Hi. I’m Tristan Kanes. At least I was once upon a time. Tomorrow, who knows who I’m going to be? But I digress. I’m getting ahead of myself as usual. I’ll back up a bit. I thought it would be a good idea to attempt to run away from my destiny, but destiny tends to follow a person.
I’ve reached the upper ridges of Markaytia’s North Wood and I’ve been gone for several hours. Lucca will come after me soon. I creep to the edge of the plateau and look out to her, to Markaytia. Tomorrow, I’m to marry an Elven Prince. I know it sounds luxurious, every boy’s dream and all, but it isn’t that simple.
I must give up my entire life for this man.
It’s not long before I hear footsteps I recognize behind me. I’m certain of whom it is. I don’t even turn to look, until the tree branch pokes into my back.
He wants to fight me today, does he? I jump up with lightning speed, conditioned from the day I could stand on two feet and because I always take reconnaissance of my surroundings, I know there is a stick for me to use against him, two feet away. I snatch it up and take a defensive stance against my assassin. I strike, slice, slash, pierce, and segment his pathetic battle strategy—well, pathetic against mine. My cousin is a formidable swordsman—I outsmart him at every turn with my dexterous footwork and accom‐ plished foresight.
We’ve fought in many battles since the time we were fifteen and trained together from almost the moment we sprang from the womb—it’s in our blood. Peace is a warrior’s mission, yet in succeeding, he renders himself useless. It makes him no less driven to battle. Peace is a fleeting season, even for Markaytia, and I sense that this season of peace has had its turn and war is on the horizon. Either way, everywhere is dangerous now and the people need protection. War will continue to happen whether I want it to or not and when it does, I want to be the one leading the troops.
Now to convince my husband-to-be of that.