, you filthy lizard”.

     

    Sotek cast two sword spells as Sam came towards him. Sam bought both swords down in an overhead arc. In quick succession, making a bizarre but lethal wheel of swords, he swung the sword down in front of Sotek and quickly closed the gap between them. The next second he broke away and jumped up towards Sotek as he twisted in the air. Both swords came crashing down at Sotek while he tried desperately to block them. He thrust his sword at Sam but Sam counted then thrust a sword at Sotek catching him in the arm. Sotek swung back at him but he ducked from the blow and bought a sword up cutting into Sotek’s leg.

     

    The next second a sword was pointing at Sotek with the tip just a few inches away from his throat. Sam smiled at him grinning wildly.

    “Submit”.

     

    Sotek just shook his head.

    “No”.

     

    “I have you; you lost. Submit”.

     

    “If you’re going to kill me then do it but for the love of the nines shut up. You’re boring me”.

     

    Sam bought his other sword up in a large arc and slammed it against Sotek’s chest, knocking him back to the ground. Sam stood over him then gave him his hand.

    “Your arms cut, and your leg! Sorry”.

     

    Sotek grabbed him by the collar.

    “Next time you freeze and don’t finish someone off you will be. There’s no submission here. Don’t do it again or I’ll tan your ass”. He then turned to Kul-et. “That goes for you as well. We’re here to train not to play games. Bandits won’t play by the rules so we don’t either. Who’s next?”

     

    Saber drew his dagger.

    “Me, but we’re just use one dagger. That will be enough”. He then threw a dagger at Sotek’s feet. Sotek flexed his arm which was still bleeding then he picked up the dagger. They both circled each other, probing the opponent’s defenses then Saber struck. He swiped across at Sotek, but he stepped back then he thrust his blade at Saber. Saber however darted sideways then slashed at Sotek’s arm. Sotek twisted out of the way but he failed to Spot Sabers feint attack. This time Saber attacked for real. He grabbed Sotek’s arm and twisted it around as he wrapped his leg against Sotek’s own leg. 

     

    Sotek was thrown to the ground as Saber pinned Sotek with his knee in Sotek’s chest, within an instant Saber had his dagger against Sotek’s throat.

    “You’re dead lizard”.

     

    He got up then helped Sotek to his feet. Sotek dusted himself off then stood his ground once more.

    “Now whose turn is it to put me on my arse?”

     

    “That would be me”. Farkas said laughing. “I’ll make it quick so Aela don’t get too upset”.

     

    Sotek just winced.

    “Oh great”.

     

    Farkas drew his sword and shield while Sotek went over to the table. Aela walked up to him and gave him a reassuring hug.

    “Heal yourself, your bleeding”.

     

    He gave her a kiss but shook his head.

    “Not until it’s over”.

     

    She sighed heavily then squeezed his hand before resuming her seat. Sotek stood a good few feet from Farkas and prepared to take on his attack. Farkas charged forwards, swinging his sword at Sotek, which he blocked with his shield. Then Farkas bashed into him, knocking him back a foot. Sotek lifted his shield to block Farkas’s overhead attack but then received a colossal hit from his shield sending him backwards to land on his backside once more.

     

    Sotek laid there on the ground for several seconds then spoke in a loud, fed up tone.

    “Why did I agree to this?”

     

    The Harbinger shook his head as he called Ebony over to him. After he whispered something to her, she went off around to the front of Jorrvaskr.

     

    Sotek got up to his feet then looked around the yard.

    “Ahh Vilkas… you’re up”.

     

    Vilkas laughed as he approached.

    “And you’re down”. 

     

    Saber bought Sotek’s battle axe over to him all the while Vilkas swung his great sword in the air a few times. The sound of it swishing through the air started unsettling Sotek so he stepped forwards and began the fight. Vilkas charged at him, swinging his two handed sword in a massive wide arc across Sotek’s waist line. Sotek blocked it with his battleaxe, and then bought his own weapon up so he could try to land an overhead blow. Vilkas saw the swing and side stepped then bought his own sword down, jamming the axe into the ground.

     

    Aela had just enough time to cringe when she heard Sotek’s last words, “Oh rats!”

     

    The next second Vilkas punched Sotek in the face then kicked the back of his leg, sending him to the ground. Sotek’s axe clanged as it hit the floor and Vilkas stood next to him resting the point of his sword into Sotek’s chest. He turned to Aela and gave her a massive grin.

    “Sorry but you need a new boyfriend”.

     

    Aela glared at him.

    “You smug bastard”.

     

    The Harbinger tapped her on the shoulder.

    “Aela language”. She turned to him to see he was pointing to across the yard. Ebony was walking back with priestess Danica from the temple.

     

    “Opps, sorry”. Aela sat down on a chair, trying to hide from the priestess who was shaking her head at her.

     

    Kodlak looked down to where she was trying to hide and chuckled.

    “I don’t know why your there’ It’s your turn”.

     

    Aela jumped up then looked at Sotek. His arm and legs were bloodied from the nips and cuts from the previous fighting. She walked over to him then gave him a hug.

    “You ok?”

     

    Sotek jus kissed her forehead and nodded.

    “Yes, I’m fine. You pick the targets”.

     

    She called out to Kul-et.

    “Archery’s a bit different because we don’t want to shoot each other. Unless certain people piss me off, then it’s fine”.

     

    “Aela!!”

     

    She turned to the priestess.

    “Sorry, oops”. Kul-et started laughing then Aela gave her a smile. “What we do is shoot a target instead. The first five bull’s eyes win”.

     

    Aela stood by Sotek then they both took aim. She focused on her target then called out. “You fire first”.

     

    Sotek steadied his aim then fired. He drew an arrow as fast as he could then took aim once more. The first arrow hit the bull but his next two arrows missed by a few inches. Once again they struck too low. He suddenly realized Aela stopped firing so he looked at her target. Five arrows were embedded in her bull. He gave out a loud sigh but kept firing until he struck it five times. Aela came over to him and lifted his elbow a bit.

    “You’re dropping your arm, don’t! Take your time”. Sotek fired but still missed his target.

     

    Aela gave him an arrow from her quill.

    “Right moron! You’re out there, on the plains. The deer’s a hundred yards away. Now aim; control your bloody breathing. Wait for it. Can you feel her? She’s right there, in front of you”.

     

    Sotek imagined he was on the plains. He could see the deer in front almost like it was real. He breathed slowly then fired. The arrow shot through the air and slammed into the bull. Aela shouted out.

    “Yes! See? You can bloody do it!! Oops”.

     

    The Harbinger called Sotek over to him.

    “Well… now that’s done don’t you think you should heal yourself?”

     

    Sotek looked at his arm as if only just realizing he was hurt. He cast his grand healing spell which, due to the intensity of it, affected everyone. Even the priestess was in range of the massive group heal.

    “I could do with someone of your caliber at the temple. Have you thought about being a priest?”

     

    Sotek looked at her outfit then laughed.

    “No I can’t get on with the uniform but ermm… why are you here? If you don’t mind my asking”.

     

    The priestess smiled as she looked to Aela.

    “You two have been together for a while now so when is that politeness going to rub off on you? Hmm? Anyway, I’m here because the Harbinger asked if I would come here. As to why, you had best ask him”.

     

    Sotek turned to the Harbinger, he felt like he was going around in circles. “What’s going on?”

     

    “Well it’s quite simple. Everyone knows they can beat you in a fair fight but I feel it’s time you let go of the past. If you’re up to it that is”.

     

    “Let go of the past?” He felt confused until he looked at where the Harbinger was looking. Kodlak was looking straight at Aela. “Oh no”. Sotek stated shaking his head.

     

    “Why ever not? You have much more control, the priestess is here, and your healing spells are far more superior than before”.

     

    Aela looked at the priestess.

    “What’s going on?”

     

    Sotek shook his head.

    “I think he wants us to fight; a proper fight”.

     

    “Oh not you and Aela. You and the whole lot of them. It’s about time we pushed you. That’s your problem Sotek, you’re not being pushed. Well today you are. Everyone form the circle”.

     

    Sotek shook his head as Farkas, Vilkas and the Whelps gathered around him. He was far from happy.

    “Harbinger, he can’t do this”.

     

    Kodlak ignored him and turned to Kul-et who was still standing on the side lines.

    “You go stand between Farkas and Saber then I’ll explain the rules. Aela, join the circle please”.

     

    Aela stood in front of Sotek then pulled his head down to her and gave him a kiss.

    “It’ll be fine. Do your best for me. Promise?”

     

    Sotek gave her a faint smile then he faced the Harbinger.

    “Ok, what are the rules?”

