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Halt rode through the open fields of Caraway Fief. Abelard's ears were relaxed and so was his master. The two knew that no danger would come to them here. A large dark castle came into view.

The Battleschool of Caraway Fief.

Halt and Abelard began to canter across the field and toward the magnificent castle. As they approached the sound of swords clashing against shields echoed across the land. Halt halted Abelard and swiftly dismounted. He nodded grimly to a nearby guard who motioned to another guard to take his horse into the nearby stables where he would be cared for.

Halt continued on into the large castle and walked up the familiar marble steps that led to Battlemaster David's private quarters. When he came to the familiar wooden door he knocked three times and then the voice of Battlemaster David answered.

"Come in."

Halt opened the door and to his immediate left he spotted the Battlemaster signing important documents that Halt suspected would go off to the newly crowned King Duncan. Sir David looked up.

"Ah Halt, I thought you'd be here closer to midday," he commented a bit surprised.

"It is midday, sir," Halt replied.

Sir David looked out his giant window that overlooked the Battleschool grounds. The sun was directly overhead and just out of sight. Down below the shadow's of the boys practicing were directly behind them, signaling midday. Sir David scratched his head.

"Indeed, you are correct, my friend," he corrected himself.

Sir David then stood up and walked over to Halt. He stood a good foot taller than the younger Ranger. Halt, in his later twenties, was making quite a name for himself.

The two friends shook hands and Sir David motioned for Halt to join him near the two chairs that sat near another large window that showed another perspective of the Battleschool grounds.

"Where's young Gilan?" Halt asked.

Sir David held back a smile. "I suspect he will be joining us shortly."

One cue, the wooden door opened and a tall eleven-year-old boy stood there. His eyes grew bigger as he saw Halt sitting beside his Father. He rushed into the room and took another chair beside Halt.

Sir David held back another smile. "The boy claims to be sick," he told Halt. "But, it seems not sick enough to visit you."

Halt nodded. He, too, held back a smile.

Gilan smiled sheepishly at Halt and his Father. "MacNeil wasn't too happy with me."

Sir David frowned. "I suspect not."

Gilan looked down at the floor. He did not see the smile that finally reached Sir David's face. Sir David turned to Halt.

"Will you be staying long?" he asked.

Halt slowly shook his head. "I'm afraid not. Redmount needs my services yet again."

Gilan pouted. He had finally looked back up. "Do you have to?"

Halt looked at the young boy. "I'm sorry Gilan, but I have a job to do."

At this Gilan closed his mouth. The boy held Halt as a role model and was fascinated about his work. His laid-back lifestyle was so different than the strict, grueling life as a Battlschool student.

"Well, it's good to see you again. I still here people mumbling about Morgarath and Hackham Heath," he told Halt.

Halt nodded gravely. "As have I."

"Such loss," Gilan agreed.

"But, such loss led to a grand victory. People will die in wars son, remember that," Sir David told his son.

"I know, but there were so many dead..." he mused.

Sir David looked back to Halt. It had only been a few months ago that Halt had led the surprise attack against Morgarath. It was this battle that had brought Sir David and Halt to be such good friends.

Halt's eyes were far away. "What is it, Halt?" Sir David asked concerned.

"Just a memory. Daniel," he told Sir David.

Sir David closed his eyes. He knew the story of the young sergeant Daniel who had saved Halt, but sadly perished during the battle.

"What became of the boy?" Sir David asked.

Daniel's dying words to Halt were to take care of his wife and soon-to-be-born son. Unfortunately, Daniel's wife had died in childbirth and the baby, named Will had been orphaned.

"I took him to Redmount. Baron Arald is taking care of him."

"A castle ward?" Sir David asked.

"Yes. I will watch the boy though."

Gilan felt pity for this Will. He was only a baby and yet his whole world had been turned upside down. Little did he know, thay in fifteen years his path would cross Will's.

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