The cry for battle rings out from the ranks of Warriors,

The King rides to His position with sword drawn and raised over His head.

He takes position at the head of the Army.

Strangely, I hear one of His advisers say.

“Why do you ride at the front, you know better than anyone what will happen?”

I can’t make out the King answer but I see Him turn and survey His army.

He turns back to His adviser.

His answer and gesture must have satisfied the adviser.

The King is to my left and many well-armed Men and Women are between us.

The charge begins as the King’s horse rears up and comes down so firmly that I think the mountains shake.

A fierce cry arises from the enemy force but is drowned out by our charge.

We run what seems to be a great distance before we engage the enemy.

Arrow begin to strike the ground around us.

They have archers in concealed positions on the mountain to our right and left.

Our own archers send a volley of arrows back

but many hit stone and very few hit their targets.

I position my shield well and remain un-struck by the enemy’s arrows.

Many warriors fall in the charge before we truly engage the enemy.

I see, as our lines clash the stronger warriors surge over their enemy but I also see the enemy overpowering us as well.

I am not the first to engage the enemy but their force quickly approaches my position.

I am ready.

The time comes for me to perform the task I have long trained for.

A dark foe charges me from the right; I catch sight of it in plenty of time

To set my feet and pierce it through the heart.

It instantly falls dead in front of me.

I have only a moment to comprehend what I had done

Before I am called upon to strike again.

The battle rages for hours until bodies of both sides cover the field.

The warriors without armor and shields are the first to fall.

The King’s army has lost many, but they have killed many more of their foe.

The concealed archers have ceased firing

My arm has grown weary and I let my shield join the items scattered across the battlefield.

There is still much fighting but now the warriors are separated by dead and wounded.

Without my shield I can grasp my sword with both hands

and I feel invigorated to fight again.

As I fight I try to survey my surroundings.

I catch sight of a fellow warrior battling to my right.

He is not far off but he is battling against two foes.

I am going to make an attempt to assist him but as I slay the enemy between us my attention is taken from him to a horse and rider that is bearing down on my position.

It is the Prince wielding a mace.

I take a stand, sword drawn and ready.

His mace reaches me before I am able to strike.

I find my hands empty and the Prince turns to charge again,

This time with his sword drawn.

My eyes franticly search to find a defense.

He dismounts.

His face is hidden beneath the visor of his helmet.

His stature and presence frighten me to my core.

His sword is held out to his right and it sweeps over the bodies he passes.

His pace quickens the more I try to retreat over the bodies behind me.

As I do my eyes flash from broken swords to shattered arrows,

Finally I spot my lost sword.

I change direction to my right and he is now running fast on my flank.

To reach my sword in time I would have to dive, grab it

and hope to use his momentum to strike a fatal blow.

I reach out for my sword grasping it firmly, I turn to face him.

A warrior stands between us with the point of a sword protruding from his back.

The Enemy Prince has plunged his sword through my King, armor and all.

As the King stumbles back into my arms, the Prince begins shouting,

“Victory, victory, we have conquered!”

His force joins the chant and the screams and shrieks rattle though the valley.

The Kings head rests in my lap, he is near death,

But his eyes are still very alive.

I am physically drawn closer to His face as I hover over him,

He says, “Now is your time, take my sword and slay the beast.”

Without hesitation and with singular purpose

I rise, take the King’s sword and approach the Prince.

The King’s sword is not as heavy as mine.

It feels as a whip made of a willow branch, but I have no doubt of its strength.

The Prince turns to mock me, but I am ready.

His turn comes straight into the blade.

His body falls at my feet and his head near it.

The shouts stop and the silence rings out.

I return to my King but he is gone and I remain by his side.

I take no notice of my surroundings until a fellow warrior touches my shoulder and helps me to my feet.

While twelve other warriors gently and respectfully lift the King’s body,

We begin to make the long journey back to our city,

carrying him in honor as a victorious King.

I stay by him, the whole march homeward.

I am not rebuked for being in a place of such high regard.

The long and grueling journey is being made even more wearisome by our grief.