     

    “The rules are these. Sotek gets to strike first. If you’re down on the ground then you’re out. Sotek’s out when he can no longer fight. If he can fight then it continues. Oh and everyone, everyone, can use whatever they like; magic and shouts included. Sotek, you’re outnumbered seven to one. Good luck”.

     

    Sotek walked over to the porch and placed his bow on the table next to his shield. He turned to face them all, watching their faces one at a time.

    “Harbinger, you did say ‘anything’ did you not?”

     

    “Yes, magic included… and shouts”.

     

    As Sotek approached the far wall he smiled to himself.

    “I won’t be using shouts and Scarface won’t be coming out to play either. If Red fancies her chances, go for it”. Then he picked up a long pole which was hidden in the undergrowth.

     

    “I’ve been having a play with something I been working on. A ermm yea…” He held the spear in his hands feeling the weight then turned to the circle. He stood there with his eyes closed then, with slow deliberate motions; he slowly practiced a few moves.

     

     

    Initially he passed the spear through a hand, grabbing hold of the very end then he swung the spear in a slow circle at head height. Grabbing it with both hands, he bought it down in a slow overhead arc and tapped the ground lightly, then pulled it back through his fingers. The flat end of the spear shot out from his hand as if to strike an invisible foe behind him. 

     

    Sotek paused then looked straight at Aela. She looked on with some concern which Sotek found mildly amusing. He gave her a wink then he let lose. He drew the spear in a wide circle like before but this time it was as fast as he could muster. It slammed into the ground in front of him with the sound of a thunderclap then with a blur; he swiped four times to the front before stabbing the back end into the ground. Sotek pushed down on the spear and leapt up in the air to land several feet back and instantly slashed out at the front. Almost at the same time he twisted and swept the spear in a wide arc behind him. Following the movement through he ended up standing upright with the spear hanging loosely by his side.

     

    Sotek slowly returned to the circle and stood in the middle.

    “Anyone who wants out, stand outside the circle now. I warn you only once… I have no mate, no friends, no family. Those that remain in the circle are known to me by one word and one word only… prey”.

     

    Kul-et turned tail to run but Farkas grabbed hold of her.

    “And where are you going Whelp? It’s only a pole”.

     

    Kul-et pointed to Sotek.

    “It’s a spear! You don’t mess with males who carry spears! Harbinger, I want out”.

     

    Sotek gave a small laugh.

    “Sorry Kul-et, you’re too late”.

     

    Kul-et looked genuinely afraid which only unsettled Aela even more. She didn’t like it; this feeling was unnatural to her. Aela spat on the ground and glared at Sotek.

    “I’m gonna shove that pole down your bloody throat”.

     

    Sotek hissed out savagely to her.

    “Oh he hopess sso. He’ss coming for you firssst”.

     

    Aela looked more than slightly concerned.

    “That wasn’t a very nice speech! Just how rough is this going to get?”

     

    Sotek slowly turned towards her. His eyes fixed right into hers. Due to the intensity she couldn’t help but feel a slight shiver down her spine as he stood there with his eyes burning right through her. Sotek slowly turned around in a full circle. As he did so he faced everyone with the same intense threatening stare then, after he was sure everyone was prepared for the fight, he knelt down to the ground.

     

    Aela was worried; she knew what he was really capable of. Kodlak was concerned. All of Sotek’s other weapons were on the table. All he had with him was the spear he had made and yet he was fully prepared to take them all on. The Harbinger just hoped that Sotek wouldn’t get too rough.

     

    Sotek inner wolf was calm. His heart beat steadily and his mind focused and clear. He knew this was it, he knew Kodlak was right. It’s time he stopped being a slave to the past. It was time he proved to them all that he, Sotek, werewolf… he was the Alpha wolf of the Companions.

     

     

     

Comments

3 Comments   |   Shy Knight of the Shovel and 4 others like this.
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  3 hours ago
    “If you’re going to kill me then do it but for the love of the [Nine] shut up. You’re boring me”.

    “[Oops], sorry”. Aela sat down on a chair, trying to hide from the priestess who was shaking her head at her.


    Inb4 Sotek g...  more
  • Shy Knight of the Shovel
    Shy Knight of the Shovel   ·  July 8
    Sweet Sotek get's some Spear action
    • Lissette Long-Chapper
      Lissette Long-Chapper
      Shy Knight of the Shovel
      Shy Knight of the Shovel
      Shy Knight of the Shovel
      Sweet Sotek get's some Spear action
        ·  July 9
      oh lord, I spit out my coffee when I read your comment.