I had forgotten how irritating Itan’s voice was, and I had also forgotten how easily I could ignore it. Once I had recovered from my injuries, I received an unusual sight once I had returned to my warband. Quite a few of them had actually seemed happy to see me, going as far as to asking how I was feeling and if I was ready to cut down some more Flame Legion. I was surprised enough as it is with all the questions, I was uncertain as to how to answer. Luckily Garfas appeared at the right moment and answered most of them for me. Everything appeared to be going back to normal until Itan showed up. He seemed especially upset today, and I was the easiest target in sight.
In record time, I was bombarded to a sound that I found more unpleasant than Thoc testing out his new explosives. I actually used the memory to drown out Itan’s bellowing. I remembered vividly how the fused hissed even when we had taken cover behind a shelter of Thoc’s design. Sometimes the shelter would not hold, resulting in a bit of singed fur. On one occasion we were testing a rocket, once the timer had went out the blasted contraption began to screech as it took off. Then it flew towards our position, with wide eyes we both looked at each other knowing very well what the next move should be.
Running as fast as our four limbs would allow us to, we heard the shrieking stinger closing in.
“It would have been nice to tell me that the rocket was heatseeking!” I spat.
“It was a side feature I slapped on. I didn’t think it would actually work!”
“Thoc, you’re an idiot!” With every passing second the device drew closer, while Thoc rummaged through his coat. Drawing out a grenade he pulled the pin and held it in his hand for a few seconds. murmuring to himself he tossed the grenade and and it exploded into a thick viscous substance that was set aflame as soon as it struck the floor. We both dived to the floor, hearing the rocket scream past us and finally diving towards the more intense source of heat. We covered our heads and waited for the imminent impact.
That explosion was more intense than what any flame shaman could have conjured up. upon glancing back at my friend, all he had to offer was a sheepish grin.
“We got lucky,” I murmured to myself, forgetting that Itan was right in front of me.
“Lucky?” hissed the legionnaire. “That’s not how you say INCOMPETENT, soldier!”
“Legionnaire,” interjected Garfas. “Don’t you have some duties for us?” The large white charr, despite being about a head taller, approached Itan with as much caution as possible. The slightly smaller grey charr released an audible huff and and retrieved his orders from his pockets.
“We have a salvage mission men,” he said. “Should be simple. Just fetch a bit of lost equipment from our legion, wouldn’t want Ash to get it before us now would we? I’m sending Thoc, Cinder, and Garsh.”
“What of everyone else?” I asked.
“This operation needs to be handeled with subtlety. Something someone like you wouldn’t understand.” I glanced over at Thoc who was currently tinkering with one of his grenades. He pulled the pin out by accident and in a panic shoved his screwdriver into the casing, he then gave a sigh of release. I rolled my eyes.
“Garfas!” called out Itan. the white charr became rigid.
“You’re on the smith duty, we lost a shipment of weapons and we need to mitigate the losses as much as we can. Bring Anavari with you, he needs to build some muscle.” With that all the other charr that had not been selected for the mission returned to their other less exciting chores. Garfas motioned me to follow.
“I didn’t know you could smith weapons,” I said as I caught up to the larger charr, a bit of a smirk appeared on his face.
“It’s a hobby I started since the fahrar,” said Garfas. “I know enough to make decent weapons so Itan has me craft some for the iron legion from time to time.”
“You’ve never talked about it before,” I pointed out.
“Um…” began the charr hesitantly. “Not everyone likes to hear me talk about blacksmithing. I sort of start running my mouth, and then they get bored.”
“That’s no excuse for not telling me,” I prodded a bit annoyed. “I explain how magic works all the time to you with complicated explanations and diagrams and you still listen.”
Garfas seemed taken aback.
“You want to hear me talk about metal and smithing?” he asked. I nodded. So once we arrived to the forge, Garfas demonstrated how much knowledge he actually had about blacksmithing. He pointed at all the tools that were around the workshop and told me what they were for. He started taking out a series of materials he had brought with him, and stated their purpose. This was the longest I had heard him talk without me having to encourage him. The words simply flew out of his lips, genuine elation dancing within them. As as much as he was trying to hold back on his excitement, I could see it in his eyes, it was an intriguing sight. I sat by him, listening to everything he would say. Even when he started working on the new weapons, he would continue to speak about what metals he thought were best for weapons, how satisfying the clang of a hammer striking metal felt.
I watched as he worked on crafting blades and axes, while the heat of the forge radiated and made the metal glow with intensity. I would help by throwing the treated blades with water, and assemble a few of the pommels and grips. I was surprised to find myself doing very little of the talking that day, though I found that my friendship with Garfas had grown in its own way. It seemed that Itan’s plan to make the evening unpleasant for me had backfired.
Once we had finished making as many weapons as we could with the materials at hand, Garfas and I decided to split up for the day. He would turn in the weapons and I would avoid Itan for the rest of the day. I happily made my way to Mara’s. After our usual greeting, I decided to relax and read a bit more of my book. Upon reading a passage I released an audible chuckle.
“Found something humorous?” asked Mara as she brought the usual tea set.
“A passage on this book,” I sad and began to read out loud. “I am always under the firm belief that those who are influenced by emotion are idiots. Emotions get in the way of our goals and can end up being our downfall. That being said, magic, despite being an intellectual endeavor, is heavily influenced by emotion. If we ourselves do not feel a driving force behind our spells then the result will be a pathetic excuse for a plague blast. Sometimes it is required to become an idiot for something or someone.”
“Smart words,” said Mara before drinking some tea.
“So you agree?” I asked closing my book.
“I never said that,” I answered. “I would just like to hear your opinion.”
“Sometimes we need something to fight for,” said Mara with a shrug. “and if it does not make you stupid sometimes, then it is probably not worth the trouble.”
I leaned against the couch, pondering the words. Once again I found myself wondering what I myself fought for. Why I bothered to wake up in the morning and power through the tediousness of my duties. Being a charr meant that everything I did was for my legion, that it should come first to me. But it didn’t.
Thinking to myself the obvious thoughts approached me. I would fight for my warband, for Mara, Thoc, and Garfas. I would most likely let Itan die however. Would I become an idiot for them though? Of that I was uncertain.
“Thinking is never simple,” I said.
“Huh, simple cub. It took you this long to make such a discovery?”