Glaki barely knew what was going on when Niko had woke her up in the middle of the night to escape to safety. All she had known was that she'd probably have never seen Tri s again if she'd gone with the others and it'd taken only a split second from there to decide the course of the rest of her life.
She'd much rather be with mater.
Still, as she looked out from her shadowy corner in the palace courtyard she had snuck into, she had a thought that maybe Emelan would have been less… strange. In front of her, rows of boys about her age swung at each other and raised forearms to block in regimented moves. Teachers paced the line, barking orders and keeping time with their voices, the word "pages" being the rank at which they were addressed Whatever that meant.
They had such strange ways, Glaki thought, peering curiously at the awkward, tense moves that Briar had drilled her to avoid at all costs. She suddenly missed her weekly sessions with the older man. They four were all too busy now, traying to find work and a school good enough and close enough to satisfy her four caretakers. The ten year old felt a sudden, sharp stab of sadness; when was the last time she'd seen her entire family together? They'd only been in town a week, after all...
"Oi, you there!" Glaki looked up with with wide eyes into the bland, tanned face of an older man. He gestured impatiently, and Glaki stepped forward, her Tharian sandals scuffing in the dust.
"Yes, sir?" she said politely, stepping forward.
"Are you the new haMinch girl?" he demanded, sharp eyes looking her up and down.
"No sir-" Glaki attempted but was unable to speak up because the trainer roughly cut across her.
"Darryl of Silverpike, please step forward!" The tallest boy stepped forward, grinning at Glaki in a way that wasn't entirely friendly.
"Please demonstrate that moves you learned today." The instructor sad, his face hard as he stared Glaki down, as if daring her to disobey him.
Next thing she knew, Darryl was lunging at her in a textbook, if clumsy, hold that would have her pinned to the ground and straining for leverage in moments. So she did what Briar taught her; fight dirty. She let his momentum carry him forward, snaking in a hard strike to the ribs that left him gasping for breath and red in the face. Before he could catch his breath, Glaki was on him, snatching up his wrist and bending it against the joint to put him on his knees, whimpering in pain.
The practice yard was quiet for a few seconds before a huffing and puffing blonde haired girl showed in one of the entrances to the yard, waving a slip of paper. "Sorry I'm late… Master Salmalin kept me… back."
The hand-to-hand combat instructors' eyes widened and he snapped his head back to look at the girl who had just reduced one of his best wrestlers to whimpering jelly- only to find her long gone into the curling and winding streets of Corus.