Story for the Day: How Bryeison Broke the Latrine P2
And now, part 2 of how Bryeison broke the beloved latrine:
While everyone was scrambling to form their lines and lamenting the broken latrine, Bryeison marched toward the far field, his prey in one hand and his weighted sword in the other.
MacMillian slumped and sprawled across the sward when he was at last released from the giant’s unassailable grip. A cough and a few sputtering breaths, and he was prepared to run from his attacker when a sword was thrown beside him and he was being ordered to take it up and fight. He did as he was bid, wanting the duel to be over and his limbs to be still attached, but the moment he took up the sword and raised his eyes, the raging tranquility of the giant, his furrowed brow, his determined look, his unmitigated might, his enormous muscle made his knees tremble. Terror prevailed him, the giant’s shadow poring over him granting him a something like crippling consternation, and he began to feel as though he had been wrong in his conjecture, that perhaps there had been a reason that the immense Varrallan with the latrine wall attached to his arm was chosen as First Captain over himself. He felt perhaps an apology was in order if Bryeison was to be his superior officer, but the commander had given him an order, and Bryeison must and would obey: he was to return in such a state that would send him to the cleric, and therefore with all the remorse that dooming himself could promise, he made his peace with the Gods and lifted his sword.
One downward swipe from Bryeison secured MacMillian’s defeat: with a bellowing roar, the giant had made so fierce an attack that the moment his edge met MacMillian’s fuller, the blade bent under Bryeison’s brawn, snapped in two, and fell to the ground, leaving MacMillian screaming in agony and grabbing his shattered hand. He crumbled to his knees, begged for mercy, and Bryeison shook off the wall around his wrist and placed his sword at his side.
“You can dislike me and condemn my merits,” the giant’s voice bellowed, “but if you ever breathe a treasonous word again, I will destroy you.”
“Yessir!” MacMillian cried, in a sibilating shriek.
Bryeison nodded, accepted his opponent’s capitulation for what it was, and the challenge was over. He lifted his prey from the ground, slung him over his shoulder, and brought him to the infirmary, hearing his commander’s approbation of “Aye, lad brought it on hissel’,” as he sat MacMillian in the cleric’s chair.
“His thumb and forefinger are broken,” he told the cleric. “His wrist might be fractured as well.”
The cleric examined MacMillian’s hand and quirked a brow. “How did this happen?” he asked, wondering at the mangled hand. “Some incredible weight must have been forced on your hand for your thumb to have broken like that. Did you fall on it?”
MacMillian whimpered and shook his head.
“Was something dropped on it?”
No answer was made.
“Very well,” the cleric sighed. “If you don’t want to tell me. I’m sure it must have something to do with the broken latrine wall. The whole thing is probably humiliating enough. I will never understand what prompts you young men to do foolish things. You deserved it, I’m sure, whatever it was.”
A look between the two soldiers was exchanged, and without another word, the cleric began to reform MacMillian’s shattered bones, and Bryeison returned to the field, smiling to himself and flexing his fists as he took his place in the lines.
All were sworn in, all saluted, and after the commander roared his first orders, he took to assigning Draeden and Bryeison the remainder of their new regiments. They were not only to lead as captains, but they must now also train recruits themselves, and though Bryeison had little doubts as to gaining the obedience of his men, Draeden had his uncertainties. Would they dissent, would they take to his style of fighting, would they refuse to obey him due to his being prince were all questions that accompanied him as he danced from the lines over to the broken latrine.
“I only heard Suilli shouting a few minutes ago,” he told Bryeison. “Fortunately, I had fallen asleep in my uniform, otherwise I should have been late on my first day as a First Captain, and that would not have shown me very worthy. Why didn’t you come to wake me? And what happened to the latrine? It was very well last night. Did you use it this morning?”
Bryeison half smiled, and his eyes twinkled. “I did.”
“And did you have something to do with this? Of course you did, otherwise you should not be grinning so. How long were you in there?”
“About five minutes.”
“And you managed to do that in such a short time?” Draeden looked unconvinced. “You cannot have had to go that terribly.”
“It required more force than usual.”
“Well, that’s what comes from not eating enough fresh fruits. I know all your love is for vegetables and meats, but a good bit of milk in your diet will help regulate you.”
Bryeison could not help laughing.
“Well,” Draeden huffed, “that is the end of our nice latrine. Now I shall have to walk all the way to the theatre.”
“You could go in the hunting grounds.”
“And have someone mistake my business for fewmets? I don’t want to find a hunting hound at my bunk and wake up to it gnawing on my leg.” He glanced charily at Bryeison. “You did wash your hands, I hope.”
Bryeison shrugged and smiled to himself, considering how had cleansed himself on MacMillian’s tabard whilst carrying him to the cleric.
While they were waiting for all the men in their new regiments to be assigned and collected, they went to the tower by way of the parapets at a casual pace, but once they came to the peristyle, Draeden began to hasten and hop about.
“I do hope Langliegh can be put to for fixing our small latrine soon,” he said hastily, breaking into a trot. “Now whenever I shall have to go in the middle of the night, I will have to dance all the way to the tower. I loathe being made to mount those steps when I have to go, and it is so abominably cold, especially in winter. The draft from the bottom is insufferable. I shiver unmercifully every time I sit down- and don’t tell me to stand up while doing that.”
Bryeison rumbled with mirth. “You could appeal to have a furnace installed in the collection chamber.”
“That is true, but the stench of roasting filth should molder me. It is bad enough in the summer. I know my father has all the latrines and chambers cleaned thoroughly once a day, but really-“ Draeden opened the latrine tower door and groaned. “Bryeison,” he cried, lamenting over the endless staircase before him, “why did you have to break our lovely latrine?” He mounted the stair, pining with every stile, but all his complaints ceased and gave way to sighs of relief once he was beyond the chamber door. A few moments passed, and Draeden emerged from the latrine tower with a most satisfied countenance. “Perhaps we should appeal for a furnace,” he mused, his features rapt in euphoric bliss. “My poor bottom was shivering, and my virility most certainly began to recede. I should have frozen if it were in any colder in there. Perhaps my father will concede to have a coal range installed if only to ensure the Brennin line has an heir. I shall be very sad if I should shrivel before I have any occasion to use my inheritance.”
Bryeison laughed and shook his head and walked with Draeden back toward the training yard.