Status: Ever so slowly being updated.

Unending Trails

Opportunity's Offer

It really hadn't occurred to me how long I've been living without someone watching over me. A mother giving her stern voice to a child where they shouldn't be, or a father chuckling when he sees that his son is doing something wrong on the field. I had been free all this time —though granted I still had the officials to be careful of in camp— but the realization that I was once again under the wing of someone else had barely hit as I was walking down the street. Though it wasn't my own thoughts that reminded me, it was the playful remark that the man had given me.

As we had walked, I had taken my long chance at examining what I could about his distinct features —or at least speaking of since I had only one side to view. The right side of his face, it was... defined. Protruding cheekbones, the dark and dirty blonde stray locks of hair that had fallen out of his cap, and the side of his eye as it looked on as if he had a tight schedule.

The entire way of walking from where we had departed Mary, he had been whistling a song that I did not recognize —most likely just a tune that he had come up with on the spot. Though it wasn't long that he paused, slightly turning his head in my direction. I looked back at him, to which he had grinned.

"I'm not here to turn you in, you can calm yourself," he exclaimed, breaking the silence between us while chuckling, looking back up to the direction we were walking in.

To be quite honest, it kind of put me to ease after he had said that —regardless if I was unknowingly a criminal or not. Though I knew it wouldn't silence the others.

At least he has a sense of humor. Good to know he isn't stone-cold.

No matter how cordial, be watchful...

'Sure thing.'

Well maybe it would be more relaxing if you'd ask for a name or where we were going at the very least.

'Right, right...'

I had considered the choice of my words as to not ruin the already thin ice while I examined the apparel he had chosen to wear. Remembering on what Mary had given in her words was almost spot-on. Adorned in layers of cloth and tunic —that more so seemed to be a leather coat, straps wrapping across his back and a belt that held a number of items —some of which I saw to be a couple of pouches, a leather belt adorned with metal ornamentation —and most importantly: a sheaved sword on his left side which protruded past his cape.

'Hmm... an adventurer maybe?'

No-no, most likely a merchant.

The different layers of leather that made his tunic covered his entire upper body and abdomen, while the sleeves had stopped, allowing the sight of the sewn cloth covering the length of his arms. The sway of the overhanging coat constantly hit his legs as he walked, while the sheaved sword swayed just a little as it hung freely at the tip. Bagged sewn pants had come down to his knees as the rest was covered by his boots that also accompanied many straps and buckles around the base and top. Though just as Mary had said, it was the Tudor cap that gave off mixed feelings. It was flattened, as the side held onto a small red feather that swayed as he continued to walk. It gave the feeling that this one was confident, though new to this area's customs. One thing for sure: he wasn't from here.

I had cleared my throat and looked around —trying to make of where exactly we were before I looked up to the backside of his face and spoke.

"So who exactly are you, and where are we going?"

He slowed his speed and looked at the ground in front of me with an expression that gave off the feeling of him forming his thoughts.

"Ahh, my apologies for that," he responded lifting his head forward and staring at the clouds just above the stone wall. "The name's Alton. Alton Gallierre. Traveler of the many, and seeker of the mysterious. I've come to meet with you, and so that is what we will be doing."

Traveler? Explains a lot, but not of why we're with him.

We had walked far enough to be not far from the gate where I had originally come through from the camp, and suddenly everything around me became clear to me again. I wasn't alone in walking with the man, because I knew that the comfortable feeling was again walking beside me —seeing me out.

"Say, Liam, I've heard from the lovely lady that you are one for travel," he asked as he turned his head towards me, though this time his eyes were on me.

And here I thought Mary was trying to warn us...

"Well, you heard right. Enlisted into the training regiment —Silver Rising, not far from the east wall."

"Yes-yes, so I have heard. And that is exactly why I have come to meet with you. It is crucial to my studies that you accompany me south of Tierredaviid, where I'm currently holed-up." He paused as he slowed even further and turned his head in front of me to the ground. "For that to happen, you'd have to disband from the militia."

I had looked up from where I was walking to the side of his stubbled face and tried to take in his words. Excited at first, I had calmed myself to a point of hesitant curiosity.

This is it! This is the opportunity we've been waiting for. All this time and-

Wait-wait-wait. Wait a minute, you can't just jump into something like this without knowing everything.

"Accompany you south?"

"Mm-hmm. Convenient that you are exactly what I need. I can give you what you've wanted for so long, and even more."

We had walked under the same massive stone archway that I had passed earlier and were met with the funneling of the same people doing their routine. The man continued walking down the worn path that had almost entirely transitioned to worn gravel and dirt.

" 'More'? Can you give a little bit more of some context?" I curiously asked.

By now, we were side by side, and immediately I had noticed that I came up to his chin.

"Here's the deal. I don't want to be too hasty —and I'm sure we can agree on that. My travels have led me south of Tierredaviid after what had happened," he paused as his eyes met with mine. "Though I can't reveal too much, I can say that if you are to come with me —which I strongly urge you to do so— it would mean the world to me, and perhaps even for you in return.

He paused and looked around and over his shoulder, prompting me to do the same, "Forgive my sudden approach like this. I didn't want it to feel too urgent with too much information, so I'll hold off for now. I'm short on time, as I have somewhere else to be... but if you agree, then I'd advise that we should meet at this gate again tomorrow."

I had slowed as I had taken all of it in. It had surprised me more that he had such urgency for such a proposition.

" 'Tomorrow'? Why so quick?" I had responded, raising my eyebrows.

He had again met my pace and stared off into the distance. "The earlier we could get to my studies, the better."

He stopped walking altogether —as did I, and turned his face to me once again, meeting his eyes with mine. "There's a lot that you do not know, my boy. You are clueless in the face of true freedom. Too much potential kept for a future spot in an army that will lead you to heaven knows where."

He had looked up to find the sun while putting a hand up to shield his eyes from most of the light, and back down to me again, resting his right arm while his left was atop the pommel of the sword he carried on his hip.

"Think about it..." he had said, letting a soft smile as he began to continue walking away with his overhanging coat hitting the back of his legs. Before he was too far though, he had turned back towards me as he began to walk backwards slowly.

"If you plan to go, be sure to bring anything of value, and say your goodbyes. Remember, at the gate tomorrow morning."

He let out a swift motion of a two-finger salute before he turned again and continued walking, leaving only the whistling of his song to my ears as it became ever-so quiet and distant.

A short echoing bellow had enveloped my mind, and my focus had shifted from the man walking away, to the ground beside me.

Mind yourself. I will say again, no matter how cordial, be watchful...

It's already decided. I wouldn't know why you'd think of anything else of it being a problem. We have been granted this opportunity for the taking. Coincidental? Maybe; lucky? you betcha.

I couldn't deny that I was at the very least excited. Maybe this was luck that such an opportunity came to someone like me. Regardless of what it was, I knew I would plan to take advantage of it. Curiosity was the added bonus, but I had my eyes set on getting the hell out of here to taste something different.

I had stared in the direction that he had gone, and was unable to spot him any more through the people that were also walking around the area. I turned my head to the direction of the camp and started walking, paranoid of what I was missing. More importantly, anxious with what was now on my mind, anticipating of what was to come tomorrow; that was if I decided to go.