Godric had been watching mortals fight for a thousand years, but never before had he seen a warrior quite like this one. Taller than most everyone on the battlefield by a head, his golden hair acted like a beacon for his men to rally around. He wielded an enormous battle-axe like a baby’s rattle with one hand while the other was strapped to a shield, deflecting blows. Godric had plenty to watch, in this bloody theater, but the man commanded the entirety of his attention,
Of course, Godric thought, the fact that he’s covered in blood might have something to do with it.
The ancient vampire shifted to another branch in the tree he was crouched in, hidden from view, supernaturally gifted sight allowing him to see through the dark and torchlight to view the battlefield spread before him. He cast his mind back a thousand years, remembering the arenas of Rome, where legions staged mock battles to entertain the masses, before fighting real ones to conquer territory for the Empire.
The world has certainly degenerated since then, he mused. Wearing fur as armor, no ranks whatsoever, wild cries and berserkers. Fighting is an art.
It was a viewpoint shared by few, but this man must be one of them. Why else did he move so swiftly, so smoothly, blade swirling in a gruesome and graceful dance? Throughout his innumerable years, Godric had had the chance to read poetry from all around the earth, even though the barbarians covering most of Europe had no call for it. Spoken epics of gods and warfare? Godric snorted. There was no art to that. He remembered the poetry of Rome, carefully crafted, the syllables and meter making the words flow. And now, on this battlefield in a godforsaken part of the world where ferocity was king and logic had no place, those words had flown from the page and assembled themselves in the form of a savage mortal.
If he had breath, Godric supposed it would be coming in gasps by now. Subconsciously, he ran his tongue over his teeth, only to find that his fangs had made an unexpected appearance.
Ridiculous, he thought. Here he was, at a thousand years old, acting like a freshly turned vampire, with no control over his impulses. He couldn’t remember the last time his fangs had come out against his will.
But that fighter.
Godric had no idea what he was fighting for, nor did he care. He leaned further out of the tree, trying to get a better view. He was rewarded for his efforts when, overheated by battle, the warrior tore off his tunic in a fit of either rage or heat, Godric wasn’t sure.
His superhuman senses were already heightened, and Godric could hear the bellowing battle cries just as clearly as the shrieks of the dying. The scent of blood, intoxicating in any amount, permeated the entire field, fueling Godric’s twin desires as the coil of lust tightened around his lower belly. A haze of want settled over him, and he chided himself for losing control.
The bloodlust- and the other lust- placed him in a trance for quite a while, before a shout from the object of his interest awakened him. Startled, he nearly fell out of the tree- how embarrassing, he thought- before seeing the wound in the warrior’s side.
His eyes widened as he strained his eyesight to the very limit. From what he could see- and he could see plenty- a short sword had entered somewhere in his ribcage, obviously missing any vital bits. The vampire furrowed his brow, trying to deduce how bad the wound was. The man should probably cease fighting, but of course, he didn’t look like he was about to stop. Godric approved- in that situation, he would have done the same.
The wound didn’t look too bad, at the moment. Of course, the tall man would die of it eventually- these Norsemen had no idea how to treat injuries- but Godric estimated that he had a full day before the Death came for him. With luck, though, Godric would come for him first.
The ancient vampire looked to the sky. Dawn was nearing- he could feel it. A decision was quickly reached. He would find a place to rest for the day, and then when night fell, he would go searching for the man who fought like his weapons were part of his body. A group of his men were forming a defensive circle around him, and men like that would not let their leader die easily. And when Godric found him the next night….he would take him.
Godric grinned as he faded into the woods.