A/N: Whoops. It's been a while. But one good thing about this pandemic is that I can finally update some stuff that's been sitting in my drafts for a while. Here we go!

Aragorn felt woefully under skilled. He found himself turning to Halbarad, the ranger who had been acting chieftain during the 18 years between Arathorn's death and Aragorn's return, for advice more often than not. It's not that he didn't appreciate the support, but Aragorn felt that he needed to learn by doing, by working his way up the ranks and earning his spot as chieftain.

But he couldn't do that with his own people. They respected him as a leader, and telling them to treat him as a new recruit would simply make them awkward, and wouldn't be the full experience for him. He discussed his dilemma with Halbarad, and the older ranger advised Aragorn to join the armies of men farther south.

"A lot of our men did their training with the armies. It gives them discipline and a respect for those in charge, and teaches them to work with those they don't particularly like. Here, we are all brothers, but even we have our differences. Even though you trained with the elves, you should have more experience among less experienced men. Learning to cover your comrades, especially those less experienced than you, is valuable in keeping everyone alive."

He clapped aragorn on the back and gave out a guffaw, saying, "It'll also show you the world. You've only seen a small corner, and a lot of that time was with elves, who have no desire to explore. You can spare a decade or so after making Captain in the armies of Men. Use your time wisely."

And so it was that Aragorn separated from his people once more, this time of his own accord, to learn more of the world he was destined to protect.

A/N: I hope you all are still enjoying this! Even though it's taking me a while to write it. Student teaching has kicked my butt, but now that everything is online, it's still a lot of work but slightly easier and less draining. Please review to let me know you are still reading! Even a quick hi is appreciated!

Thank you Dreams of Summertime for favoriting! Thank you Dreams of Summertime, Medilia, and katebirch for following!