The fighting was hard.
It should have bothered me, but I was caught up in the fighting.
Everything seemed to blur around me, and I thrust my sword into too many opponents to count, too many lives torn away from bodies.
When it was over, I did what anyone would do.
I went to my tent, and I cried.
I rarely cried.
I could not count on one hand the number of times I had cried, but this was a serious battle.
I was a seasoned warrior, without hundreds of battles under my name, but this was the biggest I had ever been in, my first under Aslan, and I had been scared out of my wits.
I was a young girl, in a battle against warriors far older than I, but I was better than them, and that scared me.
My hair color?
Dark brown, nearly black.
My eye color?
None of your business.
I was at the coronation of the Kings and Queens.
"To the Glistening Eastern Sea, I give you," He said, "Queen Lucy the Valiant."
And I thought, What a mighty title for a child of ten years,
"To the Great Western Wood," He continued. "King Edmund the Just,"
The Just? I had thought. Justice from a traitor, how ironic. He was only thirteen.
"To the Radiant Southern Sun, Queen Susan the Gentle,"
I remembered seeing her in the battle, arrow after arrow lodging itself in enemy after enemy, and I thought, For a girl of fifteen, to be gentle is a virtue. One I did not have.
"And to the Clear Northern Sky, I give you King Peter, the Magnificent."
A seventeen year old boy as High King.
"Once a King or Queen of Narnia, Always a King or Queen," Aslan said to his chosen rulers. "May your wisdom brace us until the stars rain down from the heavens."
"Long live King Peter!"
We all cried.
"Long live King Edmund!"
"Long live Queen Susan!"
"Long live Queen Lucy!"
And that was the greatest moment in Narnian history, where all those in attendance were filled with pride for their country and for their newfound rulers.
I didn't see the Kings or Queens in person for a long time.
Not for a year, in fact.
Nearly on the dot.
I was away, and I will leave it at that.
It was a day that would change my life. I was in the practice courts of Cair Paravel, the ones outdoors.
I was sword fighting with a Centaur, with was simplified by both of us promising to use nothing but our swords, or else he would have had the advantage with four legs and two arms against my simple four limbs.
We were in the thick of it when the Kings and Queens arrived.
Everyone liked to watch people spar for practice, so I thought nothing of it when out of the corner of my eye I saw four figured enter.
I was a bit preoccupied.
I blocked my opponent's slash, and lunged. He swept my sword aside, and I dodged his next swipe. With another slash, we locked swords, and I stuck out my tongue. He grinned at me, and slashed at my head.
I ducked, and slashed as his legs.
He reared onto his hind legs, and when he came down he brought his sword, too.
Hard, onto my own.
My long hair came loose from its tie.
I held up the sword against his, until I felt him falter, the tiniest bit.
I broke off, spinning his sword away, and clanging across the practice floor court, where it lay as I pointed my sword at my defeated opponent.
He grinned, and surrendered.
I smirked, and stuck out a hand. Like a good opponent, he shook, and I sheathed my sword. I then accepted a drink of water from one of the small children whose duty it was to bring refreshments to the fighters.
"That was amazing," Someone said behind me.
I scooped my hair tie up from the ground.
"Glad you think so," I told the speaker.
I bent over, to fix my hair in a high ponytail. When I straightened, I pulled my gloves off, flexing my fingers.
"I'd like to try," The voice said.
"Really?" I asked, still looking forward. I untied my arm guards, and tied them again, tighter. "Are you sure?"
"Yes," the voice said.
"Good," I said, "Because there's no turning back."
With that I spun around and slapped the challenger across the face with my glove, a challenge.
I was staring into the face of King Edmund the Just, the best swordsman in Narnia.
"Good afternoon, Your Majesty," I said. "Isn't it a lovely day?"
Queen Susan gaped at me from the sidelines. The Valiant Queen looked pleased, with her arms crossed and her face fixed in a grin. King Peter had one of those political poker faces on, nothing in or out.
"It is, my lady," He said, smiling, and I told him,
"I'm not a lady, Your Grace, and you've still time to back out,"
The Centaur I'd just beaten told the King, "Best back out now, lad, afore she skins you an' tacks yer hide on her wall,"
Someone else yelled out, "She's the best swordswoman in Narnia," And this was greeted with shouts of agreement.
