As he stood there in the middle of the village the scent of metallic blood thick in the air he stared at the scene around him. Peasant homes burning, bodies strewn everywhere there was space, one poor soul dangling out a window others sprawled across the muddy ground. Wherever you stepped, wherever you looked blood covered the ground and like a tainted river it ran through the muddied streets. There was nothing left here to do. His job was done. This town had been harboring members of the resistance and that was something he would not stand. He had traveled two days and two nights on horse back in order to quash this little rebellion and he had done it beautifully. They never even saw it coming.
He struck with flaming arrows first, one of his favourite techniques. He loved seeing roofs burn and people scream and run for their miserable lives. He lived for it. This was not the main reason he favoured his archers though. He favoured them for strategic purposes too. While some of his archers aimed for homes and people, most aimed for horses and dogs. He liked to get rid of the enemies cavalry first, the terror of the people was just an added bonus. As the first shock of his sudden attack would wear off he would revel in the new panic of the men who ran to their horses only to find them already dead. It was always at this part where he could almost see the hope disappear from a village upon the discovery of the horses. The rebels always knew right from the start that they held no chance of victory, or survival.
It was common knowledge by now the ruthlessness of the king. He would not stand for anything or anyone he did not like. That was how he kept his subjects in check. Ruling by fear and fear him they did. Men tense, women shudder, and children cry at the mere mention of his name, and standing there in the middle of this decimated village he was reminded of the great pleasure his reign of terror gave him. For no rebellion no matter how big could ever stand the chance of beating the mighty king.
A noise brought him out of his musings and he raised his sword in the direction of the sound, ready to strike only to find one of the burning homes finally giving in to the flames and collapsing to the ground launching an explosion of embers into the air around him. He smiled and admired the embers as they danced in front of him before being snuffed out in the mud. Taking a breath he returned his sword to its sheath and rolled his shoulders back feeling instant relief as they cracked.
“We’re done here,” he said suddenly and his foot soldiers inspecting the remains of the village all stopped to look at him. “Bring me my horse and lets go, I’ve grown tired of these peasant quarters I wish to return home.”
“Right away my lord,” replied one of his men saluting his king before going off to fetch his horse.
The young king then made his way to a well situated in the middle of the village square and drew up a fresh pale of clean water. Removing his helmet and gauntlets he dipped his bloodied hands into the pale and threw the cold water against his cheeks. Red water ran down his forehead and cheeks dripping into his eyes. He smirked as he continued to clean his face of the peasant blood. Then when he was done he cleaned his helmet replacing it atop his head and the gauntlets to his hands. He then threw the pale of bloodied water back down into the well and turned to leave his smirk still ever present on his face.
He made his way through the village his men following behind as he passed each house until he reached the edge of town where he greeted the soldier who had collected his horse. Taking the black mares reigns he climbed into the saddle and looked out at his sea of men.
“Look around you,” he said his voice hauntingly calm against the wind “this is what happens when one defies my rule. Let this destruction serve as a lesson to all, that those who choose to go against their king will surely pay the price.” As he spoke his last words his eyes turned dark and his voice cold and harsh sending a chill through the air that bathed his soldiers and the remains of the town with a petrifying fear. He felt the wave of fear wafting off the soldiers and he smirked before turning his horse and riding away from the burning ruins of the village.