I slowly lifted myself from the sack of hay. It was morning and as I looked around nothing seemed familiar, everything was vague. Where am I? What am I doing here? What happened to my army? Questions popped into my head all of a sudden after seeing nothing but lush green fields all around me completely surrounded by mountains. The last thing I remembered was the scene of me fighting an enemy soldier when my foot slipped and I fell into the river. I took another glance at my surroundings. It was for the first time that I was looking at nature so closely and leisurely. After such a long time I felt the wind blow against my skin. The fields looked so peaceful, the trees bore fruits.
“Hello stranger, finally you woke up.” I looked around and saw a man standing behind me, it was also for the first time in my life that someone had came up behind me without me noticing.
My addresser was a simple village peasant but his face showed no signs of worries or sadness. He seemed happy. “Hi” I finally muttered, staring at him.
“I found you unconscious by the bank of the river so I brought you here and dressed your wounds. By your suit you seem like an army man to me.” He said to me cheerfully.
“Oh yea, I am. I am a Raven in his majestic army” I replied and expected the villager to back away in fear, it was a common response to our battalion for we were the most brutal and skilled warriors in all the land. Children from all over the kingdom were selected at their birth by mages and then trained in only one art, “The art to kill” but the villager just smiled back and said, “Well you are not far from your camp, you can take the road to the north east and you will reach it in half a day. You are most welcome to stay with us if you want till you regain your health and will to fight again.”
I was baffled by this simpleton; did he not know who he was talking to? Did he not know that I was an assassin? That the only purpose of my life was to serve the king? That my only emotion was hatred? His generosity impressed me. It was the first time that someone had not been scared of me and was still talking to me for more then 5 minutes. I slowly stretched my lips and gave him what of a smile I could manage. “Thank you, stranger.”
“For saving me and being kind to me.” I replied and stared into his love filled eyes.
“It’s called humanity, I am sure you would have done the same for me.” He smiled back at me.
I just shook my head while taking another glance at the peaceful land around me. The panorama was magnificent. The cattle grazed and the farmers worked as if they didn’t care what was happening all around them. All they cared for was their farms, they were not afraid neither of a cold blooded assassin like me nor of the war happening a few hundred meters from them. “Are you not afraid?” I finally asked the question which confused me.
“Of?” he said as he gave a bottle of water to me.
“Of me, of the war, of your future.” I took a small sip from the bottle and handed it back to the farmer.
“Death will come when it has to, you are only a human. So am I. I only fear the one who created you, who created all of this beautiful and bountiful land. I only fear God. And even if you kill me right now I would gladly accept my death for I know that God will give me paradise as He promised me.”
I don’t know why but his words had an effect on me. Small drops of water came to my eyes. I touched my eye with my index finger and collected some of them on my finger. I was staring at them in amazement when he spoke again.
“You don’t believe in God, do you?”
“No, I was taught only to kill, hate and obey. I am in shorter words the perfect assassin and the perfect soldier. I only live to kill; it’s too late to believe in him now.” I spoke as tears wet my face.
“It’s never too late; if you regret what you have done then surely He will forgive you.”
“But I have killed the innocent, I have never prayed.”
“So what? You protect the innocents too and He is the most merciful.”
I just smiled at him again. Mercy, another word, whose meaning always eluded me. He somehow sensed my dilemma and slowly spoke again. “It’s a long walk to your camp, Raven. You will have ample time to think about what I have said.”
I nodded and slowly started walking in the direction he showed to me. He was right in that walk I did think a lot and finally came to a conclusion. Unfortunately, just as I reached the camp the enemy ambushed the camp. And as I fought for my and the life of my comrades I kept thinking of ways to redeem myself of all the innocent blood I have shed. Of all the tears I have given to people. Just as I raised my sword to kill another one who was trying to enslave my people an arrow came and pierced my arm. My opponent snatched the sword from my hand and slit my throat. Everything became black. Far away at a distance I saw a light, a man was standing there. “Come into the light, son.” He spoke in a soft loving voice. It was the second time someone spoke so lovingly to me. I slowly made my way towards the light. As I got nearer to the light a beautiful place started to dawn itself on me. It was more beautiful then anything I have ever seen, “What a beautiful sight” I exclaimed. I wished I could stay in that moment forever. And somehow, somewhere, someone heard me and granted me that wish.
“Welcome to your new home, son. Your sorrow was enough to grant you an eternal place in paradise. Enjoy and be merry.” A voice spoke to me. I just let out a smile and felt the cool, calming and happy breeze blow my hair.
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