Minottir had gotten to know Oshbury Beldurkit of the Rabbit People the best during their journey because he had been the most open and friendly.
“Oshbury, what do you think awaits us in Caeter? I wonder what the land will be like? I’ve been to the Great Forest, and the North, and now Smethille. This is a beautiful land, don’t you think?”
“Yes, it is. I had not been to Anthella before this. We live near your land, just further east. We war with our cousins, the Hare People. They are arrogant, and presumptuous. They hold nothing but contempt for us. But I have heard tales of your people’s fury.”
“Oh, indeed. Us and the Dragon Folk are always at each others’ throats. It does seem that way all about us, doesn’t it? For every people, there is another to fight them. Peace is a foreign concept on this world of Babalae.”
“It is the dream of the hopeless idealist, nothing more.”
“What if one day, it is more than a dream, Oshbury?”
“On that day, there will be only one race on this world. That is the only way I see.”
“That would be truly monstrous. All this beauty, and variety? This difference no more? I hope not.”
“Then do not wish for an end to war, my friend. Differences are the stuff of war. My brothers and I used to fight, and it was war on a different scale, but the same. There would be times of peace, but these would be stopped by a fight of some sort eventually. The only way we stopped fighting is when we went our separate ways. They left the household. It was the only way. And that is the way of the world, Minottir. Are you a dreamer, my friend?”
“I suppose, I am what they call an optimist. Because if this world cannot be redeemed, then what are we doing this for? Why don’t we just shut our eyes, and wait for the Andred to come? If it’s so terrible, then why is it worth saving?”
“I am not sure. But I feel it is my duty, all the same. War may be cruel, but non existence is surely worse.”
They were silent the rest of the ride to Caeter, and even Minottir’s optimism was shaken by this idea of non existence. He couldn’t truly conceive of the great void consuming everything and leaving nothing in its wake. He shivered, and his thin rubber-like arms felt like bones for a moment. Beyond mere death. Non existence. Yes, that was worth war, he thought to himself in a desperate mood.