††††††††††† Rei woke up with a headache. A very large headache. He was also in a hospital bed. This meant that there was probably a very good reason for his headache. Then he remembered. Well, sort of. Really, he didn't remember anything. Or something. Or nothing. Ack.

††††††††††† Rei heard a quiet noise beside him, and turned his head to see what it is. Damodred was sitting on a chair in the corner, filing her nails with a knife. She glanced up at him.

††††††††††† "You're pretty observant, you know. You stared at the ceiling for a good five minutes before I stomped my foot so you'd notice me here. Be glad I'm not out to kill you. Yet."

††††††††††† "Ummm... what happened?" Rei asked

††††††††††† She smiled, and continued filing her nails while she spoke. "Overall, I'd give your high dive from the balcony a 9.5. The technique was pretty good, but you lost points for the face plant."

††††††††††† Rei groaned. NOW he remembered. "How long have I been out?"

††††††††††† "Not too long, actually," she replied. "Although the doctor doesn't want you back on your feet for an entire week. Putz."

††††††††††† "Huh?" he asked, still dazed. Damodred moved on to her ring finger as she spoke.

††††††††††† "You didn't break anything, and there wasn't that much blood on the ground. However, because you appear to have some sort of concussion, the doctor doesn't think that you should be doing anything high-impact for a little bit. As I said, he's a putz."

††††††††††† "I see..." Rei trailed off, not wanting to disagree with her. She moved on to her pinky.

††††††††††† "Well, this should give you some time to rest, before you go back to Hell. You DO know why you passed Talien's test, right?" she finished with her pinky, and began examining the nails on her right hand.

††††††††††† "Ummm.... because I fought the Stalfos off?"

††††††††††† Damodred grinned. "Wrong. Dead wrong. Oops... this nail's a bit uneven." She extended her middle finger and began filing it. Rei vaguely noticed that the finger was pointed toward him.

††††††††††† "It's not because of any real display of strength on your part. In fact, you performed very poorly. The sword did all of the work for you. Talien claims that he saw a flash of potential in you- more potential than he's seen in a long while, but then, he also thought that I was a nice girl when we first met."

††††††††††† "How long have you known each other?" Rei asked. Damodred looked up, and switched to her left hand, starting with the index finger.

††††††††††† "A long time. I was thirteen when I first met him."

††††††††††† "And how long would that be?"

††††††††††† "Long enough," she replied, moving to her other middle finger. "And thatís all you need to know," she said, her finger once again extended in Rei's general direction.

††††††††††† "Ummm... wouldn't a regular nail file be more practical?"

††††††††††† She shrugged. "Not like I care, or anything. Either way, I'm supposed to keep you company while you're here. Don't think that I wanted to be here."

††††††††††† Rei gave a nervous smile. His head hurt some more. "Of course not!" he said, trying his best to avoid showing any weakness. He failed. She looked up at him, and then switched fingers again.

††††††††††† "The first thing that we have to work on when you recover," she started, "is your habit of running during a fight. You need to stand your ground more. I'm thinking... chaining your ankles to the ground during some practice sessions, perhaps?"

††††††††††† Rei gulped. Damodred switched fingers again.

††††††††††† "Of course, it's not like you can move very far, or anything, with that Bastard Sword. There's only one problem."

††††††††††† "What?" he asked.

††††††††††† "Those practice swords aren't durable enough. I have to hold back when hitting you to avoid breaking them. I think I'll make a request for sturdier ones."

††††††††††† Rei hid his head underneath the covers as Damodred began filing her thumbnail.

††††††††††† "You can come out of there now. A bed sheet doesn't usually make a good shield."

††††††††††† "At least I have an entire week..." He muttered to himself. Damodred grinned, and began examining the nails on her left hand.

††††††††††† "This, of course, means we'll be making up for lost time."

††††††††††† Rei gulped again.

††††††††††† "Oh, good. They're all even again," Damodred said, before folding up her knife and beginning to put it away. She stopped, and considered for a second. Flicking the blade open again, Damodred lightly tossed it up into the ceiling above Rei's head. The knife stuck.

††††††††††† "Enjoy," she said, getting up. "I'm going to dinner right now. Stare at that, and hope that it doesn't fall while I'm away." she walked to the door, and then offered one final comment.

"The blade's heavier than the hilt. If it falls, you'll be skewered through the eye."

††††††††††† Leaving him with that grisly thought, Damodred went to dinner. She ate steak.




††††††††††† Overall, Rei did not enjoy his week of rest. Damodred was prominent in his week, and therefore it was not a week to treasure. She didn't do anything major, or outright, but it was the subtle things that got to him the most. The knives suspended above his head (After a while, he realized that they weren't going to fall, but the effect remained the same). The extremely hard to catch insults. The occasional show of temper that served to quiet him down. And, of course, the condescending attitude. By the third day, Rei had gotten the strange feeling that he and Damodred were not going to be the best of friends by any means. Also by the third day, he was allowed out of bed. This signaled a wonderful break- he could rest, and actively try to avoid Damodred! Not that any of it really worked, but Rei had found that he could have at least some peace when he hung around Talien. Although Talien would never tell Rei about Damodred's past, he did inadvertently give her age.

††††††††††† "I've known her for eleven years now, and she really hasn't changed much. She seems to like tormenting you, though."

††††††††††† Rei took it as a compliment.




