*Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own thoughts*

We had been ridding for half a day, and already Neal had caused the group to tie a stocking over his mouth to silence him. I, Kel, was riding on Hoshi (My horse) at the front of our small group of soldiers.

Tobe my "little brother" of sorts, or at least that's how I think of the little horse mage, was riding a new horse on my right. Neal was behind us and after him was the small escort that had forced themselves upon our group to make sure I did not run again.

Really? Why would I run behind enemy lines without a purpose? As you have probably already guessed we are on our way to Steadfast for my old knight masters wedding. Neal was excited because his lady love, one of my best friends, was waiting for him at the military fort.

I however was not near as anxious to be around all the love-sick couples. Sure there were plenty of men and little women but even then the military men would never think to ask a Lady Knight. Despite the word Lady, many times they forget I am a woman; to them I am just another one of the 'guys'.

It's insulting how they talk about girl's in-front of me, and they even go so far as to complain about not knowing any girls to introduce them to the Ladies.

But I should not be so bitter; after all it is not a good emotion to show not that I was showing it, my mask was firmly covering my face. But thinking such things can often times cause my mask to crack. Aside thinking happy thoughts makes a happy person, at least that's what Papa always told me when I was little.

Anyways we were about two days away from Steadfast at present, and I could tell this trip was going to be a very dull one. Sure there were brief conversations with my companions but not much so I cannot spend a lot of my time thinking.

It does not seem fair that Neal and I are the ones who are constantly allotted breaks while Merric stays to safe guard New Hope. I should talk to Lord Wyldon about Merric getting a vacation soon; I could not have my friend run down. But I am not sure if he will be at the wedding I would think Owen and Milord would be heading back to Corus for Owen's Ordeal.

Wow, we are getting old are we not? Owen may not be the youngest in our entire group, but he is the youngest in our close group of friends. I miss them all, well maybe not Cleon so much it would be acquired to have to face him again, but as for the others I wished we could all have a reunion of sorts.

"Milady?" Tobe asked rather loudly, I looked up at him slightly annoyed to have my thoughts interrupted.

"Yes Tobe?"

"You seemed lost in your thoughts, and it's time to stop for supper." I looked at the sun that was almost gone.

It was dusk, I noted in surprise. I nodded my thanks to Tobe and gave orders to stop and set up camp.

A few marks later and I was settling down in my bedroll for a quick nap before it was my turn to keep watch, Neal had taken off the gag and was rambling off to his watch partner making it difficult to fall asleep but not impossible.

We were now half a day away from our destination and we were all grateful for that, sleeping on the ground is not an ideal part of being a knight. I was lost in my thoughts again when I head screeching overhead. Looking up I saw the sparrows flying like mad, and giving the sign for enemies they counted out two dozen on my palm.

"Arm up and prepare yourselves. Tobe!" I called determined, the boy rode up to my side. "I need you to ride fast and hard to Steadfast and get help." The boy nodded and took off the trees towards our destination. Neal rode up to my side,

"What's your plan?"

"We need to keep our distance, twelve of us against twenty four men, probably raiders at that. Archers, ready your bows. Nari!" I called to the queen sparrow, "Where are they coming from?" She circled to our right, and landed lightly on Hoshi's saddle. "Aim towards the southern woods. Nari, send scouts. When they are close raise the alarm please."

She obediently went to her flock and soon two sparrows set off towards the raiders. Diane really was a lifesaver.

The sparrows returned not a minute later and the archers fired blindly at the oncoming raiders. I strung a griffin feather and shot among my men. "Neal, try not to get hurt. If you do Yuki will kill me, and we need you for anyone who gets injured." The Knight nodded silently to me just as the twenty four raiders broke through the forest, only a few sprouting an arrow embedded in their armor.

There was no form or order to their attack and as a result there was chaos. I lost sight of Neal and most of my men while I fought the first solider. There were eleven mounted men and the rest were on foot, the mounted men headed towards Neal and I first and I found myself locked in combat against three of them trying to make quick work to help the others who fought wildly.

The sparrows tried their hardest to unseat the mounted men and blind the foot soldiers, and had some success. I was facing off with a man twice my size and charged at the giant, wielding a double axe.

I ducked his first charge and turned around to face my opponent again. I lifted Griffin and my shield as I attacked the man before he could attack me. He cried out as my sword opened a deep gash in his arm as I passed I stabbed him from behind, the man fell off his horse and to the ground.

The rest is a blur.

(Third person POV)

Neal sat with Yuki, Tobe, and two of the soldier's from New Hope in the mess at Steadfast. The group was a sorry lot to take in, with their sorrowful looks and dirty appearance; and Lady Yukimi's silent tears were an alarm that something was wrong. What was so horrid that a Yamani would cry over it?

Neal ignored his food and sat holding onto his weeping betrothed with a grim face. Tobe stared down at his folded hands without seeing them and the men half heartily tried to sip some water.

It was then the mess hall doors opened and jovial laughter filled the room. The sorrowful group looked up to see Sergeant Domitan of Masbolle and his squad stroll in covered in mud.

"Sir Meathead! When did you get here?" the youthful man asked catching sight of his cousin and walking over with a huge smile, which slowly disappeared as he took in the small group's appearance. "What's wrong? Where is Kel?"

The reason I have been so distracted from Lady Knight II is because I had this idea come into my mind, but do not fret I am working on both again. I hope you enjoy this and I hope that you all enjoyed your Christmas Vacation.

-Miss. Pure