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As the familiar face entered the doorway, Tepe's head dropped and he shook it several times. From his body language anyone could tell that this was not a turn of events the Sith Lord had wished for.

"Oh, great" he mumbled before straightening himself when Reibe approached and sat down next to them.


"Busy, busy. Trying to take over the Universe and all that" Tepetold Reibe and glanced at Andra.

"We were just talking about you. It seems this..." he started before questioning himself silently of the course of action he would take now.

"...precog has copied and perverted a Sith Hunter machine. Back in the day" he told Riebe before continuing once more to finish with mentioning a group of people Riebe would not be happy to hear about for as far as his experience told him.

"For the Imperials"


A grin appeared on the Sith's face as he looked at Riebe.

"The Empire on Watchtower. Well isn't that something. Tsk tsk. Sloppy, Riebe"

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"Of course she did," Reibe said, ignoring Tepe's comment of sloppiness. "And what makes you think she was unwelcome?" With a faint smile, she turned to Andra and went on. "Andra Danning is the most brilliant person you'll probably ever meet... even with as long a lifespan as we have. The fact that it was the Emperor's will that she be there was only a minor irritation, and it was resolved after the rest of..."


"Oh, Force!" Andra exclaimed abruptly. "The rest of my team! Are they alright?"


Reibe smiled kindly. "Most of them, yes. After you escaped, they were forced one by one to undergo the procedure. The results were different every time. Two died, one is a telepath, one a telekine, one has the power to create and control fire, another has the rival ability of water. Jena Keller is... well, she's like a Sith Hunter."


Andra leaned forward breathlessly. "Where are they?"


"They work for me," Reibe answered. "And their purpose is to look for you."


Andra rose, her chair toppling over backward in her haste. "I must find them."


"Sit down, Andra," Reibe ordered sternly. "I have called for them. They are on their way." Turning to Tepe, she went on, "Upon their escape, the Jabos team destroyed the facility they'd been working in, along with the security contingent Ysanne Isard left there. When that happened, I approached them, recruited them. I sent them against Isard, taking the test location from her and anyone else who knew of the Watchtower. They awoke with severe headaches and holes in their databanks. Holes that could not be repaired."


She smiled. "The Jabos Team works for me... and I seriously hope their leader will join with me also."


Andra was silent for a moment. Then, she said, "You are perfectly ready to give me proof that my friends trust you. For that reason, I trust you." With an edge of eagerness, she asked, "How soon will they be here?"


"Last time I heard from them, they were on the Outer Rim," Reibe answered. "It shouldn't be long."


"So you see, Tepe," Reibe said with a smile, "I wasn't being sloppy. I knew what was going on, and as soon as my purpose for it had run out, the leak was stopped up. Had it been allowed to grow, you would have found the planet with much greater ease." She grinned at him as if to say, "Don't underestimate my awareness."

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"Then would you happen to be aware of the location of a certain Strider Flamehart?" the man finally spoke, rising and stepping forward, facing the small group. He had a young face, he could be no older than perhaps 19 or 20, yet he seemed overconfident and defiant despite the celebrity presence he stood before. He wore dark robes, and a lightsaber hilt hung loosely at his belt, the design, although was not exact, was similar to the hilt of someone else that Tepe and Reibe were more than familiar.


"If you are so aware, and if you are indeed Reibe, leader of the Sith Hunters, then you should know of his whereabouts," he declared.

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"Oh, great. More Sith Hunters" Tepe groaned after Reibe told the tale.

"That's all I need in this Galaxy. More Sith Hunters to hound my business" he continued to groan and looked at Reibe before another voice broke into the conversation. Tepe noted that the green-dressed man sitting still at his table looked at the approaching man and was very anctious to draw a blaster. Slowly Tepe shook his head at him to deny him the pleasure before turning to see the young fellow. He glanced at the lightsaber hilt and grinned.


"Let me guess. You're a pupil seeking his master?" he asked, more rhetorically than anything else. It wasn't hard to figure it out, since the last hour of his life had led him fro a peaceful drink to a precog, followed by a massive expansion of Sith Hunters and now all it needed was more Sith Hunters to make his day one of the worst in his life so far.

