What motivates us to move forward? Is it hope? Is it love? Then what causes our downfalls? Is it fate? Or is it our humanity? After all, we sow the seeds of our own failures.
"The preparations are finished, my lord."
Lancefer Malfait was bent over a map of the lands of Camarbryn. He straightened and turned to face his second-in-command who had stepped into the tent.
"Thank you, Fortasan. What were the last reports we received of Denius's troop movements?"
"His cavalry is still on the road to Camalan, sir, and his infantry is stationed at Catterin."
Lancefer considered this for a moment and then asked, "What about Cath?"
Fortasan replied, "Our sources have reported that Cath is still at Castle Dedygrane. It seems that the alliance with Denius did not go through."
Lancefer's eyebrows knotted for a moment, and his gray eyes clouded over.
"Hmm, that's quite a surprise. I had thought the alliance would have gone through, since the stakes of the situation are so high."
"Sir, you know as well as I that nobles are not reliable when it comes to rationality."
Lancefer's handsome face twisted into a bitter smile. He breathed out a gust of air, something that almost passed for a laugh, but not quite. He hardly laughed anymore.
"So, I suppose petty rivalry, pride, honor and all that other preening and nonsense has gotten in the way again. Well, their loss is soon to be our gain," he muttered to himself. He turned back to Fortasan. "The men are to be prepared for tomorrow. The captains know what they are doing. Everything is ready then. Is that all, Fortasan?"
Fortasan nodded. "I suggest that you get some rest, my lord. There's nothing further that we can do now."
Lancefer did not quite smile. "Thank you, Fortasan. That will be all."
Fortasan bowed and left the tent. Lancefer bent back over the map displaying the lands of Camarbryn. He felt the underside of the desk for a carefully hidden capsule and tugged it loose when his fingers came in contact with it. Uncapping the slim tube, he slipped out a piece of parchment and covered the map of Camarbryn with it. It was thin to the point of transparency, and it became clear that the transparent sheet had markings which outlined a significant amount of the lands of Camarbryn. Lancefer slipped out a second sheet of parchment from the tube and added that to the map as well. The layered sheets displayed the conquests that Lancifer had made which were sadly only a small portion of the outlined lands. Lancefer sighed and then carefully returned the sheets of parchment to the capsule, concealing it again on the underside of the desk. Steely resolve replaced the look of weariness on his face, and his gray eyes turned cold.
It's more than we've had in a long while, but it's not enough. I won't stop until all these lands are ruled by the Malfaits once again. The day is coming when my family will regain what is rightfully ours, and I'll be the one to take it back. It won't be long now.
After all, I can't afford to fail.
And with that thought, he blew out the candle and hoped that the nightmares would not haunt him tonight.