Four years earlier:
“But my home and family are here. Menara is so far away.”
Sigit had returned to Pasuru to meet the woman his family had chosen for him. He had just been accepted into the order of the mages two years earlier and was too busy for a family, but his parents had made the decision for him. If he didn’t agree to the arranged marriage, he might never have another chance. His parents had made the decision, and it was his duty as a son to honor their efforts at selecting him a wife. But each detail he provided about the mages' fortress only made his potential bride more reluctant. He needed a different tactic.
“Pasuru is close to Mount Semeru—Dahat’s headquarters," he reminded her, leaning toward her and speaking earnestly. "Should he ever make a move, this would be one of the first large settlements he’d attack. You’d be much safer in Menara. Besides, I’m learning a lot about defense. We could build a family there without fear of danger.”
“Promise me we’d be safe there, Sigit.”
“There’s no safer place in all of Jawa,” Sigit boasted. When she folded her arms and pouted, he bowed, adding, “Okay, I promise.”