Chapter 43:

Chapter 43 - You play rock, we play scissors.

The Flight of The Draykes

Silently, we waited a distance away from the curve of the path that hid us from view.

We had formed up 3 men deep and 10 men wide, a small rectangular shieldwall formation.

We awaited our enemy while beside us on our wings, the hidden seedlings - interspersed with the veteran castle guards - shook in anticipation with bows set and arrows ready.

5 castle guards formed a small line in front of each of the wings, ready to intercept any enemy that tried to attack our archers - the seedlings.

The knights on the other hand were hidden further in front, a blow that we hoped would shatter the enemy.

Then I felt a tremble run up my leg.

Confused, I looked down - only to see that the earth was vibrating.

Looking up, I noticed that many of the soldiers had raised their eyebrows and were readying their shields and weapons.

Suddenly, Aaron who was in charge of the shieldwall shouted,

“Brace for impact,”

Puzzled, I raised my woefully small shield and tucked as much of my body behind it while digging my feet into the ground.

Then the thunder increased.

Then I saw the cloud of dust in front of us.

Squinting, I tried to see inside of it.

Then I understood why my brother had yelled out to brace for impact.




“Why was there cavalry,” I screamed internally.

But there they were.

Counting, I heaved a breath as I counted a dozen and a half knights.

But a dozen and a half knights on top of magnificent warhorses could bring down our shieldwall like a rock through our scissors.

“Brace! Brace! Bracee!” Bellowed my brother before he stood at the corner of the shieldwall and hefting a spear powerfully, let loose at the front line of the cavalry.

With a tragic neigh, the horse collapsed, impaled through by the spear.

Swinging his shield back to cover himself, my brother waited with an anxious expression on his face.


“I’ve never seen him anxious before,” I thought.

Then when the cavalry was 100 paces away, his anxious expression melted away and a confident expression replaced it.

“Right-wing, Archers Fire!”

Roaring in response, the right-wing archers rose and fired in jerky movements at the incoming cavalry.

Two horses fell.

The rest of the cavalry was covered by silver warforce which stopped all the arrows.

The confident smile falling off his face, my brother bellowed,

“Aim for the horses!”

“Left-Wing! Fire!”

Our second hidden ace in the hole rose and this time, - calmer now than the previous lot - they nocked their arrows and drew their bows, and then they fired!

This volley brought down 3 of the horses and the rear lines of the charging cavalry were fouled.

As they floundered within the killing zone of the archers, the knights jumped off their mounts, and forming a triangular shield wedge, they charged towards our shieldwall.

Bracing for impact without my brother saying it, we waited with thundering hearts.

Only to watch bewildered as the triangular wedge split apart from the sides and the knights dashed towards our wings, leaving the point to stand there with a contemptuous smile on his face.

“Bal,” My brother cursed.

Stepping forward, He roared out, “Advance by 40 paces and stop. Section leaders, move out in support of the wings!”

So we did. We marched towards the solitary knight who was formerly at the head of the wedge who smirked as he watched us come.

Then his aura flared.



“This day cannot get any worse,” I thought to myself.

Watching my brother suck in a deep breath, I knew what he was thinking, I knew what he was going to do.

Anxious beyond belief, I was about to yell out when I bit my tongue hard.


I must have Faith.

Then my Brother charged.

He, a silver rank, charged at the gold rank.

A blade glow darted out from the gold rank and grunting, my brother pushed on through - his warforce armor denting.

Two more bladeglows intercrossed and rushed at my brother.

Twisting his upper body, he kept charging and roared out as the intersection point left a bloody gash on his upper torso.

Then he pulled out a sword, a sword I recognized.

The sword of the Draykes.

With a crash, he engaged in close combat with the gold rank.

The gold rank, initially contemptuous, was soon serious as his armor was scored a line from a slash by the sword of the Draykes.

The combat raged on and I watched with bated breath.

“Split, reform, and halt!” The order came from one of the older grizzled veterans of the castle guard who had taken charge of our shieldwall.

Tearing my gaze away from my Brother, I noticed we had advanced 40 paces and now stood a paltry 12 paces in front of my brother’s duel with the knight with the duel raging behind us and our shieldwall facing the open curve again.

Looking to our wings, I saw that the thin line of five castle guards was engaged furiously in combat with the knights, aided by the silver rank section leaders of which there were a pitiful two per wing.

Then I froze as thunder shook the earth again.

Looking ahead, I watched as the curve of the path spat forth ranks of soldiers who marched in full panoply and in unified cadence.

Counting, I felt my mouth dry as nearly two hundred men marched out and toward us.

25 men against 200, aided by our archers who watched the fight raging bare feet away from them with chapped lips and dry mouths.

We locked shields and stood heart thumping.

Praying to Falka, I took in a deep breath and scanned our ranks.

Damon was to my left, two ranks away near the edge of our line.

Sia was to my right, three ranks away at the center.

I was to the left of the center where the charge would be weaker.

Then the horns blared and the enemy formed up in a longer line than ours, obviously seeking to envelop us.

