When I was a child I didn’t want to fight. I think that would come as a surprise to anyone who knows my reputation. Probably to anyone who reads this journal. But I didn’t want to fight, not really. I liked to read. I enjoyed following my father around and asking him questions as he studied and carried out experiments. I never thought I would grow up to be a warrior.
Not because I didn’t want to be one. To be in the Tetrarch is to go to war. But I never thought I had it in me. I thought I would be more like my father: a scholar, a warrior-poet. I thought I would research the Daedra like he did, study the movements of the world and learn as much as I could about the mechanisms by which it runs.
Then came the scourge. Of course I had been given lessons with the sword already. It is a rare child in the Tetrarch whose play does not consist of some form of training. To enter the scourge without preparation is effectively the sign of neglectful parents. But I never enjoyed those games much. I liked books.
It was in the scourge that I discovered my love of the sword. I didn’t want to put it down. I remember the first time I sparred with another boy and the thrill in knocking his wooden blade from his hand. That thrill has never left me. Even when my instructors beat me, I relished every moment for I knew that I was learning. I could see what they did and I could emulate it.
I wasn’t just good with the sword. I was a born master with the sword.
It was never the violence that appealed to me. At least Salisir didn’t corrupt me there. It was the sheer limitless potential of the art itself. There was a lot to learn in the world, and I discovered that there was a lot to learn with the sword.
In that way I never changed. I simply found a subject to study that suited me perfectly. There were so many techniques to learn from so many different parts of the world. It was like learning each culture’s form of self-expression in dance. I felt like I could reach every part of the world. I only wish I had not been exiled so young, before I discovered a way to learn one of the Great Swordskills.
Now I can’t get that thrill from practice. At least it’s rare. Unless there is someone to teach me something I have never seen before, I would prefer my life to be on the line. I would rather beat someone soundly. Undeniably. It’s true that I have come to a place where I love the affirmation that comes with victory, and the victory in a duel is always certain.
Perhaps that’s so much of why I hated the Nanten. There was no certainty to anything I set out to do here. Salisir could be alive or dead, but what good is it to find him in either case? The Daedric society the Tetrarch used as a public excuse to send him here is just as unlikely to exist. What could I do against it alone even if it did?
No, I think that part of the reason I am beginning to flirt with a renewed sense of vigor is because I am beginning to believe that Inifra is right. Perhaps she is, and fighting these small battles to save the weak for just another day holds some value in itself. And those battles come with definite victories as well.
I need to finish what I was sent here to do, but I will not shy away from helping those we come across. Once we’ve found Salisir’s corpse, or turned him into one, then perhaps we can focus on the plight of the Nantese. It is Inifra’s dream that they can rule themselves again and find peace. Perhaps I can help.