"Ha! Look at those people! It looks like their standing there as if someone wants to look at them."
Two boys walked along the streets of Bern, one about six or seven the other seven years older. The older boy walked about with a smile plastered on his face gently mocking the various nobles portraying themselves along the white paved roads. While he strolled around he kept a firm grasp on his little brother's hand.
The younger one blended in with the customary brown or blond hair and light eyes of the locals while the older one stood out with his dark green hair and tanned skin.
The pair passed one of the various public gardens and pass a noble lady walking gracefully across the carefully cropped grass like a duck through water. The little boy tilted his head in a confused fashion, "Masou, why do they wear those clothes? It looks like it'll tear in a second."
"Oh it's their way of saying 'I'm richer then you, just look at my completely unversatile clothing!' understand?" Masou answered back in pompous Sacaen.
The little brother laughed then continued staring at the various products on display at the farmer's market. He could understand some of the words that the farmers and merchants barked out at the passerbyers.
That didn't help to clear up the kid's confusion as every farmer was claiming that their product was the best in the land and 'can cure any disease'.
"Where did Father go?"
"In that old crummy book seller, you know how much Father likes those old military books. I'm just surprised that he let us come along this time."
The little boy and Masou wandered into the town square where common folk hang out to fetch water from the public fountain, talk, plot behind their lord's back, pretty much anything. The little boy was marveling at the elaborate mosaic tiling that formed colorful rings in the center of the 'square'.
Suddenly he felt his hand wrenched violently from Masou's.
His head snapped up and saw Masou with his arms pinned behind him by a large burly man. "What do you think you're doing you Sacaen mongrel?" shrieked a woman's voice among the small throng that had gathered around them.
Rutger looked up at the woman that was standing behind him startled and confused, it took a few moments for a sense of fear to cover him. Masou wrenched himself free from his oppressor ruefully glaring at the man.
"Come on Rutger, let's get out of here." he mumbled.
"Okay" This wasn't good, it took a elephant falling on him to make Masou scowl and so far Rutger hasn't seen any pachyderms.
But the locals clearly weren't done as the woman roughly pulled Rutger back as he tried to walk towards Masou. "Listen child, that's a half blooded wench from Bulgar, you don't want to go with him." she said in a sugar laced voice while her eyes contrasted harshly as she glared at Masou with the utmost hatred.
"But-" he started but was cut off by Masou.
"This kid is this half blood's brother!" he hissed as he snatched Rutger away from the woman and marched off, herding the little boy in front of him. Rutger didn't dare look back having that little kid sense that he would get slapped in the face if so.
"Um...Masou?" he asked cautiously as he tugged on Masou's sleeve. Masou shook his head and passed his hand over his eyes, "Yeah, sorry about that kid, I'm over it now."
Before either of them could say anything else a tall Sacaen walked there way bearing three or four giant weathered textbooks under his arm. "Sons! Had a good time?" despite being even toned and quiet his voice traveled like thunder.
Rutger looked down while Masou grumbled something inaudible then said, "Hmph...not coming here again that's for sure."
Masou then went on to narrate the whole event to Father who barely reacted. When he was finished Father finally spoke, "Masou, don't worry about it. Ignoring doesn't fix anything but some things you have exclude from your life. Don't worry about it, let them think what they want. You cannot change it so don't try to, no matter what happens they will never change."
Father then picked up his books and started walking off motioning for the two boys to follow him, "I know neither of you want to be despised, but that's just how this world runs. You only have to surpass the standards of your own and the ones you care about."
Masou shrugged unconvinced but followed Father with Rutger trotting next to him.
Rutger held a hand up to block the fierce light of the rising sun.
"Damn, why won't those dreams go away." he growled to himself.
Although deep down he already knew the answer to his own question. Refusing to take on his own wisdom he snatched up his sword and walked out of the ravine. Watching the sunrise and set was a tradition for Sacaens who are in need of inspiration or hope. It's a sign to Mother Earth to give you a helping hand. Another person was there too but he was looking away.
"Rutger? How are you today?"
"Still feeling the aches and pains of the last battle, but nothing else."
"What are you worried about?"
"The chief...he's too old to fight-"
"And yet he fought."
"Yes...he won't survive the next battle...obviously."
"Hm...and what are you thinking to do about it?"
Rutger crossed his arms, "You'd have better luck reasoning with a wall then a stubborn old person." he pointed out quoting Masou's description of arguing with Father. Shin didn't answer, he probably didn't have one. After all, what can you do about it? Betray your leader.....? No, there are few people worth following and Chief Dayan was one of them
Since Shin has nothing left to say Rutger turned and walked away. He kept walking without looking where he was going and only stopped when he hit a rock. If he walked any further he would've been on his way to a twelve foot dive. Looking down it was a small valley, one of those splits in the plains that you can only see if you were in a five foot radius.
There were burned spots in the grass down there along with a few scraps of metal and broken pieces of wood. There were even a few lances lying about and cooking utensils. This must've been the old Etruscan camp and they had left, retreated back a little.
But that wasn't what disappointed him, it was the dead bodies that lay around. The dead soldiers still wore their polished white armor. One of them still had a firm grip on his lance.
"What foolishness, you fight for your country and your lord, but why? What have they ever done for you? But then again only you can put a value on your life, and if you feel that it's worth something as superficial as honor, then feel free to throw it away. It's too bad that I feel such hatred against you, I can sympathize with you." Rutger mused with one of the younger looking corpses. His hand automatically the shoulder wound that he received in the last battle. "We're all as meaningless in life as we are in death, it's only the values you set that gives any point in living. What's your value? Dying in service of your country? I suppose it sounds noble, and if it gave you a feeling of fulfillment then I suppose it was worth it." He got up and smiled, the first real smile in two years. "Well thanks for listening, I guess I'll see you again someday after I end up like you do."