The Anglo-Saxon Barbarians II
A soldier snorred.
It was a morning, as early as seven of the clock and although warm, not sunny as the day before. The sky was a cloud-covered gray, but the air resembled the warmth and humidity, which in turn clearly stated that the rainy season came to its end in the Land of the Rising Sun.
The Prince's army was camping in the field, and only the earliest birds were awake at this time. The Prince had ordered full battle readiness for this day and everything was ready for a quick march. Someone just needed to wake up the dozzing warriors and do it in a manner that would put a war yell in their mouths, insetad of thirst for coffee.
The clock ringed.
Prince Igor reached for it, pressed the red button that would make it quiet and his face with one eye open came from beneath the blanket. It was time.
He stood up, groaned, stretched his arms and dressed quickly. He chose his noble battle armor suit and tightened his blade. The High Prince Igor of the Zlatkovic, Warleader of the vast forces and heir to the throne of the Zlatkovic knew only one direction this day. He would lead his army to the borders of the Queen's estates and crush the enemy. It could hardly get simpler. He just wanted the transit clearance across her soil, no more. The bitch would remember the day when she dared an insult upon his honour by telling him to come back again, this time with all required documents. He would come back today. With an army.
The Warleader left his tent, drank a sip from the cup of coffee offered to him by his shieldbearer and came to the matter.
"Let it be known! We dig out and march now! Say your prayers to Ruthia now, you bastards, for it will be either the victory or the death hugging us when we return! And whoever of those two is not with us, shall be on the enemy's side! So pray to Ruthia because the victory is most likely to be at her side, while I would prefer to leave those Anglo-Saxon scumbags with the death at their side!"
"And if the Gods would switch sides and help the enemy's side, we would always go against our foe's side for they made us enemies and enemies are always on opposite sides! Understood?"
"What? What is now on which side?", asked one confused soldier his companion quietly, but his friend in arms just waved it away:
"Spare your worries. The Prince could never differ left from right. It will come clear by itself."
Trumpets signalled march, and the company was instantly ready, camp cleared, horses mounted and they sang as one:
"Hi Ho! Hi Ho!"
"It's off to war we go!"
"We fight and slay, the Brits all day!"
"Hi Ho! Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Hi Ho!"
A horse whinnied.
The army had reached the eastern gate of the Queen's estates after barely an hour of march. The front flank of the company, with the Prince leading, was waiting for the last soldier to join in. They have been seen by Queen's sentries, but Igor didn't care. His determination was clear. Shut the insulting mouth of whoever opens it and restore the honour of his name. It was still a gray day, though the sun would ocassionaly show itself throught the leaves, but it didn't change much for the warriors gathered under the trees before the gate. Be it light or be it not, the fight would be the same.
A long minute of silence passed by in which neither the Queen's mercenaries, nor Igor's warriors moved, or let go a sound. Archers were up in the trees ready to fire across the walls to Queen's men who stood there almost unprotected and catapults were uncovered and mounted before the eastern gate.
The Prince pulled his blade.
"Attack!", he souted digging heels into his mount's side and the horse galloped towards the gate. All cavalry had done the same and now a vast number of angry warriors was heading towards the Queen's estate. A formation of twelwe warriors came to gallop first, riding in two columns with six man on each side, swinging a large ram between the two columns. The eyes of the defenders widened seeing how much dust can such a band produce and silently prayed to Ruthia as the war cries of Igor's warriors reached their ears and the thundering noise of several hundred horses echoed through the walley, coming nearer.
The riders crushed the gate as if it wasn't there. They simply rode through and past it, while the stunned defender's forces protected their faces from shards of wood flying everywhere under the force that just smashed the heavy door. Instantly Igor's fighters gained position in the middle of the Queens forces and seeing the enemy totally unprepared, Igor knew he would be victorous. His warriors crushed the first line of defense within an eyeblink and were heading toward the center of the estates, rewarding whoever stood on their way with their blades. The ancient castle, a mighty fortress built of stone was now directly before them. High stone walls ended in a roof each and it was clear that no archer will be above. The castle was facing the eastern gate with its entrance, a heavy gate of hardened wood. All other sides were surrounded by trees which grew tightly leaned onto the walls. The gate of the castle remained closed and groups of guardians which were arriving from each side of the fortress were charged and quickly disposed by Igor's cavalry.
Satisfied to see his warriors outperforming the opponent in all disciplines, Prince Igor turned to see another building on the north side and his eyes narrowed. It was the visa section, the center of his hatred. It was a small, flat fortress guarded by soldiers on three sides, while a high outer wall protected it from the eastern side. The high base beneath it would make it difficult to enter using a way other than the main entrance and nearby trees, which grew over the roof, prevented an effective assault launched using a heavy war engine such as catapult. Being a low building and being built using cheap resources, it didn't attract a half the attention one would give to the ancient castle, but Igor knew his target. This is the place which shall fall today and those within shall learn the wrath of the Warleader. Having an advantage in the battle allready, he didn't hesitate but he pointed with his sword towards the building:
"Corporal! Take your squad and follow me! We are going to overtake that building there!"
"Aye, my Lord!", came the answer and the corporal started shouting orders. Quickly they reached the building and Igor dismounted, stepping forward to engage the first guard on foot with rage in his eyes.
The sound of steel hitting steel echoed through the clearing inside the estates and not rarely a scream of dying men followed. While forcing his way into the building he hated most, The Prince glanced back toward his men and what he saw in their eyes made him proud of each one of them...