Hope fights gallantly on the front lines, afraid of no foe. He wields his sword without fear of blood loss or defeat, because he knows that he will fight to the end, leaving nothing unspent. Hope wears no breastplate but finds strength in being exposed, daring the enemy to annihilate its life source, Love. The heart, the life source of Hope is more powerful exposed, providing light to its comrades, giving strength to its allies. Hope enters the battlefield knowing that it will be a victor either in winning the prize or winning the defeat that tastes sweet from the effort of being fully spent.
Hope mounts the peak, sword in hand, seeing that which he longs for, that which fulfills is on the horizon. Hope merely needs to traverse the valley below, conquer the enemy, and tear down the barriers along the path set by Faith. Faith is a noble brother in arms, having gone ahead and prepared a way for his brothers, he only asks that they trust his path is the best laid path that leads to victory. Hope sees the enemies to its fulfillment and measures the cost of exposure, of potential defeat, and steps forth in spite of it all. Hope weathers the storms that rage while on its journey and finds restoration in the heat of the sun.
Blasts sound and fall at the feet of hope, a shockwave that slows but does not shake Hope's foundation. Girded in truth and belief in the mission, Hope steps forward amidst the blows, eyes fixed on the horizon, the prize. Enemies to Hope are great in numbers yet weak in fortitude. Green with envy, some attack without hesitation, barreling forth with reckless abandon, insisting that its victory is the defeat of Hope, not realizing that they rob themselves of their own true victory by fighting against Hope. Others wait for a weak moment, a stumble, an ache that cannot be ignored, and seek a carcass to feed off of and mock; the wounded, the weak whom have given into carnal sensation, rejecting their pursuit of Hope for that which requires no effort to attain.
Hope's greatest enemy on the battlefield, Despair, he lurks in the shadows assessing the damage. He is indifferent to the prize, he only hates Hope because it is something that he cannot own. He tried to possess Hope as a child and was embittered at the first sign of resistance; he mistook resistance for rejection. He failed to see that the resistance was a gift that preceded Resilience, a brother to Hope. On the battlefields of life, Hope and Resilience wage war in tandem, war against the forces of Despair. Despair steps quietly in, he conducts his mission with small words whispered across the fields, aimed for the heart of Hope. He is cunning and his arrows are precise. Faith steps out, just beyond Hope and deflects the arrows that would have pierced through the heart of Hope.
It is only when Hope is distracted that he steps outside of the protection of Faith, he is exposed. Despair sees his opportunity and with the excellence of much practice, he aims his bow towards the heart of Hope, directly into the heart of Love. He pulls back the bowstring, fixed on his adversary, and as he releases the arrow leaves its maker, soaring through the air, over the land and pierces the tender source of life. Despair with all his venom is not satisfied, he sends another, seizing his opportunity. Again, the arrow seeks to steal Love from Hope. Another arrow sinks into the muscle.
Noticing the assault, Hope's brothers in arms gather round, deflecting what they can and draw the attention of Faith to cover them. Longsuffering brothers in arms, they kneel beside their fallen brother and quickly go to work, removing the arrows, mending the wounds. Tedious work, requiring intention and persistence. Despair, angered that his foe is no longer within reach, paces in the distance; waiting to see if his assault had been complete. Behind the fortress of faithful brothers, Love is being fed and knit together. It is slow, tedious work, for the sinews of Love are great and not easily pieced back together. Hope breathes heavy, contemplating death as life seems to rush from his chest to a place beyond comprehension. And yet, hours pass, perhaps days, or months, and a breath enters Hope that feels something like life. It is the breath of Love being restored, he recognizes this source of life immediately, and yet is evolved since last they met. It is gentler than he recalled, beating once again within his chest. Hope's eyes open, he examines the wound with clear eyes and sees that the scars that have healed in his slumber are exquisite. His hand reaches to his chest, his palm against his heart, the steady rhythm of live revived. "Oh, beautiful life, Despair wanted to rob me of you, and yet my Love, my life has returned to me."
Hope looks up where Faith remained all those days, and looking into the eyes of his friend, renews his commitment to the path. A hand reaches down to where Hope lay, it is the hand of Wisdom. Wisdom promises to lead his restored brother henceforth. Taking the hand of Wisdom, Hope feels the weight of Despair's arrows have left and his heart, his Love, is light once again. Resilience welcomes Hope back to the battle, and with renewed strength, their army unites, pressing onward for the prize, the longing that demands to be fulfilled.
Hope fulfilled, sees an endless battle.