The Kelins are great. The couple, then in their late 20s, had snatched the Genan children up as soon as word came through that Matilde Genan had died, and had been treating them as the children they'd never had ever since. Or, well, the children that had died. Everyone knew that the Kelins carried the Mana Sickness.
So the Kelins are just great. The loving parents Robin and Sue haven't had since their dad died, what with their mom's work keeping her away most of the time even before her death. Members of the town council, the only tailors in a day's walk, model citizens of the Arming Empire. There's just one problem: they won't let Robin join the army until he's eighteen.
Robin doesn't really get what they're worried about. He's been training for this since he was a kid, first learning from his parents, then from the other Hunters after dad died. Mom even let him use the Dagger a couple times! There's no one better to take up the Artefact than him, and the longer he waits, the longer it sits around gathering dust. Lieutenant Derring told him they'd hold it for him until he joined, but they can't let it go unused forever, can they? Nine years is a long time.
But underage citizens can't join the army without their guardians' permission, even if they're potential Wielders. So Robin's out in the woods, decidedly not sulking.
And then he's definitely not sulking, because he's too busy falling.