The brigand which Appius had stunned returned to his full height after having fallen back. But this time, Appius was prepared, and facing only one opponent. Brandishing his scimitar and targe, the saracen still seemed rather calm in contradiction to the panic whoch he felt, fearing being struck from behind in such a chaotic warzone. The opposing fighter was filled with anger at having been toppled, drawing back his axe over his left shoulder and swinging it to Appius' right side with brutal force.
Appius knew he could not endure such a blow, whether it be with his armor or shield, effectively leaping backwards, sparks generating from the brigand's axe having scraped his breastplate. The fighter kept at this, swinging almost blindly three times in succession. But on the third, it made contact, siggin into Appius' shield. Though it made quite the indentation, Appius had expected the attack, keeping his enemy at bay whilst he heard Wei silence his own opponent. Good.
Releasing a smirk, Appius thrust forth his scimitar into the brigand's abdomen, not giving the man enough time to withdraw his axe. Normally this would have had little effective result, yet at such an angle Appius was able to tilt his scimitar so that it inclined inside of the brigand and dug upwards towards the man's vital organs. And with any one of those punctured, the brigand met his untimely end, schlorping off of the iron blade and unto the dirt.
But, at this moment, the thunk of an arrow could be heard. One not against wood or steel, but flesh, as Wei was struck. Turning to raise his shield in order to defend Wei, Appius was met with a similar fate, his calf pierced by another arrowhead like the one he had since removed from his collar, forcing the mercenary to one knee.
Last Edit: Feb 26, 2017 20:38:02 GMT -6 by Deleted
As the battle began to rage on two individuals began to stand out. A young fighter with red hair and a bald dark skin man with a curved blade. The brigands had taken notice after the trick with the spear. Right after that Wei showed a remarkable feat of agility with his counter attack. It was clear to the brigand leaders that those two needed to be eliminated. Taking the command of his archers they fired arrows in the direction of the two skilled fighters. The first arrow struck the young fight, a clean hit. The second arrow was blocked by the other man's shield. That did not stop them from sending off a few more shots. Eventually one of them ended up with some luck and hit the mercenary in his heel.
"Got him", shouted the archer. He did not know it at the time, but he was eventually going to regret yelling that. With the two fighters injured two brigands rushed in to finish the job. There axes were held high and vengeance filled there breast.
"Cut them down boys", shouted one of the brigands as he drew close. There assault however was cut short by the sudden sound of beating armor. The sound came at a alarming speed as the sound of dancing armor filled the air. The leading brigand was forced to turn around and face the sound. "I did not know humans could fly", spoke the man as he looked toward his right. Flying though the air was women clad in holy white armor. In her hand was a great double headed axe . Like a hawk descending upon his prey her body flew forward though the air. A wall of strangely shaped earth laid behind her. using the power of magic the maiden had used the power of a gia tome to shoot herself forward at alarming speeds. Her axe lead the way as he body soared past the brigand.
"Keep your filthy hands off my Wei",shouted Lila as she raged into the battlefield.
"Auntie", spoke Wei as he recovered from the blow. A sudden warm sensation rolled over his body as a priest began to use the power of his staff.
"Keep clam Wei", spoke the man as he turned toward Appius. "Hey I will get to you in a minute", he spoke as he cut his work on Wei short. The man did not have the time to completely heal him. He only closed his wounds he already had and removed the arrow from his shoulder. At first Wei was a bit confused, but he finally remembered the man's name.
"Jack right", chuckled Wei as the man turned his staff toward the mercenary. He was a very well known member of his Aunt's mercenary band, despite not being a fighter.
Even though Appius had noted Jack's presence, he was still somewhat surprised at the touch of the priest's staff's light. There were no healers that used such magic in his tribe of Droe, and the healng light felt odd despite being welcomed. The arrow was tugged from Appius' calf yet the hole made was quickly healed. As was the same with Wei, Jack could not risk the time to cure all of the mercenary's ailments. This being a battlefield after all.
