<Part two> Standing slightly in the back of the landing bay, Arnock had plenty of space to get in desired position to oversee everything that went on there. Hundred new legionaries stood at attention at the center of it, unloaded by a trio of Thunderhawks freshly arrived from the Martian Forges, made to help the Warmaster's war effort. This was only one of the many reinforcement waves that came during last two cycles, this one slightly smaller than the earlier ones, but promising nonetheless. Every single one of these Sons of Horus was a new recruit hailing both from Cthonia and Terra as the membership in XVI Legion was a highly-sought affair as it provided the chance at seizing greatest glory due to former Luna Wolves being considered by many to be the best Legiones Astartes had to offer. There was of course no distinction between the recruits physically-wise as their conditioning prior to coming aboard "Vengeful Spirit" made them quite alike both in looks and (probably) in the manner as well. "So what do you think? You see anything you like?" Arnock's rank as Master of Rites was something Sons of Horus were familiar with, while they lacked similar positions at least when you look at the Legion from the outside, they still cared about getting only the best recruits possible, so having one of the officers from the Third Legion which prided itself on its martial prowess inspecting these new legionaries wasn't something leaders of the Sixteenth would pass. After all, they were famous for seeking every opportunity to win and turning every possible option to their advantage. "I have my eyes on couple of em but I want to hear your opinion first, as you are the professional here," Ekkadon smiled, the Reaver Captain becoming a familiar sight by now as Arnock generally deployed with him and his gangers. However they weren't the only officers around. There was a third Son of Horus standing besides Kalus, this one the Captain of the 7th Company and one of the more famous tacticians in the Legion, called Serghar Targost. He said nothing, satisfied with simply observing the troops in front of them for the time being. Arnock stood with his hands behind his back as he looked over the fresh recruits. He noticed the uniformity of the overall group and that distinctions seemed to be few and far between. Without hesitation, Arnock walked closer to the passing recruits, looking them over even more thoroughly. After a moment of doing so, he heard Ekaddon ask his opinion on the overall rating of the recruits. After looking around a moment more, Arnock finally spoke, "You have a problem. One that is very good to have." He walked back over to the group of officers and continued, "The key to any group of recruits is the standard to which they are trained to. The problem, if you want to call it that, is the same I try to cause within my own Legion. Making it so that it is hard to tell which recruits are best. When leaders have a hard time finding whom is best within recruiting class, then that is a problem that every Legion desires. And I must commend whoever has overlooked their training as the uniformity is impeccable." "Training on Cthonia was done by Captain Garas I believe. While the Terran recruits were overseen by whoever is in charge of the overall recruitment process on the Throneworld. They indeed look like they mean business, but they are yet to go through actual training regime and everything that comes with it." Up until then the new legionaries stood at attention despite obvious scrutinizing by trio of Captains, not one of them made a move or ushered a word. However once the Warmaster arrived and spoke to Arnock, each one of them dropped to their knees, this was perhaps the first time they've seen their Father in flesh. Horus on the other hand, laughed as he waved them to get back up on their feet. "Rise my sons, such supplication is beneath you, even when its about me. I don't need worshipers, I need soldiers who will show their worth through actions on the battlefield. But there'll be more chance to talk about this, for now - follow Captain Ekkadon, he has your orders." With a nod towards Kalus, the Reaver Captain saluted and led the recruits away from the embarking deck which now turned to be slightly less crowded. "Master Arnock, I'm glad that you find my new reinforcements serviceable and up to your standards!" Primarch smiled and clapped Arnock on his shoulder pad, "I know we didn't have much chance to talk and I'm willing to rectify that error. Tell me, since you were vocal on the subject of recruits, what do you think about the rest of my men?" And while Horus talked, Targost remained silent and observing as ever. Arnock was not the quickest to bow among any Astartes in the galaxy and this had been shown before when Arnock did not bow to Horus upon Guilliman's ship after their victory in the cages. He was one whom viewed himself as a symbol of the Legion as as such, it took a great deal for him to feel compelled to bow. However, this time Horus seemed much different and laid back. Almost human, one might say. This invoked a slight bow of the head from Arnock towards the Warmaster and Arnock then respectfully acknowledged his title, "Warmaster." After listening to the Warmaster speak, Arnock looked off at Ekkadon as he lead the new recruits off. He then looked back to Horus and spoke, "Really, my only experience comes from worker with your Reavers under Captain Ekkadon. Now, as per their duties and standards