(Content warning: Graphic violence)
“The moment Sabit’s horn sounds, we charge forward and crush them,” Nerit said to his gathered troops, crouched behind the underbrush at the base of the hill. He could see the rear of the Junaji captain’s horse, and the cloud of dust kicked up by her soldier’s charge.
“Sabit will be in no peril,” Kehnan said, squatting next to Nerit, his muscular form looming above the young bandit. “She’s used to tight spots. We’re just here to keep them from getting away from her fury. You would be wise to learn where the true danger lies on a battlefield.”
Nerit turned his back on the battle to face the warrior, the leech tattoo beneath his left eye crinkling in disgust. “That is not Sabit’s plan and you know it. You have misled me once. You shall not do so again. If Sabit herself had not spared your pathetic life, I would—”
A horn blast rang out, clear and bright across the battlefield. Nerit pivoted to face the call. In a loud voice, he cried out, “For Sabit! Charge!”
Spear in hand, Nerit pushed his legs downward against the packed earth to spring toward the needs of his queen. A white-hot bolt of pain arced through him, immolating the sense of his legs in an inferno of agony. Nerit collapsed to the ground, his scream filling with bloody froth before he felt the cold, rocky soil on his face.
“You never learned where the true danger lay,” said Kehnan as he stepped over the fallen bandit. The warrior’s bronze blade dripped with blood. “Be grateful you will not see the fate I’ve prepared for Sabit.”
Nerit saw Kehnan’s powerful swing cut another of the bandit’s deeply in the gut. Was it Sidi, who told the best jokes? Nerit could not say for certain. He could say nothing at all, as he lay, gasping out his last sputters of life. The leech tattoo on his cheek sank into the dark, silent soil.
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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, https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller, or at http://ipressgames.com/fiction/.