When the dust settled, the King’s eyes beheld what a day’s worth of battle gained him.
The fields before him were littered with bodies; some wearing his colours, and some wearing the colours of the King of Ithligor. Where once was green, now was red and silver and strained. Weapons belonging to the fallen lay about, beside their former masters, useless.
The King looked to his right. There stood the victors. His knights, Sir Chairing and Sir Rhupe, sat upon their horses, their stained swords still held in their hands. About them stood his footmen, loyal soldiers and peasants who wished to aid their king. They were wearing, all, and wished only to set camp and eat and sleep.
The King looked to his left. On the furthest hills of the moor, he could see the last of the remaining force of King of Ithligor. There weren’t more than a dozen, many on foot, one on a horse. That last horseman the King knew well. The knight had left the King’s service many months before to aid the King of Ithligor’s plans to attack the King. Traitor.
The King looked down at his own hands, finding them bloody. But it was not his own blood. His hands were bathed in the blood of the men he had slain, the blood of the lives he had ended. Even know, he could recall the screams and moans of death, and he remembered hearing them in the heat of battle. They had not drawn sympathy; they had spurred him on to inflict more damage, more pain.
The King looking straight ahead. These lands were not his own. At least, they weren’t his own, past tense. With this victory, he could expand his boarders into Ithligor, causing the lands of Muloc to grow. He would move a legion of men to this exact field, and have them erect a guard tower. Perhaps, he thought, there may even spring a village around the tower, and these lands could produce wheat and corn for the kingdom.
The King closed his eyes. He too was weary, as his men were. His breath came in slow inhales and exhales as his heart began to slow back to its regular beat. So much had happened, so much was still to be done.
The King opened his eyes. He had heard the warning, and quickly noticed that, to his left, the knight on the horse had returned. The knight was riding hard, and the King could see he carried a bow in his left hand. As the King turned to see the returning knight full on, the King also hear the sound of his own men setting arrows in their bows. The King heard, and then saw, a score of arrows fly over his head and toward the returning knight.
No arrows found their target. At least, none fired at the knight. But as the King’s army prepared another volley, the returning knight loaded his lone arrow into his bow. His aim was true, as the arrow pierced the King’s armour and his heart.
The King closed his eyes. The future he had just found for and envisioned would never be.
The King died.