While the sun was slowly setting over the Shroud, the air in one particular corner of the Lavender Beds was filled with the sound of combat. Actually not combat per-se, but definitely the rythmic sounds of impact, grunts and the occasional wark while a single monk laid waste to one of the practice dummies in their Free Companies' yard. Thankfully nobody paid any attention to sounds of horsebird popping up from that corner of the yard, or the big talon gouges in the ground there either; after all, the stables were right next to where the lone figure was training.
"Ngh... and into... True STRIKE... and DE-molish!" Taross repeated to hirself, finishing off with a whistling chirp while stepping back that got picked up and answered by the chocobo nearby in a warking little chorus. Shi hopped a few times, flapping hir wings and shaking hir arms to let some of the tension bleed out of hir body before shi walked over to the side where shi had some water and a small tray of refreshments. Getting some hydration in and tossing a few of the snacks to the nearby and eager-looking stabled company chocobo, the draught chocobotaur took a few moments to reflect...
A keen observer could hear her mutter a bit as shi mulled over the training rythm while snacking on a curiel root inbetween. "... new Tor-n... huh?" the nudge of an eager beak broke hir out of hir thoughts and after a moments of confusion shi laughed, chirping before reaching out and petting a more and more insistantly questing bird along the cheek "Alright alright... you can get another one, but no more until the next break." That got a reply of an indignant kweh and Taross raised a finger "Hey hey! No talkbacks, don't forget I understand you about as well as you do me."
Shi tapped the top of a beak before leaving a few more leaves behind and stepped back up to the dummy, brandishing hir tonfa.
"So... if I understood Widargelt right, I should be able to direct my chakra just SO that I won't even have to worry about keeping my Greased Lightning motion fluid." shi laughed a moment, warks peppering in "IF that's true, I wonder if I can even execute that Tornado Kick without disrupting the balance." Taross paused, looking at hir draught sized lower body "Gonna have to work and practice that backflip. Haven't even used that move in ages."
With that, the great taur squared back off in front of the dummy, getting into hir kata. Hir talons kicked up the soil when shi dove shoulder first into the heavy target, nudging it an ilm or two back before immediately breaking into a vicious-looking kick that put all of the strength of hir running legs behind it.
The sounds continued well after nightfall, with only occasional breaks inbetween. But then again, you don't stay a Warrior of Light without putting in the proper training and despite the beliefs of others, it's not all just natural talent and luck.
A lovely depiction of Taross, hir chocobotaur self, practicing out in the yard of the Eorzean based Free Company. Being anything and being good in it requires constant practice. A black mage who doesn't keep up on their studies might find their peers soaring ahead with newer, greater spells. A warrior who slacks on the balance between body and mind may find themselves more under the control of the Beast than the other way around... And a monk who skips leg day may find hir kicks lacking.
A funny coincidence in this image is the timing of my commissioning of Niko. Right after me sending the idea, SE shared the news that the Monk job was getting an overhaul and losing some mechanics. Most importantly the constant ticking timer of stacks of speed-and-damage buff named Greased Lightning. Making them an always-on ability instead. When the content patch finally hit, it changed the opener, general rotation and behaviour of the job at top level instantly. And I spent quite a lot of time doing the research and retraining my muscle memory to fit in the new method.
I absolutely love this image. It's dynamic, it's soft, it's wonderfully detailed. It feels like you could just walk into the image and then duck hard to avoid getting accidentally smacked if you would do so. And just as practice and honing ones skill pays off in a videogame, it definitely paid off for Niko in painting this picture. The background is a truthful representation of our current Free Company Yard. Including the chocobo-themed outer wall, the Odder Otter statue at the front gate entrance, the private Aetheryte and the edge of a handy chocob-sized fountain feature just to the left.
Taross is mine
Art by :iconnikkyvix:
Artists submission: TBA
Chocobo and FFXIV belong to Square-Enix