“Why do you say that, sir?” Lucia didn’t sound angry, only curious.
“You say you’re glad that this Tysy will do menial work? Why don’t you do it?”
Before Lucia could say anything, I turned and told Marcus, Zamalchitye! Proch’!”
This meant, “Shut up! Go away!” Marcus’ face turned red. He stormed off in a huff.
“What did you say that for?” asked Jove. “Not that I’m complainin’, but he’s mean!”
“I wanted to show Marcus who had the arrogance,” I told Jove, and he laughed.
“Let’s see—a knight who can fight and heal, a witty rogue, and a
loyal apprentice. That makes three, and I need three people to go
on our journey.” Lucia smiled at us.
I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. “Wait, Miss—did you say an apprentice?”
“I certainly did. Your willingness to serve, even in the least of ways, shows that
you have a good heart. I’d like to teach someone else, a student, to fight and heal.”
“You think I could do it?” I was stunned. Why was she picking me above
everyone else? A hundred people had stampeded into the Hall of Knights
like a bunch of cattle for a chance like this! “I mean, I’ll try my best, Miss,
but do you really think I’m worthy?”
“In my opinion, it doesn’t really matter if you’re worthy or not, but
if you’re willing.” Lucia looked at me with her deep brown eyes.
“Are you willing to be my apprentice?”
“Of course!” I cried, still not believing my incredible luck. “But
why me—why us?”
“Out of all the people who came and said they wanted to go
on this journey, only the two of you, Jove and Tysy, were honest
enough to tell me your skills without bragging. Everyone else tried
to impress me, and tried too hard. They talked about the great
deeds that they’d done, or supposedly done. The lives they had
saved, and the poor wretches they’d helped. I believed some of
them, and thought others were lying. Nevertheless, I was looking
for honest people. Candid, who’d tell me who they were without
trying to make themselves look better. Congratulations, and
Lucia shook hands with the two of us, her own hand covered
by a gold-plated glove. A gauntlet, people called it, and it
shone like the sun. I had to squint to see it!
“Excuse me, my lady,” said Jove the Halfling, “but what is this journey about?”
“The Chosen One was foretold to stop an unspeakable evil. That’s