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The wind was carrying the fetid air, warm and heavy lifting the specks of yellow and black threads of plucked stray hairs. The silver wisps of our warrior’s head was whipping against the horizon breeze.
Clad in black and embroidered with seals of old beasts. The commander’s eyes were feasting on the plucked red harvest of a glorious day. His thirst was finally quenched after aching days and nights, he saw the fruits of his effort dangling right at his reach. And as he walks among the sprawled dead of countrymen and foreign invaders. His mind was pierced with a black spine.
After terrible fear and fury, his cunning guile and ruthless might had befallen on his enemies. And after the massive clash, the day was his to spare as he pleased. But as the corps lay still, he now recognized the aching silence.
A great tragedy had been cast on this earth, but his punishment was just about to begin.
He looked down on the mixture of red and black iron, conjoined in such abominable embrace. Young souls, forever blend in the whirlpool of the abyss. The look of terror had not departed their pale, streaked faces. The sky was gray, holding back the tears of heaven.
The old soldier heard the wails of their mothers and the wet sobs of their kin. Then his attention veered to the songs that would chant their names and all the words and rhymes twisting in one contorted cacophony.
A hymn, forever haunting his waking hours and feverish dreams.
He started to whisper
This day should be mine to relish, yet it seems that life aborts all joy. I am the creature of agony, to inflict on all creatures of earth. Moreover, I feed on the suffering of others. That is my calling. I am the harbinger of death, the delivering hand of Valhalla. The devil’s Herald, the recruiter that grasps triumph even before the cries of battle commence.
So many deaths have I seen, and I my constitution is to bear witness to the horrors of this earth. Let mothers rock their cradles, let poets slumber in green meadows. My land is fertile with the stench of red flush nectar.
The soldier closed his heart once more, forgiving his conscience from peeking out its ancient cage.
Again he surrendered his fate to the lies he told himself. His soul was locked in a carapace of molten iron and gold. So many days ahead like these for him to see. Till the day his true master could relieve him of his charge.