Cadeyrn's Tale - Part Seven
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental
- Cadeyrn's Tale - Part 6
Cadeyrn continues with his army, but why? Even Cadeyrn doesn't know why.
We've let Cadeyrn wander for too long. It's time to get back to his tale. Here's a closing excerpt from Part 6.
Previously, Cathail secretly followed the warriors to be with her husband. She was immediately sent home by the hand Caiside while Cadeyrn continued to plan the battle with King Cormac.
It wasn't long on our first day of the continued journey that we met a man wandering in our path. His name was Senan. He asked of our mission. I told him I was the Great Cadeyrn and we were heading to war with Cormac's troops. He assured us of his hatred for Cormac and would lead us to his city. He spoke of the sickness of the king, and that he knew a way through the gate if we allowed him to travel with us. We agreed.
He told of how he was abused by the court of Cormac but finally found a way to escape. Revenge was in his heart. After stopping for the night, we made our plans to attack.
The news Senan brought gave us much happiness. The king was indeed very ill. The army was discouraged and had lost the will to fight. If we could approach the gate between dusk and dawn, the city would be sleeping. Senan had discovered a way to unlock the city gate from the outside. This he would do while we rush the sleeping city. It would all be over in a matter of hours. We made final the plans and continued on. Tomorrow night we would attack. That was the night I learned the lesson in warfare I shall never forget.
The city walls were in view when Caiside finally came to us after many days. I asked, "What was your delay?"
He replied, "Our village is under attack. Many have come in our absence to take our land and possessions. What shall we do?"
I answered with the utmost confidence. "This we will do. I will send one-half of the men with you. You will return and beat the enemy into the ground. You will overpower them in an instant. We will return and help in avenging our town. Our battle here will be over not long from now. It will be easy and we will return to your aid soon. Now, you must go, but before you do, tell me, how does Cathail fare?"
"She is safe, my lord. She is safe. She sends her love."
The men who remained with me went into hiding. We would watch the city from the surrounding wood. This would be the night we would attack.
The sun had set and darkness filled the damp night. Led by Senan, we made our approach toward the city gate. Quietly, stealthily, we moved on. the city slept as we came near. In the dark, Senan crawled toward the gate. We waited with anticipation as he unlocked the gate. Carefully, he pried at the gate. When it was completely opened, we would ruthlessly charge the city. Quickly we would finish the work we came to do. With an ailing king and a discouraged army, we were sure the battle would come to an abrupt end, with Cadeyrn once again, the victor.
Senan forced the gate open. We watched in horror and froze with panic as the gate was pushed aside. In a moment, in a flash of time, Cormac's army rushed through the gate. We were, at first, bewildered. Then confusion set in. Cormac led his men in a great torrent against us. Cormac was in fact not ill. Senan turned and began to fight against us. We were led by the enemy into the enemy's trap - and we were not prepared. I called for retreat. The men reversed direction and sped into the fading night. We will take Cormac on another day.
What we later discovered at the hand of Caiside was that Cormac also divided his army. While he warred against us on his land, other men of Cormac were taking our village. We hurried home to aid Caiside and the other men. When we returned, the sad sight met our eyes. The battle was over. Now, there were two battles to fight. Our land had been taken by Cormac. We needed to reclaim it as well as take Cormac's castle. Senan would pay the highest price for his treachery.
From the hill country, I assessed the damage to my precious village. The ruins stood smoking from many a fire arrow. There was not a single person in sight. My heart broke, but my anger grew also. My anger grew faster than my sad heart would heal. Still, we must wait. The battle had to be perfectly planned. Then we must perfectly execute the perfect plan. I set myself to study the situation.
Caiside once again brought to me Cathail. She immediately knew what was in my heart. She asked, "How long before you leave again?"
I would remain at the castle for several days. I was obsessed with the battle to come. I would certainly require a high price of Senan. I would set him as an example for the other kingdoms. They should not desire the same fate, nor tempt me in the same way. His name shall be but a byword throughout all Ireland.
Cathail inquired of time I might spend with her. There was no time. My village - her village had been destroyed. War was imminent, but first, a clear plan had to come to my mind. Cathail would wait, but when vengeance was complete, we should spend much time enjoying the deep wood.
.Lugh appeared to me in a night vision. He spoke the battle plan, and it required we leave immediately. The battle plan he whispered but in clear words. "You must leave now. Gather the men and race across the moor leading to the hill country. You will overtake the men of Cormac, but you must hurry. Your whole army will destroy the half of Cormac. Follow on to the city gate. Your whole army shall destroy the other half of Cormac's men. Both times you will advantageously outnumber the enemy troops. They shall be as refuse for the pile. But you must hurry. You must overtake them on the moor."
I called for my men and we were off. We knew we were not far behind the smaller army of Cormac. We hurried on. In the distance, we sighted the enemy. We charged them full-speed and subdued them rather quickly. We rested the night and in the morning, we would continue our way through the hill country to Cormac's castle.
Some of the details are too bloody to say. Others, not important. But what is important is that Cormac could not escape the second time. We easily overthrew his depleted army and took the castle. Cormac was run through with a sword, and I sat on his throne - a clear message to his people I was now their ruler. They would obey me. I sent for Cathail to join me on my throne.
After many days, Caiside returned with the news. Cathail could not be located. She was not at the castle. Neither could he find any news of her from the few that survived Cormac's attack on my village. I had taken village after village, and now the city of the great Cormac. I would rule as king, but where was my queen?
- Cadeyrn's Tale - Part 8
Caiside has not returned. Neither have 40 of Cadeyrn's warriors - and Cathail? Where is Cathail?
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© 2019 William Kovacic