Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~M. Kathleen Casey

Will sighed and looked at his new apprentice. He was sitting in his favourite chair in the middle of the lounge room in the Redmont cabin. On the outside, it looked as though he was surveying the poor kid, when on the inside, his mind was screaming at him to do something or say something smart.

Eventually, he just grinned. Hs new apprentice looked paranoid at the thought of being in the presence of a hero and eventually his wife.

'Your room is in the back,' Will said and nodded with his head. 'Come, I'll show you.'

The two men, one a ranger and the other his new apprentice, walked to the back room.

'Flowers?' asked the apprentice who won't have a name.

'Habit I picked up from Halt,' Will explained to apprentice's true amazement.

'The grim one?'

'Is there another?' Will asked with a frown. 'Tonight it will just be us for dinner although normally there is my wife, son and more often than not, a guest. Can you cook, boy?'

'Cook, sir?'

'Yes, cook. Prepare food so that one might eat it. Make meals. I assume that you know what food is...' (Book 1, pg 61, 2nd edition [Australian]) Will stopped himself before he got any further. Instead he just stared laughing his head off. The poor apprentice just looked at him like he had just lost a head.

Two weeks later and Will's first apprentice was meeting with his friends for the Harvest Day festival.

'I had heard so much about him, as you do but he is so different in life than the stories say. Some things about them are correct, like that he is nearly always smiling, but other things, like that he has let all the fame go to his head, are false,' the apprentice told his friendship circle.

'I heard that the training is really hard,' said one of the girls.

'I had heard pretty much the same thing,' said a random guy who is in battle school.

'I guess it is, I don't really notice it other than the sunburn and staying outside for the day…' the apprentice said.

'It must be hard,' said someone to his left.

'As my mentor has said on the multiple occasions when I have complained, "Pain is inevitable. Suffering, however, is optional".'

I am on holidays and far I have done nothing other than start a new fic (that isn't up here yet) and talk to friends about when we are going to get together to do the assignments :)


- Alyss Mainwaring