Weapons rang as elves clashed, trainors shouted orders and occasionally stepped in to demonstrate a particular tactic. A few hundred meters away Lucas could see other elves practicing their archery and mentally checked two men from his list, he had forgotten to obtain archers. He supposed he ought to get parchment to record the names on so he could keep track but he hadn't obtained any names so there was no point. 

As he watched the training Lucas could see no great talant. No one showed any more potential than the average. Forgetting his task and future team Lucas wondered how the North would even win the war with the skill level they have now.

Hours passed and elves rotated out on the field, his own group was training in a corner with specalized instructers, Lucas walked over to them. "Can any of you shoot a bow?" The trainers glared at him for interrupting their lesson but only one elf raised his hand. Lucas focused on him, "Good go get a bow an arrow set." The elf saluted and ran off, reappearing after a minute with the requested material. Lucas smiled tightly, "Excellent, now you have one minute to shoot me." Ignoring the gaping mouths Lucas ran away, noting with silent approval the chosen elf didn't question, merely knocked an arrow.

As the string was pulled back Lucas began to change directions, making himself a difficult target. There was a snap and the arrow was flying towards him, Lucas drew his sword and slashed it out of the air then tripped forward as a sharp pain blossomed in his back. There were several shouts of alarm as Lucas struggled to his feet grimacing. And arrow hung from his tunic stopped only from penetrating his skin by a spell he has wispered a minute before. His lack of broken skin however did not prevent him from feeling the actual impact.

He yanked the arrow lose and turned back, "Good." The elf holding the bow grinned slightly, recovering from shooting his new commander. "Now back to training, and you back to your barrack." Lucas said pointing towards one of the elves he was iffy about. The elf tried to protest but a glare sent him scurrying away. Before walking away Lucas caught a glimpse of Hobien staring at him as if he was crazy.

Lucas returned to his position watching the training but he didn't see anything interesting until the sun set. A single elf walked up the path leading from the city. The elf was tall as tall as him, her steps proud despite the clear fatigue. Lucas prowled closer to her, wanting a better look. Illuminated by the last of the setting sun he saw auborn hair and clear skin. His last glimpse of her was her eyes, then she was surrounded by armed Guardians, each holding their respective weapon at the ready. 

Lucas stopped walking, her eyes were slitted green like a cat.


She was bound by the Guardian's and lead into the academy. Lucas followed at a distance after recovering from his initial shock. He wasn't sure who the woman was but it was clear she was dangerous. Two swords rested against her neck, another against her back. Guardians surrounded her, weapons pointed out and in. Yet despite this the woman didn't struggle, she complied with every demand, following her guard into the buiding. 

Hoffman came racing from the fields, his sword held at the ready as well. Lucas tried to ask him what was going on but the elf ran directly past him. Another Guardian tried to wave Lucas away from the group but he followed them undeterred. Amana stood inside the doors of the Academy, Lucas approached the Guardian swiftly as the woman disappeared behind a door, "Who is she?" Amana barely spared him a glance, "You aren't authorized to have that information."

Lucas rolled his eyes, "Tell me, I have a right to know." Amana laughed, "Right? What right?" Lucas grumbled slightly feeling at the hilt of his sword. He wasn't sure why but he felt like he needed to know who the woman was and where she came from. So he stood quietly, watching the bustle around him that had followed the she-elf, and waiting for an opportunity to obtain answers.

The door the woman had entered remained stubbornly closed, its thick wood blocking all sound. Amana watched the room from his position, sword at the ready. Lucas examined the emptying hall and soon noted three other elves watching, guarding. Two held bows, the third a sword. Clearly they were there to ensure no one entered the room, or left it. 

His attempt to obtain answers frustrated for the moment Lucas left, retreating up the stairs  to his room. He thought of his wife and baby as he prepared for bed. Their beautiful faces swimming up in his thoughts. He would do what the Guardian's told him to do for them. 

He climbed into the provided bedding wishing for the warmth of his wife beside him. The thought grew painful as he lay so Lucas attempted to guide his thoughts down a new path. He focused on his team of twelve, and wondered who would be number thirteen.

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