The first thing you take notice of is the smell. Smoke. It's thick and burning your nostrils. Your eyes snap open. A mix of ashes and burnt grass is the first thing you see. Your hand searches for a sword, your sword. You find it a few feet to your left and you use it to get up into a sitting position. Your hearing finally kicks in. Screams. Desperate, fearful and in pain… Houses are burning all around you. The house closest to you is a just a pile of burning wood. You can see a tiny hand sticking out from underneath the rubble. As you glance around you see countless bodies strewn around. Most of them are dead and burning. Some are moaning in pain or crying, soon to meet the same fate as their brothers and sisters. Most of the dead people are soldiers wearing a different uniform to yours. A few are wearing the same as you. You snap up the sound of someone running and whip around, unsteady, but ready to fight whoever is coming your way. The man holds up his hands in front of himself and gives you a friendly, but tired smile.
"Hey now, _! You're okay. I'm actually surprised you're okay, but good to see you alive, pal!"
You squint your eyes at the man. You can see his lips move as he says your name, but you can't hear it. It's only white noise. Neither can you read what he said on his lips. Yet you know he said your name. How strange. You recognize the man as your friend. His name is _. You can't remember. That's also strange. You're sure that the two of you are very close. He helps you to your feet.
"For real though; you good?" Your friend asks. He must be worried because of the explosion caused by the enemy mages. You nod and your friend slaps your back in a friendly manner. It stings.
"Let's go give those kitsune scum what they deserve, yeah?" He suggests and you give him a crooked smile. Then you're off.
Your sword cuts through another enemy soldier and blood splashes onto your face, momentarily blocking your vision. You rub it away with your sleeve. They're too many, but you and _ promised you'd hold them off long enough to let the civilians escape and for the reinforcements to arrive.
"_! Get out of the way! I'll handle it!" You yell at your friend. You don't want to see him hurt. He doesn't listen. It's not until you mention getting his sister and her kids out of the town that he finally listens to you. He runs over and grabs you by the collar, pulling you into a kiss. You kiss back and your fingers gently comb through his hair.
"Don't you dare die, _. You may be our best soldier, but you're more than just a soldier to me." He whispers against your lips.
"I'll try my best." You say and he's gone. You know in your heart that it's most likely the last you'll see of him. You turn back to the horde of enemies and scream as you charge in. You're faster than they expect. They don't call you fast like the wind for nothing. You get through quite a few of them before they react. You parry, duck and block as they launch a counterattack. You barely feel the first hit they manage on you. It's superficial. It doesn't matter. Another one down and another one going right after. Your shield arm is pierced and you scream in pain as it is rendered useless, but you don't stop your relentless attack. You kick someone behind you and he takes several of his friends with him on the way down. Good, that will buy you some time. You can taste blood, but you have something these people don't. You have someone to protect. They manage to get you in the leg and an image of your friend flashes through your mind, so you grit your teeth and continue your onslaught.
"He's a monster!" You hear someone yell. Some are abandoning the fight, running back the way they came. You don't care. It means less people to defend the town from. You feel like time is standing still as you cut down foe after foe and sustaining injury after injury. You know it's over if you let up. Both for you and everyone you hold dear.
You strike one last time and look around. The field is full of dead bodies. Did you do it? As you try to regain your breath you hear the sound of thousands of people behind you. The reinforcements are here. You laugh in disbelief. They're late, but they're here. Your legs finally give out and you tumble to the ground, body numb. You move a shaking hand to your stomach. Blood. You hadn't felt the pain from it, but you you can take a guess that it's bad. Now that you have time to assess the situation; you realize that you are most likely a dead man. Shame. You could have done with another kiss. The thought makes you chuckle. How silly of you. Of all the things you could wish for in your last moments and it's a kiss? You think of that little cottage in the forest that you had bought a year ago. The one you and your friend were going to live in after the war. What a nice dream it was. Someone drops to their knees beside you and brings you into their arms. It's warm and comforting. There are worse ways to die you guess.
"No… no no no no. You said you wouldn't die..." It's your friend. He's crying. You reach up with your one functioning arm and gently pat his cheek, smearing your own blood on it in the process.
"No… I said I'd try my best." You correct him. "Guess my best wasn't all that good, huh?" You try joking, but talking hurts.
"Stop talking, you idiot." Your friend says and kisses your forehead.
"How else am I going to get my last words out?" You joke anyway.
"There are no last words to be said! You're going to be fine. We have a cottage, we'll adopt a child and we'll… we will..." He trails off into sobbing. You take a moment you know you don't have to gather your thoughts.
"Hey… I have a lot of regrets, but I don't want not seeing your smile one last time to be one of them..." Silence. Your friend takes a few deep breaths and gives you a small smile. It's a pained one, but you can't really ask for more in this situation.
"Thanks… and I love you..." You slur a bit on the last few words.
"I love you too." He whispers and kisses you. You kiss back to the best of your ability. As he pulls back you smile at him and slowly close your eyes. You don't open them again.