A Hero's Journey: Part Two
The years began to fall away like old autumn leaves. Slowly
but surely, the two young sons of the most revered knight in Trestin grew. For
one, Reuben grew out of being a page and entered squire-hood; on the other hand,
his younger brother Rohane was now being introduced to the basics of knighthood
and the page's code. He was no longer a tiny infant but a smaller version of his
father, trying to learn the ropes.
One sunny day, Reynold and Melissa smiled as
they leafed through a journal they kept together, a journal that recorded every
memorable moment they spent together. Although the pages were slowly wearing
away thanks to time and nature, any of them could still write on it with a quill
"As if having one son wasn't enough, we were
lucky to raise two," said the knight fondly, putting an arm around the female
white Blumaroo's shoulders.
"You now have two young squires to follow in
your footsteps as a great defender of Meridell," remarked Melissa. "Reuben is
doing a great job as your squire."
As if her words were magic, their eldest son
appeared, holding his father's sword as if it were glass. It was heavily polished
and glinted in the morning sun passing through the windows. He smiled toothily
as he presented it towards Sir Reynold, as if it were a gift instead of his
usual trusty weapon in battle.
"Thank you, Reuben," he said, taking the blade
from him and putting it in a sheath attached to his belt. "I can't believe how
fast you're growing. In no time, you will become a true knight, and Rohane will
become your squire."
The young Blumaroo beamed. "You're very welcome,
Father. I'm going to try and polish your armor now, just as you taught me yesterday."
He continued smiling as he retreated, but the grin from his face faded automatically
as a yell from the nearby bedroom shattered the serenity in the household.
Melissa craned her neck to see someone run out
from his domain, waving a wooden sword about as he tried to hack a forest Bearog,
which was snapping wildly at him with sharp teeth.
"Rohane!" Reynold stood up abruptly from the
table and drew his own weapon. Brandishing it as he ran toward the creature
pursuing his second son, he began slashing at it viciously. The Bearog fought
bravely, but its pointy canines and claws were no match for one of King Skarl's
best knights and his best steel blade. In a few minutes, it lay defeated on
"How could such a thing enter our house?" asked
the woman of the house, staring down at the unmoving body of the creature, as
if she were the one who met her doom. "These monsters don't usually come close
to the village…unless of course, someone brought it here."
"Why would I bring some stupid Bearog into my
own room?" snapped the little yellow Blumaroo. He pointed his fake weapon at
his older sibling. "I bet Reuben did it!"
The eldest son raised an eyebrow, feigning surprise.
"Me? Old Reuben the big brother, endanger his little brother's life? I wouldn't
do such a thing! Rohane, you've got your facts all wrong. I'd never bring a
monster into the house."
"You did it, I just know it!" he persisted.
"Oh sure, blame me for all your problems," sighed
Reuben. "As it was the fate of an elder sibling. Save your breath for when a
bigger creature jumps into your bedroom window."
Rohane had enough. He leapt at his brother, trying
to hit him with a wooden blade. Reuben gasped and tried to block the blows with
his bare paws. The two were locked in a fierce duel on the floor, eyes narrowed
in determination. Reynold and Melissa, wearing matching looks of horror, separated
their sons from each other.
"Reuben, how could you?" asked their mother,
more disappointed than panicked. "Setting a Bearog loose in Rohane's room…you
could've gotten him killed! Don't you know how dangerous they are?"
"Aw, it was only a little prank! Fine, you caught
me, but the little idiot's safe and sound," grumbled the young white Blumaroo,
trying to wriggle out of his father's grip. "At least it didn't bite him!"
The knight glared down at his son. "You don't
know what could have happened. Bearogs are not very predictable, so who knows?
Had it harmed a single hair on your brother's head…" He took a deep breath,
closed his eyes briefly and resumed. "A true defender would never attack his
army. Your family is already like your army, so Rohane falls under that. This
is behavior unbecoming of a knight, Reuben. In fact, if it were possible, I'm
much more disappointed than your mom."
The two siblings were silent. Melissa and Reynold
didn't see the elder one stick his tongue out at the younger one.
