Over the time I spent with Clack, I began developing… well, feelings was the wrong word. Affection? Maybe, he was still a dictator, which is strange since I was the one supposed to be the king.
Lieutenant Clack, as he’d finally instructed me to call him, was tough in my training and seldom gave an inch and never gave me a chance to get a swing in. In all the time we’d been stuck here together, I’d only successfully gotten one strike in and I sorta cheated to get that one. He was about to lecture me, when I ducked behind him and thrust the magic broadsword into his side.
I still chuckled when I thought of his shocked expression. That’d been a good day for me. I’d died by his magic sword at least a thousand times, he’d died only once. Yet, it felt so damned good that I’d gotten that one in.
At first, my muscles screamed every night. Laci showed up from time to time. One glorious night, she created a cream that I could apply to my sore muscles. She’d shown up to give Lord Clack, as she called him, a message from the guard and had noticed how sore I was. She plucked a hair from her head and chanted a quick chant, which I didn’t understand in the least, and poof... a small alabaster container with the magical cream sat in her hand.
“Don’t tell Lord Clack about this. They tell us we’re supposed to let our muscles grow stronger with the pain, but sometimes it’s too much. Use it sparingly,” she said with a wink. Then after waving at Clack, she disappeared.
I kept the cream hidden in my makeshift bedroom and at night I used it on my very sore muscles. The effect was immediate and extremely pleasant. Warming and cooling the muscles at the same time. One of my first foster moms had used a product for sore muscles which stunk to high heaven. I was more than a little happy this one didn’t, 'cause I didn’t want my tormentor to take it away from me.
To my surprise, as my muscles became stronger, I began to enjoy our morning workout. The broadsword was still hard for me to wield. The dang thing was huge and bulky. I didn’t understand how anyone would use this as a weapon of choice, except that once in motion, it could do a lot of damage.
I’d watched fencing a few times and I thought a saber would’ve been more my speed, but I didn’t mind the muscles that were beginning to grow on me either.
The way of the elf… I’d heard Clack refer to that a few times now, and I liked what I’d heard. Take only what was needed, never take a life unless you had no choice, respect the environment. Those were all qualities I strove for anyway. Even when I was living my life as a human, I'd feared for the environmental impact we were having on our planet.
I think that’s why Lieutenant Clack didn’t argue with me when I said we should keep to the most basic rations. No more taking things that didn’t require sacrifices from strangers. Honestly, I didn’t think I would make a good king. I liked democracy. I liked each person having the ability to express a vote and that vote being equal to each of the others.
Monarchs, who sucked life out of their people, and didn’t give anything back caused me to feel weird. It just didn’t feel right. Just like taking blood sacrifices from soldiers I didn’t know didn’t feel right.
Of course, this meant we lived on a diet of mostly dried foods and no meat. Ultimately, it seemed worth it.
I was surprised that I could live on so little food, though. I was a typical American kid. I liked pizza, hamburgers, all the junk food that wasn’t supposed to be good for you. Now, I ate like a small bird, worked out more than I ever thought I could, and still had energy at the end of the day.
I wasn’t sure if it was because I was an elf, or because we just don’t need as many calories as we think we do, but it was a good insight for me either way.
“Tomorrow, I’m going to teach you to jump… like a proper elf,” the Lieutenant said.
“Like a proper elf?” I asked and actually had wanted the question to sound more sarcastic than it did.
“Yes, even without your powers, you should be able to move more lithely. Right now, you move like an elderly human.”
“Hey,” I said, and elbowed the Lieutenant in the side.
He just chuckled and ignored me, eating the soup he’d made from our meager rations.
I did move like an elderly human. Memories of being awkward echoed through my brain. I cringed as I thought about all the appliances I’d destroyed too.
I’d asked Clack if that was something about being an elf and he shook his head, saying no, most elves have no problem with electronics. So, it was just me… not an elf thing.
“I don’t hold out much hope on my abilities to move lithely, as you put it. I’m mostly two left feet.”
“We’ll see,” he said and after drinking the rest of his soup, he took his and my bowl to the cleaning station on the other side of the tent.
“Yeah, you’ll see…” I said under my breath. Clack had refused to let me do the dishes, saying it wasn’t proper, and after I don’t know how long, I finally gave up arguing with him. I tried to make up for it by sweeping the place and keeping our living space clean when he wasn’t around to fuss at me for it.
Tonight, I cleaned our little shared bathroom while he cleaned up the dishes. Then as I always did, I crawled into my cot and fell to sleep. Never in all my years had I slept as well as I did after a day of training.
Join us next week for more adventures of Milo and Clack!