Dassem didn't ask to be brought into the world. Nonetheless, his thread began in Shol Arbela. One would think that being wrought from the loins of the second son of King Paitar Nachiman meant that his life would be one of ease. But alas, not when your mother is as far from noble blood as the very stars are from the soil underneath our very feet.
Bastard. That's what they called him. When he was a child it was behind his back. Never knowing it was directed at him until he had to grow up faster than the other children his age. The word was his shadow. No matter where he went the whispers would caress his ears but not like his mother would when he came home crying.
Bastard. They grew bold and would say it to his face after too long. He didn't need his mother to caress him while he cried. For he no longer cried. Truth be told, the word strengthed him with each syllable. At times he yearned for it because it reminded him that he must be strong and grow stronger.
Never welcome anywhere near the court, Dassem found himself observing the soldiers stationed within the city. He watched them. Learned what little he could from the soldiers that cared not for who he was. He felt his muscles grow, his senses sharpen. But that wasn't enough.
On his 17th name day, Dassem was holding his mothers as she gently sobbed against him. She held onto him as if she were never going to see him again. Eventually she did, and Dassem knew what he had to do. He had to make a name for himself. He had to learn the way of the sword and follow the path of a blademaster; proving his worth to all who doubted him.
He would be back. And he would show everyone what a bastard was capable of. That he would be given the mantle of Nachiman as he deserved despite not asking to be woven into the world.
- Big thanks to Syl for being my editing manager!
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