"Edgar, I think I may need your help with this one," I said while trying to lift a large stone. We were gathering the stones into wheelbarrows to transport them to the building site. A dry-stone wall was being erected around the entire camp. Lots of stones of varying size and shape were needed since no mortar was being used to bind them to each other.
"I thought you were use to heavy lifting on that farm of yours," he replied.
"I've never had to build eight foot high walls on the farm."
"That may change," Edgar remarked as we both grabbed the stone.
"What do you mean?" I asked, grunting. Edgar waited to answer until we had the stone in the wheelbarrow.
"Just a rumor I heard."
Rubbing at my sore shoulder, I replied, "Rumors are best shared, you know."
"I know." He smiled. "Just making you sweat a little. Anyway, the rumor I heard is why they are building this base."
"That's no secret," I replied, waving my hand through the air. "The old base was too far away to defend the border."
"Oh, it's more than that," Edgar said, shaking his head. "I heard Handrin is stepping up their efforts. More soldiers along the border. They may be getting ready to make a move."
"It's been that way for a long time." I shrugged my shoulders. "They've always had a presence at the river. Even the occasional arrow being shot over is no surprise anymore."
"Think what you want to think, my friend," Edgar said, shrugging his shoulders as well. "We're not taking any chances, though. The rest of my family are helping at another farm that isn't so close to the border."
I pondered Edgar's rumor for a moment. A certain level of danger this close to the river was to be expected. On a clear day you could sometimes see Handrin soldiers patrolling their side of the river. It had been that way as long as my family could remember.
I didn't want to admit that the situation near Ibera's border was becoming volatile. I tried to remember how many incidents involving the river had transpired the past couple of years. I soon came to the realization that there had been more stuff going on recently. I made a remark to Edgar to that effect while we were on our way to the building site.
"See, I told you," he replied.
"Do you think an actual war is possible?" I asked, even though I had a good idea of what he was going to say.
"Sure it's possible," he replied as I expected. "Don't be surprised either if they don't let us go after this building project. Ibera will need soldiers if war is coming."
I had already been thinking about my wife and children, how they were already being affected by my absence, but the idea of being drafted into the army as a soldier brought on a whole new series of worries.