At The Northern Fort / At the Northern Fort Chapter 18

MTL & Editing : Ashes

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I wonder how many days has past, but all I know is it’s been a long time since I wandered into the fort that one day and so far, it’s been filled with peace and fun. As of recent, I now stay in the same room as the one-eyed knight and today we awoke early. The one-eyed knight did his exercises before we both headed towards the Dining room.

After breakfast, the one-eyed dropped me off again then went on to do his daily duties. As always, it’s exciting for me to get to play outside. I enjoy leaving pawprints in the fresh snow while running as fast as I can and digging holes in the snow. Then as you’d expect, playing in the snow, the dreaded snowballs clung to my body so I went to the gate to ask Brother Knight for help. The one that helped before.

In the opposite direction of the Lodgings and the gate, there is a garden with a fruit tree that attracts birds. I go there to look at the small birds that gathered to eat the fallen fruits and some of the ripe ones on the tree. So long as I don’t get too close to them, they won’t fly away. Even though they don’t like me getting close, the little prints they leave in the snow are adorable; just watching them heal me.

After watching the birds, I go to the stables and greet all the horses. During that, Chief Cromwell came and I play with him. It seems I’ve become his close friend, I hope he makes a human friend soon among the knights.  It seems the Chief comes out almost every day before noon, I hope he’s getting his work done. Maybe he’s taking an early break before coming here?

By the way, when I play with the Chief I’m careful not to venture away from the stables since it looks like he’s really accustomed to talking with others well.  When I shook my tail and came over and touched his hand, the Chief suddenly had blood leak from his nose. It was strange how a nosebleed could look so gorgeous if the person who had it was beautiful. Cromwell quickly held his nose to try and withhold the bleeding, but it was too late; I already saw, Cromwell holding his bloody nose while trembling. An excited expression plastered on his face while his horse looked at him with concern.

After he was able to calm himself down, he took a luxurious handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped his nosebleed; embarrassed while doing so.

“I’m okay, I’m okay… My heart just wasn’t prepared…”

It was okay because he was beautiful with a nosebleed or rather because he’s my friend.

When noon rolled around, it was time for the Chief to go back, only it was obvious he was doing so reluctantly. The one-eyed knight also picks me up and I play with him while acting like a childish fox so he would give me jerky as snacks. I was happy.

As the afternoon rolls around, it’s time for the knights to go back to work so I sadly had to part with the one-eyed knight. Afterwards, because I’m still a baby fox, I ended up napping until the sky darkened. At first, I ended up falling asleep on the snow in the shade of the stables, but after the thought of ‘what if the stray dog comes back’. I ended up sleeping in the stables with the horses. I felt better since the horses would help protect me if a dog did come after me.

After I awoke, I still had to play by myself. Of course, it was lonely but the one-eyed knight wasn’t here to accompany me outside the gate since he and the other knight were busy with their duties so paying attention to me would take too much time from them so I didn’t bother.

In the evening, the one-eyed knight came to get me just before it got too dark, but he still hadn’t finished all of his duties so he took me with him to the office. While there, I waited patiently at his feet as he sat at his desk finishing up paperwork. It only took a little while before he finished then it was dinner time. I got to eat rice with the other knights in the lively dining hall.

I’ve already gotten used to Tina and the… Coercion of the tough looking knight corps’ faces.  I laid in Ms. Tina’s lap as she petted me and although I kept vigilance towards Knix’s surprise attacks, he’d still get me when I wasn’t paying attention; raising me high. I’ve gotten better with it each time, but it’d kept reminding me of an amusement park’s freefall ride; every time I went down it turned my stomach over.

The one-eyed knight reminded me of a reliable father and Ms. Tina a gentle sister; the knights of the fort brothers who were very protective of their sister and the Chief who was a friend with a delicate, caring heart. Knix was the idiot in the family, but he was still fun…

Still… With all this peace, I still felt that there was trouble coming soon. I couldn’t tell what, but it was like a pit in my stomach

Or a little troublesome brother feeling.

In this world, I had only my mother, but now, it seems I’ve joined a big family here and to that; I’m quite happy. Thinking this  I finished supper and headed to the common room to wait for a bath. While I waited I was brushed by Tina and played with knix… Sadly, Knix had only taken one bath in four days. Anyways, while in the common room, I have to be careful because even tho I’ve touched the Chief’s animal-loving side because he’ll get angry at us for being loud and reprimand us

Please, someone, be his friend…

On the note of baths, I was forced to enter the bath before.

It was on a day that the sun came out and the snow started to melt, so I had mud all over my fur. There was so much that even the other knights looked at me in awe. After that, I had been dragged to the bathhouse by the one-eyed knight. At first, I was excited… Then he took off his clothes in the dressing room, shocking me.

I was hoping he’d keep his underwear on, but no… Neither did the other knights who came to bathe. I also see the Chief here, keeping to himself and watching everyone. Certainly, he could try to be more social? I tried to escape from the dressing room so I wouldn’t have to bathe with the guys.

Sadly, my escape was foiled.

The one-eyed knight caught be and only thought I hated baths. So while I was being bathed, I refused to open my eyes and everyone was laughing the whole time. How cruel, but I died before I could climb the stairs of adulthood so I’m a maiden on the inside. I believed if I looked I would be traumatized.

By the way, there was also a hot spring and I was interested, but I had to concede and accept the one-eyed knight’s advice saying “It will be too hot for you”. I also felt the aura of “Fire” from the hot springs, so it probably wouldn’t be compatible to me who’s a snow spirit. Rather, the hot spring itself was unusual as it’s water was hotter than a regular hot spring so I couldn’t bring myself to go in. When the one-eyed knight was finished, we both returned to the room and went to bed.

I liked that the one-eyed knight would pet my head while saying “goodnight” before we both went to sleep.

Like this, my days at the fort passed by peacefully. All the knight were gentle to me and no one bullied me, with wild dogs never showing up again, Everyday was fun, but then I remember, that mother should be back to the mountain soon…

If I don’t return back to the mountaintop, I’ll worry mother…

I suddenly thought of Mother who should be back soon, however, I couldn’t just up and leave without saying anything. The one-eyed knight would certainly worry about me if I were to just disappeared. It’s truly inconvenient that I can’t speak. I can’t express my gratitude or how much I love being here.

One afternoon I was wondering around the iron fence that surrounded the fortress. The spacing between the bars was enough that I could fit my small body through, just like how I got in. It was hard to say goodbye, especially to the one-eyed knight. Even though my mind screamed to go back home to mother, my legs wouldn’t move forward. I wondered if my mother knew, would she let me come back and play. I sat in the snow, staring at the mountain. Slowly, it began to snow. Then the wind began to pick up and then it became terrible, almost blew me away. It was a snowstorm. The beautiful white snowscape turned into a white void and within a blink of an eye; it was a blizzard.

Thus giving me the excuse to push back leaving the fort thus I turned back and entered the fortress. But the snowstorm didn’t stop for three days…

MTLN: As you guys probably noticed, there have been quite a few changes going on, they will not be changes to previous chapters, but going forward those changes will reflex in future chapters.

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