Alexandros: Ch. 22byJoeBarnosky©
Commander Tau and his army were better prepared for the second assault. But just as the moral of the men began to increase disappointment was there to follow as the Demon Lord Vectivus led the next assault.
"Focus your assault on their leader!" Tau yelled. "Get the gate reinforced!"
So long as the gate holds we'll survive this.
The assault on the gate was the demon horde's focus in the second wave but had held well against the assault. Tau knew just as every other soldier did; eventually the massive gates would give.
Vectivus stood before the city's wall with a large barrier of creatures standing as protection for him. The humans were resilient in their attack against his force. Dressed in full armor and in his true form, the humans clearly knew he was the leader and wasted no time at all to mark him. Yet for each attack aimed at him was easy blocked by a creature sacrificing itself to protect him.
With his arms outstretched he began chanting. Per vox of Hades EGO dico. Nisi onto orbis terrarum vox of partum. Infirmo crepidoinis insquequo si puter. Small tremors pulsed through the ground growing stronger with each chant. Per vox of Hades EGO dico. Nisi onto orbis terrarum vox of partum. Infirmo crepidoinis insquequo si puter.
The tremors turned into rumbles then shaking. The humans atop the wall losing their balance fired arrows into the air or fell off completely. The shaking turned more violent causing cracks to form in the stone walls.
Vectivus grinned a toothy smile. One more chant was all it would take. Per vox of Hades EGO dic...
Sapon attacking from north of the city and Lapas from the east came on quickly. Both demons leading the horde ran head on toward the city not slowly in their charge. As they neared the city itself, both the Lesser Demons slowed their pace allowing the massive collection of creatures to pass. Into the wall head on they crashed. The wall shook violently from the impact as each group of bodies hit.
From each creature that fell another was there to take the previous creature's place. Those that weren't killed by the initial impact were when the next set trampled them. It was an expectable loss for Sapon and Lapas as long as it brought the wall down. Besides, the gate was opened and all Vectivus had to do was summon forth more.
"Off the wall!" Anhur yelled as he ran across the top. He nearly lost his footing as it vibrated violently under him again.
Many of the soldiers didn't need to be told twice, but some were stubborn enough to ignore his commands and remain on top firing arrows down upon the creatures below.
As the men poured from the wall Badru was issuing orders. Orders that were given to him just prior to the attack. "Form up ranks!" he commanded. "Create a wall. When one of you falls, another is to takes his place. Remember our orders are to protect this city's citizens at all costs."
No sooner did he finish his sentence a loud crash was heard. Badru spun to see several large chunks of rock blast inward before most of the wall came crumbling down. He caught a glance in Anhur's direction just in time to see him go down with the wall.
The wall was nearly reduced to rubble from the ground quakes caused by Vectivus. With a widespread smile the Demon Lord kept his army at bay as he slowly walked across the threshold of the city.
Tau's men stepped back slowly at the sight of the lone demon daring to enter their presence alone. He was shocked himself at the sight of Vectivus' power. He thought that surely they would hold out until the gate finally gave way. Now he faced a foe he knew they could not win against.
With his sword already drawn, he said a silent prayer and leapt at Vectivus. He had nothing to prove and he already said his goodbyes, but he needed to give his men some encouragement to lay down their lives for those evacuating the city.
Vectivus, who hadn't had his sworn drawn a moment before did now easily deflecting the attack. Tau was quick with a follow up. Using the momentum of the block, he circled around striking at the Demon Lord's neck. Vectivus ducked as if expecting the attack. As he stood, his shoulder came up under Tau's chin, jamming his teeth together and briefly disorienting him.
Tau stepped away, wiping the blood away from his mouth. He glanced at his men noting that none had decided in desertion then turned back to his opponent. Vectivus stood with a grim looked on his face, arms across his chest and his sword sheathed. Tau was determined none the less. Raising his sword and letting out a yell, he charged forward.
Vectivus looked like he would be struck down before side stepping at the last moment. He grabbed hold of Tau's arm and snapped it like he would a small branch. Tau yelled out in pain; his sword clattered to the ground. Vectivus then spun the helpless man around, grabbing him by the neck. With a vile grin he ripped Tau's head from the rest of his body and threw it into the ranks of the snarling creatures as Tau's body hastily fell to the ground.
Go. Was all he said and the creatures didn't need a second's thought.
The battle was intense as the creatures poured over into the city. Badru and the defenders were hard pressed in keeping the horde at bay, but so far they were managing.
