The Master and The Slave
The wagon trembles and stir causing Neya to wake up. She wipes her eyes gently with her right hand and yawn before opening her eyelids. When she opened her eyes, Nesto was nowhere to be seen, but there is a plate of sandwich just across where she laid.
She looks toward the archway curtains, and saw Nesto between the small gap, sitting at the front while holding the reins. Neya crawl to the sandwich, she wipes her eyes for the final time before grabbing the sandwich and starts to nibble on it.
Neya stumbles to the front while nibbling on the sandwich, she divides the curtain as she passed through it, and sit beside Nesto. Her gaze went to Nesto; she found that Nesto is staring into space with a blank expression. She waited for Nesto to notice her, but he kept on staring at the roads.
Neya looks at the road wondering what it is that grabs Nesto attention so much, but she couldn't see anything in the fog surrounding them. Neya thought that maybe he just focusing on the path that the horse walk.
She then lowers her sandwich and called out to him.
Nesto blinks his eyes in rapid succession then his gaze went to Neya.
"Morning, Miss Neya," Nesto greets as if nothing had happened.
"Nesto, are you okay?" Neya ask.
"I'm fine, my mind was occupied earlier," Nesto assure her.
"If you say so. Where are we?" Neya ask.
A town sign reveals itself in the fog as the wagon as the wagon getting close to their destination.
"We are near Tinevic. The village located near the mountain range," Nesto answers.
"Why is there so much fog around us?" Neya ask.
"It has always been like this. Every dawn, the path to the village is enclosed by a fog," Nesto explain.
"Nesto, are you sure you're okay?" Neya asks again while her worried gaze went to him.
"I'm..." Nesto let out a short sigh.
"It just this place bring back memories," Nesto said.
"Is it bad memories?" Neya ask.
There are a few moments of silence before Nesto answer the question. In that few moments of silence, Nesto gaze was restless as he thinks about Eilna.
"Not quite," Nesto answers.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Neya ask.
"No... I mean, I don't know," Nesto answers.
"It's okay if you don't want to talk about," Neya said then she places one of her free hand gently on Nesto arms.
Nesto gaze went to the small hand on top of his arm, "thank you, Miss Neya."
Neya has never seen Nesto like these before, the other time that she saw him like this is back in the city when the prince gave that beautiful saber to him. Maybe the saber has something to do with this town, Neya thought, but she wouldn't dare to ask, she was afraid Nesto would hate her if she invades his privacy.
Neya continues nibbling on the delicious sandwich. The ride to the Tinevic was in complete silence, Nesto was completely distracted by his thought.
The village was smaller than Neya has thought, there is only a few small wooden houses scatter and one general store. There is barely any elf or human walking around. An elf holding a bouquet of flowers waves at them both with one of his hand as he stands beside the roads.
Nesto stops the wagon beside the elf; the elf tips his hat before speaking.
"Sir Nesto, I didn't realize you were coming today. Isn't the anniversary another couple of months from now?" The elf said.
"It is. It just I need to see her now because in the next few months I will be busy with something else that prevents me from visiting her," Nesto said.
'Her?' Neya trying to figure out who is Nesto talking about.
"Do you still want me to take care of her?" The elf asks.
"Yes, I will send coins like always every month. Thank you for taking care of her," Nesto said as he bows his head.
"No need to bow you to me, sir. If it weren't for you and your friends, this town would probably be gone," The elf said.
"It at least I can do to repay you after what you been through for us," The elf said.
"Since you will be visiting her. Here you will need these," The elf give the bouquet of flower to Nesto.
Neya examines the bouquet and was surprised to see the same blue flower that Nesto pick back at his home.
"Claryfair," Nesto mutters under his breath. Neya heard Nesto words.
"It's her favorite, just like you told me," The elf said.
"Thank you again," Nesto said.
"No problem, sir," The elf said.
"Good day sir," The elf says before leaving the wagon side.
Nesto wiggles the reins slightly and the horse walks again pulling the wagon with it. Neya kept on staring at the flower, she remembers crushing the flower under a table back at Nesto house. A feeling of guilt rises in her heart as she stares at the flowers.
"Nesto... I'm sorry," Neya apologizes.
"Why are you apologizing?" Nesto ask.
"I didn't know that the flower means a lot to you, I accidentally crushed it from my outburst back at the house," Neya explains.
"It's not your fault," Nesto said.
