Friday, August 14, 2009

Keep Eyes Wide

The hill people, as the learned of my village call them or simply the people as they call themselves, are silent in combat with man or beast. If a man of the people is anything but silent then there is no death in him. If he is silent and only the wind he moves through makes a sound, then he carries death with him.

The children of the hill people, both genders, learn to fight from a young age. The children make martial sounds much like any other people do; they are trained to do so for the same reasons we find in our own society. This is for training only. When a man child comes close to his full inclusion into the governing of the people, his adulthood, he is taken out with hunting parties and first learns to employ his martial training for the killing of another living being.

On a first hunt a child is told to be silent when in combat, to move his voice into his heart so that his heart alone yells. He is taught by example how the people act together to kill beasts.

After his full inclusion he is taken on hunting parties for men, most dangerous beast, and learns his last martial lessons, how to be silent in combat while letting his screaming heart drive a fierceness and precision through his thoughts and limbs.

To be silent while a man screams, pleads or threatens is difficult. This is why children practice killing boars and other animals for years before hunting men. After a few encounters a man of the people is able to treat all his prey the same. His heart may scream with rage and violence, and maybe fear, but his eyes are the cold eyes of a predator to all who look upon his silence.

This is a fragment of what ambassadors from my village are taught of the people and their ways. One of our memorized instructions on Hill People interaction:
"You will not hear them coming, so camp in the open and keep your eyes equally wide."

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