Elder Blood Witcher
Chapter 1: Being X?
In a realm of vast endless white there lays a man who has his face firmly planted into the floor, he reaches down and pushes himself up while blood streams down from his nose.
??? "Did anyone catch the number of that truck?"
He attempts to wipe his nose with the sleeve of his shirt but realises he is completely naked, surprised at this he observes his surroundings and slowly his face pales.
??? "Ok, either I'm in limbo or this is what being in a coma feels like?"
??? "Wrong on both counts Mr Ludvig"
He looks to his right and sees a mass of multicoloured light that shifts and ripples as it floats there, the now named Reima Ludvig stands and tries to look presentable despite the blood on his face and genitals on full display.
Reima "Err, so I didn't die then?"
??? "No you are most indisputably dead."
Feeling rather shocked by this revelation he scratches the back of his head and ponders what he was doing a few minutes ago.
Reima and a couple other people are sat in a smokey room with a coffee table covered in bottles of alcohol of all kinds, someone takes a puff from what looks like a self rolled cigarette.
Groupie number 1 "Yo Reima, how is it going with that girl, errr Cassandra?"
Reima "She dumped me because she wanted me to be her sugar daddy, obviously if i had that kinda money I wouldn't be barking up her tree!"
Groupie number 2 "Hahaha, did you see her showing off her tits on facebook yesterday? You missed out bro."
Reima "Yeah I guess... lets not talk about that skank anymore yeah?"
Groupie number 1 "Bro you seem like you need to chill, puff one of these and it'll make your day..."
Reima who had a vague idea on what they were smoking was rather nervous to see what kinda of effects it would have on a first timer like himself.
Reima "Alright, pass it then..."
They hand it over to him and he proceeds to cough and splutter and a few minutes later his world slows down and becomes "chill", after a night of drinking and smoking a trashed and dizzy Reima starts to walk home...
Reima lives in london and currently in 2017 Sadiq Khan is rabidly pushing for multiculturalism and integration of immigrants and asylum seekers... Due to this crime is rampant and the police are having to take drastic action to catch the new wave of moped criminals...
Unfortunately for Reima a criminal on a moped is being pursued by two police vans, in the dead of night with no reflective material or lights near he is not seen. The moped who is carrying a flat screen tv managed to smash Reima in the face with said TV completely destroying it and Reima's face.
Somehow in a miracle event Reima survives this with 4k shards still stuck in his face... That is until the pursuing Police vans turn Reima's body into paste as they grind and smash him as they pass.
Reima "Expect the police to provide justice they said... Keep me safe they said" He says as he grinds his teeth.
The orb of light speaks again "Yes, it seems to me like spotting a junkie in pitch darkness at high speed is an easy task..."
Reima "Am I being sarked on by a floating rainbow testicle? You got something to say you ephemeral bean bag?"
Reima scratches his stubble and speaks "Sorry, dying wasn't really a goal of mine... Do you have a name?"
??? "You can call me being X"
Reima "Like that god from the saga of-"
Being X "No, not like that clown. I do not require brainless ideologs to gather power, I am powerful enough without outside interference."
Reima "Yeah that's great Dr X but I'm dead and I assume your gonna send me to heaven or hell right?"
Being X "No, I am not the one who oversees that part of the cycle. I was reading a novel about a god that grants people wishes and decided to try it out, to see if it seems as pointless as I thought it was."
... Reima "So your like an Otaku or something?"
Being X "It's something to do, as long as humans produce content I will be content. I would suggest its a better past time than some of my colleagues who torture souls for fun."
Reima "It does sound fine when you put it like that I guess."
Being X ripples as it gets to the point "I will grant you three wishes Mr Ludvig, please be as specific as possible to avoid genie-like mishaps."
Reima sits on the floor to think about his wishes, obviously he could just wish to be Saitama level power and Rofl stomp chumps like it's going out of fashion. But is that what he wants? Being so powerful from a weak and undisciplined human seems like it would be boring pretty quick. Not only that but eventually he would start to abuse such power, unless he sealed himself away to prevent him interacting with the world.
What about becoming a Shounen protagonist? Stupid, Kinda check? Weak to strong, check...
No, Anime is kinda its own troupe now.
He starts to think over media that he has consumed throughout his life time, most of it is western aside from those ported over, he remembers playing the Witcher 3 a year ago and wondering what it would be like to be a Witcher... Obviously he wasn't going to pack his bags and do that stupid Witcher training programme they started in Europe.
As someone who lives in the relatively peaceful 2000's Reima has absolutely no combat experience and would need to be trained from the ground up.
Reima sighs and focuses, he wants to be free, to be free he has to be strong. To be strong he has to be adept in combat... Unless he cheats with wishes. To do this he will pick somewhere that has magic, and a relatively low power level so he doesn't instantly get vaporised... But the thing Reima wants the most is experience... An adventure, to meet new interesting people.
Reima "Alright, I have decided... But before I choose I have some questions."
Being X doesn't reply and just continues floating there.
Reima "What worlds is Ciri from the Witcher able to access?"
Being X ripples "The being known as Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon due to the genetic mutation known as Elder Blood is able to randomly jump from world to world, she has no control over her destination and can randomly appear in any universe, Fiction or not."
Reima "How can the Wild hunt follow her through worlds?"
Being X "The group of Elves known as the wild hunt can trace the elder blood through the minute fractures she creates through space and reality as she travels, special magic allows them to send small groups to capture her."
Reima "Will the Elder blood effect the Witcher trials in the School of the wolf?"
Being X "The Elder Blood was created from ancient Elven mages, it was an attempt to create the most superior magic race in existence. The person who was given the Elder Blood procreated with Humans and so the Elves lost control over it. Due to it being an artificial genetic modification it will likely make the person going through other genetic modification extremely adaptable, even beyond the resistance of the one known as Geralt of Rivia."
Reima "So I would become like a super Witcher or something?"
Being X "I do not know, but you would likely survive the trials if you took this route, although the Wild hunt would pursue you as they do Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon."
Reima grins "Ok, for my first wish I want a pure Elder Blood bloodline that is immune to all forms of observation, tracking and trapping, I would also like to be able to control the destination of my world travelling." Reima speaks out loud in one breath going over what he said to makesure he didn't slip or forget anything.
Being X "Pure Elder Blood bloodline is originally Elven, are you sure?"
Reima smacks his head, do they even let elves become Witchers? "Ok Pure Elder Blood bloodline that happens to be human?"
Being X "You are lucky I am an amicable person. What is your next wish?"
Reima "Ok, for my second wish I would like a very fast mastery over everything..."
Being X "Can you elaborate please?"
Reima "I would like the ability to learn anything extremely quickly, not instant mastery because that takes the effort out of literally everything.
Being X "This can be done, next and last wish."
