Luke: Gaining Ground



Disclaimer: This occurs earlier in the story, following the Sir Frances chapter and the Lewis skirmish chapter, I believe. Tell me if anything doesn't correspond with all of your thoughts.


Our squad shuffled through the backwoods, positioning ourselves proper for our attack. The slight kink of armor was heard, while the murmur of voices in the enemy camp did not seem far away. Someone inside let out a robust laugh, as if they were more at a bar then at war.

My hands were sweating, greasing the hilt of my sword as I adjusted it in its scabbard. The clear air of this upper meadow was none to pleasing at the time; each breath I took seemed to catch in my throat.

That was when a Handrin look-out spotted us.

Alarm horns howled over their camp and we went to make our move. I took a final glance at my father, slightly farther ahead, as he charged us forward. I swallowed, not helping to think that could be the last time I saw him…or he me.

Lewis grabbed my arm with a free hand, making me look to him briefly, “Let’s stick together.”

I nodded, and with that, we joined the others in pressing onwards, out of the trees and into the meadow. By now, with only a few seconds passing, the Handrin army at positioned themselves in defense of their fort, archers perched high on their make-shift towers and lined before their tents. More and more seemed to pour into their lines--so many of them. Yet it was done in haste, organization was lacking. They were unprepared for us, and they were unprepared for the surprise attack on their left flank. Despite their numbers, it gave me slight hope.

At first, a volley of arrows rained above us, blackening the sky with a blanket of those furious things like a hive of angry hornets. I raised the flimsy shield at my arm by instinct, flinching as one buried itself in the wood, and some men around me fell. I glanced to Lewis, who, to my amazement, was just as unscathed as I was. With that behind us, we pressed on with our forces, charging into Handrin lines.

Standing on the edge, looking to your reflection in the water as it shimmered and wavered. Holding your breath and anticipating the cold blast which would hit as you dove in, knock your breath away. But in the end, there was no turning back as your feet left the shoreline.
We dove in. And there was no turning back.

Nerves, the knot my gut was twisted in, dissolved. The clang of blades, metal against metal. Masses swirled all around, everything was a blur, veins pounding, filled with exhilaration, adrenaline, the will to remain alive. I met the eyes of my enemy. I raised my sword.

I saw the fear flick before his eyes just before I killed him.

Then, it was over.

In such a short time it was all over. It was no battle, really. It was the beginning. The first step.

And we won; we stepped ahead.

We were out of the swamp, and the Handrins withdrew.

Despite the victory, I felt like a murderer. There was blood on my sword. Blood on my hands.

 This is war. This is what I came to do.

The End

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