Chapter Twenty One – Meat, Fire, Life and Friends.

After the battle the company of knights keep their way, reaching the outside of the grave area, meeting now a area made of rock covered by snow a sort of valley . They stopped for a while and there were able to find some pine trees that allowed for a bonfire. they set a camp there to rest and them proceed further through the alternative road.

People cut the wood to make small benches to sit around the fire, shared food and put it altogether so everyone would have a good meal that evening.

They all deserved.

Annalot wasn’t so happy, she was unsure of herself. She was shaken as death came to her too many times in that short time. Was that the battlefield her dad told her so much stories about? Well, for here there were heroes and she herself had her time. But the sour taste in her mouth, the wounds that were made, the pain in her body, she was tired and her body was aching. The glory of the stories were, to that girl, nothing anymore. The only thing she had now was her life and she was glad she had been able to keep it.

“Life is something that’s easy to lose right? Hard to keep, but so easy to lose.” She said.

“Why you say this Ann? Something is in your head? you can talk about how you feel.” Enrich said as he came up to the trunks that were placed around the fire and sat down. “we’ve been into this together, every single one of us.” Said Enrich. Enrich was as tired as she was, and she was as anybody was. Even a experienced knight proven in battle so many times could not help but to feel like a greenhorn once the battle was over. The gamble was too high, with every danger avoided, every blow cast, you were not just sparing like back in the castle, you were betting everything. To the knights, everything really meant life. Should their blow were deflected in a unfavorable way, and they had not time to react, it would have been taken away from them without ceremony. A cold flash followed by a warm feeling and shocking pain, then they’re gone. Life would be gone, and with that everything. Anyone can understand that situation right?

“I-it is really bugging me Enrich” she said placing her head over her hands, with her arms upon her knees. “But the feeling of something, ah how do I explain this feeling? its empty, its calm, tranquil but its so cold, its feels like it has been swallowing all my feelings, I’m afraid of my own body, like my skin is now paper and my bones crystal, that my flesh is cotton and i can crumble at any time, I sort of want to cry…” She sighs, looking straight to the fire, fixing her eyes on the dancing flame in front of her. “But even if i try to, if i force myself to, i cant make myself drop anything. Part of me says that I am supposed to be dead. I think I’m happy? Because I am alive but I am not, I am not happy at all.”

“I guess then you should try shaking that feeling a little bit.” He said, sighing at the figure of that tired girl. “We are resting for a reason, back in the battlefield I’m glad you didn’t allowed yourself time to think about anything else but your own safety.” he said, pointing to his head as he spoke “You know, This is what win a fight Ann, its not about who gets to deal more wounds to the other or who strikes first. But the true trick behind winning a fight is not getting wounded. Ah… Hitting and dealing wounds they are parts of eventualities, if you are able to stand, and not get tired, avoiding getting hit and protect yourself against whatever comes around, there will be a time when a chance will come, and that chance is what could probably determine the outcome of that fight.” He said, throwing a few punches into the air.

“hm” – Ann let out a monotonous tone, still looking to the fire.

“But to do that you need your mind as calm and your body as rested as it can be. ” He said, looking to the rising smoke. ” Morale is our most important resource.” as he made whirl motions with his wrist, trying to mimic the dance of the smoke rising up in the air. “A motivated soldier, warrior, knight, even a normal person is capable of unimaginable things when his morale is high.” he gave her a smile, but to no response, then sighed. “morale Ann, makes our dreams, wishes, reasons and hope burn together with courage, giving us strength, power, even restores our energy a to its fullest.” then there was a pause.

“Are you even listening Annalot? ” He Frowned.

“Yes I am Enrich. Why you bother so much about me? I’m fine” She said, still monotonous

He threw her a stick, it hit her in the head.

“What was that for?” She asked, clearly angry now. then she rolled her eyes, another awkward silence stood there for a moment. she went back to watch the fire and Enrich was a bit nervous about the girl’s current mood. It was dangerous, should they need to react something, she wouldn’t make it.

“Dead, if it were a blow, you would be dead right now. Did you got the point yet? I said so much garbage for only one reason Ann.” He pauses and look to the distracted girl who is looking to the fire. “I want to tell you that you shouldn’t worry about anything really, they’re but noise and will make you more and more bugged. Somehow everything will work out just fine in the end.”

“uhum.” She said, absent minded.

“Have you eaten anything? Might help you to prove yourself you are alive, and also give you some motivation to keep on going. We cant fancy ourselves the same pleasures the noble but…” He let out a laugh.

“What are you laughing at? Did someone hit your head hard?”

“Then i would be laughing no stop at this point. No, its funny because sometimes, I think that the noble and the common create so much junk and trash, so much bullshitting because they never felt like they could end at any second without ceremony or warning. I saw friends die instantly with a arrow that came from behind at least six times in my life. They were there by my side helping me out, those guys… fought by my side, laughed with me at the parties, we trained so hard… we lived, got that? Until that moment… “His expression changed quick, Like he was revisiting nostalgic memories filled with melancholy. “I was lucky, the arrow didn’t got me. I don’t blame myself, but I miss these guys. Now imagine if a noble were to live through it? Nobles indulge themselves with pleasures and complex things to keep on going, to feel their own body, soul, flesh, to feel the rush inside their own body. Should those stop coming, they become a empty shell I guess, scared of the outside, vulnerable, you know where it’ll end.” he took a piece of a nice looking beef and offered to Annalot. “So… you know, you have already felt that you could have died and should be dead. Now prove yourself you are alive, prove that there are nice things to look forward little lady. Even a piece of meat could be this thing you’re looking for. We don’t need rewards all time because, soon, soon you will understand that being alive is our reward.”

“T-thank you… thank you Enrich.” She grabbed the meat, took a bite, as she chewed the meat slowly, feeling the taste of the meat, of the salt, the small amount of blood that had been dried by the heat of the fire, making the meat even a little bit crunchy overflowed through her mouth. Her eyes watered a bit, and a smile sprouted on her mouth full of food now.
“I feel better now. Thank you Enrich.”