Ven-Notch sighed, rubbing a hand over his forehead, "I suppose you're right... it just seems too... coincidental. Especially with the progress we've seen from these students..." He lapsed into silence for several moments, eyes roving over each student in turn. By now, he knew each of them by name and where they showed promise. He wasn't supposed to favor any of them, but he couldn't help but let a small smile appear on his face as he saw the five students that he had seen the most promise in. True, they tended to focus hard on one aspect of their training: Sarina, always so focused on not allowing herself to be beaten in combat, she would make a great guardian in the future. The brothers Lucifer and Gabriel, the former willing to stand strong in the face of danger, the latter doing his best to control the aggressive nature of his sibling, the two would become a great tag team for the world.
Ven-Notch's eyes wandered across the black-furred vulpine, chuckling a bit to himself as even now he could feel the inquisitive pressure in the Force, with a bit of discipline, he might become a diplomat. And last but not least, there was Marcus. Even now, Ven-Notch could see the wolf trying to establish a stronger connection to the force, and the human wished he could give the wolf the hint he could use, but now wasn't the time. Standing tall, Ven-Notch took a deep breath and nodded, "Let's go."
Shade huffed a little at Sarina's cold-shoulder sentence, but shook it off pretty fast as he listened to Jeb's explanation. His face showed he didn't understand for several moments, having never felt the connections Jeb spoke of, but then he remembered back to his early childhood and a rock that he'd grown attached to, "Ah," he said, his eyes lighting up with understanding, "Vron-Rei, 'affection for the unliving.' I see, I see." The vulpine's head snapped around as Lucifer and Gabriel approached, the latter explaining his brother's exhaustion.
Shade laughed and tapped Lucifer on the nose where the stone had struck him, "You seem to do a lot of not sleeping, eh?" Before Lucifer could react, the doors to the library opened and the three masters walked in. All the padawans-to-be jumped up, those who had been meditating feeling their entrance, and bowed, showing a discipline that surprised most of the security detail. Ven-Notch bowed in return and they all straightened at once, "Today is a special day," Ven-Notch said, his quiet voice carrying strangely around the room, "today, this, the first part of your training ends with a final test," Ven-Notch raised his lightsaber to eye level with the force, "the construction of your first lightsaber, or lightsabers as the case may be. To some, it will be a weapon to defend the weak, to others it will be a symbol of your connection to the force, but to you, it is your ally, along with the Force and each other."
His saber returned to waist as he paced slowly back and forth, "Since the day you came here, we have done all we can to prepare you for this day, but as a Jedi, you must remember that you will always be learning. From this day on, the training will be different. As a padawan, you will accompany us into the real world, outside these walls where your training will be put to the test and it will be up to you to decide when you should use your skills and how. We will guide you as much as we can, but the universe is unpredictable at best and we may not always be there to help." Ven-Notch could see the understanding in the eyes of his students and he nodded solemnly, "Come."
The students formed up behind the three masters, a few speaking quietly out of excitement as they were lead toward the hanger bay, masters in front and security to every side. Across the hanger they strode, the masters ignoring the ships, making several students speak in panicked voices, which grew shriller as the masters reached the door leading out to the ashen surface of the planet. They were going to walk across the planet on foot?! Ven-Notch spoke quietly to the vixens and turned to address the class as they began opening the door, "This is your first step, the transition between initiate and padawan. Somewhere beyond this door is a cave filled with the crystals necessary to complete your lightsabers. These crystals exhibit a very particular impression on the force. Find them."
The door opened behind him, letting in the temperature of the planet, many students starting to sweat and he turned, stepping out onto the ramp leading down to the spiral path leading to the bottom of the mountain. The students followed him tentively, ushered on by the two vixens. Shade's eyes took in everything as he stepped out, his tail wagging softly as he tried to memorize everything he could see, "This place is beautiful in its own way..." Shade mused as he followed the students in front of him as they followed Ven-Notch.