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A Family of Honor

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Wraithwriter
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A Family of Honor

Post by Wraithwriter » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:22 pm

Today was Volunteer's Day and the streets of Yurinash were a buzz with excitement over the day's festivities. Food vendors hawked hot flaky meat pies, fresh sausage rolls, savory peppered lamb skewers to the hungry revelers. Not to be out done sellers of ales, wines, and meads sold their sweet libations to anyone with the coin to buy a cup. However, soon all sales would have to cease to make room for the Victor's Parade.

As the first trumpets sounded across the rooftops the crowds shifted. By time the trumpets sound a second time to signal the start of the parade, everyone thronged up against the buildings. When the drums began beating a great cheer rose up form the gathered spectators.

"So do you think it will be like the ones at home?" Asked an ugly little halfling who clung to a lamp post like a squirrel to tree.

"Nothing about this place is like home," returned a tall handsome warrior.

"Really Fan, you need to lighten up!" Ribbed a kittenish catfolk girl.

"It is only the simple truth Ju," Fan fired back. "They call this a festival? Where are the streamers and fireworks? Besides, I have yet to find someone who can explain what this is all about."

"Can't you relax?" Implored Ju. "Or is is the great adventurer homesick?"

Turning to face the the catfolk girl, Fan leveled a finger in her direction. "I have had just about enough of you. If it weren't for my families blood debt I would tie that slim tail of yours in knots."

"I'd like to see you try!" Shouted Ju while batting Fan's leveled finger away.

The two stood staring at the other neither one blinking. Having spoken in their native tongue no one around them but the halfling knew what thetwo were arguing over, but they did attempt the move away. Fan and Ju would have stood staring longer if it hadn't been for their ugly friend.

"Here they come!" Shouted the halfling. Abandoning their staring match the two turned and got their first view of what the parade was about.

Leading the way were three twin tailed flags. The center flag fluttered in the breeze showing the orange and black of Yurinash. The other two bore red for the Council and gray of the Corporate Military. Bracketing the flags were two guards who held drawn great swords upright before them.

Following close behind came a group of drummers and trumpeters playing a rising marching tune. Behind them March a group of men and women dressed in uniforms that matched the colors of Yurinish. Each one carried the traditional spear and shield used by the Yurinash militia.

Great cheers followed the militia up the street till they were even with where the three friend stood watching. Ju then had to cover her sensitive ears the crowd was so loud. The catfolk girl had never been more relieved than when the militia moved on. However, that cheer was on one of many that drove Ju to take action.

"Still think it is not like home?" Shouted the ugly halfling over the cheers.

"Well this just might be interesting Joao-long," announced Fan in a brief lull before another burst of cheers.

***

The parade now over the crowd drifted back into the streets, and vendors once again hawked their wares. However, they were now joined by soldiers in dress grays asking for donation to the fallen warrior's fund. When approached the three friends each gave a half penny, the most common coin used in Yurinash transactions.

"So what did you think?" Ju inquired excitedly of her friends as they made their way through the crowded streets.

"It was spectacular!" Shouted Joao-long, also the excitable one. "Did you see that precision!?"

"It was alright," announced Fan begrudgingly. "But it was still not like home."

"Give it a rest Fan!" Scolded both Ju and Joao-long.

"Hey!" Fan protested. "I am just saying that there were no fireworks!"

"You're just upset that they looked better than the Imperial Guard," countered Ju, and by the sour petulant look Fan gave her proved she hit the nail on the head.

"Whatever," dismissed the warrior. "Let's just get to The Golden Tankard. Maybe Marcu will be able to explain all this to me." Ju and Joao-long shook their friend and followed him as he made his way to the Tankard.

***

"Back so soon?" Marcu inquired as they crossed the entered the half giant's establishment.

"Not my decision," Ju voiced then pointed at Fan. "Stick in the mud here wanted to leave the festivities."

"Yeah," piped Joao-long. "Mr adventure is home sick and wants his mommy."

"Shut it you ugly gremlin before I wring your scrawny neck!" Fan threaten. "For the last time, I am not homesick! I just simply don't understand the point of the street party."

Just then Fan realized that The Golden Tankard was much busier than usually was in the afternoon. Ever since he and his friends arrived in Yurinash Marcu had never opened earlier than four hits past noon. Now the place was half full and it wasn't even noon, and everyone was looking at him in disbelief.

Marcu quickly rushed the friends into an unoccupied quiet corner be fore speaking. "Boy, don't they honor your heroes where you're from?"

"Heroes yes, but the common soldier?" Answered Fan and return with his own question.

"Look boy I like you I really do, but you have some really backward ideas." Ju reached out to restrain the Fan, but for once it appeared the young warrior was not overreacting.

"You see boy," Marcu continued," around here every soldier is a hero. From the most battle scarred to down to the newest recruit, it doesn't even matter if all they do push paper around. And you know why? They volunteered."

"Those individuals have volunteered to stand in the face of danger so the common citizen does not. They stand guard through the long hours of the night so we and our children can sleep safely through the night. Through blistering heat and numbing cold they man their posts so we can live our lives in peace"

"They are our family: brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles. Now while they may not be the stuff of legends, all of that deserves honor and respect."

Fan was silent for a moment, causing both Ju and Joao-long worry. However, the warrior's words surprised them both. "So how many of those here are volunteers?"

"All of them, including myself," replied Marcu.

Fan then reached into his jacket to pull something from an inner pocket. When he removed his hand he held gold coin, and not just any gold coin but an imperial tianlong. "What will this buy?"

Marcu looked at the coin with a skilled eye that had seen many the coin. "That would buy many a round."

Handing the over to the half giant Fan said, "Then take it with my thanks." Turning he walked out of the Tankard leaving his friends to follow.

With her longer legs Ju was the first to catch up. "Why do you give away your tianlong?!"

"Yeah, that was like your last link to home!" Joao-long a little breathlessly from having to run to catch up.

"Honor," Fan replied simply. "As Marcu said, they are all family."



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