The sun sat upon the crest of a horizon. There, a knight stood by himself, still dressed in his armor and sword unsheathed, reminiscing his daily battle. Mx’tiador’ol had been under siege by the heathens from Churro . Again, and again they attempted to take the castle from his Lord.
“Damn heathens,” he muttered under his breath, and wiped his sword clean from the nearly dried blood. Without a kujiin and no sign of a boat to carry him back across the river, Menshin dropped lazily to the ground.
His kujiin had been swept from under him during the raid and he had been tossed forward, nearly smashing his head into a rock. Lucky for him, his twirling body dodged the protruding rock and his back received the blow from the earth.
“Now where did that bloody back pack of mine get thrown to?” Unable to get back up after his lazy drop, Menshin crawled along the area in the dimly lit meadows, stopping intermittently to catch his breath and take a more general look around. "With my luck, one of them lived and is ready to pounce me,” he talked of the heathen desert people.
His last kill, still whispering on the tip of his breath, Menshin careened to a corner where a lonely tree, undamaged by the battle on the outer most barrier of the war field, sat strong in the ground where Menshin propped himself up. There he slept for the night, in hopes to awaken healthier in the morning.
Sticky morning dew lay upon Menshin’s beard as his eyes opened clearly to the battlefield in the early hours of the day. Only his dirty hands and face exposed themselves to the chilled winds of the morning. He was still dressed in his thick silver plated armor. The dreaded weight of the suit stole space for his lungs to expand, and therefore slowly he stood, careful not to sprain a joint, and stripped to his tunic.
Like a chick removing its birth shell, Menshin lifted each piece of armor and discarded it on the cold morning ground. After emancipating his tired and worn body, Menshin rotated his creaking shoulders and cramped neck.
“The sleep was not as comforting as I’d wished,” he mumbled to himself, as he often did, and remembered from last night his rider's pack that had fallen off when he was knocked down from his kujiin.
The southern province of Mx’tiador’ol received much water from the Braufoam River and the plants grew luscious in the fertile soil. The area stretching from the northern Arube forest across Mx’tiador’ol and the Braufoam River on its way to Emblem stayed relatively calm for most part of the year except during the rainy season when the ground tended to be flooded by the river. This made the land easy to plow and plant crops, which promoted livelihood of communities and a superfluous amount of residents in the fertile sector.
Menshin’s parents had bought a small shanty outside of the main providence of Mx’tiador’ol right before he was born. There he was raised until the age of 6 when the Government mandated his family that any boy within the providence was to take up residence in the castle and learn the ways of the Knight. Personally, Menshin remembers little of his time with his parents and instead creates his own figments of family life before the installment of warfare in his blood.
Ladies of the castle cared for the young squire until he was twelve. Days were spent tending to the King’s legions of kujiin and learning from the young maidens of chivalry and courtly love. During his residency at the castle, he met many other squires and produced brotherhoods with dozens of males waiting their knighting.
Unfortunately, most of those men had fought in the recent battle and lay dead on the field. The Metsheps (Meet-she-eps) from northern Churro remained sturdy in their legions of militants and slowly chipped away at the foundation of Mx’tiador’ol’s army. At least, this was what Menshin perceived.
“’Lo! Menshin!” a voice rang from a few kilometers down the hill he sat upon. From his sight, Menshin believed it was a cavalryman come to find him. “Menshin, good buddy, why are you still out here? It has been days since you fought in this battle.”
Menshin began to stand but felt the pain in his back rise again only to bring him to the ground once more. “’Lo, good sir,” Menshin replied, gasping a little but quickly hiding his pain from the cavalryman.
“Sobeslav, cavalry,” the servant replied. “Many days have you wandered, I am sure your lord has expected your return by now.”
“Days, young master?” Menshin cocked his head, “The battle lies only hours dead, do you understand who I am?”
“Know who you are, no, but your placement, yes. You are one of the only survivors of the Battle for Braufoam. That battle died three days ago, mastery sir.”
“Three days, servant?”
“Correctly repeated, mastery sir.”
