Convergence

Hi, this is Candid Confinement here, this is my first draft of the second novel. I thought I would finish the fist one, but this story sucked me in. This is a historical novel set in the fictional land of Vandalur. PLZ read and comment.

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1. Premonition of a war

 

Vandalur forests, outlaws camp.

 

Boom, the clang of metal against metal, the sound of mails being shredded, the sound of boots squishing in the rainy terrain, the shouts of alarm was almost cosmic. I woke up and peered out of the flap opening and I saw reams of soldiers streaming in from the galleys. They hoped onto the dirt their figures a blot against the dark night. I watched petrified at the rows of uniform soldiers zeroing in on the camp. I had expected an attack but not so soon. My men were already fighting disembodied and shadowed down by the empire’s army. In the fore, his face bathed in the moon’s glory stood the general, a tinge of smugness coating his face. The rebels, us were fighting a losing battle, I knew. As the leader, I had ordered three hundred infantrymen to sentry the camp at night, but as the rains erupted and the infantry ran for cover under the rich foliage, the invasion had been ignited. I got out of the tent; my body sheathed with three layers of armor and my hands a bandwagon of the empire’s fineries. All of them looted from the treasury.

I unsheathed the sword and took point in the advancing horde of cavalrymen. I surveyed the surrounding as the brunt of the slush in the ground was taken by the horse’s hooves, and the water splattered against my mail. It was hard to see, torrents of celestial water misted the view. In the early hours of dawn, all that was sensible was the acoustics of a battle being rage. Beams of arrows slivered through the air, ripping through whatever it made contact with.

I knew that we were being overwhelmed and that direct confrontation would be disaster and the rain was hounding us, it was pelting us. The affronters too were humans; their faces too would be preys to the predating water. So I made a decision. I called the pager. I told him to herald the orders of retreat to all but the infantry at the fore. The response (after 5 seconds) was instantaneous. Large chunks of soldiers started running towards the tents, but they realized that the tents offered no haven, so they ran into the foliage. I ordered the infantry men to accrue the stockpiles of bows and arrows, spears anything that could be hurtled. I told them to dump them in the forests. I turned and let my horse gallop towards the forest. It took the opposing party a few minutes to realize that we were retreating. As our tents were little away from the forest, it gave us a vista for escape. I reached the forest, and saw row upon rows of medium-sized trees perched upon the now clayey soil.

 

As a part of the training I had ordered the soldiers to learn tree-climbing. Now it proved constructive. I ordered the men to clamber the trees with some amount of the stashed supply of arrows. The infantry had efficiently carried out their duties. A group of cavalry captained by myself stood at the forest clearing that drained into the coast. Our job would not be to lure, what with the zero vision. They had apparently under-estimated our efficiency, so they would expect clamor, scuffling of hooves, general chaos. So we decided to epitomize and exploit their assumption. We took stones from the ground and started clanging on them as our horses advanced into the thicket of trees. As soon as they would be engulfed with trees, the canopy would protect them from rain but at the cost of the loss of little light they had. Then a small amount of infantry would smack their flanks with their shield, and in that second of distraction, they would find themselves trapped in a maelstrom of arrows, spears etc.

 

As soon as the platoon of soldiers raided the forest, the infantry sprang at them. They sank their swords into the horses while guarding their faces with shield. The bewildered soldiers took some time to atone to the needs, but once they did, most of their cavalry had transmogrified into infantry. The enunciated bodies of their rides were bearing upon them mentally; the stench of blood was wafting and reining the air. Some of them cringed as their horses slumped to the ground. They had walked into an open trap. The infantry would have taken them down, but the treetop soldiers decided to treat them. The arrows rained down rows upon rows of fatal ammos, that along with the soldiers exterminated, extinguished their final flames of survival. I had moved to the edge of the attack field I had surmised. I watched the scene unfold, arrows though they flayed found home among the mass.

Once I was sure that they had relinquished hopes, I ordered the attack to stop and walked to the centre of the attack field. Apparently, the opposing soldiers had ringed their general, armoring him from the infantry, but the arrows had penetrated the ranks and the centre field had become trapped in their own nets. They had engaged upon their own soldiers and had embroiled a fight among themselves-to escape. Bah. Of honor they spoke, of justice they touted. But by some miracle, the general had survived and we decided to sooth our seething anger by executing him- the tribal way. I left the soldiers to collect the spoils and entered the tent which was gorged with water. I removed my armor and hung the sword. That’s when a sword arced through the air, and it was driving at me.

 

 

To be continued…………

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