- Episode 10 -
Old Mal never had been one to wait for the rooster to inform him it was time to start the day. In a way he figured anyone who used to know him wouldn't be surprised, he had always had a knack for getting things done even before it was readily known they needed to be. But back in those days he had been a bit of a legend, everyone knew the name Malthurion Abardeen. Or, rather Sir Malthurion Abardeen.
Mal had served the kingdom honorably for many years and championed many great causes. He had never truly been bested in battle nor had his courage ever really been questioned. As far as any knew he had been one of the greatest knights ever to serve the kingdom. But as he had seen the years pass by Mal had found less and less that he looked for glory or renown. In truth he had never accomplished anything while seeking such fame or reward. Yet by doing all he had it had came pouring in. It wasn't something that had ever truly set well with him and as his legend grew he came to be burdened by it more and more.
Eventually, Mal decided to turn his back on his life of service and seek a quieter life. He took up some old farm land offered to him for his years of dedicated duty and set himself to working it. The truth of it all though was that still, deep down, Mal had never changed. If ever he saw a good hearted person in need his old fiery dedication would roar back to life and drive him to do whatever he could to help. You might say compassion had always been a weakness that drove his courage.
One welcome reward Mal was grateful for was that with the slow passing of the years his name had passed from everyone's memory. At least in his retirement he could rest without hearing everyone recount his various exploits. Every time he used to hear the tales of his deeds they always used to sound bigger and bigger than the reality of the matter. It was the kind of thing that made him feel like he never could have lived up to the image everyone had of him. So, instead of letting everyone down he just quietly stepped aside. He had done his duty, and more than a few good deeds. But in a way he had always felt that he owed the kingdom more.
As he walked towards the granary however his thoughts shifted slightly as a grin threatened to show on his face. Someone had left the door cracked open, just a hair. Any other farmer might not have even noticed or bothered to care. But old Mal was never short on caring, and if someone had been desperate enough to sneak into his granary for the night then he figured the least he could do was show them some hospitality. Even if it wouldn't exactly be free.
He firmly tapped the tip of his thick oaken cane on the old granary door allowing the sound to echo up and around inside the aged building like a bell. "Rise, now," Mal snapped the order like he was commanding young recruits once again. "You can shovel out the stalls in the barn and feed the animals, and then meet me at the house for a meal." After a short pause he slammed his cane to the door once more. "Hop to, and don't bother trying to sneak off. I have the eyes of a hawk, ears of a wolf, and know every member of the watch from here to the ends of the kingdom."
Mal had to fight doubly hard not to giggle aloud as he walked back to the house. At least he was going to have a little break from some of the chores this morning but more importantly he felt good about helping whoever was hiding in his granary. It wasn't the best of places to spend the night and he figured at the very least they might be hungry.
Camden refused to even look over at his sister, he was already certain she was leveling her best 'I told you so' stare at him. And, to be fair, she was.