"Last time I had any clue of Strider's whereabouts I was a very happy man. Having Strider vanish from my scope always brings trouble, may he mean it or not. That's equally opposite to the rest of the Sith Hunters" he said, glancing at Reibe with a teasing grin.

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"If you call someone who deserts you during his training a master," the young man said. He seemed rather bitter about the whole situation, yet there was something else more to the story it seemed. Perhaps he had been abandoned in a particularly painful manner, or judging by his anger over the situation, sought revenge.

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"Now wait just a minute," Reibe objected, frowning. "The Jabos Team are not Sith Hunters. I mentioned one of their team that turned out like us. Meaning, she ages slowly and her natural Force sensitivity is far more prevalent than it was before she went through the machine."


To the young man who'd trained under Strider, she said, "Now, young man, I shall address your first question, the one concerning Strider's whereabouts." She stood and pressed her hands against the table, leaning over it to come nearer to the young man's face. Then, she shrugged abruptly.


"Haven't a clue," she said. "I may be the Hunter Leader, and I may have my own galactic network of informants, but Strider has always excelled at avoiding informants. We have only ever received reports of his ship being sighted, but the validity of those claims is next to nothing."


She dropped back into her seat and concluded, "Sorry I can't be of more help to you, kid, but if Strider doesn't want to be found, not even his 'commander' can draw him out. Unless..." She frowned thoughtfully.


"I could spread the word through my network that I'm looking for him," she said slowly. "It might capture his attention enough to bring him here. But I must ask your intentions. You seem quite upset concerning the manner of his departure, which was clearly unexpected. I need to be fully aware of what sort of welcome I may be calling my old friend into."

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"He deserted me. Left my training unfinished, stranded me on a barren island and left me!" He snarled, throwing the table out from under Reibe with the Force. She could feel he had a strong command over his abilities, however she also saw what Strider saw, an over confidence that perhaps led Strider against continuing the boy's training, too hot headed, almost cocky. "The fool tricked me, afraid of confronting me when our beliefs began to divert, he is a coward," the boy declared. "Why would you be so concerned of calling him into a trap if you are so confident in his abilities?"

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Andra, watching wide-eyed, had scooted her chair back from the table seconds before the boy threw it; Reibe merely shifted her weight so as not to be dependent on the table for support.


"Was he the fool, or were you?" she asked calmly. "Perhaps Strider was trying to do you a favor by leaving you alone for a while, hmm?" She sighed and shook her head. "I'll put this to you very bluntly, kid. You're talented; that much is evident just looking at you. But..."


She lifted the table back into place. "... your temper is shorter than a Cathar's when he's hunting. You're confident in your skills to the point of cockiness. This leads you to needless actions, such as throwing the table away as you just did. Sure, it provides a vent for your frustration, but there are more valuable ways to vent your anger and pain."


Her eyes flashed dangerously. "And if you ever call Strider a coward again, I may have to beat some sense into you. When you say your beliefs began to divert from his... that is when he left you? Then that was when he realized that challenging your beliefs would go nowhere, in which case further training from him was a needless exercise in patience and testing the line in the sand, which crossing would ignite the fire of your temper.


"As to the question of concern for Strider's well-being if I were to call him here, I do not doubt that, with his skills he could soundly trounce you. So could I, for that matter, and with the two of us together, you wouldn't even stand a chance at holding your ground."


After a moment of intense silence, Andra spoke up, turning to the young man. "It's not worth it... your challenge. They'll outsmart you... every time."

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But the boy was too stubborn. He withdrew the hilt, and challenged Reibe. "A duel then. No Force tricks, just technique on technique." He glared at Reibe. "If you give, you help me find Strider, if I give, I will admit my overconfidence. Any other conditions you wish to add?"

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Tepe had only just managed to notice Andra's motion in time to move himself away from the soon flipping table as well. He continued to observe from that distance as the boy threatened Reibe, a major mistake.

