There were still so many, and I was greatly outnumbered. I see everyone else around me, blood-streaked, in many parts, wounded.
But the snarls and the heavy steps and the gritted teeth gave their courage away.
I, on the other hand, was exhausted. I can hardly look up after striking one when another comes barreling in. Honestly, when can I have some air?
A sword plunged through my side; I had little sense to see the damage. All I knew is, there was a roar, a sickening crunch of armor, a sharp pain, and I was falling, falling backward…
I hear my name. I close my eyes, bracing impact. I lay still for a while, and my head hurt.
Slowly, my eyes open to a white, white sky…
God, I’m so tired…
And I close my eyes again…
“Tell me, how is it that she must learn to fight off her demons at this time?”
“She must learn. Otherwise, she will never rise to be a warrior.”
“A warrior! Good heavens!” they looked pensively at the young child training with her sword. One of them looked with horror at the other. “But she’s still so young!”
The other shook his head grimly. “Today, she is. Someday, she won’t be.”
I hear someone calling my name. It was familiar and beseeching, but I dare not stray my eyes from the sky.
Tired…tired… I mumble incoherently to myself.
I hear them. Faintly, beckoning me. I want to speak up, but couldn’t. Briefly, I couldn’t feel anything except for my eyes as I blinked slowly at the daylight.
That single word. That word that pinned me down on the shaking ground unmoving, yet urged me to feel my legs slowly and go back. Back to the foray. Back to where thundering pairs of feet pounded the ground causing this mini earthquake against my back.
I can make out a figure on the edge of the deep ditch from where I had fallen. It was a long way off; and in these wounds, it was hardly an easy distance. But I could make out the voice first, the face, then slowly, the words.
“Up…get up…Get up!”
Up… I mused. So tired…
“Get back up…!”
Slowly, I felt like candle being melted as the sensation in my body began to return. I felt my fingers, my toes, my limbs again. My back flat against the ground, pounding of footfall.
My legs. My head.
My fingers slowly curl and feel around, until I nudged the hilt of a sword. I slowly gathered my strength on that one hand and gripped the sword tight.
Not yet…not yet…
I gasped as I willed my body to sit up and leaned against my sword, slowly. I dug my fingers in the soil, willing my legs to stand.
I dragged my knees to the sloping ground of the ditch, and with a snarl of pain from the wound, I gripped the sword as tightly as I could and plunged it to the slope.
I won’t be down, just yet…
“She’s up!” A jubilant cry went up as I dug my fingers on the ground and crawled up the slope with the sword as my support.
Triumphant yells resounded as I struggled up the slope to rejoin the battle on the upper ground.