Mayna loved her father’s stories. Listening to him was so much better than helping her mother scrub plates, wash laundry, or sweep floors. There were no girls in his stories though. Her father had laughed when she asked why.
“Girls aren’t warriors,” he’d said.
“It’s just the way it is. Women aren’t as strong as men.”
“But I want to be one of the Peerless.”
“Women can’t be Peerless.”
“If you taught me.”
“I could be strong. Please.”
He leaned forward and ran his callused hand down the side of her face, cupping her chin. Mayna saw the scars on his arm peaking out from beneath his robe. She’d seen his scars when her mother bathed him, and she’d asked him about them. Each one came with a story of adventure, and danger, battles won, foes defeated. It sounded so exciting. She wanted to have adventures like him, to have scars to show and stories to tell her children.
“It is not done.”
But she knew that it would be, and that she’d be the first.