"You know, Reibe. He does have a point about Strider. He does often leave at the brink of action. But it's also one of those Sith Hunter trad-" he stopped the sentence short as he received a more than a cold glance from Reibe.


At the moment when the boy drew his lightsaber, a cane hit his arm rather strongly. A seemingly old Feeorin man stood strong at 2.2 meters next to him and stared at the boy intensely, even if you could see from your first look at hims that he was blind as a bat. He gripped his cane strongly with one hand, so he had no trouble balancing himself, telling also of the cane's use for a blind man, even if he didn't seem to use it necessarily to tap a path ahead of him. For that he used some other technique still unrevealed to them.


"Lower your weapon, brash one" he said in a dark and deep tone of voice that could easily match that of Darth Vader's. From the man's attire one could see he was an old journeyman and what robes he seemed to wear were tattered, worn and at least a generation or two old. There were no weapons on the man except for the cane, which made sense since a blind man can't shoot too well at anything, even if they knew where their enemy was. The Feeorin turned his eyes one by one to glance at the rest of the people sitting at the table before turning to stare at the brash young man again.

Edited by Black Knight of Keno
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"And what are you going to do about it, old man?" The young man retorted, glaring at him. He turned to Tepe, "Yeah, that's what they all do. Run when things get heated. Only a few times in History have they stuck around for the long run, and Strider more so than others. He can't face conflict because it reminds him too much of his past, he's a coward," he said, glaring back at Reibe.

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The Feeorin removed the cane from the boy's arm before taking a two-hand grasp of the other end of it. His hands twisted the cane and pulled, exposing a small hidden locker inside holding what seemed like a single-hand lightsaber hilt which was identical at both ends. The 'old man' ignited an orange blade before dropping his cane and then igniting a green blade from the other end and twirling it around before bringing it to his front. Now they could see clearly that the man had built at some point in his life a similar lightsaber than the one wielded by Exar Kun.


"This old man can beat you in combat any time, brash one" he stated and stepped back, bracing himself into what seemed like a modified form from the Makashi opening stance with one blade behind his back and the other pointing towards the floor.


Tepe still sat, placing his other hand on the hilt of his lightsaber but not drawing it. This situation was going to hell and he knew it quite well. Reibe could strike down the boy faster than one could say 'no kitteh, this is my pot pie' but the new blind person who seemed like some sort of jedi he had no clue of. This person could quite well be powerful and skilled enough to beat the boy. And he wielded a weapon that normal Jedi and Sith would find as irregular and unique in combat. Enough so to put him one step ahead in any combat he entered with anyone who hadn't seen Exar Kun wield his saber.

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"Then let this be the demonstration," the boy remarked. A dark blue blade ignited, very similar in color to the one of Strider's, though slightly lighter. He twirled the blade about briefly and stopped in a stance, one that suprised both Reibe and Tepe to see him imitate. Strider's fighting style. The question is, did the boy really know it? There was a look of concentration, focus in his eyes as he gazed at the old man's stance, studying it.


"Age before beauty, old man. Make your first move."

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The 'old man' inhaled before starting to make a sort of a ticking sound. It served as a form of echolocation and psychological thing before a fight. More correctly, he was measuring up the man to know what kind of movements he should expect from him. His ears twitched, focusing on the hum of the opponent's blade before the man stopped the noise and twirled his lightsaber once above his head and stabbed forwards, his other hand taking a grip at the wrist to give more weight for the attack. He expected this to be an easily blocked attempt at an attack that only novices would have a hard time on. The Feeorin man was obviously still testing the man before he would start the real duel. After the attack he stood back from attacking and gave the boy his chance at it, rather only counterattacking when the boy made the mistake of giving an opening. It seemed the Feeorin man was taking this much like a sparring session than a real combat, yet Tepe knew and probably everyone else knew as well that the boy was extremely serious about it.

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The boy blocked the strike effortlessly, however, as Reibe probably expected from seeing Strider in action, the block set off a chain of offensive counterattacks that seemed to chain endlessly at the old man's defense. The style was unlike anything the old man had seen, unless he had known Strider. The young man finally ceased his chain, holding his blade at the ready once more. He knew exactly what he was doing, and even though he could sense the old man did not take him seriously, he would prove himself soon enough.


