Sickness sat deep in Alder's stomach, but he wiped his bowl clean with a slice of bread and began to chew on it. He tapped his foot constantly. He placed his wooden bowl beside him on the table and sighed, eyes glazed.
"Dragon sighted on the outskirts of the forest!" The Captain bellowed.
Alder leapt to his feet and lurched sideways, but caught himself and drew his sword, blood pumping. He ran towards his leader's voice, adrenaline spreading through his system. He halted behind a line of other young men and cast a mocking glance at Dorn, who sat staring at the ground outside of his tent, unwilling to move.
"I want twenty men in the forest, and fifty with me!" The Captain ordered.
He saluted and stomped a foot. "Sir, yes, sir!" He stared, hoping to be picked.
"You, there, Alder, come with me, Dorn you can go with the others into the forest. I want that silver slug located and wring its neck. I want the body, for its head will make a lovely ornament in the tavern!"
Alder cheered and laughed with the others, still glaring sideways at Dorn, whose face had drained of colour. Let him be that way. If he doesn't want to kill the dragon, it can burn him in its flames.
He set off with the others, marching in the second line of five. So many men, but so little chosen to go with the Captain, only leaving Deputy Smith behind to mind the others on the back line.
Mail clinking as he walked, he held his sword tight it a stiff wrist. He couldn't wait to swing his arm and cut some dragon flesh. They caught sight of the hill, and the camp where the Dragon Riders where hiding.
Arrows sailed through the air, nocked by the archers hidden in bushes and up trees of the sparse forest following them like a creek down their edge. Alder sheathed his sword and lifted his shield over his head and charged with half of the group, leaving the others behind to get through while they made a distraction.
"Attack!" The orders came thick and fast.
Alder threw himself through, and watched the people scrambling for safety and the tiny amount of warriors turning to fight. Cowards.