Adelaide Jade Regent
Coming of Age
When Matsuro arrived for the promised knife throwing lesson, he was surprised to see Luthien already there, sitting in reverie in the centre of a glade. She looked almost porcelain she was sitting so still. She had brightly coloured flowers in her hair, something that had started appearing since they had left the Uqtaal Necropolis. He had found himself staring at those flowers and daydreaming more than a few times.
Set out around her were a few items. A small leather pouch decorated with flowers, several small sharp knives and a second reverie mat. Luthien opened her eyes and gestured to Matsuro to kneel on the reverie mat.
Luthien spoke quietly:
“In Sandpoint, you were an obnoxious, male chauvinist who treated all the non-humans as if we were lower than dirt. Women to you were mere objects to be played with and then thown away. I truly despised you and everything you stood for.”
Matsuro looked really angry and began to rise. Luthien placed a hand on his and spoke again:
“Throughout this journey you have grown. You have learned humility, you have learned to recognise the true worth of people regardless of their race and you have grown into a true warrior, an honourable man. Someone I feel privileged to know and call my friend.”
Matsuro relaxed back onto the mat but made no move to remove his hand from beneath Luthien’s.
“Now we fight”
Luthien leaped to her feet and waited for Matsuro to rise and draw his sword. She attacked with a fury that scared Matsuro a little and it was all he could do to hold her off. He realised that this fight was real, not training.
After a few minutes, both fighters had sweat pouring off their skin. Luthien dropped her weapons and bowed to Matsuro. He looked at her with a confused look on his face.
“When elves reach the equivalent age you are now, we transition from childhood to adulthood. In this fight you did not back down. You have proven your prowess as a warrior. Time and time again you have risked your life to fight alongside those you call friends. More importantly you have fought alongside those you do not like.
When men reach adulthood in your culture they are given a small sword charm to represent their warrior nature.” She handed him the small leather pouch with embroidered flowers. Inside was a carved quartz sword, very similar to the sword he used. “This sword represents the role you have as friend, protector and warrior.”
She bowed again and ran into the forest.
Matsuro remained sitting in the forest for a long while with the sword charm in his hand, thinking of what had happened, surprised at how it made him feel to be called her protector, and how oddly disappointed he was in the word friend.