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A Memorable Journey


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Adai ran through the wilderness on her way back to Ruidean. She had been nervous on her first run there, not sure of what to expect, not sure if she was ready, not sure if she could handle it. The thought that the Wise Ones believed she was capable was the only thing that convinced her that she truly was. She wished she weren't quite as nervous on her second trip to the city, but as she ran there she knew it was the last test. The last chance to change my mind, the thought was determinedly pushed out of her mind, no, I am past that point. I made my final decision long ago, this is my future. I will be a Wise One, and I give it all I have!


As she ran under the hot sun her thoughts slipped back to the days that lay between her first trip to the city and her return to it. She was the Wise Ones' apprentice but while she was pleased to the core about the chance to prove herself worthy, there were times that she didn't know if she was making the right choice, or that she could really be all that a Wise One was. The work of an Apprentice was not light, and didn't always seem productive to learning what Adai felt she needed to learn to be a good Wise One, but she did the work just the same. Though there were times that she did wonder what her life would have been like if she had chosen a different path.


Once, when she was new to the life of the Apprentice, she had been sent off to do what she thought was useless busy work and came across a small group of new Maidens practicing with their spears. Now that was useful. They were practicing skills they would some day use, they were practicing together as group. It hadn't been long since Adai had strived to join those girls and the more she watched them hone their skills and interact the more she felt herself longing to be there with them. She watched what they were doing and knew she could do it too. She watched for a while and then went on with her duties as Apprentice. At the end of the day, when she had done all that was asked of her and she finally had some free time, Adai went off to a more remote place taking a broomstick with her. She tried to act as the maidens had and she tried to match their speed. She was quiet pleased with how well she thought she was doing but she felt there was no way to judge how she held up with no one to practice with. She practiced until her muscles were sore. The next day she shuffled her tasks so that she could be near the Maidens at the time they were practicing. She took up her broomstick and followed along as they were practicing, she pushed herself to keep up, and she did keep with them, until she felt a tap on her shoulder. She spun around to see the Wise One standing over her, scowling. Adai had never felt that much guilt at once before and she was sent to run laps of the hold as she decided whether she had decided which she truly wanted to be, a Wise One or a Maiden, until then she was merely making a farce of both groups and of herself.


She had known that she was fully devoted to being a Wise One from the day she put of the white and came home. But it was that day running laps around the hold that showed her that just because you choose one thing doesn't make old desires fade. She knew she was making the logical and right choice, but she knew that she was denying herself a life long dream in the process. She did have desire to be a Wise One, that is why she had asked to become an apprentice in the first place. In that run that night Adai had grounded herself even more so into her decision and while she would always look at the maidens with respect and her heart would always go to them when she saw them, she knew that she had just as much love for the works of the Wise Ones. She felt as though she had let the Wise Ones who had judged her ready for apprentice-hood down and she knew she had much toh. From that day forward she vowed to prove her devotion. She would work off the toh with hard work.


She had thrown herself into all her work, trying to do as much as she could as quickly as she could and well as she could. But even that she soon found out was not the answer. She tired so hard to make up for her mistake by taking on more and more work to prove just how much she was willing to do to become a Wise One. For a few weeks the Wise Ones let her do so, but the longer it went the more Adai took on. She was pleased with how much she was doing, partially because she thought that would make them see that she had learned her lesson, and that she was serious about putting her all into her studies and duties to the Wise Ones. She liked helping the others, lightening their burdens and so she took on more and more. It didn't take her long to have her days completely full, and it was all she could do to keep from feeling as though she were scrambling through the days to get it all done. She always seemed to get it all done day after day, but just barely.


After a few weeks the Wise Ones began giving her more tasks. Adai smiled as she thought that was a sign that she was doing well, and that the Wise Ones were pleased. She took on the burden of juggling more tasks and some how managed to fit them all in. She would stay up later and rise earlier every day, and for a time she managed to squeeze in all the the things the Wise Ones asked. Then just as she started to feel that she could handle it again the Wise Ones started taking her way from the tasks they asked her to do and started teaching her. Some times they would have her learn about herbs and other lessons, and sometimes they just invited her to sit in on meetings of the Wise Ones. She was still expected to do all of the tasks and for a time she had tried. She started to slip and not get all the tasks done but she kept on trying and trying to juggle things better, but the more time the Wise Ones took her way from the tasks the more tasks they seemed to put on her until she finally broke down. She stomped up to the Wise Ones and confronted them, asking why they kept putting more more on her while giving her less and less time to get it done.


She didn't fully understand the answer they gave her, they had said that she was perfectly capable of making sure it would all get done and it was her responsible to see it done. She kept pushing and trying but she just couldn't keep up with it. She had lost so much sleep and had failed to do so many tasks that one day when a Wise One asked her add another task to her list she broke down, pushing the tears that came to her eyes back, and started babbling about how she just couldn't do it all anymore. How she wanted so badly to help take the burden off the others so they could focus on what needed their attention, but how she just couldn't do all of the extra work and keep taking on more, and how she needed help. She stopped as she realized that was the answer. The Wise Ones hadn't expected her to do all of these things on her own, she could ask for help when she need it. Yes it was her responsibly to make sure that the tasks that needed doing got done, but that didn't mean that she had to be the one to do them. She was taking the burden off of others but there came a point when she had to let others take the burden off of her.


It had been quiet a long time since that day, with many more lessons learned in that time. Now Adai was truly ready. Devoted to the Wise Ones heart and soul, and full of all the knowledge she could gain, save what would be taught through the columns in Ruidean and life experience. Still as she entered the city for the second time she couldn't help but wonder if she truly was ready to take the final step. She knew there was no other choice, no way she could return without going through. Too many people had done too much for her to reach this point for her throw it all away at the last minute. And she didn't want to. She wanted to be a Wise One and this was the final step. She centered herself and without fear or regret Adai stepped in to the columns and saw all it had to show her.


When she came back out again Adai sank to the ground, face pale. The excitement and pride she had thought she would feel was not even a small thought in the back of her head after what she had witnessed. How it could be true she didn't know. She didn't want to believe it was, but she knew it had to be. Perhaps it was a test to see if she believed everything she saw just because she trusted the source. She tried to believe that for a few minutes, but she knew what she had seen had been the truth. It is shook her to the core but she saw where she had come from and there was no way to change it. She had to go forward, as all Wise Ones who had come before her had. That is how things were then, but she knew how things were now. After a long time sitting there staring blankly through tear filled eyes sorting through what it all meant Adai rose and ran off to find the Wise Ones. She was one of them, and there really was no way back now. She thought that by going to Rhuidean she would find the answers, but all she had now was more questions.


~ Adailinra Desn

WO Apprentice

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