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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
718 years before the Battle of Yavin (683BrS:2:11) in the Alderaan system: Delaya (Germanicus Rodney's undersea lair).
Raeni Corliss and Baron Germanicus Rodney (Darth Crassus).

Germanicus Rodney stood on the shoreline of the lake on the northern continent of Delaya as the sun began to rise over the distant mountains, bathing them in streaks of sunlight in brilliant shades of orange. He removed the hilt of his lightsaber from his belt, raising it in front of him in a flourish, before nodding to her. An instant later his thumb moved over the activator, causing a *snap-hiss* as the meter long crimson blade extended from the hilt. "It was one thing to master the force," he said to her, as he held the lightsaber up in front of him in a way that caused it to divide his face in half as he spoke. "It is an entirely different thing to master a lightsaber," he said to her, before lowering the blade into the ready position. "You retrieved three lightsabers on Skor II. They were handcrafted by the three Jedi you slew, and each will have different characteristics unique to them. None of them are uniquely suited for you and, in time, you will forge your own, but for now you must find the one with which you are most comfortable with before we proceed," he explained to her, sounding like one of his science professors at the University of Alderaan. He closed his eyes, readying himself, while she selected her weapon.

The morning had come early for Raeni Corliss. The young woman stood several feet away from Germanicus. Her attention was settled on him like a good pupil. The sun was just beginning to rise, causing the morning dew on the grasses to reflect its light. The world was still so quiet, slumbering while the two Sith engaged in their first lesson of the day. Raeni could feel the weight of the lightsabers on her belt. She carried all three, having not committed herself to one over the other. She looked forward to the day she would craft her own in a style more personalized and unique to her. For now, she would make do with what she had. Raeni nodded her head, plucking the first lightsaber from her belt. She ignited it. While battling with the Jedi master, this was the saber she had used. It felt awkward, was the only way she could explain it. The weight in the hilt was off, giving it a strange feeling. She stepped back, whipping the blade through the air a single time. No. This one wouldn't do.

The blade disappeared and she replaced it on her belt, deciding that it wasn't entirely useless. She selected the second weapon, deciding that she would try this one while sparring with her Master to see how it felt. The blade was ignited once more. It didn't feel as weird to hold as the other, and so, she approached him with it slowly. She wasn't worried about actually hitting him with the lightsaber. The probability seemed unlikely. However, she needed to worry about losing a limb of her own. Before she attacked him, she reached out with the Force in attempts to predict his next moments. She went in, aggressively yet smooth, and batted her lightsaber at him.

Germanicus brought his lightsaber up and to the left to parry her thrust, before stepping to the side to avoid her strike. "Not so aggressive. Remember what happened to the Padawan who was aggressive with you on Skor II," he reminded her, before stepping backward into a defensive position. "When faced with multiple opponents acts of aggression may be necessary to compete, but one-on-one it is better to allow your opponent to make mistakes," he suggested, before bringing the crimson blade in front of him again to indicate he was ready. "Let the force flow through you. Let it guide your blade. If you keep your head you will ... well ... keep your head," he said, with a soft chuckle, before focusing in on her next strike.

She regained her footing as he parried her thrust, turning around to look at him once more. Indeed, she recalled the idiotic Padawan on Skor II. His aggression had left Raeni with a huge opening that she couldn't help but take advantage of. She took his advice to heart, as she always did. Raeni *wanted* power. She lusted for it like any other Sith. Still, she couldn't help but let out a soft laugh. "How long have you been waiting to use that one, Master?" She winked. She stepped back, gained composure, and closed her eyes. She found it easier to focus on the force when she wasn't letting her eyes fool her. In time, she'd become more capable. For now, she felt the world around her. She let the force flow through her body from the top of her head to the tips of her toes and then, when she was ready, she struck again. This time, she was significantly less aggressive. She noted that she was more comfortable with this lightsaber and decided not to try the third just yet. Her movements were much more clean when her attention wasn't being pulled at in a thousand different directions.

Germanicus too wanted power, and hearing her call him 'Master' was a step in the right direction. The sound of it was intoxicating, and caused him to be momentarily distracted. As a result her second strike was far more effective, nearly tearing into his shoulder, if not for a last minute parry on her part. "Very good," he said to her, as he tried to focus on the moment, instead of the future, and resume his defensive posture. "A duel is not merely one of weapons, but also of minds. With the right mental attack a secondary saber thrust can be lethal," he explained, as he had inadvertently just showed her. "I sense in you a calmness that did not exist before. The storm clouds within your mind have abated, albeit temporarily," before taking a step towards her. "Your thoughts no longer linger on Ylesia?" he asked, referencing her past, and then quickly following up with a quick thrust of his own.

