I have taken residence beneath the Seneschal’s stationed home here in the Valley of Four Winds. It took a bit of bargaining on my part, but I believe the offer to assist on her crusade to grow every known vegetable known to Pandaren as many times as possible has convinced her that I may have some value here. She has of course made sure to lock herself away from view so that I do not get any ideas, but I am certain she understands that my being here is not for pleasure in the least bit. It is the last thing on my mind this evening.
I have come here on numerous occasions over the last few weeks to watch her work. My curiosity was sparked when I noticed her presence was never at any of the meetings conducted by the Archon in Pandaria. After much searching, I found her working diligently at this little farm. Knees dusty and skin tacky with dirt, she takes absolute and complete pride in spending her days and nights tending to the patch of earth granted to her by the locals. It was a curious thing to see the second in command of the Sunguard put such dedication to something that is perhaps menial in the grand scheme of things. I asked her once why she preferred this lifestyle when there are battles to be fought and won. She refused to tell me. What I was able to get out of it was that she enjoyed doing what she did and that it did not stop her from doing what she needed to within the Guard. She made that quite apparent on a number of occasions when disputes broke out over the intercom. Still, I have been confused as to why someone of her status wasted it away living like a common peasant.
Today, I think I am beginning to understand the reason.
Strange how my first thought today was to fly out here and remove myself away. Away from the lies, the disappointments, and everything that has made me … well, words cannot describe what I am feeling. It isn’t good, that much is certain. All I know is at this very moment I wish for nothing than to be alone.
My first instinct today was to flee. I have a tendency to do that when things get haywire on land and the sea calls for my return. I wanted to throw my tabard away, finish my ship, gather men willing to sail with me, and be off on another adventure never to return for some years or whenever I damn well pleased. Yet for the first time in a long time, I told myself that I can’t. Sure, some years ago such a decision would be easy. Yet so much has changed over the course of two years that I find myself unable to just drop everything and leave.
I am a Sunward now. A rank granted to those who have completed their trials and earned the respect of the Archon and his commanding officers to service him. My rank has granted me the title of “The Wratih” and my position has appointed me as the new leader of the division of Farstriders and Pathfinders within the Guard. I never imagined reaching such a status, yet it seems my time here has earned the respect of some of the notable members within this order. I would wager it is because the Archon and I think on the same wavelength on some degree. It is why he is entrusting me with missions that do not call for playing fairly and may require getting my hands dirty. Something that I am not a stranger to. Maybe I was wrong to assume this … Sunguard was for people who walked a righteous path. It is clear to me now that they cater to individuals from all walks of life and leave out no one. It is weird of me to write how I feel comfortable in my new position. It is even stranger feeling as if I am … home.
Yet my recent success has been dulled due to events that were perhaps, just maybe, in my control. Time had allowed me to finally see something I had been blind to and wished to share with a being I thought of as a close friend. Friend. That title is not used for many if any. There are only three I can perhaps see in such a light and this person was certainly high on that rank. I felt compelled to share with her something that I had …I had only recently began to see. I had thought that by admitting to it, it would allow me to have closure and move forward knowing that it was not to be. After all, I had managed to do so for so long and handle myself with absolute dignity. Surely by admitting to it would change nothing. I was so very wrong. Somehow I suppose sharing this side of myself was upsetting. Or maybe disgusting. Or … maybe just overall disruptive to her life in general where all her words meant absolutely nothing. Close friend? Trusted? Life somewhat better with me in it as her friend? What complete bull.
I don’t know. I don’t know. That is what kills me the most that I cannot figure out for the life of me what did I do wrong. I trusted her with my private thoughts, my affairs, and even more so the rights to care for the woman I have been “seeing” officially. How then could after all of that I have done immediately think low of me in an INSTANT! I thought she understood I thought maybe this would make our bonds stronger because I accepted how I felt and respected the boundaries that have been set. I wanted and asked nothing more. Yet somehow I suppose even knowledge is a threat to others who lack self control.
