The next ten hours of training did nothing to improve Kiva’s mood. Since it was the last day before Selection Day, all the Guilders and Guildresses were just as tense as their trainees, barking at them to move faster, react more impulsively, and get through the placement prep exercises in record time.
It wasn’t just because they wanted their group to do well, according to what Kiva had overheard one level mate tell another. She’d heard that how far West the trainers got to Move Up depended on how many of their trainees placed into one of the five trade Guilds. Since Move-Up Day only happened every five cycles, that would explain why Gr. Stax had urged Kiva to keep throwing her bricks on top of each other even though they weren’t properly lined up, and why Grs. Fairweather had yelled at her to stop thinking and just guess the name of the clouds on the picture board: the Guilders were afraid Kiva would put accuracy ahead of speed, reflection ahead of action, deliberation ahead of decisiveness, as she had the past two Selection Days. If she did that, she could keep them all from