By: Manna (Kitten Kisses)

Metal against metal echoed loudly in his ears, with the occasional sound of wooden handles splintering; the screams of agony and anger came from both ally and enemy, and it made his senses reel uncontrollably. They were everywhere, both here and there, and it didn't matter which direction he looked in. They were in the heat of battle, and it was an all-out war without organization.

Someone, somewhere- or perhaps several someone's- had disobeyed an order or two, and now both the battlefield and the surrounding forest were nothing but a mish-mash of soldiers and weaponry locked in combat.

His heart pounded in his chest, and he could feel his pulse, thick and heavy, in his throat. There was no time to think, only act.

Thrust, parry.



Throw, slash.

They just kept coming, from the skies, behind trees, across the open field… He was certain that, if it weren't for the fact that he would occasionally catch a glimpse of an ally- or, in most cases, allies, as pairing up seemed almost essential- he would have thought that the entire army had turned tail, abandoning a fight that seemed rather hopeless.

Where is she?

No time, no time at all. Not for thinking, only acting. It alone would win the battle. They were already in the thick of things, and there would be no turning back. Not for him- not for anyone.

Where is she?

His lance plunged into the young man who had been riding at him, his horse in a full gallop, frothing at the mouth from over-exertion. The force nearly ripped him from his horse, but he managed to hang on, only losing his lance as the other cavalier's horse reared in confusion and fright.

His eyes darted around frantically, looking, searching, hoping.

Where is she?

In the forest, he thought to himself. She would be in the forest- a place to hide, where one could attack without being seen well. A good strategy… it sounded like her.

He wheeled his horse around and aimed for the section of trees closest to him. He swung his sword methodically, cutting a path as best as he could with a short-ranged weapon. Suddenly, he heard a twang, and his mare rose on her hind legs, squealing with fright and pain. He held onto the reins with one hand, gripping his sword with the other. She hit the ground again, but only a few seconds passed before he heard several more twangs, and he realized it was the sound of a bowstring being released.

He found himself in the air again as his mount violently tossed her head, standing on her hind legs. He hit the ground with a hard thud, and he saw the animal that had served him faithfully for the past seven years twist, her eyes contorted so that he could only see their whites before she started to fall towards him.

Rolling to the side, he cringed as he heard her hit the grass, wincing a little from the pain in his ankle where one of her hooves had struck him, her shrieking neighs going silent as she left Elibe for a higher place.

He ran for the dense wooded area, hoping that nothing would hit him as he made his way there as quickly as he could on a broken- or badly sprained- ankle. He ignored the pain. Adrenaline was rushing through his veins, and he knew the archers would not be able to get in a good shot in the safety of the trees.

He leaned against a solid oak, panting hard.

Where is she?

She has to be here, he told himself. There is nowhere else for her to be.

A man leapt out from behind the tree in front of him, an axe thrown over his shoulder and a fearsome grin on his face.

The horseless cavalier cut him down effortlessly, even without his steed, and managed to walk the other way at a decent pace without the pain becoming too harsh.

Where is she?

His eyes widened when he saw a splotch of color that did not match the trees, and he ran towards it, paying no heed to his injury. When he got close enough to make out details, he slowed, feeling his heart constrict and his breath catch in his throat.


"Lady Lyndis?" he managed, his voice hoarse, but quiet so that he didn't attract unwanted attention.

Blood. Too much blood. Her blood.

Kneeling by her side, he saw that her right hand held onto the Mani Katti desperately, her grip tight. She was lying face down, and he was afraid to move her. Afraid to see for himself what had become of her. What he had allowed to happen to her.

"Oh, Lyn…" He choked on his words, knowing what he would find, but still not wanting to see it. Titles…names… it was all unimportant, now. He wanted to tell her he was sorry for leaving her side, even though their separation had not been his fault, but he couldn't bring himself to do it.

After a minute, he brought a trembling hand to her shoulder, and turned her over. He felt his heart sink- No… no…- when he looked into her empty eyes that stared blankly at the canopy of green above him.

She was dead.

Author Notes:

I got this idea at work today, and had to write it. I also have an idea for another one of these, though it hopefully won't be as long. This was intended to be a drabble…but unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way. It's a little over two pages.

Thanks for reading, and as always, feedback (particularly of the constructive criticism-ish type) is always appreciated!