He allowed her to get far too close to actually injuring him. Luck alone stopped him from being hurt that day as Raeni, once again, placed distance between them. Her eyes opened. She held a defensive position, knowing better than to get lazy turning her training. She didn't even let his praise derail her, rather, it inspired her to continue excelling. She had yet to realize the effect that 'Master' caused on him. She respected him, and thus he'd earned the title. She wondered if perhaps he was trying to throw her off by asking her about Ylesia while he attacked her. Raeni blocked his thrust off to the side. She twisted her body towards his, launching her own attack. "No. Ylesia is over. I killed those associated with my imprisonment. The future is far too prosperous to continue focusing on my past." She explained to him.

Raeni's counterattack caught him off guard, prompting him to switch his angle of attack, which resulted in a brilliant clash between the crimson of his saber and the blue of hers. The crackling sound broke the silence of the dawn, causing the nerfs to scatter. He glared at her, as he grit his teeth, using all of his strength in an ultimately futile attack to push her blade away. "Argh," he groaned, as he moved his blade away, before executing a backwards summersault to to escape his own apprentice. "You're learning. You are no longer the frightened young girl I found on Ylesia," he said, before deactivating his lightsaber and clipping it back on his belt. "But there are things in this galaxy more fearful than you can possibly imagine," he told her, cryptically, referring to his own master, whom he had deliberately not told her about yet. The day was coming when the two would clash, and if he did not prepare them both for it they would surely die.

She held her ground, using the weight of her body to give her attack strength. She felt proud of herself to forcing him back, but that pride wouldn't go to her head. Raeni wanted to put miles and miles away from the girl she had been. The weak girl who allowed Hutts to enslave her. Her hands had finally recovered from her labor in the mines. She would never let them see physical labor like that again. It came as no surprise that there were powerful forces in the universe, for not all Jedi would be as easy to kill as those she had come across. She diminished the blade of her lightsaber and placed it conveniently at her hip. "I'm sure. That's exactly why I'm going to keep training. There's always a bigger enemy out there, right?" Raeni slowly approached him until she was standing at his side on the lakeshore. She looked over the crystal blue lake, thinking of the beast beneath it. Her hand slowly grasped his in a small act of affection. "We're to marry tomorrow, Master." Another event to mark the turn around in her life. She knew it would be a spectacle, all for the sake of the public. "But that doesn't mean you should go easy on me during tomorrow morning's training." She turned her head, offering him a smile.

"Always. Every obstacle you clear simply leads to another obstacle," Germanicus instructed her, as she took his hand. The small touch did much to sooth him after the combat. He needed to come down from the intensity. "People who think they've won and then rest have actually lost," he informed her, with a firm nod of his head, before she dropped the news on him. "Tomorrow?!" he exclaimed, releasing her hand, and turning suddenly to face her. "How did you manage that? What will I wear?" he asked, exasperated, before moving to sit upon the nearby rock outcropping. "I suppose everyone in court will be there, though I doubt the King will show," he said, dejectedly, resigned to the fact that he was too low level a lord to attract that kind of attention. He did not blame him, however, as when he became King he would not attend such ceremonies either. "There is no time for training tomorrow. I shall take the entire morning to dress myself," he informed her, as he was something of a diva.

Raeni's heart was coming down from exerting herself. Sometimes she felt like she could get addicted to training and simply do it all day long. Germanicus' words were powerful. It was intelligent to stay mindful of one's self and not get cocky. The moment you thought you were the strongest was the moment you failed. Her head turned towards his, offering him a grin. "Don't worry. I'll take you out today to pick something out." She supposed she needed a dress too, only she was significantly less worried than he was. She heard him voice his doubt about the King's appearance, but the young Sith had already thought about it. She would make sure, with complete certainty, that the man showed up and that their wedding received proper attention because of it. "Don't be such a gloomy groom. Maybe he'll show. Maybe he won't." Raeni was teasing him now.

The woman perched herself on the rock beside him but with her back facing him. She crossed her legs, one over the other. Her eyes looked over the lake. They were to be wed. They hadn't shared much affection yet. She could only wonder if he'd actually want to consummate the marriage, or keep space between them. Germanicus was not an easy man to read emotionally. "It'll all work out. You'll look handsome and all the ladies of the court will realize that they missed out." She reached her hand up towards her ponytail, slowly yanking out the thin band that held it all together. Her blonde hair fell to her shoulders and shimmered in the morning light. She idly wondered if she was ready for such a big day.

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