Chapter 50:

Chapter 50 - Sally!

The Flight of The Draykes

Calmly, our archers lined up on the alure behind the ramparts. Placing the last few arrows that we had left in reserve, they stood - breathing in the fresh air as deep as they could, and closed their eyes.

Serenity was hard to find on a battlefield and every moment of life seemed even more precious in the face of losing it.

The rest of us formed up behind our camp’s gates.

The Knights stood in the front of our formation - Sir Egon, my brother, Sir Patrick, our teacher, Sir Faaris, Sir Galen, the kind gold rank Knight - Sir Potter, and the female gold rank knight - Dame Bathory. 8 Knights in all.

There was one more knight amongst us and he was the last section leader who led the remaining soldiers who were to sally. Happily, I saw he was the grizzled veteran who had led us in the first battle.

The rest of us stood in disciplined ranks as we waited.

Few talked.

Many communicated.

Through eyes, smiles, frowns, glances, smirks, blushes, and in some cases - smugness.

Smugness for whatever happened, our names would be remembered.

Looking around, I drew comfort from Ares, who was on my right side, Sia on my left, and Damon, who was in the rank in front of us.

Nodding toward the people who caught my eye, I grinned fiercely.

Then I said in a low voice that both Sia and Ares could hear, “Remember, no one dies. You hear? No one dies or I’ll haunt you as a ghost.”

Smiling back at me with tight faces, they nodded as we heard the horns blow and the earth shake again, the prelude to the battle to come.

Soldiers checked their weapons, their armor, their companions, their friends, their lovers - one last time, and then they stood, staring at the gate through their helmet’s visors.

Then someone softly began singing,

“The night was long…

The day has dawned.

The enemy is strong.

But we belong.

To the House of Draykes

Where the earth shakes,

And the world quakes

When the Flight of the Draykes takes place!

Then we roar! Then we roar!

Red sand, black spear, last stand, mother’s tears.

Black mist, come near, east land, father’s tears.

Vile man, go near, buried land, soldier’s tears.

young woman, come dear, hurried hand, a daughter's tears.

Proud back, no fear, withered bands, a child’s tears.

And in the black night, where might is right.

We cry! We weep! We laugh! We love! We live! We Rage! We fight! We Die! We set the world alight!

For the Flight of the Draykes has taken flight!

To Baltus! Baltus! Baltus! Heee!

To Baltus! Baltus! Baltus! Heee!

Red sand, black spear, last stand, come near.

Black mist, no fear, east land, a father’s here.

Vile man, come near, buried land, soldiers fierce.

Young woman, eyes clear, hurried hand, a daughter’s peace.

Proud back, no fear, hearts grand, a child’s face.

And in the black night, where might is right,

We cry! We weep! We laugh! We love! We live! We Rage! We fight! We Die! We set the world alight!

For the Flight of the Draykes has taken flight!

To Baltus! Baltus! Baltus! Heee!

To Baltus! Baltus! Baltus! Heee! “

Emotionally, we sang, and we sang as though the world could burn, but we would stand tall.

Feeling the heat on my waist, I lifted the horn of valor and I blew.

The first was for courage.

The second was for valor.

The third was for the refusal to give up.

The fourth was for love.

There was no fifth, for the scythe of war beckoned.

The arrows flew.

Men fell.

But the soldiers knew,

That the battle was only in the hands of the few.

Then the gates opened, and our Knights stormed forth, cutting a bloody swathe in the direction of the enemy Knights who watched, stunned.

The enemy soldiers panicked, and ours moved to the slaughter in one solid mass as javelins slammed into the open ranks of the enemy.

Blades were unsheathed, and they rose and fell, culling the enemy, who reeled in panic.

Then they rallied.

For their Knights were many and the silver rank ones engaged our forces brutally, smashing apart our few ranks and devolving the chaos into a brutal melee.

Sensing the tide turning, our own courageous iron ranked warriors surged forward to defend.

Damon rushed at one bearded Knight and began dueling him fiercely, strips of his armor flying into the air from the Knight’s onslaught.

The grizzled veteran chose another silver rank knight and engaged him in battle.

That left three silver rank knights who were rampaging through our ranks.

A few of the iron-ranked soldiers grouped up and held them at bay, but our numbers were few and the enemies now knew... that we were weak.

Morale rallying, the enemy fought harder and harder until one big silver rank Knight with jet black armor cut his way through his opponents - our allies - and toward us.

Shouting, we grouped up and then springing apart; we launched attacks on the knight from all directions.

Only for him to shrug them off with a sneer before backhanding Sia across the face and sending her flying and slashing at Ares, who couldn’t dodge in time.

Blood sprayed into the air and a boy fell to his knees.

A scream broke through the air and the whirlwind of war seemed to stop as the Knight cruelly drew closer to the fallen boy.