Boeseus, sitting at his desk with his forehead in his hands, was muttering to himself:
"Four homins, four of our own, and all indispensable. Without them today, times are hard."
When suddenly Pephoan burst into the tent, followed closely by his mother in a panic.
"Boeseus! I want to join the Imperial Guard!" the young homin cried without even greeting his leader.
"Pephoan, my boy! Start by calming down! And tell me, steadily, what brings you here," Boesus tried.
"I just told you!" Peophan retorted, violently banging his fist on the desk.
"Boeseus! Please, don't let him go! You can see he's not strong enough to join the Guard!" Kynla shouted in desperation.
Boeseus, exasperated by the uproar, stood up with a stern eye, to shout back.
"But calm down, damn it! And sit down! Now!"
Intimidated, the two Fyros complied.
"Good! You don't barge in here shouting, do you?" the chief said. "I'm listening, Pephoan."
"I'm sorry. I want to become a warrior to protect our sharùk. So I come to ask you to relieve me of my missions here and to let me go to Pyr to join the Imperial Guard!"
Boeseus was impressed by the determination of the young Fyros, but, after having gauged him with an informed eye, he had to admit that his mother was right: Pephoan had neither the constitution, nor the training to join the Guard.
"Do you know, Fyros, who the Imperial Guards are? Do you know how they operate? You obviously don't know the discipline," he replied. "But I know where you can learn it. You don't become an Imperial Guard just because you want to. You will go to the Academy!"
Kynla, as he had expected, burst into tears at these last words.
"Kynla! This child must grow up! He is too weak for his age. The Academy will toughen him up."
"Give me a minute. I know what to do." the chief added before turning back to the desk to write a first letter:
I, chief of the Water Breakers tribe, must inform the Imperial Guard of Pyr that four of the tribe's homins, out of the five that made up the team sent on an expedition to Under Spring, have disappeared there in strange circumstances. As the tribe's limited resources do not allow us to investigate, I would the Imperial Guard to launch an inquiry and help us find our people. The Fyros I sent to bring you this letter is the survivor of this expedition.
Then, once he had a second missive written, he handed the two sealed envelopes to Pephoan in succession:
"I have your first assignment. You will take this letter to the Guard and ask them about the requirements to join.
Then you will report to the Academy, where you will show this letter of recommendation and ask to begin your training."
The young Fyros took them without delay, his eye full of recognition, sensing his destiny before him.
"Now go, Peophan!"