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russrussrussrussruss OP t1_j1nri0f wrote

The barbarian paused, only momentarily. He wasn’t expecting such an answer.

The soldier took his opportunity, slicking his opponent’s stomach open. He had gained the upper hand. He now stood over the barbarian, as he stood over the soldier moments prior.

“It is euphoric to know that I stand with my home, my leader, my people, even when the bitter end draws near. It is euphoric to feel such pride that you’d gladly face death for even the slight chance to save what you love.”

The barbarian groaned, each movement drawing more blood, and more pain. He didn’t care to respond. He was unsure if he even could.

“I’m sure you feel the same way. You felt euphoric when you laid eyes on the eternal city, at the prospect of ending your homeland’s sufferings. You felt euphoric as you bid your family goodbye, knowing you were contributing to a cause greater than yourself, greater than them.”

The two warriors locked eyes, one filled with pain, and the other remorse.

“I feel no euphoria now. It doesn’t please me to have killed you. To have taken you from your family. But, Rome is my euphoria, and I’d go through torture and torment for her.”

The life drained from the barbarians eyes, his groaning and movement ceased. The soldier closed his eyes, this was a feeling he knew too well. He felt a sudden coldness, then red hot pain emanating from his chest. Then, nothing.

A barbarian looked at the young man, no older than 25. He had taken his life, as he had with many others.

His eyes drifted towards his fallen companion.