Xiren's been making strides in the days since her one-on-one marker training with the Commander. She's even started attending the CQC and marksmanship training, achieving fairly mediocrely competent results at both, but today her attention hasn't been on her form for some time now. She's been listening with interest and rapidly-growing concern as the conversation between Liza and Kazuma turns hostile, and as the tension in Liza's voice grows, Xiren winces internally until finally she realizes that if she doesn't do something now, all her "hard work" yesterday will be for nothing. Abandoning all pretense, she folds her blade back into a now-familiar defensive grip and walks over to the pair of them.

Liza first, then the Commander. Liza needs to be disarmed so it doesn't feel like I'm cosigning her behavior, and the Commander will get defensive if Liza's insubordination isn't reigned in before he gets any more criticism.

Xiren places a hand on Liza's shoulder comfortingly. "Liza, please. I know the Commander's teaching style can seem a bit rigid, but he's doing this because he cares about us. Remember the Gala? I was almost killed. If it weren't for Ryall and plain old dumb luck, I'd have caught a bullet and you'd be training with a different Lust right now. The Commander and the others are trying to make sure that never happens again. You and I made it here because we were smart and careful. But that's not the only way to survive." She glances briefly up at Kazuma. "The bullheadedness and discipline he's trying to drill into you were what helped him survive. I understand you're frustrated, but if you're going to truly engage with what he's saying and figure out what you can use, you need to take his teaching in good faith."

Now the hard part.

Xiren takes a deep breath. "And Commander... You say there are no shortcuts to learning this. But isn't this entire class a shortcut? You're trying to drill into us skills that take years - a lifetime even - over the course of a few hours a day for a few weeks. I know if you could you'd take your time and teach us everything we need to know, you would, but we don't have time. Another Vatican attack could happen today. It could happen in five minutes. So you made the call to do what you could with what you had. Isn't it better that Liza receive imperfect training than no training at all? I know there are ways to satisfy your concerns about failing to disable an opponent." She taps the practice blade lightly against the back of Liza's neck, near the base of the shoulder blades. "A blade slipped between the cervical vertebrae can cause paralysis in all four limbs, for instance, but not death." Another tap, this time on the bridge of the nose. "Or you can go for the senses. Break the fangs of the snake. Who can shoot or stab or even grapple with no eyes?"

Evidently Xiren's been giving this subject some thought lately.

"If you can't teach her to dodge, teach her to feint. Use all that impulse toward movement to lure the enemy in, make them think she's made one of those fatal mistakes you talked about, then go for a disabling strike. Or a killing blow, if you must. Parry and riposte. That wouldn't go against your teaching, would it?"