It was looking pretty grim, to be honest.
They'd all expected to die in battle someday, of course, that was just what people did around these parts. But no one thought today would be their day, somehow.
She'd been crawling through the mud for what felt like hours. Her joints were stiff, her fingers felt permanently gripped around her knife, the grit in her teeth was so thick her breath rasped in and out like wood against sandpaper. But she could see it at last.
A tall figure on a horse, surrounded by corpses and grinning madly. The battlefield had fallen silent except for the exhausted guards trailing along behind him, but that cursed figure sat tall, observing what had been almost as if it still was.
Cut off the head...
With a strangled cry of anger she surged out of the mud at the horse's feet, lunging up at the figure and seizing that cursed figure, the leader of the enemy, by the hair. The guards, as tired as she from the fighting, were too slow to stop her.
At the sound of her attack, other figures emerged from the mud, those who had planned this with her or heard rumor of plans or simply played dead in the vain hope they could see home again someday. The guards couldn't stop her.
She would be hailed as a hero.
A martyr, more like.
She felt the blood spill across her hands, rinsing away the mud. A lit cigar still dangled from that mad grin. In a moment she would join the futile fight, but she had done it. She deserved a reward, didn't she? She was a hero.
She plucked the cigar away and held it up to her lips. For a moment she thought she heard the sound of laughter.