The Old Warrior (from ‘Rafe Keyn and the Temporal Lisle’)
Sweat staining his leather jerkin and breeches, the old warrior moved quietly through between the potbellied drum trees. Not silently; silence took longer. It was the eternal balance of the predator: silence is slow and speed is not silent.
He knew the balance he needed for any quest. How much speed. How much silence.
It was, after all, how he had become an old warrior rather then finishing his course on earth as many young warriors did: prey rather than predator.
Any creature which noted his passing would be confused, smelling the rottenness of death, the sweetness of overripe fruit, and the encyclopedic scents revealed in the droppings of the largest of the prey animals.
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