The Order of the Soul has been disbanded for years, the sisterhood of the Warriors scattered to the winds. But when Makena wished to learn the Warrior's Way, Jhyssa took the young neophyte under her tutelage.
Now the impossible has happened -- war has broken out in the land, and the battlecry sounds once more. Will Makena heed the Warrior's teachings or seek her own way?
Note: This story appears in the print collection Bones of the Sea and Other Stories.
“You heard.” It wasn’t a question.
Makena stood by Ceryane’s horse, brushing it down. When I had opened the door and found her gone, I figured she must have returned to the stables. Without looking at me, she nodded.
“Well,” I said, “this is the moment we’ve been training for these past few months.”
She shook her head. “I don’t think I’m ready, Jhyssa,” she whispered.
“Makena,” I sighed, “you equal me with bow and sword.” I reached out and touched her hair, smoothing it down. My hand came to rest upon her shoulder. “You are a Warrior of the Soul.”
She rolled her eyes. “You know I believe that. But there’s something missing ... something more I’ve got to learn.” She hurried on before I could object. “You taught me to aim a bow with my heart, to swing a sword with my soul -- I know the moves but not the reasons. I can’t fight until I learn for myself why I fight.”
I didn’t say anything. There was nothing to say -- I knew she was right. She had to find that within her which allowed her to strike true. “But sometimes,” I said gently, “a Warrior will learn that only when tested in battle.”
She turned to me. “That’s not my way. I have to figure out why I choose the Warrior’s path before I can follow it fully.”
“I thought you said you wanted to fight beside me.”
“I do -- I will, eventually.” She shook her head again. “I’m sorry, Jhyssa. I thought you would understand.”
I guess I did. She had to find the Warrior within before she could fully become a Warrior to the world. She had to make the way of the Warrior her way.