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Dedicated to SM, Brock, Silva, Kailee, Blue, Rorc, and all me other friends too...and this is a rewrite of TLW if u didn't know.
Two broken hearts,
Both are marked
Three departed souls,
Died protecting the young and old.
Two broken hearts,
Separately they depart.
Both with different paths,
Woe to those who face their wrath.
Two broken hearts,
Both in the dark.
Defending their land,
Destroyed many vermin bands.
Two broken hearts,
On different paths they embark.
Across the sea one rules,
Who's fate is determined by a duel.
As another's blade flashes, vermin die,
Follows the call of the black butterfly.
I'm Sylvia Streambattle, a fifteen season old ottermaid. I laid on my bed with my hands behind my head that day. I wore a loose, blue, comfortable dress with green edges and a green rope was around my waist. I usually wore this because it was the most comfortable and most plain dress I had. I still had a scar where i accidentally cut myself with a knife while I was playing with it. I sighed. I was confined to my room again because my sister blamed me for pushing her into the stream. Well, I could totally push her into the stream while I was standing ten feet away from her. Wouldn't you agree? For some odd reason, other otters in my clan looked down on me. It's like I'm a piece of dirt or something. Most of the time, they ignored me when I said anything. I didn't have any friends. Everyone seemed to hate me. Even (well, especially) my parents. So that's why I talk as little as possible and try to avoid everyone. That way, I wouldn't get in trouble as much. I kept all my emotions and feelings to myself for the past five seasons. I didn't let any emotions out. If I was sad, I never cried. If I was happy, (which was very rarely), I never smiled. I only showed anger and hatred. I could never keep that under control. Well, maybe I didn't want to keep it under control. Otherwise, I'd forget how it felt to be angry. I didn't show my feelings...so after all this time, I forgot how to feel. I never knew how I felt. Nobeast cared anyway, nope! Ever since that brat of a little sister of mine was born, I was hated all through the holt.
I sat up and looked out the window. Some otters about my age were playing in the river. I got up to watch them but I tripped on my sword on the ground. I sighed again and picked up the sword. I looked out the window again. All the otters looked like they were having so much fun. If I wasn't so hated, I would join them...well then again, maybe not. I'm always blamed for everything anyways. My parents wouldn't allow me to play with them since I was so clumsy, stupid, and in the dark. I drew my blade out of the sheath. It was one long, straight sword with a hilt three times the blade length. On each side, blue stones were embedded and between the blue stones, a red ruby sat. I remembered when I got the weapons.
It was my tenth birthday, five season ago. I got in trouble again....on my birthday too. I was sitting in my room brooding. My sister had just got me in trouble...again. My grandfather came in and I didn't look up, thinking it was my father coming in to yell at me. My grandfather threw something at my side. I looked at it. My eyes brightened when I saw what it was. A beautiful sword in a wooden cover. I looked up and saw my grandfather. He sat down next to me. I hadn't seen him in a while since last season, he took a trip to Salamandastron. He must've just come back, I thought.
He picked up the sword and held it out to me. I took them and looked at him, puzzled. He smiled gently at me and embraced me. "Happy birthday, Sylvia. Do you like your gift? The badger lord at Salamandastron made it out of a very strong metal."
I looked at him shocked. "M..my gift? You mean this sword? It's...It's actually really mine?!"
"Of course. I shall teach you how to use it. You'll become the best swordsbeast in the holt...maybe even the whole mossflower too."
I was speechless. "Wh..What? But..But...I'm a female. I'm only supposed to grow up and take care of stupid little otter kits. I'm not supposed to wield weapons and fight."
It was nighttime and grandpa looked out the window at the stars. After a while, he looked back at me. "No. You will never do any of that stuff. The path ahead of you is steep, windy, and hard. You will become the best warrior in this holt and defend it."
I had no idea what he was talking about. My grandpa could see the future..but only portions of it. Even if I didn't understand him sometimes, I still loved him. He was the only one who really understood and cared. My older brother cared but he was always wandering and exploring. My thoughts were interrupted when grandpa spoke again. "Sylvia, this will save your lives and many other lives. Use it only for self defense and for the defense of others. Wield it wisely, for one wrong move may cost you much."
Every morning after that, grandpa taught me many tricks. For 2 hours in the morning, we would train and then go have breakfast. He was a great teacher. He was not too strict but he was very firm. But one day, he was gone. He left again to wander. I was sad, but things were to get worse. My father now ruled the clan because my uncle died. Two weeks after grandpa left, one of my cousins and my brother came in panting. They were carrying a body between them. It was my grandfather. I watched as they laid his body on the floor. We were all horrified. He was covered in cuts and bruises. Blood was everywhere. My cousins said in a shaky voice, "He's...dead. He was attacked by scores of vermin."
