Cadeyrn's Tale - Part 9
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 8
Caiside has not returned. Neither have 40 of Cadeyrn's warriors - and Cathail? Where is Cathail?
Cadeyrn has been waiting to carry on for far too long. Hopefully, this connection with Part 8 will help you get oriented a bit. Cadeyrn is once again on the move
This I knew, Cathail was not with the men who passed on. No doubt, she was frolicking in the deep wood dreaming of the day we would take up residence by our own stream, amongst the rich, green undergrowth of the wood.
I had no time for dreaming. There was a war to plan. It would be especially hard without my trusted warrior and friend, Caiside, but I knew victory was ours for the taking. With the castle secured, we would indeed leave before the new moon. Still, I knew the days were fading fast.
I heard reports from our spies how at the very mention of the name, Cadeyrn, the villagers shuttered. I decided long ago, I would take whatever I wanted. I would let nothing stand in my way. If I sent fear among the towns, so be it. It would be that much easier for the towns to fall into surrender. Another day had ended. Soon another would begin. I was safe and comfortable in my newly acquired kingdom.
I took the time to think back over the years and decided I was quite pleased with myself. From the sheepcotes to the kingdom I now ruled. Yes, I was quite pleased.
It was told me that on the road south was found a band of robbers and thieves. I sent twelve men to rid my kingdom of this waste of humanity. It was not long until they returned leading the captive thieves in chains. They were duly executed.
That was only a small problem, an inconvenience. The real quandary was what to do about the invasion down south. It was told me also that Edmund of Wales had crossed the sea. He invaded and captured the ringfort we left behind on our move north. That was not acceptable.
The number of my fighting men was much larger now. We could easily overcome any enemy. Still, we knew Edmund would be a challenge. I quickly gathered my army. We would leave at first-light.
I decided our best approach to the captured ringfort would be to follow the cliffs south and circle back around. If Edmund was expecting us to retaliate, he would be watching toward the north from whence he would expect us to come.
It seemed incredulous to me that an army from the isle eastward would travel the sea in an attempt to take my land. I would make sure this would never happen again. Edmund would be crushed as would his army. We would reclaim our control of the ringfort, and life would go on. Or so we thought.
On the third day, we approached the fort. One thing Edmund was not counting on was the fact that I knew the layout of the fort better than any. I planned it. I watched over the construction. Not only would he be surprised to see us come from the south, but I'm sure to his surprise, we would appear in the center of the ringfort.
You see, I had built a tunnel that led from the outside to the room I used to plan battle after battle. My men and I would suddenly appear in the very room where Edmund could be found. After his elimination, taking back the fort would be easier than easy.
As we made our way up the hill, the fort came into view. We would retreat and hide amongst the ash and oaks of the valley until nightfall. Then we would start our trek through the tunnel. Quietly, at first, we would rush Edmund's quarters. I would place a group of men near the fort gate to take those who tried to escape. How was I to know Edmund knew about the tunnel? He set a guard within its walls.
The ground shook fiercely as we battled beneath the earth - a sure sign that trouble was coming. Those of Edmund's army who had taken up residence in the fort made their way to the gate with the hopes of entering the underground passage from without. Others entered from within. Edmund was quite protected. We had no choice but to withdraw and to withdraw quickly lest the underground would become our tomb. Indeed, the underground was a tomb for many.
Approaching the exit of the tunnel, the sound of war could be heard as my men and those of Edmund fought valiantly. I needed to assess the situation with no time wasted. I learned we were losing too many men too fast. It was necessary for us to remove ourselves from the fight. The day had long been spent as we crawled away in defeat - defeat for that day. We would without a doubt return at a later time to take brutal vengeance on the enemy.
We camped the night near the cliffs. The salt sea crashing against rock and cliffsides caused the wonderful scent of the ocean to rise to our heights. The tumbling sound of the waves could be heard clearly in the night as we were rocked to sleep.
The moon paled in the veil of a thin cloud only to emerge shimmering and shining bright. Defeated we were, but yet I sensed a wonderful peace floating on the breeze. It wasn't long until I fell fast asleep.
A buzzing sound by my ear woke me from what was a very deep sleep. I turned to the side only to see a fairy flitting about trying to gain my attention. Who was I that a fairy should approach me? I was just a warrior with the power of Lugh upon me. what was meant by this fairy?
She hovered close to my ear and whispered these words - "You must move immediately. It may already be too late."
"What? What do you mean, my little friend?"
Edmund and his troops are coming for you."
"Surrender" was the command that Edmund gave. I could only laugh.
With that, a fire arrow struck my tent and others. A sense of panic rose up among my men. Confusion set in as each man woke with a start. We must gather our band together quickly and charge the enemy. But I fear it was too late. We were surrounded by Edmund's men.
"Surrender" was the command that Edmund gave. I could only laugh. Surely this imbecile from across the sea knew I would never surrender. Surrender was not something I would ever consider. At my laugh, one of his soldiers struck me hard on the top of the head. I fell to the ground.
Edmund repeated his directive to which I replied the simple word, "Never." He then suggested I send him my best warrior. He would send forth his finest. The two would fight until only one remained with life in him. The victor would then take the opposing army captive and work them as slaves in the fields surrounding the ringfort.
It would seem a fair offer. Although I knew of Edmund's persistence and cunning, I knew my man would rule his. Edmund may have appeared to be a great leader, but his men were poorly trained, I chose my best, Suibhne. He was excellent with the sword. He could remove a man's head with one stroke. But the spear - the spear would surely take his opponent before he got close enough to kill with the sword.
A clap of thunder and streaking lightning in the far distance startled all. A storm was brewing and heading our way. The two men went to the fight. Suibhne quickly and skillfully removed the spear from his opponent leaving him with a sword only. Still, Suibhne's enemy fought valiantly. The storm was fast approaching.
The two continued as a heavy rain began to fall. Within a short time, the grass became slick and slippery mud swept in where the warrior's steps had claimed the grass. Suibhne fell on the wet sod and his opponent not so gently pushed the point of his sword into Suibhne's throat. Suibhne could not move. Something had gone terribly wrong.
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© 2019 William Kovacic