Obsidian Trilogy

-- Illustrated fantasy novel --
Updates thrice a week

Page 75


Aren-Castell’s central square, midday. A tall, old Wanderer named Osaro and a local boy - thirteen-year-old Kangassk (no, Gassy; no one calls him by his full name yet) - stand against each other with their training swords drawn. The Wanderer is as calm and steady as a mountain. His little opponent, dead tired and sweaty, gasps for air; his hair is grey with dust; a huge bruise on his cheek grows darker with each passing second.

Their eyes meet…

 

“There is so much garbage in your head, boy!” Osaro scolds him. “Shame. You are ashamed of existing, of being yourself. Anxiety. You are afraid of making mistakes so much that you rarely dare to try anything at all. A crush on that haughty girl; Dellina is her name, right? She despises you as much as you despise yourself… And so much more. Fear. Anger. Lack of confidence. Self-pity. Fantasies of all kinds… You’re not here with me, not in this dusty square even, you’re out there, in your own world. How do you think you can accomplish anything in such a state?”

 

With a deep sigh, Gassy lowers his sword. He feels sick, stuffed by the unbearable midday heat, drenched in sweat, destroyed emotionally by his master’s words. He has no strength left to fight…

 

“Empty your mind, my apprentice,” the Wanderer says in a deep and powerful voice. The boy, suddenly touched by his tone, lifts his head. “Let all your thoughts go.”

“But I can’t…” the boy replies, his voice a pitiful squeak. “They only get nastier when I try to chase them away.”

“Don’t chase them away. Ignore them. Let them boil and splash as much as they want, just stay above them…”

 

In the empty silence of the Kuldaganian midday, the apprentice looks somewhere beyond his master. His breath steadies, he no longer gasps for air but calmly breathes through his nose again. His whole cheek is blue with the bruise; with the fighter’s adrenaline rush over, it hurts, badly…

Suddenly, the boy’s eyes brighten up with some inner rapture, he smiles through his fatigue and pain, “I got it. I got it, my master…”

 

Just like he did back then, Kangassk rose above the maddening whirlpool of random thoughts and worries and finally could sigh with relief, his heart no longer racing, his breath calm and steady again. It felt like flying in a dream, above all the worries of the world.

That was the moment when all the pieces of the puzzle Kangassk had collected, suddenly made sense…

 

17th Mar 2021, 7:40 AM

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Author Notes:
Mild
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Mild
Actually, this is a good way to deal with anxiety and intrusive thoughts. I use it myself all the time.
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