My brother clenched his fists, "Before he was killed, two unknown, hooded beasts came and drove off the vermin. They were highly skilled with slings and daggers. When we reached grandfather's body, they disappeared."
That was the worse day of my life. I locked myself in my room and sat crying for days. I wouldn't eat or drink. I would only lay in my bed and hold on tight to my sword. It felt as if I let go, I would die. My paws trembled. It happened every time I was afraid, angry, or sad. I was sick. So sick in fact, that even my mother became worried.
After two weeks, I was healed. But my spirit was still broken. I would go to eat at the table with everyone else. But I was silent. I carried my blade everywhere. My father got mad at me for carrying a weapon but I wouldn't let go of them. From that day onwards, I didn't feel anything except anger. Why did grandfather have to die? That was what I kept asking myself. After my grandfather died, my brother left again. So I was alone...alone with those who hated me. I had to fend for myself now.
I sighed. My paws trembled again. It happened every time I thought about my grandpa. I tightened my grip on the hilt of the sword to stop the trembling. I thought about after my grandfather died. My sister and brother took full advantage of my broken spirit and blamed everything on me. I didn't bother to say I didn't do it. But I was still angry. It was so unfair around here. My holt's rule states that only males could become warriors. After my grandfather died, I was picked on by everyone even more. They kept bringing up the fact that I was breaking the rules by having a weapon. I would stay silent and my face would show nothing at all. I would look them in the eye. I would hold down my anger. If grandpa was alive, I'd go with him out on little trips out into mossflower. But now, I wasn't allowed to get twenty feet from the cave! Many times, I'd try to run away, but I'd always get caught and scolded. My brother, Bray, was six seasons old. I hated that little spoiled brat! Others, like my parent's friends, and relatives thought he was cute and smart and funny. Why? Because he was a male! There's nothing wrong with males. It's just that females were treated so differently. Bray got what he wanted, just like my sister, Tarana. If they didn't get what they wanted, they'd scream until they do. I sighed again. My parents expected me to be perfect. They wanted me to grow up and do chores, housework, pick flowers, and other stuff that maids do. But that's not what I wanted to do.
I wanted to be a warrior. Didn't grandpa tell me that I'd be a warrior? even though my parents wouldn't let me, I'd still sneak out my window an hour before dawn and train with my blade. Sometimes, I was caught. But most of the time, I wasn't.
I toyed with my sword for a while. After a few minutes, the door opened. I looked and expected to be reprimanded by an adult. To my surprise, it wasn't my mother or my father. It was my older brother, Kaid, who was 19 seasons. He was a wanderer and only came home every few months. I hadn't seen him since grandfather died. He was the only one left that didn't hate me. He was very stupid and foolish sometimes but when he had to be, he was very serious. Kaid closed the door behind him. Not two seconds later, the door busted opened again. My idiot sister came in. I slapped my forehead and got up to sit in the corner of the room. Kaid raised an eyebrow and was about to speak when Tarana interrupted. "Kaid! Kaid! Sylvia pushed me into the stream today! And yesterday, she made me fall! And the day before, she beat me up! And-"
"Shut up you idiot! You don't even know what the heck you're talking about. Just stop blaming other beasts! You're too cowardly to take the blame and shame yourself. Get out of my sight!" I said vindictively. I picked up a crumpled piece of parchment that was lying around and threw it at her. It hit her on the top of her head. She started crying and ran out to my mother. My paw started to tremble with anger again. I looked at my sword hilt.
My mother came and yelled at me. I wasn't paying attention. She said something about throwing stuff around, beating up little kids, and playing with weapons. "Do you understand?!"
I looked up. "Huh? Yeah. Whatever."
My sister walked up to me and I was still playing with my sword. She whacked me on the head with a stick. "I hate you! You're so dumb you don't know a thing!"
I got angry and smacked her hard on the cheek. She fell and I kicked her. Hard. She staggered out crying again. I was shaking with rage now. Footsteps walked up to the door. My father came this time. I looked him straight in the eye. "What?! Now you're here to yell at me too? Are you here to whip me again?"
"You insolent little..." Father slapped me hard on the cheek. I was used to it and didn't even flinch and continued to glare at him. "Go ahead! Slap me again! Do it all you want! I don't care anymore!"
He continued to slap me and yell at me. Soon my cheek was all red and I had bruises on my legs and arms. I still didn't move and continued to look him in the eye. A tear rolled down my cheek. how could he treat me like this? I wiped it away quickly and clenched my trembling paw. He stopped all of a sudden. I couldn't read his expression. He walked out and slammed the door. I sat down and glared at the floor. Kaid had watched all this silently. He now walked over to me and put a paw on my shoulder. I looked up at him.