Edmund had that annoying look that meant he knew something I didn't. "Then I'd love to try my luck,"
I shrugged. "Your funeral,"
I took my place in the center of the practice courts.
"Do you want to do this practice style?" I asked, pulling on a glove, "Or battle style?"
"Which one lets me kick and stuff?" The King asked.
I was now fifteen, same age as him, and so I grinned. "I'd like to wake up tomorrow with as little bruises as possible,"
He raised an eyebrow, "So . . .battle style?"
I smiled. "You got it," And I brought my sword down on where his head was.
He dodged it, I knew he would, but that wasn't the point.
He spun out of the way and slashed and me, but I blocked it, and swung at him again.
The King and I locked swords, and I broke out first, jumping up to flip backwards and knock my feet into his face.
"Edmund!" Someone screamed, one of the Queens I think, but Peter stopped her.
I crouched, and swung my feet around to swipe her out from under him, and he crumpled to the ground.
I could feel Narnians around me tense, ready to aid their King, but I knew they wouldn't until it was absolutely necessary. They were commoners. Pride was something they understood.
I raised my sword and brought it down. Edmund blocked it, and rolled away. I let him.
The battle wasn't over yet.
"You're good, I'll give you that," He said, getting up.
"Thanks ever so, Your Lordship," I teased with a smirk, twirling my sword in one hand, the other on my hip.
"You're welcome," He said, and lunged.
I sidestepped it, and swung. He parried, and our swords clashed again and again.
The King swung at my head, and I ducked, and swung at his feet. He jumped.
We locked swords.
He had the advantage of size, being a few inches taller than me. I had the advantage of strength. I had been doing this since I could hold a sword proportional to my size.
We both acted at the same time, spinning our swords,
And both swords flew, in opposite directions across the courtyard.
We grinned at each other. "Call it a draw?" The King offered.
I stuck out a hand. He took it, and ducked under my arm, twisting it behind me back the way an arm is not supposed to twist.
I twirled, using his weight against him to throw him off me. "That's not nice at all," I scolded him as I threw him away from me. "People might think you're rude,"
He tried my own trick, swiping my legs out from under me, and I kicked him in the stomach, propelling him back a few feet.
Getting up, I lunged at him, and he blocked me. I revealed my true intention, spinning to pin his arms behind his back, and knocking him to his knees.
"I win," I said cheerfully.
Everyone around me looked shocked. I had King Edmund the Just on his knees, his arms pinned behind his back.
"Good for you," He said. "Can I get up now?"
"Nope," I said. I held out a hand behind me, because I knew someone will have retrieved his sword.
I pressed it into his hand. "Now you can get up, I said, and someone passed me my own weapon. I sheathed it, and the King got to his feet.
I held out a hand, ready to throw him across the court. "I win," I said with a smirk.
He glare-smiled, and shook with me.
"What's your name?" He asked me, as the crowd dispersed to watch other courts.
"Fallon," I said. I peeled my gloves off, and grabbed my bag from the edge of the court.
"Nice to meet you, Fallon," The King said.
"Likewise," I said. I thrust my gloves into my bag, and untied my arm guards.
The youngest Queen came over. "That was amazing!" She grinned at me. "Could you teach me to do that?"
I put my arm guards into my bag. "I don't know, Your Majesty, I've spent years learning to swing a sword, since I could hold one,"
The Queen didn't seem fazed. "That's okay,"
"I didn't know there were other humans in Narnia," The eldest Queen came over, her brother, too.
I untied my hair, letting it fall to my waist. "Yeah, well, there's plenty of things Your Majesties don't know,"
"Like what?" the High King asked. "What could you tell us that we don't know?"
The list goes on forever, but at that moment, I only scoffed. "I don't talk to the nobility," I said. "Not as a general rule." I shouldered my bag.
"You're talking to us," Lucy pointed out.
"I said, not as a general rule," I pointed out. "I've gotta get home," I said.
"Oh yes, your family will probably be missing you," the Gentle Queen said.
There is virtually nothing anyone can say that can hit me harder.
"Don't got a family, do I?" I said grimly, walking away.
"Where do you live, then?" I heard Lucy ask behind me.
"Wherever life takes me," I called back.