I ran up and down the lines, letting out a blood-curdling shriek, our Company war cry. Their armor glinted in the sunlight, gold as they reflected the yellowing grass, screaming louder even than I. They made as much noise as they could, banging swords on shields, stomping feet on the ground. The enemy looked ill at ease; we were not as organized, but that gave us the option to reassess the situation at a moment’s notice. Another thing: We trusted one another. If I gave an order, they obeyed without question. The enemy, from some far off world, did not know each other; they had doubt. Plus we had our Magic, and our single most important weapon: Niolas and Lionel…

I woke out of a dead sleep, shrieking. We had won that battle. And the next, and the next. But we still had the war to contend with, and it was following me into my sleep. I breathed out a sigh, silent, but apparently my shriek had brought Lionel to my tent. “Shenn, you must stop fretting about the Vardik Empire. We do not need you out of commission because of sleep deprivation, my dear.” He said gently, and I sighed. Lionel…He was soft-spoken, a healer, and when he said something you paid attention. He was a good match for Niolas. Niolas! Now there was a hothead with one hell of a destructive temper; he was the war-mage of our company. Lionel kept him in check, and his simple presence seemed to calm even Niolas’ most towering rage. Although, when Lionel was hard pressed he caused twice the destruction, because he couldn’t control his power to kill as he could his power to heal. Niolas couldn’t heal very well, but he could kill with an easy flick of the wrist. It was all in how you were trained; Niolas was of the Korani tribe of elves, who took pride in their battle training. Lionel was from the Nevari tribe, who trained as mild-tempered druid-healers. I had seen Lionel charm animals before; it was the closest I had ever come to calling magic unnatural. Animals shouldn’t be that fond of a person.

“I can’t help it, Lion. You know that. I worry, just like any other person.” I said, and he nodded compassionately. “I know. I’m going to put you sleep, Shenn. I know you don’t like it, but you will rest better.” He said, and I sighed. I knew that he was right; but I just couldn’t bring myself to like be spelled to sleep. “All right, Lion. How is…How is Niolas?” I asked hesitantly; He had caught an arrow to the chest in the last battle. Lionel snorted. “Niolas! Stubborn, insisting on pushing himself when he should be taking it easy. I can’t seem to drill into his brain how important his rest is.” He said, his voice tinged with well disguised worry. I had known him long enough to catch it; Niolas I couldn’t read, not at all. When he wasn’t in a temper, that is. “Jesus. He can’t seem to stop, can he?” I said, and Lionel nodded slowly in agreement.

The End

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