Every day Lucas and Trisha practiced dueling, while the locations, weapons, and times varied the result never did. Lucas was just a bit better at controlling himself, and Trisha never fatigued.
*~*~*~*
The days turned to months as the two worked on Lucas's problem, Trisha loaded him with knowledge not only of the blade but also the bow, and other weapons.
*~*~*~*
As the months turned to years Lucas was trained in the ways of a commander, and in intelligence. He never asked why Trisha was training him to spy, he had already guessed.

Rumors of war became more and more common and the guardians feared more and more that the South would rise up in rebellion. But Lucas tried not to think of that, he simply trained. Advancing well beyond others who were recruited at the same time he was.
*~*~*~*
As time wore on Trisha became more withdrawn, stress becoming evident in her features. Lucas often tried to ask her what was wrong, but she never answered.
*~*~*~*
Lucas was awarded full guardianship with honors nearly a decade before he was expected too. He focused on very little during the elaborate cerimony. Trisha's proud expression stood out in the crowds as he walked to the small stand, it was so rarely she smiled. "I'm leaving the Guardians," she had told him before it started, "I want a life, not to fight a war." He had hugged her and said he understood. She sighed in relief and went to take her place among the crowds.

Lucas waited until a trumpet blasted, then he strode down the isle head high and heart low. He had been looking forward to serving with Trisha. The heads of the Northern Government stood by those of the Academy at his destination. It was they who would give him his official bade. As Lucas imagined the ceremony he remembered the blade still hidden on the Academy grounds, given to him by Istrali. It still rested in a velvet lined box under several feet of earth.

The Academy representative droned on about honor and duty but Lucas only paid enough attention to know know when to say I swear it. The moment came and in a steady voice, devoid of doubts or fears, he swore his alligence to the North for as long as he served it. The commission came next, a sealed scroll of parchment resting on a pillow. If he picked it up he would be commited. There was a slight sense of approval as Lucas did not rush to scoop the document from its resting point. They knew he was considering, though they did not know what he held as an alternative.

Lucas deliberated within, wondering if it was worth it. He measured his reasons for joining the guardians and didn't find many. He wanted to be with Trisha, he didn't want a life of violence. Slowly he raised his hand, still clenched around the hilt of the blade. He sensed Trisha's worry, and knew she thought he was losing control. But it was just the opposite, he had never felt more in control before. Silently he placed the blade on the cushion next to the scroll and turned away.

There were gasps as he refused his commission and thus his guardianship. He could hear whispers behind him, "How could he work so hard just to give it up now?" "Should of known, him coming from that village." "He's no good, not right in the head. Denying an honor like this." Lucas payed the harsh words no mind, his eyes seeking out those of his lovers. Internally he was terrified she would be angry with him, for giving up everything they had worked towards. But what he saw in the depths of her gaze was love. And suddenly everything was alright.

In a dream he walked away from the guardians, towards her. He ignored the whispers and the judgments, finding solace with her. An angry shout quieted the room, Trisha turned to the council and in a clear voice she said. "I renounce my role as a Guardian, I have served long enough."And with that the two left hand in hand.
*~*~*~*
The Guardians let them go, the looming war weighing on their minds it was decided Lucas and Trisha simply weren't important. They would do no good if the didn't wish to, so they may as well live how they wished. So Lucas married the woman that had been denied to him for as long as he knew her. Together they established a small household at the edge of the great city. And they lead a happy life.

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Hey sorry it took me so long to update I've been super busy! And I have a lot of stuff going on this week as well, so hopefully I'll post a new chapter then get back on track next week. Anyway let me know what you think. :)

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