Sapon and Lapas worked together in unison cutting down the Egyptian forces like they were a field of wheat. Many of the troops that fell only lost an arm or leg and were left to bleed out. Those who were fortunate enough were quickly mauled by the next passing creature.
As much as Badru wasn't eager to face down either of the Lesser Demons, he knew he had to intervene. If not, the entire battalion would fall within minutes followed by the consumption of the city's citizens. But first he needed to gauge the city's exodus.
"What is the situation of the citizens?" he asked grabbing hold of a passing soldier.
The soldier, just barely a young man, stumbled for his words. Badru could tell this young man had never seen battle before, just like him. "I was sent to find Commander Anhur and report. I've never seen anything like this." He almost mumbled the last part as his eyes shot from one place to another hoping that nothing was coming his way.
"Anhur is dead! I'm in charge; now give me the damn report!" he yelled letting his anger get the best of him.
The young soldier shuttered before him. "No more than fifteen minutes and the city will be evacuated."
"We need to fall back and funnel these creatures," Badru said almost to himself. "We will not survive much longer in the open. Fall back to there," he said pointing to an area between two large buildings. "Get the word out."
The soldier nodded but Badru didn't see the confirmation. He was already turned and headed to face the two Lesser Demons. As he ran toward the two he had thoughts of trying to attack unnoticed, but as he got closer his thoughts transcended. He thought it would be foolish to die unknown by his enemy. Rather he liked the fact that his moment of death would forever be burned into their minds as one that had no fear of death.
Everyone had fear, yet no one had to abide by that fear.
He yelled at the top of his lungs making a lunge at the closer of the two demons. Both Sapon and Lapas spun at the sound. At spotting the human both demons smiled. It would be an easy victory over such a foolish human.
Lapas was the closer of the two and was ready for Badru as he began to strike. He held his arms outstretched inviting the human in ready to pull him in like a hungry wolf. But to his surprise Badru halted his attack just outside of Lapas' reach. As Lapas reached in to grab him, Badru spun bringing his sword close and sliced the demon's hand right off.
Lapas stepped back grabbing his arm where it now ended in a stump. Black blood gushed from the wound; Lapas howled from the pain. Badru turned his attention away from Lapas and as he came out of his spin he let his momentum carry him to Sapon. This time he knew the trick wouldn't work as Sapon was ever so ready and watchful.
Badru rushed the demon the same way he did Lapas. When he got to the point just outside Sapon's reach he feinted the same move hoping to make the demon think he was foolish enough to do the same trick twice. Instead he dropped into a slide bringing his sword up to bear. But unexpectedly the demon was more than prepared.
Sapon kicked the sword to the side and simply stepped on Badru's chest as he slid underneath him. Tsk. Tsk. How unfortunate this is for you. Sapon snarled at the human.
"How unfortunate for you!" Anhur said jumping onto Sapon's back.
Sapon struggled as the human clung to his back. Anhur grasped his two knives that he thrust into the demon's back using them to stay where he was. In the struggle, Sapon unpinned Badru focusing more on Anhur.
Badru rolled from underneath the demon. "Commander, you are alive! But I saw you fall with the wall." He said as he got to his feet.
Anhur didn't have time to talk as his focus was on keeping Sapon distracted. "It's a skill, now kill this bastard."
"With pleasure," Badru said smiling. He raised his sword and was about to strike when Anhur yelled out stopping him.
"The other one! Behind you!"
Badru didn't even look. He spun his blade in a circle and thrust it behind. Instantly he felt resistance but only for a brief moment then the softness of tissue. Lapas gurgled as the blade tore through him. Badru, not willing take the chance his strike wouldn't be fatal, twisted around and brought the blade straight into the air, slicing Lapas vertically in two.
You will pay for that human!
"Not on my watch," Anhur remarked driving the knives deeper into Sapon's flesh. "Go Badru! Lead those people to safety!"
"I can't leave you are the men behind," he protested.
"When are you going to learn? Go. Those people need a leader and you'll need time to get them to safety."
"I won't forget you Commander!"
Let's you stay alive long enough to do so.
I will hunt you down and I will kill you! Sapon yelled as Badru ran for the city's exit.
The battle for Bubastis didn't last for very long after Commander Tau's death. As his death did inspire the men to lay their lives down, the successful retreat of the people and the ever large size of the horde discouraged them.
As each man fell the remaining lost a little more hope. In the end the citizens of Bubastis were able to exit the city unscathed as Tau's battalion give it their all stopping the horde long enough to buy the time that was needed.