Betrayal: Thirteen


“The king’s troops will move against at us at dawn,” Sabit said, addressing her makeshift soldiers at the wooden rampart near the village. She stood on the back of a wagon, tall and inspiring in her armor of leather and bronze. Surveying the young bandits and frightened farmers–even the village’s tiny headwoman, Htet, clutched a shaft topped with a sturdy bronze knife–Sabit knew that the day would be filled with peril and death.
“The king’s troops are hardened warriors. They have seen the carnage of combat and will not shrink from it. Make no mistake. They are a mighty foe,” she gazed into the eyes of the men arrayed before her.
“But, they came here expecting to find scattered, frightened men. They came here to slaughter helpless innocents, steal your crops, and seize your children for their slave market. Their numbers are few. They are weary at the end of a long march, They do not know this land. They do not love this land. They do not fight for this land. They have their experience of battle. You have one another, bound in bonds of brotherhood. Today we stand shoulder to shoulder. Today we place our lives in the hands of one another. Today we make our home safe for all of us. Together!”
Sabit thrust her clenched fist in the air as her troops cheered. She listened to the roar of voices, commingled together in their rousing resolve—just as they would fight together in a short time. Just as too many would die together. Just as the survivors would live and thrive together after this bloody battle—she hoped.
“Those assigned to Nerit’s force, follow him the right of the hill. When you hear my horn, circle the hill and crush the king’s troops from the rear. My force on the rampart will be the anvil, yours shall be the hammer. Follow Nerit to victory!”
A third of the gathered forces, including many of Sabit’s most-experienced fighters, fell in behind Nerit. In the pre-dawn twilight, she caught sight of Kehnan’s massive form towering over Nerit as they marched away.
Her plan was sound, she knew. But were her forces capable of executing it? She had no choice. At this point, her life was in the hands of her men. and theirs in hers.
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Wayfarings of Sabit: Betrayal is copyright (c) 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters post every Thursday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon,, or at