He raised his visor and stared out across the killing field. It was all there. Not the glory, not the songs of victors, and certainly not the flags in all their rich colours fluttering on warm summer breezes. This is what it all came down to. The reality of battle. The smell of battle is shit and piss and blood. And sweat. And the true reward of battle was being alive to smell that horrible scent, and witness the dead and dying. There was no friend or foe here, only the dead; and the dying.
He said a silent prayer that their deaths would be swift, but then felt guilty at the thought. He raised his sword in both hands and stared at the blood stained steel, and thought of how many now laid there because of this blade. His throat was dry. How long had he swung the blade; swinging and chopping; killing and retreating. Till at last, there was nothing left to retreat from. All that was left was the mass of gore that once was a living thing. Fathers, sons, husbands, all gone. The mighty Destriers, the Men at Arms, rode charging into the front line now laid low, feathered by the mighty English long bow. These were the last moments, before the wailings of widows. Before the scavenging. Before the corpses were laid bare to feed the crows.
Slowly, he raised his head to the skies; seeking benediction for the foul deed that corrupted his soul. And then slowly lowered his eyes to the arrow that stood out from his stomach. The sweat ran down his nose and dropped on the feathers of the arrow and his body twitched involuntarily. He smelled the scent of battle deeply. More deeply than any battle he had ever fought, because, this would be his last. He laid the pommel of his sword into the blood soaked earth, raised his neck to the tip, and smiled. The archer would not win. No one would take his life. His life was his own, to give or to take. He looked out across the killing field, and whispered, “we are one, once more” And Sir Devlin was no more.