*On flipping the previous page over to see the one beneath it, one would see a large full page drawing of a complex suit of armor, various numbers and short hand notes are littered about. Arrows and brackets show items of importance or illustrate how a given part should move. This new page begins a new entry.*
Figuring out where to start on such a life altering change is a bit like choosing where to begin on a new suit of armor. Do you start from the ground up, provide a solid base that will help support everything else? Do you start at the head, protect that most precious of extremities...change your mind, clear your thoughts. In the end, as always, I started with the heart; that strongest of muscles both spiritually and physiologically. Except that now instead of building up a fortress of metal and leather to protect and conceal I would deconstruct my protective breastplate and start anew.
*A small sketch of a bladed shield is in the margins here, hastily scribbled as though done as a distraction.*
I had to make amends. Some of my memories were hazy. Stumbling about in my mind for those I had wrong with my irresponsible and self-centered behavior was like attempting to view a museum gallery through fogged lenses. The biggest errors were clear, good friends I had let down or cast away, guild-mates I had not been there for, even my own parents who I realise now did the best they could given their situation... Others though were unclear, the veil of intoxication hung heavily over some, a red haze of anger or physical trauma over others.
Starting at home seemed the easiest way, and though I realized taking the easy way out isn't exactly the most cathartic method it also seemed appropriate. My continued work to improve and restore my home represented a never ending quest to do as much as I could so that in my own eyes I had earned the forgiveness of my parents. That would be no easy task and I welcomed it with great fervor. Therefore, Malikí was the first to be subjected to my new found conscience.
Much as I figured she was dumbfounded by the entire notion. My apologies were met with confusion and varying degrees of disbelief. At first she thought it was some sort of trick, a ruse to get her to admit something or that I was perhaps trying to coerce her into getting herself in trouble. She couldn't fathom why I would be seeking her forgiveness; to her, the training was perfect. She could not, and would not, have asked for a better Mentor and Knight to train under. In her child-like innocence I had done no wrong, in her eyes the training could not have been better. Though I finally convinced her to accept my apology I feel she did it out of pity more than any sense of being wronged.
*Here many different armor pieces are sketched, all of them designed with a woman's body in mind, some are ornate others plain. A few are circled the rest crossed out and one larger armored chest-plate is underlined.*
Thinking about it, I can't help wonder if she is right. Perhaps my unorthodox methods were exactly what she needed, though I cannot take all the credit for her success. As a knight she has impressed everyone, going far beyond what I had thought her capable of when I first met her, dressed in hand me downs and bedraggled hair. I could not be more proud of her, either. She has proven herself to be a knight of immense honor and ability... I've no doubt some day she'll surpass me, if she hasn't already... And indeed with her determination and desire to please those around her she might surpass us all.