An entire year tossed away. For whatever reason she decided to let that bridge between our worlds set ablaze. I have never been so insulted, so betrayed, and so outraged. After everything, has it come this? Did my respect earn the bitter howls of her pet? I do so enjoy the bark of a beast whose teeth can barely sink into the flesh of a fish. To send her dog after me as though I committed some fiendish crime that needed repercussion – I was suddenly the scum of the earth. Was I now suddenly a scoundrel that needed to be handled because my words were that upsetting? I am perfectly aware of my reputation and what it seems to outsiders. That does not in the least bit mean I regard everyone in the same manner, and for her to believe that was the case, well …
I do not understand why he referred to Cere’thien as a toy. It was as if the last few months they had spent working together behind my back was no longer of importance. She was as much a culprit as I was and needed to be dealt with – what sense was there in that? To even involve her? Fine, incriminate me, but leave those who were not part of it out of it. I ask you what sort of insecurity compels a person to burn the bridges of not one but two individuals that had no connection to what was being cried for their own fear that they may very well lose another? Have all that I have done said NOTHING about how I regard either of them? If I had wanted to do something so foul as to ruin a person’s marriage I would have done so long before and without a bat of an eye. Clearly that message was not transparent enough. It is a shame that some would only see an enemy before seeing a friend. It is my fault … for not seeing it sooner.
Then they wonder why I think the way I do and treat others in the manner that I have. Because none have ever shown they are deserving of respect and continue to remind me that my own people are backstabbing, selfish ingrates who only think for themselves and nothing more. I was reminded of that today. The feeling was as raw and fresh as the day I encountered it in my youth some centuries ago when a family I entrusted with my life turned it’s back on me. I was wrong to believe I could … trust again. I was absolutely wrong to think that my own kind was worth giving a chance. Have I done NOTHING to be repented for my sins?! Am I forever to live in this life being seen for what they THINK they know of me and nothing else? I will not stand for it I will not have it and I would sooner cut off my arm before I let ANYONE AGAIN come so close to BEING SO NEAR TO—
The ink splattered viciously across the paper as the end to the quill snapped. Damn. It was a good thing there were plenty of spares. With much haste another quill was retrieved from the drawer and quickly dabbled with ink to continue where he left off. A sigh was released to still his nerves. If he was to write he needed to do so without taking it out on his writing instruments.
Perhaps I am … out of date with rules of matrimony due to the changing of times, but I do not remember marriage meaning roles being seen to the point of playing hound and master. No matter. It is a reminder why marriage itself is a fool’s game.
Since that encounter, I have been feeling ver bitter and hostile. Cere’thien attempted to offer me words of comfort, but I quickly shunned it. Her heart was pure and intentions equally so, but I knew if I wanted to salvage anything with the people who remain in my life, I needed space and immediately. I did not want to take it out on her. And yet … I did. Unintentionally, I did. I excused myself repeatedly only to have her stubbornly follow. It led to an outburst or two before she finally realized I needed to leave. I was simply in no frame of mind to talk. I wish she understood that … and yet she did not.
I do not love that woman.
I know that now and it pains me to say it. I thought that maybe perhaps I did. That my longing desire to keep her guarded away from other men was surely a sign. It was not. If I am to ever love again like so many seem to do freely it is not something that can simply be forced on its own. It takes time and plenty of … things that I favor and look for. Things I was searching for in Cere’thien and have yet to see. I thought that maybe if I pretended or tried that somehow, just maybe, I could allow myself to find happiness by forcing it out. I wanted what everyone else wanted for me. I should have let our arrangement stay how it was and let time decide if it was to go further. Yet my own foolish thinking may have very well ruined a perfectly good friendship. Or rather not quite ruin, but … one cannot simply go back.
I know my words hurt her. I could tell. Just the look on her face and the additional stuttering in her voice said it all. I did not mean to hurt her, it was never my intention to. Yet if I wanted to be clear my words had to be free of sugar coating and completely raw. You know, I think she knew for a while my feelings were not as strong as hers. She did not in the least bit seem surprised when I said it. I think she was merely waiting for me to accept it or say it out loud rather than run away and pretend. There is a lot she simply ‘knew’ yet kept to herself. It is a marvel how that woman works. Her intelligence and patience goes well beyond her age and then some. In my youth when I knew of her, I am certain if we were to be arranged together the marriage would have been perfect. Yet it is sad to say that my younger self is more her type than what I am today.