I looked up at him. "What?" I asked.
He raised his eyebrow. "Is that what they do to you all the time?"
I pretended to think for a moment and said, "Pretty much, yeah."
"Why?" He asked. I shrugged my shoulders and continued to play with my swords. "Dunno. Don't care."
Kaid half laughed, "Hah! What's wrong with you? Have you really changed that much?"
I looked back at him, smiled slightly, and said, "Me? Change? I didn't change. Everyone else changed."
Kaid shook his head, "No, everyone is the same as before. Everyone except you. After five seasons of traveling,I can see that you've changed...drastically."
"Whatever. By the way, can I come with you on your next trip of aimless wandering to remote places? I think if I stay here any longer I'd die of boredom and complete isolation...well, that is unless dad kills me first."
"Why would dad want you dead?" He asked.
I looked at him as if he were stupid and said, "Isn't it obvious? Everyone wants me dead. Everyone hates me. Everyone beats me. Everyone ignores me. Why wouldn't they want me dead? Isn't this world better off without me?"
My brother's eyes narrowed and he was about to say something. Without letting him say anything, I continued, "I guess the question is: Why haven't I killed myself? Well, that, I'm not sure. I'm not afraid to die. I just...don't wanna die yet. I feel like I still have something important to do. Welp," I threw the sheath with the sword onto my bed. I climbed onto my bed and laid down with my paws behind my head, "For now, I'll just wait for it. I wonder what it is...?"
Kaid got up and sat on my bed next to me. "I'm gonna tell dad that you wanna suicide."
I looked him questioningly and said, "Why? Would he care? Would anyone care?"
For some reason, he changed the subject. "After grandfather died...what have you been doing? About your fighting skills that is. Do you still train?"
"Is there anything else to do? 'With fighting, you can never find perfection. There's always something that you need to improve on.' That's what grandfather told me. So, every morning, I train for an hour until dawn." I looked at him, "Why are you curious about that?"
Kaid's eyes wandered to the door. "No reason. My friend was looking for some great warrior or something. He says that Redwall needs someone to help train the warriors there in case of another attack from vermin."
I looked at him, puzzled. Some random words echoed in my mind, You'll become the best swordsbeast in the holt...maybe even the whole mossflower too. Grandfather's words were repeating itself over and over again in my mind. What in the name of seasons is that supposed to mean? I'm probably not gonna train some warriors...Why was Kaid telling me this?
Kaid got up and left without another word. I shrugged. Suddenly, a thought popped up into my head. I heard dad and mom talk about vermin out in Mossflower woods yesterday night. YES! That means if I ran away, I'd finally be able to fight for real! Kaid never stays home for more than a week. When he leaves, I'm going with him! And mom and dad will never yell at me again!
Early the next morning, as usual, I sneaked out the window. It was in the middle of spring and was raining hard. I didn't care if it was a blizzard, I trained anyway. With my sword in my paw, I flicked it around. twirling, slashing, stabbing, blocking an imaginary enemy. Half way through, Kaid suddenly appeared out of nowhere. With his own sword, he started to attack. There was someone behind the tree too. Grandfather had trained me to always be on guard and never pay attention only to who I was fighting. I was to keep one eye on my enemy and another on everything that was around me. Kaid didn't take me by surprise. I blocked and ducked as his sword whistled overhead. He swung his sword and I blocked it again. I pushed his blade away with my own and he fell to the ground as I my sword clashed hard against his, sending vibrations through both our paws.
I walked three steps away and twirled around, my sword held out in front of me and waiting for him to get up. He picked up his sword and charged me. I stepsided as his sword came down on where I used to be. I brought my sword heavily down on his own and his broke. He was left with half a sword and I kicked him down. I held my sword to his neck. We both broke out laughing. I sheathed my sword and sat down next to him. "Who's your friend behind the tree?" I asked him.
He looked surprised for a while then called to the person behind the tree, "Hey! Separ! Get over here!"
It started raining even harder. We didn't care. Separ, the otter behind the tree came and sat down next to Kaid. I waited for Kaid to introduce him. "He's my friend from redwall. He's also a wanderer so we've been traveling together since last spring."
"Okay..." I didn't know what else to say.
He held out his paw to me, "The name's Separ."
I shook his paw and said, "I'm Sylvia."
Kaid said, "As I said, he's from Redwall Abbey. Y'know, the place mom was always talking about. Anyway, He's the son of the skipper there and he's been wandering in search of someone that can help them train the young warriors. Redwall's been at peace for a while now but they fear an attack. About ten seasons ago, there was an attack from vermin and some otter scouts have seen some tracks that belong to weasels and rats and stoats and probably one cat. So they need someone to train the young warriors there."
