Oh, yes, Kisu dreamed of freedom, a freedom that lay out of reach, so far away, that he knew only madness or death could make it his.But most of all, Kisu dreamed of being a soldier. When his duties permittedit, he would take a roundabout route, just so he could walk as slowly as hedared past the barracks, where the guards and officers spent their time.He would surreptitiously watch the men of war as they trained, the swordsthat would flash in their hands, the bows that would twang and thump, thedeadly dance of the swords and spears. As Kisu watched them out of thecorner of his eye, in his mind he was training right beside them, tradinglunge for lunge, parry for parry, block for block.At night, in his innermost private musings, Kisu would lie on his bed, under his blankets, and practice what he had seen that day on the training groundin his imagination. He would grin to himself, as he replayed conversationshe’d heard, with himself speaking the words, and not the soldiers.And yet, every night Kisu would practice the forbidden arts of war, doingthe stretches to limber up, practicing the punches, kicks, and unarmed drillthat he could see as clearly as if he was on the drill quad. A length of stick aslong as his arm would become his sword, a shorter one measuring fromelbow to fingertip, a shorts-word dagger. Night after night he would practice, yet he never seemed to flag in his duties.For, he reasoned, a soldier would never tire or fail in his duties to his Lord or Lady, so neither would he. The only times Kisu could not practice was whena visiting Personage would arrive in the Emerald city, and sleeping spacewas at a premium among the serving class.Then he would have to share his living quarters, sometimes even kicked outand made to sleep in the hallway because some pompous ass needed his‘privacy’.Soldiers are intelligent men, for if they were not, then they were not soldiers,and they would be dead. Kisu knew this, and he accepted it stoically. Heknew some of the guards might guess of the reasons why he tried his best tospend so much time around the fighting men, and would have been mortifiedshould they bring it out into the open.