David had tried to fit in wherever he had gone. His friends, though they knew who he was, treated him like a normal person, for the most part. Many people, once they recognized him, saw him as their prince, which he was, but he didn’t want to be treated like royalty. His brother, much like David, had friends once, and he made a somewhat good attempt at trying to be normal as well until he pushed his friends away.
David knew he would most likely be the next king, but he thought of himself as lucky, not entitled. He tried to stay humble. His sonorous voice, with its deep timbre, and the long scar traveling the length of his right arm, intimidated people at first, but they soon discovered the truth about David. His brother, on the other hand, was braggy, short-tempered, and a show-off. He always tried to gain his father’s attention, but more often than not, his brother David took the attention away. His attitude, basically, cost him the kingdom.
Once king, David was expected to bring an end to the war in his country. The war, which had been going on for centuries was between the two neighboring kingdoms, Qelusa and Lordeus. When he was chosen to be his father’s successor, he was sure it was for a reason, and he believed that he had no other destiny than to lead his kingdom through to victory.
Even after many years had passed, the war raged on. The conflict was worse than it had been in decades. David, ever hopeful and still believing in destiny, thought it was a sign that war was at its zenith and that it would soon hit its nadir, when everything would be resolved.
While talking to his court about a plan, he came up with a brilliant one.
“Gentlemen, we’ll have been in this long-standing conflict for 300 long years tomorrow, and I have received critical information that there are Lordeus troops making a final encroaching march upon our kingdom.”
There was a collective gasp in the room, as there hadn’t been a frontal assault in the past 100 years. David held up his right hand to calm everyone down.
“However! I have a plan to end this conflict after so long. Many of you have kept this kingdom happier than it’s ever been, and I am already seen as a pleasant king — though I think this may be the icing on the cake.” He rubbed his hands together.
David looked at the map on the wall, and pointed to a ravine just west of the kingdom. As he talked, he moved the pointing stick he was using to explain his plan. “It’s quite a simple plan once given some thought. The Lordeus Kingdom, being North of here, will pass by this ravine on the way to our southern kingdom. We will have troops stationed in the nearby forest slightly east of the Ravne, and we will force them into a corner with cannon fire, and our own troops.”
It really was quite a simple plan. How had noone come up with something like that before? Whispers rose from the assembled as they all asked one another that very question.
The next day, the plan was put into action, and several soldiers and knights lined the forest treeline overlooking the long-abandoned trade route that the Lordeus troops would be taking. The wind had an unnatural bite to it as if the day knew that today would be bloody. It was also an overcast with a slight drizzle, and the fog would be enough to mask them for the ambush. The area chosen for the ambush was massive. The overlook was big enough so that they could see the entire approaching force once they got there.
As their scout announced they were 15 minutes away, the soldiers and knights got their cannons into position. Their barrage team had been instructed thus: as they got closer to the enemy troops, raise the cannons and keep firing! Tthe enemy would continue to retreat until they’re cornered. As the last cannon was lined up, for a total of 347 cannons, they were ready to mount the ambush.
As the enemy drew near, the ambush began. Yelling rang out above the rain, cannon fire lit up the sky, and the long-abandoned trade route was stained with the blood of those who had begun to retreat, the Lordeus. The Qelusa was pushing back the Lordeus! The men of the Qelusa became fierce as their morale skyrocketed. They chased the opposing force down, and the plan worked in its entirety. But something was missing. Nobody could pin it down in the heat of battle, but everybody was thinking about it.
Then, a single scream hollowed the air: “The opposing General!”
He was right, the enemy’s general was nowhere to be found. He was absent among the enemy force. Did they know about the ambush? Then out of nowhere, another enemy force came from the very forest that the Qelusa troops had come from. They were now cornered and far outnumbered. How had the enemy known? Or was it simply a precaution? Or did somebody tell them? It had to be someone in the court!
As they fought and fought and fought to near exhaustion, one man sent a message via messenger hawk to the kingdom, only 2 miles to the southeast. It read as follows.
“King Angevin, something terrible has happened. There is a traitor among our ranks who has spoiled the plan to the invading troops. We are currently entrenched near the ravine, surrounded in a haze of fog and cannon smoke, so we are currently not under attack. The morale here is at an all-time low, and nobody thinks we will make it out alive. If this message finds you, we need more troops, and we need them fast.”
The message reached the king not 30 minutes after it was sent, and it was heard loud and clear. He would do what was right, and he believed this to be his moment of triumph. He assembled himself the greatest courtyard in the kingdom along with the largest and single-strongest military force he had. It was simply him, and 250 men, against, possibly 3,000 or more, along with however many troops of his were still trapped and entrenched.
Kings did not normally organize a military advance, and definitely did not take part in such an activity. His advisor was highly against it, saying that he was putting the entire kingdom at risk. He replied swiftly, but with the truth:
“I know now why my father chose me to lead this kingdom, and that is for this very moment. From here, not many of us will come back, but the kingdom is already at risk. The most danger we’ve seen in our lifetime is right at our doorstep, and I will NOT allow this kingdom to fall.”
As soon as the words left his mouth, he rode off, along with 250 of his strongest knights and swordsmen. They rode for about 40 minutes to get to the outskirts of the ongoing battle to devise a plan.
It was dark when they arrived at the scene. The moon had set, and the stars were the only guiding light for any possible battle to take place. The perfect cover. The plan was carefully weighed and would happen tonight. The entire force of David’s men would take the sleeping encamped troops, try to surround the outskirts of the battle, and surround the surrounding enemy, to take them all out at once. The darkness gave this relatively small band a heavy advantage; they could mount the perfect surprise attack and have the upper hand.
And that’s exactly what happened.
The battle had been fierce. The enemy had no idea who was friendly and who was foe, and the battle ended almost as soon as it started. They now had a backup force for the entrenched friendlies. The ravine-locked enemy troops would waken to a nasty surprise.
Once day broke, the original plan resumed, but now backed by the king himself. The Lordeus troops were on their last legs, and the Qelusa would mount an invasion once the opposing kingdom was defenseless. The battle continued and the Lordeus was defeated easily.
After the war, David Angevin snuffed out the mole in his ranks, and it was none other than his own advisor, who he had believed had been one of his closest friends and allies. David was seen throughout his life as a war hero, and the greatest monarch in the Kingdom’s history. He lived happily, got married, had 2 children, and one day, died happy, knowing that his children, being of his descent, would rule wonderfully, and to their full extent.
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