Part XVI – Milo makes a strike
Come on, your majesty, anticipate my move. You can do it, I…”
The duck and slash from King Repratian took me off guard. His broad sword sliced through my left side in an amateurish yet lethal blow. Had the magical sword actually been able to cause me harm I would probably be dead.
“I… um, well done.” I stammered and the sweet blush and smile that crossed King Repratian’s face caused my heart to quake a bit.
“Now, had I not been distracted that wouldn’t have worked, but good job looking for an opening… let’s talk about your sword placement.”
The king groaned, but I could see his successful strike had built confidence in him. That’s exactly what I was hoping for. I would never give him a free kill, being a firm believer in each warrior earning their first win. However, confidence grew with success.
Time in the Erime was not the same as the outside world. I had no idea how much time was passing in the real world. A week, a month? It was all blurred together here.
Enough time had passed that the King was beginning to show some improvement, although nothing like what I’d have expected in a young recruit. He was not and never would be a warrior. Nor did I expect him to be. When his powers manifested, he’d be the most powerful wielder of Elven power alive. Atticon would be hard pressed to overthrow him… provided he learned to use that power. Still so much to teach this young elf.
“We will need to request new rations,” I said, as he and I entered the royal tent.
King Repratian froze. “Um, I… I don’t want to cause anyone to have to, you know, do anything.”
At first I didn’t understand. “Do anything?” I asked and then it dawned on me. “You mean, use magic?”
He nodded. “Yeah, can’t I give my own blood?” he asked.
I shook my head, “no, the sacrifice must come from the one wielding the magic.”
“I don’t like it. I don’t want anyone to have to do that for me.”
“Your majesty… it’s part of our pledge.”
“No, that’s bullshit. One person shouldn’t be expected to sacrifice like that for someone they don’t even know. There’s got to be another way.”
I was truly confused and now more than a little regretful that I’d told him about the sacrifices the others were giving to move items in and out of the Erime.
I thought for a few moments before I came up with a solution. “Okay, let’s do this. I’ll make a list of items that don’t require much of a sacrifice to move in and out of this realm. I’m afraid the list will be simplistic, not exactly what a king would eat…”
He gave me a look of annoyance. “Please make the list, I guess we have to eat, but we don’t have to make it unnecessarily difficult…” he responded before heading into the shower.
We fell into a routine over the days that seemed to fly past us. Every morning, we’d get up at the break of dawn, although the weakened sun made it difficult to tell there was a breaking dawn. We’d eat a simple breakfast of fruit, most of which had disappeared or had spoiled with time.
We were down to eating fruits that lasted a longer time, or some of the dried fruits that’d been included on the first day.
We would train throughout the day, me training him like we did our young soldiers. Eating a light breakfast in the morning, then eating heavily at night. Of course, the training was to teach the young warriors to fight and train on a lower caloric intake. Once again, I wondered if maybe I was doing the wrong thing teaching a king to live without the riches normally provided for his position.
Yet, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what else I should be doing with him with all this time. Besides, not taking energy from the warriors was precisely what was needed at the moment. Would war break out now that King Repratian was back? If so… that meant the soldiers in the guard would need to conserve their strength if we hoped to keep the king alive.
At least, that should take precedence over the sweet treats and luxuries he’d formerly become accustomed to.
Join us next week for more adventures of Milo and Clack!