“Well, that wasn’t very fun…”
Esmond stood within the training ground of Serenity Peak. A smug smirk across his facial features as a Pandaren Monk sat flat on his butt with several new bruises across his form. The Monk slowly rose from his seated position and bowed back towards the Warrior. Which, Esmond returns with a dip of his head. The Monk soon turned and made his way towards the edge of the arena. “C'mon, now-” Esmond’s arms opened as he addressed the entire room. “Any other challengers? I’m barely breaking a sweat here!”
Master Yung who sat at the back of the room at an elevated platform rose from his seat and began to approach the ring. “Students, today’s lesson is complete.” The various Monk aspirants rose from their position and bowed. Esmond mirrored their motion and turned to head towards the door before Master Yung’s voice rang out once more. “Esmond, a moment.” The various other Pandaren walked past the gi garbed Warrior until the large heavy doors behind them closed, leaving only Esmond and the Pandaren Master.
“Okay-” The Warrior turned back to face Master Yung with an apologetic expression. “I know,I sort of over did it today. I’m sorry, tomorrow I’ll be more mindful of myself, I promise.”
The Pandaren remained perfectly still for a few moments before he shakes his head from side to side. “There will be no tomorrow. I am afraid there is nothing more I, nor any of the Monk Masters can teach you.”
An incredulous look spread across Esmond’s facial features. “What?” He asked, appearing genuinely confused. “But, I still don’t know how to shoot jade lightening out of my hands. Or even channel chi. How can my training be over?”
Master Yung emitted a soft sigh under his breath and shook his head once more. “Since you healed, I have watched you train, watch you fight, I have observed how you move. And in your heart is too much strife. You are filled with doubt, anger, hatred, fear, violence-”
Esmond stood perfectly still as he listened to this, an eyebrow raised as he attempted to not appear insulted. “But, I’m your best student, you just saw me take down all of your other disciples.”
“Arrogance and pride.” Master Yung finishes his list. The last words seem to silence Esmond for the time being as he allows the Pandaren to finish without further interruption. “In physical combat, you are the best student here. But spiritually, I have never met one filled with such chaos. So long as these exist within your heart, you will never master your inner Chi.”
There was a long pause between Esmond and the Pandaren. Until finally, Esmond spoke once again. “So, you’re kicking me out of Serenity Peak?”
Master Yung once more shook his head from side to side. “No, Serenity Peak will always be a home to you, Esmond Khaston. I hope one day you learn to cope with your inner strife. And when you do, I will be here.”
Esmond places is hands together as he performs a bow before the Pandaren Monk. “thank you for everything, Master Yung.” The Pandaren mirrored the action before Esmond turned from the dojo and pushed at the heavy doors to depart for one final time.
Esmond’s room in Serenity’s Peak was plush compared to the rooms of the other disciples. A large space with a window that overlooked the training grounds, a queen size bed filled with pillows and blankets and two tables. The first table was in front of the window, a work station with several quills and parchments sprawled across it - a place for Esmond to keep correspondence with the rest of the world. The second desk contained half empty bottle of an energy and the remnants of this mornings meal in the form or a dried stain.
He immediately moved to the closet closest to the bed and opened it so that he could begin rummaging through the various clothing. Very little of any were actually his own - most were gi’s of various colors. Admittedly, his favorites were in red and black though.
Just as he was packing his various clothes, the sound of footsteps distracted him from finishing his packing. “Lord Khaston?” A female voice rings out as her head peaks up from the stairwell. Ushi, the Pandaren woman whom helped in overseeing the rooms of the inn appeared at the top of his stairs, standing within the room. Her hand extends, holding out a white envelop. “I heard what happened. I was hoping I could catch you before you left. This letter came for you this morning.”
Esmond stepped forward and accepted the letter from her. “Thanks, Ushi.”
With a smile towards the man Ushi began descending the steps until stopping halfway. “Good luck out there, by the way.” The two exchange a friendly smile before she vanishes. It wasn’t until he heard the door close behind her though that he turned the letter over.
“Martin?” Esmond says aloud as he reads the envelope. It takes him perhaps a whole two seconds before the image of the dark haired Priestess with cerulean blue eyes enters his minds eye. Curiously, he turned the letter over and began tears off the flap so that he could read from the letter within.
A foreign ship pulled into the docks of Valgarde a week later. The Harbor Master briefly glanced down towards his clipboard as the other harbor workers reported the unscheduled docking. Several guards soon swarmed the deck of Vlagarde, their swords held as the Harbor Master approached the various crew of the ship that stepped forward. At the head of the crew was a woman, in about her early thirties. Her pants were tight and she wore high boots along with a well designed jacket with a red scarf tied around her neck.
“Your ship is not scheduled to dock here, Captain.” the Dock Master announced towards the woman who was flanked by several sailors of the Alliance races.
“Quartermaster, actually.” The woman replies with a small smirk back to him. “I understand we have not made prior arrangements to dock at your port, Harbor Master. But, we have good coin. Surely we can negotiate a price for allowing our vessel to stay docked at your port.”
This had apparently been the exact answer the Harbor Master had been hoping for. Because his greedy little eyes lite up faster than a tree on Winter’s Veil. “I am glad you are a reasonable sort, Quartermaster, if you would care to join me in my office, I have no doubt we can reach an ag-” Before the harbor Master could finish his greedy little response, a man swiftly began to walk past them. This one wore a black leather coat, outlined in white fur, his trousers matching the apparel.
The soldiers of Valgarde began to close in, moving in front of the man to block his way. His head instantly turned to look back onto the quartermaster with a frustrated glare shot back between her and the Harbor Master. “Isabella!”
The Quartermaster manages an apologetic smile back to the well dressed male and sets her gaze back onto the Harbor Master. “You’ll have to excuse him, he’s in quite a hurry. I assure you, we are willing to pay any price. Please-” She opened a hand and gestured towards the numerous guards that were blocking the other man’s way.
The harbormaster nodded from over his shoulder to the guards, allowing the man in the dark jacket to continue forward. “Come with me, Quartermaster.” He turned and began making his way to his office. From his peripheral vision, he could see Isabella and a single one of her guards accompanying her in tow. “So…” The greedy Harbormaster says, making small talk during the trek to his place of work. “What is the big hurry, Quartermaster?”
There is a smile and tilt of Isabella’s head, despite the fact that she was behind the Harbormaster. “That is our Captain. He has a rather urgent matter to attend to at Martin Manor.”