Chapter Twenty Five

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Chapter Twenty Five

The Silure village was now in a state of industrious movement since the news that the Roman army had been sighted. Every able man, woman and child who wasn't a warrior began to pack up all of their valuables, including livestock, food and precious tools into wagons and on pack horses.

The speed with which the tribe was able to pack up their lives was incredible to Aurelia. They didn't have as many belongings as the Roman people were used to, but then what they had was precious to them and not used to impress their relatives and neighbours.

"What about the huts?" Aurelia used to Renna as she helped the small woman load the dried herbs into a basket on her pack horse. "What do we do about them?"

"Leave them, there's nothing we can do about it." Renna replied. "The Romans shouldn't get any further than the border, but we shouldn't take any chances." Her voice trailed off as she thought of the repercussions of that happening but she shook it off. "Besides, the huts are easy to rebuild. It's getting everything and everyone out of here is our main concern."

In times of war between tribes when a real threat of invasion of territory was imminent the tribe would have to pack up and move to safety with another tribe or spread out in a safe territory. This fight and flight technique insured the continuation of the Silure bloodline since the founding of the tribe.

Because they were now fighting with the Romans, no neighbouring tribe would take any of them in and risk the wrath of mighty Rome. The Silures were on their own, taking refuge in the safety of wooded hills to the west of their village.

By late afternoon, everyone had grabbed what they could and started to make their way west. Aurelia had been helped by Vaughan with packing up Kailen's hut, taking the shields, the clothes, food, tools and metal items they could find. Once it was all packed, Renna took the reigns of the horse with her own.

"If we leave now, we should be out of the territory by nightfall," Renna said.

Aurelia shook her head. "I won't be going with you."

Renna looked at her with a troubled frown. "Not coming with me? What do you mean?"

Aurelia shrugged. "I'm going to the border to be with Kailen."

When Kailen had left that morning, to head for the border, he had made her stay in the village with the promise of safety with the tribe.

"Then why bother to train me in the first place?" She had asked, utterly frustrated.

"Because you are a Shield Maiden, but that doesn't mean you can fight. One morning of training doesn't make you ready for battle." He told her gently, cupping her face so she couldn't look away.

"But you need all the help you can get." She entreated.

"Please, Kailen-"

He shook his head vehemently. "No and that is my final answer."

He lightened his grip and brought her face closer to his and whispered, "I can't lose you, not now. Not when i finally have you."

She couldn't argue with that, not when his voice cracked with the desperation and worry he felt for her. She couldn't push it. "Okay," she whispered. "Okay."

And he had gone to battle without her, against the people she had once belonged to. Could she really have fought against the Roman army in the first place, if she had been adeptly trained and Kailen had allowed it?

She really didn't know.

But the thought of leaving Kailen to fight the Romans and her fleeing to safety without him made her feel physically ill. That morning could be the very last time she saw him.

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