- "Nothing is impenetrable. I'll find where they're weakest, and break them there."
- — Surina
Born in the end of the summer months, the first daughter, was named by a relative. Her father's grandmother had named her as she would come to name her sister in one year, four months, and fourteen days. The name bestowed upon her was Surina, meaning Wise or even Goddess, however, she chose to tell those who would ask the former opposed to the latter.
As she aged, she was always protective of her family - challenging a black haired Girardot to a fight when he entered her father's home for one. Surina was easily lifted off the ground, by her collar no less and as Girardot laughed at her as she pouted, a five-year old balled her fist and punched the man square in the nose. Despite him flinching, he did not drop her.
"Sure is a feisty one this girl!" He exclaimed as blood slowly poured from his nose.
She remembers him saying this as he set her back upon her feet. From here, her father picked her up but she immediately began to struggle. Surina hated being picked up, even as a babe; whereas most would calm after being picked up, Surina continued to cry. Some parents deemed it a curse or an ill omen due to Surina being an "abomination", however, once she was set to where she can lay by herself, she calmed down. She even giggled when her mother laid her down after hours of holding her and trying to calm her.
"You were an asshole even when you were a baby. Such a shock."
"Still your tongue lest you lose it!"
Priya giggled when Surina threatened her. It was only around Surina that Priya would even dare to use profanity and even then she would rarely use such language. As children, they both took to their father over their mother. He was an interesting man as well as a strong, kind, and loving father; as such, Surina asked to learn the way of the sword. Initially, her father did not answer her, however, when Priya chimed in wanting to learn as well he still said "no"; however, after she stared at him with her folded hands against her chin, he soon caved to Priya's "puppy-dog eyes" and agreed to show them both how to wield a weapon.
Surina initially wanted to use a weapon which resembled Sergio's, the Bladed Lance yet, the weapon would be too large for her to use - the same went for Priya. With that known, he gave them both short swords, each being the same as the other in design, but they were decorated by the finest of smiths he knew. The man personally designed his Bladed Lance; this is why he was trusted to design his daughters' sidearms. When they were finished, Surina stared at hers just as Priya ogled her own.
Surina's had been decorated with strips of gold while the other, decorated with strips of silver and in each lay a small gem; Surina's held a golden hue while Priya's held a cool blue hue.
"If you are to train, you must know your weapon, and to know your weapon, you must first know yourself..."
This was the first rule her father had taught and even more were to follow. Despite the time spent training, their mother grew envious that her daughters were more taken by the sword than by dressing fancy and adorning jewels and finer cloths.
"Why dress in fine clothes? Why wear tights too tight that you see that "thing" sticking out on men? Or rather, why chase man after man when I can achieve my own glory and prove my own strength? Why can't I show the world what I can do opposed to simply supporting another who believes that he is "enough" for every woman?"
Surina and her mother argued constantly when her father was not present. In fact, her mother gave up on her when Surina told her:
"You respect him but fail to respect me when I wish to be the same. Am I that weak to you that you see me as a failure? That I must...disgust you to some unimaginable degree that you bar me from training for what I've always dreamed of doing? If that be the case, then you are no mother to me nor are you any different alive than being dead if this be how you truly are."
Her mother spoke none to her for weeks but in her father's absence, she made sure to send Priya away to live with her grandparents in the hopes that Priya would be made to be "an actual lady". Surina suspected that she would be sent and not Priya, yet, she then suspected far worse would happen to her. Thinking on it, Surina hesitated none and packed her clothes - she left and traveled for nearly a week before reaching the home of her grandparents.
"H-how did you get here?"
"I sold the rags of a harlot, err, dresses that your daughter wanted me to wear in order to get here safely."
"Surina Chella Del--"
"She separated us for wanting to be like our father and hopes that with Priya being here, that you'll both break her will to idolize our father!"
With this said, the two eyed each other. Her grandfather and her grandmother knew not what to say yet, for Surina to say the words she did, they asked her what happened while already knowing why Priya was sent to them. Hearing it from Priya days prior to Surina's arrival and now hearing it from Surina made them less at ease with the situation.
"Sis, I believe father gave this to you last year."
Their grandfather stared as Surina handed the decorated Spatha to Priya while Surina held her own. His wife, (which was not their grandmother - as their actual grandmother died years ago) lightly tugged on her husband's tunic and whispered in his ear about something which neither of them could hear. After he sighed, he spoke:
"You can both stay here, but no, and I mean NO swordplay until I say otherwise."
