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The years passed by swiftly for Kira as she grew intro young adulthood in her Uncle's mercenary company. Over the years she had made some long lasting friendships, and had learned to grieve when they moved on. When she first joined the company, like any other, she started from the bottom up and it had not always been easy for her. At first there was wary doubt in others minds about how a young girl could make it into the company. Some thought it was her Uncles influence that had helped her get in. Kira proved them all wrong. Working hard she made it up through the ranks to be equal next to her cousin, Jonathan, as Captain of her own section of troops. The company made their money was by being hired and then they would go fight whoever they were paid to fight. The battles hadn't been easy and by the time Kira was twenty-one she had many battle scars to prove it. Her situation with her Father, who she learned over the years wasn't her real Father, still proved to be explosive. Coll, her brother, had written to her telling her of how his temper had grown worse since she left. Over the past two years she had barely heard from her beloved brother.

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After a long day of practice with her troops Kira was bone wary as she made her way into the castle. Earlier that evening her Uncle had sent an urgent message stating he wanted to see both her and Jonathan as soon as the stars where overhead. Kira started to smile a greeting as she approached the gates until she noticed the guards, who were dressed in silver mail and clean blue pants, give her dirt covered tunic a look of horror. She produced a smile for them, "Don't worry, I was going to wash up in my suite before seeing anyone like this." Kira liked the guards as friends.  Both of them she had trained years ago before they went to be knighted. Now they just decorated the gates.

Before they could say anything back she rushed in. Over the years she would never stop being amazed at the banners that were placed along the corridor leading into one of the main chambers. Decorated with flags of every researched royalty it was a rainbow of colors and symbols of both present and long gone. Kira turned towards the right and started to climb a drab looking spiraling staircase, which lead to her chambers.

Once there she quickly changed out of her dirty clothing into her dress uniform. She checked her reflection in the mirror.  Her jet black hair was tied in a sensible bun in the back and her grey eyes looked back at her with a thoughtful expression in them. "Not bad," she said to herself. The dark pants with the blue tunic fit her trim body like a second skin. Kira reached over and grabbed her light chain mail and put it over her tunic, and then she sat down at her desk to pull on her soft boots that came up to her knees. One last thing she thought to herself as she pulled on her belt with her sword in it. Due to her constant care of the sword it had not tarnished since the old sword master had given it to her and still carried a honed edge. Into her boot she tucked one of her throwing daggers.  Satisfied with her appearance she shut the door behind her and went down to her Uncles study at the bottom of the stairs.

As she approached she could hear voices arguing back and forth playfully. Kira stopped in front of the door and knocked a sharp rap that seemed to fill the hallway.

The voices immediately stopped, "Come in," She recognized her Uncle's deep baritone voice as she turned the brass doorknob. Kira walked into the room noticing that only her Uncle and her old Sword Master where there. She bowed deeply to both of them. "Uncle you asked to see me?"

Kalamare's stood up from where he sat behind his oak desk he was a tall man, built muscular with graying blond speckled hair, "Yes, I wanted to see both you and Jonathan. Have a seat and I will fill you in once Jonathan gets here."

No sooner had he finished Jonathan barged in. His once blue uniform was covered in mud that reached up to his mop of blond hair. Jonathan gave Kira a courtesy glance his blue eyes meeting her grey eyes before he turned towards Kalamare and bowed. "Father forgive me for not cleaning up, but I just finished training the Calvary on a new move I want them to learn. It will only take me a few minutes to clean up and I will be back down."

As he turned to leave Kalamare stopped him by holding up his right hand, his signet ring gleaming in the flicking torchlight. "No need. Now that you are here, we might as well discuss this." He got up from behind his desk. "Let us go to the backroom for more privacy." Kalamare gathered up a document from his desk and turned towards a door behind him not waiting to see if the others would follow.

Jonathan looked around the room at Kira and the old Sword Master who was short with pure white hair and followed his Father into the room. Kira and the Sword Master pursued them quietly. The room they entered was large with only a square table, which had papers scattered on it with eight chairs surrounding it. Two of the walls where covered with books on strategies and greatest wars in history. The remaining walls held maps that were both old and present.

"Have a seat everyone," Kalamare said sitting down and watching everyone else sit down. "Today I received a letter from an old friend of mine up north who is having his land threatened by another army. There is not much money involved and hardly any looting, but like I said he is an old friend. He is willing to pay us money, but there wouldn't be much left over after paying costs. Although he did make a statement that who ever is threatening him must have some money. The threat against has hired an army who doesn't come cheep. This will not be an easy defeat but once we win we can pilfer the other army's supplies and who knows what we be found. Since I am no longer in the day to day activities I called you two," he looked over at Kira and Jonathan, "to decide if we should help and to take a vote." Kalamare looked over at the Swords Master, "My reasons for inviting you here is that we have several new enlistments that are not ready to go on a campaign.  I'm asking you, if you would be willing to train the newbies?"

The Sword Master grinned, "It would be my pleasure."

Kalamare turned his gaze on Kira and Jonathan who sat next to each other, "Is your part of the company ready to ride out and how soon?"

They both looked at each other, Kira was the first to speak, "It will take at least a week to gather up everything that we need, but I would like at least half a week to sit down with Jonathan and decide our strategies."

Jonathan gazed into his Fathers eyes, "I'm with Kira. Personally I don't know the area as well as I should and I think before we head out we should go over the terrain and strategies."

Kalamare leaned back into the chair his gaze thoughtful, "So are we in on this one or out."

Again Jonathan and Kira looked over at each other, only this time they were grinning as they turned back towards Kalamare, "We go they said in unison."

"Fine. Jonathan go and clean up, then get back down here."

Kira almost groaned a long day and now it was going to be a long night.