Celyna and Daxon Enroll in School for Swordsmen

We’ve all had those people, right? The friend who was just a year or two older than we were who could talk us into doing just about anything?

For me, it was another little girl. I was nine and she was about to turn eleven, and we’d come across a sign at our school offering music lessons for band. I was really reluctant, but somehow, she talked me into going. Now, I didn’t know it at the time, but playing in a band, even at nine, requires a musical instrument, which I did not have. So even though I followed her into the class, I ended up not being able to participate. Her parents got her a violin, and my parents said that they didn’t have the money.

Later, I wished I had been able to participate. And if I had known how jealous I would have been that she got to go, I would have begged just a little bit harder for some sort of instrument so that I could join her. Now, it’s something that hubby and I are hoping to be able to introduce to our little one.

In this scene, Celyna is going through a similar event. Her friend, Daxon, is taking her to enroll in the school for swordsmen so the two can learn to defend themselves. How he talked her into it, she’s not sure, but she’s hoping that something will come up that will render her unable to participate without having to disappoint Daxon.

Fear of the slave traders and marauders and frustration at the alderman’s refusal to do anything about them fueled the residents’ desire to build a new training school in Kaennon, one that would teach children how to defend themselves with a sword. The school was still only about a year old with few children enrolled. Daxon and Celyna were standing outside by the front doors arguing over whether or not to enroll themselves.

“I’m not always going to be around to protect you, you know,” Daxon reasoned.

“I know,” Celyna was sulking as she traced shapes into the dirt with her feet. She looked up and stared out into the fields surrounding the village and finally looked down at the piece of paper lying on the table in front of her. She looked back up at Daxon and signed her name to the paper next to his large scribbles.

Daxon smiled triumphantly as he grabbed the paper and ran inside to turn in their enrollments. Celyna glanced around the fields one more time and sighed as she slowly followed him through the doors.

Daxon had been looking forward to enrolling in this school for four years, since he started watching the people clear the land for the building. He had watched with enthusiasm as it was built and would often stand by and watch the other students as they trained. After much coaxing, Daxon convinced Celyna to enroll with him. And, although she was reluctant, Celyna could not think of any good reason to not follow Daxon now.

Inside, Celyna was greeted by a large woman wearing bright, silver armor. The woman approached Celyna and began to look her over, estimating a size for the clothing she would be handing over.

“How old are you?” The woman demanded to know.

“Eight,” Celyna’s reply was shaky. She was still trying to secretly think of an excuse to go back home, one that she hadn’t already tried on Daxon.

The woman grunted and took Celyna by the hand. She led her through several hallways and into a small room filled with fighting dummies and mannequins. There were several straw mats on the floor, and the walls were stained red. Celyna scowled at the notion that the stains had been caused by blood. She looked quickly around the room, disgusted by the dirty conditions. The woman dug through a pile of cloth and metal near one of the dingy walls and began pulling various pieces of equipment as she continued to speak.

“This will be you area. You’re to live here six days a week, and you may visit you family on the seventh. You will be ready to fight at dawn each day, and you will work until I say stop. Your meal will be served at High Sun.” She wasn’t even looking at Celyna as she tossed clothes into a pile in front of Celyna’s feet.

Celyna slowly picked up a chain shirt, turning it over in her hands as the woman continued to bark out her expectations. She shrugged held the shirt up to her nose as she wondered why anyone had ever thought to make a shirt out of metal. Finally, Celyna started to slide the shirt over her head. The links in the chain caught Celyna’s blonde curls, making her scream in pain as she stopped in her place, feeling as though she were stuck. Her scream forced the woman to stop talking and turn around to face her.

“What are you doing?” The woman yelled at Celyna.

“Well…” Celyna was trying to steady her voice and answer politely, but she was already struggling with the weight of the chain shirt. “I was trying to get dressed?” She secretly hoped that the woman would think she was too small to be at this school.

Maybe she might even kick me out, Celyna thought. Then Daxon couldn’t be mad at me.

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