Desmondius awoke in the afternoon, as the sun crept up over the golden sands that filled the courtyard, just outside the blood room. The door was left open to let the cool winds in, with a thin net curtain covering the doorway. The insects were drawn to the blood room, led by their instincts and bloodlust alone. He squinted, his eyes slowly adjusting to the bright sun.
“You’re awake,” Amazonia murmured as he pulled his hand from her grip. He studied her face and her red puffy eyes. He sighed, sitting up with caution so as not to undo any of the work that may have been done while he was asleep.
“You shouldn’t cry. You should be stronger than that. You’re young I know. But you claim yourself a warrior? You want to fight in the war?” He accused, a disgusted tone lining his voice as he turned his head from her, pushing his hair away as it stuck to his sweaty brow.
“Yes, I-” she began, but Desmondius raised his hand.
“Don’t apologise, understand your mistake. Change yourself.” His words were short, sharp and to the point. He used them to drill into his soldiers how they should act and to discipline them should they be wrong. But then he noticed something. He noticed the long shadows across the floor and cursed.
“Where is my armour? I must get ready this instant.” It wasn’t really a question; he simply had just announced that he was leaving. Just as he had placed on his leathers and swung his cape around himself Anemone came scurrying over.
“You can’t leave. I haven’t dismissed you.” She explained, though as Desmondius looked at her she tried her best to keep his eye contact.
“Then tell the king that I can’t,” he smiled weakly at her power though, ‘maybe Amazonia can learn something from her.’ He thought, before continuing to walk off. “I have an urgent meeting. My fever has broken. My wound is seen to. You have served your purpose.”
The sun shone on the metal breastplate that sat over his leather tunic and skirt. The crimson cape of the Spartans blew behind him like a standard carried by all Spartans. He walked with determination, his head held high above the lower-class soldiers (though each one was valuable to the cause.) His helmet was under his arm, he never thought about it before but Amazonia must have brought his armour to the Blood Room. “Thanks,” he thought. Though such gratitude he would never show.
His stomach grumbled and he realised he must eat, he was already late and if he fainted during the meeting it wouldn’t look good on him. He swung by the mess hall on his way to the general’s office.
The mess hall was a large, plain hall, with nothing but crimson banners that hung from ceiling to floor. Long wooden benches lined two long wooden tables. The tables had a red table runner that was pierced with a spear directly in the centre and a helmet resting beside it. The grey slop they served there had little or no taste, though it was packed full of everything they needed. It kept them strong. He sat down at the far table on his own and ate in silence, though he knew it wouldn't last.