Chapter 1 - Acceptance

Chapter 1 - Acceptance

A Chapter by VassD
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Part 1 - Trial A decision is made and a challenge accepted.

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"No." Anmita Kyatei said.
Ania stopped dead. For a moment, she was unsure of what exactly had just happened, the joy and excitement that coursed through her body prevented her from registering what her mother had said. But gradually, the immediate conversation came back to her, and that, as will as the enraged look on her mother's face, slowly drained the euphoria from her body, leaving her empty and deflated. 
"But-"
"I said no, Ania. I will not hear another word of this childish, insane fantasy of yours! I thought we had dealt with this madness years ago, when your fool of an aunt died."
"Mother! She's your sister!" Ania was completely aghast. She had always known her mother didn't approve of her sister, Alliania, and that she hated the Knights as much as everyone else did--people hated what they didn't understand, and that which they could never have--but this was the first she had ever heard of her blatantly insulting Alliania, and with such open hostility.
"She's still a fool, and moreover, a dead fool. Don't give me that look. You were too young to be told this when she died, but she was killed because she questioned her higher authority. As much as I disapprove of the Knights, she still had no place questioning her superiors."
"Mother, she was killed in the Joconan Invasion six years ago. She didn't question anyone." Ania could honestly say this--Alliania loved being a Knight, and she had told Ania time and time again how much she respected and admired her captains. Ania remembered vividly the last time she saw her aunt alive. It was two weeks after her seventh birthday, and Alliania had been acting strangely for quite some time. She had said, by way of explanation, that she was just very worried about the war, but--this was what had stayed with Ania the most-"I know my commanders are doing all they can, and I would do anything to help them win this war." Ania didn't dare say this to her mother, for she had seen this behavior in her mother before--anything she said would be twisted and used against her. So Ania, tears beginning to stream down her face at the affront to her aunt's integrity, and at the realization that her mother would not ever let her join the Knights, turned and ran to her room, slamming the door behind her.
Ania threw herself onto the bed, the tears flowing freely now. She had always wanted to be a soldier, and more importantly, one of the Knights of the Covenant. To others they were unknown monsters, things out of legend, things to be feared.
To her they were heroes. 
Ania sat up and gazed into the mirror on her wall, and, as she had many, many times before, imagined herself wearing the black cloaks and headpieces of the Knights. She loved to paint pictures of nobility and honor in her mind, hearing once more the tales of glory her aunt had told her. She could always see her aunt when she looked in the mirror They shared the same raven black hair, the same hawk-blue eyes As wonderful as the images of brilliance were, she could never look into the mirror for long without feeling the pangs of loss again. 
Whenever her aunt, Alliania Kyatei, was off on leave, she had told Ania of the wonders of the army's inner circle. She had taught how Ania to ride and how to walk without being heard, taught her to flee without being seen, taught her to fight and not be afraid. Taught her to be one of them. 
But that dream had died with Alliania, for her mother had grown to hate the Knights in their hooded cloaks
Yet the dream had reawakened when Ania had seen the signs in the square calling for children ages eleven to thirteen to come and be trained as a member of the Covenant. Ania had hoped that her mother's hatred would have died, that she would have forgiven the Knights for that which was not their fault. Just the opposite; her mother's malice had just seemed to have grown.
Ania looked at her wall where a framed copy of the Knight's Pledge hung. It was in a different language that her aunt had taught her. Only the Knights spoke it, so her mother did not know what it said. But Ania had learned to read and speak it even before she learned to write her own language, and she had read and reread it so many times that the words had nearly been rubbed off the paper, but were now burned into her mind. 
Her eyes found the words at the end of the second line. She loved her mother, and her father, as much as she could, for it seemed her was never around. She loved her sisters, Xanya especially. Xanya was the second oldest, and had been training as a mage for years, ever since she was twelve. She would often bring home bits of magic and show Ania, entertaining her for hours when Alliania was not there and even more so after her death. Xanya was the only other one who listened to Alliania's stories, and the one who had understood Ania's burning desire to be a Knight.
Her other sisters, Ehmita, Irinel, Irisel, Mayimere, and Celebeth were much less understanding, and they always seemed distant, not wanting much to do with their odd little sister Still, she loved them. But did she love her country, and the memory of her aunt, more?
Ania looked up at the tapestry on the wall opposite that holding the Pledge. It showed centuries of the Kyatei family, and each daughter--always six--had their name stitched in a different color, and she could trace the pattern all the way up through to the top of the tapestry, seeing how history repeated itself. First daughter, soldier; second, mage; third, priestess; fourth, scholar; fifth, architect; and sixth, diplomat. Over and over again.
