Fantasy Fiction posted September 20, 2014 Chapters:  ...10 11 -12- 13... 


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The battle begins as forces begin to converge.

A chapter in the book Vision and Sound: Their Stories

Born Enemies: The Battle Begins

by michaelcahill




Background
Two souls encounter each other in various lifetimes on earth. As humans they are unaware of their close bond.
SEE AUTHOR'S NOTES

Previously, the various forces continued to converge on the valley. There were now four deployments of troops, two Persian and two Roman, that all marched towards the same spot. There would be several surprises in store as the battle was on the verge of beginning. We join the story now as the Persian forces already in the valley are about to encounter Tibertin's forces that are just arriving.



An hour had passed and Artabanus could see the end of the valley less than half a mile distant. Exhilaration was cut by the sound of horns from the mountains on both the east and west. Commander Prath bolted on horseback towards the mountains to the east and reared his mount. He held his shield outstretched to his side. "Yes, we quiver at the sounds of your impending attack! Shall we stop now and prepare for your onslaught? Here is your target. Perhaps a blast from your horn will unseat me!"
 
Artabanus looked on in amusement. Prath looked back at his general with a look of astonished confusion covering his face. The shield dropped from his hand and his body slipped off his mount as though suddenly stricken with sleep. Artabanus took in the event as though in a dream. The look on his face was slow to change as the information fought its way through his astonished brain.
 
As though slapped in the face by an insulted lover, Artabanus regained himself. "To battle! On the flanks and forward." The plan of Tibertin became clear to him in that instant. Curse him! How could I not have seen it? Now, he had to deal with its success. He had to do it immediately.
 
The initial attack from the east and west had taken out several unprepared soldiers. The response was immediate as battle lines were formed to repel the coming attack. The attack was loud and swift and came from both sides. The battalions were not large but the surprise gave them the early upper hand. Artabanus focused his concern on what was to come from the front. That would be the whole of Tibertin's forces coming to bear.
 
The sound of horns and singing filled the air. It served to energize the Roman forces already engaged. Artabanus already grieved for his fallen friend and advisor, but thoughts of his daughter steeled him to battle. I'll not wait for this folly to arrive. "Forward all. Engage the enemy!"
 
In moments, the word was passed and the Persian troops pressed forward shouting their disdain and drowning out the sound of song that had been permeating the air. Upon sighting the Romans, the Persian archers began firing in overlapping patterns. Group after overlapping group unleashed their payload. It had the effect of a constant barrage. The air was never empty of deadly arrows in flight. The rest of the ground troops advanced into the advancing Roman horde and engaged them. The Roman's were too many, however, and the tide turned in their favor.
 
The Persians fought ferociously and it was clear that they would not cease or surrender. Though uncommon for the commander to engage in the actual battle, Tibertin had made a reputation as a fierce warrior. Today was no exception. He had led his men to battle and fought in the thick of it.
 
Artabanus had observed from the sidelines with his remaining advisors, as was the custom. Upon seeing the tide turn against his men, he and his advisors charged into the battle as well. Artabanus sought out Tibertin on the battlefield. The sight of you prone on the battlefield may discourage your men. I owe you my friend. It is a personal matter between us. "Tibertin!" He screamed as he came in earshot.
 
Tibertin turned his horse to greet the intruder. "So, you are not the coward that refuses to fight by the side of your men. Good. I honor that."
 
"For my daughter, I send you to your grave. Allutia will be a slave no more. By my sword, I swear it." Artabanus drew his blade and held it high above his head.
 
"Allutia? Allutia is your daughter? How could I know? That is not of my making. She was not harmed, Artabanus. She…" The reality of the moment jolted Tibertin back to the reality of the battlefield. He drew his blade as well.
 
"You speak as though you know her. All the more reason for you to die. I've thought of what you might have done to her for many years. I avenge her!" He charged with sword held high.
 
They rode towards each other and swung powerful blows. Neither dismounted the other though the blows struck true and each was shaken mightily. As they regrouped to charge again, the sound of horns sounded from the direction of the city. Both the combatants turned in their direction. The pattern was Persian. It was a Persian call to battle.
 
A roar that began in the distance became loader and louder as it got closer. A horde of fresh Persian soldiers suddenly joined the battle and fought with shocking ferocity. The tide of the battle began to turn. It was the former Persian slaves newly arrived.
 
The children, elderly and youngest of the woman that were not of a mind to fight were left at the entrance to the valley to await the outcome of the battle. The soldiers including many armed woman, Allutia among them, surged forward to join the battle already being waged.
 
The former slaves fought as though it were a privilege. Even though Tibertin was not a vicious slave owner, there were beatings remembered. Indeed, the very act of taking away one's life with no intention of ever giving it back was an act of cruelty that demanded the most severe vengeance. The slaves relished the chance to beat their masters to death. It was almost as if they considered it a kindness to spare them a life of slavery by killing them.
 
Martius was frozen in fear listening to the screams that came from the valley. There was no way of knowing what could be taking place. And now he looked at a contingent of Roman soldiers marching swiftly by and towards the valley. It was the southern forces of Tibertin. They had bypassed the city and were newly arrived.
 
Waltrian looked at Martius trembling behind a tree. "Your day will come, son. But, today is mine."
 
Martius had no idea what this Roman on horseback was talking about. He just watched him ride by, grateful that a few words were his only interest in him.
 
Waltrian listened to the sound of battle in the distance as though he knew the interpretation of it perfectly. Well done, Tibertin. You have held the day. I come to win it.
 
Commander Waltrian turned to one of his aids. "Pass the word. The slaves have overtaken the city and are engaged here. No mercy."
 
Waltrian rode alone ahead of his troops. He was still some distance from the valley, perhaps more than half a mile. Yet, he gave the word, "Attack. Full force!" The troops rushed the final distance and were there in about five minute's time and not a moment too soon.
 
The slaves were clearly winning the day. The sight of the southern forces was a relief to the Roman forces to say the least. Tibertin looked towards Waltrian in amazement. It hadn't occurred to him that he would make this bold move. He sought out Artabanus once again. They had become separated by the ferocity of the battle surrounding them.
 
Artabanus found him. "Are you done cowering behind your men, Tibertin?""
 
"It was you that rode off in fear. To the death!"
 
"Wait. Stop this at once!" Allutia rode up and placed her mount between them.
 
Artabanus looked elated. "Allutia. I am overjoyed. But, what are you doing on this battlefield? This is no place for the daughter of a general."
 
"I am but a slave that fights for freedom, father."



 


Recognized


This is a little complicated.

There are four forces converging on the same area to do battle.
#1 The Persian forces led by Artabanus coming to free the slaves in the city.

#2 The troops of Tibertin who rushes to meet them rather than wait. He hopes to ambush them with a surprise attack.

#3 The Persian slaves who have over run the city because Tibertin left it under guarded. They are rushing to aid their brethren that come to free them.

#4 The southern forces of Tibertin led by Waltrian who have bypassed the city and rush to aid Tibertin.

Martius is the Persian child that played with the Roman guard and discovered the city to be empty of soldiers.

I left off the little headings this time as there would be too many and just confuse the matter.

I realize this became a bit complicated. It all boils down to a lot of Romans fighting a lot of Persians. Our main characters are stuck somewhere in the middle of all this. Not the most romantic situation.

Thank you for all the great suggestions and support. I had no idea this part of the story would turn into this. I think this section will wrap up in one more post, two at the most!


Pays one point and 2 member cents.


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