Reima scratches his chin and wonders what he needs to be effective in any world he travels to, he remembers that X men dude who could adapt to anything but still somehow managed to die.
"I would like a body that will adapt and evolve to suit anything I could need..."
Being X "Your first wish is already an essentially low level version of this... Are you sure?"
Reima "Really? How does that work... Ciri didn't seem that competent to be honest."
Being X "Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon's bloodline and genetic trait was weakened due to being a distant descendant of the original. But she gained abilities that she needed to suit her environment, her training with Geralt of Rivia allowed her to quickly dash and teleport due to her speed not nearly being close to a Witcher who had gone through their trials, her body also became stronger and faster than most humans alive.
Reima "Huh, cool I guess... Ok can I have all three Haki from Onepiece?"
Being X "Haki is the result of someone training their soul for combat, so unless you let me tinker around with your soul I cannot grant you this. Although I can start you on the path."
Reima "I guess it's better than nothing and I don't have anything else I want aside from one of those bags of holding... but I can make due, and if I'm really desperate I can just pay a visit to a realm with them present."
The glowing rainbow beanbag ripples as it confirms one more time the wishes of Reima
"A pure Elder Blood bloodline that can't be tracked trapped or observed that allows you to choose your destination and also happens to be human, The ability to learn anything extremely quickly and access to all three Haki from the realm of Onepiece. Is all of that correct?"
As soon as he confirms it Reima is surrounded by light and enveloped, his 5.10 foot body slowly shrinks down to 3.9 feet tall, the light disperses revealing a child with white-grey hair, bright green almost glowing eyes and a thin physique.
Being X ripples in amusement "You look rather adorable now when compared to your junkie appearance"
Reima looks up and glares at Being X "Is there a reason you turned me into a child beach ball-san?"
Being X "Witcher trainees start 5 to 8 years old, although I would enjoy seeing a 18 yearold man being man handled by already trained children."
Reima sighs and almost face palms himself at his error that almost destroyed his plans.
Being X "Is there anything else you wish to ask, this will most likely be the last time we meet."
Reima "Yeah, what's your real name?"
Being X stops rippling and the colours fade a muffled noise comes from it.
Reima "Sorry what was that?"
Being X "Im"
Being X "It's Jim okay?, even super powerful being don't get to pick their names!"
Reima snorts and gives an almost Aqua smirk but manages to hold it in. "This has been pleasant Jim but I don't suppose you can assist me in getting my journey started?"
Without saying anything Reima vanishes in a flash and Jim is left alone again.
"I still do not see the point of granting wishes... It seemed rather pointless."
Jim goes back into his Otaku room and spends 500 thousand years re-watching Naruto and getting angry at Boruto.
Chapter 2: Meeting Geralt
On the outskirts of Mirfield a village south of Kaer Morhen a dim light flashes and a young white haired boy falls into the canopy of the forest.
Reima who had just finished talking to Jim (Being X) falls through the tree, branches, leaves and thorns causing scratches and cuts on the way down.
He hits the floor and is covered in mud, luckily it seems Being X pitied him and gave him a jerkin made of some suspicious leather or hide and some leather trousers. Cursing himself and trying to keep the mud out of his wounds Reima looks up and realises a sword is being pointed in his face.
"You, what were you doing in the trees?" A gruff voice speaks.
Looking past the metal he spots the white mane of hair that can only belong to one man, Geralt of Rivia. Reima takes a breath and tries to get into a child's mindset.
"I was running from people Sir, I'm sorry if I startled you!"
Geralt looks around trying to tell if this is some sort of ambush, he pulls his sort away as he doesn't spot anything and his amulet is still.
"Who was chasing you?"
"I took some bread but they caught me... I don't have anywhere else to go, please don't send me back Sir!"
Geralt sheaths his sword and pulls the child up out of the mud, he walks to Roach his faithful horse companion and strokes his mane.
Reima has no idea how he is going to convince Geralt to take him to Kaer Morhen, another issue he didn't think about is the timeline. They had stopped making Witcher by the time Witcher 3 rolled around so this will be difficult.
He brushes the mud off his trousers and pulls his bare feet out and tries to start the tear factory,
"Sniff, Sir it's cold out here... I'm an orphan, please don't leave me alone" Trying to act like a pathetic 7 year old is pretty hard!
Geralt still thinks something is off but decides he can't leave a barely clothed child in the forest teeming with monsters alone, "I'll take you back to Mirfield, be quick I need to be somewhere."
Reima panics and decides to change tactics.
"Wow your eyes! Your a monster hunter aren't you!?!"
He picks up the boy and puts him on the back of Roach as the boy starts chattering.
"I wish I could fight monsters... Mother would still be alive."
Geralt stills, "You want to be a Witcher?"
Reima brightly smiles, "Yes sir!"
Geralt turns his head and rubs his stubble, he was on his way back to complete the first trials since Vesemir became Grand master of the School of the Wolf. Usually they only took kids that they earn through the Law of surprise, the practise where if someone saves your life they can evoke the Law of surprise. It's a rule where you give them the first thing that you don't expect to be there when you get home... This includes children.
But due to the massacre that happened that wiped out most of the Witchers they have had to increase this batches numbers from orphans and slaves. Having this child literally dropped onto his lap seemed like a gift in disguise.
"Are you sure? The path of a Witcher is a lonely and painful one... Only the most dedicated can even hope to survive the trials."
Reima looks into his cat-like eyes and affirms his belief "I can be a Monster hunter Sir. Ill show you!" Geralts lack of response doesn't dissuade his determination.
"Alright, just know that if you lose your nerve you will be sent straight back. I won't tell you what happens if you wish to leave during the trials but know that you won't like it."
Geralts steers Roach around and starts heading to Kaer Morhen.
Reima talks to Geralt about innocuous things and trying to figure out where he is on the timeline.
"Sir have you ever received a surprise?"
"Not yet" The gruff voice replies. Ok so he hasn't met Ciri yet and the fact that Geralt is taking me to Kaer Morhen means that they haven't stopped the trials yet.
"Sir you haven't told me your name yet... I'm Reima Ludvig nice too meet you!"
"Geralt of Rivia."
"How long have you been a Monster hunter Mr-"
"Shh" Geralt pushes his gloved finger into Reima's face causing him to shut up, in the distance we can hear moving water. Reimas hearing isn't as good as Geralts but thinks it's most likely the low level creatures that populate almost every water source in the Witcher... Drowners.
"Be quiet and stay on Roach" he gets off and approaches where the water is.
Reima wants to go with but decides that as a 7 yearold he would probably be torn apart.
Geralt approaches the bushes overlooking the stream, he can hear splashing and growling. The sun is setting and dusk is approaching giving him perfect cover to observe the Drowners.
