Summary: After Kel was kicked out of knight training after her probationary year she returns to the Yamani Islands to Escape the Past. There she hopes to train in piece and maybe someday return home to Tortal as a true warrior. The Emperor gives her the opportunity that she was denied by Wyldon, to become a knight and to serve him. After she succeeds in becoming a knight he gives her the title of Pheonix. But then the Alliance with Tortal calls her to go and guard the bride of Prince Raold of Tortal. What will everyone think of the Phoenix that they helped create?
Kel looked over the railing of the shipa nad out over the waves. The ship had left port 2 days before en route to the Yamani Islands. Her mother thought it would be good for her to escape the things that reminded her of what had happened. The manor that they'd been given by the Emperor would be perfect. Kel sighed. Her parents couldn't keep all of them in Corus and with all her brothers being knights things in Mindelan would have been worse. In her heart she wondered if she would ever over come their prejudices and fulfill her dream to become a warrior at last.
Staring out over the sea she let the memory of Lord Wyldon's words sink in along with the reality of her situation.
Kel walked to Lord Wyldon's office as she'd been instructed by one of the palace servants. It was the end of her first year, her prohbationary year, in her training to become a knight. She prayed to Mithros that the training master would allow her to stay. She had worked hard and she'd followed almost every rule, she'd even gone along with some of Joren's attempts at getting her kicked out, he had to let her stay. She belonged at the palace. She knocked on the door to the trainig master's office. I am a stone, I am a lake, she thought.
"Enter." Lord Wylodon's gruff voice answered. She enetered the room and closed the door behind her. She was apprehensive but did her best to hide it behind her Yamani mask. "Sit down, now Keladary you know why I've called you her do you not?"
Kel nodded not trusting her own mouth. She wanted to scream out how unfair he was being to her. She could fight better than most of the other boys, yet she was treated with no respect from the training master.
"Good now I will be frank about this: you are a girl. Soon what you want from life as a maiden will change. Your body will begin to change. You will become a distraction to some of Tortals future finest protectors. You are more likely to get your men attacked in the night; you will be a burden to them. I cannot allow this to happen I am charged with creating strong knights for the realm of Tortal, not weak points for her enemies." Wyldon paused for a moment. "Keladary of Mindelan you are dismissed. Don't ever come back."
Kel stood fury and sadness battled within her. She fought to keep her steel mask up as she walked to the door. As she opened the door to leave she looked over her shoulder and said, "I will make you regret this day, Wyldon of Cavall, you and your King. One day I will become the strongest knight in the world and then you will regret not allowing me to stay."
"I will make you regret it, I swear to the Gods I will find away and I will not return until I've done just that." She said gravely to the waters as the ship rolled back and forth.
There was nothing more she could do then, they were still days away from the Islands, so she went below decks to her cabin and retrieved her glaive. Naginata, she scolded herself. It's a Yamani weapon it should be called by it's Yamani name. Back on the deck she went through all the complex moves she could think of, twirling and slashing, all in a swift blur. She began to imagine herself in the pages wing back in the palace going through the same moves like she used to in the mornings. She continued like that until a wave rocked the boat and she fell to the deck. In a quick roll she avoided falling on the sharp 18 inch blade.
She sighed and pulled herself up brushing the salty dirt from her clothes. She picked up her weapon from the wood boards of the deck. Then she headed to her cabin to eat her supper alone. Before she went to bed she pulled out her katana, a 29 inch curved blade made of Yamani steel. The one in her hand was Soshu Kitae, the finest type of sword that was made by only one sword smith in the Isles and was prized by all in the Isles, including the Emperor. It was a gift from the Emperor. She quietly tried to get herself to remember the complex movements in the Yamani martial arts called Iaidō. This became her routine everyday until she reached the Yamani Isles.