<Conrad> tosses the book onto the bed in disgust. Something about the metaphysical principles behind the ritual he was studying just wasn’t clicking. He rubs his hands through his hair, a frustrated sigh involuntarily escapes him. “Another task, another task, I just need to focus on something else so that this has time to settle in and I can come back with a fresh perspective.” He

nods his head with newfound determination and retrieves his new sword-cane and his Glock 9mm then heads outside. A little ways off from the Chantry, so that the noise won’t disturb the other Tremere, he sets up his phone and turns on the video he recorded of the kendo class. Sword drawn, he follows along with the movements, repeating through the video twice before turning it off and

setting up the targets he bought on some trees. Conrad takes craeful aim and fires, hitting the outside ring of the target. A frown creases his face and he fires again, closer but not by much. He fires again, and then again over and over in quick sucession, yelling into the night as the Glock’s reports echo through the woods. The clip empties and he yells in frustration and drops into

a crouch, head in his hand. Tears of blood stream down his face. “Dammit Elena, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” He stands and forecfully stabs the sword into a nearby tree. “I could not save you from that monster, and now I am half a country away from the last lead I had, struggling to master even the most basic skills I need to avenge you.” He leans against the tree and wipes away the tears

with the back of his hand. “Composure, Conrad, composure.” Conrad reloads the Glock and goes back to his firing postion. “You’ve got that out of your system, now on to business.” He takes aim and fires. Still not a bullseye, but definitely a much better shot than before. He continues until the clip is empty again, getting better as he becomes more accustomed to the weight and kick.

Feeling much more confident, and emotionally relieved, he grabs the sword and heads back inside and resumes his studies.