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Truth of Actions

             It was a late fall evening, the sun was saying its good bye to the land as the light slowly crept along the land like a receding tide. The wind blew a gentle tone, lifting the once dead leaves to life amongst the air currents as the danced within it. The trees have only begun to shed their first coat, the sun made the leaves glow in tones of gold as the last few rays filtered down through them to reach the eyes of one man who's life was about to change. He stopped on his journey for a moment, only long enough to look up at the rays for a brief second where his mind seemed to dwell on something for eternity and then like nothing happened he continued on his journey down the trail.

            He saw the path beneath his feet was coming to an end as were the trees, since at the end of the path was a clearing that was his destination. The last few steps of the journey seemed to take days for him to walk. When he had come to his very last step on the path he stopped, another step would have him on the grass of the clearing. He looked around to see many people beginning to gather around all staring at him, some glaring, and others grumbling to themselves. The crowd parted in a few areas letting through several men to the front of the growing mob. The man recognized all of these men; they were men he fought with many times before this day and one in particular stood out amongst them. A man he knows only hatred for, because of him he seen many good people suffer and die through his own actions. The people that man was surrounded by though either saw it and did not care, or never wished to know about it; to them he was a man amongst men. Their thoughts of the man standing at the end of the path though were no where near as gentle.

            The man on the path felt the hatred within him begin to burn with more intensity. He glared across the way to the one man, but his hatred disappeared when the crowd parted and another person came to stand beside him, a woman standing tall in a beautiful gown. She stepped away from the man and the crowd and slowly walked towards the man on the path, but stopped several feet from him. They stared hard into each others eyes, time seemed endless at that moment, but it was shattered as the man in the crowd shouted the woman name in anger and she looked back at the handsome man who shouted at her then she looked back at the man on the path again who most women might only describe as average.

            No words were ever spoken aloud; their actions spoke volumes to one another. He held out his hand towards the man in the crowd and then tightened it into a fist telling her He's not the man you think he is he thinks of you only as a possession. The woman slowly shook her head. The man held his hand out to the man again and then to her moving from top to bottom then put over top of his chest and slowly brought it away. He gives you trinkets that mean nothing; I offer you everything that I am. The woman eyed him up and down looking over his dirty clothing and worn down armor then lightly shook her head again. The man unsheathed his sword that was resting on his hip and pointed it to the crowd and the man standing amongst them then he pulled it back and while holding the blade straight up he pulled the sword up against his chest and then rammed the sword into the ground at his feet. They know nothing of honor; I will honor you and defend your honor as my own. The woman lowered her head and her eyes and looked down at his feet; she sighed and then shook her head again.

            The man took a deep breath and then waived his fist above the pommel of the sword stuck in the ground, and then held it out towards the woman. He turned his fist over and slowly his fingers outstretched into an open hand towards the woman. I will stop this journey I have been on and begin one anew with you at my side and we can journey through life together. He lived not as a knight, not as a nobleman, but merely as the type of man who was on a crusade, for that was the only life he has ever known, but he was willing to change that. He pulled his hand back quickly and put it on the center of his chest and then slowly brought it out to here again. I offer you all the love that can come from my heart. The woman shut her eyes and shook her head once and quickly turned from him and ran back to the man in the crowd. The man on the path dropped his hand to his side, he had seen many battles and knows well the pains the come from them and the scars the show. The pain he felt now was like nothing he ever felt before and could only wonder if its scar would ever heal. He knelt down on the ground in front of his sword, he reached out and gripped the blade near the cross guard. His knuckles turned white as his grip strengthened and blood slipped between his fingers and flowed down the blade.

            In one swift movement the man stood up, took the blade by its handle with his bleeding hand and slammed it home in the sheath on his hip. He closed his eyes, held out his hand and squeezed it into a fist until the blood ran from it raining drops of scarlet on the dead leaves at his feet. This is my vow. The wind picked up suddenly in a howl as drops his the ground. The woman standing beside the man could tell that he had just made a promise, but as to what he was promising she didn't want to know. The man at her side decided he had seen enough and made a movement to walk towards the man at the end of the path. The woman gripped his arm to try and stop him, but he turned around and backhanded her. The woman let go of his arm and put her hands on her now bleeding lip. No one in the crowd seemed to mind or care, in fact some of the other men smiled at the action. The man turned back to the man on the path, and began to walk towards him. The blood still flowed through his hand, he finished speaking the words to himself and he opened his eyes and looked right into those of the man coming his way. The man stopped dead in his tracks, the eyes that were looking back at him were like nothing he had ever seen before, and they showed not hatred or jealousy, they were only very cold.

            The man turned and walked back to the crowd and put his hand behind the woman he had struck and pulled her in close to him. He smiled cruelly at the man on the path as the woman put a hand up on his chest. The man on the path looked at woman and then up to the sky and without a word, he simply turned and walked back down the path. Then out of nowhere he stopped at looked up at the sun peeking through the trees, slowly fading, slowly dimming and then it was gone, the light had dried up and darkness now began to swarm. He turned his head back to the road and continued on; he no longer feared the darkness, because before the light faded he felt as if he was enveloped within it. He knew only two things at that moment, that he was a man with only one heart and he had just lost it and that he now only has the road before him. The road would always stretch on, the road would never turn on him or abandon him, the road was always someone he could count on, but he would always wonder about the road not taken.

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