One Day Later
Elon jabbed forward with his sword, puncturing his enemy’s lung. He ducked beneath the oncoming blow before slashing through his opponent’s neck. Yet another felled by his hands.
“Still at it, I see.”
Algernon. Elon lowered his sword to his side, letting his imagined enemy fade from his mind. More often than not, he found himself envisioning fighting Akar.
Elon swiped his arm across his damp forehead. “Would you like to join me?”
Algernon grunted. “I’m not that handy with a sword, and it seems it’d be rather dangerous to spar with you at the moment.”
“I’ll take that as a ‘no.’” Elon returned to slashing his sword through the air.
After hours of practicing, his muscles felt like hot, molten metal and sweat glued his clothing against his skin. But not matter how many ‘enemies’ he fought, he still couldn’t manage to loosen the tangle of fury knotting in his chest. It felt like an eruption of heat, fire cascading over his body.
Images of Carissa’s bruised body haunted him. He was supposed to be her defender, her protector. He replayed the scenarios in his mind, but his foresight told the same things each time: if Carissa looked up, Akar would have seen her. And if she slowed her escape, Akar or his men would have caught her. And she’d done both.
Sometimes he felt foresight was a curse. No matter the choices he made or urged her to make, she could always be hurt, would always suffer. The world was too dark to preserve her from that. Or he could have confined her to the palace, preemptively saving her from every potential wound or temptation, but to do so would damage her even more than letting her venture into Esmeray.
But knowing these things didn’t always help. It still pained him—to think of both the past and the future.
Elon slowed his jabs and spared a glance towards his shared tent with Carissa.
After healing her yesterday, she’d stuck with Elisa like feathers on tar, cleaning the great stone building, serving the others food, and even going outside the walls to dump the waste buckets. This morning she’d slept in, and though a few had begun to approach their tent to seek her aid, Elon had redirected them to someone else or offered to help them himself.
His foresight flashed a warning, and Elon whipped around to face Algernon. His blade crashed so forcefully against Algernon’s that the sword flew from the man’s hand.