Two Drowners are on land devouring a horse and what should be it's rider, two is easy enough but there is bound to be more nearby.
Drawing the crossbow from his back and placing a Yrden trap sign in front of him, he shoots the closest one revealing himself and backs back into the bush.
The two screech and start sprinting at his last location one with a bolt poking from its chest.
The trap springs impaling one and slowing the other, Geralt does an overhead chop and decapitates the slowed one he starts spinning and cuts the impaled Drowner in two.
More splashing and screeching approaches from further down the stream revealing three more. Geralt block one clawed hand and counters cutting it from the shoulder while the two others try to leap onto him, he rolls away and casts Igni enveloping them in flames.
Guttural screaming and rolling the flesh melts from their bones and they perish, He turns to the final one armed Drowner as it backs away.
It starts to run towards the water, its stump spurting dark red fluids as Geralt reloads his crossbow and shoots it in the back of the head.
"Should be a nest nearby... Not my problem" He states as he collects the tongues and heads back to Roach.
Chapter 3: Kaer Morhen
Reima spots Geralt coming back after the sound of combat had stopped.
"Did you slay the monsters?"
"What were they?"
He lightly kicks Roach as they start travelling again, Reima decides to try and settle the debate on where Drowners actually come from once and for all.
"Sir, where do Drowners come from?"
Geralt raises an eyebrow at his inquisitive charge but decides it's better to learn earlier than later.
"If a male corpse is left in water for a long time, it becomes a Drowner..."
Reima had read in the past that Drowners bred within the nests located around the world, apparently, it's similar to some Necrophages who come from bodies that are not burned nor buried.
They continue travelling until Reima can barely see ahead and Geralt decides to camp. They travel off the road a few metres and tie Roach to a tree, Geralt pulls out a single sleeping bag and throws it to Reima.
"Thank you Mr Geralt."
Geralt gathers branches and dry leaves and uses Igni to start a camp fire.
Reima "Are you going to sleep?"
Geralt "I'll be fine, go to sleep."
He goes to Roach and takes a pouch from which he grabs a handful of salt, which he proceeds to spread around to circle their campsite. After all is done Geralt drops to his knees and starts to meditate.
Birds tweet and chitter as dawn approaches and lights up the damp dark forest. Geralt still sitting in the same spot and position stops meditating and looks to Reima.
"Get up, we will arrive today."
Reima rubs his eyes and gets out of the sleeping bag shivering at the chilled air, "Yes Sir."
He helps Geralt pack up and they continue travelling, as they go he tries to bring up different subjects and engage Geralt but only receives brief responses cutting dialogue short.
After what Reima assumes is 4 hours he spots an old looking castle in the distance, like a grey dilapidated of lord of the rings white keep. As they get closer Reima can see the discarded bones and damaged walls from what he believes is the last massacre.
"Mr Geralt, did someone attack the castle?"
"Yes... Thousands of peasants in a frenzy attacked the Kaer Morhen while I was on the path, killed everyone and left Vesemir for dead."
"How did they get inside?"
"I don't know."
They approach the gates of the keep and while it seems more lively than in the Witcher 3, Reima can still spot blood not yet cleaned from the stones. The gates are already opened and they make they're way in.
Inside they approach the courtyard and see around 20 children from ages 5-8 with 5 Witchers keeping watch over them, Reima can spot Eskel, Lambert, Vesemir and 2 Witchers he doesn't know.
Geralt approaches Vesemir and clasps hands.
"Now, now Geralt... We are past that, did your journey go well?"
"Took of few contracts, not much. When I received word of your attempt on the trials I had to be present."
Vesemir looks past Geralt and spots Reima.
Lambert "Hey Geralt, that kid yours? I can see the resemblance... Although Yen might have something to say about it."
Geralt grimaces and firmly stats "I picked the kid up on the way, he wants to be a Witcher."
Eyes drift onto Reima observing everything about him, Vesemir is the first to speak.
"So lad, you want to be a Witcher? Why?"
Reima turns the child dial up to 11 and speaks "I want to be a cool Monster hunter like Mr Geralt and protect people!"
Amusement is the main emotion from the chuckling Witchers.
Eskel "We should probably get started Vesemir."
Vesemir "Yes, everyone is present so we shouldn't dawdle. Line up with the others lad and we will start."
Reima nods and approaches the other recruits, most of them are wearing dirty ragged clothing but some are wearing what look to be fine clothes worn by nobles. All of the children in front of him are male and look nervous.
He stands at the end of the line facing the Witcher.
"Hey, I'm Reidun" A brown haired gaunt child introduces himself to Reima.
"I'm Reima, nice to meet you Reidun."
Vesemir "Silence" The group of children stop talking and look to Vesemir.
"You are all here for one reason and one reason only, to become a Witcher... Although I do not like to admit it, most of you will not survive the trials... Those of you that do will never be able to have children but will be stronger than any human alive, we will not force you to become a Witcher but you will have to make a choice now. This is the last chance you will get, the only way to leave after is being dead or becoming a Witcher."
Vesemirs words shake the resolve of some of the kids but Reima remains confident.
"If any of you have doubts, speak them now..."
Vesemir stands there with a grave look on his face... 1 minute... 2 minutes, and the first child speaks up.
"I want to go home! I don't want to be a Witcher" He states as he starts sobbing.
Vesemir looks behind him at Lambert who proceeds to usher the sobbing child away from the group.
Three more after the first child end up refusing, leaving a still rather large group left.
Vesemir gives a grandfatherly smile "You will be given a room to rest and meet your peers, they will be your brothers for hopefully a long time. Eskel please escort them to their quarters, we will start the trials tomorrow."
Chapter 4: Becoming a Vegan Monk…
Lambert escorted the recruits to a room in the 2nd floor of Kaer Morhen and pointed to the rows of bunk beds lined up against the wall.
"Alright kids, home sweet home. You will be given your last normal meal in an hour after you get yourselves comfortable..."
The recruits found partners to bunk with and made sure everything was fine, Reima bunked with Reidun the most familiar boy out of the group.
Reima "So how did you end up here?"
Reidun "I'm an orphan and tried to steal from one of the Witchers... Eskel I think his name was?"
Reima "Either you weren't paying attention or you are really unlucky... But this is a chance to make a new life for yourself, while being a Witcher isn't glamorous it can't be said that they are poor."
Reidun nods his head and they continue chatting.
They also meet some of the other recruits, Theun, Erik, Emerens and Jacob on either side of their bunk. Theun has darker skin and is slightly taller than Reima, Erik looks like a traditional Nord from Skyrim with his broad jaw and ginger hair, Emerens looks like a posh swedish person and Jacob looks the most boring out of everyone with his brown hair and normal face.
Jacob "So have you guys heard about what trials are done here?"
Reima "I only know that they change your body to be not entirely human..."
