Chapter twelve – About many things

With the sunset, the troops stopped in order to camp. it was going to be a long travel and everyone should be ready when reaching the north frontier. The setup was fast, and the place was a kind of grassland, but there was a river cutting through it. the camp was set right beside the river. as night fell the knights started to chat and have some fun. there was Annalot, sitting beside the knights around a bonfire, everyone was singing and eating. there wasnt plenty food since they had to hunt for it, but that was enough to everyone. just another day of travel until arriving the north frontier, Annalot had her questions about many things, the place, the barbarians, the fortress. So many things were at her head that she could badly think of something else than the big fight she would be engaging there.
then Enrich came and sit beside her with a huge piece of meat in his mouth.
” Sup Russ? ” said Enrich
” ah, Enrich. man, there are some stuff that arent alright in my mind. ”
” what is it? some girl? ”
” no. no, no, dammit enrich, no! ” Annalot blushes
” hahahaha its alright, what is it anyway? ”
” its about the fortress, the barbarians, the place… ”
” hmm, ok i can tell you some stuff, what do you want me to tell? ”
” what about everything? ”
”  i dont know everything, you know? ”
” anything would help anyway. ”
” ok, then… ” Enrich finishes the meat and takes a stick out of the bonfire. he complains about it being still burning and lay it over the grass because it was hot. while Annalot giggles watching the scene.
” well then forget the drawing, im going to tell you by speech, so listen close. ” Enrich breaths ” first, the barbarians we are going to face are called Fhojrds they were worshipers of the god of light. which name is long forgotten by those lands, but their people still hold most part of their culture, so probably they still know his name. well long ago, before our kingdom was set, the Fhojrds were around and were the mighty lords of the north area. but then, the old history tells that the Fhojrds fought alongside their god against some threat, they couldnt do anything against it, but their god did, as all the other gods, he was killed in fight right at the those mountains, altering the place completely, transforming it in almost a new realm; for countless centuries the Fhojrds worshiped that place as a sanctuary, they called it Aumun Tellisaj, or Forest of Shine. but then a exodus happened and they had to leave the realm of their deceased god.
the place stayed empty for ages, and was annexed to our kingdom. the Fhojrds were mad, and they fight since the very day we annexed it to our kingdom. they are mountain dealers, so, it doesnt matter the place they are fighting, plane or not, they are good. long swords, round flat and broad shields, you may think they’re easy to break but they are not, they are really robust and all. light armor, but big weapons who deal lots of damage, they’re savages man, like devils out in the fields, the record was 2 hours to destroy, kill and burn a whole village. ”
” why do they parted in a exodus? ”
” russ, i told you. man i dont know everything. ”
” … alright… so… ”
” not so fast, i know what you’re going to ask. ”
” sure you do… ” Annalot frowns
” its why the king wont let them be part of our kingdom right? ”
” … fuck you Enrich. ”
” haha, i knew. well that i can asnwer. ” Enrich looks up ” man, the Fhojrds are a nation, they have a leader and stuff, they wont want to be part of our kingdom, they want their realm back. our king just cant handle’em all the land they want. got it? ”
” i guess, so… thats why they’re fighting right? makes sense to me… but i still dont get why did they leaved their beloved place. and why did the kingdom took it. ”
” duuh, the founder of our kingdom didnt knew of this. they were out for ages. i told you that. ” Enrich now looks down ” thats the main reason they build that fortress there. ”
” about it… ”
” oh yeah, the fortress, its a double sided fortress, see, there is a passage, aw, man, its hard to tell how  it is. ”
” just try… im curious ”
” alright… ” Enrich stops a bit looks around and starts telling about the fortress.
” Basically, there is a passage, like wide corridor, in each wall of the passage, there is a part of the fortress carved in stone, they are tower looking, in the middle of both towers there is a well, it was build to maintain control of the in and out flux of caravans and merchants, as they are inspected while they pass through a bridge, which is set in the middle of the lake. there is a small pillar in the middle of the well set in the middle point of the bridge, who links another bridge that goes from the east tower to the west tower, its used in as a fast link between towers. the walls are round, so it gets harder to invade, there are several levels of walls also, allowing high dynamic sniping. between each wall there are two corridors of iron thorns in its middle there is a passage to allow fast mobility, also wide spaces are located all over the walls, enabling turret and a kind of huge bow who shoot spears setup. there is also a wide network of tunnels that goes underground linking both fortresses. they are not easy to siege, alas, at the top there is a kind of experimental cannon, who focuses firelight and redirects it as a beam. pretty crafty i think.
” how come you know all this stuff!? ” Annalot said with a perplex face
” i was there for 3 long years, i was also there during two sieges. man, i know all about that place, i even know where each bathroom is located. believe me you’ll need to know that. ”
” ew… ” said annalot
” still, the fortress has a weak spot, and its because during day, which there is no light there, its all well lit. you can see it at a nice distance. good enough to catapult setups. ”
” and it was never invaded? ”
” not until now… ”
” why? if people uses catapults and such stuff it should be easy to put it down. ”
” you know… first, its not easy to hit something with a catapult. second, i didnt said people actually could take catapults to there. ”
” why not? ”
” its a mountain. and there is no wood there. you cant even build one. ”
” oh… good ” Annalot shoulders go down, as her expression becomes one of defeat. ” now i wonder how did those Fhojrds took over the fortress… ”
” THEY SAY… that they come from the mountains, so, actually it was a really unusual attack… nobody was expecting anything coming from, like, literally behind. ”
” aw, how cute. ”
” dont say that, man they killed everyone like a butcher does to the poor little pigs ” Enrich Frowns
” now about the place… ”
” i know nothing about that place, all i know about it is that, supposedly its where the god of light died after some fight with a real threat to the world. During day there is no light for some unknown reason, the place has open skies, so, the fact that there’s no light there is really something, and at night, the tree-like crystals go lit and illuminates  the whole place with a soft comfortable blueish light. its freaking cold there, but somehow water cant freeze there, and fire burns brighter than anywhere. ”
” such misterious place isnt it? ”
” you dont know half about it russ, its really like we are going to another world. ”
Annalot giggles ” well Enrich, im off. Its getting late we should rest. ”
” arent you going to have a Bath? ”
” why i should? ”
” so you wont smell bad? ”
” i will not smell bad! ”
” alright, if you say so… ”
Annalot was a bit upset, she may be acting like a boy, but she is still a girl. some things wont change even if the mind tells you that its not necessary. reason do works, but one cannot live fully in reason, and yet sometimes can. but as a human there will always be a flail there.
after all knights were sleeping, Annalot went to have a bath alone. of course she couldnt have it with all those mans around. two reasons, one is that being a girl, she couldnt be a knight, second. she thought it would be embarrassing, with all those mans starring at her. she was still a girl, a little charming flower. looking like a boy while dressed, but she was still charming.
while she had her bath, she was singing a small song. a old song her mother used to sing her when bathing.
it went like:

i wash away
the dirt of the day
i wash away
and let it astray
the dirt i today
i took in my way
tonight i wash it away.

but she feel something staring at her. from the bush  upward, she fast drop into the water, low enough so she could breath well. she stared back and soon a shadow leaped back and disappeared in the night. she felt many things, from embarrassment  to curiosity. the moon was out in the skies, and the weather was nice. the water was warm and she decided to stay there for a while more, thinking of what was that thing. she took her time to be herself a bit and ease the stress of the day, since as the sun breaks the night, the troop was out to the march.