Dyrik long observed the now-dented blade, worn and painted with caked blood, as the troops assembled after the skirmish at the encampment. Long had they trained him in the art of war, a path he resigned himself to take after his departure from his devastated home. Swordsmanship, shield techniques, parrying, battle stances, balance, and other mastery. His gaze carried on to the still steaming corpses of the warriors that clashed not too long ago. Humans, or orcs, it didn't matter in the bloodied mess it created. His eyes widened, in shock, his mouth unable to move, sound unable to escape from it. The orc before him was no older than him, and he agonized in front of him, gargling and whimpering as his throat was viciously opened and leaking. His eyes rolled back and he finally stopped squirming, fighting for a desperate chance for a final breath that never came.
So it is what it felt like to take the life away of something.
Immediately, the young man removed his helmet, not taking the time to move a strand of long hair in the way, turned around and puked on the ground. It was visceral. Parts of the ration of bread and fish he had eaten earlier was now mixed up with bile, and some drops of blood. He had suffered minor injuries from the repeated hits his armor absorbed, including one that bounced off his helmet and caused a small part of his inner cheek to bleed out due to cheer violence of the hit.
- You'll get used to it, lad.
Dyrik spat on the ground in a vain attempt to clear out the last chunks left in his mouth, coughing heavily as he glared at the man. It was something he wasn't prepared for. It was the man he spoke with before the attack. The grunts had him good, a rather generous and bloodied cut went down his jaw. At least it had been treated, but it was going to stay there, disfiguring him for the rest of his days. If anything, pride would overtake it, and an argument around the lines of 'ladies dig scars' would take all the room there.
- I got sick the first time too. But the bloody Horde had it comin'. Ya just don't step on our stomping ground and think ya can get away with it, aye?
Dyrik nodded softly, although he disagreed strongly. He rolled his shoulder, spat on more time on the ground in another attempt to get that bad taste away, before he decide to put on that helmet once more.
- Did the officer made it?
The scarred man looked back at the corpses lying on the improvised battlefield. It looked like the poor man had been crushed after being knocked off his horse, possibly trampled to death by both the massive Orcs and their war wolves.
- I be guessin' not. We better gather up the wounded and get back to the Keep-- Wait, what's that?
The middle-aged man coughs softly and winced, narrowing his eyes upon the distance. His mustache moved slightly as he sniffed, his nose starting to be filled due to the cold and the blood coagulating in his nostrils. The young Severmentle observed him curiously for a moment. He knew that Walton hadn't fought only one fight in his life, but that when he had a gut feeling, it often proved to be true. It was a wonder he wasn't higher ranked. But as he once told Dyrik in the barracks before the deployment, he didn't have much of the commanding fiber in his mind to deal with all of this.
- Movement in the horizon... Could be more o' them bloody bastards, or worse...
Dyrik blinked. He felt incredibly uneasy at this precise moment. His stomach was empty but all he felt like was puking again. He'd fight the nausea back, and peer in the same direction than his companion of infortune. It seems like the other footmen were drawn to the same curiosity. The air hang heavy, and the smell of the fresh corpses weren't for something unless. Walton's eyes widened, horrified.
- Damned be it all, lad... It's worse.
A shrill, horrified shout would be heard near them. It was once of the recruit. The ground shook beneath his feet. And before he even realized it, a sinkhole formed underneath him and swallowed him up. A split second, after, Dyrik felt something gripping at his foot. His heart stopped beating.
- Bloody hell, IT'S THE SCOURGE. SAVE YASELF LADS! TO THE KEEP!
Dyrik looked down slowly. A rapidly decaying hand gripped his boot, its skin overtaken by vermins and carrion worms. It was the mutilated Orc he had just slain, and he was rising. And rotting incredibly fast, some unholy magic seemingly animating his corpse. Without thinking, Dyrik screamed and in a panic, he hacked off the arm of the revived husk. It was now he realized he was going to fight back not only his enemies... But also his former brothers-in-arm. Every corpses seemed to rise within the perimeters, their flesh decayed as if long dead.
And he ran like never before, fighting back the pain with renewed vigor, a genuine sensation of horror flowing within him. Walton was already ahead and signaling everybody to follow him. The safe haven seemed so far. It seemed like it was so far away.
So far away.
- Lad, are ye alrighty there?
The Crusader, a cup of wine in hand, remained unresponsive to the dwarven soldier sitting next to his table. The Dwarf scratched his large nose, noticing the curious behavior of the human in his civil garments. He wondered what he was exactly looking at. Dyrik's gaze was fixated at the small flame of the candle before him, slowly dancing in the rhythm of the rare gust of wind coming inside the tavern, carrying a scent of the sea bordering Stormshield. The Dwarf stroke the long braids of his imposing beard, a common trait amongst all self-respecting members of the clans. By his expression, he grew a little uneasy. The human was elsewhere mentally, and his hand was even beginning to shake.
A crashing sound echoed through the whole building, causing a small silent moment in the place usually filled with cheers and heated discussions. The crackling fire in the hearth, carried with a few whispers from the various patrons at this time of the evening made sure to break the silence. From Alliance conscripts to the locals. Dyrik blinked softly, stirred up, and shook his head rapidly. He'd look down to the floor, to the now shattered glass, and the generous spill of the red alcohol now staining the wooden floor. He grimaced, realizing he attracted unwanted attention from nearly half of the crowd, and unfortunately disrupting the hauntingly beautiful performance of the Draenei harpist, Irius. At least she didn't seem upset, eyeing him however with faint curiosity before she simply resumed her performance, much to the onlookers appreciation. Like a professional, after all. She'd smile faintly as Dyrik waved at her in apologies, the human flushing in embarrassment at the situation. He'd turn to the Dwarf, who rose to his seat to check up on the man. Was he drunk? Apparently not.
- Forgive me, I need to hold my glass better next time. It can get slippery at times, eh.
He sighed. He was such a terrible liar anyway, but the Dwarf didn't seem however offended at all. More like understanding. The hairy warrior would set a firm hand on the Crusader's shoulder, much to Dyrik's surprise, and smile warmly.
- Ye need a betta handle than them fragile glassware. A big ol' mug of the finest Ironforge's Stout will suit ye just mighty fine, fer a sturdy man like ye.
Dyrik smiled and nodded politely. He'd look at the barkeeper who seemed exasperated at the other he had to clean up.
- A good idea, but first, I'm going to take care of my spill... Then I am going to pay a tourney for everyone.
The Dwarf blinked, and cheered loudly before going back to his seat with his companions, themselves a little confused about the sudden eruption. It wouldn't be long before they all raised their mugs in Dyrik's general direction and hailed him. Dyrik chuckled faintly.
If all the booze wouldn't help him sleep after this, what could possibly?
It did fine last time.