Yawning, Warren pinched the bridge of his nose between thumb and forefinger. Numbers seemed to swim in the darkness afforded his closed, burning eyes. All the gods, how he hated the long nights of checking and double checking soldiers’ pay. A vacation was sorely needed, and sometime this year would certainly be nice.
Sighing heavily, Warren opened his eyes to refocus on the ledgers before him. Through the loose, gently rippling tent flap, came the sounds of metal meeting metal. The space between Warren’s brows crinkled, despite his young age, at the distant clamour. As deep into the night as it was, there shouldn’t be weapons training, and he could think of no other reason for the noise he was hearing.
Standing, the young man made his way out of his quarters, adjusting the military uniform he always thought somewhat ill-fitting. The blasted thing always seemed to be too tight across his shoulders, though he could swear he had stopped growing. As he brushed aside his cloth door, Warren saw that several of his fellow account keepers were exiting their tends to search for the cause of the current disturbance. He shook his head, smiling, knowing the hell that was going to rain down on whoever had broken their concentration.
Frowning, Warren looked back toward what had first drawn him into the night. Something about what he was hearing tugged at the back of his mind. There was a wrongness about the sound; something he could not quite put his finger on. With the force of a charging ogre, realization struck Warren. Threaded in amoung the clashing and clanging of weapons were the screams and cries of pain and alarm.
Thought fled from Warren. With a cry of his own, the young man bolted toward the battle he knew in the depths of his being was raging near the edge of camp.
Despite the neat and tidy rows of military and camp followers’ tents, stakes and ropes seemed to reach out to trip the sprinting human male. Each pounding step seemed to echo the rapid beats of his footfalls.
Glints of metal flashed in the night ahead of Warren. Seeing a dark form sprawled on the ground, the racing man was able to see the outline of an axe buried within it.
As he ran past, the muscular human wrenched his new weapon from the dead form of what might once have been a fellow soldier, and noted he did not feel the disgust he should have. Nor did he feel fear at the coming conflict. If anything, Warren felt … free, and joyous at the thought of putting his skills to the test.
With a loud laugh, as he finally came to the section of camp where an enemy of the kingdom had the audacity to sneak in to assassinate them in the night. They would regret attacking while he was in the camp. He would be the avatar of that regret, as he slaughtered them all.
Slick, and stained with the blood and viscera of too many men and women to remember, the axe slipped from Warren’s nerveless fingers. Leaf green eyes scanning the carnage around him, a wave of bile rose and broke from the young human male. His mind reeling in shock, he stumbled back toward his tent, vowing he would never spill blood again.