Warning. Story Contains Violence Not Suitable For Sensitive Audiences.
He looked like a barber pole.
His tattered white armour was smeared red with the grotesque evidence of battle.
Exhaustion was evident as the double doors outlined a tall, rail thin man.
His manner was polite as the men of Silverfinch looked on.
“May I have a mug of warm milk please?”
The men in the bar stared. They were not fond of outsiders.
A burly, foul smelling man at the bar recognized that the warrior was in a bad way. His sword would fetch a fine price when Penelope’s Caravan came by.
“You’re not from around here, boy.”
The milk was served and the man took a sip, ignoring him.
” why, you look like a towel headed Vijay to me, boy. Did you get in a paint fight in daddy’s armour? What is your name, boy?”
“Ishaan, I am of Chandra’s men, good sir! Pleased to make your acquaintance!”
Ishaan took another sip of milk. The man stepped closer and Ishaan could smell the unmistakable scent of alcohol and sweat blended with the excrement of whatever animals he raised.
“Boy, you could get hurt with that sword. The sheriff sent me to get it for safekeeping purposes.”
The milk was refreshing and he asked for a second helping. When the bartender set it down, the man of Silverfinch brushed it off the bar, ceramic and milk mixing with the unswept floor.
Ishaan looked at the man. ” the tiger does not speak with the wild ox for now. please go away, or I will be compelled to make you stay.”
He turned to the bartender. “Good sir, may I have another glass of warm milk please?”
The Silverfinch man rested his left hand on the bar and leaned closer to Ishaan. ” I’m gonna cut you up and make cheese with your stomach, you filthy milk drinking foreigner.”
Ishaan took another sip. “ The sarpanch in Vijayapura, my village elder, would be displeased for what I am thinking. I asked you politely to leave or I make you stay. Stay a while and we will speak of the finer things.
“Like a whip, Ishaan drew a dagger from his boot and slammed it into the man’s hand, securing it to the bar.. The unmistakable crunch of bone could be heard. The bully sat dumbfounded momentarily and began to yell, “get it out, get it out!” with his right hand he pulled as hard as he could and could not release himself.
The other patrons crowded around Ishaan and began yelling at him to release him. Ignoring them, he drew his sword.
“After I drink, we fight.”
He stated flatly.
“I paid for this milk, and so be it, I will drink.”
He looked at the bully, finishing his milk.
“They will need your help. Stand still.”
With a rocking motion, Ishaan pulled the knife from the table and the man fled.
Ishaan raised his voice.
“I lost my honor in battle only to lose it again. I am the lone survivor of Chandra and my brothers in arms.”
I should have died with them, and I am cursed with life. Who will come with me to the other side, that I may join my brethren?”
None would grant his request and Ishaan journeyed North.