Everywhere Beatrix looked, she saw death. As the two massive armies clashed together in what would come to be known in future years as the ‘Death Charge’, she saw desolation, disaster and despair.
There was Owain, recognisable only by the coat of arms on his shield, battling with a pikeman. There Hathering, surrounded by guardsmen in red and blue. There Whitwyn, dragged off his horse, disarmed. The ground held bodies of both sides, men falling where they stood, their bodies trampled in the mud. Everyone was stained with mud and blood and gunpowder, their eyes wild, their guts burning for revenge of fallen comrades.
Ye gods, Beatrix thought. We’re loosing. Thank the stars Keiran didn’t listen to me. He was right. This is a useless bloodbath.
Useless! She was useless! If Hathering had any sense at all, he’d retreat, save the soldiers who remained alive, and formulate a new plan, a new stratergy.
He seemed to have heard her - the trumpets sounded, and the army began to draw back. Aaron’s army stood their ground, well aware that this could be a repeat of their own trap, but Beatrix knew otherwise. It was the last desperate move of a number of desperate men.
They were only halfway back to their own ground when people appeared in the trees behind them, and Beatrix’s heart sank. It must be another of Aaron’s traps! More of his men! It would take them only a few minutes to finish off all hope of rebel victory.
But she was mistaken. Even from this distance, she recognised those clothes, that horse, that face.
And even though there was no chance of him hearing her, she shouted his name above the battle din: