Disclaimer: I don't own Narnia or any characters you may recognize from the books or the movies, I wish I did but I don't... I also don't own the Narnian Calendar. It belongs to Elecktrum who was kind enough to let me borrow it for my story. Her own stories are awesome and you should go read them too.
Summary: When disaster strikes, sometimes even the most conventional warrior must resort to unorthodox measures.
A/N: This is part of my A Light in the Darkness universe. Enjoy!
"General Oreius, what news did the scouts bring?"
I nodded to the High King as he strode out of the tent he was sharing with his brother (who blearily followed in his wake). "The information sent by King Jukka has been verified, my Kings. A large group of these bandits are working their way toward our border and smaller parties have already harassed the villages and towns along the border. We still cannot locate their base, but it does seem that the rogues who had once been a part of the same mercenaries under that filth Heikki are a large factor in this group. They seem to have combined their forces with one of the robber barons." I flicked my tail at the sore memory that was Heikki's legacy then gestured to the map. "The scouts have reported that the bandits changed their route late yesterday afternoon and only set up a minimalistic camp well after nightfall. It would appear that they are attempting to avoid us and our original chosen point of engagement."
The High King nodded while his brother glowered at the map, clutching the cup of coffee Dame Sepphora had handed him, and snarled under his breath. Dame Sepphora glanced at me and I gave her a half-nod. She stepped closer to the map. "The terrain they're heading for is more hilly and those lovely rock outcroppings will interfere with our archers' line of sight. In short, it's a recipe for Murphy's favorite kinds of unpleasant surprises. However, we can work around that if we can keep the blackguards from splintering our numbers and drawing us into the canyons. We just need to pull them into our own trap here in the largest valley."
I nodded and resumed explaining the plan Sepphora and I had come up with this morn. Both kings nodded and interjected with their own questions or suggestions…as I had taught them. As soon as the meeting was over, we all hurried to attend to our necessary tasks. We had only a third of the army with us. By all rights that would be enough to eliminate the bandits' threat to our northwestern border. I looked across the camp, searching for Alambiel before I finally spied her readying Pepin. The silver of her armor gleamed in the morning sun as she moved with a brisk effectiveness around the horse. The polished leather of her cuirass matched the warm brown of her split riding skirt and she'd tamed her hair into a tightly braided and wrapped bun (though she still did not wear a helmet). On this day, my Alambiel was most certainly and without a shadow of a doubt acting as Dame Sepphora, Knight of Narnia.
Reaching her as she swung up into the saddle, I limited myself to nodding slightly then I adjusted the stirrup for her. "Follow the plan, Dame Sepphora. Don't change it on a whim."
The barest of smiles curved her lips as she lightly responded, "I am not that capricious, Cyneward. I won't change the plan unless I have no choice…besides I helped come up with it, so it's a good plan."
I moved one hand to cover hers as they rested lightly on the pommel and barely squeezed as I warned, "Be careful."
Her reply was almost too soft to hear as the kings rode up, "And you, Kentauri."
I stepped back and she resumed the far more serious look suitable to a knight of Narnia. Wolfsbane and How looked between us then Wolfsbane cleared his throat, "Are we ready, General?"
I gave a curt nod. "We are."
The battle was going well. These bandits were more disciplined than others but they were not disciplined enough to best us. My biggest difficulty was keeping an eye on both Kings and Alambiel as the bandits attempted to flee toward the canyons, but our trap kept turning them back into this valley. At the moment, though the Kings were well looked after and fighting back to back with a number of our soldiers around them, while Alambiel had been unhorsed and was fighting on foot surrounded only by bandits. I fought my way to Alambiel's side. She threw one of her many daggers, dropping one of the bandits in his tracks as I cut down three who were attempting to attack her from behind. She glanced at me. "I expected you sooner."
I snorted, "Forgive the delay, Sepphora. These bandits are most unruly."
She laughed then frowned as she pointed toward the mouth of one of the canyons behind our guard line. "What does that look like to you?"
I tensed. No, that could not be. "They have reinforcements."
Alambiel hissed, "I knew this was working out too smoothly."
"How did they get past our scouts?"
"Murphy's law at its finest." She glanced at me then added, "And they know the area better than we do, apparently."
She twisted and stopped a bandit in his tracks with a well-placed thrust, ducking under his outstretched sword. Then I heard the horns sounding and we both raised our voices, shouting new commands even as we kept fighting the influx of bandits. But, our forces were slowly losing ground.
Cutting down a bandit as he screamed creative profanities, I was surprised when a hand grasped my elbow. Tensing, I tightened my grip on my claymore as I glanced down to see Alambiel's disheveled face looking up at me. She hissed, "Oreius, Peter and Edmund are surrounded. Look!"
I followed her gaze and my breath caught as I watched one of the fiends sneak up behind my dark colt, slamming his club against the colt's helmeted head even as another stabbed him from the front. Edmund fell under the double assault. Peter's war cry echoed across the battlefield as he drove the dishonorable scoundrels away from his brother's prone form. But, there were too many bandits between them and other soldiers. They would be overwhelmed soon if none could reach them. I glanced around us and knew that if I left Alambiel, she would be in no less danger. She met my gaze and gave a curt nod. "Go. You can reach them faster than I can. I will be all right. Go!"
It tore at my heart to leave the one I loved most in such a vulnerable position, but… I could not leave the colts undefended. My duty forbid it. A bitter choice, with a possibly even more bitter price, but there was only one acceptable choice that my duty would allow me to make. I nodded once, "I will return to you as soon as I'm able." Then, I raced toward the Kings, praying to Aslan that I would not come to regret my decision.
A/N: Please Read and Review! Okay, this is set a few weeks after Two Kings and a Herbivore. As for what happens next... Stay tuned for future updates. :)