As the small village girl led the tired military captain to the town Inn she commented that he didn’t seem like a captain.
“Don’t get me wrong,” the simple country girl said, “I hear you fight well and all, for one so young. But your voice is too soft to give commands and be taken seriously. In fact, everything about you is all wrong to be a man of war. You have a goodness about you that doesn’t belong on a battlefield.”
“I do what I have to,” he replied shortly, and then his voice softened as he looked at the girl. “I know my job is to kill, and take life; so that’s what I do. I’ve learned to be good as what I have to do.” He paused, “Sometimes you just need to do what you’re told to, even if you don’t like id….even if you don’t agree with it….” The soldiers mind wondered for a moment.
“Amazing isn’t it, life?” the captain said, “We think it’s so precious that some of us are willing to compromise our own morals and beliefs just to keep on living…
“But when all is said and done, once everything that can be compromised has been; when everything has been taken away or changed; and yourself compromised and changed, is it worth it? Is it even a life that we lead anymore?” He glanced down at the girl traveling beside him. Innocent and pure, her eyes wide and full of pity for the captain, but did she really understand what he spoke of? He prayed she didn’t and that she never would.
Since his soul was now forfeit, he then and there swore to make is his duty to ensure that she and others like this girl, would never have to make the choices he had made what seem like an eternity ago, or to know the pain and loss he had gone through just to understand that you don’t always make your own life; you can’t always choose your own future. So when you do have a chance to make your own choices, you need to choose the path that is good for your soul.
It is better to go against country, family, and friends than to go against your own conscious; because it is you who lives with your choices, it is you who has to sleep with yourself at night; and no matter whom you are, or where you are, or what you did, everyone dies alone. It will just be you and your choices that walk down that tunnel towards the light of the next life.
Just as the captain decided to pay the village girl who showed him the way, enough gold to feed her family through the winter time, before walking into the Inn and eating a dinner of bread and cheese and sleeping in the cheapest room that the Inn keeper had open.