Orledin put the muffin tin in the oven, and made note of the time. He’d have to take them out in fifteen minutes. During that time, he had bread dough to knead. He turned to where he had left the dough to rise on the kitchen counter. He almost jumped as he discovered someone else in the room watching him.
Salenicus, the other death knight, stood by the kitchen door. He was taller than Orledin, and looked to be stronger as well. Orledin had managed to avoid having to talk to him much up until now. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to welcome him, but he was a reminder that Orledin was also a death knight. It was easier to forget when existing with mostly living elves, and while he did patrol with Sorrowmoss who was also undead, she wasn’t a death knight. Salenicus was.
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you.” the other death knight said as he crossed the kitchen to the middle countertop where Orledin was working.
“Then talk.” Orledin said without looking up. He concentrated on his work, flouring his work surface and his hands before beginning to kneed the bread as Salenicus continued.
“I’ve noticed that you don’t carry a bow on patrol.”
“Why would I?”
“They seem quite insistent that I learn to use one.” Salenicus folded his arms and leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. “I’ve noticed you’re never at the practice targets either.”
Orledin shrugged and continued to kneed the bread, “I’m too busy baking.”
“Did you ever have to practice at the targets?”
“No, I was always too busy baking.”
“So they just sent you out on patrol without any bow training?”
Orledin shrugged again, “Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened, but again, I bake for them most of the day. They might realize that if I have to go out to the targets, there will be less cookies and bread.”
“I suppose you’re lucky then. I can’t fall back on what I used to do.”
Orledin glanced at the clock, ten more minutes. “What was that?”
“I worked on the docks. I died there too, or just off them.” He frowned as he watched Orledin kneed the bread, “I suppose you died in a bakery?”
Orledin grunted, “I wish. It would have been more comforting than dying in battle. I was in Silvermoon, and things were okay until the Scourge broke through to the south. That’s when everything was ordered closed and everyone who was able was called to fight. I’d never even held a sword before, um well, I mean, not that kind.”
Salenicus raised a brow, but let it lower again without questioning anything about swords. “The others were asking me last night how I died. I think I drowned. I don’t remember the exact point when I died. I remember all the dock workers loaded into the boat as soon as we knew it was a losing fight. We thought we’d be safe out on the water.”
Orledin twitched an ear. It wasn’t his favorite subject to talk about. He’d rather forget it happened at all, but he figured if he talked about it now, then perhaps Salenicus’s curiosity would be sated. “I don’t remember dying either. One minute I was fighting and the the next, I woke up on the wrong side and unable to do anything about it. I have a wound at the back of my neck. I’m glad it’s in a place that’s easy to conceal. I fit in a bit better that way, I think.”
Salenicus nodded, “The others said they were sorry that I died. I understand they mean well, but it made me think of the others who died. Do you get that? A lot of the other death knights I’ve talked to didn’t. I mean, looking up what happened to them was the first thing I did upon gaining my free will.”
Orledin continued kneading the bread as he answered, “I don’t think a lot of the others want to know, or they don’t want their families to know what they’ve become. My first act upon gaining my free will was writing letters. My father had died when I was just a little over fifty, so I ran the bakery. My mother was ill a lot of the time, but she was alive at the start of the attacks. I found out she had died from a cousin. The same cousin told me not to contact them again. The family had already mourned me and my mother. I also wrote to my boyfriend, but he didn’t want to see me either.”
“At least you had people write back.” Salenicus frowned, “I found out that everyone in the town I lived in died. Everyone. My wife had been at the docks with me. We had just seen our two sons onto the boats that were meant to take the children to safety not even two hours before we got on a boat ourselves. I remember thinking as our boat was being attacked that they had to be far enough ahead.”
Orledin looked up, “They weren’t?”
Salenicus shook his head, “There were three boats. They all sank. I didn’t know until after everything. I did know my wife had died. She was raised in the same group that I had been raised with, but held too much free will. She wanted to leave to find the boys. They killed her again. I remember seeing it, but I don’t remember feeling anything at the time.”
Orledin glanced at the time. He put the bread dough aside and put his oven mitts on to take out the muffins.
“Why do you still bake?”
“I enjoy it.” he answered, reaching into the oven to pull out the muffin tin.
“But you can’t enjoy what you make.”
“I still enjoy the act of making it. It’s like a hobby for me.” There was a pause before Orledin added, “Maybe you need one. There is a lot of spare time here, especially for those of us who don’t sleep.” He put the muffin tray on a rack to cool.
“I don’t know. I don’t seem to have much spare time between archery practice and studying the maps of the patrol routes.”
“Maybe if you thought of archery practice as a hobby…”
Salenicus huffed, “That would be easier if the trainer wasn’t yelling at me constantly. Hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable.”
“You’ll find something. As for the trainer, he’s like that with everyone. At least he’s not treating you differently because of what you are. You could bring it up with the Captain if it really bothers you.”
Salenicus nodded, taking time to glance at the clock, “Speaking of, it’s about time to meet him at the targets. I have a feeling he’d be grumpy if I’m late.” He started towards the door, but paused and turned back around, “By the way, thanks for the talk. I know it’s not an easy subject, and it’s good to have someone around who understands a bit.”
Orledin nodded and watched as the other death knight left the room before returning to his baking.