"Your mother is an admirable woman," Appius said to Wei, not assuming that the warrior which had saved hem was indeed the boy's aunt. Not waiting for a reply, Appius stood from his knelt position, recovering his sword and prepping hia shield for any arrows that may be sent their way. This action proved useful as yet another arrowhead tacked into Appius' shield, having been on course for the throat of Jack. The priest recoiled at the sound of the arrow jut by his head, glancing up to Appius, though offering no words of thanks to the man as Jack then proceeded to reply to Wei. "Yes, indeed. You are able to walk, Wei?"
Mother, thought Wei to himself as the mercenary gave his aunt a question. Well she was not really his aunt to be honest. She was his father's childhood friend and the bane of his mother's existence. Wei called her aunt due to the closeness of there relationship. however if you looked at it there was no real blood ties. Though if you looked at the two of them you could not tell. Both Wei and her had crimson hair and they both shared in the trait of freckles. It was one of the reason why most people believed they were truly related.Wei could not blame him for making the assumption. Still that was a topic for another day. They were on a battlefield.
"I can still fight", spoke Wei as he got off the ground.
"Protect the healer", shouted some men as a knight rushed up and took point in front of Jack. The man had a concern look on his face, but he let it pass. That last arrow might have taken him out the fight if Appius had not blocked it. He had no right to complain.
"Try to stay close by", Jack shouted over the battlefield, but Wei could not hear him. The boy was getting back on his feet ready to join back up in the raging battle. As Wei charged forward to get back into the fight he was forced to witness the rage of Lila. The maiden swung her battle axe with the furry of her crimson locks. Her axe smashed into enemy shields shattering them like cheap doors. Arrows flew in her direction in droves, but her skilled aid were quick to block there path with shields. Even still a few of the bolts made it past, but the maidens white breastplate deflected them off to the side.
"That is what I need", spoke Wei aloud. "I need some good armor."
With that Wei rushed back into the fight. The brigand forces were fighting like cornered rats and rightfully so. The mercenaries were slaughtering them, but at the same time they were also cutting down the mercenaries. However the march of the attacking forces were forcing the enemy back toward the entrance to the mine. It was a slow march, but one that moved with some pace.
"Where are the guards", shouted one mercenary as he blocked a blow from a bandit. Wei however was to focus on his own battle to think about the implication of the man's words. A brigand with a blade had taken a swing at him. Wei was forced to take two steps back to avoid his curved blade. The man swung both high and low in a swift fashion. However Wei was getting use to fighting against swords. The boy deflected a incoming blow with a swing of his iron axe in his left hand. The blow opened the door for Wei to slash out with his brave wepaon. his attack forced the man to take two steps back placing the duo back where they started.
The clashing of blades, the thundering of boots, the hearts of men beating with pure terror; fear for their life. These sounds all combined, resounding together in a crude sympohny of the battlefield, almost sounded like the swirling of sands to Appius. He recalled his own mother at seeing Wei's aunt, except clad in expensive armor rather than barefoot with a nomad's robes and turban. Yet Appius held less respect for her. Any woman could be strong, that was no broken ground. She carried herself with little grace. Although precise and perhaps even swift at times, Appius could tell ahe was unskilled. At least relatively. Her sould did not shine through her levels of plate, such dimness taking form in her neandarthalic fighting style.
But it was not as if he could complain. She had saved his life. Not to say that wasn't a common occurence in such times. Appius was enthralled within his own struggle as well, two men having set upon him and Wei. Appius' attacker bore the torn top half of some Sacaen robes, though only regular black trousers worn beneath. It was hard to tell if he was a Sacaen man who had stolen a commoner's pants or a commoner who had severed a tribesman's torso.
Regardless, Appius was the first to swing, swiping down vertically only to be met with the iron of his opponent's blade. The myrmidion shoved Appius' sword off of his own, the saracen withdrawing, taking a step back as the brigand then cut downwards with his saber. Quickly deflecting the strike, Appius continued to tread back and forth before his opponent, preferring to keep himself in motion. The attacker then poised his blade with the tip pointed downward, crouching down before leaping upwards and going to bring down his sword like a guillotine unto Appius. Barely able to dodge, the face of Appius' shield was scraped. Yet another indentation upon it.
