Episode 4-The Preparation
Kisho moved through the narrow Illyrian streets as flaming balls of fire glided past him on all directions. The Illryian King was moving the citizens into the Acropolis for protection. The road was crowded, and Kisho had to cut through most of the line to finally reach the gate. There was an unexpected surprise lying in wait for him once he entered that gate.
I was rerouted through the streets of the acropolis to a large armory where other boys, about the same age as I am (or should I now say, was) were being equipped with….SWORDS AND SHIELDS!!?!? These people were crazy to equip children for defence of a country. In fact, it was not only crazy, but cowardly on the part of the adults. Well, at least I got to choose my weapon. I chose a Falcata/Kukri type sword. It was very light, and an excellent cleaving weapon. This thing could hack through any shield. I also received a shield and some light chainmail armour.
We were led by a man I recognized as the General of the Royal Illryian Army. One could tell by his belt, as ranks in the Illyrian army were displayed on one’s belt by means of tallit (sacred fringes, tassels). We were organized into a small squadron, and we were to hold the gate at all costs. They positioned us outside the gate. We were the first of the last to die.
The feelings rushing through my head made me freeze in apprehension, and I anticipated that by the end of this day, I would be laying amongst my fellow Illryians. It was simply amazing. I was actually about to fight an ancient battle. In my time, most children would deem this a privilege, but once they saw the reality, they would deem it a punishment. I wondered if I was being punished by something…
As I stood daydreaming I noticed that the other boys were thinking the same thing. I could tell by the solemn and worried looks displayed on their delicate faces, Faces that had never even held a sword. This was a cowardly act on the Government and the People’s part, and there was no way to get out of it. I still could not get over that fact that I actually had to fight.
The Gamanites were marching towards the gate, and they were marching extremely quickly. One would wonder if those barbarous thugs ever ran out of energy. The Royal Illyrian Army had been crushed by these men. What hope did a few young boys have against a wave of attackers. Well, I figured that it was time to start calculating, and time to stop worrying. I began to look at the odds. There were about 400 of us untrained boys. There were roughly 78-100 barbarians rushing at us. The barbarians fight in waves, they cannot fight in a large force , as they are easily defeated by The Royal Illryian pikemen due to their lack of organization. I figure, if we fight this, beat them, rout them, they will send another wave within the next thirty minutes. We can hold off for about three waves until we must admit defeat. That was when the thinking stopped and the stabbing started. As I opened my eyes, I saw a HUGE Gamanite rushing at me with his spiked cudgel, ready to kill. I braced my body, spreading my legs for added resistance to an enemy charge. I held my shield so that it reached from my neck to my knee, and got ready to slash with my Falcata. I was prepared to kill.