She knew how Lady Katsa felt about her. She was well versed in reading another's body language and waves of mistrust fairly rolled from her lithe form. Sperra couldn't find it in herself to blame the Graceling fighter. No one seemed to trust Sperra.

She had to give Katsa credit, though. Even though the blue and green eyed young woman was suspicious of her, she continued to help her through the drills. Sperra had none of the fighting skills Katsa was Graced with, but she did have her own advantages.

Not that she would use them on a human, of course.

Sperra was Graced as dramatically as Katsa and if Lady Katsa knew the exact nature of her Grace, Sperra was quite certain she would not be welcomed to train with the others. As it was, no one – excepting herself – knew the exact nature of the shy girl's Grace. Sperra preferred it that way and did her best not to interact with the other girls and women learning to use a weapon.

Sperra's eyes, one the color of the twilit sky and the other the deep purple worn by kings, followed Katsa's impossibly fast movements as she demonstrated how to defend oneself against multiple enemies. She spun her solitary ring idly while she thought of other ways she could stop her enemies without ever having to move. She started in horror once she registered her own thoughts and cringed away from the idea of using her Grace. Her Grace that made others despise her so.

Katsa's voice brought Sperra back to herself. "We're finished for the day."

Sperra brought her gaze to meet Katsa's but dropped her eyes to the floor immediately. "I'm sorry, Lady Katsa."

Katsa considered her briefly. "You're a Lienid."

Sperra lowered her head in recognition of the fact. Her dark hair, tanned skin, jewelry, and manner of speaking were impossible to disguise.

"What brings you to Wester?" Katsa asked sharply.

For the first time Sperra gave her a quick smile, still refusing to meet Katsa's eyes for more than a moment. "I missed the sessions you did in Ror City. I'm not very in touch with what happens in the kingdom," she explained. "My Grace gives me an affinity for animals." At least, that's what she told others.

Katsa studied the strange Lienid girl. In Liened, Gracelings were treated with respect and never feared to meet the eyes of another person, Graced or not. And Lienid's wore a ring for every member of their family while this girl wore only one.

"You're wondering about my rings," Sperra commented. "I'm an orphan. I've never known my parents."

Katsa's eyes narrowed. "Perhaps it would be best if you didn't attend tomorrow's lessons."

Sperra nodded expressionlessly and turned away without another word. She wasn't surprised. This always happened. People weren't comfortable around her unless she forced them into it. She wondered how much more uncomfortable people would be if they knew her Grace was not a way with animals but something worse. People naturally hated those Graced with mind-reading, Sperra didn't want to risk knowing how much they would hate mind-control.