It was another great day, and the Bearog incident
was nearly forgotten as Reuben opened the door of his house and breathed the
lovely air deeply. Sighing with contentment, he twirled his wooden sword - a
false one he used whenever he practiced with his father and when he wanted to
have a pretend duel with his brother - and sat down at the wooden bench outside.
Or was it forgotten?
"It's not over yet, Reuben," said Rohane, following
him outside, arms crossed. "That thing nearly had me. Why did you do it?"
"It's training, bro. I was only trying to see
if…uh…you're a good knight already?"
The yellow Blumaroo stared at him skeptically.
"That would have been our father's job. Go on, tell me."
"Never," growled Reuben, standing up suddenly.
"If I told you, you'd tell Father and Mother and I'd get in trouble and get
no dessert tonight."
Extremely infuriated now, Rohane started towards
his brother. Thinking quickly, the white Blumaroo stuck out his leg and tripped
his sibling, who fell flat on his face on the grass, in front of several villagers
who began laughing hysterically.
"Isn't that supposed to be the other son of Sir
"And I thought good reflexes could be inherited…guess
Reuben grinned maliciously at Rohane, flipped
his toy weapon in the air and walked casually back to the house. "Maybe it's
because I got our dad's moves and you didn't?" he added, chuckling to himself.
"Don't mind them," said a soothing voice above
Reuben's younger brother. He looked up to see a beautiful red Aisha with braids
down her face. She extended her paw, and helped the pitiful sibling up to his
"Thanks, Li," said Rohane gratefully. "I knew
I could always count on you."
Liwanag smiled shyly. "It is only my pleasure."
Her smile was so bright and sunny that it seemed to rival the sun in comparison
- at least in the eyes of Reynold's son. She twisted a part of her apron. "Umm…my
mom won't be looking for me for now. Want to…well, take a short walk around
He stared at the ground and dug at the loose
dirt with his foot. "Sure. Well…my mother and father let me go outside for a
while before lunch." The two traded a grin, and began to walk down the wide
street of the village of Trestin. They watched a nearby Kacheek shepherd herd
his Babaas, and one of them quickly galloped towards Li, who took him into her
"I see Jove has taken a liking to you, Liwanag,"
She turned towards Rohane. "Hey…I guess you haven't
met my favorite Babaa in Seth's pen. His name is Jove, and when he's old enough
I can take him home. But in the meantime, he stays with Seth."
The little petpet wriggled out of her grip, and
jumped into the yellow Blumaroo's arms next.
"I think he likes you," said Li. She flashed
her smile again. "Jove doesn't usually take to newcomers that fast. In fact,
he's usually very shy."
"I guess that's a good sign," said Rohane, petting
the Babaa on the head.
Seth grinned and looked at him. "You must be
Sir Reynold's second son! You two look so much alike, that you could even pass
as brothers if you were older!"
The red Aisha patted her friend on the back,
who just grinned sheepishly. "I guess it's time to feed the Babaas," she said,
watching Jove leap back towards the shepherd. "Come on, Rohane."
He and Liwanag got up from the grassy area beside
the pen, and walked off towards the nearby river. She gently placed her paw
in the smaller tributary that branched off from the larger body of water, and
lifted up a smooth, shiny pebble from the bottom. The girl gave the slightly
damp stone to her comrade, who gazed at it in amazement.
"It is pretty," he remarked.
"Yeah. My daddy once told me a story about a
large, bumpy rock up in the mountains that fell into a river. As it ran through
the fast-flowing currents, the waters slowly wore it down until it became round
and smooth, like the pebbles that end up here. He said that the moral of the
story was that in time, many of those who manage to endure through the worst
of pains emerge victorious and strong. Whenever the forces of nature create
rocks, they don't create them as beautiful as these. Other forces are the ones
responsible for the shaping of the lovely stones."
Rohane stared at her, and realized the point
she was driving at. The sun reflected its rays upon the stone he held in one
paw, making it seem shinier than usual.
"Thanks, Li. You really know how to cheer me
up whenever Reuben makes fun of me."
She blushed slightly. "That's what friends are
To be continued...