Kel gulped nervously as she slowly made her way to Lord Wyldon's office.

'I am a lake,' she thought, 'a smooth, undisturbed lake. Nothing will make me move. I cannot move. I am a lake. I do not ripple; nothing inside my shows.' Finally, she reached the office, and after hesitating a fraction of a moment, she knocked loudly.

"Enter." Came the curt reply. Kel gently eased the door open, then walked over to her training master, who looked up from his work as she entered. "Mindelan, sit down." Kel hurriedly obeyed, looking in his eyes, trying to foretell what would come next. Lord Wyldon returned her star for a minute, then sighed.

"Mindelan, you have shown surprising strength and bravery over this passed year. But, you've also caused quite a bit of trouble."His eyes were cold. "You began all of those fight, no, do not say that you fell down. Also, your body has begun to change and you will find it a little more difficult to continue. I'm still not convinced that you will be able to keep up with the boys during page years, squire years, and of course, knighthood. Soon, you will be wanting to marry, bear children and raise them in a large fief. If you become a knight, that will not be possible. You will be too busy with your duties to the King to be with your children all the time. That is a very big reason why women do not become knights. Therefore, you will not be permitted to continue your training next year. I am not allowing you to return."

Kel simply sat there for an instant, her mind trying to process the largest speech she had ever heard Lord Wyldon make. Her emotions were starting to create turmoil as she registered his meaning. When Kel felt her mask start to slip, she knew that in order to make a dignified exit, she had to make her escape now. Rising, she made a short bow, and spoke in a voise that was much calmer then she felt.

"Very well, My Lord. When am I expected to leave?" Lord Wyldon had already returned to his paperwork, and without even glancing up, her said,

"Be gone by tomorrow morning." Kel made one last bow, then departed.

* ******

She started towards her room, the turned, and went to Neal's instead. Without knocking, opened the door, knowing that she would find Faleron, Cleon, Prince Roald, Seaver, Esmond, Merric and Neal all there.

As she entered, they all turned to look at her, waiting to hear what had passed. Kel opened her mouth, but nothing came out. She swallowed, then tried again.

"I'm leaving early tomorrow morning, so I guess this is goodbye for a long time."

Chaos erupted in the small room. Neal, Cleon, and Merric were all shouting whilst the others simply sat there. Kel waited for the outburst to die down. When her friends were quiet again, she recounted what had happened. When she had finished, Neal was furious, but his eyes were becoming filled with unshed tears.

After awhile, Kel couldn't stand it anymore. Telling her friends the time that she was leaving, she hastily left for her own room.

Once there, Kel flung herself onto her bed. Her once calm lake shattered, and she sobbed her heart out.


When Kel had finished, she tiredly sat up and attempted to rub the redness from her eyes. She glanced up and saw her weapons shelf, all useless to her now.

'No!' Kel thought angrily. 'I'll become a warrior. I will! I'll show the world, prove that girls are just as good as boys…that I'm even better then boys!' Then, she spoke outloud.

"I swear it."