"The monster's here!" Someone shouts in my direction. I'm amazed by the fear in their voice, I've got used to the monsters, why can't they?" They give me that look, admiration for what I'm about to do mixed with fear in case I don't manage it this time.
I grudgingly start putting my armour on and once again briefly consider not bothering with it today, just taking my sword and shield out there. My desire to get to the fight quicker is tempered by my desire for it not to end prematurely with my death so I fasten it correctly and loathe every second.
My walk to the front gate takes me past a selection of the inhabitants of the castle. Some of them are genuinely scared, and they have my pity, some of them look bored and I toy with the idea of running, of leaving them to die. I hate them.
I duck under the portcullis as it's raised, trying to get to the fight quicker. The monster catches my scent and bellows at me, this is probably my favourite part of the day. Raising my sword and shield I stride forwards it as it lumbers towards me.
The cheering starts as I pull my sword out of the beast's belly. I hate that they cheer, when they know as well as I do that there will just be another monster tomorrow. The portcullis raises and the crowd inside beckon me towards them. I turn, in the other direction, as I do every day and gaze down the dirt track that would lead me away from here.
I hate the other knights for leaving, I hate the people for staying and I hate my life, my endless self sacrifice for people who don't deserve it. I hate the fake smile I wear on my face as I make my way back to the castle I think of as a prison. I hate my routine, one day it's going to be the death of me.