A/N: This took much longer than I had hoped it would. It's also much shorter than any other chapter I've put up so far. I'm afraid I won't be able to update over the weekend, but I am spending it with my muse for Sagen, so hopefully it will get my brain working again. Thanks for the reviews!

Over the next few weeks, Sagen and I worked with the children on finding their talents and teaching them how to use them the best way. Lavender was a Word-Weaver, Timothy was a Plant-Bender, Tiffana was a Fire-Child, Matt was one of the Emotions, Stacia could speak with animals, and Michelle was a Morpher. There were many other children, but most had one of these abilities. The rarest gift, however, was Matt's gift, and it was also my own.

It would be best for me to explain the gifts, or at least as much as is known about them. Word weaving is Sagen's gift, and it allows the Weaver to tell tales that captivate their audience, and make them believe the stories. Timothy's gift, Plant Bending, is one of the most common gifts. Plant Bending is a talent that allows the gifted one to make plants grow at alarming rates, change their shape to some degree, or even stop growing at all. Fire Children are similar to Plant Benders in the idea that they can shape and control fire within reason. Emotions are more difficult to understand. Emotioners are able to remove most emotions and replace them with others. Even I, however, have not mastered this ability and still have many restrictions. Morphers are able to change their physical form to suit them. Some things they can change untrained, such as choosing whether to have freckles, or not to. Most of the time, the choices are subconscious, and most Morphers do not know that they have this gift. When they reach a certain point in their training, they can disguise themselves however they wish, as long as their form is human or human-sized.

Most of the children progressed at a good pace, though few struggled behind and less than that shot forward in ability. Lavender was already partially trained, and was half as good as Sagen when he began training her. Some others, however, were more difficult to teach. Matt, as rambunctious as he was, had difficulty emptying his mind before twisting emotions. Timothy was progressing quickly and had made a pretty garden outside of his tent and it was growing swiftly. We were overjoyed to discover that the plants and herbs he had grown matured quickly and were already large enough to allow Sagen to remove leaves without damaging the plants. Timothy helped Sagen sort and grind the plant parts into the medicines and salves that Sagen used so frequently. Stacia went hunting with Michelle and often brought back rabbits and, more repeatedly as their skill grew, deer. At first, Stacia had a problem with this, but then she told the animals that it was not of something they did, but that we needed food, and she was rejoiced that the small forest's animals held no grudge. Tiffana helped me with preparing and cooking meals, and all declared that she cooked it so well that the meat fell off of the bone. She would blush and all would begin to eat.

Very soon, we had a beautiful village set up and all of the children were either finished with their training, or nearly finished. Life went on the same way every day, and we did not complain, for we felt comfort in the monotony, and life was fun for us. Much quicker than we had hoped, some of the children began to grow up, and were not quite so little any more. Almost a year had passed since we had been sent on our dangerous journey, and we still did not know what we were going to do. I was content to stay here and forget about the rest of the Centerlands, but I knew that we could not do that. If this had happened to children, what could they do to adult slaves that were found out? Sagen and I discussed this and we reached a decision.

"Sagen, we can't leave them there by themselves, and the children are still that, children!" My mind was struggling over what was right.

"I know we can't leave the slaves here, but the children are growing, they will understand how important this is." I bit my lip and blinked back tears.

"We can't just ask them if they would risk their lives to save some slaves."

"Some slaves? Kaira, you know what must be done. I do not like it either, but they will understand, and we will protect them." I bowed my head as a tear slipped down my cheek.

"War, Sagen?" I asked in a choked voice. "They'll kill us all." Sage reached out and brushed his fingers under my chin, lifting my head tenderly.

"We cannot sit here. A chance of winning is better than cowardice. I remember an odd occasion where they apparently killed us before. They should be rattled that we are even alive." This was the truth and I knew it. We had to go up against the Elders, there was no way around this war.