The tattered flag at the top of the lookout post flicked back and forth in the wind. We had put it there half a year ago out of respect for our country's old government. It was red with a black lion printed on it, claws raised, mouth open in the semblence of a roar. No one was brave enough to climb up on top of the watch tower roof, so the flag had become weathered from months of rain and wind.
I stood in the tower, watching the reflection of the stars in the sea below me. It was a night without rest - a panthera had wandered into the village and the alarm had been sounded. Everyone had panicked until I had planted my knife in its heart. The beast had looked at me in those final moments with its four black eyes before it died. I swear it was crying.
My attention turned to a distant sound in the hills. I could see a thin trail of smoke on the horizon in the pale moonlight. Someone had set up a camp not too far off. I could hear the whoops and hollers of adolescent boys carrying down into the valley.
"Raiders," I murmured.
The large army of boys had been coming closer and closer day by day. I had sent scouts out to give me word of their progress - the army was growing in size, rallying those who had fled to the wilderness. Rumors had spread like wildfire among the younger children. Some no longer slept at night for fear of the raiders.
According to my sources the group was under the authority of Hostis, a neighboring country to the west of Bellum Vox. Our own citizens had been swallowed up by the raiders because my watchful eye had overlooked them. I had restrained myself to watching over only the children in the shipping village of Aurum. There were some days I regretted my decision. Days that I wished I could go back in time and stop the ships from leaving.
I wanted more than anything to bring my parents and my older brother back home.