C.O.T.W Chapter 49: Emotional Balance

  • "Your mind is like water my friend, if it is agitated it becomes difficult to see. But, if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear." Master Oogway

    Hasir and Inigo yawned as they awoke the next morning. The Argonian looked down fearing the ring had fallen off in his sleep; to his

    relief, it did not. Hasir got up, wiped the sleep out of his eyes and looked over to Inigo, still sleeping like a cub. He looked at the

    stone wall next to the khajiit's bed wondering what time it was. He knew he did not want to keep Tigress waiting. He got up, got

    dressed into his furred armor, took off the ring and stowed it inside his armor pouch and walked out into the main greystone hall and

    looked all over for a shower so he could clean up before finding Tigress and also because he just like the feeling of water streaming

    down his scaly back. He did not find one so he shrugged and walked down into the main room with dragons etched in stone on the



    He looked to the burning fire in a bazier that stood between two towering pillars, knelt down in front of it and began to pray to

    Hircine for his help in the trial. Unseen by him, a female tiger stood at the bottom of the steps to the right wing of the hall glaring

    at him with her lamplike eyes. She walked toward him, her tail swayiing as she walked, and put a reassuring paw on his right

    shoulder and lifted him to his feet. She smiled at him,

    "Hasir, the gods will not help you in this or any other trial you undertake because you have to believe in yourself. That is all there is

    to it." She snarled at him, displeased. All of a sudden, realization set in and she took a deep breath to calm herself. "Listen Hasir, my

    teacher once told me "Thee first step to self improvement is to believe in yourself, then everything else will fall into place."


    She paused, pulled out the hug and thought for a minute, "Was it that or was it 'if you rely on others you will never be

    anything other than a servant to their will, you must forge your own path and not let anyone make it for you'?" She shook her head,

    not able to remember the saying applicable to what Hasir was feeling. She walked Hasir into a new room of the building just off the

    left wing where his bedroom was. She sat him down it front of a statue of Kynareth and she sat next to him with her feet crossed in

    a full lotus position and closed her eyes. Hasir tried to emulate her, but failed miserable as he kept toppling over. She sighed and got

    up and help the fallen lizard to his feet. She then showed him how to maintain a full lotus meditation position.


    Hasir asked what this was supposed to teach but Tigress said nothing, her eyes closed. After a few minutes she did speak but in a

    barely audible whisper,

    "Hasir this is step one of your personalized shadowscale training. You must first meditate to bring your positive and negattive halves

    of your spirit in harmony with each other before you can begin to learn a single word of the dragon tongue." 

    He closed his eyes and focused hard on the task at hand but no matter what he did, he could not meditate as his mind was working

    overtime thinking on the tasks that lay ahead ahead of him. Tigress opened one eye and frowned at him and told him a clear mind is

    a happy mind, a must for meditatiion, free from distraction. Distraction, she said, only leads to unhappiness and one cannot hope to

    meditate if their train of thought was running on intersecting tracks. She got up, went over to him and showed him how to meditate

     the proper way. She told him to envision a place that makes him happy and use that as fuel to meditate with.


    He nodded and said he will try it. The Ka'po'tun smiled and continued her full lotus position just inches from him. He focused as hard

    as he could in his mind's eye, flipping through places and memories as though they were a flip book until he settled on a page that

    interested him. He settled on when he arrrived in Akavir for the first time, though, he scarcely remembered it. The point in that

    memory he decided to use as a focal point for his meditation was the temple where Quinchal trained him in the first stages. 


    To his surprise this work and he then achieved full lotus position without any help from Tigress. While in that memory, his heart rate

    and breathing slowed to a nice, calm rythm. He was happy, far happier than he had been in a long time. The other memory he could

    have focused on was when he was at Elysium Esate cooking. That one was a great memory too, but not nearly as powerful as the

    first training session with Quinchal. 


    Inigo got up, got dressed in an identical set of armor akin to Hasir's own set, and strode out of the room. As he walked, his tail

    cowered behind him. Disheartened, he called out Hasir's and Tigress' names; To his dismay, no one answered. His shoulders slumped

    and he thrust his hands in his pockets, walking with his head down. At the end of the hall were steps which the scared khajiit quickly

    descended. He turned the corner into a room that had the same high grey tiled ceiling as the rest of the building. Inigo stared,

    gaping wide-eyed at a giant statue that stood in the center of the wall opposite him. Inigo scanned the room and sa two mats

    spread two feet apart in front of the statue.


