Thirty-one – 04

[This post is from Seamus’s point of view.]

“With who?” Anselm asked after a few seconds of silence—seconds that felt like they went on forever. Seamus didn’t look at him.

“Does it matter?” Seamus asked quietly.

“It might,” Anselm said. “What was it that you always used to say? Knowing who the enemy is allows you to better prepare yourself to face them?”

Seamus’s lips twitched toward a slight smile. “I should have known that someday my own words would come back to haunt me.”

“Indeed,” Anselm said, crossing his arms with a faint smile. “An unfortunate oversight on your part.” His smile faded. “What do you want my help with, Seamus? They seem to be doing well enough without formalized training.”

He swallowed hard, shaking his head slowly. “It’s not going to be enough, old friend,” he said, his voice a whisper. “We’ve seen this before. All that happens in the past will repeat again in the future. They need to be prepared.”

Anselm watched him for a few seconds, a faint frown creasing his forehead. “There’s no guarantee that history will repeat.”

“It always does in one way or another,” Seamus murmured, then sighed, rubbing at his temple. “They need our help, Anselm, and I can’t train them alone.”

“It seemed there were some—”

“Memories of lives long past won’t help all of them.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t asked Phelan or Thordin,” Anselm said, ignoring the interruption.

“They’ve both been busy, hurt, or both.” Seamus’s lips thinned. “I can’t depend on their help, Anselm.”

“But you can depend on mine.”

“I always have before. Why should now be different?”

“Because the world is different,” Anselm said softly. “Everything’s different, old friend. Our world is utterly changed.”

“All the more reason I need your help,” Seamus murmured. “Can I count on you?”

Anselm fell silent, watching the sparring match for a few moments before he nodded. “Aye. You can.”

“Good,” Seamus whispered. “Good.”

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