††††††††††† Some people describe Hell as a place where the fire will never die. Those people are wrong.

††††††††††† Rei woke up to a quiet thunking sound next to him. He turned around to see a knife sticking out of the wall roughly three inches to the right of his face.

††††††††††† "Good morning, Damodred," He groaned, still trying to complete the act of waking up.

††††††††††† "Morning to you, too," Damodred said form the doorway. "Time to get up!" She pitched another knife at him, which imbedded itself about three inches to the left of his face.

††††††††††† "These things keep getting closer each morning," he commented, still lying down in the bed.

††††††††††† "Yeah, you're right," she commented, tossing one about three inches above his head. "You know, you really should get up soon, before I miss the wall."

††††††††††† "Huh?" he asked, still rather tired.

††††††††††† "Think about it, Rei," she said, readying another knife. "Considering the angle at which I'm throwing these, what's the only way that I could miss the wall?"

††††††††††† Rei bolted out of the bed just in time to avoid the knife that hit exactly where his head was.

††††††††††† "Hey!" he shouted. "I could have been killed there!"

††††††††††† Damodred shrugged. "I threw it after you started to jump up," she said.



Take 1



††††††††††† Rei tried once more to lift the Bastard Sword. Using all of his strength, he managed to lift it above his head. This was when he fell over due to the sudden imbalance. Damodred was on him in under a second. Pain.



Take 2



††††††††††† Using all of his might, Rei swung the mighty Bastard Sword at Damodred. She yawned, sidestepped it, grabbed the blade, and used it to hoist him into the air before pitching him into a corner and beating him silly with the practice swords again. Pain.



Take 3



††††††††††† Rei bent over to pick up the sword, thus lowering any possible guard that he might have previously had. Pain.




††††††††††† Holding the hookshot, Rei aimed for the overhanging section of roof above the balcony.

††††††††††† "Just remember," Talien told him, putting a hand on his shoulder, "Keep a good grip on the hookshot, and you'll be fine! Steady your hand before you fire, and don't be afraid!"

††††††††††† Rei smiled to himself. "It's... It's not that hard! I can do this!" he said as he depressed the button and fired the chain. The hookshot stuck in the section of roof, and Rei was quickly pulled up with it when it retracted.

††††††††††† Rei held his grip very carefully after the initial ascent, and dropped off and onto the balcony with no difficulty. He retracted the hookshot chain back into its casing. Talien clapped.

††††††††††† "Wow! I did it!" Rei shouted. "I actually did it! Woo-hoo!"

††††††††††† Then the balcony that he was standing on collapsed under him. Pain.




Rei woke up in that same hospital bed again. He looked to his right to see the familiar sight of Damodred trimming her nails with a knife. It must be some sort of nervous tick, or something.

††††††††††† "The good news is," she began, "The pieces of the balcony broke your fall. They also made your legs look as if a wild Goron had been chewing on them, but nothing's broken and you shouldn't scar. You'll be training again tomorrow."

††††††††††† "What happened?" Rei groaned, vaguely aware of the pain in his throbbing legs.

††††††††††† "Some idiot hadn't done anything to repair the balcony, and it rotted with age."

††††††††††† "Ugh..." Rei groaned again.

††††††††††† "You know," Damodred began, "When Ganondorf split up the Triforce, you must have gotten the Triforce of Screwed, or something."

††††††††††† "Thanks... I think..." he moaned, somewhat preoccupied with the fact that he'd have to train again the next day with his legs feeling like that.

††††††††††† "Oh, and about your legs, they've applied a special healing salve to them. You should feel perfectly fine by tomorrow morning."

††††††††††† Rei breathed a sigh of relief.

††††††††††† "Enjoy your short respite."



Take 12



††††††††††† Rei held up the sword to block Damodred's attack. She attacked low. Pain.



Take 17



††††††††††† Damodred didn't even give Rei a chance to pick his sword up. Pain.



Take 22



††††††††††† Rei started running. Pain.



Take 24



††††††††††† Rei clutched the hilt of the Bastard Sword. Any second now, Damodred would charge at him, and he'd get the crap kicked out of him again. He was thinking extremely hard this time about how he could at least defend against one attack so that the training could go on past this point, but as of right now he had absolutely no idea how to succeed. His mind had come up blank. Damodred was too fast, and her technique was incredible. Some of the time, Rei couldn't even see her move before she nailed him. While thinking, he looked down toward the ground, and finally got an idea.


††††††††††† "Defend yourself!" Damodred shouted, charging. Rei dropped the Bastard Sword, and picked up a medium-sized rock that was on the ground. He pitched it at her, and nailed Damodred dead-center in the forehead, stunning her a little bit. Rei then grabbed both ends of the sword and hefted the thing over his head. Letting out a stressed grunt/yell, he hurled it at Damodred. The Bastard Sword hit her sideways, but succeeded in knocking her off-balance and sending her falling to the floor. Also, her arms were pinned down by it- or so it seemed. Rei then ran and grabbed both practice swords.

††††††††††† "There! I did it! I defended against your charge!" he shouted victoriously.

††††††††††† "Good job," she said, still lying on her back with the massive sword on top of her. "You seem to have finally grasped the finer points of basic ingenuity. However," she said, standing up and leaving the sword on the ground, "I don't need wooden swords to attack you."

††††††††††† She charged him. Pain. But this time, it was a victorious pain.