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Prologue (part 1)
...It's impossible that this is a good thing.
The blood covered figure of an armoured knight glared at the vicinity through bloodshot eyes.
Just moments before they had gallantly rode into the cowardly enemy troops, swooping down and striking them. The strong warhorses' hooves stepped firmly as they galloped on the the sludge, mottles of mud staining them, but even that did not hinder their fierce attack. No one blocked the way of the Castoria Imperial Knights under their glorious golden banner. Nothing was expected to.
However, in the middle of the melee, the situation was obvious in his eyes. No longer in perfect order the leaders were a shadow of their previous selves, the horses and allied troops, usually in battle, had both disappeared beyond the battlefield.
It seems they had become scared of the enemy and had ran away in an unsightly manner. The proud fluttering golden standard was an ill-omened blood colour. Lined up as far as the eye could see was the savage tribe's banners, seemingly dyed the colour of human blood. They were in front of course, to the left and right too...and then to their rear.
What cowards. Full of rage he thrust his sword through the enemy soldiers. The first soldier made a bad moaning sound as the sword went through his throat, the next soldier's helmet was shattered. He shook the blood and brains from his blade with no compassion for the soldier who collapsed, his skull broken. Arg! This savage tribe Adarshan are ignorant of propriety, the knights are as shameless to attack from the rear.
It's not that he didn't understand their tactics. As he thought back he realised that from early on in this battle the enemy had contemptibly done nothing but aim for this.
On the continent these knights are surely admired, personally I too am proud of the Imperial army, in this battle on the moor they don't know defeat.
Therefore on the moor they had lined up ahead of the enemy forces, without fail in order it seems for the bout. In the case of they, Adarshan fighting them, they should avoid only the moor. The opponent couldn't read as much, they were unworthy. They had routed them. ...Seemingly at that time they had been caught in the enemy's trap.
They appeared slowly in front of the enemy soldiers with a majestic imposing battle line. The Adarshan army's anxiety built up and they became agitated, so they sneered at them. They ridiculed their puny force of arms. They hated the Adarshan troops' cowardly nature as they attempted to run away in front of their enemy. Thus not a few of them didn't think about their opponents' strategy.
From the outset the Adarshan cavalry had detoured behind them in order to attack, they had understood their opponents intentions. Thus already throughout the battlefield their deep crimson flags were fluttering.
The soldiers were cutting through them with skilful swordsmanship. He cursed them and their insolent disappointing plan.
To defeat your opponent in open confrontation, fairly, with all one's energy surely gives an honourably victory and shows the imperial knights' ethos, no matter what they couldn't possibly approve of this tactic. But the most irritating thing was that in reality this disappointing strategy (is said to) gives rise to striking results. Disgraceful Cowards, he cursed the savage tribe in that place, as he couldn't expect to entirely evade the protruding spears coming from the west.
The resounding bravery of the Castorian Knights was insignificant to the enemy soldiers surrounding them as one by one they fell. There were only corpses, usually piling up in heaps. It is said that there is honour in dying in battle, but so much unproductive death is a sorry state.
He determinedly corrected his grip on the sword, which was slipping due to the blood. Already they were floundering at the front line, where they couldn't reorganise. He himself too was already indifferent to death.
The spears pierced through from the flank, with his sword he lopped through two arms. Endlessly the blood was overflowing. I am still living, I haven’t died yet. But, there is the problem of time. In the near future, that time will quickly come. I will die. In the Empire's furthest end many of my brethren are already defeated and dead, what prestige is this?! To suffer as sitting ducks in the savage tribe's hands!
The feeling was not of fear or dread, his eyes were full of anger.
He gave a war cry, killing the enemies reflected in his vision. The spear snapped, and then the sword's edge was nicked, he replaced them and continued on. From horseback he drove his sword into the face of a young, boy like enemy soldier. With cold bloodedness the face was smashed in and he fell, his gaze infringing. At the end he could see the dim opened eyes.
...eh? Over there...
In the front line, among the eternal hectic crossing of weapons, for a number of moments he couldn't tear his eyes away from that figure. There was a still a young youth in the direction of the enemy. That person spurring on a dark bay horse was not a Castorian knight.
His young age was immediately noticeable in the middle of battlefield because he wore no helmet.
Due to the jumbled confusion of friends and foe it seemed to be that vigilance against arrows was not needed. But that figure didn't appear to be defenceless. Wet blood was on his hilt running up to his sword hand, the enemy was with one blow defeating others as he rode fast across the battlefield. He went alone on the field, and there was no one else with such natural grace.
Even if an arrow comes flying out of somewhere it doesn't hit the young man. He could not grasp the youth's motive, but awe and fear assailed him. Simultaneously he knew the young man's true identity.
He had never met him, nor seen him so closely either. However, its not likely to be a mistake. His hair raising skill at arms. Steeped in the blood of imperial soldiers, the black haired young general.
...Adarshan's black demon.
At the war front in the western part of the empire, no one knows that person. We are facing Adarshan's royal prince, Alexid. Imperial soldiers had given him that name in their fear. This is for sure the head of that savage tribe's army.
That cowardly trap setup, worrying the feelings of honour and propriety too. They've overrun and trampled the knights' courage. Thus now the imperial army is crumbling in the final stage.
If only that man had not been here.
His body was stirred up with rage, it was similar to being filled with light. Then I was without conscious awareness. The man was galloping on horseback. As expected the enemy soldiers were at the perimeter as well. I must help my allies. But it was already too late, for his eyes could already not see. He was watching only that youth in anger.
Ah, it seems that I will die here. Many imperial knights were the same, in the sludge it seems that they will lay down life's burdens. However, its not in vain. To the soldier even if he didn't embrace hatred, to be tortured to death is different. This hatred, the intent to kill, wholly struck only the opponent now in front of his eyes.
The youth saw him. From another direction almost invariably an attack came and without looking with his blade he cut at and finished his attacker. Immediately he drew his sword towards himself. Any movement was futile at this dreadful degree of opponent. Already in front of his eyes the approaching enemy was attacking. For ten minutes that person indicated there went.
Will I be concerned about him?! He thought about the man. I don't want to make a surprise attack. Imperial Knights are different to that savage tribe. We esteem honour and propriety.
With all might he brandished his sword, ready to strike. The man tried to stab his opponent, but the enemy's sword instantly caught the blow and directed the way the sword stroke fell. A sound like steel breaking was made, as they reciprocally crossed swords.
He saw that the youth's face was scowling a little. Things like pain and shock were far off, the facial expression showed a little of his feeling, that an unexpected fight had come up. The man perceived that a good chance had come, he increased his onslaught. Twice, three times, and then again one more time he sallied forth with his sword.
His field of vision went red, he tumbled onto the mud. Blood was spraying forth from his throat, already he was losing the feeling of pain. In a blink of an eye all sensation went far away. He knew that this was his death.
Already his hands could practically no longer move, he brought them to his bosom. He fumbled under his padded vest, at last he retrieved it.
The soft white cloth was dirtied in the mud and blood. His hazy eyes nevertheless gazed wide eyed at the middle, where he could pick out a pale pink coloured flower. The fairly crooked embroidered flower was his master's. That day in the imperial capital, when he left for the war and they bade farewell to each other, she gave this personally hand made item to him.
He grasped the now dirty cloth tightly. That was his last moments in the world.
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