And then there was her. The seventh. Her aunt had been a seventh as well. Ania's mother was a sixth. There was no precedent for seventh daughters.
Her aunt must have faced opposition from her parents, and also from her sisters. But she did it. How? Ania thought of the look in her aunt's eyes when she told her of the wonders of the Knights. Ania knew she had to do it. Even if her mother hated her. It would be worth it. 
Worth it. The words struck a chord. Ania turned to her bed, and, getting down on her knees, she reached under her bed, feeling for the loose board. When she found it, she pulled it up and pushed her had into the hole left by it. Almost immediately, she felt the cool edges of the box her aunt had given Ania the year she died
When the box was in front of her and the board firmly back in place, she remembered what her aunt had whispered in her ear as she had handed her the box. "Open this when it will be worth it."
Ania felt her little twelve-year-old heart flutter in anticipation. She lifted the lid and saw…
A letter.
A letter, and the most gorgeous knife she had ever seen. It had a silver handle with an insignia she recognized from the head piece her aunt had worn. It looked like eyes of a hawk, looking straight at her, with an ornate KC to either side. KC for Knights of the Covenant.
The letter was sealed with a print that might have come from the handle of the knife. Ania broke the wax and had to remember how to breathe when she saw what it said.
My little Ania,
If you're reading this, then you have made the decision I always knew you would. You want to become one of the Knights.
First, let me tell you how proud I am of you. This is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, and it will be the same for you. If you let it. 
Now onto the real reason I wrote you this letter. Yes, my parents did not want me to be a Knight. The way I became a Knight is, and I am not proud to be saying this, I snuck out of my house. I left my parents a note that told them that I would be a Knight with or without their permission, or blessing. I told them I would be what they wished, no question asked, if I failed to become a Knight. That gave them enough hope that they sent no one after me. Very few people are privileged to be able to train as a Knight, even fewer make it all the way through the actual training. But even though I got away without anyone coming after me, they wouldn't have caught me. Because I know how to use darkness, shadows, and the land to hide. I taught you how. Use it.
Finally, the knife. If they are unwilling to let you try for Knighthood, show them that. I am well known for that knife. They will let you in. But more than that, you will need it. Again, I taught you how. 
All my love,
Alliania Kyatei
Godspeed, my Ania
Ania stared at those last lines, a hurricane of thoughts and emotions roiling through her head. How had she known? How had she known that Ania wouldn't open the box until she had those very questions in mind? And how had she known she would not be able to tell her in person?
Ania shook herself and got ready to stand when she saw something else. She lifted the knife slowly away from the padded interior of the box. Hanging from the knife's cross-guard was a necklace in a pendant twice the size of the pad of her thumb. On in was the same symbol as the knife hilt and the headpiece, and under it, KC. Ania saw two more pieces of paper, on of which was folded so intricately she wasn't sure how she would ever open it without tearing it to shreds.
Just as she thought this, a message in the fine, elegant hand of her aunt appeared as in being written that very moment.
When you need it, you'll know. 
Ania blinked. Even as the words appeared, they began to fade. A few seconds later, and she wasn't sure if it had even happened.
As for the other one, she picked it up and opened the single fold. A beautifully drawn picture of the necklace that had hung on the knife was wrapped around a short message. Wear it with pride. 
Ania looked at it. It symbolized a huge decision. If she wore it, it meant she would leave her family behind out of a greater love and loyalty to the memory of her aunt. In the letter, Alliania had told her how proud she was of the decision she had made. Could she live up to that trust? Did she dare try?
Did she dare not to?
She took a deep breath and placed the chain around her neck.
She was no longer Ania, seventh daughter of Anmita Kyatei. 
She was Ania Kyatei. Knight of the Covenant.



© 2011 VassD


Author's Note

VassD
I'm not too proud of these first couple chapters... The dialogue seems off, and it doesn't match up too well with some of the situations I put forward in the later chapters. Any suggestions on how to improve it would be greatly appreciated.

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I think this chapter is written very well and it flows well to me. I would have to read more to be able to make suggestion but so far it is a very good story XD

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on November 17, 2011
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VassD
VassD

A tiny random town-city-dimension, ID



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I'm a fledgling author with dreams about as big as one of Robert Jordan's books. Maybe more than one on top of each other. I love writing fantasy and science fiction stories (No matter how long a piec.. more..

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A Chapter by VassD