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In the Footsteps of A Hero

Author: 
Ix
Old Vault Category: 
fanfiction
Old Vault ID: 
112

As always I follow, one step behind.

Along dusty road, through field, over mountain, down valley I carry the gear that he cannot carry. Tirelessly I carry his plunder, the wealth from his latest adventure. Some gold pieces and a few gems. A rune encrusted war hammer and a jet-black shield with an unholy design. Gear for the camp and food and water for him and for me.

We trudge on, with me always following, one step behind.

Why do I follow him? I follow because I must. I will not allow my independent nature to take over. I have subverted my will in this matter. For this man has gained my respect and my loyalty along with my love. Never has he failed to provide for me. Sometimes he has chosen to go without that I might maintain my strength and my stamina. Always he has thanked me for my tireless efforts in supporting his cause.

And thus I follow, one step behind.

For three years we have been together. We have fought bandits and wild beasts; we have confronted evil and restored freedom to slaves. Together we have freed captives and rescued kidnap victims. Some of these I have carried so that he might be free to defend us from those that would seek our demise, and always we have triumphed, and always I have received my due reward.

So today, as I do everyday, I follow, one step behind.

Some of my fellows think me mad. But they don't know of the sights I have seen. They have never experienced the exhilaration of battle and the feeling of wild ecstasy that comes from surviving the un-survivable. They have never experienced the rush of adrenaline and the pounding of blood in the head and the ears that signifies danger and the flooding of the senses by emotion that follows a close shave with death. Together he and I have lived these things. Many times.

This is why I follow, one step behind.

Many times he has been wounded. Sometimes near to death. Always I have helped him in his escape, sometimes carrying him where necessary and other times as a support for his weary frame. I have taken wounds for him and placed my body between his and our enemies. My blood has been shed for my love for him. That I would take hurt for him has brought tears to his eyes and strengthened our bond.

Because of this bond I follow, one step behind.

Today we have travelled since sunrise. From the foothills of the Eastwide Mountains and across the Plains of Ereth we have walked. Soon it will be time to make camp. He will make a fire and cook his meal. But only once he has seen to my needs. He will thank me for my efforts this day. He will help me unload my burden. He will give me water from his water skin and will allow me to find my own food. After he has eaten he will make up a bed from a blanket and his cloak and will sleep, trusting me to watch the night knowing that I will guard his life zealously.

For such trust I will follow, one step behind.

Tomorrow we will return to his keep. This hero of mine will return to his home and me along with him. His wife and his children will greet him with love and thankfulness to the God that they worship for he has returned safe and sound. They will crowd around me and ask me questions I cannot answer. They will fuss over me and thank me for looking after their beloved father and husband. They will help unload my burden and will see to my every need. Tomorrow night I will be provided with the best lodgings one in my position could ever hope for. And before he sleeps that night he will visit me alone. He will thank me for the service I have provided. He will take a brush from the wall of the stable and will carefully groom my coat, mane and tail. He will scratch my ears and will kiss my nose and murmur his thanks once more and then retire to his bed to sleep away the rigors of our adventure. And I will rest too.

Now you know why I follow him, one step behind.

 

In the Footsteps of a Hero © Ix

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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