Silence... Aside from the singing of birds in the distance, you could not distinguish any other sound. With your eyes still closed, you can feel a light breeze in your face, a breeze which reminds you of the smell of dew. Upon opening your eyes slowly, images and shapes become visible: Above you is the ceiling made of oak, a little old and noisy but sturdy like stone, to your left where the breeze is coming from there is a lantern on top of a small wooden table with a window behind it, which is covered by a curtain allowing for just a little of light to get through and reach a mirror on the other side of the room. Whilst you slowly wake up, your sight continues aiming to the left, where now, bored of the sunlight reflecting from the mirror, you admire a creature of splendid beauty: With her face and right arm resting on your chest, and breathing with such tranquillity one would do well to question if she is breathing at all, there is she, of long golden hair, a face of such unimaginable perfection and a body that even the great sculptor of Firenze wouldn't be able to properly replicate in his works. Her name is Irene, beautiful and wise like the Bright Eyed Goddess, you cannot believe how such angelical creature could see enough good in you to choose to be your wife.
Still submerged in thoughts, you get up and start dressing, upon sitting down on the edge of the bed to put on your boots, you see an old wooden box underneath the bed with silver ornaments, ancient lithographs and a dragon insignia, briefly your mind gets lost in memories of which you wish you had forgotten. Avoiding to open old wounds, you stand up and leave silently, once out and walking through the hallway that leads to the dinning room, to your left there is another bedroom. There, lying in a cradle you made, is your son, although it hasn't been long since his arrival, you can already imagine the great hunter that one day he will become and the great things for which he will be famous for. After all, in his veins, runs your blood, the blood of the legendary hunter Orion, famous for having killed some of the most ferocious and cunning beasts from nature and having taken part in the war against the Golden Empire, although you could not fight to the end, your help was of utter importance to the banishment of the invading troops. And just like you, one day your son will take part in history and make his name to be of great importance.
Before getting even more distracted by projects and dreams of the future, your mind quickly remembers of the present and you resume following your way the dinning room, where, during a unjustly shorter time than it took you to prepare it, you enjoy your breakfast.
Once finished, you waste no time and go to work. Out there, in the fields, without much idea of what to do, you prepare them for the harvest, life as a farmer is dull and boring however the simple idea that, unlike hunting, such activity not only allows you to be near your family all the time should danger come but also it's prosperous enough to live from it, makes it bearable.
Around noon, whilst you prepare for lunch, Irene – with your son in her arms – comes towards you. Upon getting close to kiss you, with a look of happiness on her face she says:
- Good morning.
- Good morning . (you reply following with another kiss).
Looking at the baby, the little creature laughs, as if he is happy to see you, then Irene says in a tone of joy:
- I still can't believe you really came back.
- Why not?
- You were a hunter fighting in a war, a real war, against people that have spent their whole lives training to kill other people. You could have died there...
- Well... until then I had only fought against wild beasts but in times of war, people don't differ much from them... at least not the ones I killed haha. (you try to lighten the mood).
- Besides, who, if not me, is going to teach him how to hunt? (you look at the baby).
She laughs and then responds:
- He won't be a hunter, he'll be a farmer. It was enough already when you used to go out in your hunts and come back nearly dead saying that it was just a scratch. He'll work on the fields, he won't be in any danger.
- I see.. So that's why you insisted so much on me stopping hunting, huh?! You know, at least I could have worked as a blacksmith instead, the profit is better...
- But then you would be working with something that entices to violence (she protests).
- Not necessarily...
You reply failing to convince her.
- ...I mean, these days most of the people that buy swords and the like hang them on their walls or use as decoration, besides I wouldn't be smiting weapons all the time. (You add without much success, accepting your lack of skill with words).
- Right... Once you're done here, I'll need you to go to the village buy some salt and then come help me set the table for lunch (she speaks going back inside).
Quickly you begin to store your tools and then start heading towards the village. The path that connects your farm to the village isn't of great amusement and so your mind starts to drift in thoughts once again: Some months ago, whilst fighting the soldiers of the Golden Empire under the banner of the Dracul, a letter had arrived, one from your Irene – who was pregnant at the time – reporting a fire that had consumed the village you once called home and, how rumours of a demon lurking in the shadows had taken people to madness. In a paragraph, she talked about the Lord having ended his own life in desperation after losing all of his wealth to the fire, in another, she explains how the food had become scarce due to the death of many farmers and how people turned to violence and theft, even mentioning the death of one of your oldest friends by the hands of a thief whilst defending his crops. At the end of the letter she called for your return, worried with her own life as well as the baby's, noting that it didn't had to be for much time for she knew how important was the war you were fighting in.
Like any honourable man, moments after reading the letter, you left to save your family. Upon arriving at the village, the situation was of greater severity in comparison to the expected: Most of the houses had been completely burned; Thieves from all over the region had invaded the village seeking the riches that hasn't already been stolen by the villagers. And your wife... still living in the old house of yours, had faced danger much closer than you would dare to imagine: The front door had been forced open, the furniture was all ransacked and destroyed, to this very day you can remember the sound of shots being fired on the second floor, running like never before you bumped into a thief covered in blood with a expression of fear in his face, without worrying if he carried a gun or not, right after getting up you grabbed the man by the head and abruptly pushed him against the wall with so much strength that the sound of his skull cracking caused the other thief – who, was at that time running back to the second floor – to curse loudly, you quickly grabbed your knife and jumped at his direction, cutting his throat impetuously. Moments after the screams of the second thief became silent, the door at the end of the hallway – which the stairs you were in connected to – opened cautiously and from there, dropping your old rifle and with tears running down her face, came Irene running to you for a long embrace. Never before in your whole life you had held someone so tightly in your arms as you had held Irene that day.
Then, you two quickly took what was left of your belongings and ran away. Luckily, one of your friends was moving and had given you his old farm that was located a few minutes down the road that connected with the village's main entrance, you weren't happy with the idea of staying around that region but the little money that was left wasn't enough for something better. Some weeks latter, the situation wasn't so precarious, the land was fertile, the house was furnished and although it wasn't too far away from danger, nobody came to bother you and your wife.
Some months latter, the harvest was plentiful, the house was beginning to look more organized and your son had been born. As much as pride had been well present your life until then, that time it was greater than ever and although the situation at the village hadn't improved much and everyday new challenges presented themselves, the love of your wife kept you going.