He wheeled his horse around, his pulse racing. If he survived this battle, then the gods were kind indeed….
All he knew was exhaustion. All those Ormish troops, spread out behind them, equally engaging them. Rhutgard saw a man bearing down upon him. With the exhaustion he felt, he reached out with his sword and slashed with all his strength. The enemy’s arm fell off, his sword still in hand. The man howled in pain and gripped his arm with his one good hand, falling to the earth. Again, Rhutgard wheeled his horse around, this time hiding behind a mace that crashed down atop his shield.
“Retreat! Retreat!” came a familiar call. But was it his own side or theirs? He whirled his mount about, looking for direction.
“Your Majesty, it’s gotten too dangerous for you to be out here!”
And two Generals escorted him toward a makeshift tent.
Well, that sounded familiar, he thought, thinking of Luvian.
“They’ve retreated,” said one General. “But that won’t last long, this is just for a break.”
And thank the gods – he needed a rest. “Water,” he said. One General gestured for a waterskin and Rhutgard nearly drained it.
“Have you any wounds, Your Majesty?”
Rhutgard let the remainder of the waterskin trickle down his face. “My son. Kendrick. Where is he?” he croaked.
“We’ll find him. Have you any wounds, Your Majesty?” they repeated.
Rhutgard didn’t think so. It was hard to tell with this armor. “Find Kendrick, find him now.”
One of the Generals immediately left.
“There are more than we –” Rhutgard became dizzy, lightheaded suddenly. He bent over and leaned on his knees. He couldn’t remember when last he ate.
Panting, Rhutgard continued. “There are – more of them than we can fight. We need a new – plan. Get me – my War Council. We can’t fight them all.”
Another waterskin was given to him but he pushed it away. They won the first battle, the first EverWinters Battle, but then the rest of the Ormon Army arrived, and it had been solid fighting since. They could not continue fighting this way. Something had to be done before they died out here….