Flames of War

A Young Clerics Journal - Part 3

Final Chapter

Year 1421 – 5th Month

The healing is going well. What color Hansfelt lost from the onset infection and blood loss has returned to him, and aside from the bandages and his being bedbound he is back to his old naïve self. It seems he keeps up hope that he will be able to return to his duties as an Inquisitor despite the others telling him contrary. He tells me that if all else fails, he plans to stay in the church and become an acolyte rather than return home. How does he keep his faith so easily despite everything? By all rights he could and should have died from his injuries, and was told that his dreams and goals are all but destroyed. Still, he carries on.

Year 1421 – 6th Month

Despite his pleas, Hansfelt was officially moved from the Inquisition to the clergy, but he didn’t take it as hard as I expected. He probably knew this outcome was inevitable but that didn’t stop him from trying. The worst part of this outcome is that, as if missing his old duty of annoying me, he seems to make it his job to follow me around the temple. He claims it is because he does not know yet what he is supposed to do, but if that were the case he would be better off to follow another acolyte or speak with the mother. The idiot even had the audacity to ask when I was to return to the field, saying something about the Inquisition needing my steadfast blade. If only he understood the weight of his words, then he wouldn’t say something so bold.

Year 1421 – 9th Month

I started becoming accustomed to my shadow and parrot following me around from day to day. I must say it was nice having someone to talk to and to have something of a friend again. The other acolytes mainly left me to my own devices since my reassignment, I fear most of them did not know how to interact with me and my moods. The fool must have realized my feeling more comfortable with him because he suggested something completely ridiculous. Marriage of all things! And in front of the mother acolyte no less! We haven’t even been courting and he thinks he can pull this?! I didn’t know whether I wanted to scream at him or slap him, so instead I just stormed off. What could be going through that insane head of his?! Sure we may have been acquainted for near a year now, but we haven’t even been friends for a few months. The mother seemed overjoyed at the prospect, even saying that a good man was just what I needed to lighten my mood. Senile old woman needs to retire, I think. Clearly her head is gone from its senses.

Year 1421 – 9th Month
The mother came to me again today, asking me to reconsider Hansfelts proposal. ‘Get yourself a good man first and love will follow’ she says. I know it’s common practice for acolytes to marry young to keep the teachings going through the next generation, but I never expected myself to be involved in such a practice! She made me promise that I think on it until weeks end and that she would accept whatever answer I gave him. It is late yet in the evening or early morning I cannot tell anymore, but I don’t think my mind will give me leave to rest yet.

Year 1421 – 9th Month

I spent the last few days considering the proposal. And against my better judgement, I agreed. I had to be completely forthright with him, he had to understand that while it seemed he viewed me with great care, I did not share those feelings, not completely. That he was a friend, and this was merely a marriage of convenience. He seemed elated regardless, perhaps he holds hope that the words of the mother will ring true and I will come to love him as he does. Maybe some part of me thinks that too, that’s why I agreed. Even if it were true, it won’t be easy for either of us. This was not the only thing I considered these past days.

Tomorrow I return afield, I’ve spent too much time wallowing in my own guilt, this has made me realize. If Hansfelt can go through a harrowing injury and almost die himself, yet keep his faith, then mine must not be so weak. Lyris would not want this life for me, one of pity and helplessness. For her memory sake, I will return to being the strong arm of Nephtas that she knew me to be. Except this time, I won’t be so reckless. Hansfelt, as my newly betrothed, understands this. He almost seemed relieved to hear it, I wonder if my previous state of mind had been weighing on his guilt as well. He too was a survivor of that day, and yet he never once fell to the state I had. He is stronger of heart than I, of this I have no doubts. For now I rest, today has been long and tomorrow will be longer. We wed in two days before the sight of the Lady.

Year 1421 – 11th Month

I think this will be my last writing in this journal. A record of a headstrong girl who sought to face the world only to become broken by it. I have been wed now for two months, and back on the hunts a month. I kept my clan name, as did my mother before me in her own marriage. Hansfelt has fully taken to his duties as an acolyte and no longer follows me like a shadow when I am around. It is still a strange feeling to know that my hand is claimed, I still don’t feel that overcoming love that I had imagined a married couple to feel, but I must admit that I can relax a little more around him. I wonder if Lyris and my parents are watching me from Nephtas’ side, and wonder what they would say about the past year. Scold me no doubt for my weakness. No longer. I won’t return to that sad excuse for a being, nor will I return to someone so ready to throw everything and everyone away. I won’t turn away from the lives I’ve lost, they will hang over my head and stain my hands until the day I join them in the afterlife. I will strive not to lose any more.

Mark these last words as the beginning of a new Sylthana Arawn.

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