The battlefield is littered with bodies, my enemies and my allies sleeping in each others deathly embrace, their blood mixing and soaking into the dark soil. I walk through the carnage, drifting. My head is curiously floaty; I feel as though my feet aren’t touching the earth.
I stride towards their so-called king. His power is gone now, the spell over his men rotted to dust. I felt it die. We all did – the moment his magic was broken, he was no longer a indestructible god. Just a boy.
He makes a weak figure, kneeling in the soft earth, head bowed in humility. My warriors – my brave, courageous soldiers – begin to follow me as though they’re in a dream. They can’t believe it either.
As I approach, I call out to the man. “It’s over, Saito. You’ve lost everything. Swear allegiance to me, and I will spare your life.”
He raises his head, his eyes venomous. “Never,” he hisses, and hacks a glob of phlegm into the soil by his feet. His expression of vindictive fury manages to raise goose flesh on my arms, and I am infinitely glad he no longer has use of his magic. The pain he wishes to cause me is gouged into the lines in his face, and he surges towards, his hand whipping out to smack into my head.
He can move no more than a couple of inches before his invisible bonds tighten, and he gasps in pain and his chest is crushed. He collapses again, clutching his throat.
“Fuck you…” He mutters weakly, and the molten golden sunset illuminates the tears running down his cheeks. “Fuck you.” He begins to scream, his voice a shriek, making the vultures and crows echo him in a discordant caccofany. “Just bloody well take it! Take everything I have! Take it all, you foul witch! You’ll never be queen!” His words do not effect me. I know what I have done; and I know what I must do. Instead of appearing frightened, my warriors simply look disgusted at his desperate shrieks. “My people will rise up against you, my people will take revenge! Don’t sleep easy, bitch, they’ll be after you! They’ll take your body. They – they’ll slaughter your children!”
His last comment is too far, and my anger automatically cause my fingers tighten around my sword.The steel that was meticulously polished the night previous is now rusty with flaking blood. He does not flinch at the weapon, despite his tears, and I admire him for this.
“I’ll ask you again,” the anger in my tone frustrates me. I need to be strong; not let the weak jibe of a defeated boy rile me. “Do you swear admit defeat and swear allegiance to me?”
His answer is short and bitter. “Kill me. I will never live under your rule.”
“So be it.”
I hate this perverse joy I have in his death. There should be no happiness in this situation: I cannot let myself stoop as low as him, this twisted less-than-human who delights in pain. Still, as my soldiers push him forward, bowing his naked neck, I attempt to justify my emotions.
“You can never again hurt an innocent man.” I raise my sword, the golden red of the sunlight gleaming on the blade.
He speaks so quietly that it takes me several moments to unravel the meaning from his words, and in those vital moments it is too late.
In one swift movement, I slice downwards. My blade meets resistance, but momentum carries it on and it bites through his neck completely. His head rolls away across the black dirt, his mouth still open around his last words
“As much as youllretend differently, you and me are the same.”