The Adventures of Gaius Cornelius Ferrarius

The Horse Incident - Part II

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Gaius did not wish to fight the five men. The leader of these men had been wronged, but he was attempting to right this with the wrong person. He and Gaius were allies in a sense, but the man would not listen to reason. The man wanted to fight someone, and unfortunately he had chosen Gaius.

"Oh cruel fates," cried Gaius. "Why do you test me so? Have I not proven myself worthy?"

Reluctantly, Gaius joined the five men outside. He was still going to attempt to convince them to not fight. However, he had the feeling that his words had little effect on the men.

"It is not too late!" Gaius began. "The fates can still change their minds on your destinies."

"Barbarian!" replied the leader. "Prepare to die."

The leader, who lost his sword to Gaius, waved his hands to indicate the men put their plan into action. The four men drew their short swords. Gaius left his weapons in his pack in the inn. He was going to see what he could do to convince these men that they had no quarrel with him.

Two men rushed Gaius immediately with another rushing in a delay as to not have them all arrive at the same time. The leader and another remained where they were as a reserve. The first two men arrived on opposite sides of Gaius nearly simultaneously.

Gaius side stepped their thrusts just in time. He rushed one man and grabbed his arm. He stepped in front of that man and parried the thrust of the other with that man's sword. With a quick flick, he hit the other man's hand with the flat of the blade.

"Look out!" Gaius yelled as he kicked that man.

The third man arrived and thrust at Gaius. With a block and that kick, the thrust went to where the second man stood. With a twist and an elbow, Gaius relieved the man he was controlling of his sword.

With a wave and a flourish, he relieved the third man of his sword. The second man had his sword tucked under his arm, and was rubbing his hand. He just stood there looking at Gaius. It looked as if he was puzzling on why Gaius just saved his life. The now swordless men moved back towards the group's leader.

The man in reserve pointed his sword at Gaius and cautiously advanced. Gaius glanced between the stationary man and the one advancing. The one rubbing his hand just stood there. Thus, the sword Gaius had grabbed from the one man he threw on the ground by the other sword.

The advancing man cocked his head at this move but continued to advance slowly.

"Get him!" shouted the leader.

The advancing man looked back and gave the leader a stern look. Afterwards he continued his slow advance with his sword out front.

Gaius continued to glance between the two armed men. The one remained standing there puzzling over Gaius's actions. While Gaius was looking away, the advancing man charged. However, instead of thrusting his short sword, he raised his sword above his head and attempted to hack at Gaius from above.

Gaius caught the man's arm on its way down and the force caused him to drop his sword. With a quick turn and a push, the man fell backwards. Gaius picked up the sword and put it with the rest. The man with the sword remained motionless for a moment. He then sheathed his sword, and turned and walked away.

"Where are you going?" asked the leader.

The man simply looked at him and continued to walk away.

"He realized that this was not his fight," replied Gaius. "If you think three unarmed allies are better than four armed ones, we can continue this. However, I do not recommend it."

"Honor says we have to finish this," replied the leader.

"It is finished," replied Gaius. "Honor does not dictate that you all must die -- a victor was chosen."

"I do not feel that my honor was upheld," shouted the man knowing that he was defeated.

Gaius left the swords on the ground and walked over to the men. "I am not your enemy. I vanquished your enemy. If you cannot see that, I will kill you right here. However, I do not wish to."

"Who are you?" asked the man.

"I have been known by many names. The name I go by now is Gaius Conelius Ferrarius."

"We were defeated by a barbarian blacksmith?"

"You cannot judge a person by what they look like or from where they hail. Experience is what shapes a person. While I can handle myself in a fight, I would not wish my life experience upon anyone."

"Okay Ferrarius -- the fight is over. However, you can keep the horse if I could get my sword back."

"Very well," replied Gaius.

Gaius entered the inn where his pack was sitting. He opened it up and retrieved the man's short sword. He walked out with it, as the man's companions gathered their swords and left. He walked over the the man and handed the short bladed weapon to him.

"Did you really kill seven bandits to get that horse?"

"I have no reason to lie about these things," Gaius said before turning around to go back into the inn.

As Gaius was walking back to the inn, he heard the sound of a sword being slowly unsheathed. He gave a heavy sigh, and readied himself.

Despite the man's best efforts, he could not sneak up on Gaius. He clumsily attempted to thrust the sword into Gaius's back, but the experienced soldier easily dodged the attack. With the sword and arm of his foe beside him, Gaius grabbed the sword, twisted it around and plunged it into the heart of the man.

"I was hoping that you would have stained my honor by making a liar out of me," muttered Gaius to the dieing man. "Alas, you got your sword back when I thrust it into your heart. It is truly sad."

The man fell to the ground in pain. The local people did not do anything to apprehend Gaius or aid the man. Gaius knelt down and held the man as he was dieing.

"How would your honor have enjoyed defeating someone in an unfair fight?" asked Gaius as the man breathed his last breath.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on May 10, 2009 6:37 PM.

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