Fall Silently

A fantasy story by Itsasu Deauxnim

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Chapter 6

“That was a hell of a fight, huh, Tristan?” Anton asked. “Hell of a battle.”

“Aye,” Tristan answered, eyeing the infirmary tent behind Anton. “It was quite a battle.” Bodies, living and dead poured wheeled in and out of the tent, the dead laid evenly near a stack of bags. “It’s a good thing we survived.”

“Aye,” Anton answered, “I’ve been fighting for a month and this is the bloodiest I’ve seen. Those rebels are getting better.”

“There’s been more and more of them. It’s not just about battle tactics,” Tristan took a sip from his cup. “It’s much faster to train people to shoot a gun than to train them the sword, spear, or especially magic. That takes months just for the theory, I hear.”

“Yeah!” Anton said. “You’re right, you’re right… that’s clever.”

“Thank you,” Tristan said, “It was something my friend said though, not mine.”

“Where is he now?”

“Missing. Possibly dead. Maybe both.”

“Oh.” Anton said. “I see.”

Tristan put down his cup. “I’ve been away from home for three months. Been in the war total for four.”

“Much longer than I have.”

“Aye. But this is still the bloodiest day I’ve seen.”

“When are you going to go home again?”

“Not in awhile.”

“Why? Don’t you have family?”

“I do, but recall that Cain and Abel were also family.”

Tristan thought about this metaphor a bit and quickly added, “No, actually I worked pretty well with my brother, but…”

“You have a brother huh? I have a sister in the Fulrin. She’s covering for us in the back lines.”

“Really now?” Tristan asked. “That’s kind of like Andrej.”


“That friend I told you about.”

Anton nodded, but before he could say anything, Commander O’Nim stood in front of them and yelled, “Attention!”


“What?” Tristan rose after the announcement, while commotion arose among the ranks, he noticed several people getting up to object.

“That is unnecessary, Commander!” another soldier said.

“Who issued this decree?”

“My sister is a tinker! Will I have to execute her too?”

“Aye.” The Commander answered coldly. “All of them. King’s orders.”

“Are you sure this is the only way?” Tristan asked. “I thought the empire’s soldiers were supposed to be everything good! Why do we kill civilians then?”

“Save the idealism for poets, soldier,” O’Nim answered, “The men you kill in the battlefront is the same worth as any peasant or tinker.”

“But soldiers are ready to die! Doesn’t that make any difference?”

“Everyone that thinks realize that they’re all going to die anytime, even when they don’t realize it, soldier. Whether they’ve ever gotten ready to face the inevitable is their business.”

“But… but…”

“If it’s that hard for you, then think theology. The Goddess Fate must have already made whatever comes to be as an outcome. Death is one of her inevitabilities. You are simply the agent of her will.”

“This is not a topic of philosophy! This is…”

“Enough, soldier! No more questions! From anyone.” O’Nim walked back to his tent, leaving behind outraged yells of the soldiers. Some other soldiers rose up to defend the King’s decision with rebuttals and some with fists. Tristan walked away in horror to his tent, leaving the messy fight behind him. Anton followed.

“Hey, don’t get so worked up,” Anton said. “They’re just peasants. What’s more, they’re supplying rebels.”

“Let me go.” Tristan walked faster.

“You’ve been killing rebels for four months. If you’ve had an aversion to killing, you should’ve realized it before now!”

“I thought we were on the side of honor and good, Anton. I really did. Tomorrow we’re going to kill tinkers that might have nothing to do with this war.”

“Yet they may have everything to do with this war. You never know.”

Tristan kept quiet.

“Did you ever for a second think war is honorable?” Anton asked.

Tristan did not answer as he entered his tent. Anton did not follow or wait for an answer. He walked away and headed toward his own tent, sighing.


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