"“This day, this place, are beyond the duty of your oaths,” I admitted. “You stand halfway across the world, surrounded by death and smoke on all sides, after having already won too many wars under my banner. You have already paid for peace in blood, and yet here you are again: down in the mud, standing alone as horror comes.”
My fingers clenched around my staff.
“So I the cognomen I grant you now is not for victory this day,” I said, “for have you not already won me victories enough? I name you Excellens, in the old Miezan, to acknowledge what you already are: surpassing excellence, a neck that was never made to bend.”