"Otherwise?" Priya repeated.
"That means he may allow us to do so if we gain his favor." After Surina told this to Priya, she heard her grandmother clear her throat. "...pardon my ill-use of words ma'am, "their" favor."
From this, their grandmother smiled and gave a small nod as Surina corrected herself. From that day forth, the two worked, Surina ran errands for her grandparents while Priya tended to the home. It was near supper when the two worked together to prepare dinner. Three weeks of this routine had become rather customary and it took only a few days after that for Priya to purchase a weapon of her own. Surina scolded her for doing such so soon but it worked to their favor.
Their grandfather granted them permission to spar as well as whatever other means they trained in. He also warned them that they should be cautios when using weapons -- which they already were, however, at the first lost limb or grave injury, they would be sent back to their mother.
They were ecstatic. With their chores completely faster than usual, they both had gotten their swords and began to spar, only to realize that they were terribly rusty. The times spent away from the sword had robbed them of their skill. Mistakes were made and blows which were normally evaded were taken.
"All that eagerness only for you both to do what?"
Surina balled her fists as this was said.
"I will send for one to teach you both and when your instructor arrives, you are to respect him. He will teach you both properly, and disrespect from you to him will fall to his choice in action!" He looked Surina squarely in her eyes as he said the last part. "Do I make myself clear?"
Priya blinked in disbelief while Surina looked up from her hands. Both of them quickly responded. Surina saying: "Yes, Sir" while Priya answered with: "Yes, Grandpa". He now focused on Surina, seeing that she held a confusion about her face.
"You heard me right Surina. I'll not watch you both mock battle technique nor will I accept such a sloppy display of swordsmanship. I'll grant you both this, I understand it has been a while, but surely one or both of you have snuck in a menial session, here or there?!"
The two of them shook their heads while Priya verbally added on:
"Neither of the two of us have broken that rule Grandpa."
"...and it shows..."
"Ah...uhm..." Priya returned to looking at her hands while Surina eyed the man.
"Are you suggesting that we disobey you?"
"Permission to disobey? I'll gladly follow that rule!"
"But...why?" Priya looked at Surina after her elder sister's exclamation and then to him.
"Isn't it obvious? With your ardent petition to train, I would assume you both would have broken that rule long ago. I assumed you'd not even last a week without doing so!"
Priya and Surina looked at each other once more.
"Yet, seeing as neither of you did, and the time spent away from your training shows,now as I've said, I'll send for one who will teach you both of the sword." They both now stared at him as he turned away yet as he came to a temporary stop, Priya slightly jumped. "The first chime from the bell will be our first session. As for you Priya..."
"You did well with the replica of your father's weapon, which is the only reason why I am giving you both this chance." Hearing a light tapping, he then cleared his throat. "...and by the grace of my lovely wife." Priya smirked at this until his face gave way to a graver expression. "And..." His voice dropped to a deeper tone. "...do not lie to me again."
"U-u-understood Grandpa!" After he left the two alone, Priya turned to Surina and pointed at her before she spoke: "Innocent determination trumps Valiant Aggression yet again."
"Shut up, you damn liar."
The younger sibling giggled before getting to her feet. They were close as sisters could be at this point and seeing that their efforts played a part in earning them the right to train once more (in differing degrees), they dedicated themselves to training and nothing else.
Months passed. Their grandfather sent for men whom knew of something deemed "martial arts". In time, a man (different than either child had even seen) visited them. He introduced himself as Xiao Mei. He carried a staff and an odd sword with him.
After breakfast, he urged the two children to engage him in combat to see what they knew. Surina was up to the challenge while Priya showed hesitation. This he noticed. Once they stepped outside, Priya shuddered from the cold while Surina was raring to go. Despite her thirst, Surina was struck in the stomach by Mei's staff only once and with the single hit, she fell to the ground and did not move.
Priya rushing to her side, failed to see Mei close the distance and as he did, he leaned over Priya and asked of her:
"Why do you take your eyes off your enemy?"
She froze as his words sunk in, but before she could react, she was kicked in her ribs. This kick sent her reeling to the cold ground. In this instant, Surina charged the man with a yell, yet with a swing of his weapon, the sheer force disarmed Surina--but this did not stop her. She evaded a second attack and then a third only to take the fourth attack head on.
