Weeping Knight - Continued

Reminiscence One

He approached the sword master’s house with a hesitant step, feeling very small at the moment. Over the last two years, he had learned what he could of the soldier’s trade through common conscription. He found that he was very good at standing around, marching, breaking and setting camp. As a lad of 17 now, most armies did not see the value in training one such as him beyond the most basic of instructions because the odds were stacked phenomenally against his very survival. Some of the more kindly veterans took pity on the young boy that could not be dissuaded from the soldiering life and showed him a bit more about sword work. He learned the proper care and maintenance of both sword and armor. Basics on stances and grips. Thrust, parry, riposte. None of them, though, was sword master in their own right. Their fighting styles were down and dirty and served them well, but they were rank and file styles. Those that depended on the confusion and chaos of battle to be at their utmost efficiency.
The men had taken to calling him Scholar Jerome, after the Kiandi parable about a man who sought to learn the knowledge of the world, because he incessantly tried to learn everything he could. He did not try to dissuade them in this because he had already forsworn the use of his old name and one appellation was as good as the next as far as he was concerned. He had grown confident amongst these men. While he may never have been fully accepted, it had still felt as if he had belonged.
Now he stood on the doorstep of the sword master’s abode and felt that he definitely did not belong.