Sweat begins to build up on Robert’s body as he digs the child-sized graves in the dry, cold soil. Though there was not an inch in his body that was left uninjured or unscarred, Robert worked, even as the sweat poured into his wounds, the salt in them giving a stinging pain. For hours, he worked silently, only occasionally grunting and heaving as he would move the bodies into their grave.
When he first met the little girl, Evelynn, and her brother, Robert couldn’t help but show kindness and sympathy to them. He asked himself what the hell he was doing, or why. Just a day earlier his drive to help and protect people was taken advantage of and manipulated, warped into hurting the very people he should have protected. Yet, here he was again, gently patting a little crying girl, trying to assure her in what gestures he could muster that he is not here to hurt her.
Truth to be told, Robert saw a lot of himself in the older brother, when he bravely saved his sister from the big armored knight. It reminded him of his childhood, where he and his friends would play wizards and knights. He always wanted to be the knight. He liked to see the smile upon the face of the girl ,or the occasional boy (When the girls were busy helping their mothers), who played the damsel.
There is no smile on the face of the child before him, only a pained and crying expression. Her throat ripped and areas of her body grafted for food for the Lost. Robert gently places her in her grave besides her brother’s. Robert rumbles through his pockets and takes out the corn dolly that they found in Gillan’s bag when they first arrived on the island.
The answer to his earlier question comes to him, written in the child’s face. “We, the strong, those who call themselves knights and lords, those of privilege; It is our responsibility to fight, our responsibility to protect. It’s our obligation. Those who call ourselves noble. We might falter, fail, or make mistakes, but we must never give up. The only way is forward. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
“The girls called them corn dollies. We boys called them corny knights. We played with them. We spun stories and legends around the better crafted one. This is the best I’ve seen.” Robert says as he lays it on her chest, and then wraps her hands around it. “May it protect you when I couldn’t. It’s the obligation of nobles, Noblesse Oblige.”
And with that, he begins to close the final grave. Once done, he kneels in front of them and begins praying, to Selidor mainly (but only tangentially, as he is “supposed” to be a Selidorian knight). Mist sets in, and the chapter ends.
Note: Robert is not noble-born himself.