Mei narrowed his eyes as he witnessed her stand in place. Surina had bent her left arm in a fashion to where her arm received the brunt of the attack while her head was unaffected. In this second of realization, she got on a single punch to his chest which did little to the man. He retaliated by deceiving her as if he would strike with his staff only to follow up with his own punch to her chest.
This punch sent her to the ground.
Priya crept up from behind and attacked but missed. Her second attack, a vertical swing, was parried and once again, she was kicked to the ground. Yet as she fell, she saw the man charge her which spurred Priya to roll off her back to evade the incoming strike.
With Surina coming from behind, the man span his staff and then raised it towards his neck; the next movement allowed him to strike Priya in the back of the head while simultaneously connecting with Surina's chin. To follow his, he kneed Priya in the stomach and with the same leg, kicked Surina in hers. Spinning towards his right, he used his opposing leg to take Priya off her feet and again, with the same leg, he kicked a charging Surina once more with enough force to knock her to the ground. Priya instinctively used her Spatha to catch her balance only for the man to swing his left leg (as if it were on a return trip from Surina) and connected with her right calf, after this, he kicked her away with his right foot.
Listening to her sword hit the cold ground, the man looked from one to the other. Surina struggled to get to her feet while Priya held her sides due to the pain. Both of them were disarmed yet neither of the children were crying.
"They have will of men, but strength of child."
Their grandfather said nothing as he watched from the doorstep.
"They are weak."
"...W-what did you say?" He eyed Surina as she painstakingly stood. Her Spatha in hand, blood flying from her mouth, she asked again, but in a harsher tone. "What the hell did you just fucking say?" She now aimed her sword at the man who in turn narrowed his eyes once more.
"You. Are. Weak." Simply said without a care.
"Priya, what say you to showing this arrogante perra how our Padre taught us to fight?"
"Si...vamos..." His face hardened. He understood that the language was not as they were just speaking, but he knew well enough that they would try harder.
"Flanquearlo, luego desviarse!"
Surina rushed the man who hopped backward and instead focused on Priya, yet instead of attacking her, he hesitated and then extended his staff out towards Surina in the manner of a thrust. Surina evaded it but just barely; to follow this, she swayed backwards and evaded a second attack which was aimed for her head.
Priya hopped to her right and attacked only for the man to punch her sword arm. Priya took the hit dead on but managed to slash at the man's robe-like clothing. Surina followed up with a slash to the man's back who then bounded away from the damage only to strike Surina in the back of the head with a backfist.
Watching her fall, he then looked up and saw Priya attacking -- but with a different weapon. Narrowly evading the blade which was targeting his head, he took a step backward only for Surina to slash at his right thigh. He attacked Surina only to be met by her defense: two swords. She held both hers and Priya's weapons in hand and with this slight distraction, Priya spoke once more:
Ducking, Priya following with a thrust which was blocked, however, this was anticipated. Due to the serrations of the Bladed Lance, it was meant to catch weapons, that said, Priya jerked her weapon forth and successfully caught the man's Dao.
The man looked to Priya as Surina screamed this yet, Priya did nothing but smile. He was tricked. He assumed that Priya would be following Surina's words but in this case, Surina and Priya had worked together in order to deceive him.
Surina raised the blades in a skyward arc which tore into the man's legs. Surina then released the sword only for Priya to catch them and with her free hands, Surina took hold of the Bladed Lance and jerked it skyward and then downward. With this done, she pulled the man closer.
She screamed as she jerked the Lance towards her right. Surina had successfully disarmed the man while Priya stood off to Surina's left with both swords aimed at the man.
With blood spilling into the pure white snow, the man smiled before laughing.
He placed his hands upwards showing that he surrendered but neither of them lowered their weapons.
"Priya, Surina, he's surrendered! Congratulations!"
Still, neither of them lowered their weapons.
"Un enemigo sigue siendo una amenaza , mientras que respirar..."
"An enemy is still a threat while they draw breath..."
"No puedo desenganchar ya que no sólo estoy en riesgo! El amor de Priya y su vida también está en mis manos como el mío es en la suya!"
"I cannot disengage as not only am I at risk! Surina's sake as well as her life is also in my hands as mine is in hers!"
"Tāmen shì míngzhì de." Surina snarled at the man's words despite not knowing what they mean. "It means, 'they are wise'."
From that winter on, they continued to train.
Priya and Surina both trained with their sidearms and each took turns using the Replica. True that this replica was a mirror to their father's Bladed Lance however, it was shorter and much lighter than the original. By the following spring, Surina had surpassed Priya in the art of Bojutsu.
