Tiara Dust continued

I marched as best I could with the battered shield hanging off my back, clanging on the sword-holder tied to my side

None of us could ever remember what that thing was called. We were only ever interested in swords, and the men who carried them. A prince, duke or nobleman was only ever judged by his weapon, not by the way he carried it. I had learned the hard way that the way one carries a weapon means a great deal.

Once I’d lost a full pair of pantaloons in the middle of a battle when the thing I had tied them to dragged them down without recovery, dangling over the tops of my mismatched boots. I had to tear the pantaloons off of me to keep from tripping, and save my sword. It was a long walk back to camp, for the obvious reason, and for the weight of the sword which I had to carry by hand, and without the energy that comes from fear of life being taken away. Women’s strength is in their hips and legs. I could not grip my tin mug that night.

I turned back to see if my Lady could be seen, and I only felt anger as the speck of her toddled on. But something tugged at me like a rope. I wanted to turn back toward her. It was as if she was walking over that next hill into a dragon’s cave. I did not know how to slay a dragon, but she did not know the dragon was there.

Yet, if I turned, the imps were at my back, and I was alone.

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