“Hey! What are you—”
You pull the Novice to you, and while she protests, and her tail lashes your legs, she puts up no greater struggle. Her head rears back on her elongated, Serpent Priestess neck, but she allows you to pull her body to yours.
“I thought you were granting us a reprieve from this farce?” she grumbles.
In truth, while the Duelist has been a boon to you—and her ‘distractions’ welcome—you recognize that is has been less so for the Novice. Her focus has been on your and your tutor, rather than her own movements and body. Being a scholar, she lacks a warrior’s kinesthetic sense.
“Focus on my body,” you say, meeting her eyes. “Follow it with yours.”
You begin to slowly lead her through the steps. She continues to fumble, but as the Duelist corrected you, you now correct your Novice Fleshweaver.
“This is pointless,” she hisses, sounding almost hopeless. “What sick thrill drives you to continue to humiliate me so, Degenerateborn?”
“There is no audience,” you remind her. “There is no judgement. Just you… And me.”
She falls silent, averting her gaze… But, with gradually-increasing surety, clinging close to you as if she were afraid to fall to her doom, she begins to mirror your movements.
“Ah,” she says, beginning to understand. “This is not so difficult, after all. I suppose it makes sense: if apes can do it, why should I not be able to, as a vastly superior being?”
You rattle with laughter at this.
“I suppose my help is unneeded, then?” you mock. “You are ready to dance this dance alone?”
“Don’t be absurd,” she scoffs. “It REQUIRES a partner, and you are… Adequate.”
You reflect on how her words mirror your own jest to the Drow Duelist. Or… Perhaps, over all these years, you have come to mirror her own style of speaking, in some way? You did grow up together, develop together…
“What?” the Novice asks, sounding annoyed. “Did I make some error again? Why are you looking at me like that?”
Maybe… Maybe you aren’t so different after all.