"If you really think analyzing me is going to get anywhere, I wouldn't count on it. Unless you've got some better tricks up your sleeve, you're wasting your time," the boy taunted.

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The old man blocked just as easily the boy's strikes before grinning smugly at his words.

"Unless you have better tricks up your sleeve, this combat is already over, kid" the man noted before twirling his lightsaber and going into a flurry of attacks. Whenever one blade was blocked, the other began swinging towards the boy's body until either person was forced to back down.


As the combat paused, the 'old man' began to twirl his lightsaber in front of himself to form an almost disorienting orb protecting the man from an attack while being a psychological attack in itself. The Feeorin Jedi pulled his cane up into his free hand with the force. The cane had closed automatically once the lightsaber was removed and the cane dropped. The cortosis alloy surface of the cane was his backup weapon in fights like this, acting as a defense when his lightsaber failed him or he was busy attacking with it.

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Suprisingly enough, the boy kept up with the old man's attacks with incredible ease, his blade nothing but a blue blur as it deflected each and every attack.


"I could do this blindfolded, if I really wanted to. Is that all you've got, geezer?"

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The old man launched another attack against the boy, but a silver lightsaber blade intervened, easily disarming the old man from his dual-bladed lightsaber before the cane was ripped from his hand via the force. Darth Tepe had stood up in defense of the Cantina's contents. The double-bladed lightsaber had landed on the floor and deactivated as lightsabers are known to do. As for the silver lightsaber, some patrons could easily identify it as one of a certain Kilmor Katarn if they had been around during the Jedi's stay in Welmin's.


"The killing goes on in the sparring room" he told them before turning the blade towards the boy.

"As for you, you should not try anything. I have dueled both Reibe and Strider to a standstill with them alone and together. And I doubt you have either of their skills" Tepe noted before giving the cane back to the blind man who also picked up his lightsaber. The Feeorin grunted as he stepped back and bowed out of the dueling match.


"Now, can we have at least some sort of a civilized conversation?" Tepe asked while still holding the silver blade ready.

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"I fear there will be no civilized conversation until the boy comes to terms with the skill of a Hunter," Reibe said with a faint smile. She scowled at the boy as she withdrew from the table and gestured for him to follow her to the sparring room. Andra watched them go, appearing to be concentrating on something going on inside her mind. Finally, she shook her head.


"The kid's a hopeless case," she said aloud. Nodding to where Reibe and the kid were just entering the sparring room, she went on, "I looked ahead to see how things would go if I followed them to watch. They were so focused on one another that they didn't even notice me... and it's like I said earlier... he doesn't stand a chance."


She looked at Tepe. "But you knew that too... you said you've fought both Reibe and Strider before... and here I was, under the impression you were on casually friendly terms at least..."

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The silver blade retracted into the grip as Reibe led the boy away. The Dark Lord hung the lightsaber hilt on his belt before taking his seat again, looking towards the sparring room. It was somewhat ironic he had managed to grab Kilmor's lightsaber in order to warn the boy about leaving the killing to the sparring room, since it was there where he got the lightsaber in the first place. As Andra began to speak, Tepe turned to see her before smiling. Genuinely smiling.


"I've fought all of the current Sith Hunters at one point or another, Reibe and Strider just the ones worth mentioning" he told her before glancing over at the Feeorin man that had taken up a stool by the bar.

"But we are on friendly terms, to some extent. We originally befriended each others here in this very Cantina" he told her before abruptly stopping and chuckling.

"Although it wasn't exactly this very Cantina. This place has been rebuilt a few times since I first entered" the Sith said while turning to see Andra again.


"In any case, one can't build a Sith empire without having to deal with the Sith Hunters. I learned that the hard way, even though it was fun kicking them around a bit" Tepe told her and continued to chuckle at the memories.

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Andra laughed. "I expect they took no small pleasure in doing the same to you. From what I've seen of Reibe, it's a surprise to hear that she ever stopped fighting..." She shook her head. "And really, I can only imagine that she fought other battles in the times when the galaxy could not find her..."


