PatienceMature

The next day, Jasper went through his patrols impatiently, he couldnt sit still at lunch and didnt spend more than a few minutes at the table, unable to talk to Layla, he couldnt stand listening to Zane prattle on about different sword techniques and using a lot of very technical jargon Jasper was fairly certain Layla couldnt understand.

Soon after Zane had sat down, Jasper stood up very quickly, taking his bowl and bread with him and went back to the tunnels for his watch.

He paced back and forth anxiously, wishing something, anything, would help pass the time until dinner, then later, when everyone had gone to bed and Jasper could go to the large training grounds. He began to run basic drills through his mind, remembering what he'd learned and how he'd learned it. How he'd learned where to place his feet so he would always be balanced, how to keep his weight even between them, and how to brace against a full on attack.

Lost in thought he didnt hear the soft footsteps approaching until the man was directly in front of him. Durn, dressed in the same soft browns, greys and greens of the rebel camouflage, barely stood out against the shadowy rocks. Jasper had the feeling that the only reason he'd known he was there is that the man had chosen to reveal himself.

"What do you want, Durn?" He asked, suppressing the nearly automatic emphasis on the man's name. That sneaking suspicion that the name was a fake was not a good one to reveal. If Durn knew that Jasper suspected him to be a liar, there could be consequences.

"Only to see if I'm needed," Durn replied. Jasper looked him over, upon further inspection, the man's hands were black with soot and bandaged in places.

"Trouble in the forge?"

"Nothing Erik and I could not handle," Durn said smoothly.

Jasper thought for a moment, he'd been toying with an idea for several hours now, and supposed that now was as good a time as any to ask. Even though he didnt trust Durn, he did work in the blacksmith's, and in that case was important.

"My I ask a favor, Durn?" Jasper began.

"Perhaps," Durn was criptic, it was infuriating to Jasper, since is patience was already worn thin.

"I need you to take a message to Erik, saying that I need him to look into a kind of light armor, light and flexible enough to be worn under the clothes, but strong enough to protect against a strong sword blow. Erik is a very talented blacksmith, and I'm sure he'd be willing to take up the challenge."

"And the reason for the message?" Durn asked.

"It's none of your concern." Jasper replied through gritted teeth. "Please, just deliver the message to Erik."

The man walked away, blending into the shadows once again after a few feet. Jasper watched him go, noticing the glint of his knife in the dim torchlight some distance down the cave, before he was gone. After a few minutes, Jasper began pacing again, hoping that the message would be delivered, and that Durn would stay out of it after that. Perhaps he should have visited the blacksmith's himself instead.

The End

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