Crimson chorus from the.., p.10
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       Crimson Chorus, From the Nine Kingdoms (Chapter 2), p.10

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  It was at the 3rd bronze-hour. Ephesto had stayed in the corner during three days. In the first day he waited as much he could, trusting naively he would stay just for a few hours, until the captain finish the instruction of his companions but, when he saw how everyone had left and the night had come, and dawned back to get dark again and dawn, his expectative dissipated with the fatigue and the monotony. On the second day, the training yard had been dwelled by a different group of militaries, and the third day for another different. During that time lapse (three days) he had dedicated to observe the behavior of his military companions; how they were changing positions, tackled each other and competed, but all in a partner environment.

  He was tired and his legs had betrayed him kneeling him but, he had his head raised. He heard steps but cannot distinguish who was it just a fuzzy figure in the shadow morning.

  “How do you feel, young?”

  He glimpsed to his interrogator and noticed that was the captain; he felt relieved.

  “Captain ... I, don’t know. Weak ...”

  “Apparently!” exclaimed Heelago lively. “Come on, straighten up.”

  Ephesto obeyed, doing it clumsily; holding his back on the corner of the wall to keep from falling. The vertigo made presence in his exhausted head.

  “Without realizing you had strengthen your will, that’s why the fatigue. You have put to test your valor before the order that I have given you without object, as only a good military would do ....”

  In a certain way those words did him to remember those said it by general Solaris during their interview, the advice that a good military obey orders.

  “I do not understand, captain ...”

  “You’ve passed the second test, the test of valor, young Red. You will understand it.” He took it from the arm and gave him a crystalline bottle that contained a bright liquid. “Your dizzy is because the dehydration; take it, drink this, it going to hydrate.”

  Ephesto took the bottle and drank it desperately, as if was the last one. He felt revitalizing right away.

  “What is this? What have you given me?” asked Ephesto dazzled by the quick relief effect.

  “Now you feel well,” said captain Heelago with a smile in his face. “It’s just water ... water from Suna’s spring,” whispered.

  Ephesto was alarmed, remembering the commentary said by Luca about the prohibition of drink those waters.

  “Don’t be alarm, young Red. Only the militaries that pass the valor’s test are authorized to drink it, but not always, just for one time. It’s as gratitude before the loyal pact that they have done whit our kingdom, and king.”

  “Do you mean that I am a militia member now, captain?”

  “Of course! In theory yes ... even you still lack one more test to approve.”

  “It is truth ...” expressed Ephesto remembering.

  “The formality’s test” added captain Heelago cheering him. “Come, follow me.”

  “What would happen with the circle?”

  “The circle ...? AH? Yes ... I see you have been friend with it, and that is fine because you have understood its important meaning,” explained captain Heelago, and dragged his foot to erasing it. “You have accomplished with your task successfully. Now follow me.”

  They walked towards the plaza, deviating to a house located front to the South Building, the main entry of the militia’s territory. They entered, waiting to be received by someone, but wasn’t so. Inside it was a lot of rolls of cloth messy, and pieces of cloth adorned everywhere.

  “Hoary, tailor?! Where have you hide?!” exclaimed Heelago looking for him.

  “I’m here, I’m here! What’s up Heelago why you wake me up?” said the old-sandean reproaching him, who went out from his hideout, between walls conformed by the rolls.

  “It’s important!” responded Heelago victoriously. “I need you to make me a cape.”

  “AH?! Another?!”

  “It’s not for me, but for my new comrade.”

  “EH?! Another new?! Hadn’t you already completed your division?”

  “The militia always prospers. The entry of a new member is the proof of that ...”

  “Yeah, yeah, yeah ... don’t come to me with militia speeches. You, come closer!”

  Heelago slapped Ephesto approaching him to the old-sandean who started his work; touching his shoulders because he was measuring the width, then turned him around and touched his back.

  “Yeah ... you’re so thin and young ...” said the old-sandean finishing with the measuring, “or maybe are you a female?”


  “My name is Ephesto,” he said, feeling ashamed.

  “Yeah, then you’re young. I’m sorry but I cannot make you a cape.”

  “Why not?!”

  “It’s not that I don’t want it, but because I don’t have the materials.”

  “AHA! But that’s not a problem!” exclaimed captain Heelago victoriously. “Red will take care of get them, doesn’t it, Red?”

  Ephesto barely found out that the captain was calling him Red, in spite of having corrected and explained the confusion about his name. But he understood that was about a nickname in honor of his colorful hair.

  “Ah? Yes ... I can take care ...” responded Ephesto dubious, guessing that he would have to venture again.

  “Well then! I will need that you go to the Tribal Town of the Strong-beings and bring me crystal thread and cloth piece.”

  “Ah, yes! My genesis town ...” said Heelago sighing.

  “With just a piece it’ll be enough to craft the cape.”

  “I understand; and where did I find the town?”

  “Don’t you know its location?!” mumbled the old-sandean.

  “I’ll indicate you, Red,” said captain Heelago. “We leave now Hoary, there’s no time to lose.”

  “Yeah, yeah, yeah, leave me rest and don’t come back until you find those materials,” said the old-sandean hiding again in his hideout.

  They left the house and walked northward; crossed the plaza, arriving to the corner where the access of the Militia Main Building was. In the opposite direction was founded an access of two doors fused with the wall and which didn’t distinguished. Two militaries were guarding it. Ephesto wondered why he didn’t see it before.

  “Open it!” ordered captain Heelago and the two militaries obey immediately.

  They crossed the entrance limit. The desert horizon was waiting.

  “Go northward. You must cross the Sand Sea and will know that are arriving when you enter to the Crystalline Reef. Continue northward and you’ll find the town. Have you understood?”

  “I have understood, captain.”

  “Bring with you this registration. It merits you as military. Remember that you are one now, so you must start to act as one; have that in mind. It’s all for now, you can dismiss.”

  Ephesto walked away without look behind. He just heard the sound of the doors closing. He entered in the desert, the North Sand Sea as knowing to that territory. The wind in that place was calm, and the dunes weren’t hindering.

  The walking hours passed; when he looked behind, he didn’t see the Capital City.
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