The other boys look leering at becoming some sort of mutant but don't add anything else.
Lambert comes through the doors and gets the recruits to collect a plate that has bread, cheese, and a small amount of dried meat.
"I would suggest you savour it as this will be the most pleasant meal you will have for around a year. Eat up, we will begin training in around 30 minutes."
Reima's group sit on the side of their beds and slowly eat their meals. The cheese is a lot stronger than any cheese Reima had eaten before, the bread was slightly stale and the meat was as tough as old boots.
"If this is the best meal I'm gonna eat here I might just jump off the tower." he snarks
Reidun "I don't know about you but this is pretty good..."
Jacob "Yeah, the best meal I've had in a few seasons."
Erik nods to their statements while Reima tries to choke down the food. His fragile modern day taste buds protesting the whole time.
After their meal they are lead into the court yard where all the Witchers have wooden swords and loose thin clothing. Vesemir walks in front of the recruits and introduces Geralt, Lambert, Eskel, Aubry and Frank. Aubry has dark red hair and noticeably less scars than Frank who's head looks like it was shoved into a meat grinder and had a black hairball spat onto it.
Vesemir "You will be trained in physical combat with all kinds of weapons including swords, spears, axes and even bare handed. Physical training will be done in the mornings at dawn and in the evenings, in between these sessions you will be studying with me or Eskel on monsters, herbs, potions and anything you might come across during your lifetime as a Witcher... This includes some rituals, folklore and basic medical knowledge. You will also be on a diet of wild mushrooms, herbs and whatever else I can pull out of the ground... This is all you need to know for up to a year depending on how your training goes."
The recruits nod as they listen to Vesemir
Vesemir "Now, we will start with basic forms that the school of the wolf uses. This will be different to any martial discipline you might have learned elsewhere, mainly due to us not fighting humans but fighting monsters. You will split off into groups and watch us demonstrate forms, footwork, and posture. Any questions?"
No one speaks up, the around 20 recruits split off to the different Witchers while picking up wooden weapons from the racks, Reimas heads to Vesemir due to him being the most knowledgeable and well-learned Witcher present.
The group spends around 30 minutes demonstrating each form and explaining the uses of each in different situations, after that they allow the recruits to attempt the forms while correcting them when they do one incorrectly.
Vesemir stands back with Geralt as this is happening and observes those with talent and spot two who exceed the group by far, Reimas and another boy called Arie. "We have some good seeds for these trials, perhaps the revival of the school is not far in sight."
Geralt nods with his arms crossed. "I remember you saying some of the knowledge of the trials was lost... Did you recover it?"
Vesemir grunts "No, but I believe the trials I concocted will work. The techniques that were lost improves the rate of survival... I think they were used to reduced the toxins from the second trial but decreased the strength of the mutations, I can only hope my efforts are not in vain."
Vesemir shakes his head to rid himself of doubt as a wooden sword comes flying from the recruits...
Vesemir "I know your all excited but I have no idea how a weapon can go flying from form practice!"
The recruit who lost his sword made the walk of shame with his head down to collect his wayward sword... "Sorry Grandmaster Vesemir..."
Vesemir slaps him on the back "Get back to practice and focus!"
He turns to the almost grinning Geralt "Shouldn't you be teaching? Well, go ahead."
Geralt shrugs and walks to correct the footwork of the closest recruit.
"Feet further apart, what are you a ballerina!?!"
Chapter 5: Not so magic mushrooms…
Reima goes through the forms he observed from Vesemir, he finds it easy to seamlessly shift through various footwork placements, posture and stance. He watches as his peers slowly think about their actions and position themselves with great contemplation.
Eventually they are taught how to swing a sword, how to fix blade alignment and apply force correctly, after causing an audible swish through the air and fixing his stance he looks to Geralt who was watching close by.
"How is it Sir?"
"Good, you have talent... Be careful not to get lazy."
After the session, everyone is directed to the library where Vesemir begins to give a lecture on types of creatures that exist such as Necrophages, Relicts and Spectres.
"Now who knows where I could find a Ghoul?"
one or two students put their hands up but Theun ends up answering.
Theun "A Graveyard?"
Vesemir "Yes that's right. Although nowadays most battlefields will be covered in them if corpses are left and not burned."
Vesemir also gives a basic idea on Potions, Oils and Bombs that Witchers sometimes make use of.
"Alright, we are almost done... But there is one last topic I think we should discuss. Do you know what Signs are?"
No one speaks up so Reima decides to answer.
"It's magic that Witchers sometimes use Sir..."
Recognition lights up in a few recruits eyes.
Vesemir "Yes, Although we are not Mages or sorcerers, the Witcher trials enable us to use a limited form of magic called Signs. The kinda of Signs we use are Aard: A telekinetic blast that can destroy walls of knocks foes off balance, Igni: A blast of flame that ignites those it's used on, Yrden: A trap that slows or damages those that cross it, Quen: A shield that protects someone from all perceived harm, Axii: A form of mind manipulation can be utilised in a number of ways and Heliotrop: An obscure Sign that in it's basic form allows someone to block one strike be it an extremely powerful magic attack or a pebble being thrown from a child..."
Vesemir "You will not be learning about Signs until after most of your trials are done but knowledge is always valuable and you should seek it if you can."
After the lecture was over Vesemir escorted us back to our room and gave us a small amount of Herbs, weird-looking mushrooms and some unidentified plant matter.
"This will be your meals for the foreseeable future, not only is it used to cleanse your system but also to bring you closer to earth and nature. As the trials are Druidic of nature you will need to be as close to nature as possible. You decide how much you eat but we will not assist you with more meals if you choose that path."
Reima looks down at some sort of blue stem in his bowl and takes a bite. VILE!
"Cough!! Cough! What is this!"
He looks around at his friends trying to suppress their gag reflexes and swallow the foliage.
Geralt looks on amused from the door with Lambert trying to chat his ear of. Reima approaches them.
Reima "Any tips on getting this stuff down Sir?"
Geralt "Don't chew, just swallow..."
Lambert "A rule for any man at a whore house, am I right Geralt hahaha!" He nudges Geralt with his elbow and receives one to the solar plexus.
Reima shakes his head and follows Geralts advice by shaping a small amount of the herbs into a compact ball and swallowing it like a pill. While it is a lot more pleasant, it's not something he would ever choose to eat if he had the chance.
Lambert "Alright, once your done, get to sleep as we start early tomorrow." He states this while placing a single bucket next to each bed.
Reima "Sir what are those for?"
Lambert "You will know later..." He says sagely... Or as sagely a Lambert can sound.
The recruits all jump into bed, some leaving scraps of herbs in their bowls and some looking rather uncomfortable.
