January 28th (Speculative/Dystopia)
I had been here often, the dilapidated walls of the mansion showing their wear. I climbed the stairs leading to those familiar front doors, and stopped midway. I could hear a thought coursing through my mind: this might be the last time you see this place. It was an alien feeling.
I continued up the stairs, the man who summoned me standing still waiting for me at the top; to his side, the love of my life. You might never see her again, either...My body felt ragged, much like the clothes I had on on that day. I had been told it wise to wear the least attractive of my garbs for the trip across the region into the fallen state, to reduce the likelihood of being ambushed en route. The smile on my face was cynical. Like that would really make a difference to violence-fueled robbers.
I finally reached the top, and my audience, and offered a handshake to the summoner and an embrace to my lover. Her arms wrapped tightly around mine as I breathed in that wonderful fragrance she always carried about her. It smelled like home. I felt her lips brush lightly against my cheek, her mouth drew near to my ear "Hey, you." A warmness filled my body as my face formed a smile. I whispered back: Hey beautiful.
The summoner waited patiently for our display of affection to be over
before he began speaking to me. "Is there no way we can convince you of
staying?" He appeared incredibly distraught for a mere messenger,
perhaps the severity of my leave had unnerved him. I placed a hand on
his shoulders, and smiled as I spoke: I'm done with our mission
here. The state here looks stable and promising. However, Dewanus does
not fare so well. I believe I am needed more there than here.
My darling moved forward to speak, "But you might be killed in Dewanus, Eugen!" I grabbed her hand, and kissed it. And I could have been killed here as well, the risk is no less in Dewanus than it was in Wistic when it was but a tumultuous district. These are merely risks that need to be taken for the good of our lands.
The summoner appeared ill-pleased by that remark. "But, you must
understand", he resumed, "that with your absence, the resistance will
surely fall! There's talks that a new militant force rises amongst your
ranks. Of a man who wishes to disband and dismantle your precious
stability to fuel his own hunger for power."
I turned to face the summoner again. And those men will always exist regardless of my presence in our district. However, I trust my men will not allow such a shimmering example of nobility to crumble to the dust without a fight. There was a look of defeat in the summoner's eyes, the same gaze given by a child who had been told no by his mother enough times to quell his desire. "Then, I suppose you will be leaving with haste then, sir." I nodded. Indeed. I will be leaving in a couple hours, the earlier I arrive, the better. The summoner walked away into the mansion, my lover embraced me once more.
"Please, don't leave." I kissed her forehead and looked her in those gorgeous eyes. You know I have to. You know I can't stay here for another second. Things have changed: I don't feel comfortable doing what I used to do here now. Her head rested on my chest. "Then, I will simply have to wait for you here." I felt a weight removed from my shoulders. You still love me? She looked up at me, and smiled. "Of course." I chuckled. How? She laughed. "Because, you'll always be my underdog."
I felt an immense pain in my head. I could feel my eyes wincing shut. I managed to open them, only to be met with perpetual darkness: I was under a blanket of some sort. I swatted the blanket away as I laid with my back resting against the wall of my room. I looked up, and on a chair in the room was a female figure. I made eye contact, and began rubbing my eyes.
Hey. She half-smiled, whether due to shyness or politeness, I couldn't tell. "Hey." I rubbed the back of my neck, the pain from my head pulsing there as well. I'm guessing you brought me in? Her nod was almost imperceivable. "Who else could have?" I slowly rose, my body numb and aching throughout. I could feel various bruises on my arms, back, legs. "I found you outside, by your door unconscious." I stretched a bit to try and improve the state of my body. Well, I'm glad you have a key.
I staggered a bit as soon as I stood, my vision slightly impaired and my head throbbing. "You're going to get yourself killed one of these days." I looked at her, and lightly laughed. Eventually. Her face became stern. "Don't do that." I nodded as I began getting dressed. I'm sorry. It's going to take more than a couple of bruises and cracks on my skull to kill me. She stood up, and handed my shoes.
"At this rate, they're going to achieve just that if you don't pull yourself together." She was right. I recognized the numbness I was feeling: it wasn't due to pain. "You drank again beforehand, didn't you?" I gazed behind her to the bottles of liquor lined on the windowsill. It makes it easier to "Easier to what, Eugen? To handle pain? To enjoy it?" She turned her back to me and stood at the doorway. I walked over to her, and turned her around. To cope. I moved passed her into my living room. I dropped to the floor, and began doing push-ups.
I heard her walk into the room. "To cope with what?" I stopped with an exhale. My loneliness, I resumed. "Loneliness? Since when has that even been a factor for you?!" Exhale. Since my actions have had little effect in this state. Resume. "Are you seriously just going to fucking do that while I talk? Getting stronger won't make your feelings go away." I stopped.
Look, I came here for one reason, and one reason only. I can't just skip my routine to chat about things that my routine aims to change. I know, I'm sorry, it's kind of rude, but, you can just talk as I do it and I'll comment at the end or something. I can't fix this place if I don't stay in shape. I began again.
"I still don't understand why you feel as if you have to fix it yourself. There are other armies out here, noblemen, trained fighters that would be willing to help you." I shook my head. "Well, why not? What's the difference between them and you? What makes you so special that they can't slap on a costume and do what you do?" I counted aloud: 100. I stood up, and looked her in the eyes: they reminded me of someone else's I had seen so long ago, the fear that grips the heart of a lover. Because they have loved ones who would miss them.