Abruptly, her voice trailed off and she looked toward the doorway.


"Odd about my team, though," she said softly, but there was a sharp edge to her voice. "She mentioned two dead, then five others with special abilities... I had five on my team." She frowned. "Did Ardin put some of his own men through the machine?"


Suddenly, she scowled. "Tritch. Tercel..."


At that moment, five people entered Welmin's Cantina. Were it not for the appearance of one of the two women, Andra probably would not have recognized them. These were the remaining members of the Jabos Team, plus two additions from Ardin's security team.


"Caution," said the apparent leader of the five, holding a hand outstretched beside him. Though streaks of gray now found their place in his near-black hair, Andra now recognized him. Dannar Mitkin. He turned to the two men Andra had identified as 'Tritch' and 'Tercel'. "She is suspicious of your presence."


"I can remedy that," Kos Tritch said. The eldest of the five, his hair was fully gray now, and his face was etched with wrinkles of stress and old age. Dannar shook his head.


"No," he said. "It is I who must show her the truth. She'll not accept your word, Kos."


"I can help!" This exclamation came from the one who seemed the youngest of the group, but Tepe could tell that this was not the case. This brown-haired beauty was the one of the group who'd turned out like the Sith Hunters, with a slow aging process and a powerful Force connection. Dannar nodded.


"Of course, Jena," he agreed. Then, they approached the table.


"Hi, Andra," Jena Keller said softly. "Let us in..."


Dannar sat down on Andra's other side and placed a hand on her forehead. For several long seconds, there was silence. At one point, Andra gasped. Then, they were silent once more, this time for a few minutes. Finally, Dannar and Jena drew back and Andra sat stock still. Slowly, she turned to face Kos Tritch and Grayson Tercel.


Softly, she said, "Welcome to the Team. Sit. All of you. I've been making friends with..."


"Darth Tepe," Jena observed, offering the man an almost Sith Hunter-esque bow of respect. "We're familiar with him." She smiled faintly. "You see, Andra... we have lived through the history you jumped over."


"I daresay you have!" Andra sighed mournfully. "I scarcely recognized most of you..." Suddenly, she seemed to realize that Tepe did not personally know anyone on her team.


"Darth Tepe, may I present my Team," she said. "Dannar Mitkin, Jena Keller, Ruya Faal, Jena Keller, and our latest additions, Kos Tritch and Grayson Tercel."


As each of them were introduced, they presented their abilities to Tepe.


Dannar Mitkin whispered to Tepe's mind, Telepath.


At Jena Keller's introduction, a gentle wave of the Force washed over him, and he could clearly see that she had not aged in the last thirty or forty years.


Ruya Faal held up her right hand and a small ball of water formed over it.


With Kos Tritch, Tepe felt a gentle nudge, the power of telekinesis.


And finally, Grayson Tercel held his left hand out, similar to what Ruya had done. But instead of water, a small fireball formed above his palm.


Andra looked at her team, frowned down at the table, glanced at Darth Tepe and the door to the sparring room, and sighed.


"We'll need a bigger table."

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Tepe raised an eyebrow at the group, staying silent as they first bickered amongst themselves and then introduced themselves. Or rather, showed off while Andra introduced them. However, he did manage to fit in there a small gesture similar to a bow with his head to Jena when she gave him her bow. As they showed off, Tepe smirked at each of their abilities before responding to most of them simultaneously.


To Dannar Mitkin he responded a cold whisper; The Force.


To Jana Keller he responded with the exact same she had greeted him with, albeit nearly twice as strong of a wave of the Force.


To Kos Tritch he simply gave a nudge via the Force, imitating his telekinesis rather well.


As far as Ruya Faal and Grayson Tarcel went, he couldn't imitate their powers per sé, but he could instead raise a hand and had a bright blue lightning trickle along his fingers, forming arcs between his spread fingers and forming a sort of an orb on his palm.


This was not to show himself off, but rather to serve as a reminder for them to kep their feet on the ground, for any force user with any talent in the art of utilizing their gift could still keep them at bay. When Andra finally spoke again, Tepe smiled and stood up. He glanced over at Welmin and snapped his fingers.

