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The Results are In
Inside the cage, Izal had nothing else to do but watch the events, watch Mako and Zach clash before Zach had darted off into the woods. The whole thing with him and Mako attacking Zach, was a training session, an important training session. Ever since that day down on the beach, the Watcher's education had begun and now after all the years that have passed, this important training session had come, for it is the exam that would determine if Zach would advance to the next stage.
"Come out, come out where ever you are!" Mako calls out as his eyes observe the trees.
Just like he did minutes before with Izal, Zach had to the trees, running along along the branches and leaping from tree to tree before he suddenly leaped up into the sky, emerging from the trees and appearing high above the clearing before landing behind Mako, who Zach delivered a hard double kick to Mako's spine, who instead of falling to the floor, managed to remain standing and shake off the attack.
Continuing to act, Zack quickly back-flipped, only to then dive forwards, flinging himself into his Sensei, tackling him to the dirt before throwing a well-aimed kick at the wooden Longsword, knocking it away and then pulled his own sword in and put the wooden edge against Mako's throat.
"Was that what you wanted to see?" Zach questions.
"Yes it was." Mako flashes a quick smile to Zach.
Izal calls out, just in case the two swordsman had forgotten about him.
"Now our session is done for today, so how about you let me up?"
Zach pulls his sword away and then helps his mentor up before he runs over to where the wooden Longsword landed, picks it up and then passes it to Mako.
"I suppose I should let Easel out now?" Zach asks, saying the raven't name wrong.
"Izal," Mako corrects.
"What did I say?"
"Easel." Mako informs.
"Oh, sorry." Zach apologizes.
"Amazing. You can speak six languages fluently and yet, even now you still can't say a simple name." Mako comments as he and Zach walk to the cage. "Do me a favour, say Eyes," Mako instructs.
"Eyes." Zach repeats.
"Now say All."
"Now say both words together."
"Good, now say the two words a little faster."
"Izal," Zach says, finally getting the name right.
"There you go, you did it."
"Thank you Master." Zach bows gracefully.
"Now if you remember that, you will never get our friend's name wrong again."
"Izal." Zach repeats as he walks over to the cage and opens it, letting the animal out before he pets him. "I hope I didn't hurt you!" Zach says to Izal.
"You didn't." Izal replies to the young lad, using the same telepathic link he has with Mako, with Zach.
"What do you think of the cage?" Mako questions as he looks towards the wooden prison that Zach himself had built.
"It's very good, the door locked fine and the cage held. Refusing to break and showed no weaknesses." Izal reports. "It's a fine piece of woodwork."
"There you have it, Izal approves of your cage building skills. Now let us move onto the others." Mako looks at the wooden Longsword and checks it for any damage, but there was none.
Zach and Izal look on intrigued as the Iris Guardian continues to remain silent before he began to voice his opinion.
"Let's see, there's an appropriate blade length of 1 metre. A well crafted point..." Mako places a finger on the pointed edge. "...no signs of damage sustained and it didn't break at any point during our little clash. It held out and took on your fierce, determined strikes with no problems." Mako nods at hi pupil before continuing. "As for the weight, it is spot on and supplies plenty of power and is quite the versatile weapon. Based on my observations, I can honestly say you have hand crafted a superb wooden sword, so well done."
Izal looks to Zach, who is happy with the review of the sword.
"Well done kid." The raven says, only for Zach to hear.
"Now the bow, bring it to me will you?" Mako asks.
Zach nods his head and performs a quick bow before dating off to where Mako had placed the wooden bow on the ground, seconds before their battle and picks it up. With it in hand, he runs over to older Watcher and hands it to him.
"Here you are Master."
"Thank you Zach, now let's see..." Mako says as he begins to examine the bow before voicing his comments. "...the shape of it is nothing less than perfect and the elasticity can not be any better. It's nice and light with plenty of punch. This is a good bow and is worthy of putting in a shop to sell and sell it would. With my observation over, I can say that on your carpentry skills you pass, after three years you have learned a lot, but there is more for you to learn.
"Yes Master." Zach was happy, ever since the age of five, woodwork had became a very important part of his learning.
"On carpentry you have proven yourself to start your learning of how to manufacture longbows, crossbows and much more. As for your stamina and skill, you were clever enough to evade both Izal and myself by taking to the trees, where you used your speed and strength to move around the trees and overcome us. So on stamina and your own personal skill, you pass." Mako explains happily.
"Two for two kid, not bad." Izal adds.
"As for written exams..."
"Here we go." Izal says only to Zach."
"...that you had taken this morning and all throughout this week..." Mako pauses to look at Zach's wide-eyed face. "...I can now reveal that your passed on all six language exams and you passed your exams on carpentry theory, history and navigational studies, as well. So that's another pass for you, well done. Now let's talk sword skills."
"Brace yourself kid." Izal says.
"You swing with no hesitation, you possess a perfect timing to defending yourself and when in your hand, it is like the sword becomes an extension of your own arm and you exercise perfect control. It is because of all the reasons I have just mentioned that I have no other choice but..." Mako grins as he cuts himself off, ending his speech short to create a bit of tension before resuming. "...to pass you. Well done Zach, you have passed all the factors and have earned the rank of a Watcher's Apprentice and are no more just a Student."
"Well done kid." The raven congratulates.
"Thank you Master Mako! Thank you Master Izal!" Zach cries overjoyed as he hugs both man and bird. He was most overjoyed about the fact that Mako approved of his sword skills.
From the moment he turned three, a wooden sword was placed in his hands and since that day, he would spend twenty one hours a week practicing and perfecting his swordsmanship.
"You have worked hard Zach, I know I push you, but as you have proved this week, all your hard training has paid off."
"I know Master," Zach bows respectively to the two beings that had been there for him his entire life, every step of the way.
"Let's go to the house, you can have the rest of the day off."
"I appreciate that, I do, but I think I'll stay here for a bit longer, do a bit of practicing. Work on my archery for a bit." Zach replies, eager to train some more.
"You sure?" Mako asks.
"In that case, you'll be needing these then." Mako passes his protégée the bow and the quiver containing the arrows that he had on his back.
"Thank you Master." Zach replies gracefully.
"Just don't overdo it and don't be too long. Izal and I will be up at the house preparing dinner."
"I'll see you later then," Zach says before he starts to head towards the trees.
"Oh, before I forget." Mako calls out.
"Yeah?" Zach asks as he turns towards the man and the bird.
"I have a surprise for you up at the house."
"What kind of surprise?" Zach asks interested.
"You'll find out soon enough. See you later." Without another word said, Mako grabbed hold of one of Izal's legs before the two of them flew off towards the house, leaving Zach to practise his archery skills.