House of Rok

Chapter Thirteen: One Dream & Slaughter

By Curtis aka SrenRok

Sren's heart pounded ever so slowly as he was put into a line. Everyone seemed worried and full of fear or excitement. The words of officers about valor and honor seemed a mile away. Sren scanned around him to take in his surroundings. They were inside a walled off part of what seemed to be a church; the one that had the user on top. The men by Sren seemed grimmer; they were guarding the biggest prize in Elddim at the moment.

The man on the tower appeared to be playing flute; the fiery balls also seemed to bounce off of an invisible presence. An occasional bolt of lightning also shrieked down on the enemy's ground.

A cold hand touched Sren's soldier and when Sren turned around he saw Mak'r there. "Don't get yourself killed now young noble. I'm going up to the tower, ease the burden on the good artist above us. Remember... death is final."

"I'll be fine Mak'r," assured Sren. After all, he was young and undefeatable. Nothing could touch him, his youth still held him strong.

"Let's hope so," mumbled Mak'r as he walked his way to the door.

"Remember that no matter how much scum comes through the gate; that we have the better spot. Swordsmen up front, spears in the line after that. Probably gonna be Rentry Militia crawling though the door, so let's treat our lost brothers the way they should be. With outmost hate," roared an officer.

"They're approaching," yelled a man on top of the gate as he nimbly dropped down. When he landed he pulled out two long knives and jumped in line not too far away from Sren.

Silence.

Sren smiled as a death scream was heard and than the Rentry Army gave a war cry as they ran to the gate and met their opponents.

It was all so clear to Sren: cut, slash, parry, cut, duck, cut, slash, side step, cut. All was too simple, for the miracle of his sword plunging into the enemy before enemy had the chance to slit his throat was a gift from Rennicle. The romantics of war came crushing down; there were no clean kills every time your sword came down. If you had to cut there fingers off first, you did. All was fair.

Quickly Sren pushed his blade all the way through the man's gut. The man slid down it until he was on Sren, forcing Sren to the ground and on top of him. The man tried to burble something, but the blood he was choking on came to splatter in Sren's face. Sren tried ripping the sword out of the man's stomach and when he did the man's entrails landed on Sren.

Pinned on the ground he had to wait while his brothers-in-arms battle the line back. When they did the nimble gate watcher pulled the body off of Sren. Sren got up and puked, after clearing his mouth he nodded at the young man. The young man smiled and held out his hand, "I'm Ben."

Sren smiled and answered, "Nice to meet you Ben, I'm Sren."

The two nodded and the moment ended as an arrow buried itself in Ben's neck. With this, Ben just collapsed and than chaos. Arrows falling on the closed off fighters.

Sren scrambled to pull off a shield from a fallen militiaman. However, someone said, "What the hell?"

An officer answered, "In all of my years I've never seen an Artist powerful enough to do this."

As if on cue Sren looked up to see an arrow dangling above; he pulled it down and looked around. All of the arrows seemed frozen in mid air. Somebody else boomed, "Pick the arrows down quickly, I'm sure the Artist can't hold it forever."

In a frenzy the group of men jumped around picking the arrows they could and after a moment a guard burst from out of the tower crying. "The Artist says move away from them now, duck!"

With this everyone jumped out of the way and waited a moment and then the arrows they could pick down met the ground. The Fifth Sword Captain jumped up and started growling, "You scumbags get up, there advancing again."

Time moved so quickly as he got up. Once again in the line, peering out side the gate another group of Rentry Militia came charging in. A few made it. However the rest slowed and turned to their side. In the moment Sren caught a glimpse of horses clad in blue.

The Captain ordered, "Finish off the ones that got in and then meet the enemy at the gate."

Sren couldn't bring himself to attack the few that got in, however some people weren't as refined as him. Sren didn't care though. He led the way out the gate to see a few pockets of militiamen still standing from the cavalry charge. One lone man that had at least a head on Sren gave Sren a smile. He noticed a missing tooth but couldn't help smiling back as the two ran at each other. The man swung high and Sren ducked it. In that moment Sren knew he had the man. The man didn't know it yet but Sren had his life in his hands. With the base of his sword in the palm of his right and his left hand guiding the weapon deep into the man just below his belly button.

Without a weapon Sren looked at the grass and found a scimitar, he picked it up and something grabbed his foot.

Sren looked down on the huge man. The man screamed, "Finish me! Please finish me off."

Sren turned around with scimitar and with one mighty blow he decapitated the man. For this Sren gave up trying to figure out why he killed for Rentaria. His eyes opened wide, wider than before as he dropped the scimitar he held. He watched horses chase pockets of green-clad fighters. Sren walked more and came to a dying dark skinned man; this man was an Enslaver and Sren couldn't bring himself to hating him. He ducked down, watched his fellow soldiers charge past himself, than tried comforting the man.

"Puh-puh-please Sire, I want to live," struggled the man as he tried crawling away, but couldn't because of a crushed leg.

"No my friend," said Sren as he inspected a gash on the side. "Right now we are victims together. United in a slaughter for the dirt we walk on."

"No sire, I die for my Dream. My Dream is happy this day."

"What is your dream?"

"You."