My Only Regret

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Dave Duncan. I just like to play with his characters.

I knew, when we left Chivial, that I would never see home again. I was never entirely sure that we would make it to Samarinda, but I knew I at least would never make it back. I was the insurance the King had taken out on Sir Durendal's life--give him a Blade to die in his stead, so that Ambrose's shining star would come home to him in the end. I would never have the chance to prove myself to anyone apart from Durendal.

I guess that in itself isn't so bad, but going on secret missions for the King to far off lands doesn't leave one feeling rather optimistic about their life on a whole. Especially not with a slimy, no good inquisitor along for the ride. At least most of the time we could pretend not to know him and managed to avoid having to talk to him at all, but there were times...

When Durendal became ill, it felt as if my entire world had fallen out from under me and time had frozen itself. I couldn't eat, I could hardly even think straight. All I could concentrate on was my ward and that he was sick. He was dying, and there was no enemy to kill, no way to stop it. I know he saw the relief in my eyes when his fever finally broke, yet it never changed him.

While at Ironhall, many people had compared me to him. They called me the greatest of my generation, "the next Durendal". I never paid it much heed while there, and after I left, after I truly knew the man, I knew we were nothing alike. He took more risks than I would ever imagine taking, and it saved all our lives on more occasions than one. But I knew it would be my downfall, because it was essentially not his own life he was risking. No matter how many times I tried to get him to see that though, he still never understood, not until we were running down that passage being chased by those beasts.

I can't blame him for his actions, no matter how reasonable it might sound. The King--his ward--ordered him to find out about the conjury being used. He took the chance to stay and watch, and it was our misfortune that we were betrayed. It came as no surprise to either of us, but I could see in his eyes the terrible feeling of guilt and sadness as I gave him the time to escape and survive.

Blades are born to die, and I was no different than any of the others that had gone before me. We were all men, though, and we all had the choice. I never once regretted the decisions I made, nor did I ever blame Durendal for his choices. My only regret is that I could never tell him as much.

A/N: Well, I was bored, and this just sort of came to me. Hope you all enjoy it, and please do review.