The Beginning of a Knight
((I’m going to be posting small excerpts from important events in Saelus’s events. These excerpts will be in the book I’m attempting to write on Saelus leading up to the present timeline. Thanks to Lowercasejae for helping edit and put a fine touch on it!))
I guess now is the time they decide, I thought, eyes drifting from one Master to the next. The council chambers were bare as always; the chairs for each of the Masters being the only thing to adorn them. Master Blith sat in a hover chair next to me, still recovering from the betrayal.
We both are in a way, I thought. Him from heartbreak, and me… just plain betrayal.
“We have come to a decision regarding recent events,” Grand Master Satele Shan said, face troubled. “Master Blith, due to your injuries, we have decided you would best serve the Order here on Tython, teaching the younglings. Your experience is undeniable and will be a welcome addition, I’m sure.” Master Shan held Master Blith’s grief-plagued visage for a moment, as if silently saying she knew of exactly what had happened rather than the partial truth we told.
I felt my heartbeat pick up as she turned her gaze to me, feeling as if my soul were laid bare. I had never been able to be fully comfortable around her in my 23 years at the Temple; this was no different.
“Padawan Saelus… Your situation is a troubling one. You have proven yourself a very capable leader and fighter at the Battles of Rhem Var and Balmorra. You have seen much of war and death, most of which I wish you hadn’t. We have decided to give you the option to leave the Order.” Master Shan’s voice was quiet. Sad.
Leave the Order? I mused. I would never have to be betrayed again. I could live in peace: no war, no responsibilities other than for myself. I could be free of the weight. But…
The girl’s face as she died on Rhem Var. The heroic men and women of the Republic Army. The people left behind on Balmorra. Is it really right of me to leave now, when I am needed most…?
I could feel myself straighten to my full height, losing the slight hunch I had acquired. I looked around the room once more, locking my gaze upon each Master before meeting Master Shan’s eyes. No longer did I feel uncomfortable or unsure. I felt… alive.
“For people to be free, some must bear the burden of protectors. As Jedi, it is our duty to do so. I will not stand by and allow innocents to suffer because I fear carrying that weight. We stand firm against the darkness that would sweep through the galaxy to enslave, murder, destroy, and crush everyone and everything.” I took a breath. “I refuse to give in for even one step, one centimeter. Because I am a Jedi: a Protector, a Light in the Darkness. And I will die being so.” I felt calm, collected, and strong, for the first time since Rhem Var. The burden was still there, but no longer was it taken on by a sense of duty. Now it was taken willingly.
Master Shan slowly smiled at me, nodding. She turned to look at the other Masters, asking silently. Each one gave a nod in turn; even Master Blith had a small smile on his face, the first in weeks.
“The betrayal of a close friend hurt you deeply, Saelus. But you overcame it; you didn’t let it control you. You lost nearly everything, but you didn’t back down. You passed the Trial of Flesh.” Slowly, she walked toward me.
I’m taking my trials!? They’ve decided I’m ready to try and become a Jedi Knight!?
“Your prowess at the Battle of Rhem Var showed you have the skill. You passed the Trial of Skill. Your willingness to fight at the Battle of Balmorra, knowing it was likely a death sentence, showed you have courage. You passed your Trial of Courage. Seeing past your friendship to the betrayal at hand showed you can look past what is shown to the truth. You passed your Trial of Insight.” Master Shan stopped in front of me, unclipping her lightsaber from her belt.
“Deciding to stay with the Order, to take on the burden of Protector no matter the cost to yourself, showed us what we needed to know. You have passed the Trial of Spirit. Kneel, Padawan Saelus.” She ordered, igniting her saber.
I kneeled, trying to process what was going on.
I passed my Trials without even knowing? Am I ready to be a Jedi Knight?
I gazed up at her, unsure of myself or what to do. I could feel the heat of her lightsaber as it rested mere inches above my right shoulder, moving over my head to my left shoulder. Master Shan looked down at me, shifting her hand to cut my Padawan braid.
“You came into this chamber a Padawan of the Jedi Order. Rise now as a Jedi Knight, Protector of the Order and the Republic.” She proclaimed, deactivating her lightsaber and gesturing for me to rise. I got to my feet in a daze, mind processing what had just occurred.
“You are dismissed, Knight Saelus. We will call upon you soon enough.” All I could do was instinctively bow before walking out of the chambers.
I was a Jedi Knight.