Thibeas’ final days

wearily, the king inspected his ragged group of counselors, the budget long since exhausted, the tin soldiers melted, the castle but a shack with weeds growing through the cracks, human miscellaneous mistakes, crooked timber all of his entourage, and yet there was a light in their eyes that the glorious days had not known, and he was glad he had taken their erroneous advice.he pointed out the fine detail of the scratched figures in the rock, the fish, the symbol of the ancient ones, which so far seemed to have gone unnoticed by his advisers whereas thibeas concluded that their travels had lead them along the old path which they had wandered unwittingly, their tired feet drudging over the worn out stones like so many tired feet before them. wonderingly now they looked back and saw indeed that the smooth surface over which they had come bore the polished colors of legend: crimson red, trout blue, slate and deep emerald.the king looked at thibeas and considered his state of mind. for days had the old man not spoken and on two occasions had he stumbled as if he was about to give up but then had gripped his staff and – without complaint – had started walking again. the king nodded and finally gave the signal which set the whole rag tag army in motion almost at once as if their feet had been craving movement, anything but to stay in this place, but alas, they walked with more care now as their feet, wrapped in woolen and leather rags, touched the mellow colored rock, polished it of the chalky dust and left deep glowing imprints on the old path. crows perching in the bare november trees cawed condescendingly as the people passed underneath. from time to time the northeastern wind soared through the high branches like an echo of the past. the recently devastated fields ahead of them smelled not like death but like freshly tilled, fecund soil only, like a promise.

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