“That ought to be all of them,” said Nenshe as he flicked bits of scalp off the end of the mace. There had been two more of Bexcol’s gang in the woods — watching the sheep in shifts by the looks of it — but he caught them by surprise and they offered no resistance. Not unlike their leader.
The broken and mutilated body of the shepherdess lay nearby, her legs pointing at odd angles in the dim light. Nenshe suspected the mace he was holding bore some responsibility and shuddered when he imagined the sound and feeling of his own legs shattering under the weight of the weapon. He’d let the bandits off easy by comparison — decisive blows to the chest and head, all of them.
He searched the secondary camp, which proved pointless, when he noticed movement from the shepherdess. He approached cautiously and heard her sob and shiver. Her teeth were chattering, and she turned her head to look at him as he came closer. She called out to him, addressed him as “brother.” Nenshe wondered what she could have meant, and realized she probably thought he was her own brother, come to save her.
Nenshe was no healer, and he didn’t think she would survive long enough for him to find one — he didn’t want to drag her dead body back to her brother. She pleaded with him to help her, to which he replied, “Close your eyes, sister. I’ll help you.” He raised the mace, but she started to scream.
He missed with his first swing, hitting her shoulder. His second swing hit her neck and crushed her throat, which stopped her screaming, but he swung again and again, flailing with abandon until there was little left of her to recognize — like the bandits. His voice took on a monotone quality. “You’ll startle the sheep,” he said, flatly.