Xiao Mei was their tutor in the arts revolving around the staff. Surina focused more on strength and penetrating her opponents defense while Priya focused on her defenses and counter attacks.
Months soon became years and with these years came knowledge as well as strength. To digress, after a few short years of training, their grandmother fell ill and it was short work of her then on. For a month, they continued before their grandfather too, fell to sickness.
The children, now in their teenage years, were forced to return home. Xiao Mei had accompanied them to ensure nothing happened as they were going by foot. As they walked the streets, they were stared at. Surina walked with a light coat of Lamellar mail and dark breeches with a matching pair of leather boots as well as a single arm covered by a gauntlet of solid steel; while Priya wore a fauld, jodhpurs, long boots, and a light colored tunic. Priya even wore a red cloak (which consisted of a hood (which was down) and a scarf-width long cloth which ran down to her back).
In Surina's possession had been her Spatha and an additional dagger while Priya carried the Replica in hand and her Spatha was sheathed at her left thigh. Those that stared were those whom were wearing dresses and jewels or working the stalls. They wore their cosmetics, spoke of love, husbands, food and other things which Priya and Surina worried little of it at all. They were stronger than the average woman and both had their shares of cuts and bruises. During their training, Surina received a wound to the face.
This wound had only occurred due to the interruption of their training when a bear had attacked them. They were able to fend off the bear yet did not kill it. Despite it being only a day ago, the scar healed well--but most others still stared.
Surina's physical strength was obvious and one could confused the musculature of her arms with that of a man. Not to mention that her hair was cut to that where one could mistake her for one. Priya's hair was long and tied in a braid, yet her attire was one which turned most away as she was not beautifully dressed for the public.
When the reached their parent's home, they had heard that Sergio had returned. Ironic really, for them to come back at the same time which their father had returned, however, instead of joy, only sadness could be found.
Sergio and Girardot had returned with grievous wounds. They spoke of an ambush and an explosion, yet what Surina took from that was Sergio defending Girardot from shrapnel. It mattered none, Surina and Priya both dropped their belongings and rushed to their father's side.
When he saw them, he did not speak of the pain, nor the harshness of war, he spoke of how well they had grown. They were even stronger than when he last saw them. Despite the two of them asking 'who did this' and 'how did this happen' or 'who do I need to kill', they were ushered out of the room by Xiao Mei.
"Let the doctor work in peace!"
Neither of them had noticed that the doctor was even present in the room. Yet, they both obeyed. He understood that it was their father and that they had just lost their grandparents, however, losing focus is no reason to allow recklessness to follow.
All they could do was wait.
The hours turned into days, yet, with the time passed, nothing was as to what they wanted to hear.
Sergio had died.
Silence followed this for nearly an hour, yet, once it truly set in, Surina was the only one whom held Priya as she cried herself to sleep while doing all she could to hold her own tears back. Their mother said not a word to them.
The doctor told them that she had tried to help, but she could not do enough for him. Despite this loss, Surina had chose to continue her swordplay and was not surprised when Priya had chosen the same. Of course there would be challenges, this she knew, but she also understood that when a challenge was taken on, one could learn from their failures as much as they could learn from their success.
They sparred against each other. At times they were in a field, or even near their home. Onlookers would cheer and even place bets yet neither sibling partook in the dealings or those whom tried to speak to them after they had sparred.
One night, after they had concluded their sparring, Surina went to check on their mother, whom had left her door open and a candle burning. Normally she had been asleep at this time--even after Sergio's death. However, as she looked into the room, she witnessed her mother drink some concoction and soon after that, she fell limp.
Surina was no fool. She knew what had happened and after seeing such, she returned to her room (which was shared with Priya) and laid in her bed. She did not sleep, nor did she know what to think.
In the coming morn, Surina took Priya out to the field to spar. She said nothing to her but it was easy to see her distraction. After Priya inquired what was on her mind, she heard footsteps. By the voice calling them, they knew it to be the doctor from weeks past.
He pardoned the intrusion but asked them if they took a bottle of "something" from him. They eyed each other before looking at him once more.
"Please, this is not the time to hide anything! The liquid in that bottle is poisonous and mustn't be ingested!"
"Why carry such a thing around if it is so dangerous?"
"I don't have time for this!"
Ignoring Priya's question, the doctor stormed past them and called for their mother. Not just call for her, but he used her first name. He called for Elisabeth, not ma'am or Delgado...but Elisabeth. Out of curiosity, Priya followed while Surina tried to stop her.
They both entered the house once more only to hear the man scream. Priya rushed while Surina walked. By the time Surina reached the stairs, he ran down the steps screaming "she's dead, she's dead!"
Priya ran into the room while Surina eyed the man's left hand. He held the bottle which she had witnessed her mother take to her lips in his grasp. Before he passed her, Surina grabbed his arm and slammed him into the wall. Twisting his arm, she asked what was he doing with the bottle but before she could get any answers, Girardot entered their home and asked what the commotion was only for him to hear Priya scream.
After running up the stairs and seeing what was wrong, only Priya could be heard crying. As her crying grew louder, Surina assumed that Girardot had carried her out of the room. A few seconds later, her assumption had been proven right.
In a short while, soldiers had come to inspect what had happened and found the bottle which the doctor had in his hand. He was taken by the soldiers while Girardot stayed behind with the two sisters.
All Priya knows is that her mother had died. She knows not of it to be suicide. Priya would break if she found that out. Seeing this, as the worst scenario, Surina as well as Girardot, told her that it was from grief that she had passed. After her parents had perished, and then her husband right in front of her, you'd lose sight of many things from grief.
This Priya believed.
Yet Surina witnessed their mother take her own life due to the "grief" she had felt for failing to tend her husband when he needed her most. She believed that Priya would not be able to handle the truth and thus, refused to tell her. Girardot knows of course, however, he swore not to tell Priya but forced Surina into a pact that sooner or later, she will have to tell Priya herself and warned her of letting Priya die and not know how her mother truly passed.
Years later, she even doubts to this day if her sister can tolerate the knowledge without it affecting her as it had affected Surina. As the years passed, Surina focused on learning the art of combat for she wanted to avenge her father’s death and with the very weapon he used in combat as well.
It was after Surina had announced that she would be joining the military that Priya decided to join her. Even though her doubts were high, Priya proved to be just as formidable as Surina—nowhere near as strong and solid in emotion, but still just as formidable. This alone gave her little faith in the lesser sibling.
Surina had enlisted the aid of General Girardot in the manner of training. The reason for this was due to the absence of Xiao Mei. Girardot trained them as best as he could all while they learned yet, he was not truly doing it for them, he was doing this in honor of Sergio--who had a bright future ahead of him. As Surina had heard it, Sergio would be a General just as Girardot was, but he died before he had the chance to.
Priya continued to excel in her defensive strategies in combat while Surina did the same, but with not only the Bladed Lance, but also marksmanship, close-quarters combat, fencing, and Surina also began to delve into the arts of even the Samurai. Priya and Surina had both graduated from their training with soaring stripes (as they say); and to congratulate this achievement, Girardot presented Surina with her father's Bladed Lance while Priya was given a weapon of the same make, but not a replica of her father's weapon.
"Honor him well."
This was all which Girardot had told them. Surina took this as a challenge to perfect her abilities so that she could end the lives of those who were responsible for her father’s death and with Girardot granting her and Priya the status of passing as one of his best students, her dreams of vengeance are even closer than before…
Sojutsu and Bojutsu are her most preferred forms of combat despite having the knowledge of so much more. Surina behaves just as she does with nearly every other aspect of her life -- she is cold, merciless, and delivers not a grace for recovery -- Surina prefers to remain on the offensive at all times for she believes that if her opponent is unable to plot offensively then her own offensive behaviors will ultimately shatter their hesitant defenses.
If she has to defend, which she despises having to do, she will ensnare her opposition and if possible, she will throw him to the ground or remain in a defensive state for a short amount of time and then seizes the perfect opportunity to devastate her opposition.
With her dual sided Bladed Lance, she is capable of attacking in succession as well as shattered most poorly made shields. Due to the blades upon each end, they are intertwined and then jut forth into a pitchfork--this has given her the name "Devil" amongst Grandallian and Dalkian Forces--she can impale with greater ease as well as puncture shields and tear them away from her enemies due to the design of these blades.
Surina can also utilize her weapon as a propeller--used to leap greater distances as well as over enemies. She is also capable of throwing objects after driving the blades of her weapon into them. Though the latter skill depends on the object, corpses are fairly easy to throw at both suspecting and unsuspecting foes.
Due to bearing the knowledge of varying styles of combat, Surina is practically a living weapon with a dangerously short fuse.