they are held to and trained for, they are quite good. From my experience, and per the standards I train to, I find their wild actions and quick decisions quite difficult to find use for in calculated wars. How can one calculate what way the wind will blow and how strongly it will effect an object? However, I do understand their purpose and what you use them for." "Despite what my brother Roboute might tell you, wars are rarely a calculated affair. Kalus indeed has a purpose, but don't we all?" Horus asked, more rhetorically, but his eyes lingered on Arnock a second longer. There was something in his voice that made you follow his ever word, the sheer conviction seeping out of every syllable. Even though he was silent, Captain Targost soaked every word, his attention on his liege absolute. "And I have one such purpose in store for you Arnock, if you would entertain my wishes because after all, you're not really under my command," Lupercal joked, apparently the Primarch didn't look like he cared about his new title that much. "What do you say about taking those hundred new legionaries and training them yourself? I know that you of the Third Legion boasts yourself to be one of the best out there and rightfully so, but then again some of my sons take offense at such words. Ezekyle for instance told me you fought well on Macragge's Honor but that you still have ways to go." "So perhaps if the rest sees first-hand what you can do, you might put these kinds of talks to rest. We could even do a small competition afterwards!" Arnock nodded as he spoke, "Perfection is indeed not achieved over night, nor is the art of war. Ezekyle is by far one of the most revered warriors in the galaxy, so I welcome his input in any manner and was happy to receive so pointers from him." Arnock seemed somewhat taken back by the Warmaster's request. It was not every day that a legendary warrior such as Horus offered his warriors up for training in another's ways. "That would be an honor beyond deserved, Warmaster. However, I will accept such an offer only on the condition that you could do the same honor for me, Warmaster. And if you would allow me to be so bold, I would request that Captain Loken of your 10th company train them. I heard that he has a calm demeanor that even Lord Dorn appreciates. This is something I have found some of my recruits lacking in. Their eagerness at times leads them to make hasty mistakes." Looking off into the distance, "Regardless, it would be my pleasure to train them. They shall learn the art of perfection in battle, and returned to you as deadly as the tip of a sword. Ready to unleash precise attacks and deliver efficient death." There was a pride in Arnock's voice that showed how much he to heart in Horus putting such trust in him. "True son of the Third, already making demands, even out of me. I'm sure Garviel would be swelled to hear he got additional tasks to complete, now that he became the member of the Mournival," Horus laughed wholeheartedly before offering Arnock hand in the way like the warriors of old would greet each other. "I'm sure you'll make all of us proud Arnock, my brother chose well when he made you the Master of Rites." Horus left them soon enough, his new duties as the Warmaster of the Crusade taking him elsewhere. With the present batch of recruits gone and new ones yet to arrive, this hangar of the "Vengeful Spirit" now felt somewhat emptier, although that might've been perhaps due to the fact the Primarch wasn't with them anymore. Captain Targost was still here though, his dark eyes turning on Arnock. "My father is fond of you, Brother Arnock, it is an honor well deserved. Other Sons of Horus speak the same and I would like to strengthen these bonds even further." Serghar reached for his belt and a small coin appeared in his hand, the color of ocean's green, the same hue which the XVI Legion used to paint their armor, and offered it to Arnock. "I invite you to join our gatherings brother, perhaps you've heard of them already. We tend to spend a lot of time campaigning and every warrior needs a time to wind down between battle and what better way to do it if not with your friends. Now that you are one of us, at least in spirit, me and the rest of the members would like to spend more time with you and get to know you better. It would mean a lot if you came to our next meeting." Arnock laughed slightly as he grasped Horus' forearm, "You honor me far beyond that which I deserve. But know this, I find it a greatest honor to serve you, Warmaster. I shall enjoy serving you in the coming battles and bring glory to Mankind and the Emperor." After meeting Serghar in the hanger, Arnock was happy to hear that he had found favor within the Sons of Horus. "Truly, your father and you honor me," Arnock said with a humble nod. He then listened to the invitation given to him as he took the coin in hand, "I have not heard of this group. However, I would be foolish to pass up such an offer of brotherhood. When will the time be that they gather next?" "It has no name really nor is it an official group, it's simply a gathering of brothers, sharing stories over a drink or two," Serghar explained, "It's one of the ways how the Warmaster promotes unity even further because rank doesn't matter there, every voice is equal. But if you really want to give it a name, I guess you can call it a lodge." "As for the next meeting, matter of fact I was just about to head there. Do you want to go together?"