Trial and Error

The dictionary defines beauty as a quality of being very pleasing and is usually used in a visual sense. However, there are those among the world’s population that would define beauty as being internal. That a person’s personality, their very soul, are what makes them beautiful.

Sain was not one of these people.

He’d long ago discovered that there were far too many beautiful women in Elibe for one man, but he hadn’t been discouraged. No, this had only given him inspiration. If there were so many beautiful women, then at least ONE OF THEM had to like him, right?

It made sense to him, at least, and that was all that really mattered. Wars would be fought and people would die, but the thought of gorgeous young maidens kept him going. Everyone needed something to fight for, right?

“Kent, I think my leg’s fallen asleep.”

“…Sain, I’ll never understand why you feel the need to speak.”

Sain moved his leg experimentally. “Wake up!”

Kent shook his head, then took the reins of his horse and began to lead it away. “I’ll be…anywhere else….If you need me.”

“Sure thing!” Sain called after him, pretending to happily wave at the red clad Cavalier’s retreating back. “Just leave me here, alone with my unresponsive leg. Thanks, Kent! Really!”

Grumbling underneath his breath, Sain slid off his horse’s back.

The only thing that might’ve made him feel a hundred percent better right then would’ve been a tavern. One of those nicer taverns, that didn’t throw you out into the streets when you’d been in a drunken sleep–or at least unless you’d been in that state for several hours. Those were the best kinds of taverns really. They always had the nicest waitresses too.

He’d only taken a few steps before he fell over onto his face.

Behind him, he could’ve swore he heard his horse snicker.

Still, even with as creative an imagination as Sain had, he knew that horses didn’t snicker. …Or at least he was sure they didn’t. All of the sudden, he had the unnerving idea that perhaps his horse had been possessed by an evil wizard at one point and was now evilly laughing at him.

Or maybe Kent had taught his horse how to snicker. Kent laughed at him sometimes too, but laughter was always better than the alternatives. Like yelling, or rolling eyes, or….Or….Or something equally as unappealing.

“Are you all right?”

Sain peered up at the newcomer, wondering if perhaps they were in on the conspiracy as well. “Yeah, yeah, I’m fi- Oh.” Sain momentarily froze.

Then, not wasting another second, Sain jumped up and, eyes sparkling, clapped his hands together in front of him. “I’m absolutely perfect.”

If Sain had ever seen a woman more beautiful, then he must’ve been drunk at the time because he couldn’t even begin to remember her. The woman in front of him even rivaled the Lady Lyndis’ beauty! To think that she was concerned over his welfare….

It touched him. Really, it did.

“Are you certain?” she asked, concern clouding her blue eyes.

“Your concern warms my poor, lonely heart, my darling,” Sain replied, taking one of her slender hands in his. “Might I have the honor of your name?”

A faint blush tinted the blonde’s face. “I-I am Lucius. Wh-”

“Ah, my dear Lucius. It seems that we were destined by fate to meet here today.”

“Are you certain you did not hit your head?”

“Come, my fair maiden!” Sain exclaimed, taking Lucius’ arm in his. “I will escort you back to our humble campsite.”

“Umm…Are you, by any chance, Sain?”

“Indeed I am, loveliest Lucius. Perhaps you’ve dreamt of me?”

Lucius pulled away gently. “I’ve…heard of–or perhaps about–you from Lady Lyn and I’m afraid you’re mistaken. You see, I’m not a maiden.”

“Oh…” Sain paused, then considered this for a moment. He smiled brightly again. “Such things matter not, my dear. Unless….” His smile wavered. “Please do not say you are already spoken for. My heart could not bear the agony!”

“You don’t understand. I’m a MONK.”

Sain stared blankly at Lucius for several seconds, then shook his head. “Are you trying to tell me that Monks are not allowed…true love?”

Lucius was becoming slightly frustrated. “Sain, I’m not a woman.”

“….Come again?”

“I’m a man.”

For a very long moment, Sain was truly amazed. This had to be the best excuse that any woman had ever used to try and get rid of him. They usually just said they were already married, or that they were allergic to men, or sometimes they just hit him….

This was….unique though.

Obviously seeing that Sain didn’t believe him, Lucius tried again. “Have you seen many female Monks, Sain? ….Any?”

“You ar-”

“I am NOT a woman.”

Sain paused again, slightly deterred. He had seen plenty of women in his time, this was true enough. Certainly Lucius LOOKED like a woman, but even Sain had begun to notice several things that were slightly off.

If Lucius indeed were a woman, then he had to be the flattest woman Sain had ever seen.

On that same note, if Lucius were indeed a man, then he was the most feminine man that Sain had ever laid eyes upon.

Sain wasn’t entirely sure which bothered him more.

“I’m….so confused,” Sain admitted, hanging his head in defeat, “but monks do not lie?”

“No, they don’t,” Lucius replied, smiling gently. He placed a hand on Sain’s shoulder. “We should return to camp.”

The cavalier waved at Lucius. “Oh, go on ahead. I’ll be there in a minute….I’m going to mope for a little while.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, yes. Go on.”

Lucius gave him another concerned look and started towards the direction of camp.

Ohh, he’d been so close! Beauty….Grace….Blonde….It had all been there! So very close….Yet, one again, the fates laughed at him. Built up all his hopes and then dashed them across the jagged rocks of reality. Oh, the pain….

Could he count that as rejection though? Certainly Lucius hadn’t cut him down where he stood, with sharp words, all the while cursing his pitiful existence. That had to a positive thing.

“Hmm….” Sain paused, tapping his chin thoughtfully.

Hadn’t General Wallace told him once that he ought to broaden his horizons, in a manner of speaking?

Hadn’t his mother once said that beauty came in many different forms?

“Lucius, wait up!”

Leave a Reply