She is … a good woman. A perfect woman for any worthy man of equal status. Why is then that I cannot see myself to be that man? I do not have the status, for one. At least not anymore. I don’t know. I still do not know. Foolish decisions have put me in a position where now I must go back and start all over.
I have separated myself from it all. I have pushed it all away and will go forth pretending that it never once existed. I want nothing more than to bury myself away into work and tell myself that time will dismiss it. It is all I can think of now and the reason I came here to the Valley. I understand now why the Seneschal works so diligently here. Here she can escape the problems of the world and think of nothing else but her work. Maybe by allowing myself to become the woman’s grunt and suffer her insufferable commands and insults, I can bury away the events that took place today and return haven forgotten what took place so that I may move forward … and forget.
I seem to have a habit of making terrible decisions. I have been a fool. I can only imagine what my—
The parchment was suddenly torn when a hand snatched it away from the table it was being used to write upon. “What the–?!”
“Ooo, are we writing? What about?” said Aestiah
The devil knew precisely what he was going to next write about, for there in the room stood none other than Aestiah.
For a moment the Ranger only stared, half baffled that she had managed to find her way inside. “What are you…?
“Let’s see, blah blah blah Delaynee… yada yada promotion—oh, congrats are in order!”
He frowned the moment he realized what she was doing and quickly rose from his seat to fetch the parchment. Aestiah, however, was one step ahead of him and quickly swirled away before his fingers could even grip the edge. “Hold on! Almost done! Something, something, something happened and blah blah Cere’thien—oh my. How scandalous!”
“Give me that!” Vaelrin hissed as he charged forward only to grasp air when she whizzed by him again.
“Temper, temper. You know it’s your writing that is the only way I can ever get to keep tabs on you.”she stated with a grin, then freely tossed the parchment into the air which the Captain quickly snatched into his hands. A glare was given her way as he returned to his seat at the desk.
“How did you find me let alone get in here?” he asked. Hands shuffled to try and clean up the spilled ink knocked over absently in his haste to retrieve his personal property.
“Seraph is just outside. I am training out here, you know. Imagine my surprise when I spotted my beloved beast here. It wasn’t hard to put two and two together.”
“How lucky of me.”
“You should be flattered!” piped Aestiah with a wicked grin. She enjoyed pressing the man’s buttons and certainly got a kick out of it. “The question is why you are over here instead of way out there? And what’s up with you and Miss So Noble it hurts? Trouble with the Misses?”
The Ranger frowned. Tolerance was needed when dealing with his daughter. “Is there something that you need?”
Aestiah feigned a pout. “And here I thought you missed me.”
“Just tell me what you want.”
“Would you believe I actually came to say hi?” She shrugged. “Don’t worry, I’m not here to pry. I have my own things to deal with. I just stopped decided to … stop by.”
Vaelrin turned his head slightly to peer over his shoulder where he could see his daughter’s frame looming by the door. He said not a word.
Aestiah studied him for just as long , then finally turned and proceeded to head out. The click of her boots against the wooden planks was all that the Ranger needed to hear.
“How is she?” said Vaelrin quite suddenly.
The footsteps stopped and a short silence fell within the room before Aestiah finally answered. “She is fine.” She replied, then turned her head slightly to gaze at the backside of her father still seated at the desk. “I hope it works out between you … and that Maraiel person.”
Silence again. A lingering stillness that was only broken by the sound of footsteps as they continued to make their way out the room and back into the night air.
It was now only him again. Just him, the silence, and the flickering light from the candle that was nearly out. Eyes fell to the paper that was now slightly torn but still in good enough condition to be stored with the rest of his journal entries.
The quill he had set aside was now quickly retrieved and dunked into what was left of the ink not wasted on the desk. After taking a moment to stare at where he left off, he proceeded to finish his final thoughts.
I cannot let the downfalls of one event ruin what I have managed to do so far. I may not be able to put faith or trust in another for some time, but at least I know I am capable of giving it … somehow.
I am capable of it. That in itself… is a milestone.