Chapter 22:

Chapter 22: Sandwich.

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

She then lowers her sandwich and called out to him.Bookmark here

"Nesto?"Bookmark here

Nesto blinks his eyes in rapid succession then his gaze went to Neya.Bookmark here

"Morning, Miss Neya," Nesto greets as if nothing had happened.Bookmark here

"Nesto, are you okay?" Neya ask.Bookmark here

"I'm fine, my mind was occupied earlier," Nesto assure her.Bookmark here

"If you say so. Where are we?" Neya ask.Bookmark here

A town sign reveals itself in the fog as the wagon as the wagon getting close to their destination.Bookmark here

"We are near Tinevic. The village located near the mountain range," Nesto answers.Bookmark here

"Why is there so much fog around us?" Neya ask.Bookmark here

"It has always been like this. Every dawn, the path to the village is enclosed by a fog," Nesto explain.Bookmark here

"Nesto, are you sure you're okay?" Neya asks again while her worried gaze went to him.Bookmark here

"I'm..." Nesto let out a short sigh.Bookmark here

"It just this place bring back memories," Nesto said.Bookmark here

"Is it bad memories?" Neya ask.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Not quite," Nesto answers.Bookmark here

"Do you want to talk about it?" Neya ask.Bookmark here

"No... I mean, I don't know," Nesto answers.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

Nesto gaze went to the small hand on top of his arm, "thank you, Miss Neya."Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Neya continues nibbling on the delicious sandwich. The ride to the Tinevic was in complete silence, Nesto was completely distracted by his thought.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Nesto stops the wagon beside the elf; the elf tips his hat before speaking.Bookmark here

"Sir Nesto, I didn't realize you were coming today. Isn't the anniversary another couple of months from now?" The elf said.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

'Her?' Neya trying to figure out who is Nesto talking about.Bookmark here

"Do you still want me to take care of her?" The elf asks.Bookmark here

"Yes, I will send coins like always every month. Thank you for taking care of her," Nesto said as he bows his head.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"It at least I can do to repay you after what you been through for us," The elf said.Bookmark here

"Since you will be visiting her. Here you will need these," The elf give the bouquet of flower to Nesto.Bookmark here

Neya examines the bouquet and was surprised to see the same blue flower that Nesto pick back at his home.Bookmark here

"Claryfair," Nesto mutters under his breath. Neya heard Nesto words.Bookmark here

"It's her favorite, just like you told me," The elf said.Bookmark here

"Thank you again," Nesto said.Bookmark here

"No problem, sir," The elf said.Bookmark here

"Good day sir," The elf says before leaving the wagon side.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Nesto... I'm sorry," Neya apologizes.Bookmark here

"Why are you apologizing?" Nesto ask.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"It's not your fault," Nesto said.Bookmark here

"But still..." Neya was surprised when Nesto places a hand on top of her heads and pat her.Bookmark here

"It's fine, Miss Neya. Stop thinking about it, okay?" Nesto said.Bookmark here

Neya nod her head while feeling the warm hand on top of her heads.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Nesto, who is the people that are buried here?" Neya ask.Bookmark here

"Soldiers, generals, military personnel that die in the war," Nesto answers.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"My father..." Neya was interrupted.Bookmark here

"Your father mistake is his, not yours. Don't make it become yours," Nesto said.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

The ride was showered by guilt and regret for both of them.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"Are we here?" Neya ask.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

'Eilna Liatris'Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Nesto gently places the bouquet of flower under the tombstone.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"How did she died?" Neya ask.Bookmark here

"In a battle, while trying to save my life," Nesto said.Bookmark here

Nesto drops to his knee, and place his hand on his forehead while trying to hold back the tears behind his eyes.Bookmark here

"It should have been me," Nesto mutter.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

Nesto lifted his chin up when she hears Neya words, "But how could I live a happy life without her?"Bookmark here

"You have too because that is my order. As you master, I want you to be live a happy fulfilling life," Neya said.Bookmark here

"I don't..." Nesto sighs then a smile form on his lips.Bookmark here

"As you wish my master," Nesto said.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

A single tear flow down Nesto cheek.Bookmark here

"Please don't be sad Nesto," Neya plead.Bookmark here

"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.Bookmark here

"I need you Nesto," Neya said.Bookmark here

"Miss Neya?" Nesto said.Bookmark here

"Yes?"Bookmark here

"I'm yours till death do us part," Nesto said.Bookmark here

Neya embrace became tighter when she heard Nesto words.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

The tree rustles as the breeze brush against the leaves. They would continue their journey to the Baxorth Academy.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.