Chapter Twenty Seven

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Chapter Twenty Seven

Aurelia could not believe what she was seeing. It was like a scene from her worst nightmare. The once green field had become a seething mass of men hacking at each other, bludgeoning their foes until they stopped moving. The dying were left screaming and crying for their love ones on the floor, being trodden on by those eager to take their place in the melee.

The noise was like an assault on the ears, it was like a rolling rumble of thunder with the clash of metal against metal and the roar of so many voices demanding blood to wet their sword. Aurelia couldn't help herself but search for a mere glimpse of Kailen or Bran or Vaughan, something to let her know they were alright, knowing full well that it was an impossible hope, but still unable to help herself.

She stood motionless with Renna next to her, where they had the healing supplies set up a little way up the hill from the fighting, just as Kailen had wanted. She felt like she was frozen to the spot by her fear. It was one thing to bravely proclaim that she would help in any way she could, but it was a different matter entirely when faced with the reality of her decision.

The reality of war. She remembered the stories she was told of epic battles of the past as a child, the staggering odds the Heroes faced that had made her unable to keep still in her excitement at the wonder of it. Never once was fear and disgust mentioned.

And that was when men started to stagger up the hill with the injured of dying. It was like her mind had been switched off and her body reacted on instinct. She jumped into action, helping the men get comfortable and began to clean and men wounds as best as she could alongside Renna who was forced to tend the more dire of the wounded. This was where her experience really shined. Water was fetched, clean wound wrappings prepared and bones were set back into place.

For some, comfort and the last rites were given before their eyes turned glassy and unseeing.

The wounds that were inflicted were hideous, the damage that could be done to a fellow human being was obscene, and soon she was covered in blood just as much as those who were brought to her. At first it made her flinch away, the instinct to not look at the sight was almost overwhelming, but she had no choice but to power through it and attempt to keep up with Renna and her instructions.

And all the while her mind was on Kailen and the plight of the Silure tribe.

~

Kailen knew the limits of his men like he knew his own. They had all trained together day and night, placed their very lives in each other's hands and faced their enemies side by side since the first time they were deemed old enough to wield a sword and shield.

They shared the same blood, nurtured a bond that could only come from the spilling of blood. They were not just warriors. They were fathers, brothers, sons, uncles, mothers, daughters, sisters and aunts. They were neighbours to each other, friends and spouses. No secrets were kept from each other, only openness and camaraderie was encouraged.

And what the Romans were throwing at them so far, didn't come close to the Briton's breaking point.

With each wave of enemy aggression, the Romans were repelled. Hate was met with hate. Rage combated with rage. Kailen fought like he was born to it, taking his anger and his fer of losing his tribe, his Aurelia, out on any Roman who crossed his path.

The Roman's advantage of more men dwindled to less than nothing when they were funnelled into a small space by the pits of wooden stakes and walls of wagons. There was no room to manoeuvre their devastating shield wall, it was Gladius versus British weaponry. It was a fight his warriors could revel in.

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