A Taste of Battle

A little except from The Sureshot Rises

    Then the neatly organized unit began to crumble. Some of Noashk’s men stayed together, but others panicked or got overzealous and were easily picked off by the more experienced troops in blue. Five men from the third squad managed to stay in a group though, and they were having some success. This group included Durbar and Maklar. Within seconds, a quarter of the men involved in the exercise were eliminated. Durbar and his group focused on moving forward while striking as many men as they could. They got about six by the time they realized that the rest of the unit did not keep up with them, and they were separated.

    “Form a circle!” Durbar yelled to his friends, and they put their backs to each other and tried to fend off the attackers. At that point, there was no time to consider what Noashk taught them. Either it was already natural or they were dead. The blue soldiers noticed Durbar’s group and gave them some room. When enough men gathered around them, they attacked. A man speared at Durbar but he blocked it with his shield and struck him square on the chest. Another attacked and Durbar blocked his attempt, but Durbar’s counter was also blocked. The man attempted to land another blow, but Durbar blocked the man’s spear down knocking it from his hands, and then landed a shot to his side.

    Maklar was in a frenzy. He abandoned his shield and was swinging his spear wildly at the blue soldiers and striking many of them. In a few short moments, he managed to eliminate five by himself. Some of Durbar’s other men did not have as much success and two of them were hit in the rush. Durbar realized that his “one-on-one” strategy would not hold up, and he began more evasive maneuvers, ducking a dodging and thrusting his spear at men here and there. The third man in the party was hit and moved out of the way. Durbar and Maklar alone were left with nearly ten blue soldiers. Back to back, they fended them off and fought furiously. The men who were hit stood by and watched the spectacle.

    Durbar was very quick. He spun and moved and thrust his spear at his opponents, often connecting with them. Maklar just swung his spear as hard as he could, bashing the other men with it. He even broke his spear as he landed a blow on a man’s shoulder, but recovered by picking up one that was left on the ground and redoubled his efforts. In just a few moments, the two men dispatched a dozen blue soldiers and were left standing alone for a second. They both panted deeply, their hot breath freezing as it left their mouths. They turned, their eyes met and they laughed in disbelief of their success.

That moment did not last, however, as some arrows fell at their feet. They snapped back to the battle and charged toward the archers located at the blue army’s rear. Maklar picked up his shield and led the way toward the men standing at the edge of the field firing arrows into the sea of people. Some of them saw the two men charging and began firing their missiles at them, but Maklar and Durbar managed to deflect them all and reached their line ready to eliminate the group. Their captain stepped forward with his arms raised before they reached the archers and, although they were charging like bulls, they managed to stop.

    “That’s enough boys,” he commanded. Durbar and Maklar looked at each other confused. “There is no need to attack them as well. They will quit shooting. You’ve got them.” Then their confusion turned to joy and they smiled. “Well done, you two. Now sit back and wait for it to end. It won’t take long,” the officer explained. His archers quit shooting and they fell to the ground as well to signify that they were out. Durbar and Maklar sat next to one another, muscles worn and breath heavy and enjoyed the rest of the battle. By that time, most of the blue army was eliminated, being outnumbered two to one, but there were still some fighting. All in all, the battle took no more than thirty minutes, but it was a great thirty minutes to Durbar.

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