Reidun "Night Reima"
Reima "Night Reidun"
4 Hours later...
Reima jumps at the sound of projectile vomiting from a few beds down, luckily the recruit seems to have used the bucket placed at the bedside... Looking at Reidun he seems to be feeling the same way, Reima himself feels absolutely fine if rather peckish.
"BLuurrgghh.. Uhhh I wanna die..." The moans from the other side of the room trouble those trying to sleep...
Reima "Can you do that quietly please? Or quieter than you currently are...
??? "Can you shut your mou-Blurrrgghhhh, uhhh"
Reima tries to ignore the pained sounds of vomiting and slowly drifts back to sleep.
In the morning Reima wakes up and smells the absolutely stinking room and quickly hops out of bed, he walks to the window and opens it while spying those who seemed to be having trouble... A child whos name he recalls is Arie, poor guy doesn't seem to take well too the diet...
And so another day starts with training forms for the recruits with two exceptions being Reima and Arie who are beginning footwork and dodge practise... Arie who looks like a typical noble although with the recruits clothing being a stained white shirt with leather pants he looks rather less impressive than Reima would expect. Arie seems to have had prior sword training outside of the school and is adapting quickly if you exclude his bodies rejection of some of the Herbs.
Geralt took them to the side to teach them more advanced techniques due to their progress.
After practice they were giving another small serving of wild herbs and mushrooms and quickly went to attend Vesemirs lecture. After which they were given a break so they can socialise with each other and had their last physical training session of the day.
Chapter 6: A night about the town
For the last session of the day Eskel decided to have them sparring to get some real experience, Reima was partnered with Arie due to them being at a similar level.
Arie stood at 4.3 feet tall with blonde hair and an average physique, Reima would guess that he is around 8 years old.
They stood opposite each other wooden swords in-hand.
Reima "You ready?"
Arie "Definitely" He grins and flourishes his weapon.
Arie runs towards Reima executing a stabbing thrust, Reima backs away pushing his opponents blade away to the side. Arie continues his momentum and performs a spinning slash, seeing this Reima dashes forward and crashes into Arie mid-spin, splaying him across the floor. He tries to get up but has a wooden sword pointed at his neck.
Reima helps Arie get up not bothering to comment on his growing face.
Eskel looks at Arie and asks "Why do you think you lost?"
Arie "I wasn't fast enough at performing the technique."
Eksel "Wrong. Tell me, where did you learn to spin during combat?"
Arie "I watched Master Aubry do it during a combat practice."
Eskel "... Tell me, do you know the purpose of spinning used by us?"
Arie shakes his head. "I assumed it was to perform more powerful attacks."
Eskel "That is one of the uses but the main reason that we incorporate spins while fighting is to observe the surroundings... For instance, if you were fighting a group of Ghouls and need to quickly check the other's actions. These techniques are only used by Witchers because of their enhanced reflexes, sight, and speed... And they only work in one on one duels against normal humans or foes that are significantly slower."
Aries eyes light up in realisation and Reima nods his head finally understanding why Geralt kept twirling in Witcher 3, "I thought it just looked cool..."
Eskel smirks and chuckles, "That too... Alright, let's continue."
2 Months later
During the time Reima was training and being subjugated to a horrific diet it seems some recruits couldn't keep up... One recruit died of an overdose of toxins, grey veins covered his body and face causing him to evacuate his stomach and bowels. He died a slow and agonising death. We held a vigil due to our lost comrade. One recruit tried to escape due to him feeling like he would starve to death, he was cut down before he even left the keep. Another recruit tried to steal food but was caught and denied even the herbs and mushrooms for a week, he didn't last and died in his sleep.
During the two months Reima started to train his teleportation abilities and Haki during breaks, he managed to flash a few feet at a time but was exhausted after 20 minutes of this. He was also able to cover a single finger in Armament haki, not a huge achievement but it's still progress. His solitary breaks were noticed by the other recruits and the Witchers but they assumed he was mourning his lost brothers.
He didn't slack with his Witcher training either, learning just about every technique they could teach him. Obviously learning them is only half the battle due to it not being muscle memory yet, and that only comes with extended use and experience. Vesemir's lectures had become much more specific talking about what herbs did what and how you could tell what monster is which, along with how to slay them.
Reima honestly didn't think there was all that much to learn about the hundreds of variations of monsters that roam around. An example of this being the Wights and the extinct species of spotted Wight Geralt encounters during his travels, variants like this are everywhere and Vesemir is teaching us even the extinct and unheard-of species so we are prepared.
Other than that Reima got to know his friends and brothers a little more, learning where they come from, their dreams and ambitions... Their regrets. Reima knew it was unlikely all of them would survive but he hoped that they would pull through.
Another thing to note is the diet and activities we are being forced through, this is the first trial and I have no idea how most of us are still standing. The amount of calories we are consuming is far far less than the calories we are burning, Vesemir said it's something to do with nature but I don't entirely buy that.
During our time in Kaer Morhen the Witchers sometimes leave to take contracts to keep the populace happy, sometimes they take one or two recruits to watch a real confrontation. Arie and Reima were taken by Geralt, he ended up laying a trap for what he assumed was a Night wraith. Recently bandits had kidnapped a newly wed woman and had raped and murdered her, along with the times of the attacks and states of the bodies, Geralt had concluded it to be a Night wraith.
The skeletal looking maidenhead floated from the local graveyard towards a wood cutters shack which housed a small family.
Geralt "Stay back while I deal with her, keep your silver swords in hand just in case she slips past."
They both nod in affirmation as the Wraith triggers Geralt's Yrden, he leaps out with surprising speed towards the Night wraith who tries to blink away but can't due to the trap. It lashing out with sharp claws but it's arm ends up being sliced causing it to cry out in pain due to the Spectre oil applied to Geralt's blade. He lashes out again with a powerful swipe towards it's neck decapitating it.
Arie and Reima look on in awe at the ease Geralt dispatched the creature with.
"Are all monsters that easy to deal with?" Arie asks
Geralt "With proper preparation and a good plan most creatures are easy prey... The only time you should find yourself in is unexpected threats or powerful being like Elder Vampires or Djinn's."
Reima "Have you ever fought either of them?"
Geralt "No and if you ever meet an Elder Vampire you should run as far as you can without looking back... Even if you manage to slay one by some sort of miracle, it will come back and tear you apart. Vampires are some of the most difficult creatures Witchers can come across. Not only because some are immortal but because they entrench themselves in society becoming influential and untouchable."
"Understood Master" Arie and Reima nod at Geralt's words and follow him to collect the contract fee
Chapter 7: .Trial of the grasses
3 months later
The recruits have mostly gotten used to the diet and the training with the exception of those who couldn't handle the strain on their bodies and perished.
