Rise of the Dead Prince

Rise of the Dead Prince by Brian A. Hurd Read Free Book Online

Book: Rise of the Dead Prince by Brian A. Hurd Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brian A. Hurd
the charging infantry with arrows until they had all run out. Ian barked orders to ride into the woods to attack the enemy archers with melee weapons, but they could not maneuver as well as they would have liked. Still, they needed to stop those volleys from hitting the unguarded mass of infantry. Luckily, the Karavunian archers were stationed on the edge of the woods, the better to fly their arrows high. The skirmishers rode in with swords drawn and made a devastating attack against their line of archers, but this was not where the brunt of the battle was taking place. The Karavunian infantry met the middle, forcing the Valahian infantry into a tight circle. They were soon surrounded on all sides. If some miracle didn’t happen, then they were about to suffer the most terrible loss in Valahia’s long history. King Wold barked orders to hold the lines, but even the flag bearers were soon embroiled in the fight. It was then that Assur made a desperate charge from the east. His forces had been slow crossing the river again, but now they rode into the backs of the Karavunian infantry in a broken line. The charge caused significant losses, but it was not enough. Soon the heavy cavalry was locked in by the Karavunian infantry, and they were taking equal losses, just as the enemy cavalry had done.
    More than half of the Valahian forces had been destroyed, eliminating any numerical superiority they might have had. The battle kept getting worse. How had they been so easily tricked? King Wold and Meier entered the fight. King Wold began slashing on either side of his horse, fighting like a lion. Meier watched his father’s bravery and with his tarnished saber began stabbing and slashing as well. He wasn’t having very much effect. He found himself blocking more than anything else. Something was strange though. Meier’s fear had faded. Suddenly, all he wanted was to win, even though it was against all odds. He wanted to do his part, just like his brothers, just like his father. Meier began to fight his heart out. He started to do well .
    It was then that another disaster struck. Wold was struck under his arm by an enemy spear! Seeing that the king was wounded, the Valahian infantry quickly surrounded him. They guarded him with their lives, giving Meier the chance to dismount and catch his father as he began to slump in his saddle and fall to the ground. The wound looked bad, but not quite fatal. Suffice it to say, Wold was out of the fight. He pulled Meier close, and then he said something strange. It was something that Meier had never expected to hear.
    “Lead them!” said Wold. Meier felt his heart leap in his c hest.
    “I can’t leave you!” he yelled. The thought of his father there bleeding was more than he could bear. Wold squeezed his arm fi rmly.
    “Save us! Save them! Go!” And then he pushed Meier away.
    Something snapped in Meier. He stood straigh t up.
    Save them. But how could he? He thought about it. There was only one answer. He would fight. Yes, and he would save them. He would save them, or he would die trying. Meier climbed back onto Callista in an uncharacteristically graceful swoop. He raised the rickety old saber and yelled a battle cry at the top of his lungs. Then he looked around the battlef ield.
    In a single sweep of the eye, he saw everything, and his mind began to work. There! The weakest link in their chain. He saw it and then rode for it as fast as he could. He made for the nearest flag bearer and took away his banner. He dropped his shield to free up a hand for the flag. He would go himself. Waving the flag high, he began fighting the line with the men and then screamed above the din.
    “ TO ME !” he yelled to all the surrounding troops, waving the flag to get their attention. “A wedge! Here!” The men were tired and broken. Then they looked up at their prince. There he was, not armored, risking his hide in the fray like the rest of them. They couldn’t believe it. It was like Meier had

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