"Why are you telling me this?" I asked.
Separ took a deep breath and said, "Well, when you were sparring with Kaid, I saw that your skills were the best I ever saw. It's even better than my dad."
Kaid continued, "Would..you come and help train?"
I blinked and said nothing.
"Well...?" They both said at the same time.
"I'm only good at swordfighting. I've never tried anything else. Why do you want me for?" I asked them.
"Okay, then try some other weapons after breakfast," Kaid said.
"You three are in big trouble!" Tarana said. She came out of the cave with a cloak with a hood.
Separ looked in her direction, "Who's that?"
"Our sister...supposedly.." I answered.
"DAAADDYYY! I FOUND THEM! THEY'RE OUTSIDE!" Tarana yelled into the cave. My mother and father came out. Mother started to fuss around and yell at us, "What in the name of seasons are you doing out in the rain?! You could catch a cold!"
"What are you doing outside? And why do you have your weapons? What's with the broken sword?" My dad asked.
Separ spoke up for us, "Um..well, Me and Kaid wanted to see Sylvia's skill with the sword 'cause dad said that we need someone to train the warriors at redwall. They were sparring and so that explains the broken sword. And-"
"Sylvia?! You were training again?! Why are you always breaking the rules?! You know that females aren't allowed to become warriors here! And you broke Kaid's sword? How could you? now he doesn't have a weapon!" He yelled at me.
"It's not his sword. He borrowed one from the armory in the back of the cave. See? His has a ruby for a pommel. But this one has a sapphire." I told him.
Separ looked at Kaid with a questioning look and Kaid shook his head and said, "Dad, it's not fair. She's-"
"It's not fair? Are you the one making the rules?! No, I am. So stay out of this, son. Sylvia, do you really want me to kick you out?"
"Yes." I said. where'd that come from? why'd i say that?
My father was speechless. The look on his face was priceless! Kaid butted in, "Okay, so, you're kicking her out right? Then that means she can come with us tonight. We're leaving for redwall."
Mom gasped, "You're leaving so soon? But you just got back!"
My brother shrugged. Tarana said to my mom, "Mommy, I'm hungry."
"Alright, honey. Let's go inside." She said. My father stormed inside and mother dragged Kaid inside and used a towel to not so gently dry him off. Separ followed them inside. I went inside a few seconds later and ate a quick breakfast, not talking to anyone. Then, I went into my room and packed my things.
I stuffed a spare change of clothes in to a bag I had. It went around my neck and under my arm, unlike a backpack Then, I put on a chain with a pendant around my neck. The pendant had two bigger black stones and two smaller black stones in the shape of a butterfly. To very tiny stones were at the end of the antenna. It was all outlined in gold. Then, I stuffed a coil of rope inside along with a dagger that my grandfather also gave me. It looked like a bar of wood with some designs carved onto it but it came apart at the middle to show a sharp blade of about three inches.
I had a little bit of room left just right for some food and a canteen of water. Kaid came in with Separ and they both had their arms full of weapons along with bows and arrows on their backs. "Let's go outside."
We went outside. It wasn't raining anymore. They taught me how to swing a sling and when to release it, how to shoot an arrow from a bow, and how to twirl javelins and spears. The first one that I tried was the bow and arrow. "Shoot that leaf over there. The one that's hanging off the tree." Kaid pointed to a big green leaf.
I pulled the string back with the arrow and let go. It pinned the leaf to the tree. "Let's try another target," Separ said. "How 'bout that one. It's flying around." I shot the leaf and pinned to another tree about 5 feet away.
"Whoohoo! So you rock at archery too." Kaid said.
"Try the sling next," Separ handed me the sling. I swung it and released it. The rock flew backwards. I tried again, loading another rock into the target. It flew forward this time but missed the target by a mile; the rock landed in the stream. We tried the javelin, the spear, and the club. I did pretty good at javelin and i was okay with the spear but I stank when it came to the club. I kept hitting myself. "Looks like you like the sharpened weapons better," Kaid observed.
So we left that night. Kaid told me to arm myself because we would be vermin hunting that night. We took a nap after lunch and left, heavily armed. We secretly took weapons from the armory. Separ had a bundle of 6 javelins strapped to his back and a sling with some stones in his belt. He carried his two spears. Kaid also had a bundle of javelins, his sword, and a bow with arrows on his back. In his belt was a sling. Separ and Kaid made me carry the most weapons. It was rather uncomfortable with a bow, two quivers of arrows, two javelins, and a spear strapped to my back. I carried my sword that grandpa gave me. I also had another dagger in my belt.
We went out of my bedroom window. Nobeast but us knew when we left. We sneaked into the trees, away from the river. It was my first time away from the holt without my grandfather.