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Apr 23

Chapter 12: Part 3 – A Weight to Bear

Chapter 12: Part 2 - Corrupted Gods

“We have been stalled for long enough,” Angel said while picking herself off the ground. Her great sword reflected light across my face as she made to stow it. It was a natural reaction for her, but she must have remembered where we were as she was performing the action and opted to keep it by her side instead.

Tobih stood up from his crouched position, “I agree. It’ll be better if we keep moving forward. There are advantages to fighting in an area like this, but I’m afraid we won’t reach our destination if we just sit here.”

At least an hour or two had passed since we saw the bird flying overhead. All of us had been silent throughout so that we would be able to hear any approaching enemies. I couldn’t sit down with the adrenaline I felt rushing in my veins; in the end I had stood and watched the horizon in front of me.

“I don’t want to be out here during the night, either.” I scratched my arm and surveyed the land around us once more. Ahead of us, in the path of the road, stood circular structures, obviously crafted by men.

“None of us do,” Angel sighed and started marching forward towards the stone creations. Tobih picked up two bags and tossed them across his shoulders and waited for me to do the same with my bag before leaving.

I adjusted my bag as we walked. When it was finally comfortable enough I turned to Tobih and asked,”Your armor… Is it heavy?”

He looked up towards the sky, his black locks falling over silver metal, and thought of his answer. When he found it he turned his face to mine, “At first it was. I was started out on chain mail and that felt like wearing a child on my shoulders. Eventually, on top of that, I was given a chest piece to wear over it. It was just a piece of metal held on with a leather strap,” he motioned up and down his shoulder where the strap would have clasped,” right here.

When I left, I began looking into plate mail because I liked the breastplate so much. Piece by piece I paid for my own armor after that. It started out with gloves and every few months I’d have enough to pay for a new piece. I think I was so used to the chain mail that when I started putting on the plate mail, I didn’t really think about heavy it was.”

“So how much does it weigh?” I probed him to talk more under the ruse of wanting more information. Tobih seemed so passionate about the subject that it helped ease my mind. I could sit here and talk to him for hours because I thought it was fun to watch him speak.

Tobih picked at the armor for a moment, “I think it’s probably around sixty pounds or more.”

“Wow, that’s a lot!” It was like looking at him in an entirely new light. Underneath all that metal he was honestly really small so it surprised me to learn that the could carry all of that weight and more on a daily basis. “I bet it’s nice to get out of at the end of the day.”

His eyes moved from me to the road ahead and then back to me. One of those genuine Tobih smiles creeped up on his face and he scratched his head,”Yeah.” He laughed a little, “It feels like forever since I’ve been able to do that.”

“Would you excuse me for a minute?” Tobih broke the current conversation but I nodded anyway. He ran up ahead and spoke to Angel, who stopped in her tracks and rolled her eyes as Tobih finished what he had to say. After that I watched as he walked off of the path and towards distant rock formation.

“What’s he doing?” I approached Angel as well and asked.

She shook her head as she peered ahead towards the rocks Tobih had disappeared behind, “He had to pee.”

“Oh.” Even in Orr some natures still called.

I looked Angel up and down and decided to ask her the same question I did for Tobih, “How much does your armor weigh?” I knew it couldn’t be much because there wasn’t a lot there to begin with.

“Enough.” It was the type of answer I had learned to expect from her but it still killed all hope of conversing with her.

I kicked at the dirt on our path and looked ahead to the structures ahead of us once more. This road eventually turned to stairs that cut through the center of one of the stone rings. I couldn’t see the other side at all.

Tobih returned as I studied the road ahead. ‘All set?” Angel asked him and waited for his response.

He straightened the armor around his waist and adjusted the bags on his back, “I think so.”

“What does that mean? “I think so.” Do you have some left?” She teased and showed a rare smile after slapping a hand against his back. He returned her smile with his own.

As soon as she turned her back to lead our party again, Tobih grabbed my hand and held tight. On his gloves were streaks of blood. They were barely noticeable, but it was clear to me that he had tried to wipe it all off.

‘Please afford me this, Claire.” He looked down to me with a serious face. At that point it wasn’t just the blood or his words that worried me, but instead his pale face.

Chapter 12: Part 2 - Corrupted Gods
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