Talia, p. 22

I could not find Cordova, I searched in vain. I have not seen Ingavar, the market remains barren. Even the training room in the basement seems shrouded in a haze of unreality. It was here that another found me. The men of sackcloth stuffed with rags, they are my opponents now. I strike at them as if they were alive. They are men… they are wolves… they are dreams. I defeat them every time I come down here, though it often leaves me bruised and bleeding. I am tired from the exertion, from having not slept in days, but I will not stop until they have all fallen.

I hear the door behind me, and footsteps. I turn as the door closes, but there is no one there. Walking to the door I open it and call out, “Hello?”

“Hi.” The answer comes not from outside, but from behind me. I start and turn, the door swinging closed. Behind me stands a dark figure, helm obscuring his face. He is polite, at first, yet an uneasiness hangs between us. As I try to leave, he lunges ahead ensnaring the door in some mechanism. He tells me it would be death to try and leave, and I believe him. At his request, we speak for some time. Much of that is now a blur in my memories. He was threatening… and yet was not the threat. He asked questions, for which I had no answers. I was not sure if I was living or dead, if he was real or not. There was still the sense that something was not right. He was not all he claimed, but I also think he may be more. He left me, as confused as he had found me, but with a sense of need. A need to be. A need to exist, beyond the realm of death and dreams. I returned to the inn and slept untroubled for the first time in many nights. I know the dreams will come again, they always do. But I am no longer at their mercy.

When we next meet, and I know we shall, I will be ready. I will speak again, and this time there will be answers… answers and an understanding.


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