Chapter 39 | Training

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GRETA

This chainmail lining my tunic makes it so heavy and hard to move around quickly. My helmet fits my face well though. Brommy, my trainer, says I will be getting my own war horse soon like the others here. For now, I have to ride with him.

He told me his main duty is advising Adler on war tactics and our empirical army, but right now, he has been tasked to help me. He is not old like Urdmin, but fifty years my senior. It would be nice to match a face to his voice, but I cannot yet.

Brommy makes walking in armor look easy. I think he forgets my step is shorter than his and I must walk twice as fast to keep up. I appreciate how he does not carry a whip. He did offer me one though and since getting a close feel of it I now know the weapon has metal strips twisted around thick thread.

I chose a sword instead.

"Aye, Keon. Have you met any of the female guards yet, eh?"

"I wouldn't know. I cannot see like you."

Apparently, Enoch is inside this tavern right now. I don't know what he's doing in there, but Brommy says this makes good practice to stand with the other guards in public. It's a nice difference from being in the stuffy palace.

Brommy pats my shoulder. "Well, didn't they talk to you in the palace? You've been stationed there for two days."

"Nobody talked to me."

"Praise the gods you were given a new trainer. I'll talk your ear off. All you have to do is ask. Come now, Keon. Time to saddle up, you remember the way."

I hope I do. The silver blurry shape of him moves near the tall beast. Quickly, I get to work on untying it from the post outside the lively tavern. Brommy places the riding seat back on top. He puts his foot in the harness and then hops up onto the animal.

"Here, boy. Take my hand now," he tells me.

Something blaring loud rips through the sky above us. I jump, awkwardly falling against his war horse at its sound. The beast doesn't move, but the piercing bright lights above us do. They explode and crack the paved road as if to rip right through it.

"Keon? What is the matter? It is just the light show," he scolds me while hopping back down.

I brush off my legs and nod my head, still trying to catch my breath. Brommy flips my helmet up and makes a strangled noise.

"Woah, your eyes are bleeding!"

Hastily, I wipe away the blood. "They do that sometimes," I lie.

Brommy hops back on the beast and holds his hand out for me.

"Come on, then. We have the rest of our rounds to do before we return to the palace."

He helps me up and then the beast carries us through the market. Everyone else, going off of the blur of silvery shapes below our mighty beast, appears to be enjoying the loud explosions above us. I'm sure it would be a fascinating sight were I able to discern the colors of such powerful flying energy in the sky.

The animal we ride does not seem fazed by the explosions above us.

With each step it takes, I grip the edge of the rough saddle tighter. If I let go, I'll surely descend down these never-ending steps and break my back. The explosions look so close now, hundreds of sparkles igniting my headache to sharpen until I let out another scream in pain behind Brommy.

He still doesn't understand. The beast carries us now, finally, over the flat ground of the slate leading into Adler's temple. "Hush! You aren't dying, boy. Settle down," Brommy tries telling me. "It's just a light show."

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