"so your the one who has been leaving my little one the gifts , I was sure it was one of the baker boy's or the shy daughter of our noble leader , but you I do not know . " The voice was old and as dry as old dry wood and Mina could hear the humor there like a mother trying to scold a child who had just made a splendid mistake like spiting ones pants in the middle of of the village . " will you turn child and let me see you ? " With out question Mina turned putting her hands to her sides letting the older woman see her and to get her first up close look at the woman who smelled of healing herbs and oils , she was shorter than her student but with the same know it all smile . her old eyes were the color of rain clouds and her nose was the same hawk hooked .

After what felt like years the woman spoke softly " so child how old are you really ? and why do you leave gifts for my Daughter ? do you mean to take her away form me if so I will cut you down here and now she will not see past your charms your dead and gone and your time has passed and your games are not worth her time . Speak old one or begone .

Mina considered her words put them in order and shrugged " you may Call me Wilhelmina or just Mina , I am older than you Ma'am and I do not mean to take her away nore do I play games with your daughter , she is .... she fascinates me and she is so beautiful yet alone . I wished to see her smile I mean she has a lovely smile and .... ' feeling her self blush Mina shook her head trying to find her center " Ma'am I am sorry to .... " Mina was cut off the old woman's stern face melted to one of pity " you love her don't you ? on my blood you love her , my family does not attract love easy were the one's who must stay out of the lives of others to devote time to study . My flower is happy to be alone but your gifts have brought something to life and set things in motion , the snows are coming , and were readying our self's to head to the lake side meet her there , I will make a excuse for the walk down to the shore side . just know Mina this will be the only chance I will give you , my clan are not trusting of outsiders but I will vouch four you once . " with a little laugh the old woman tilted her head slightly " and I will make sure she is armed with silver just in case . do not harm her and be gone now and prepare for you will get one shot .

Mina turned and walked back into the shadows knowing her battle was going to be hard . the question resounding in her head . " what in the nine hells am I going to wear ? "

The girl had once vowed never to return to her old home the castle on the hill the one people knew to avoid the place of death and despair, Home. for days Mina avoided her lady's chambers... her dead mistresses chambers , and finally the night before there meeting Mina mustered the courage and entered spending hours trying to find some thing to wear settling on a simple toga and sandals stooping to pick up her sword where it lay on the cold stone , a gift from a far off land , the last gift her lady had given her and the one that had ended her life , taking a moment to clean and shine her weapon Mina slipped it in her belt and was off to the lake waiting for the moment that seemed like a lifetime in the making