Anyway, Gareth is stuck in his war flashback, and he tries to run for the hill. And of course, it should go without saying that he draws his dagger.
The scene here is reasonably well written, though as a matter of personal taste I'm not fond of these sorts of overwrought flashback sequences. Gareth hallucinates fighting across the battlefield, and he runs into the ghost and/or zombie of a guy named Lord Richard Neville, who apparently factors into his past somehow. Gareth accuses Neville of ruining his life, and presumably because he's having a flashback, he gets the times muddled up; he's asking Neville questions about Equestria.
From their conversation, it becomes apparent that Gareth believes that Neville betrayed him somehow, and Neville sees Gareth as unfairly blaming him for everything.
>Fire bubbled up anew in Gareth's heart. If Neville had survived then he'd have to fix that.
I'm assuming that "fire" here is metaphorical and describes his anger. However, the second sentence seems to be implying that...wait, what the fuck is this implying? This gets weirder each time I read it. Okay. This whole thing seems to be saying that metaphorical and/or literal fire is currently bubbling up in Gareth's heart. He would like to remedy this situation, but apparently in order to do so, Neville needs to have survived. Past tense. Literally what?
The meaning...I think...is that these sentences are intended to be read separately. Fire bubbles up in Gareth's heart (again, I'm assuming this is a metaphor for his anger, but who knows; maybe that pulverized mason he inhaled was also on fire). Once this fact is established, Gareth considers that if Neville did, in fact, survive, he intends to remedy the situation by killing him, thus ensuring that his present, uncorrected state of survival is terminated. However, it doesn't read this way; "fix that" seems to be referring to the fire in Gareth's heart, with an added qualifier that Neville needs to have survived (in the past) in order for the heart-fire situation to be possible to address. This is easily one of the most awkwardly phrased passages in the entire book, and that's saying a lot at this point.
Anywho, it looks like Neville was responsible for the death of Gareth's father, and that's why he's all pissed off. Incidentally, I looked it up, and from what I can tell, this character is meant to be pic 1 related, the Earl of Warwick. The other possible contender is his father (pic 2 related), also named Richard Neville, but of the two, Warwick seems to have played the more significant role in the war, so I'm assuming he's our man.
This is a nice little reference to history soulpillar has slipped in here; however, what's baffling about it is that while he seems to know enough about the War of the Roses to accurately reference key players, battles, castles and so forth, he manages to get so many other things about the time period wrong. It's possible he was just doing what I'm doing, which is just googling shit and reading Wikipedia pages, and he doesn't really know as much as he'd like people to think he knows, but the fact that he selected the War of the Roses specifically as his setting implies that he has at least some interest in the period. If his idea was just "medieval guy goes to Equestria" then there are any number of more generic and widely-known conflicts he would likely have chosen; the Crusades for instance, or the Hundred Years War. He could have even just picked a random year in the middle ages (1345 because why not) and a random part of England (Worcestershire because I like that sauce) and just constructed a completely generic backstory about a knight who lived in a castle. Instead, though, he specifically picked this war for some reason. Curious.
Well, whatever; Neville was his father's liege, and he also got him killed. He was also the guy who knighted Gareth. Just as we're beginning to wonder what the point of this exchange is, he says this:
>Neville sighed, his shoulders slumping. "You're right; your father did die for peace. However, the England he died for wasn't the same anymore. The king we followed wasn't the man that I thought he was, so I went about installing a new king, a worthy king. I changed my allegiance, but I never changed my love for England."
This seems like a bit of a hamfisted attempt at connecting Neville's reasons for changing allegiances to...whatever the hell Chucky Larms is doing I guess. Or, maybe, it's supposed to represent Gareth's feelings about Celestia. Either way, I can see the faint outline of a similarity here, which the author is clearly trying to connect. It's not quite there yet, but at least he's making the effort.
Anyway, this scene looks like it's going to be the biggest backstory dump for Gareth that we've yet encountered, so we might as well see what we have here. Another random ghost shows up, this one turns out to be Jobasha, a friend of Gareth's who I believe has also been referenced once or twice in the text already. Apparently he died in the same battle as Gareth's father, and Gareth was distraught enough that he abandoned the war and became a hunter. I'm not sure a knight would have the option to do this, actually, if he wanted to retain his title.
Unfortunately, after all the buildup, Gareth's actual backstory turns out to be rather trite. Jobasha tells Gareth that after he ran away from the battle, he never stopped running. A cliche if ever I've heard one. He ran not because he was afraid of death, but afraid of what was on his hands. Gareth looks down, and (of course) sees blood on his hands. Well, I suppose it's good for him that that's all it was; I'm not quite sure what the toilet paper situation would have been back in those days.