And once more, as the bells toll in the distant towers, the heralded day has cometh unto them yet again. The day that they spent all summer preparing for it. To face the enemy once more in his own quarters. To give no quarter to him, not even yield an inch should they fail. Should they fail, there is but no choice to give their lives to the honourable cause, lest their fort should fall.The object that the enemy was seeking for must never fall into his hands, for if that happened, all that they stood for would be lost forever.
He was weary. Weary of waiting for it to come. For the great battle that must happen no matter what. He had almost got used to a civilian life, at every break of the day doing nothing but toiling the soil. Or practising arms with the rest of the men. Not that they were very eager to do so either. In the beginning, they practised everyday, waiting with fervour for the day to come. But as days turn into months and months into years, discipline rotted along with it. They had become a bunch of drunken, spineless good-for-nothings.
Now the time had come to prove their mettle again. And he was glad for that chance. For his battle-hardened senses screamed out to him, to join the bloodletting. He was not going to let this chance come to waste, though he might not be making his way back to this homely cove after all this had ended. Perhaps he would have a warrior’s burial. Or if they lost, perhaps his head would be stuck on a pike. That was what those barbarians up north did. And now those barbarians were here.
With a smile, he put on his armour and strapped on his scabbard. In the meadows yonder, he could see columns marching towards the borders. And he could see familiar faces in them. Old Scott’s son was there. Newly married. As well as the ironsmith’s brood. He couldn’t remember his name though. He was always bad with names.
No matter, he grimaced. When all this is over, there would be no need of names anymore. Either they would be remembered, or they would be forgotten in the tomes of history. That was the reality of the winning and losing.
Theirs not to decide their fate.
Theirs not to question the powers that be.
Theirs but to do or die.