His legs cramped up again. Wormwood slipped and fell.
"Goddamnit", he thought. He sighed, and forced himself up, but paused to catch his breath. There was a huge piece of wood he used as a target in Front of him. Most people used something the shape and/or Size of a human, but then again, most people expected to fight a human. Wormwood expected trouble to come in varying shapes and sizes. Human shaped logs were easy by now. Bigger targets meant bigger trouble. He expected big trouble, so he imagined the biggest trouble he could.
The big log was covered with cuts. Some of them were deep, but most of them were shallow. On a living, breathing creature, they would have covered the face, or Centered around places where a big artery was likely to be found. The ground was slightly slippery from sweat.
After recovering a little, he started again: a quick dash to the side, accompanied by a low Stab from below the waist, a Jump back to evade an imaginary mole claw, a quick, precise stab at the eye, slashing across the star-shaped nose when pulling back the knife. In his head, he Heard "Stay on your toes!" "Flat feet mean loss of mobility, loss of mobility means you die!" "Faster! FASTER!"
He moved as fast as he could, nearly jumping from Position to Position, striking from strange angles so the opponent does not See the attack coming, evading, pulling back, slashing and stabbing. He attacked in short, Hard bursts, making the most of his agility and flexibility, falling back to avoid contact, fighting on his terms.
Yet, he fell Flat on his ass. Imaginary claws forced him to block, cornered him, and in this scenario, that means game over.
He punched the ground in frustration.
"'Damnit. Godfriggindamnit!" Friggin' Shadowboxing. Friggin' starmoles.
Could it really be done? He Lacked strength, he knew that. Could he really make up for something like this simply by being fast? Being precise?
He doubted it. He could not even beat a log in a game where he himself made up the rules, how could he hope to win against anything not abiding them?
But he had no choice. He never did.
All he could do was train as hard as possible. Just like his other skills. People think stealing is easy, as if sneaking or pickpocketing can be done by anybody. They are wrong. It takes hours upon hours of dedicated try-and-error, with huge stakes. Get caught, and you get really big problems, after all. Though in retrospect, Mortal authorities don't seem as threatening as they used to.
"Repetition, until ya get it right. Thats the key. Get it right. Keep moving."
Before he knew it, his knife buried into wood again, and he started to Circle his target clockwise, knife Held in his left, in reverse, to perform quick stabs at the vulnerable nose area.
His muscles burned by now, his legs dangerously close to giving in. "One more try, an' I got it!" Too slow, you got hit. "Nearly had it" Too fast, ya Crash into it like that. "one more!" Didnt cut deep enough. "One more try!" Still not deep enough!
"Last one for today!" Missed the spot. "One last one!" Too deep! The knife got stuck, ya idiot!
It would be two more excruating hours until he finally got it.
That day, Wormwood fell deep asleep, satisfied and happy. He did not dream of star-shaped moles. He did not dream at all.