Night, it’s the worst time of the day, and here I am stuck with a guard shift at night. Who would’ve known that the academy’s best swordsman would end up as a night shift guard in some out of the way village with a name I can’t remember. The teacher said something about “attitude problem” I don’t have an attitude problem; he just had a problem with me because I beat him while training one day. Attitude problem…
I worked myself nearly to death some days training to get as good as I am, and then they waste my talents here. Maybe it’s because I’m a common-blood freak? That’s what the blue-bloods called me anyways, pricks. Sometimes they just made my blood boil, even now; thinking of those jerks makes me want to hit something. No, I’m a soldier now, I have discipline, and there is no need for me to hit anything except some bandit raid.
I should be out there fighting in some battle against any enemy we might end up coming across, but it’s not like that’s going to happen. Dragia has been at peace with its neighbors far too long now, but even then we’re still famous for our superior military. How can we know if it’s superior if there’s no one to test it out on? Valaya used to be our enemy, but after the war twenty years ago they’ve still yet to recover, and Reneva have been allies of ours since the beginning of time for all I know.
It’s not like I can pick a fight with just anyone either; I’ll just get discharged then, and I don’t want that. Maybe if I provoke someone into fighting me? Then I can beat him up without getting into trouble. That’s not likely to happen; I’m too easily provoked to do any decent provoking myself. For all I know I’ll end up provoking myself into beating the poor bugger up.
Nothing fun happens at night. Here I stand, me, Karrigan Rhougal, the best swordsman in the history of Lilac City Academy, and I have a job watching some stupid peasants. No, they aren’t stupid. By the Saints, why would I think such a thing? I am a bloody peasant. These people are my kin in a way. They earned their position just like I earned my guard position: bad luck. Nothing fun happens at night.
I’ve been here for two months with two other guards. I think their names are Philip and Hans, or maybe it’s Perry and Jan. I don’t know. They get the day shift, and I get the stinking night. I can’t imagine they have much fun either, but at least they have someone to talk with. I just get my thoughts and steadily lose my sanity.
Maybe I should just leave? I don’t deserve this position. I can find myself something else to do. I could become a mercenary; they get some fun don’t they? I can’t stand wasting my life here. Maybe I’ll think on it after I get some sleep. By the Saints! I can’t stand thinking anymore! I need action, no more thinking! I’m leaving tonight and that’s final. The other two can figure out what to do about shifts. I’m going to be somebody, not some stupid guard in a remote village that nobody cares about.
With that I got up from the uncomfortable wooden stool that was lent to me by the only villager that took pity on my position. Thomas I think his name was, yeah that’s right. I’ll leave it at his front door before I get my stuff. As I finished, I looked at myself. Sword, check. Armor, check. Food and water, something I’ll pick up before leaving. Horse, at the stables. I’m fine enough, I just need to pick up food and drink and I’m good.
The trip through the village to where the guards were house was uneventful. I think I scared a cat up a house, that’s it, and I’m not surprised in the least because I am a big man and I know it. The house we’re living in is no different than any of the other houses; simply put we’re peasants in a soldier’s outfit. I’m top dog here and I’m still worth less than dirt. I’m going to change that.
As I grab a bag and begin filling it up with travel rations and snatch a water skin, Hans or Jan woke up. Great, I just wanted to get in and get out without any trouble and he’s going to be curious about why I’m gathering so many supplies.
“Kar,” Hans mumbled as he stood up. I hated that nickname and he knew it. “What are you doing?”
I looked him square in the face. “I’m getting some food. I’m hungry.”
He squinted at the bag as I put one last day’s worth of rations into my bag. “Hungry for several days of rations? Why?”
I grinned at that, maybe I could get away with this. “I’m a big guy; you of all people should know I eat a lot.”
He shook his head. “Sure, yeah, whatever” and then he sat back in his bed and rubbed this eyes. “Can’t believe I got up for that.”
As I left the building and closed the door behind me, I began to move towards the stable. Part way there I heard a sound behind me and turned around to see an alert Hans staring at me ten paces away with his sword drawn. I knew I couldn’t have gotten away with this without trouble.
“Where’s Perry?” I glanced over his shoulder. “Didn’t wake him up?”
“It’s Philip, and there’s no need, I can arrest you no problem. I thought something was wrong, and then I realized no one eats that much, not even you.”
I grinned. “Now aren’t you a clever one. Forget you ever saw me. I’m not wasting my life at a post I didn’t deserve.”
He took a step closer. “No, you’re coming with me to the cell.”
I put my bag down. “Not that cage. I am not going in there. You’ll have to try to kill me before you even get me close to that stinking thing.”
“Fine” and with that, he lunged at me. It was pathetic how easy it was to break his guard, disarm him, and then snap his neck. I didn’t even need to draw my sword that’s how easy it was. All I needed to do was deflect his sword with my bracer and the rest was a cake walk. It’s odd how they said in the academy it was hard to take a life for the first time. This was nothing but exhilarating, and I was sad it was over so quickly and in such a less than dramatic fashion.