I awoke in my bed with no idea how I had gotten there. My head was burning, just above my brow. As I touched it, I felt a mark, slightly raised on the surface of my skin. Before I could determine what it was, it flashed brightly then was gone.
Liela walked in with a tray and went over to the window, opening it to let in the warm morning light.
"So you are awake, hmm?"
I yawned and settled back into the pillows.
"I had the oddest dream last night, Liela. I dreamt that I found the Guardian Seeker. Then he touched my head and I saw the history of the Sisters of Light. Then this dragon came and he touched my head, and."
I tapered my excited chattering off as M'Kyll walked into the room.
"Hello, Little One, it is good to see that you are awake. You scared Liela by sleeping so long."
I looked desperately to Liela for some explanation as the very real fact that I had not dreamt the whole thing sunk in.
"I am going? To school? To see dragons?"
I held my breath as Liela walked over and smiled at me, nodding. I jumped up, hugging her tightly.
"We shall leave ass soon as your ready. Liela packed up your things while you were resting. After you have eaten and said your goodbyes, come see me."
I looked to Liela, my excitement dimming.
"Goodbyes."
I had not thought about that. Somewhere in my child's mind I had assumed that everything would continue as usual. The village would not miss me, but I loved dear Liela as a sister.
She saw my distress and wrapped her arms around me.
"You have so much ahead of you, so many important things to see and do. It is not your fate to stay here."
Something about the way she said it chased away all fear and doubt. I still felt some sadness, but it had ebbed greatly to nothing more than a slight bit of wistfulness at what I was to leave behind.
I discovered much later about the skills involved in changing other's emotions. She stripped them from me before they had reached a critical point that might have made me stay behind.

I wish to the gods that I knew some way to disassociate myself now - but that is impossible and it is far too late to be of any use.

I gulped down a breakfast of likuma, a local dish made from fruit and bread which is soaked in goat's milk then baked with spices, then ran outside to say my few farewells.
As I entered the village, I felt myself the object of stares and whispers. Parents and children alike sent me scornful looks and conversation hushed as I moved past. Seeing my friend, Levid, I ran over to where he and the others were playing.
I stopped suddenly as he and the rest gazed at me with disdain. Their animosity ran over me like a cold chill. They turned and walked away, leaving me alone in the dusty street. My vision blurred and I looked down near my feet. It is true, that I was never popular with them, the youngest in a group of children always seems to annoy the older ones that feel as though they were being slowed in their follies, but for the first time I was truly alone.
I felt a hand on my shoulder, squeezing softly, and I looked up at M'Kyll. He knelt down next to me and wiped the tears from my face. Without thinking, I jumped forward and gave him a hug. Shocked a moment, he slowly wrapped his arms around me, offering the comfort I needed. It was in that moment that I promised myself that I would never look back. I was no longer one of them, and they had made sure I knew.
"Are you ready to go?"
I sniffled a moment then looked up and nodded my head. "I am done here."

I was told by M'Kyll much later that I had grown up greatly in that moment. For one thing, it was the last time in a very long time that I had allowed tears to fall from my eyes. My mentality changed in that long instant, I suppose. I became much more withdrawn in my emotions, much more distant and untouchable. Few have broken through that wall into the true core of my being. Fewer still have bothered to try. I took the scrapings of my dignity, passed to me from my mother, and wrapped them around myself in an elegant shroud. I had, in essence, become her in spirit and will. She had scorned the attention of those in the village and walked her own path, and I was her daughter.

M'Kyll led me over to a large black mare, dotted on her rear haunches with splashes of erratic white. "This is Satyridae."
I looked up at the horse then quizzically at M'Kyll. "Satyridae?"
He smiled a moment. "It is a type of butterfly, commonly brown or black with spots."
"Oh." I looked up at the huge animal then reached out to stroke it. She stood there patiently then smiled.
"Up with you, now; we have a long way to go." He lifted me up into the saddle and then swung up behind me. Liela walked over and gave me a smile. "Go with the Mother to guide you." I nodded to her and M'Kyll kicked the horse into a fast trot.
As we left the village, I did not look back. I have not looked back since.