A knock came from the door. “Yes?” Menshin called from his bed, he still had not moved since he was placed there. The door slowly opened and there a man stood wearing a clean, white robe.
“Menshin?” he replied, opening a manila folder he carried with him and gazing at the file inside.
“That would only be me.”
“Of course,” the man agreed, never looking up. “It seems you’ve hurt yourself terribly in the last battle.”
“What?” Menshin spoke bewildered.
“Apparently,” the man continued, “a sword clipped you left shin, got wedged in your armor and dragged you from your kujiin.”
“Wait, wait,” Menshin interrupted, “who are you, and why do you assume you can just enter my room and tell me these lies?”
The man finally looked up from the files and gazed over at Menshin. “I am Dr. Ruthbearg, your primary care physician at the moment. I would expect at least an ounce of gratitude after saving your life.” The doctor walked closer to Menshin’s bedside and quickly removed the sheet that lie over his body to reveal his left shin wrapped in layers of clean, white bandages.
“What treason is this?” Menshin spit before the pain from his left shin began to swell first from his lower leg, creeping up to his knees and upper thigh quickly, yet painstakingly, until the base of his neck into his skull where the pain amplified.
“Now do you believe me?” the doctor sighed. “You will direly need to stay in bed until your stitches heal. I have not quite accessed your likelihood of walking well again, but my prediction expects the worse”. Menshin gasped, as the pain was too much. “I would also assume that you would want some pain medication to go with the pain,” Dr. Ruthbearg chuckled under his breath, “the king would hate to lose you.” He bent down and picked up the loose sheet that he had ripped from the bed and placed it back neatly over Menshin. After, he paced to the right side of Menshin and examined the drip injected into his veins. “I’ll have a nurse attend to that soon. In the meantime,” he gazed down at Menshin, “rest. I will have a form into the king tomorrow morning retiring you from the cavalry.”
Menshin spent a few good months in the infirmary, stately positioned and dosed with narcotics to dull the pain. Dr. Rothbearg later told him his conjecture that a sword or dagger-like object had pierced his shin while he rode along in battle. The armor helped initially, but the sword had caught the armor and pulled Menshin from his kujiin and ripped further into his skin and fractured some of his bone. The gash was about six inches long and twisted around his shin clockwise, from his perspective. His doctor assured him that it was very possible that Menshin could have lost his entire left as a result. His armor had protected around the gash and limited the bleeding, though caused him to fall unconscious a few days until the servant men could locate him. Unfortunately, these events left Menshin with a crippled leg. Once Menshin was no longer bed-ridden, the doctor gave him a simple cane to stabilize himself.
“For now we will move you to another location of the hospital area of the castle, Menshin,” a forgettable nurse told him one morning. She leaned over to help him up from the bedside.
“Without help, Wench!” Menshin spat at her face. He grabbed at his bedside to the metal cane. Slowly, he balanced the cane on his right side and rotated his right leg off the bed. He could support himself with his right leg thus far and attempted to stabilize his left. Grinding his teeth, he slid the almost motionless appendage from the bed adjacent to his other foot, already on the floor. “There,” he breathed heavily, “no need for you.” He then hobbled to the doorway, propped himself against the framework, turned the knob, opened the door, and hobbled out of sight.
The nurse later recalled how this man could battle his pain wonderfully and marveled over this to all her future patients. Of course, she knew little of what actually prevented Menshin from feeling the pain initially, even whenever he was first injured. That day, Menshin was transferred to a different ward, for healing and resident patients. Usually tight-lipped, Menshin did not reveal any close relatives. He convinced everyone that no one was left in his family, however the truth revealed was that he could not remember. All he did know was that they gave him up to the kingdom at a young age. The doctors, not wanting to keep up a fight, decided to accept that answer for now and leave him in the healing ward until they had appropriate time to research his family lines in the archives of soldiers.
One day, the king called upon Menshin after he requested a conference with him about joining the army once more. After a few months of waiting, the king finally approved this congregation and met with him one summer morning, mindful that the war against the Savages sting ravaged through his land.
“So Menshin,” the king began whence Menshin sat feebly in a chair opposite him, “I do not understand why you feel you need to continue your service. An appropriate letter has been received from Dr. Ruthbearg and everything seems to be in order. No one has sent me different on the situation and from what I know, you are officially relieved from your duties.”
“King Radasyer, with all due respect, the doctor has no conception of what it means to be on the battlefield.” Menshin attempted to lift his body from the chair but directly fell back into its lap without further hesitation.
“Menshin,” the king sighed, “you drag me away from the most importance of the war for this? You embarrass me as a soldier; you use to be the shining armament of the cavalry, what happened? Why will you not take your leave and be gone? Go back to your family! Guards, waste no more of my time and take this man away!”
As the king began to lift himself from the chair when Menshin called out, “Please! King Radasyer, give me a mission! If you sent me along enemy lines, no one would suspect a cripple to collect information! I am begging you upon my life, let me prove myself to you,” he gasped out of desperation.
King Radasyer sat back down in his seat and motioned with a toss of his hand to delay his guards from seizing the broken man. “Alright, I have an idea, Menshin.” He smiled and winked at one of the guards. “I will send you with a few men and you will walk to the most western of boundaries of Mx’tiador’ol and cross over to enemy lines. From there on you are to retrieve a rare specimen of their culture- something that not dare live without,” he smirked slightly before continuing, keeping his own mockery under control. “Oh brave soul, Menshin! This is of most importance and only you can conquer such a feat. Please, return to your chambers immediately and prepare.”
Unbeknownst to Menshin, the king’s voice radiated a challenge and he propped himself and stumbled to the feet of the king. “Do not be petrified Radasyer, I shall not disappoint you!” and then took leave of the hallway back to his room at the ward.
After Menshin had left, one of the guards crept to the king as he continued to sit there, pondering. “What is this quest you speak of? Being one of your closest guardsmen, I have never heard this information before.”
The king slowly turned his head, amused. “I made it up fine Torick,” he responded aimlessly.
“Made it up? But why?”
“This man has undoubtedly gone insane. The water in the south hath made him daft and drained all sense from his veins. I can already sense in his eyes how he would terrorize every of my waking moments by nagging me to join the cavalry once more- which he obviously is not capable of doing so- best to get him out of the kingdom. With any luck, he will perish the first night with the barbarians.”
“I am having a hard time understanding why you would do this to a high ranking soldier. Menshin was the lifeline of his fleet. Many victories he brought you.”
“Yes, Torick, but as you will learn, once a soldier has ruined his body, they all do, they are of little importance or use to the kingdom. They were breed for this, and only this. Menshin has no purpose left, I am being superfluous in my generosity, and most do not even receive a hearing from me. Enough of this chatter! Torick, gather the rejected establishment of soldiers to put under Menshin in his quest,” he chuckled, “I am sure he will assume to be ready by tomorrow.”