Recently Vesemir have been seen with a man who wore a patchwork of hides from different monsters and a hood that had antlers and a skull attached. Some sort of druid presumably, idea of learning magic pop up in Reima's mind but questions and doubts as to why Ciri didn't learn any magic even from Yennefer. Reima decides he'll ask but is not confident with his chances.
During a break between training Reima manages to catch the Druid without Vesemir.
"Hello Sir! I'm Reima."
The Druid raises an eyebrow at the sudden introduction but decides to humour the child.
"I am Dagobert Sulla, a pleasure to meet your acquaintance young man. Do you need something?"
Reima "Are you a Wizard?"
Dagobert "No, I am a simple Druid helping your Grand master with his tasks."
Reima "Magic is so cool! I wonder if I could learn magic Sir?"
The question surprises the Druid but he places his hand on the side of Reima's face with his thumb on his forehead.
Dagobert "Source" He whispers to himself, "You are very talented young man, but I am sorry to inform you that most magic, especially Druidic magic that I use is only taught through the family. The only exception to this are the organisations such as the Brotherhood of Sorcerers."
Reimas enthusiasm fades quickly under this revelation "I see, I guess I will have to stick to Witcher Sign magic..."
Dagobert laughs "Don't despair, magic is not as rare as some think. Also, a word of warning... If you are under great distress, find a place devoid of life to calm down, the magic instability of those such as yourself is as dangerous to others as it is to you."
Reima has no idea what hes talking about but assumes it's some unspoken lore not talked about in the games. He nods anyway and leaves the Druid to his business.
Another month passes and the trials proceed to the second step, the trials of the grasses.
Vesemir has us all lined up outside the laboratory, he had us do an extremely rigorous training session to tire us all out for some reason. Standing there with aching muscles Vesemir addresses us.
Vesemir "You have all done exceedingly well, I did not expect a number this great to complete the first trial, but you have proven yourselves worthy to proceed to the next trial. This trial will mutate your body and increasing your reflexes, hand to eye coordination and a litany of other benefits. For those of you that survive, it is the first true step to becoming a Witcher."
The nervous recruits were shuffled into a dark room with a number of beds, Geralt, Lambert, Eskel, Aubry and Frank had their weapons drawn were overseeing the trial.
They had each recruit drink a concoction of foul smelling ingredients and lie on the bed, Reidun lying next to Reima speaks to him in a quiet voice. "We will make it through this right Remia? We will. We will."
Reima "Just think about what you want to do after you finish the trials... Me? I want a meal that doesn't consist of leaves and mushrooms..."
Reidun smirks at that while the Witchers tie each limb of the recruits to their beds.
Reimas "Is there a point to tying us up?"
Lambert "This part of the trials is brutal and barbaric, there are only three outcomes to this trial. One, you die of toxin overdose. Two you go berserk and attack everything insight like a mindless monster. Third and most unlikely, you become faster and your reflexes and body are improved."
Geralt "Well aren't you just shitting rainbows Lambert. Don't worry kid, you'll be fine."
Reimas nods at Geralt as he starts to feel a bubbling in his stomach, his limbs seize up and pull the ropes tied to the bed taught. A strangled cry escapes Reimas mouth as he loses control of his body, his breathing is erratic and stuttered, his heart beats irregularly. He would have evacuated his bowls if they hadn't taken concentrated laxatives before the trial.
If Reimas were to speak of this experience it would be less painful more unbearable creeping fear that he will never regain control of his body.
During the trial, Reima can hear screams and swift cuts of what presumably are the blades of the Witchers.
Vesemir stands at the side with the Druid Dagobert Sulla watching the trial.
Dagobert "I do not wish to doubt your abilities but what makes you think this your improvised trials will work?"
Vesemir "I had a general idea of how they were done... This is my last attempt at ensuring the school of the wolf continues in the future."
Dagobert "At the cost of these young lives?"
Vesemir "Hopefully it won't come to that, I am confident that it will succeed."
After an hour the effects of the potion finally stop and Reima can open his eyes. He looks about the bloodied room strewn with corpses and seeks to comment to Reidun, who isn't present in his bed.
Looking around and at Geralt he speaks in shuddering voice.
"Geralt, where is Reidun? He should be right here!"
Geralt looks down in shame and points to Reimas bedside, there lies Reidun with a horrific face of anger and hunger still present... Reima jumps back from the threat but realises that Reidun is missing the lower half of his body. Eyes glazed over, cold to the touch, he must have been one of the first to be cut down.
"Reidun, it's over... Mate, you can stop fooling around now..."
Geralt "I'm sorry."
Reima's sobs in his bed as Geralt watches, an unreadable expression on his face.
Vesemir stands at the side looking over the recruits. He doesn't speak but just looks at the overwhelming death count, out of the 17 recruits only 3 survived... Those being Reima, Arie, and Erik.
Dagobert "It seems that your confidence was misplaced... I would advise against performing any more trials, you may lose what you have left."
Vesemir drops to his knees tears threatening to fall from his eyes, the children he looked after for half a year, all dead because of his mistake. A look of determination gradually makes its way onto his face. "No, we can't stop now... They must complete the rest of the trials.
Dagobert "Then I will have no part in your folly." He says sternly as he leaves the room."
Chapter 8: Aftermath
Vesemir and the other Witchers sit at a table drinking the alcohol Lambert had been brewing, a sullen atmosphere hanging overthem.
Lambert "I can't believe it happened again..." he states breaking the silence. "I thought our trials were horrible and pointless but this... This was a massacre, and you let it happen, Vesemir."
No one stopped Lambert disrespecting Vesemir due to similar thoughts running through their heads.
Eskel takes a large swig of his drink, "There are always casualties during the trials Lambert, the only difference this time are the number."
Lambert "Almost all of them dying during the trial of the grasses is FUCKING INSANE! The survivors have atleast two more trials and you think they won't also die?" He stands up and looks at the end of the table at Vesemir.
Lambert "Are you really going to make them continue after what just happened!?!"
Vesemir "You and I both know that once you begin the trial of the grasses you must complete the trial of the dreams or they will slowly lose control of their bodies." He slumps in his seat nursing his mug.
Lambert drops into his seat. "So that's it then huh? Anything to continue the school? If you ask me, the time of Witchers is over. The people hate us and the lords hunt us even despite the monsters ravaging their lands."
Vesemir "I hesitate to say but I agree... This will be the last time we will create Witcher, I vow it."
Lambert "That's great, I bet those dead kids will appreciate it!"
Geralt "Enough, Lambert... We are all partly responsible for this."
Aubry "Aye... For our lost brothers, a toast" He raises his mug followed by the other Witchers.
Aubry "Let this tragedy never happen again. And those involved rest in peace."
They continue drinking in relative silence throughout the night.
