Warriors and Champions6

Doubts and Reassurances

When I woke up I was in a soft bed and I saw daylight coming through the cracks of a closed window. My hands were clean and I also noticed, to my embarrassment, that I was only in my undergarment. However I saw some fresh clothes sitting on a chair and I quickly got dressed and went out of the room.

I was in a loft of a house and I saw that it was the loft of Byron’s house. I went down and only Lizeth was inside. “Oh Ray you are awake.”

“Yes I am and I am very hungry.”

“Please come eat. Father is in town and Rayner is with his men.”

I ate in silence trying to figure out what I could say for conversation. I finished eating in what I felt was awkward silence but Lizeth just sat there. I didn’t know what to do since I had never been in this situation before. Here I was alone with a beautiful girl and I couldn’t even talk to her.

Lizeth grabbed my hand suddenly jerking me out of my chair, “Come with me,” she said. She led me into town and out of town to the river. We sat down on the bank and just sat there. Lizeth took off her shoes and put her feet in the water. I did as well and the cold water felt good on my feet.

“When I was young,” Lizeth started, “my father would take me to the river and just hang out all day. He taught me to swim and fish. I think he did that to keep our minds from dwelling on my mom’s sudden death. He found any excuse he could to stay out of town for awhile.

“He just couldn’t stand being in town, even if it meant that he neglected his duties and governor. However, after a few incidents, he realized that my mom would not approve of his behavior and he returned to his duties and has been faithful ever since. But I did enjoy being in his company and loved coming to the river and just being.

“I love the peace and quiet that is found out here.” Lizeth’s voice changed from almost happy to complete sadness and despair as she continued talking. “But now the peace is threatened and I no longer feel safe in these woods. Evil and violence run rampant and soon my village and home will be destroyed. I wish that somehow the evil will be destroyed and good can once again spread and thrive.”

I moved closer to Lizeth and not knowing what I could do just held her and tried to reassure her by holding her. I could feel her trembling and wondered if she was crying. For a few minutes we stayed like that with me holding her. She spoke again, “I have seen father and Rayner trying to figure out what to do. They spend hours and hours talking together and planning what to do.

“Every time the King sends a messenger to ask father to join him father refuses. I know that he is doing it to reassure the village that things are alright and not worry them, because if the village joined the King then their hope that is like glass will be shattered. They will know with a surety that there is a war and that they can be hurt and killed. Rayner also fears for his soldiers he knows that if they enter war most of them will not return.

“It is a very fine balancing act that those two are doing but I fear that one day the balance will shift and everything will lay in ruin including my village. However everything changed when you appeared. And when Rayner brought you to my home for rest and I heard him tell father what you have accomplished I knew that you could save us. Are you able to save us Ray?”

The million-dollar question, could I save them? I didn’t know I just didn’t know if I could or how. If I was back home and playing this as a game I knew I could save them and rather easily but doing it for real was another. Or was it? Why did I make it different? Why was I afraid of doing something that I would never hesitate to do in a video game?

I knew the answer I knew why I was so hesitant to do something. Because this was real it wasn’t fantasy where if I failed I could just restart and do it right. And if I killed someone they were really dead and if I died well I didn’t want to think about that. But I needed to say something to Lizeth.

“This might be hard for you to hear Lizeth but I just don’t know if I can. If this was a video game and I was my character then yes I could save you. But this is real and I have never fought anyone before let alone killed someone. However I do promise you this Lizeth that if there is a way for me to save you and your village I will find the way.”

I looked her in the eyes and wiped her tears from her face. She wrapped her arms around me and we just sat there holding each other. I wish I could say what she wanted me to say but hoped that what I said was enough to calm her and clothe her feeling of helplessness. As we were holding each other my mind drifted to my own doubts.

Rayner said that my Righteous Fury would work when properly motivated and that I needed to use it instead of being used. But how was I to do that? It wasn’t as if I could tap into the Fury and draw up the power as if it was a well of water. Or could I? And if I could how could I do it?

Lizeth must have sensed something wrong with me because she let go of me and spoke. “You are afraid aren’t you Ray? You talked about your character and if you were him that this would be easier for you. I don’t understand what you mean by that or about your video game but I do know that you are destined for so much more than what you lower yourself for. You are a path that will change your life and you have in your hands the power to help save a lot of people from pain and death.

“When I first heard about you and that you carried Talon’s bow my hope started to be rebuilt. I felt my heart rise and joy trying to enter back into it. I just knew that if you really had her bow that she had given you the opportunity to destroy Astoroth. That is why I snuck into the jail and waited to speak to you. I needed to know if it was true if you could end this war.

“But when we first spoke I didn’t know if you could save anyone. You were like a lost little boy and were scared. But now I see that boy turning into a man that is brave, strong and true. However you do not see yourself as such. You are afraid of fighting and don’t want to participate in it at all. But at the same time you can’t stand watching other people suffer and so you are torn in two not knowing what to do. Ray please understand that there is nothing wrong with protecting others even if it means fighting.

