Chapter 46: Let The Blood Flow
I was forced to take a step back as my arms vibrated in impact to the blow directed my way. It was absolute impulse; I managed to bring up the sword in the nick of time to avoid losing my head. My muscles struggled to continually reciprocate the strength with which my opponent swung his axe my way as to let only the metal of my sword meet his weapon of choice. He was strong, quick in his movements, and most of all not carrying a growing life within his body to weigh him down; unlike myself. With every next hit his blade came closer and closer to my skin, while fatigue was lining my muscles.
When it came to strength it was clear I was no match to the man trying to behead me, hence my last resort was changing tactics. I gave up trying to offend and simply fell back to just defending, and conserving my energy in the process. Sweat trickled down my spine, and my breathing got irregular as the physical exertion began to take toll on me. Seeing an opening, finally, I gathered all my strength and shoved a hard kick on his left knee. With an audible pop his knee dislocated, and the bulky man, packed with blood and gore covered muscles, came crashing down to the ground. Wasting no time, I plunged the pointy end of my sword into his throat. A shower of blood started as I freed the weapon from the man’s flesh. Before the blood had the chance to puddle around my feet, I jumped over his body and put distance between us.
Layer of sweat covering my palms made it near impossible to keep a firm grip on the weapon. I slid the sword back into the sheath still resting on my hip with the support of a belt, and wiped my hands on the, once white but now muddy and bloodied, shirt of mine.
I kept my feet on move while my eyes swept around; taking in the total destruction that was my surrounding. Smoke rose skyward, thickening by every passing moment. Trees and vegetation crackled and flames danced upon them, sucking the life force out of every leaf and every root. Blood caused the land to turn muddy and filled with hundreds of foot prints. What was once filled with color and beauty at its finest, that the nature had to offer, was now a mass of flames, blood, and growing coats of soot. The buzz prevailing was nothing short of deafening. It was near impossible to discern wails from yells, grunts from moans, pleas of mercy from strings of curses, flesh and skin being slashed from swings of lethal weaponry.
I stared at the hell broken lose on the lands of Estercrest. A large proportion of men invested in tearing apart other men, were dressed in red uniforms bearing the mark of the royal family and king Cedric. The group that seemed to have an upper hand in the ongoing fight was dressed in black displaying the seal that signified their loyalty towards Vincent.
Hastily, I retrieved an arrow from the quiver hanging against my back, loaded it in the bow supported by my hand, plucked the string, aimed, and released. I utilized all but a moment. Tearing through the armor covered flesh; the arrow embedded itself into the heart of one of the many soldiers serving the king. Almost immediately I reloaded the bow, and aimed for another one’s heart. Not letting mercy and guilt raise their heads in my chest, I shot down one man dressed in red after another.
By the time I was supporting an empty quiver twenty four men had died at my hands, but that was nowhere near enough. There were thousands of men present to replace the ones I had put down, and finish their task of ending my life.
With battle cries and curses more than one man charged towards me, weapons at ready. I did not even get a chance to draw out my sword when multiple weapons swung my way. I waited for the immense pain to sear through my veins, but it never happened. All three of my attackers lay in my feet; bleeding out their lives from multiple wounds, whereas a dozen soldiers formed a human circle with me as the center of it. Anyone who tried to reach me was slashed to pieces in an instant.
With surprise clouding my senses, I gaped at every individual forming the ring which ensured my protection. Even though his back was facing me, his stiff posture, commanding aura, and protectiveness gave his identity away. Right in front of me stood none other than the greatest general the army of Estercrest had ever seen; my father. On either side of my father stood my brothers along with father’s most trusted guards. Relief flooded me at seeing my family well and living.