For My King

by Pat Draco

A bright blue morning, with the sun shining brightly, there are no clouds, only the odd bird making its journey to places unknown. I look away from the beautiful scenery above, down towards a view much more depressing, a gigantic clear field consisting of dark green grass covered by masses of silver. A battle is about the take place, two hordes of gleaming armor, horses and sharpened blades clashing together in an amalgamation of guttural roars, cries, pleas, shattered metal, shredded skin and broken bones, and death.

I have served my king for twenty years, fighting in countless wars in which he claimed was for the greater good. It was only recently that I began to have doubts. For twenty years I have unquestioningly followed his commands, killing and burning whatever stood in his path. He rewarded me greatly for my loyalty; I am now his right hand general and the men look up to me, but is all this fighting truly justified by one powerful mans allusive statements?

A few days ago we fought a battle at the bridge north of the border against a force of one thousand infantry. The bridge could only hold four men abreast so the battle took a few hours but we won. This could easily be seen; I had ten thousand loyal soldiers with me. Yet still, the enemy did not plead for mercy or back down, they fought us with the equivalent conviction of each of my dedicated men.

During the battle I noticed that the opposition was not very skilled. My sword moved like a snake, finding small openings in armor and biting deep and cleaving limbs from torso and head from shoulder, felling countless foes. Even with the embodiment of death in facing them they still charged with purpose. Taking swings even when impaled, with what little strength they had would still try to kill me, they failed.

When the battle was over I noticed that their commander was still breathing, he was in the throes of death but still had a little bit longer. I looked down at him. He was a young lad, twenty summers at the most. He looked up at me, bright blue eyes of steely determination and hatred bore into mine. I raised my blood covered sword ready to end his life, but curiosity stopped me.

Why do you fight us? My king wants nothing but the best for your people, if your people were to help us than we would put an end to the tyranny of your mad ruler. I scrutinized his face for emotion, my words had no effect. He began to laugh manically; I thought he had gone mad.

You foolish old man! Ever the obedient dogs you southern men are. You follow orders regardless how irrational and never seem to have one moment of introspective thought. You believe every word your ruler tells you and never think for yourselves. Maybe your ruler is the mad one and mines the benevolent. I let him talk no more after that statement but parted his head from his shoulders, but that did not erase the truth of his words. They have clung to me since than, like flies cling to the dead. The sharp words pierce me daily and never am I able to find a moments silence before unbidden treasonous thoughts enters my mind.

The sounding of a horn pulls me out of my reverie. The enemy ranks have formed and begun to charge. The cavalry and I in the front row arm our spears and kick our horses into gallops. We surge ahead of our main force and in wedge form near the enemy. Once again I kill for my king although now it feels more evil, dirty and pointless. The young lads words have really affected me. Maybe one day my loyal men and I will revolt and end all this bloodshed. Maybe.

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