After taking a step back the swordsmen moved in to strike at Wei. The young journeyman prepared himself to deflect the blow and continue the dance of blades. However his intentions were cut short as a spear came around his head and stabbed into the incoming man's chest. The ranks of the mercenary forces had closed in as they advance. Fighters were closer together now and as a result a nearby knight, who Wei did not know, took the opportunity to strike the brigand down. His spear easily found a mark in the distracted man's chest.
"Another kill to my name", spoke the man in a booming voice as he rushed forward to fight another brigand. Wei, who was now free moved to join back up with the battle. He was sure the knight would be able to handle himself. Pulling to his right Wei inserted himself into Appius fight. Coming in hard and strong wei attacked his opponent with his twin axes. With a loud roar and a swing Wei's weapons came in aiming to strike the man in the back. The brigand was forced to take a step back just to avoid the weapons. His allies, the archers, would normally step in to aid him in battle. However they were tied up at the moment trying to find off Lila's assault force.
Suddenly and without much warning the sound of a war horn filled the mid day sky. The guardsmen, who had been missing for most of the battle began to pour out of the entrance to the mine. Leading the way was the fearless Batta the beast, the Sargent of the guard and Weils father. With the furry of thunder and the speed of tempus they began to hit the bandit forces from behind. It was the beginning of the end.
The brigand, now backing away from Wei and the fury of his twin axes, was quite surprised when a chunk of flesh between two of his ribs was replacdd by nothing but cold iron for a second. Appius, taking advantage of Wei's advance, sliced through the myrmidion's left side with his scimitar. The brigand dropped his sword, clutching at the wound and yelling before swiftyl being silenced by Appius as the saracen now dealt a bertical strike to his back. Perhaps even slicing his spinal cord, making him incapable of any feeling. Though such a thing was highly unlikely. The bandit's body dropped to the dirt, joining his bretheren whose corpses spread back for yards upon yards.
The bandit forces began to clear from Appius and Wei's line of sight, as they were almost devoured by the mass of guardsmen who came pouring our of the mine which had once been a temporary home to many of these men. Truly these guards were men to be feared. But what exactly they were guards of Appius did not know. It was hard to see the blood upon his dark flesh, but Appius had received his fair share of splatter. Assuredly, that which was not from himself.
As the mercenaries closed around the bandits whom had tried to flee the mine like a pear within an oyster, the cries of men both for the glory and battle and fearing it could be heard. Drawing nearer towards the mine, such cries began to echo, increasing in volume steadily to an almost deafening rattle of noise.
This was the first time Wei had ever seen it. He had heard about it and read about it in the past, but he had never truly witnessed it. It was called the double envelopment. With the bandits being attacked from two fronts they were force to try to defend two lines. However the mercenary force had pinched the corners of the battlefield tight and now the brigands were trapped with enemies on all sides. As chaotic as the battlefield was at the beginning of the fight it was not as orderly. The brigands were being cut down in mass. There retreat hampered by there own men. Wei stared on as screams of agony filled the air as the duel forces tighten there hold on the brigands. Cries of surrender filled the air, but neither the guards or the mercenaries let up. It was time for a full on slaughter.
"So this is war", spoke Wei as he let the battle get away from him. He was no longer needed to win and to be honest the boy was exhausted.The fighting over the last two hours had taken everything he had. Clearly Wei was stronger now, but he still could grow. However he began to question if he was really meant for this. The scene that took place before him was hellish. The dead, both bandit and mercenary alike marked the field. The mud, a mixture of blood and soil stuck to his boots. This was the life that Wei had signed up for. He by his own hand, had become a mercenary, and as a result he would be forced to see war. War was hell, but Wei knew he would have to get use to it. He was not a blacksmith, nor was he a farmer. He only knew one thing, how to fight, and this would be his entire life. The life of a warrior.
"I am not sure if this is glorious or depraved",spoke Wei aloud.
Appius looked on as Batta and his men finished off the remaining bandit forces. The saracen would fight, but it was not worth killing any man who had surrendered. Such a thing was for barbarians. He had not figured that his hirees would be as such, but it seemed that such an assumption had already been proven untrue. Perhaps he was wrong about the people outside of Nabata. Perhaps they were even more typically tribal than those of the sands.
