Flashback Farewell to childhood

Kellam is approached by an unlikely would-be recruit

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A village cut off from the rest of Mizahar by the Valterrian, slowly reestablishing contact with the outside world.

Farewell to childhood

Postby Jovahkiin on May 20th, 2014, 8:58 pm

Spring 494 AV

Kellam was starting to get impatient. They should have left 10 minutes ago, but he still had to wait for some of the men to come. They'd been in Denval for a week, which meant that some of them had begun to relax. But it was time to continue their journey, and complete their mission. They were, after all, sellswords, and had to make their living. Even a famous sellsword company like theirs nedded to earn money to survive.
Kellam was getting even more impatient. "Hey," Wyn said. "Look, Kellam. Looks like a boy from the settlement has come to talk to you"
A small boy approached Kellam. He looked very young, and carried a sword that was way too large for him. "Let me join you." was the first thing the boy said.
"Who the hell are you?" Kellam asked.
Some of the men looked at the boy, probably wondering what was going on. Kellam asked "How old are you?"
"Do you know what we are? What we do?"
"You would be a liability." Kellam said. "Ok, let's pretend I would let you in. That sword you are carrying? You can barely hold it, which means that you can't protect yourself. Someone would have to look after you, even during battles, which means that I would lack men. When we are in the wilderness, you would eat food - our food, which means less food for my men. And you would ride a horse, which should have carried resources. No, this idea is stupid."
Kellam finished talking, and the boy quickly brought a knife to Kellam's throat.
"A liability? I can kill a grown man."
"Aye, if he's stupid enough not to notice the knife!"
"You didn't."
"I did."
"Then how come your life is in my hands now?"
"I did see your hidden knife, but I was curious to see what you would do with it. And my life is in my own hands." Kellam hit the kid in the belly, making him fall to the ground in pain.
Wyn said, "But you gotta admit, Kellam: The kid was quick."
Hagg said, "This boy might grow into a killer real quick."
Kellam said to his men, "Yes. But I won't let him in our company." Kellam then turned to Jovahkiin "Go back to your parents, child."
The kid seemed to think for a moment. "All right, I guess you old people get to decide."
The kid walked away. "Wait." Hagg said. "The boy's got a point."
The child turned around and looked surprised. kellam said, "What do you mean?"
Hagg said, "We're not old yet, but in a few decades, all of us will be old. Think about it, Kellam. You haven't recruited any new members since you became leader. The company will soon consist of old men, and when we die, our company dies with it."
Jovahkiin said, seemingly surprising himself by the words that came from his mouth "Unless I join you. Unless people my age join you."
Kellam said, "What about your parents? Are you allowed to leave, just like this? I don't want to create enemies on purpose, not if there isn't anything to gain from it."
The kid said, "You don't have to worry about my family."
"Well then," Kellam said, "I will let you join us. It is your responsibility to stay alive, but I will provide food and clothes. Hagg here will teach you to fight with a sword. Do you know what this means?"
"Well..." Jovahkiin said.
"It means that you will be in my debt, kid. You will repay that debt when you are old enough. You will repay that debt by helping me and my men do work. And that work includes killing. Are you sure you are up to this?"
"I am."
"So be it."
The kid looked at his former home, before they started riding. Kellam wondered if the kid actually understood that he had joined The infamous Company of Death, under the command of the even more infamous Kellam the Invincible. Well, Kellam did at the very least like to think of himself as more infamous than his company.
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