“What crippled bones my body must circumscribe! Why has no one found me sooner?”
“Mastery sir, the lands south of Mx’tiador’ol have continued to be bludgeoned by attacks, you residing on the outermost province has inhibited your discovery.”
“Of course, the luck of a blacksmith’s son.”
The servant outstretched his hand to Menshin’s in order to help lift him up from the ground. “Well, good mastery sir, if I may be so bold, luck of a blacksmith’s son had nothing to do with it. You were far from danger, therefore in your concussion, no invader happened upon your unguarded body and slaughtered you as a butcher might a blind piglet.”
The servant finally picked Menshin off the ground, wheezing under his breath, obviously this man was not healthy to be in the army, and therefore Menshin knew, as he assumed, his placement to be no more than a lord’s servant. “Ah, of course. Instead I am left nearly incapable of withstanding the blowing of the wind,” he jokingly coughed, allowing his pride to whither a few notches in front of the servant, he needed more than one man to sustain his fractured body.
The servant held Menshin steady and reached to his right side where a horn hung from a strap. Carefully, he lifted the horn’s mouthpiece to his lips and blew a loud monotone note through the fields. “My buddies are out searching as well, I think we’ll need more than just one of us to carry you back to the castle.”
“Ah, you are weak spirited, friend,” Menshin asserted, keeping his pride full once again, yet secretly thanking Aille.
Soon, four men rode over the hills. There were three kujiins, two pulled a carriage and the third carried two men. “’Lo, Jurrah! I see you’ve found another one,” one man on the kujiin carrying two men called to the servant. He soon jumped off and allowed the other man hold on to the reins. He swaggered to the couple and grabbed the other arm of Menshin and propped it over his shoulder. “We’ll have you home as soon as possible, soldier. Jurrah, just lead him towards the carriage and the other men will take care of the rest.” By now the other men had dismounted their kujiin and had prepared the carriage for Menshin to sit in. They lowered him into his seat and Menshin cringed as they touched some of his weaker bones but otherwise kept a straight face.
“Ideally,” one of the other men commented, “We should have you back to the castle by tomorrow. We will have to see how the conditions are.” He shot a glance to the lead servant, weary of the leader’s decisions, and turned back to Menshin. “Until then, you need to calm, we’ll take care of the rest, don’t you worry, mastery sir.”
Menshin nodded, “Well, that all depends on how you take this carriage ride, take heed not to hit any divots or rocks, mind you.”
“Yes, sir, mastery sir,” Jurrah bowed. He soon jumped onto one of the kujiin who pulled the carriage with the lead servant and began riding. Menshin lay back in the carriage and shut his eyes, drifting far from his battles, his wounded body and tired soul.
After what seemed like hours, Menshin’s eyes opened at slits and looked upwards at the sky. The sun was high in the sky and shined down almost directly over his head.
“I am surprised we found him myself,” Jurrah’s voice whispered. Menshin’s ears picked up the whispering and looked over his shoulder of the two riders chatting. Jurrah was off to the right and the lead servant was at the left.
“Well, he is very lucky we did. Did you see his right leg?”
“Wait, which one? Both seemed tattered.”
“The right one, the bloody one. You could tell it suffered much damage. It is a wonder how he could stand on it so long before collapsing on the ground.”
“Oh, yes. The leg still covered in the armor plate?”
“Yes, exactly. I could see blood dripping from it and a huge gash right through the plate. Whatever hit him had great force and probably knocked him down, which would probably explain the concussion.”
“Ah, I see. You are most intuitive, friend. I guess that’s why the king sent you out on this mission.”
The other man chuckled and looked over at Jurrah, “It doesn’t take much to do the things I do. In time you will become just as intuitive.”
The men stopped talking and Menshin returned his gaze to the back on the carriage. “My leg?” he thought, “never once did I,” he stopped as his stare came to the shin of his right leg. A large gash had eaten through the metal of his armor and dug right into his skin, possibly even into his bone, however he could not gaze too fondly at the wound at his angle. He could feel nausea seep through the recesses of his abdomen, soon the feeling overwhelmed his head and he passed out in carriage.