A/N: Here we are. Our last chapter. I hope you like it as much as I liked writing it. And I mean this for the whole story. I really liked writing it, and liked seeing so many of you appreciate it. Don't forget to review at the end, please. :D
Chapter fifteen: A change of heart
Leera turned to her men. Many were looking distraught, some hopeful at the sight of their Knights, other held the blank faces of those trying not to think about the moment.
She turned to Tarn, the closest to her, and whispered in his ear.
"It's time. Open the gates."
He nodded and passed down the message until, beneath them, the doors effectively cracked open.
A column of Saxons then burst to life, and Leera felt their drums enter her chest like a thousand blades.
Tarn chuckled. "They're gonna be surprised, the son of bitches."
She smirked at his words and turned her gaze to the hill.
Through the smoke, she could make the figures of the Knights, and saw that the white horse was ahead of the others. Arthur must have been doing a speech.
The Saxons were closing one them, almost reaching the gates, and Leera's hands clutched her bow.
She looked at Tarn. "Do not fire under any circumstances. They're Arthur's."
He nodded and again, the rumours of passing words were heard around the wall.
Then, Leera's eyes widened as an arrow was fired from the hill, passed over her head and landed behind the wall. She knelt and peeked over the stone, just enough to see a body fall from the tree welcoming strangers into civil lands.
She smirked at Tristan's skills.
And the Saxons entered the Wall's grounds.
They looked around for any sign of resistance, but Leera and her men, gathered on a path of wall invisible from the gates, stayed unknown.
The hill had been deserted, and the Knights descended on the field, baiting the Saxons who took the hint and started walking heavily towards the horses.
A wave of her wrist, and Leera's men sealed the door behind the trapped filth.
"Our turn." she whispered in her tongue, and Tarn eyed her, quizzical. She smirked devilishly and then, the blessed noise of hundreds of Woad arrows pierced the silence, and touched their enemies.
Tarn gasped. "What was that?"
"My people." She smirked wider when she heard Bors' cry 'Rus' echoed by his fellow Knights, and the Saxon's infantry had no chance whatsoever to survive that masterpiece of strategy.
Leera gritted her teeth in expectation.
One more. Just one more and her bow would kill.
Then the doors cracked open, and a Saxon sauntered a few meters, his face covered in blood, before falling at the feet of his leaders.
"This is it." Tarn's hands gripped his bow as well as all her men's, and Leera smirked when she saw Merlin and his catapults marching onto the hill, while thousands of Saxons spread on the field.
Leera notched an arrow and lifted it into the air, at the same time as Guinevere, on the left flank, as her lighted arrow would take down a part of Cynric's men.
The archer directed her bow to the right, and smiled as she heard her men mirror her actions, and then she released, and dozens of arrows were now taking Cerdic's men from behind.
Some fell, dead, others crumpled down, wounded, some other turned around and eyed the walls warily, but the smoke hid their enemies to their eyes, and by the time they lifted their shields, Leera had launched again.
A line of fire had opened to their left, and they could now hear Woadish cries mixing with Saxons' as their infantry was attacking, their bluish skin lighting in the smoke.
Leera gritted her teeth and wished Guinevere would be alright, when she fired another arrow, still hidden from her preys.
Up front, balls of fire were launched from the hill, and Cerdic's men were now trapped between the Knights, Merlin's catapults, and Leera's arrows.
It was as if luck had changed sides.
But not for long.
She had forgotten how good in close fight the Saxons were.
Hundreds of her people then ran from the hill and Leera passed her bow over her shoulder.
She exchanged a glance and a nod with Tarn, and drew out her sword.
75 other unsheathed.
And she screamed. "Diiiiiiiiiiiiiie!"
And Leera and her men joined the mêlée.
At first, she thought the task too hard for her low skills, but then she realised the Saxons, surprised by the strategy they had all used to that point, were scared to death by those Britons and Woads fighting side to side to protect their land.
She screamed again when her blade found the flesh of a neck, then of a chest, and of an arm.
She killed many, always advancing towards the other side, where she knew she'd find the Knights, and therefore Tristan.
