He had to be here. He was the hero.

His eyes were weary and only half opened, but they were fixed somewhere deeper than the collection of village cottages. It was night time now, and the citizenry were represented by the soft glow emanating from homes. He preferred the comfort of the dark. He preferred his lone patrol.

He looked as if he washed up from the sea and dried on a beach— his long hair and beard seemed ragged and stiff due to dry salt, and the edges of his silver armor and sword had streaks of rust running at various edges. His gray eyes resembled a corroded stone wall that still stood after centuries of abuse.

He didn’t say much, or judge. No need to judge— his destiny was set deeper than any stone could record.

He told me one thing that night, and he told me without breaking his stare with the unseen focal point:

“No matter how many loved ones are in your life, there will always be a part of you that is alone.”

“And sad are the ones who think that is all there is,” I replied.

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