Ever since the night she had had that fateful dream, Kalaya had been training relentlessly. Every morning and every night she trained in her chamber.
She jumped at every opportunity the priestess gave her to train her mind as well. She would not be defeated again. The priestess had wondered what had changed the young woman’s mind, but she figured the maker had finally heard her prayers to show Kalaya the right way. She approved of the girl’s advancements on her cunning and discipline.
She had also allowed her to go for a run every other day to train her endurance. Not once since that night had Kalaya complained about the priestess’s orders and had done anything she had asked and more. But one thing was still troubling her.
One night, after an exhausting set of push-ups, she sat on the edge of her bed and thought about it once again.
It all came done to one thing, and as much as she twisted and turned it, she knew it was inevitable: Winning the second fight would just not be enough. Being the first heiress to suffer from such shame in two centuries, the other tribes as well as slaves and tribal women would not suddenly flock to her again. They would be wary and rightfully so. But Kalaya had thought it over again and again, how would she restore her honor? Her tribe’s honor. She was prepared to fully make up for her past mistakes – even to apologize to her mother. But how would she convince the other tribes that she was indeed worthy? Just defeating the Temple’s Champion would not make them forget. It was not like she could fight every single Amazon to show what she had learned. Suddenly, Kalaya had an idea. She jumped from the bed and ran upstairs to find the priestess. No, she could not fight every single Amazon, but there was one thing she could do. And she needed to know if it was possible. The priestess was outside, tending to a few plants in the water gardens. When she saw Kalaya’s glowing face, she knew something had happened.
„What is it?“, she asked. As the younger woman explained her idea, the priestess smile faltered.
„It would most definitely be a strong statement. But are you sure you are up to the task? If you fail, it would most probably mean the end of your tribe.“
Kalaya nodded, her face showed determination. She would not let this go, it was her only chance.
„I will send out word then. And you should better prepare yourself.“
Kalaya nodded. Preparation she needed, that was for sure. But she was now equipped with something she didn’t have last time: Strength, of both the body and the mind. And she would make sure that she succeeded. Whatever it takes…