Not far from her, she heard Cort's cry of battle, and averted her eyes long enough to see him fall under a Saxons' axe. She growled in anger and notched an arrow which ended its course in the eye of the murderer.
Arrows, bow, dagger, sword, the Woad used everything she had to kill as many as she could, sometimes ending with a few scratches, another time being lightly cut on her forearm, but everytime, the scared stares of her victims were the last thing she saw of them before passing to another.
And then she heard it more than she saw it.
She stopped advancing and turned to the left, heading to that voice.
The voice that would tell her if Lucan was safe.
If Dagonet had followed his promise.
Because nothing was more important. If she died that day, Lucan would be safe, and she would die happy.
She then saw him, blood on his lips, waving his axe in the air and with every twist killing a man.
She had to scream it a few more times before he turned to her, and his face lit with mad joy.
"Leera! Joining the feast, eh!"
She panted and killed a Saxon behind his back before turning back to him. "Bors, please tell me Dag stayed behind."
He laughed crazily and nodded. "Of course he stayed behind! I wouldn't have killed him if he hadn't!"
She echoed his laugh and turned back to battle, her face lit up with happiness, when something caught her eye, not far from there.
A man jumping off his horse's saddle.
In way only one man could have.
Leera cried and jumped into battle, decided to reach him before he did anything stupid.
And of course he did.
By the time she saw his dark hair among the crowd of soldiers, his curved sword was lifted in the air, facing no one else than Cerdic's.
Leera cursed under her breath and drew out her sword, hissing in pain when, distracted, a Saxon had managed to stab her in the leg.
She sauntered a bit but slowly made her way towards the two skilled fighters.
By the time Tristan received his first blow under the arm, Leera knew he was done. If a swordsman as skilled as he was wounded by a mere Saxon, it meant death was nearing.
She cursed again and killed another Saxon before notching an arrow and pointing it onto Cerdic, trying to have an open spot in between the fighters' heads.
She didn't hear it coming, but a Saxon had managed to reach her and was about to cut her in half with his axe when a Knight screamed and cut his throat open.
"Be careful, young one!"
She smiled widely. "Gal. Happy to see you alive."
"I know." He smiled back and covered her when she lifted her bow again.
She couldn't see it, couldn't reach it, Cerdic's head.
Then she saw Tristan falling on his knees after the Saxon hit the back of his neck with a dagger, and she understood.
It wasn't killing him that was important, it was drawing him after someone else than Tristan.
She aimed at his shoulder when his sword lifted into the air, ready to strike, and she released.
The sword fell into the grass at Tristan's feet, and Leera jumped in front of the blonde man.
She hissed at him and notched another arrow, this time aiming it straight at his head, but he just sighed and eyed Tristan behind her, a look of almost disappointment in his cold eyes.
And then Arthur screamed behind him, and Cerdic found another entertainment.
Leera whirled around and drew her green eyes down to where Tristan was lying on the blood-red grass, breathing heavily, blood oozing from his shoulder, shoulder blades, leg and neck.
She hissed when she saw the depth of his leg wound.
Then she searched for someone, and something, among the crowd.
The young Knight heard her cry and turned to her.
"I need a horse!"
He nodded and disappeared in the fighters, when she turned back to Tristan and pushed a strand of hair back from his face.
She smiled at the sight of his tattoos, thinking she wore the same now on his cheek, and pushed a hand to his shoulder to help with the blood.
She wasn't aware of the fight ending when Galahad came back with Tristan's mare. She asked for help and pulled the Knight onto the saddle and climbed behind it.
When she kicked the beast's sides, she had only one destination in mind: Dagonet.
Days later, Leera was standing in the middle of a crowd, Lucan at her side, attending Arthur's and Guinevere's wedding.
Bors, Vanora and their children were standing in front of a menhir, Dagonet, Gawain and Galahad before another.
The young Knight's eyes met Leera through the crowd, and they both smiled.
She liked him. Very much.
Arthur and Guinevere then were proclaimed one, and as they shared a sealing kiss, Leera felt a hand make its way in hers.
She drew her gaze up to her right, and met the dark eyes she loved so much.
They might have lost Lancelot and Jols that day, but they hadn't lose Tristan. And that was the happiest thing.