Reima after the trial was allowed to spend his time as he wished, he spent it getting used to the increased speed and reflexes produced by the concoction he had drunk. He tries to take his mind off of his fallen comrades and the look Reidun had given him before the trial... He had never experienced loss like this before and is unsure what to do about it, for now he tries to focus on other things until he can rationalise it better.
"Feels like I have been moving through custard til now." Reima's says waving his hands in front of him.
He sits and starts to meditate, he remembers what the Druid had said about being a source and is unsure about what it means. He also confirmed that he is capable of magic, when he uses the elder blood abilities like blinking which is what he named from short teleportation, he can feel the magic acting within his body.
Reima remembers that most other sorcerers need a catalyst to cast spells like Yennefer in the Witcher 3 intro, her necklace lights up when she casts something. Also during the same intro she makes use of a crystal crow skull to summon a deadly creature.
As opposed to this Reima feels magic flowing freely just waiting to jump out at any second. He would try practicing the Signs but is wary of being blown up, once he learns them Reima decides he will try to cross-examine how they work to create something else...
Another thing to note, perhaps due to his increased reflexes observation Haki is more... Fluid? Easier to utilise may be the better way to describe it. Reima feels he might be over analysing the changes he had experienced but decides to leave it alone.
Reima goes back to see how the others are holding up.
He approaches the room where Erik is lying face down in his bed still somewhat distraught at the recent events.
Erik "They killed most of us! They said some wouldn't survive but that was far from the truth!"
Reima "They did."
Erik rubs his eyes and looks at his last remaining friend, "Hey, we should run... We are faster now, they won't catch us! If we stay here we will die like the others, like Theun and Jacob, Emerens and.."
Reima "They would kill us both and you know that, the only way out now is to become a Witcher."
Erik "But they're Monsters! You saw what they did to the others, they butchered them like animals!"
He looks down at his hands "Why did they die and I survive."
Reima "You were lucky, if you want to make their sacrifice worth something you should strive to survive."
Erik looks up at Reima "Yeah... Your right, We'll come out of this alive... We have to..."
Reima leaves Erik to his contemplation and goes to search for Arie, he hasn't heard a peep from him since the trial and is unsure how he's feeling.
Down in the courtyard Arie is twirling and pirouetting with a sword in hand striking a training dummy. His body slick with sweat and steaming in the chilled air.
"Arie!" Reima calls out to get his attention, Arie almost jumps as he turns towards him sword still in position.
Arie "Reima... It's good that your alive." He almost whispers.
Reima "You wanna talk about it?" He sits on a stump and waiting patiently.
Arie sits next to him and sticks the sword in the ground.
Arie "You know, I thought it would all be fun and games when we arrived at Kaer Morhen. It was fun, fighting you and growing in skill alongside the others. It was only when the first person died after a month that I realised this wasn't going to end pleasantly..."
Arie "I wasn't all that close with the others, the only person I really talk to is you Reima... We are the same and I can respect that, but even seeing a stranger die like that is horrible, let alone an acquaintance."
Reima nods and continues listening.
Arie "I heard that the other trials aren't as deadly as the previous so maybe we will live to see next year."
Reima "We will, next year all three of us will be Witcher apprentices with skills to match. You have my word."
Arie smiles but it doesn't reach his eyes, "Want to test out the changes?"
Reima nods, "Sure."
Chapter 9: Endless dreams
Reima wakes up the next day and sees that he is the only one present, the Arie and Erik must have left earlier. He ignores the other vacant beds as he heads to the dining room Vesemir requested them to meet up.
He gets there and sees Arie and Erik already seated waiting for him with Vesemir standing at the head of table.
"Reima, come and sit." He gestures towards one of the vacant seats on the table. The only other Witchers present are Geralt and Eskel who seem to be making something in the kitchen.
Vesemir "I am sure you are all weary about the trials but I am sorry to admit that you can't stop now, I have already set up the Trial of the dreams in the laboratory but we have more pressing matters for now. We will conduct a funeral for those we lost yesterday, afterwards we will continue with the trials... But for now you need to eat your fill due to the amount of strain this trial puts on the body, even if it's just a bit, it will help."
Reima can see Eriks fists squeezed so tightly they have gone white.
Arie "What will we be eating?"
Vesemir "You will have the pleasure.. Or perhaps displeasure of eating Geralt and Eskels cooking, I don't know whether they have improved or not over the last time they cooked for me almost half a decade ago." He chuckles receiving glares at Geralt and Eskel who are bringing plates stacked high with eggs, meat and cheese.
Geralt "Would you like to cook instead my liege" He says sarcastically to Vesemir.
Eskel "You know what they say, never insult the man who cooks your meals. Eat up kids, trust me, You'll need it."
The three young boys proceed to devour everything in site, the terrible tasting wild herbs and mushrooms making what's prepared taste like ambrosia mixed with happiness.
An hour passes with the boys squeezing all they can in their stomachs, they finish and sit back with a breath showing their bloated bellies.
"Good" The three reply simultaneously
Vesemir leads everyone north east of Kaer Morhen to where Aubry, Lambert and Frank have prepared pyres. To the side 17 cloth-wrapped bodies were lain, Vesemir had taught the proper rights earlier in the year, possibly predicting such an outcome beforehand.
Reima approaches the bodies with a stack of flowers in his arms, followed by Erik and Arie. Reima and Erik trying to stifle their sniffles as they decorate the bodies with flowers they had picked or been given. The Witchers finish preparation and watch on at this sad scene.
After they had covered their friends in different coloured flowers of all kinds they stepped back and watched on as the Witcher respectfully lifted the bodies onto the pyres.
Eventually candles were lit and everyone was facing the pyre, Vesemir stepped forward and spoke in some language Remia's didn't understand.
Vesemir "And so we bid farewell to those who faltered on the path." Vesemir spoke those words bitterly or perhaps self mockingly."
The surrounding Witcher use Igni to light parts of the pyre which caused it to gradually envelop their friends. Erik looks on tears streaming down his face as he said farewell, the others holding up a strong persona and didn't give a hint of emotion.
2 hours later
After the funeral rights were completed the three were lead into the laboratory for the 3rd trial. Three devices that looks suspiciously like torture racks were placed a good distance between each other as a number of bubbling instruments sat at the side.
Erik held Reima's hand as they approached and were given an idea of what would happen.
Vesemir "This trial, while not as deadly as the last is the one that truly makes one become a Witcher. Unlike the last trial that was relatively painless, this one will leave you conscious as your organs melt, muscles tear and strengthen and your genetic code rewritten."
Erik shakes as Vesemir describes just what is about to happen to them. Arie shows an emotionless facade but it doesn't hide the fear in his eyes. Reima who knows that he will survive is weary of the pain and worried about the others.
They strap each boy into the restraints as they prepare to administer the mutagens.
Erik "We will be alright... Right Reima?"
Reima doesn't know how to respond to a child that may or may not die within the hour...