    On the flowered mats, he saw those for which he was looking. His face screwed up in confusion as he found a stick laying against the

    wall near him and walked near the Argonian and poked him in the neck. Hasir shot up, whipped around and snarled at him. Inigo

    gulped as the Argonian's face looked just like it had been through Oblivion.


    Hasir stomped up toward him, eyeing him lividly,

    "Ingio...what the f-why in Oblivion-" He stammered and then, finally found his voice as his anger abated a bit, "Why did you do

    that?" He said as he threw his hands up in frustration, "I now have to reconcentrate; not only in my meditation but also on my

    happiest memory"


     Tigress heard this, walked over to Hasir and shook her head and grabbed his tail which was swishing about in anger, 

    "Argonian, What are you doing? You must calm yourself, now apologize to your friend and get back to your training." She smiled and

    reminded him to take a few deep, cleansing breaths and not to let the tide of anger rule him. She implored him to push it away like

    the winds would push clouds on a sunny day.


    She curtly reprimated him for his disgraceful actions and invited Inigo to join them if he wished but to her surprise, he declined and

    leant against the wall smiling to himself. He told her that it was Hasir's session, not his and that his mind was pretty clear already.

    He watched as Hasir and Tigress resumed their seats and coiled their tails about themselves while they got back into lotus position


    Tigress' eyes snapped open, stood up and walked down the wide stone steps the six flowered cushions sat upon and

    approached the statue of Kynareth. She became still in her silence as she prayed for guidance from the statue.


    Inigo's body unstuck itself from the wall and he stared down at the Ka'po'tun praying to the stone statue and approached it. When

    he was a foot behind Tigress. He asked, rather loudly, what their next step was or was he going to continue being bored while she

    and Hasir continued their meditation.


    Tigress' teeth ground together and she whipped around to face him, tail narrowly brushing the base of the statue,

    "Good heavens furred one, you startled me, what is it that you need?"


    Inigo cocked his head in confusion,

    "Why must you call everyone names?"


    The Ka'po'tun bowed her head in apology,

    "Have we met?" She asked him, eyeing him like a confused wolf. "No, my anscestors would give me a sign if we did." She said



    Inigo gawked at her like a bully who got asked a simple math question,

    "Erm, there is no one here." He chuckled a bit, "and there most certain is not anything dropping from the sky. Ancestors, pfft, stop

    making things up." He laughed, waving a paw at her.


    Tigress's stomped up to him and grabbed him buy his collar, lfting him high in the air,

    "What did you say? She roared at him, "I should pummel you for poking fun at my beliefs!"


    Inigo smiled sheepishly and blurted out,

    "Who cares? Why would I care about some dead guys. What are they going to do? Punish me from the 'Akaviri afterlife'?"

    At this Tigress dropped the khajiit hard on the floor and deliverred a roundhouse kick to the insolent khajiit's stomach. Inigo laughed

    as he thought the 'deadly' attack would tickle if anything. Inigo soon found out Tigress was someone you did not mess with. His eyes

    became golf balls as the wind got forcefully knocked out of him. She put all of her hatred for him at that moment and her hurt of

    being dishonored and caused Inigo to go flying, not at the wall but through it. He flew like a bullet backward through the newly made

    hole in the wall and hit the wall two rooms opposite the one he had just rocketed out of with enough force that he was knocked

    unconscious; his body slid down the wall to land in a heap on the floor. 


    Tigress eyed Inigo thorugh the khajiit sized holes that she made through the wall of stone, eyes narrowed in hatred at him and she

    was ready to pounce and run toward him when Hasir, hearing a noise, came out of his meditative trance,

    "Tigress, what's going on? I heard noises." Tigress tried hard as she could to pass this off as nothing but she knew she had been



    She lowered her eyes and said, a bit muffled,

    "Ancestors forgive me, for I have wronged you." She said, more to the floor than to anyone else


    Hasir got up, walked out to her slowly as he was scared that she might explode at any minute, which she do a few minutes before.

