Chapter 7: Taking Back
Thomas gritted his teeth. Even from a distance he saw that Castleton had been taken and the largest garrison of Black Falcons in the territory must have either been killed or surrendered.
He turned his horse around and tucked his trench coat closer to his body. The next most logical step for the Royal Knights to take would be to take Orlan. He would not let that happen now though. The enemy had gotten this far but they would not make any more ground while he was still alive. By now, every single town was on alert and preparing for defense. Three days ago a messenger had been sent to Falconis City for help. If the Royal Knights wanted to continue further, they would have to do so by an all-out siege. It was frustrating though. Had not the order to cut the garrisons in half not been given, the Royal Knights would not have made half the progress they did now.
Falconis City was in sight at last. The messenger drove his horse harder now. Already, the steed was beginning to foam at the mouth and the cold temperatures did not help much. Hopefully he could make the last two miles.
By the time he came up to the gates, the horse was stumbling from exhaustion. The astonished guards let the man in immediately, seeing the white scarf on his arm, distinguishing him as a courier. Once inside, he dismounted and hurried on foot through the narrow city streets.
By the time he reached the palace and the adjoining spire, he too felt as if he would fall over from exhaustion. Three days had passed since he was sent from Castleton, right before its speedy capture which he had witnessed. Three days he had gone at breakneck speed, changing horses only twice.
The battle to take Orlan was much different than all the other ones the Royal Knight armies had faced. Apart from the fact that there were over a thousand Falcons here, the Falcons were prepared for the attack. The gates were fast shut and the walls were filled with soldiers. Though the Royal Knights out numbered the Falcons by over half, they could make little headway against the city. And since there was very little in the way of siege equipment the battle promised to be long and hard.
Lego XIII looked at the lifeless body of Duke Mark. He had fallen in the attempt to scale the walls. Lego turned to a soldier and said, “Cut that big oak we passed by and use it as a battering ram.”
The soldier saluted and walked off. The prince turned his gaze to the city.
“There must be some weakness,” he said. “we built the tyco city.”
“Aye, we built it to be impregnable.” said Sir Theodore who walked up, “But I have an idea that might work.”
“What?” asked the prince.
“A river flows beside the east wall of the city. A small grated arch lets a bit of the water flow in for the city’s use. The water has frozen now and I believe that we could cut the grate and slip a few men into the city. They could then sneak through the city and open the south gates.”
“Who will lead this?” asked Lego.
“If you will let me, I will.”
“Very good. Get what men you need and garb yourself accordingly.”
“Very good sire.” said Sir Theodore and left.
Sir Theodore and the five men he had picked to help him, crawled on the ice toward the grated arch. They moved slowly, stopping every now and then on the frozen river to make sure that they hadn’t been spotted.
At last they made it to the wall. Theodore bent down to start filing away the grating. The ice was higher than they had expected, and the knight-general could barely fit under it to saw. After a few minutes, Theodore was relived and another man began sawing. After four turns, the knight was filing when the last bar broke.
Sir Theodore then got on his belly and pulled himself through the tiny hole. As his head poked into the city, Theodore did a quick scan to make sure that there were no Falcons looking, then he pulled himself all the way through and let the next soldier come in.
When all the Royal Knights were in, they headed across the pool of ice and into the main part of the town. Despite that the town was under attack, a fair amount of people were out. T hey weren’t too concerned because the attacking army had no siege equipment and if you were a little ways away from the wall, you were pretty safe. The soldiers, in their peasant garb, mix in with the people and traveled until they were a stones throw away from the south gates. Here the trouble started.
In order to reach the gates they would have to run from the house they currently were beside and dodge around a tent set up that held the lieutenant, who was commanding the garrison.
“This is bad,” murmured one of the soldiers.
“Aye,” agreed Sir Theodore, “bad, but not hopeless. I might have an idea.”
He then beckoned the soldiers to follow him, as he marched strait into the tent. When Theodore entered the tent, he saw that not only was the lieutenant there, but Harold Noe, the city’s governor had also left the mayor’s building to see how things were going.
Both of the Falcons looked up startled as Sir Theodore and his five men marched in. Before either could say anything, Theodore had drawn his concealed dagger and forced it under Noe’s neck. Another soldier grabbed the lieutenant and held him.
“What’s all this?” demanded Noe, “what do you peasants want?”
“We want you to order the gates open.” said Theodore.
“I am afraid that that can’t be done, the soldiers would never agree to that.” said the lieutenant.
“Well then, come outside.”
Sir Theodore and his soldiers grabbed the two Black Falcons and march them as fast as they could to the gates.
“Open the gates,” said Theodore, “I’ll make sure these two give us the protection we need.”
As the soldiers began to open them, the Falcons realized what was happening. They started to run at the Royal Knights, but stopped when they saw Sir Theodore holding two knives to their officers’ throats. They kept a distance from the Royal Knights, unsure what to do. There decision-making was cut short as the Royal Knights opened the gates and a cry rang out from the army outside. And Lego XIII army began moving toward the open gate.
Three hours later, the city had been taken. Harold Noe was in prison, awaiting trial and/or punishment. And Lego XIII had just received word from his father that Castleton was taken. Now, all Royal Knight lands south of the capital was taken back, and now forces were being split around the new border to prevent any retaking on the Falcons part and to start forming a bigger army with which to take the rest of the land. Lego sat in his saddle as he travel to meet his father in the Castleton.
Yes, he mused, life was good.
| Previous Page | Next Chapter |