But despite these peoples' mannerisms, Appius would need to adapt. After all, there was nothing left for him in Nabata. Not anymore. Wiping his hand over the face if his scimitar, the blade dripped blood from the end of its iron length just like the nearly emptied bucket of a peasant's well. He was accustomed to violence and murder by now. Death was as much of a part of life as taking a piss. Yet that did not mean he found such extavant killing justified.
Looking to Wei, Appius silently supported the latter option of his pale skinned associate's questioning.
As the last brigand fell to the dirt the guardsmen gave off a loud roar of celebration. It had been a fearsome battle and with its conclusion justice had been done. For some of the mercenaries the whole sale slaughter of the brigands was excessive. They could have ended the battle a lot quicker if they had given them the option to surrender. However these men and women were not the guardsmen of Thria. They did not have to look upon the corpses these bandits left behind when they first took the mine. They did not have to deal with them attacking caravans and creating trouble in the region. For as far as Batta was concern complete annihilation was the only path available to them.
"Wai", shouted a voice that soon filled the air. From the crowd of mercenaries came Wei's aunt Lila. The maiden had a look of concern on her face as she approached the young fighter. Running her hands across his face and looking him up and down the maiden determined that Wei was alright despite the damage he took from the brigands.
"You reckless idiot, did I not tell you to stay in the thrid row."
"Look Aunt", spoke Wei as he began to rub the back of his head. The young boy had thought up a excuse for why he was not in the third row. However at this point he was too tired to tell her. "The battle got out of hand and i ended being pushed forward. I was originally in the third row."
"Pshaw, liar", spoke Lila as she looked into the eyes of Wei.She always seemed to tell when Wei was lying. He could never get around her. That stare she gave into your eyes, it was like she was judging your soul. "Next time when I give a order follow it to the letter."
Appius now concealed his scimitar back within its black oaken scabbard, its length tapping against the saracen's thigh with the addition of weight. The smell resonating from the caverns was horrendous. But whether it came from the bandits themselves or those they had slaughtered was unclear to Appius. He let out a sigh, rubbing his thumb upon the curved wooden grip of his scimitar. This had been a bloodbath, but assuredly a beneficial one for the area. After all, bandits were bandits. Appius couldn't be bothered to think of what those he had killed's lives had been like. Yet he always failed to adopt such ignorance. It was a weakness he and his mother did not share. But he was a relatively young man. Appius glanced to Wei. The boy had been helpful, no matter his experience. Appius knew his place and figured it best not to interfere in family affairs, yet he now hesitated before opening his mouth to speak towards the boy's aunt.
"Though your fear for your son is just, madam, I cannot say that he is as unskilled as you may think. Though you likely know this as well, with proper training, the boy might be able to fight alongside your front men given that he is well equipped."
"Son", spoke Lila as she focused on the word. She let it sit in the air for a moment and hang on her lips. There was a sad expression on her face but there were no tears following it. Lila was the first to speak, but Wei would dominate this conversation.
"Oh right, I almost forgot. Appius, Auntie Lila is not my mother. She is my aunt or to be more honest she is a long time friend of my father. I know we can look a like due to the red head and freckles, but my mother lives by in Thria proper and works as a baker."
As Wei spoke a slight expression of sadness weighed heavily on Lila's face. The maiden however shook it off and moved back to the order of her business. . "I guess you are a lot stronger than I last remembered."
"of course",spoke Wei as he stuck out his chest. "Stronger than I was yesterday right", spoke the journeyman as he refered back to a old training matto she gave him in his youth. It was a weird thought, now that Wei was thinking about it. Lila was not his mom, but she sure was always around. When he had his birthdays she was there. When he needed help she would always show up. After he left home she would often check in on him. Wei could understand why Appuis made the mistake.
"So do you think I am stronger", spoke Wei as he looked at Appus. The young man had made a promise that the next time they meet he would be stronger. In truth he did not think he was at first, but after the battle. Well he fought better than he had ever did and during the fight he had reached deep within. Maybe he was actually stronger."
