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Glory Days

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It's surprising how quickly life turns dull when you're no longer fighting dragons for the future of Skyrim's safety. Perhaps dull is too mild of a word because some days Malath wanted to smack his head against a wall just for the possibility it may be entertaining. Some days he nearly would. The Dragonborn had all these houses scattered across the country, and they're empty except for the housecarl that lives there. If he ever visits one of them, which is rare, it's different now.

Eight years have passed since Malath slew Alduin in Sovengarde, and five years since his life has slowly but steadily begun a descent into madness. His body is too riddled with aches and pains that someone his age shouldn't be receiving for another couple of decades. He took on a nearly impossible task, and his physical being shows the price he paid. Nobody truly knows how it's impacted Malath emotionally; he may be crippled but he's too stubborn to let his feelings show. Some of his old ways haven't completely abandoned him.

Now he spends his days wallowing in self-pity, rambling to himself about how shitty his life is because he's too sickly to play outdoors with all the other kids. His housecarls no longer look up at him with anticipation and wonder when he would stumble into the house unannounced, half dead and laden with treasures from his adventures. There was always a story on his lips, always a tale to be heard. Not anymore. Those tales have been told, the songs have been sung, and now they're forgotten. News around Skyrim is the civil war these days, bigheaded Nord men stamping their feet and having tantrums over the Empire and its ridiculous ways.

Nobody reminisces about the day the Dragonborn saved their village or city from a terrifying beast, or when he saved all of Skyrim from being destroyed completely. He's been reduced to textbooks and history, just a shell of what used to be his glory days. Nobody told Malath how hollow he'd feel once all was said and done...

Malath slowly cracked one eye open, feeling the warmth of the morning sun on his face. But for him, it held no comfort in its caress. It was just a reminder that another day had started yet again and that he'd rather be asleep. He liked it better when he was unconscious, or drunk. Whichever came first was okay with him. He groaned and rolled onto his side, feeling nauseous, which was obviously from the night of drinking he had coerced with. His newest hobby was being the town drunk since skooma went terribly wrong. He couldn't stomach that stuff. Malath tried to sit up. The room swam before his bloodshot eyes, and he quickly slumped back down on the bed and took a couple of deep breaths. Sharp pain pounded against his skull and it felt as though his brain was letting him know just how much of a pathetic excuse of an Orc he'd become. Each pound reminded him of his miserable life.

Who would ever want to see the Dragonborn in this state? I'd be a disgrace.

So that's why he lived alone in Whiterun.

Malath finally managed to bring himself to a standing position. He shuffled his bare feet across the cold wood floor, shivering at the cool morning air that came in from the broken window.

Ah, he sighed, feeling a bittersweet pang in his chest.

I remember how that happened, back when entertaining women was an exciting pleasure when I was desired for my fame and power. There had been this one, in particular, a fiery Redguard with the most unusual interest in…

Anyways, needless to say, they broke the window, and Malath nearly broke his back, but that was years ago and he never bothered to fix it. He doesn't bother to do much of anything anymore.

I'm only kept alive because of the pension I'm paid, you know, for saving Skyrim and all.

Malath rubbed his bearded chin. It was long over-due for a shave, but he couldn't care less about his appearance. Women stopped looking his way once he stopped going outside for anything more than food and booze.

He somehow made it down the stairs without stumbling and rummaged through the food cupboard, ignoring the looks of Lydia when she entered into Breezehome.

"Good morning my Thane," she greeted him, and he grunted in response.

Malath knew his lack of social skills got on the Nord's snobby nerves, but she did as best of a job as she could to hide her annoyance. Too bad he wasn't a complete idiot. He noticed the slight frown on her face, the flash of frustration in her simple brown eyes when he glanced her way.

"What do you want?" He asked bluntly, enjoying how much his rudeness set the woman off. Currently, it was his only form of entertainment besides drinking. Malath found it rather funny that the woman held such high standards in mannerisms and social etiquette when she was built like a Horker and fought like a brown bear.

"I only came to see how my Thane is faring, and to see if there were anything I could do," Lydia replied as sweetly as she could muster.

She was doing a terrible job, and he enjoyed it. This routine was a habit of hers he had failed to stop. Lydia was like a stinky old cat nobody liked that kept coming back for food no matter how many times you abused it. Malath ripped a chunk of stale bread off with his teeth and noisily chewed on it while staring thoughtfully at her with bloodshot eyes. He could almost see her shudder. She glanced down at his attire, which was the same clothing he had been wearing for the last three days, and he could practically hear the rolling of her eyes back in their sockets when he turned his back to her to pour himself a cup of wine.

"So early for alcohol, my Thane?" She asked, and he shrugged, taking a deep sip of the red drink.

"You any good at sucking cock, Lydia?" He inquired thoughtfully and watched in calm amusement as the Nord's face turned bright red like a tomato.

It made her even more unattractive, which he didn't think was possible. However, she became utterly enraged at what the drunk had just said to her.

"H-how dare you!" She cried, stuttering, and her big rough hands balled up into fists. "You are the worst Thane I have ever had, you…you…asshole! Look at you, the mighty Dragonborn reduced to a set of rags and an alcoholic. You disgust me!"

He hadn't been prepared for that. Her words hit Malath like a stone brick to the gut. But unlike dear Lydia, Malath was better at hiding his emotions, and so he simply smiled at her.

"Lovely Lydia," He told her soothingly, holding his hands up. "I was joking, honest. I have more respect for you than that."

His voice was dripping with lies, but she was too stupid to be able to tell.

He watched with delight as Lydia's anger burned out after a few moments and was quickly replaced with shame. This time her pale face flushed red in embarrassment, and she tucked a strand of her lank brown hair behind her ear, stammering an apology.

"No need," Malath replied, waving his hand. "I have no need for you today, like every day you come here. You are dismissed."

His voice was flat. He was bored with her now. His fun was over, so Malath made her leave and turned back to his only hobby. His cup of wine was immensely inviting. The only sound of her departure was the clanging of her ridiculously bulky armor, and the door shutting quietly behind her.

However, the housecarl's words sunk into his ragged flesh, as he sat by himself in Breezehome, drinking the day away. Malath sighed, running a hand through his dirty brown mane of hair. His physique was no longer toned and perfectly sculpted or something to be desired. Where muscles once quivered hard and round, his body was now soft and thin, reduced to almost skin and bones. He couldn't remember the last time he saw his reflection, but he knew he didn't want to see what he looked like now. Malath had not uttered a shout in the Dragon tongue for years, nor picked up a sword in the past two years. What prized possessions he had lain in boxes, or on every spare surface in his home, collecting dust. He had been reduced to someone he didn't recognize anymore, and those depressing thoughts made him drink more. By the afternoon his mind was clouded over with alcohol, and that brought him false comfort. And, like always, by the early evening, he had finished off the all of the stale bread and more wine than he could remember. It was enough so when he laid down on the cold stone floor of his lonely home he swiftly fell asleep.