“Watch me cleave this one’s skull to the teeth,” mocked the Vindavian.
Sodnammoc suppressed a smirk. That was foolish.
Although taller, he would have assumed the Vindavian blade would ascend for his head. To announce his intentions made it a certainty.
Sodnammoc stood in place and rolled his eyes up pleadingly as the predicted blade swiftly rose. As the wielder’s arm tensed, Sodnammoc stepped aside and slashed across the back of the southman’s legs. The Vindavian’s sword leapt from his hand in the ensuing scream as he fell to his knees, for Sodnammoc’s axe to descend once more.
Vindavian soldiers stared in shock, even moments after their great hulk of a leader fell. Then their brows furrowed as they advanced on the old Nusallean. Sodnammoc’s arms shuddered with the fatigue of battle meant for a younger man. He ground his teeth as the larger pale men shuffled forward with swords drawn.
Just one more he prayed.
One more good stroke of his axe was all he asked, as he knew he would never kill another of the southmen. Better to die, at least knowing he attacked rather than defended. He sucked in a breath, raising his axe once more, then froze, gaping as he stared beyond the southmen.
At first, the Vindavians ignored Sodnammoc’s stare then they all began to turn. A feral man ran ahead of a massive collection of animals, coming from the valley. Their stampede left behind a broad cloud of dust, like a storm headed towards them.
Merikay turned in his saddle and gaped at the coming threat.
“What manner of people are these?” he gasped.
One of his officers reigned his horse to a halt several paces beside him.
“Arneal, make an all out effort to quash the tribesmen before the feral man is upon us, or we will be fighting them and him.”
The officer smote his chest, with the bow of his head. He tugged on his reins as a magpie flew full at his head. With a scream, the officer cupped his hands over his eye as water buffalo rammed his horse from its feet.
Merikay twisted his head from side to side. Animals had already arrived, and began to attack his men.
Tonunda ran to the charred remains of the barrier in search of Andessa. Only bemused men stared at him from inside the boundary. He elected to seek her out later, as the pale men currently attacked her people.
“Slay the feral Nusallean!” yelled Merikay from his horse. “He leads the beasts!”
Vindavians eyed him in mid battle, but on the whole, were too engaged to face him. A scream erupted from a tribesman’s lips as a burly Vindavian rounded on Tonunda with his still bloody sword. Rapid panting filled his ears from behind as the southman advanced and raised his weapon.
Tonunda casually sidestepped, allowing a broad tusked boar to collect the southman, tearing him from his feet.
He looked to the barrier. The tallest and broadest looking tribesman, holding an axe in each hand, gestured at him.
“Here,” he said, lobbing one of the axes.