I mused for a second before responding, "It's not about how good a fighter you are--at least not physically. It's how many hits you can take to your heart and your soul, and get back to fight again. Even if it kills you, you don't turn off your heart, only hide it under many layers of shielding... that type of thing. You'd think we get more kids during wars, but we actually get more during peacetime--abuse is more easily hidden, kids are more easily overlooked... that type of thing." I smiled, my grammar was never that great, and I'm a country girl at heart. Then I frowned in remembrance. "It doesn't even have to be physical. Mine was all mental and emotional; my parents weren't horrible people out to hurt me--they tried their best, but they let me down at a time when I needed them the most." I choked, "I still love them for what they did, but I no longer trust them, and haven't trusted them with anything deep since then." Trying to hide the tears, I smiled, "I'm a sword tempered with pain almost since the beginning, and then conscious learning from other's pain and heartache. I am not the eldest, but I am an Elder.