Chapter Six - Proclamations .1Mature

          "GET OUT OF BED YOU LAZY FUCKS!"

          What a pleasant sound to awaken to. Nothing says rise and shine like some over-striped, red faced, narcissistic asshole bellowing with all of his might. How he'd been promoted to Sergeant, Jon would never guess. But it wasn't his place to guess, or even think for that matter. He was to follow orders. He got out of bed.

          Sergeant Vector was still screaming as Jon donned studded leather jerkin, woolen breeches and his combat boots which fit just right. Sixteen years of grueling training had worn his soul, but not his soles. The leather of his boots was softened by use and fit his feet like lock-and-key.

          Outside his battalion's barracks, the camp rang to the song of steel. Blunted swords and battle axes caught the sheen of the morning sun as they danced and kissed across the tourney fields. With the prospect of campaign and conquest so close, soldiers old and young sought to sharpen their skills with dull blades. Jon never saw the point in training with softened steel. He joined nonetheless. A bruise today beats disembowelment tomorrow.

          A veteran of over a dozen campaigns, Jon Crosby was well known amongst the Dragon's Infantry. Corporal Crosby was one of the only men to have served in all three branches of the Rhygarean host: Infantry, Archery, and Horse. While he enjoyed the relative safety a longbow offered and the tremendous advantage of an eight-hundred pound destrier, nothing could compare to the euphoric thrill of belly to belly warfare. 

          As Jon entered the training grounds, most all of the fighters paused to address the seasoned warrior. A few sparring partners took advantage of this opportunity to land jarring blows on their distracted opponents. Interesting, Jon thought.

          "You, you, and you," pointing to the three men who landed sly blows, he beckoned them forward and grabbed a blunted spear, which was no more than a long, slender oakstaff. "Let's see your progress," he grinned. "And don't think you will be catching me unawares."

The End

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