"Oh," Appius murmured as it was said that Lila was in fact Wei's aunt rather than mother. Though he was confused by the saddened expression which the warrior woman shone. Perhaps she had thought back to the death or disappearence of the mother which Appius had adressed her as. But it was no matter. Yet he was only further perplexed when Wei said she was of no blood relation to him. Why would someone who is not related to you biologically be adressed as a family member? Perhaps these Lycians held the same principles as the tribes of Nabata after all. The family was, immediately your siblings and parents. However, recognition as a family member spread to the entirety of the tribe as well.
Appius' attention was drawn back to Wei and not the validity of his previous statement once Wei had asked if he was stronger now or not. "Even if only by a tad, I woild say you have grown stronger," affirmed Appius. "But, as I had said days ago, it is your spirit that is your greatest strength. Therefore, it is not entirely a question of how strong you are. Rather, it is one of how strong you believe yourself to be." Appius had seen little improvement from Wei, but that is not to say that the boy hadn't been adequately skilled in the first place. If Wei's choice of weapon was anything to go off of, Appius predicted that the boy would likely meet his end if he continued to work alone. "Nonetheless, I believe the best place for you in combat is still behind Miss Lila."
So a round about way of saying you have not improved much kid, thought Wei to himself. However he understood that Appius came form a different culture and as a result they viewed things differently. From Wei's point of view the spirit meant nothing. It was the strength of your arm and the power of your legs that determined ones ability on the battlefield. From what he could tell of Appius response they valued more than just the strength of your back. The will to keep fighting the determination of the warrior. Wei had that. He had that a long time ago and Appius made it clear that he saw it. However Wei wanted a affirmation that he was indeed stronger physcially, but he was not going to get it today, probably because he was not much stronger.
"Oh come on, don't sell me short", joked Wei as he looked at Appius.
"I am going to have to agree with your bald friend", spoke Lila as she stuck her hand in Wei's hair and ruffled it up. It was a endearing habit of hers that Wei hatted from the bottom of his heart.
"Oh come on, stop treating me like a kid. I am a warrior dang it!"
"I would not go that far", spoke a another voice as the leader of the guardsmen walked up to the trio. The man was covered in blood and dirt. His once white armor was now a combination of brown and red and his hair was pulled in all direction. The tail ends of his green headband flowed in the wind as the man walked up and extended his hand toward Appius. "Appius right", spoke Batta. "I have had some good reports about you on the battlefield. I heard you took down many of the dogs and did so with a bit of flair. If you are interested there is a position open in the Thria guard. If you want to join up I could place a good word in for you."
"Father", spoke Wei as he looked at the man. He wanted to say something to him earlier, but as he walked up he turned his attention toward the mercenary.
"Hold on a second Wei, I am talking business", he spoke as he turned his attention back to the mercenary.
Appius glanced to Wei before refocusing on Batta. So this was Wei's father. It seemed like axes ran in the family just as each member's blood did. But more importantly, Appius had received a job offering. This may even be the first invitation he'd received into a proper militia or military force. Regardless, despite how tempting the offer may sound, he couldn't be too certain on what signing up for the Thria guard may entail. "Honestly, I am rather surprised you would offer me such an honor. Do try and understand I am but a nomad. Your men here are far stronger than I. Yet that is not to say I am not interested in learning more of this position; I would certaintly be inclined to hear of what life for these guardsmen is like, seeing as you are one of them." It seemed that it was a habit of Appius' to speak rather officially yet carry an expression like someone had just instructed him to clean the camp groover. His brow seemed to never withdraw from its angled, furrowed state.
The saracen kept his left palm upon the curved wooden pommel of his shamshir. Though, surely, all of the caverns' inhabitants had met their end, such behavior may indicate Appius was still a bit on edge or at least intimidated. But it could just be basic paranoia after a battle. After all, he had been stricken by multiple unseen archers on more than one occasion. Concerning Wei, it was true that Appius had not seen much growth in comparison to his performance days ago. Appius believed it would be an injustice to praise the boy for his acts, as he was inclined to be honest. Though more often than not this did come off as rude. However, Appius could not say he was not amazed by the boy's overall prowess. Though it was nothing when compared to his father's skill, once more he held himself at such an age in comparison. Back then Appius had been but a cowering and submissive adolescent, in parallel to how he appeared today. Perhaps that was why he thought Wei's spieit to be such a strength.