I got bored yesterday and decided to try out some writing. As I haven’t really done anything creative for a long while, it might be a rough. At this point I’m more used to writing essays than anything else, so bear with me:
The air was thick with dust and feathers, it was warm inside, too. The red light coming from the folded fabric giving a sense of being inside a body, and the sweaty smell of the place not helping to underplay the illusion. A skinny, dark haired serving girl sat in the corner, beating herbs into a mortar.
“A three hundred man cavern, heavily armoured.” O’Neil said, his head hang low into his chest in the hope of making himself appear smaller.
“Where?” Came the low grumble of a reply, Capitan Tondoro leaning back into the fluffed purple cushions resting under his frame; his heavy weight giving out a puff of goose feathers.
“About thirty miles from here. Coming along the Old Path.” O’Neil gripped his hat tightly in his palm as he awaited the reply, trying not to show his fear to his commander.
Capitan Tondoro nodded, rubbing his massive chin with his massive hands. He grunted as in a bear, clear sis mind was made.
As Tondoro reached down to his little ivory box a single bead of sweet ran along O’Neil’s burning head, like a droplet of cooling water across a burning kettle. O’Neil was taken aback as the small medallion was thrown his way, a trinket of Tondoro’s thanks. Obviously the information hadn’t been given to the Capitan too late, or wasn’t too unpleasant.
O’Neil nodded his thanks quietly and without turning his back stumbled out of the tent as soon as possible, breathing a sigh of relief as he exited its shaded, crimson insides. O’Neil peered down into his hands, rubbing his thumb along the shiny rim of silver, the heart of the small shape being ivory carved into the face of a snarling devil of some far-off land. Sticking it into his pocket with one hand, he swiped his rounded feather cap back onto his head with the other.
“Hey Cav!” Said a voice from the door of a less protruding tent, O’Neil’s name being called. He turned to see it was Mark Arbe, a follow footman. Nodding, he trample across the muddy ground, leaning against a wooden pole used to tie horses in place. “So, bad news, Cav?” Asked the fellow soldier, slightly anxious but optimistic.
O’Neil nodded. “Hundred men, heavily armoured. About three days away. What can we do? We’ve too many people to move away from them, and too little to out right attack them.”
Arbe shrugged and smiled a little, a happy expression always close to his lips. “What if they aren’t looking for us? Are they coming our way?”
“The Old Road, of course,” O’Neil said, “We’re only a little off the path. They’ll spot us. I don’t see why you think they WON’T be coming for us, after what we did.”
Arbe shrugged. “You’re not dead, so old Tondoro’s got an idea of what to do. I have a feeling we’ll be lead up to hill Da’barken and hide in the castle. You can be sure we’ll either die there, or cut them down and reap the benefits.”
“Well, either way, Mark, you better shine up your chain mail and keep your weapons sharp, we won’t be running from this one.” O’Neil said before walking on.
It rained the rest of the day and all night. O’Neil spent the time sitting in his units tent, making sure his weapons were as honed to a point as possible. He would have preferred to go to the ring for some sparing practice, but instead felt in the heavy rain of Spring he’d spent more time getting dirty than anything else. His short blade, halberd and even dagger was worked to a pin-tip, sharp enough to pierce through plate with enough force. Satisfied with his progress, he took a few swings with his weapons to familiarise himself with their weight. It had been a while since he’d be a real fight. Packing his things into the wooden chest at the end of his bed, he lay in the padded fabric of his sheets, unable to sleep. For hours and hours the rain poured on, giving the shared tent a muffled atmosphere. Eventually his eyes shut and he awoke to the light of early morning, most of his unit was already up by now though a few remained rest. The rain had stopped.
O’Neil rubbed his tired from the eyes and reached into his chest, pulling the first things that came to hand. A set of long, loose hose and a leather vest. Good clothes for fighting, especially since he anticipated the ground to still be a filthy slug. Grabbing his hat and leaving his weapons on the rack he set off through the field of tents, down to the bottom of the field. The blacksmiths, mess hall and fighting ring were all close, allowing soldiers to do the most important things they need to, train and fight. O’Neil saluted a few Officers on the way, and greeted fellow men more informally. He decided to pass on an early meal and instead went straight to the smith to grab a few blunted blades.
He picked up one of the long swords and stepped onto the field, quickly greeted by another solider named Dillon, young and eager to fight. O’Neil held the blade so the blade pointed to the sky, keeping the wooden pommel in his left palm while his right hand stayed close to the guard. Dillon thrust forward but O’Neil pushed his own blade down, using the flat of his blade to keep Dillon’s sword locked in place. Seeing an opening, O’Neil pushing his blade forward, pressed the rounded edge into Dillon’s shoulder.
“Wounded. Limb lost at the least.” O’Neil said coldly, the soldiers instinct kicking him.
Dillon retreated a few steps with a huff, taking a neutral stance, ready for the next round. The fight continued further, O’Neil easily wining the majority of the rounds between theme until the younger solider had enough, walking off to the mess hall in an annoyed march.