Jack

fallsilently


Fall Silently

A fantasy story by Itsasu Deauxnim


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Chapter 3
Jack
fallsilently

Tristan Steinheim walked out of the Wulfingard manor, having informed Andrej’s father of his disappearance—maybe death.

“I’m sorry, Natasha,” Tristan said to Andrej’s sister. Natasha Wulfingard, still in her mage regalia, nodded.

“I’m sorry I had to drag you out of the Fulrin Guild headquarters so I can tell you this news with your father.”

“Nay,” Natasha said, her tears clearing up. “Think not about it. I appreciate the thought.”

“Should I stay awhile longer?”

“No, but do tell the Fulrin and the guildmaster that I will be on leave for some time.”

“But why?”

“Andrej used to take care of father inbetween his education in the Academy. He planned to take care of father too inbetween his deployment, with me to keep him company once in awhile. But now…”

“I understand.” Tristan nodded. But something else had also been bothering him at the time.

“But then,” Tristan continued, “Why not hire a servant? A butler or a maid? Surely you can afford their wages.”

“Aye, but father does not trust commoners to work in his house,” Natasha answered. “He worries for his precious heirlooms.”

“I see.” Tristan answered. “Well, Natasha, I must be going now. Once again, my condolences.”

“Goodbye, Tristan, may we see each other again.”

“I’ll relay your message to the Fulrin.”

“Thank you, Tristan, goodbye.” As Tristan walked outside the beautiful garden, Natasha locked the gate behind him and walked back to the mansion.

He got on his horse and sped to the Fulrin Mages Guild, informed Natasha’s situation, and sped back to Steinheim Mansion.

The horse whinnied as he stopped suddenly in front of the gates. “Alan! Open the gate!”

“Yes, sir.” Alan the butler unlocked the gate and opened it wide. Tristan rode his horse inside and dismounted while Alan locked the gates again.

“Welcome home, Master Tristan. Shall I take Percival to the stables?”

“Yes, Alan, thank you.” Alan took Percival by his reins while Tristan ran back inside the mansion.

“Oh, welcome home, Tristan.” His mother greeted him the moment he stepped inside. “Is the war over so soon?”

“I’m on leave,” Tristan answered. “I was sent here to relay Andrej’s disappearance to House Wulfingard.”

“Andrej has disappeared?”

“Aye.”

“So sad,” Nell Steinheim did not show any emotional weight to her words. Tristan dared not to comment.

“Is Grigori in his room?”

“As always. Won’t you take your armor off first before seeing him?”

“Nay.” Tristan walked toward the room on the far left of the hallway.

“The boy never learns,” remarked his mother.

“Grigori,” Tristan said as he opened the door. “How are you? Did they treat you well?”

“Tristan!” Tristan’s little brother lay on his bed. “I’m okay. Mother and father have been kind. How about you?”

“What?” Tristan asked. “Nothing can hurt your big brother! I’m all right!”

Though Tristan will never tell him about that bullet he had to catch with his thigh.

“I’m glad, brother. I was worried.”

“You don’t need to worry about me! I’m Tristan Steinheim, holder of the great Steinheim blood! We’re invincible!”

“I’m not,” Grigori coughed. He took a drink from the bedside table, drank a pill, and smiled.

“Of course you are! You’ll get better. Hey, and when you do, and this war is over, we’ll play together again, okay?”

“Okay.”

*****

“Here,” Andrej handed Camellia a piece of paper after writing on a stack of books Camellia brought. “These are basic runes you need to memorize.” In it contained the symbol for basic actions like 'eat, drink, sleep, and phonetic morpheme symbols.

“To me, these are nothing but chicken scratch.”

“Aye, but…”

“They look like chicken scratch as well. Are you sure you know how to write?”

“Do you desire to read or do you not?”

“Fine, I will be a good student.”

“Anyway, once you are able to read everything on this paper, we will consider your first lesson complete.”

“There are a lot of things here for me to memorize!”

“Hey, that's nothing. Do you realize how many symbols this language has? One for each word. You're barely scratching the surface. Get to it." Andrej began to rummage through the books while Camellia grudgingly memorized each chicken scratch symbol.
 

*****

“Do you have to go today, brother?” Grigori asked, seeing after three days, his brother donned again his full armor.

“Aye, a knight’s job is never done.”

“Will you come here again?”

“Of course I will!”

“Will you come back soon?”

“That I cannot promise, Grigori.”

“Oh.”

“I’ll try to come back as soon as possible.”

“Good luck, brother. May the God Power protect you.”

“And may the Goddess Mercy heal your illness.”

Tristan closed the door behind him upon seeing his parents, Gerard and Nell Steinheim face him. “What do you two want?”

“Son,” Gerard began. “Don’t come back here for awhile.”

“Why?”

“Stay in the battlefield. Slay peasants and carve a good name for the Steinheim family.”

“Nay, father, I’d rather be here than in that accursed, bloody place.”

“If you make us a good name and become the King’s successor, you can hire the best of clerics to cure your brother!”

“Father, there are at the very least ten families striving for the king’s favor.”

“Do you not understand, son,” Nell said, “That this benefits us all, including your brother?”

“I am going, mother.” Tristan said, walking toward the front door.

“If you keep going forward and not turn back, you might find the cure to your brother’s ailment in distant lands. Better chances of so than coming back here every month or so.”

Tristan stopped dead as his hand touched the knob.

“Carve the peasants and stay alive for long. Maybe a miracle would happen. Think about it, Tristan dear.”

“Do you expect me to trust you in his matters after what you’ve done?” Tristan asked.

“Tristan! We…”

Tristan walked out the door and slammed it shut


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