The battlefield is perhaps one of the most tremendously devasting terrains known the man.
Many things happen on these varied expanses.
Love. Death. Torture.
But for twelve year-old Cade Madog, the battlefield is his new home. After a month, fighting is second nature.
But that can change.
Rain thundered down upon the soft, exposed grass, leaving dewdrops clinging for dear life on to edges of the blades. The moon shone magnificently, illuminating the dark expanse of night around it. It seemed like a becon, leading the men home. Leading them to where their wives would be waiting, bearing their children and awaiting their homecoming. Home. Where there would be warmth, and love, and most importantly, no war.
War. The dreadful sounds of swords clashing, men screaming, horses collapsing, and the atrocious sound of a man breathing his last breath. It's strange how something so hushed could be heard throughout a field of blood shed. Even the enemy understood that a dead man was a price. For every man they killed, their taxes would be raised by four gold coins. For our magnificent country, this would be a rarity. But for their poor, troubled land, this was all too common.
I was a knight back then. A low ranking one, barely affording to feed my sick mother and skeletal elder sister. It was a hassle to even afford food for myself. But we were happy. We knew that even in our poverty and pain, our father was still out there somewhere. Making money. Living on without us. We knew that as long as he was fine, we could survive. That was the only thing that kept us alive during those harsh, stormy winters.
I was still a young boy the last time I saw my father. He'd turned up on the door out of no-where. How happy I was. We'd hugged and hugged for hours, until eventually I invited him inside. Where my mother and sister hugged and hugged him for hours. We'd laughed, stared stories, ate the richest food we could afford. Fine turkey with a few roasted potatoes. Seventy-five gold coins.
But that's the past now. I'm not a young boy anymore. And my father is never coming back with stories to share. Now that's my job.
A single dewdrop awoke me from my slumber. I groaned slightly as I moved, my body still heavy with the scars of the night before. Scarlet blood flowed gently from the wound in my thigh, trickling down my leg into a small pool gathering on the soft, green floor. Damn. I was supposed to not leave any tracks.
Pain shot through my thigh as I attempted standing on it, and I stumbled clumsily to the meadow floor, landing with a thud. For a knight, I was neither valiant nor interlectual. My fingers were skinny and feeble, and I couldn't hold a sword if my life depended on it. The other soldiers were broad and manly. I was scrawny and childish.
Then again, I was the youngest boy to ever serve my kingdom. At exactly tweleve years and four months old, I was bestowed knighthood by the High King Arthur. That had been the happiest moment of my life. But sometimes I wondered.
SWas serving my king on the battlefield as no-more than a boy really such an honour?