The once beautiful valley was soaked with the blood of fallen soldiers. I looked around, trying to hold back the bile attempting to rise in my throat. I swallowed it back down. The smells coming from the dead, long dead, since the battle had been over a week ago, were pungent and revolting. We had come to collect the dead now that the Scottish had surrendered.
The battle here in the valley was the bloodiest I had yet seen. I knew from experience that any beautiful place that held a war was bound to be tainted with the touch of man never to be beautiful as it once was.
But somehow the beauty of this valley seemed to say that it would not let itself be tainted that our war would not soil its beauty.
There was no beauty left. The flowers that had grown in the grass were trampled and dead. The trees all cut down, the life living her, long gone from our loud arrival, and the green of the grass. There was no green. It was red, like a sea of blood had flooded the valley and now just left a sickening doom among the forgotten awe that the valley had inspired in the men. No, all the beauty was gone, leaving only the bareness of war.
The five Men that lived in our Village who had asked me to have the knighted after I had been were dead. King Ravenclaw had knighted them. King Ravenclaw knighted serfs who showed some kind of strength so that he could add more numbers to his army. These were my brothers of arms, men that I had known since we were boys, men who I admired and respected, killed like they were animals. Their faces would haunt me until I died.
The Highland Battle had lasted several days. 29 to be exact. We lost half of our men in the first 5 days. But then the battle turned in favor of England and the Scottish did lose. But not before the battle took his toil on us.
“Return home men.” I called out finally. The final body had been buried and it was time for us to go, before the Scotts attempted another surprise attack.
A week went by and we were back In England. I had been summoned to Castle Ravenclaw.
“Return to your families and your Homes. Our King will call you again when your service s required.”
I rode fat and hard towards the castle. When I got there the King Summoned me to his private chamber to discuss the battle.
“We won sir. But we lost half our men doing so.”
He just nodded and waved me out.
“Go, eat some supper, drink some ale and rest.”
“Your Majesty if I may ask something?’
“Five of the Men lost were from my Village. I would like to go there and tell their families myself.”
“You are given leave to do so.”
“Thank you Your Majesty.”
I left his chamber and walked to the stables, skipping the meal.
When I got there, the sound of voices was heard.
“That was refreshing.” An enchanting English voice spoke out.
“It certainly was.” Another voice, this one Scottish, replied.
“Step Mother is trying to drown me in the activities of needlework. It is not proper to do anything besides what she teaches.”
“Yes well your Father adores you Princess, and you know he will give you what you want.”
“Everything but that.”
I had paused mid stride, with my foot in the air to listen but my foot dropped at the word princess and a twig snapped beneath my boot.
“Who is there?” The two female voices called.
“A solider my ladies. I’ve come to collect my stallion and depart the castle for my village. I did not mean to frighten you.”
“Show yourself.” The Scotswoman spoke out.”
I did as requested and blinked. Before me stood two of the most beautiful women I had ever seen.
“Ah. Lord Godric.” The dark haired one said raising an eyebrow.
“You know me your Highness?” I asked unable to hide my shock.”
“Indeed I do. You Command half of my Father’s army, half of my Army to be. It is important to know who to discuss the matters of war with.”
“You should not be out here s late my ladies. Especially without escorts. Please let me walk you into the castle.”
“No, thank you Lord Godric. You seem to be in a rush. We are fine.” The Scotswoman said.
“Come Lady Helga. We shall go to supper now.”
The Women departed and I stood there a moment longer, frozen in place before moving towards my stallion.