    She left a paw print of that 'explosion' on the belly of the khajiit, who was laying unconscious in the hall parallel to where she stood

    seeking her ancestors'' apologies. Hasir stood up straighter and walked over to Tigress putting his scaly hand on her shoulder,

    "Tigress, is everything ok? You seem upset about something, mind telling me what it is?"


    Tigress frowned at Hasir, sighing heavily while she buried her head in her hands

    "Inigo made fun of my ancestors." She said though her striped fingers


    Hasir smirked at her, hardly believing Inigo would be so insensitive about such things,

    "Inigo did that? Really? No, I can hardly believe it." He said, looking aghast


    Tigress nodded and embedded her head into Hasir's furred chest, ashamed, she looked up at him,

    "Hasir, do you think I have wronged my ancestors? Because I always wonder if I do." She looked up at him, tears welling up in her

    eyes. She looked back at the unconscious Khajiit, "I do hope I did not hurt him."


    She turned back to Hasir, who looked through the hole where Tigress was looking and saw him on the floor, 

    "Don't worry, I'm sure he'll be fine." 


    Feeling grateful that someone understood her, she kissed him. Hasir's eyes went wide as she obviously felt feelings for Hasir that he

    did not feel for her. He loved her, that much was clear, but he already had a mate and to betray her trust like this would lead to

    disasterous consequences. Two thought paths were crashing over his mind like waves would onto a beach: Did he go through with

    Tigress' wish to be more than friends with him or go back and tell Rakel what happened and prayed to Hircine that she would

    understand? Hasir put Tigress at arms legth as she continued trying to kiss him. Hasir, however, looked at her rather uncomfortablly.


    Tigress asked what was wrong when she stopped trying to kiss the air, Hasir sighed as he knew there was no easy way to put this,

    "Look, Tigress I love you, Hircine knows I do but I already have a mate, her name is Rakel." He said, fearing she might cry. "I hope

    you understand that we can't be anything more than friends." Tears welled up in her amber eyes again as she nodded solemnly.

    The Ka'Po'tun and Hasir agreed that frriendship was better for them than romance as they sat down on their cushions and Hasir

    asked what the next triall would be because he was all meditated out. Tigress thought on this for a good while. An idea struck her,

    she stood up beckoning Hasir to do the same. He did and followed Tigress out of the room, Inigo went to follow them but Hasir

    slowly shook his head, slightly annoyed by this, the blue khajiit waved at them from a bench he sat on in the hall. Hasir gave Inigo a

    sad smile and down the steps and to the large stone doors at the back of the building. 



    Hasir found himselff in a great field of snow with a barred passage of wind with two rocky upthrusts to either side in front of him and

    four wrought iron gates, two pairs of gates situated a few feet apart, adjoined by four stone pillars to his left. She walked into the

    snow and drew two circles in the snow with her clawed feet and instructed Hasir to take one circle while she took the one a few

    inches away. She did this in order to ensure they did not bump into each other with whatever they were doing. Hasir did as she



    Tigress told Hasir that before she taught Hasir the way of the voice, he must first master the way of the yin yang. Hasir looked at

    her, his brow furrowed. Tigress said that it may sound confusing at first but when they got down to it, if done right, that he will

    become a natural; able to shout with no muscle strain or spasms. Tigrress first explained that they will need to warm up his

    muscles before even thinking of performing a Thu'um. Hasir followed Tigress as she brought her hands up to her chest and exhaled

    slowly while slowly putting one hand over the other so that they formed a 'C' and pushed them slowly away from her chest. 


    She glanced over to saw that Hasir was having a bit of trouble with his warmup. She sighed, walked over to his circle and adjusted

    his hands so they mirrored what she had done a few seconds ago. Above them, the sky turned a mix of orange and red as the sun

    began to set and night set in and shiny water droplets fell from the heavens as if the heavens themselves were moved by this

    display of grace. Tigress saw Hasir was getting so good that he even mastered catching a single drop on his clawed finger and had it

    alternate from hand to hand as he moved them as if an invisble energy ball was between them. Impressed, she smiled warmly at



    Tigress looked at the sky and noticed it was getting late and they had to get a good night sleep before tomorrow's trial. She prodded

    Hasir in the back with her finger and motioned him to come inside and get some sleep as tomorrow they will continue with step two

    of his training. As they went inside, she padtted Hasir on the back, saying how astonished she was of how fast he was picking these

    things up.