War is a very wasteful business, he thinks as the sound of the trumpet echoes through the dusty sand. That’s all he can think about as he and his army cut through each enemy soldier, lay waste to the horses and chariots, and set fire to so much potential that it almost hurts him physically.
So when he comes across the livestock, and sees how good, how innocent they are, he can’t resist keeping them alive in the face of so much death. Even if it goes against his original orders, surely his master will appreciate this unexpected gift.
He continues the battle along the same vein, leaving the best for safekeeping while everything else went into the hands of the sword’s judgement. He’s already imagining the great welcome he’ll receive from the people and from his master and teacher; the accolades and praises tumbling from their lips. He will be recognised.
He’s in a faraway place, but when he tries to turn back, he finds that he’s forgotten the way home, and he’s the one that’s been wasted.