Wait, horn.

Grabbing the horn of valor from my waist, I raised it and blew.

Nothing happened.

Raging, I cursed at it.

Then the sound of footsteps came even closer and I closed my eyes, thought to myself about how I felt during the fight with Deianira.

Unbidden, my warforce began triggering.

Relishing the feeling, I allowed it to fill me up, and then opening my eyes, I gazed at the incoming ranks and I swore to myself that they shall not see fear from me.

Lifting the horn again, I blew the horn of valor and its sound echoed through the area.

Courage! Valor! Refusal to give up!

The horn blew three times and every soldier fighting on our side felt their back straighten, their hands tighten, their auras surging, and frightening the enemy knights and soldiers.

“For the Draykes!” I screamed out.

“For the Draykes” echoes sounded out from all the soldiers beside and behind me.

“Front Rank! Javelins!” Shouted out the grizzled veteran.


I watched as nine javelins went hurtling towards the enemy and nine people fell.

“Second Rank! Release!”

The second wave went out and more fell.

The third rank didn’t get the chance to release as the enemy thundered across the few remaining feet.

“Charge!” Hollered the grizzled veteran and charge we did. Right into the enemy charge.


The first impact had us grunting.

The second impact as more enemies added their momentum to the ones in front had us reeling.

Then slowly, we began giving ground.

Sliding the dagger into my belt, I pushed into the shield and all the while, I fumbled for the horn at my waist and desperately raised it to my lips.

It blew out once again and our lines stabilized.

It blew out for the second time and our lines pushed back.

It blew out for the third time, and our lines roared and moved forward against the tide of enemies.

Elated, I almost failed to notice the spear that would have nailed the horn to my lips.

Only for a javelin to shoot by unerringly into the spear-wielding enemy, downing him.

Without looking back, I quickly drew the short sword and thankful for its reach, I stabbed frantically at whichever enemy came in front of me and ducked back behind the shield to avoid the inevitable dying blow.

I lost track of time. I lost track of my allies. I lost track of the enemies.

All I had was the need to raise my blade and stab forward.

Mechanically, I advanced - unaware that I was alone.

Demonically, the enemies cut - assured that I was alone.

Until I wasn’t.

With a sharp cry, Sia danced into the maelstrom with me.

With a bellow, Damon pushed forward from where he was.

Then the lines broke and it was a brutal melee.

Just then, I heard a song being sung,

In the crimson glow

Where blood flows

The light from the sun,

Shines upon a lion’s son.

For where the wind blows,

The Lion’s mane shall grow,

And when the enemy growls,

Then the lion shall roar

And in the thunder, we come to sing our song,

For Leon! For Leon!Oh, Leon!

And in the thunder, we come to sing our song,

For Leon! For Leon! Oh, Leon! “

Confused, the enemies looked at each other for the song that was being sung was a famed song of the Leonids.

Then the enemy saw him.

Golden armored, round shield with the lion roaring, sword pointing at them.

The enemy ground to a halt, mesmerized, and then their looks of awe turned into looks of horror as The golden armored man began walking toward them, before breaking into a run - joined by other golden armored knights who cleaved forward into the enemy ranks.


The enemy shattered and routed.

Dumbstruck, the gold rank in the front dueling with my brother watched as his men broke.

Hollering, he sent my brother flying away before he turned and barrelled back toward his men.

Only for an arrow to hit his broadsword, knocking it away from his hands.

Another arrow fell to the ground after glancing off the knight's neck armor.

Then there was only the shadow of an arrow before the gold rank knight clutched at his throat in disbelief, as an arrow lay quivering between the tiny gaps in his neck armor which the first arrow had exposed by splitting apart his warforce.

Chase looked coolly at the dying man before looking at the routing enemy, casually shooting a few in the back before turning to the silver ranks at the wings who had been decimated but still lived.

Nocking more arrows, Chase methodically began his slaughter while all around, our soldiers did the same to the enemy who, despite fleeing - refused to surrender.

Finally, Sir Galen shouted out the command to regroup and then he walked to the dying gold rank who knelt, clutching his throat still.

Stopping a distance away from him, Sir Galen spoke a few words with the Knight before his face became white with shock and he took out a sword and cut off the gold rank knight’s head.

As I watched in horror as the knight’s head flew into the air, a smile still on his face - a deathly quiet descended on the battlefield.

Honor and chivalry are our bywords.

An honorable death in battle is fine. But to execute a knight who was dying the way Sir Galen had was the way of barbarians.

Gathering around him, all of us looked at him in silence.

He looked at us, still white as a sheet, before he said - “He was a communication power user. He alerted the enemy at the water source and he said they’re marching over to us as we speak.”

Looking grimly around, he said, “we have perhaps a few minutes, at most an hour. I suggest you use it to recover and then we have no other choice but to fight again. A fight that will see whether we live...or we die.”

Then turning toward the wounded, he began working away with his flying needles while wearing a look of exhaustion.

The rest of us stood mutely before splitting apart to rest and reorganize as fast as we could.