The crack of wooden practice swords filled the clearing where Apollos sat watching the twenty recruits he was teaching how to sword fight. Apollos got off of the stump he was sitting on and started walking amongst those he was training. “No! You have to use more than just your arms when you swing! You must use your body to put force behind your swings, otherwise using a sword is pointless! Watch the way that Tara is doing it!” Tara flowed into another stance and brought her sword down in a powerful swing against her partners thigh. “I’m sure that Kenneth will tell you that she put more than just the force of her arm into that swing!”
The men tried to imitate Tara, but Apollos just shook his head at their efforts. “That’s enough for now, go and get something to drink and we’ll try again in a little bit.” The men dropped their practice swords on the ground and moved off to the wagon that held the water barrels. Tara carried her sword over to Apollos, who was shaking his head. “Look at the way they just left their weapons lying around. It’s as if they don’t pay any attention to anything I tell them to do! I don’t know why I thought I could find others to take up my craft.”
Tara sighed. “What is the point of any of this? If Lucas is dead, doesn’t that mean that we can’t defeat Geraldo? Instead of fighting, shouldn’t we be trying to get as far away from him as we can?”
Apollos frowned. “I’m not entirely convinced that Lucas is dead. I don’t think that fate would chose to have someone find two of the legendary beast blades just to have him die. Even if he is dead, fate will chose someone else to take up the task. When that happens, I will go to aid whoever that is to prepare to defeat Geraldo.”
Tara looked at Apollos with concern. “You’re going to leave the rebellion? They need you!”
Apollos shook his head. “I never promised that I was going to stay with the rebellion. Besides, the rebellion has what it really needed: leadership from Aldrick.”
Tara frowned. “The rebellion needs great fighters like you if we’re going to be able to free our province!”
Apollos chuckled. “Why do you think I’ve been training you and the other men to fight? I wanted to make sure that the rebellion had great fighters prepared to take my place when it is finally time for me to leave.”
Tara blinked back the tears that were forming in her eyes. “Will you at least take me with you when you leave?”
Apollos looked at Tara in startlement. “You want to leave with me? What about the rebellion? It was all you ever talked about when you were away from them.”
Tara’s hands formed into fists. “It’s true that I love the rebellion; these people are the closest thing I have to familly now, but I feel that I am supposed to help whoever wields the legendary beast blades. That has to be why Malcolm told you that you needed to take me with you.”
Apollos nodded his head. “Very well, I won’t leave the rebellion without you then.”
Aldrick scanned over the pages filled with the latest reports that their scouts had brought back from the field. Elymas had sent out scouts to try and find him as well. Fortunately for them it seemed that his scouts were far more skilled because as far as he could tell, they hadn’t seen his scouts yet.
The reports suggested that Elymas’ scouts had come across a number of their old campsites. It was safe to assume that Elymas knew that he had made this force mobile. The only question was if this gave away that he was the one who had convinced the rebellion to do this maneuver. He doubted that Elymas didn’t detect his touch on the rebellions first strike, which from what the scouts had reported, had gone over better than he had hoped. If their estimations were correct, there were only fifteen soldiers left and five sorcerers. He had Elymas in the perfect position to wipe his force out, and against anyone else he wouldn’t hesitate to order the attack. Elymas wasn’t a normal foe however; he was a sorcerer.
Elymas was capable of wiping out their force by himself, assuming of course he had enough scrolls filled with spells. He wasn’t alone though, he had five other sorcerers with him, each as dangerous as him. He wished that more of them had been killed in their first attack, but doing so wasn’t going to lesson their numbers any further. He had to work with what he had in front of him, and what he had was not even half trained swordsmen.
Apollos was doing the best he could, but these men weren’t picking up the craft as quickly as they had hoped they would. Aldrick pounded his fist onto his desk and cursed under his breath. He was going to have to hold out on an attack for now. He had carefully crafted plans for how to deal with Elymas, and he was going to rely on those. He hoped that something changed soon with Apollos’ recruits so that they would be ready when he needed them.
Sunlight streamed into the tent, and Aldrick spun to see a man holding his tent flap open. “I just returned from bringing news to the workers in the camp, and I spotted Elymas’ scouts sniffing around the old campsite.”
Aldrick’s eyes opened wide in panic. “So soon? I thought we would have more time before they found it, especially since they found the signs of our new campsites.”
“Unfortunately that isn’t the case. I thought that I should return and tell you right away. What should we do?”
“Return to the camp immediately and bring the workers back with you. The women and children as well. We can’t risk their safety any longer, it is time they joined us.”
The scout nodded his head. “I’ll go and give the order myself!”
Jack, the scout that had reported seeing Elymas’ scouts snooping around their old campsite, strode into the camp. One of the workers waved to Jack with a confused look on his face. “I didn’t expect to see you again so soon, Jack. Is something wrong?”
Jack nodded his head. “Yes, I saw some of Elymas’ troops scouting around outside of the camp when I left. Aldrick says that you all need to return to the main force at once.”
The worker looked at Jack incredulously. “What was the point of building all these defenses if we were going to abandon them at the first sign of trouble? Shouldn’t we be trying to defend them?”
Jack shrugged. “I’m just the messenger; Aldrick gave the order. Help me to spread the word and get everyone to safety.”
The worker shook his head. “Very well, but it might take a while. The women just put the children down for their afternoon naps.”
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Friday when I will publish part three, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read, and don’t forget to check out my new book! You can buy a copy of it here: The Kids on the Case: Our First Case.