Welcome to a new chapter of Imperial Struggle, the story of the young Emperor Marco, and the struggles he has with his new imperial position. Imperial Struggle is my first web novel, so any feedback is welcomed. This is chapter 21, so if you want to read from the beginning please click here
The north gate was swarming with enemies. While the gate was quite sturdy, the guards had to hold off the enemies that infiltrated into the city and were attacking the gate from the inside.
“Hold the line” the voice of captain Jan Zaran was heard. The young Imperial Guard that fought earlier in the day with Qat, was the one in charge of the defense. Although he had the night off, he was in the vicinity of the gate at the time of the attacks and hurried to take control.
Almost two thousand enemies were outside the gate, waiting for it to be broken, but they weren’t the problem, but the ones inside the city. Almost 500 enemies were attacking from the inside.
Jan had to split the gate forces in two to defend from two different sides. A shield wall was raised in front of the stairs, fending off the enemies that we are raising up to the gate tower. Jan was behind the wall, giving orders, encouraging the people.
“Just a little more, the garrison will arrive soon.” Jan said. “At least I hope they will arrive in time”.
“The wall is broken, captain!” a soldier shouted before falling to an enemy sword.
“Close ranks, keep the shield wall” Jan shouted, but there was no more soldier to fill in the fallen soldier. There were only 100 soldiers on the wall and they were already split in two. “Where the hell are the reinforcements?” Jan yelled while he took the field and entered the shield wall that kept the head of the stairs.
Two swords headed for him, but the big Zaran shield stopped them in their tracks. The attackers continued to attack the young captain, over and over again. Jan kept defending, while yelling orders and swinging the sword from time to time.
Suddenly, he felt a sting in his right hand, making him to almost drop the shield. He saw how a sword was looking to hit his head, but with a last effort he raised his shield to protect himself, while implanting his sword in the gut of the enemy.
“Retreat to the tower, ” he shouted, seeing his men injured, tired, most of them dead. At least he would protect the tower as long as possible.
While Jan and his men were retreating, furious hooves were heard on the street. Rejoicing that reinforcements arrived at last, Jan gave the order to attack, to pinch the enemy from both sided. But, while slashing his sword toward the enemy soldiers, Jan saw who was leading the reinforcements. The Emperor and his four guards. If he wasn’t on a battlefield, he would stand there with the mouth open like a stupid person.
Down the street, Marco was riding like a madman. Seeing the battlefield in front of him, he gave orders to his men:
“Qat, Argento, you to go up and help captan Zaran to protect the wall. Scilla, Escarte find me some leaders and bring them to me alive. Captain Abruzzo, try to keep up” He said with a smile to the young Imperial Guard.
“Understood” Qat and Argento immediately raised the pace of their horses, leading them toward the stair, cutting everyone that stood in their path.
“Your Highness, what do you mean by that?” Jun was baffled by Marco’s words.
“It means that you have to keep up with him, young lad” Escarte said while diving into the sea of enemies.
“Always look after his back, don’t lose the sight of his back not even for a second” Scilla advised him and followed Escarte.
“Your Highness, what do they mean by this? You surely won’t join the fight, right?” Jun said with worry in his voice. Who has heard of an Emperor to take the battlefield himself?
“Of course I’ll join the battle, what kind of Emperor would I be, If I leave my men died in front of me” Marco said, while unsheathing his word. “God, give me strength, make my sword swift and sharp. Help me to give them a quick and painless death.” After this short prayer, Marco launched his horse into the enemies.
“Quick, follow the Emperor” Jun hastily ordered his men, while closely following Marco, trying his best to keep the advice that Scilla gave him a few minutes ago.
“Come to your deaths” Marco said with a demonic voice, while moving his sword left and right. And where his sword struck, an enemy fell down. One swing, one strike, one enemy down. But because this was a battlefield and Marco was outnumbered, they went after his horse, cutting down the poor horse that so valiantly carried the Emperor until now.
“Get him, get him, he is only one man”, they shouted.
Little did they know, that the Hell was just beginning. Marco wiped some blood from his face and turned towards the enemies.
“So who wants to be the first to die?” he asked while smiling. A smile that gave shivers to some of the men in front of him, and many of them weren’t scared so easily. “If you don’t come I’ll come to you”.
And he began attacking. Jun saw him from afar, but the image of the Emperor fighting mesmerised him. It was like a dance. Marco moves were more like a dance, rather than a fight, but each move he made cut down an enemy.
“The Red Devil of…” someone shouted, recognizing the way Marco fought, but his words were cut short by a dagger to the throat, thrown by Marco.
“I don’t like when people are spewing my secrets” Marco whispered and continued to fight.
The man who died, wanted to say was “The Red Devil of the Seven Hills”. A nickname that Marco received in his vast adventures. He usually was wearing a mask in the battle, which as soon as the battle started to become red.
In this battle he wasn’t wearing any mask anymore, but his face was all red from the blood of his enemies, which was giving quite a demonic aura.
In the midst of the fight, the long awaited reinforcements arrived, lead by Grand General Basta.
“Encircle the enemy, leave none alive” the Grand General shouted.
“Actually, try to keep as many as possible alive” Marco replied while appearing near the general. With a jump he hopped on Basta’s horse and while surveying the small battlefield, he yelled: “Surrender, you don’t have any chance of winning. Surrender and you might live, don’t and this wall will be your grave”.
General Basta look at the young man that arrived near him, before realizing that he was the Emperor.
Hearing this, the enemy soldiers started to drop down the weapons one by one. The devil that decimated by himself was telling them that they might live. That was enough. And with the forces of Grand General Basta present, they would die anyway.
“Grand General, I want your forces to pursue and decimate the enemies outside. Bring me their leader alive.” Marco continued to give orders.
In the meanwhile, more and more Imperial soldiers continued to arrive at the gate. The fight was over, but the night had only begun.
Marco and his men managed to fend off the attackers and defend the Northern Gate. General Basta arrived in time and his job will be to punish the enemies that dared to attack the capital. But questions remained unanswered. Who dared to attack? How did they manage to get such large force near the capital and inside the capital. All these questions will be answered in the future chapters.
Imperial Struggle is an original story written directly on Steemit. Follow @sstefan for the next chapter.