Haven't posted a favorite passage lately. This one particularly struck me as moving. This is a fantasy set in a feudal, pre-industrial society. The "Ardentians" below are captives at the end of a drawn out war.
"I offer you what I offered every other warrior that followed Gach."
They had no doubt seen Ardentians they recognized riding in one of the three wings. Yet they hesitated, overly long. Justen's gut ached. Would he have to give the order for more deaths? Sweat etched his upper lip.
No! Your deaths aren't worth loyalty to lords who used you like that!
Heads bobbed, as the warriors conferred. Perhaps it was worth the precedent, of putting them aboard ships and sending them home? He wasn't above striking new boundaries. He'd done it with the four masters at Coast. Maybe. Maybe that is as it should be. Warriors who could expect repatriation might surrender more readily in the future, which would save more lives.
But that isn't our way.
What the hell was there to discuss?
It means you keep your caste! Your lives!
The minutes passed. The sky darkened. Finally nods worked through the forty. An elder among them stood.
"Aye. We accept your offer, my Lord."
Justen dizzied for a three-count. His vision cleared, but his tight chest didn't allow him to breathe. He turned to get away. A leader of men couldn't be seen as weak, emotional.
Untitled sequel to Lord Regent.
Have a great day!
-R. Mac Wheeler
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