Reima "Mmm, we will."
Erik gives a fearful smile and closes his eyes as the needles pierce his skin. Reima feels like these are larger than those they use for flu shots.
Reima looks to the side at Eskel who is beside him. "How was it during your trial Mr Eskel?"
Eskel looks grimly at Reima and speaks quietly. "Painful. You know why they call it the trial of dreams? Because most don't wake up. Good luck kid."
Reima was about to retort but feels unimaginable pain rocket through him as what feels like fire and brimstone races through his veins. His body shudders and his legs shake as he involuntarily moans in pain. Erik on his left is howling in pain as he shakes and twitches against the restraints.
Reima closes his eyes as he feels like they are melting in his eye socket, his muscles make funny noises similar to a rope being strained under enormous weight.
His bones feel as if they were being hollowed out and filled with lava, he grits his teeth almost making them crack and chip under the pressure.
Eventually the screaming stops, Reima quietens down and notices Erik has stopped as well. He opens his eyes to find everything blurry, looking to the side where Erik was he sees his humanoid shape still lying on there breathing heavily. Looking around he spots what should be Eskel and asks him to undo his restraints, Eskel does just that and releases him and he falls to the floor.
He picks himself up with surprising ease and wobbles over to Erik, blinking his eyes to focus a little his breath catches in his throat.
There lying on the rack Erik previously laid is a misshapen creature with limbs too long to suit it's body and half it's face and torso melted and melded to the rack.
Reima looks at Geralt and Vesemir who looks even more downtrodden at the results.
Reima "Is this... Erik?"
They almost jump at the quiet voice.
Vesemir frowns and nods as he looks at me.
"R-rre-reim" Erik's heavily muted form speaks in a whisper.
Reima "Erik... Do you hurt?" He whispers back.
Erik struggles to get words out as his melted lips bleed from the effort. "Y-y-ou lied."
The shock of this statement almost topples Reima over as Geralt catches props him up, tears start flooding down his cheeks and he sobs out. "I did, I'm sorry... Forgive me."
Erik's eyes look like the abyss due to the pupil unnaturally expanding, he looks as deeply as he can and gasps out in a final painful breath. "I fo-rgi-ve y-ou" He manages to splutter out before finally slumping into the rack.
Reima cries into Geralts chest as Arie stumbles up and places his hand on Reima's shoulder to comfort him.
Chapter 10: Mutant but still no Witcher
Remia despite being very weak and exhausted helped set up the second funeral of the day for Erik, the Witchers were unable to detach his grafted flesh from the rack so they decided to wrap them both up in cloth.
They held the funeral over the ashes of the previous one and Vesemir gave a similar speech that was more directed at Erik's personality and origins. After the two days of loss and death Reima felt that his tear ducts were dried out, unable to squeeze out another tear from his sore eyes. Arie stood at his side, the only people left out of the large group were the two of them.
After all was said and done Reima dragged his body back into his room and collapsed on his bed.
The next morning felt different when compared to all others, the feeling of loss still present but stifled by the brightness and detail of the world around him. Colours looked like they were more colourful and light looked brighter, he went to grab for the single hand held mirror in the room to inspect the changes to his body and came face to face with deep bright green eyes with a slit replacing the pupil. Cats eyes are adapted to low light conditions so it's reasonable for this to be a mutation of choice for monster hunters. Reima just stared at himself in the mirror, his white skin seemed much paler than before almost resembling his white hair, his bright green eyes contrasted nicely against everything else and reminded him of Ciri's. No doubt they would be mistaken as siblings, whether or not Reima is happy at this revelation is another unanswerable question.
He hears someone shuffling out of bed and turns towards Arie, His blonde hair didn't change but the yellow cat eyes staring back at him did.
Reima points the mirror at Arie who's eyes light up in excitement, "We're almost there." He grins.
Reima "I doubt an exhausting couple of days and significant body modification will get us out of practise, plus I feel like I could lift a truck."
Arie "A truck?"
Reima "Never mind that, lets go fight!" He drags him off to the courtyard where an amused Eskel waits.
Eskel "Alright kids, settle down. I know you're excited to get started but we should probably start with some warming up."
He tells us to follow him as he jogs around the outskirts of Kaer Morhen, after 10 minutes he starts to speed up and eventually reach the sprinting speed of a normal person. Reima and Arie haven't even broken a sweat and continue following him until he leads them both back to the court yard where Geralt is now waiting.
Eskel "Ok, good that you two don't seem to have any problems. Now that you have the strength and speed of a Witcher you will be apprenticed by one of us each to give you the skills of a Witcher."
Geralt "Vesemir decided it was best we chose our apprentices instead of them being assigned, I agree with him. Unlike in other jobs a bond between a Master and Apprentice is almost sacred to Witchers, we give you our backs and we ask that you don't slip a knife in while we are turned."
Eskel "I have a similar background to you Arie and have decided to take you on as my Apprentice, if you don't object?"
Arie "No Sir, I would be honoured!"
Eskel "Alright, no ass kissing... Call me Eskel, being called master makes me feel old." Arie nods at his words.
Reima "And me?"
Geralt "Well, Lambert wanted to take you on but we decided one loud mouth was enough for now. I offer you a place as my Apprentice, my reputation is bad around most parts so it may follow you if you accept. Well?"
Reima "I couldn't ask for a better Master."
Geralt "You could, whether or not you receive one is another matter." He pats Reima on the back towards a rack of real swords, unlike the wooden ones they had been using to spar with until now.
Reima "Do I finally get a sword? Cool."
Geralt "Take a pick of the steel ones here, try the length and weight of them, finding a good match is as hard as forging them. Take in mind you will rapidly grow in height from here on so find one that won't be too short for you in a year or two."
Reima nods, "What about a silver sword? I was lent one by Vesemir when we went with you on a contract"
Geralt "The silver sword is what makes a Witcher, you will be given one once you graduate and retrieve your medallion. They will be custom made to suit you, so you won't be disappointed.
Geralt "Now, due to you and Arie being much further ahead in technique and knowledge than we thought possible we have accelerated your training schedules. Ofcourse we can change them back if your not up for it?"
Reima gives a wide grin at Geralt "Ill beat you eventually old man, count on it."
Geralt just takes a sword from the rack and drops into a stance, "You're decades too early to try my Apprentice." Reima takes a similar stance and tries to run at Geralt before dropping to the floor in a pathetic mess surrounded by the Yrden sign.
Reima "No fair that's cheating!"
Geralt's lips upturn slightly. "Us Witcher are such Scheming swine! I can barely control myself from these cursed tactics." He says in the famous White Wolf monotone sarcasm.
Reima bickers with Geralt while attempting to get in a strike and failing spectacularly.
And so Master and Apprentice begin the long road of mastery.
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