"But still..." Neya was surprised when Nesto places a hand on top of her heads and pat her.
"It's fine, Miss Neya. Stop thinking about it, okay?" Nesto said.
Neya nod her head while feeling the warm hand on top of her heads.
The fog has slowly disappeared, revealing a massive cemetery on both sides of the roads. Nesto moves his hand away from Neya head and grabs the reins again. Neya was surprised to see the massive amount of grave in the cemetery.
She looks closely on the tombstone and realizes that it's not a regular cemetery. It's a military cemetery because of the sword shape tombstone on the grave. Neya also realizes that all of the graves are marked by a sword shape tombstone.
"Nesto, who is the people that are buried here?" Neya ask.
"Soldiers, generals, military personnel that die in the war," Nesto answers.
Does that mean 'her' was once a soldier? Neya thought. Neya heart droops down deeper into her guts when she realizes that her father is the cause of death for many that who is buried here including the one that Nesto cared.
"My father..." Neya was interrupted.
"Your father mistake is his, not yours. Don't make it become yours," Nesto said.
"But still all this people death. I could have tried to change it. I could have pleaded my father to stop," Neya said as she lowers her heads.
"You were a kid, you didn't know better and even if you know; there is nothing you can do to change it," Nesto said.
Neya looks away from Nesto. She knows that Nesto is trying to comfort her, but the guilt of these people death still cling to her heart because while all of this people died fighting. She was leisurely spending her time in the castle without any care of the world.
The ride was showered by guilt and regret for both of them.
Nesto stops the pull the reins stopping the horse and wagon near a small hill with a single tree on it. Neya looks at the hill, she felt calm and refresh as if the guilt from before has disappeared. When she looks at Nesto, she also sees a gentle smile on his face while he gazes at the hill.
"Are we here?" Neya ask.
"Yes, come on. She would be glad to meet you," Nesto said as he climbs down the wagon while carrying the bouquet in his hands.
Neya also climbs down and follow Nesto to the hill. They both walk up the small hill, side by side. When Neya arrives at the tree, It was what Neya expected; a grave with a name on it.
"Hello. I know, It's has been a long time since I came to visit, but here I am, and I bring someone else with me, you are going to love her," Nesto said.
Neya looks at the well maintain tombstone, "My name is Neya Nimmith, Nesto is currently taking care of me, It nice to meet you," Neya said.
Nesto gently places the bouquet of flower under the tombstone.
"Eilna was a part of my soul. We had promised each other to get married after the war, but she passed away before we could," Nesto said.
"She loves kids, she couldn't wait to have her own. If she was here she would probably spoil you so much," Nesto said while smiling.
"How did she died?" Neya ask.
"In a battle, while trying to save my life," Nesto said.
Nesto drops to his knee, and place his hand on his forehead while trying to hold back the tears behind his eyes.
"It should have been me," Nesto mutter.
Neya looks at the broken man on his knee beside her. This man has comfort her so many times, it now her time to do it. She digs her fingers into her palms before speaking.
"I-I don't think that she would want you to be sad. I think that she would want you to live a happy life," Neya said.
Nesto lifted his chin up when she hears Neya words, "But how could I live a happy life without her?"
"You have too because that is my order. As you master, I want you to be live a happy fulfilling life," Neya said.
"I don't..." Nesto sighs then a smile form on his lips.
"As you wish my master," Nesto said.
Then suddenly, he felt her master arms wrapped around on top of his collarbone. Neya was hugging Nesto from behind, she wanted to ease the pain of the only person she cared about.
A single tear flow down Nesto cheek.
"Please don't be sad Nesto," Neya plead.
"If you weren't alive today, I would have never met you and I wouldn't have somebody that save me. If that happens, I would have died in that smelly dark alley alone and cold," Neya said.
"I need you Nesto," Neya said.
"Miss Neya?" Nesto said.
"I'm yours till death do us part," Nesto said.
Neya embrace became tighter when she heard Nesto words.
Neya was happy to hear those words, She had someone that she could trust again and would never betray her. He was something that couldn't be replaced if he was gone she would be lost and probably died somewhere in a ditch.
Nesto resolve planted even deeper, he would serve this girl forever and won't let anything to hurt her because she is the reason on why he lives now. He would lay his life for her if it means to save her.
The tree rustles as the breeze brush against the leaves. They would continue their journey to the Baxorth Academy.