Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 21 - The Fate of a Foe

The sound forced open my eyes but I dared not move.  My groggy mind interpreted it as the howling of the Nemesis Wolf.  Surely he was still lurking outside?  But it was just the wind.  I must have wanted my revenge for I had dreamed about him all the night.  As any real man would, I wanted another chance to discharge a volley of kicks, swings, and jabs at the only creature I had not defeated.  I wanted to win.  I laid there rehearsing my attack as the whistling sounds of the wind and falling pebbles filled the corridor of the dark cave.

Feeling more awake, I rose and peered around the corner towards the light of a fresh new morning.  All seemed safe.  Approaching the light I noticed one of my crops was yellow and ready for harvesting.  I emerged from the entrance of Refugio clutching my short sword and cautiously looking  from left to right.  And then I saw him!  He was only a few feet from me as if he had been waiting next to the cave all night.  Only... he wasn't looking at me as fiercely as the day before.  I gripped my sword tightly the moment my eyes met him, but then softened the tension of my right hand as my shoulders sank.  I stood there for a moment trying to discern what feelings were stirring in my soul.  I think I was first defensive then shocked and angry.  But those feelings strangely morphed into what I can only describe as... pity.  The Nemesis, my black and viciously hated foe, had been bested in the night by someone better than us both.  So thoroughly had he died.  His bloody carcass and missing front paw, the one my foot knew so well, was testament to how much he wanted to live.  His glazed-over eyes were fixed towards the Dragon Fang and his pelt was deep red and matted.  Who did this!  Why didn't I wake up?  I looked for tracks but found none.  There was only the wind, my single little yellow crop, and me to attend his funeral.  Rounding the corner of the wall, I stepped through the battle gate to meet my foe for the last time.  I stooped down and swatted at the flies circling his body.  They had no right to be there!  Strangely, he looked more like a dog than a wolf.  Perhaps he was the offspring of some chance meeting in the forest.  I forced his eyelids shut and slowly stroked his head.  If circumstances had been different and had my skills at animal taming been sufficient, he could have slept in Refugio with me rather than face his fate outside.  I dug a hole and placed him ceremoniously inside.  I covered my enemy-turned-friend and vowed to remember him.  Blue flowers placed in the spot would mark his resting place forever.

I tended and harvested another wemp crop, sowing the ground with cotton in its place.  Refugio, my cave and my home, was creating memories for me.  I looked around at the rolling hills and flowers dotting the forest floor.  I decided to do some foraging and botanizing in hopes of gaining a few more healing cover ingredients.  If only I had heard the noise of the battle!  I shook off my thoughts.  Life is harsh but looking back is harsher still.  I determined to move forward, accepting the gift of 1.0 fighting skill from Nemesis.  That would be his legacy - that I had fought him and loved him too.

The rest of the day was spent piddling around the cave.  I guess I didn't really feel like doing much.  Sometimes life in Wurm is as busy as anyone can imagine.  Other times, making a plank seems like a chore.  But by days end, I had focused once again on my adventure and my objectives.  Tomorrow would be a new day and I was happy to be alive to see it.

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