By angel 4ku
“Back so soon from your walk, sir?” I wondered as I heard footsteps approaching the door.
“Unfortunately not. We have grim news to report, ma’am,” replied Lieutenant Brody Gordon, a soldier stationed at the Gilford Army Base, where I was currently situated.
I looked up from the reports about rogue Lockwood troublemakers at our border with The Pack of Lockwood, which was near Gilford. They were the reason why the General came here, bringing me, his apprentice, with him.
“What is it, Lieutenant?” I asked.
Two men walked into the room, carrying something between them. I froze when I saw what, or rather who, it was. I rushed out from behind my desk and over to his lifeless but still warm body. An arrow stuck out from his heart, and blood soaked his red-and-gold army uniform he proudly wore. The arrow was made from wolf-eared beech wood. Wolf-eared beeches were most commonly found in Lockwood territory, so it must’ve been those Lockwood scoundrels who did this, then. I scanned his face and stared into those lifeless blue eyes for a long time to make sure that it was really him. As much as I wished it wasn’t true, there was no denying it.
General Cornelius Quentin Richmond was dead.
“What should we do, General?” Lieutenant Gordon asked, snapping me out of my trance.
I started, then stared blankly at the Lieutenant. Finally, I shook my head, and replied:
“Don’t call me General yet. I haven’t been bestowed with my title yet.”
“Alright then, Lieutenant General, what should we do?” he asked again, addressing me by the title I knew I had to soon leave behind.
“Take a patrol to Lockwood territory and tell them to look around. We’re probably too late to catch them, but we should still look for them just in case they’ve decided to hang around. Make sure the Lockwood soldiers don’t catch you snooping around. They don’t need to know that our General is dead. Not yet,” I ordered.
Lieutenant Gordon nodded, then headed out of the room.
“Put the General’s body in a coffin and make sure his body is kept in a good condition,” I instructed the two soldiers who were still carrying the General’s body.
They nodded, then headed off too.
I plopped down in my chair and buried my face in my hands, overwhelmed by many emotions. I knew this day would come ever since the General chose me for the Elite Warrior Program at the age of five, but it didn’t make it any easier. The General did train me hard and was sometimes very harsh on me, and I suffered because of it, yes, but he was also like a second father to me. He saw my great potential and gave my family and I everything when we had nothing. He was kind, caring and thoughtful most of the time. He gave my siblings and I quality education and gave my parents low-skill but safe and well-paid jobs in the army. He even didn’t marry and have kids so that no one would contend for the title of General when he died. He was the best mentor I could ask for, and I didn’t wish to part with him so soon.
Then there was the huge burden of being General that had just landed on my shoulders. I was an ambitious person, and I did want to be the General, but only when I was ready. There was still so much that he hadn’t taught me. I could ask the other Lieutenant Generals, those with much more experience than me, for help, but I didn’t want to give them the opportunity to undermine my authority. I was just not ready for the role.
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