"You got that new booth installed yet?" he asked and Welmin nodded, pointing towards a somewhat larger looking booth than the rest in the joint that was situated between the entrance and the bar. Not a big of a change and something many wouldn't even notice until they really started looking at the place.

"Thanks. Get these folks some drinks as well. You know where to send the bill too" Tepe said to Welmin before gesturing toward the larger table and booth. As they all sat down, Darth Tepe took a seat at the end of the table and glanced over at Jena.


"You did not seem too happy to see me, Jena" he noted with a grin.

"Must be a natural thing when one goes through a Sith Hunter machine ... with the right end result, that is"

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"On the contrary," Jena answered pleasantly, "I was merely surprised to discover you keeping Andra company. I suppose, in retrospect that it ought not to have been a great surprise. Reibe said you're quite attached to this place."


"Indeed she did," Dannar said. "And speaking of Reibe, she said she was here also..."


"In the sparring room," Andra answered, gesturing over her shoulder to the door of the mentioned room. "Teaching an arrogant kid a few things about just exactly how young he is and how little he knows."


"Sounds fun," Jena chuckled. "And it sounds like her. I can't count the number of times in my brief training sessions she's had to beat me down a bit." She grinned. "Always teaching, that one."


"Always learning too," Tritch pointed out. "She's learned a few tricks about fighting a telekine. Stuff like, she can't touch me if I'm fully encased in telekinetic shielding." He chuckled softly. "I can hold my own against her, but I can't do much else."


Dannar shrugged. "I can't even do that. I can project illusions into her mind, but she always seems to be able to tell what's real and what's not."


"I'd be interested in seeing how well a precog can match up against a Force adept," Andra observed thoughtfully. Jena grinned and pulled something off her belt. It was a lightsaber hilt, which she slapped down on the table.


"Let's have us a match, then?" she challenged. To Tepe she asked, "Is the sparring room so named because there's only one room? Or is there enough space that we might be able to find some room also?"

Edited by Writer
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"Hm. Reibe talks about me, does she? No doubt she's warned you about me as well" Tepe noted and grinned at Jena. Observing their conversation, he concluded that nobody else but maybe Tritch showed any promise in being any sort of threat. Of course Jena was one as well, but he had already converted one Sith Hunter to his side. When the idea of a precog fighting against a force user came up, a sly smile appeared on Tepe's face, even if he bowed his head down to hide it to some extent.


"The sparring room is ... Well, it's a place where you don't want to be when there's a serious duel going on there" he said before raising his head and looking at Jena.

"There is another sparring room as well, but it's in slight disrepair. I think it's currently being used as a temporary storage for training droids. It's been a while since I last trained here, so I don't know for sure" he told her before pulling the lightsaber into his hand across the table. He ignited it, looked at the blade and deactivated it again. He observed the hilt, glanced at Andra and then chuckled.


"It will be an uneven match between the two of you, no matter if she would know where your lightsaber was coming from or not" the Sith told Jena before smirking.

"But you know this" Tepe continued before standing up and chuckling at the pure idea of it.

"Well, follow me to the sparring room then if you wish to try it out. The rest of you can stick around and drink all you want"

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(Sorry I've been busy with work. Postage time)


The boy took his place on the far end of the sparring room and turned to face Reibe, smirking some.


"I know you all think I am a fool, but I will prove otherwise," the boy swore, looking at Riebe, his eyes focused on her as she took her stance. "I know what I'm doing, and you'll see that soon enough," he continued. He knew Reibe wouldn't take him seriously until he proved himself. Deep down, it wasn't resent that he held for Strider, but a will to prove he was ready to learn what Strider had refused to teach him. "Maybe showing that I can go toe to toe with the Sith Hunters will prove I'm ready," he thought to himself. He reached outward and used the Force to deactivate the lights in the room, surrounding them in pitch black. A lone blue blade ignited itself in the far end of the room, held in the peculiar stance that was Strider's old form.


"Surely you're familiar with this. Let's begin!"

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