The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Aresan Clan pt 100

Lipmon sat on his bed with his shirt off while Saurek’s personal surgeons sat beside him carefully tugging at the stitches in his side. The surgeon used a small blade to carefully cut the bits of string and then, with a pair of tweezers, he pulled the string out of Lipmon’s skin. Lipmon winced each time the string was pulled out, though the doctor tried to do it as carefully as possible. The pain caused Lipmon to clench his whole body, gripping a pillow in his arms and pressing it firmly against his chest.

“I’m going to tell you one more time that this is a bit premature,” the surgeon said, “We should’ve waited a few more days before I took these ought. I’m really afraid your wound’s going to reopen. And really you should be taking some bed rest. You’re not going to recover by marching through the mountains all day and spending your nights sleeping outside in the cold. As someone interested in your recovery I cannot recommend that you march with the army.”

The surgeon spoke these words as he continued to remove the stitches, and, during this time, Lipmon was silenced by the pain. But, once the surgeon, was finished Lipmon took a long deep breath and in a voice that sounded strained and fatigued he told him, “You’re absolutely right about everything you say. But I’m going anyways. This is all I’ve thought about for the past ten days. Nothing else.”

Lipmon turned his head and looked at the suit of armor that had been laid out for him: a personal gift from Saurek with a sword and shield lying beside it.

After rinsing off the wound, the surgeon advised Lipmon to cleanse the wound regularly and try to keep it covered. The surgeon himself tied a clean strip of cloth around Lipmon’s midsection to protect the wound, telling Lipmon to replace and clean the cloth every day. He last advised Lipmon to try and mitigate his physical activity as much as possible and to take as much sleep and food as he could.

Lipmon heard it all, but was focused on the armor as the surgeon spoke, and, as soon as he was left alone in the room, he began to array himself in the armor. He had to guess at the order that the pieces were supposed to be put on. He put the cuirass—a stiff chest piece made of multiple layers of leather, reinforced by an internal layer of tin—over his shirt, before he realized that the chainmail was probably supposed to be beneath it, since the cuirass’s chest was decorated by an ornate crest, which he assumed was supposed to be displayed. He the discovered that the cuirass had to be tied beneath the arms to make it fit more snuggly. He put on two leather gloves, which extended up and protected his forearms, before he realized he still needed his hands to put on the skirt and boots, which required the dexterity of his naked fingers to put on and tie in place. He put on his helmet last of all, a chainmail aventail dangling from its bottom to protect his neck.

He picked up the metal sword and it felt heavy in his hand. He swung it around clumsily and had difficulty holding it steady and maneuvering it where he wanted it to go. He picked up his round shield last, much lighter than the sword, since it was made of a thin sheet of metal wrapped in several layers of leather skins. Fully decked out, he stood himself in the battle stance he’d seen other soldiers make, with his knees bent, his eyes peaking out over the top of his shield and the sword pointing upwards next to it.

Moments later he was walking hastily towards the Adrus Palace courtyard, the pain from his wound preventing him from moving any faster. When he arrived there, he saw the masses of soldiers departing, their numbers flooding up the stairs and out of the palace in long and regular rows. A continuous stream of them was marching through the archway and the remaining blocks of soldiers were being unwound into this stream.

He walked up to an officer who was overseeing the soldiers and told him, “Lipmon from Still Creek-for, here to join the march.”

“Yes, I know about you,” the officer said, looking him up and down, “You don’t need to be fully armored yet; we’re not in battle. You can stick with me. We’ll join in at the tail, just ahead of the supply carts. Glad to see you could enlist with us. You’re a real patriot, you are.”

“Just here to do my part,” Lipmon said with a smile, while he removed his helmet.

<-- Go to Part 99         Go to Part 101 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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