“If only evil and wrong doers fight then they control everything. If no one stands up to them then they only rule and misery dominates. There is part of you that understands this I can see it in your eyes and yet the other part does not yet agree. There is a battle raging within you a deep and very real conflict. You understand that evil cannot go unchecked and unchallenged and yet you sit on the sidelines just waiting for it to pass.

“You find it easier to just survive and live in fear. I am going to tell you an idiom that I have heard before ‘the path of least resistance is what makes man, like rivers, crooked’. By just surviving you lose your sense of kindness and the ability to help others. You become lower than the animals and do not feel for others. For do not even animals feel for others?

“And not only do you lose your humanity but the unchallenged evil continues to grow in strength and preys on more and more innocent people. How many people have to suffer before you are willing to stand against those that wish to hurt others Ray? I sense gentleness in you Ray and if you could help it you would never even think about fighting someone else. Nevertheless there is nothing wrong with righteous retribution. If people would not insist on committing evil acts then yes fighting would be wrong.

“Please Ray resolve your inner battle and help us fight ours. We need you and in time you will find out that you are strong. You have a pure mind that will not be dimmed by darkness of evil and a true heart that cannot be harmed by the poison of hatred. I see in you the ability to overcome your fears and release your captive soul. And in time you will be able to heal and heal the hearts of others, even the heart of one that seems intent on destroying you. “

I listened to every word Lizeth said and pondered heavily on them. I knew that she spoke truly and yet I was still afraid of tapping into my Righteous Fury. “You do not know Lizeth but you said pretty much what my best friend said to me. Although you said it more eloquently then he did. I hear the truth of your words but fear is still keeping me back.

“Rayner saw that fear in me and I have never told anyone about it. Even the people I unleashed my demonic wrath upon don’t know or understand what I did. I guess they all assumed that I was throwing a temper fit but I knew the real horrifying truth. And I hid that horror deep down inside and tried to keep it locked up. And know I am being told that I need to not only unlock but I need to use it. Even thought the times I ‘used’ it ended up with negative consequences and me feeling very scared. Because I knew that I didn’t fully unleash my horror and yet I caused some major before. I could only think what would have happened if it was fully unleashed. I know that if fully unleash it and use that power to the fullest extent I could be very powerful. And at the same I would be very unstable and very vehement to anyone in my path. That is why I have let myself suffer at the hands of evil and wrong doing because I know a little of what I am capable of and I do not want that kind of power.

I stopped talking for a moment to collect my thoughts and let Lizeth ponder my words. After a few moments I talked again. “I have never before told anyone my darkest Lizeth not even my best friend knew my secret. I just wanted to keep it away from the light of truth but Bobby, Rayner, and you have told me that I am wrong. Rayner has said called it Righteous Fury but I have not used it in a righteous manner. In fact I became more evil than the wrong doer was to me.

“How can maintain my humanity when I become animal-like and give into the lust of battle and conquest? I know that if I just stand by and do nothing that wrong acts will continue and at a more intense pace and ferocity. Furthermore I don’t know what I would do if I actually killed someone. I don’t like fighting and would love nothing more than to live in peace if I could. I want to believe your words Lizeth I really do. I wish I could see that my Righteous Fury is something to admire and not fear. But I just can’t at this moment. I am sorry but right now it seems that I am a coward and will continue to live in fear.”

What Lizeth said next completely shocked me since I figured she would be upset or disappointed in me. “I understand to a point Ray. You have spent years living in fear of you so called demon and when you are told that it is completely different you have a hard time believing it. However I feel that with the proper motivation you will see what your gift really is. I believe in you Ray and one day you will believe in yourself too.”

I couldn’t believe what she said. After all of my doubting she still believed in me. Most of her life was spent in fear and hopelessness and yet she was trying to comfort me. What she needed most she was giving to me. I felt almost ashamed that she had to be strong for me so one day I could be strong for her. “I wish I knew what more I could Lizeth. I should be the one comforting you and giving you reassurance. But I am grateful for your talk Lizeth. I have heard the truth of your words and one day I will act on them. And I will find a way to save your people Lizeth and you, especially you.”

She leaned her head on my shoulder and I put my arm over her as we watched the river flow. My thoughts drifted like the river. I went back to a book I had read and I made a connection to the main character that we had never had before. Towards the end he realized that he needed to let go of his past mistakes and everything he feared. He had to let go all of his negative emotions because he could not become who he was born to be. And as soon as he truly let go of those emotions he was able to release his full power.

My determination rose to a new height as I understood that I had to let go of my own past. For too long I had lived in the shadow of the past and remained a slave. I didn’t want to fight or kill but unless I did many people would suffer greatly and death would spread. I looked down at Lizeth and knew I had to protect her no matter the cost to myself.

© 2014 RichardBBenson

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