Twin plumes of smoke rose over the ridge in the sodden countryside, and the smell of burning thatch filled the air. Two pairs of horses' hooves thudded to the top of the ridge and surveyed the burning village in the distance.
'Remember, you're still not too old for me to give you a thrashing,' Æthelstan said.
Æthelstan watched the flush of anger spread across his son's face, as he had known it would. 'My brother,' Leoric said, laughing bitterly. 'Feralaed is a coward and a queer. You're so willing to defend his place in the line, but where is he while his kingdom burns? Why does he not put aside his chains and his finery and ride alongside us?'