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by Arenborne on Apr 12, 2018 at 09:06 PM}
The village of Hookworth was quiet and peaceful. The trees were covered with the green leaves of a fresh spring, slowly rustling in a gentle breeze. Flowers swayed among the grass, the bright yellow daffodils, pink and white magnolias, and the small bluebells were all blooming now, bringing a sense of cheer to the small Breeland homestead. The only sounds were the trickling of the stream and rushing of the waterfall, the breeze rustling through the trees and grass, and the birds chirping, calling out to find a mate.

The peace was disturbed by the loud cracks of a sword on wood as Arenborn Kolten hacked at a training dummy. Over and over he hit it, the thuds, thwacks, and snaps filling the world around him.

The last seven months had been unpleasant, not long after his wedding he had begun to realise how soon the anniversary of one of the most important and tragic moments in his life was. The day they had left on the expedition passed and he sunk into a reclusive state, tormented by the memories of the days before the tragedy. He thought of his mentor, Sir Elmir, and every lesson he had taught him, every task he had had him complete, every time they had sparred with each other on that trip.

Each day became worse for him, as he thought of the conversations they had had about his upcoming knighting, the way he should behave for the ceremony, what he would need to do to prepare, what would happen afterwards. It only hurt Aren more to think of how he never used any of that advice.

Days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months until finally the day had come, the anniversary of his mentor’s death. The day he had lost his voice to the same brigand’s who had murdered his mentor. In the four years since it had happened, he had never struggled so hard to cope with the memories and the depression. Maybe it was because he had previously been able to drown his emotions with alcohol, or maybe it was because now he had a wife who would never meet the man who had effectively raised him, who would never hear her husband utter the words “I love you.” Maybe it was a bit of both.

After that, he didn’t get any better. He felt bad for how Inayat must be feeling, they had just got married and he had so quickly fallen into depression afterwards he knew how it must look, despite trying to explain. Not only that, but he had yet to reach the anniversary of the second worst day of his life. They day his father had banished him, sent him away to somewhere where he couldn’t besmirch the family name and reputation.

When that day came he wasn’t even able to leave the bed in the morning. He didn’t eat anything that day, one of the worst days over the last few months. When it passed though, and he began to recover, he started to think. He had missed his home so much, and despite what his parents had done to him, they were still his parents. Wouldn’t they want to know he was happily married?

He slowly came out of his depressed stupor to find himself weak, hungry, and most of all, lonely. He had barely interacted with Inayat for a long time, something he regretted immensely. They went out together, and despite left over negative emotions, their moods improved once they were in the privacy of their own home, able to enjoy their ‘reunion’ in full. As they lay together in bed, drifting to sleep, he explained what he had been feeling. That he wanted to go and see his parents. She was initially confused, and he found it hard to explain as his book was somewhere in the other room and he didn’t want to ruin the mood by going to get it. She came around to the idea and they agreed to begin their travels soon, first to visit her home, and then his.

So, the next day, Aren resumed his training. He hadn’t touched his sword in a couple of months, having stopped shortly before the anniversary of his muting and he felt it was time to get back into shape. He had a hearty breakfast and headed up to the barracks to work on his swordsmanship and fitness.

Rather than a structured training session, he found himself pummelling a training dummy with all his might, working out any remain negative emotions, anger, sadness, and guilt, letting it all go. When he finished, he found himself panting over a ruined dummy and a slightly damaged sword. He didn’t care though, for he felt better, he felt ready to make the journey to see his parents.


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