by thefourpartland

“It’s bloody boring here.”

“We get to spar.”

“We’ve been sparring for four hundred years! Aren’t they going to get themselves sorted out any time soon?”

A cough sounded in the grey, and Locsyn and Gwyth looked up as Rhyfelwyr stood over them. He gestured, and the two soldiers went to spar once more.

“The time is close. I’ve been watching and talking. It will happen in less than a year.”

“I know, Taflen. That’s why I want them to spar more than ever.”

“You could let them rest. They won’t fail you on the battlefield. You know that.”

“They never have.” Rhy shook himself for a moment. “And I’ve never let them rest, either. Where’s Rhocas, by the way?”

“Practising with his group. He hasn’t changed his schedule in the fifty years since he knew this day was coming. So why are you suddenly worried?”

The sergeant gestured about. “Because of this. Because of everything that’s happening. Those idiots are trying to resurrect Hymerodraeth Heula by pissing on everything it stood for.”

“Why do you think the best of Glanhaol Fflamboethi chose the side they did? The rest of us know it just as much as you do.”

“And the others?”

“There’s only so many of us as can go. But our whole squad was picked. Even Rhocas and myself.”

“I’d be a damn poor sergeant if I couldn’t get my whole squad into this lottery.” Rhy spat on the ground. “Fighting’s easy.”

Taflen muttered. “I don’t think you understand, Rhy. We’re the only squad that was selected. Out of everyone.”

Rhy reddened for a moment, then looked at his old friend. “Then we need to make sure we’re worthy of the award, don’t we?” He paused. “Llof?”

The historian chuckled. “Disappeared. Which means he’s killing someone.”

“Again? How many is that now?”

“Even I lost count, Rhy. But he’ll be sharp when the time comes.”

“I never doubted him, Taflen, just the rest of us.”

The old soldier stopped in front of his sergeant. “Doubted yourself, you mean. Rhy, you’ve been leading this squad for four hundred and fifty years, give or take a few. I’d think you know us fairly well by now. We’re never going to let you down.”

“I know. But this campaign feels different. Like we’re rolling all the dice.”

“We are. And we’ll be getting snake-eyes. And we’re still going to win. We could probably stand back and let Llof do all the work, even.”

Rhyfelwyr chuckled. “Llofruddiwr against an army. Even he’d have trouble with that many.” He paused. “Maybe.”

The two friends walked into the grey mists, listening to the distant clash of sword on shield, as Locsyn and Gwyth sparred yet again.

The boys were back in town.


  1. Sonia on 05.27.2011

    Very interesting! The diolage is good, sets the scene well.

  2. The Four Part Land on 05.28.2011

    This story is a teaser for what will happen in books five and six, or at least a little hint of it. Without reading Breaking an Empire (available on this site) and Tarranau, it’s probably a little hard to figure out where it’s all going though.

  3. Michael Tate on 05.28.2011

    Yea, I haven’t read Breaking an Empire yet, but I do like the dialogue, and from what I hear, it sounds like an interesting premise.

  4. The Four Part Land on 05.30.2011

    Breaking an Empire is pretty important to the background of the main novels, because it sets up on the premises upon which the conflict takes place. That’s why I ended up writing it, really. That, and because I liked the idea of showing the history of the conflict from a different perspective in the novels.

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