“Move forward!” Yelled La Roule, clenching his teeth as yet another arrow thudded into his shield. They were sitting ducks here and as more men arrived the crowd of pinned down soldiers was growing by the minute.
Ansfroi glanced ahead and immediately spotted fevered battle, armoured knights clashing with dark skinned heathen.
One man, crouched low and shielding himself from the missiles that seemed to fly from everywhere, looked up at the two newcomers and winced as yet another shot pummelled into his shield. He nodded down the walkway, “They have halted the advance!” He grunted through clenched teach, “With this missile fire it’s more than we can do to just stay on our feet!”
La Roule followed the man’s gesture and saw what Ansfroi was gazing at. Where the walkway suddenly widened at a corner, the men had been unable to force their way forward, multiple points and the slashing blades of fierce warriors keeping them at bay. With only the narrow parapet to move along they were forced to confront the Fatimid warriors one at a time. Even as they watched another crusader’s leg was cut open by a spearhead, the point finding an exposed gap in his armour, causing him to fall from the barbican’s top. Fewer dared to venture forward and the oncoming assault became pinned down. The blood, the screams and the hot sun beating down was enough to demoralise and drain all hope.
“We must do something master.”
His master turned to Ansfroi and nodded, “We shall show these cowards how a true knight fights.” Weapon raised, the tall man turned back to ready himself for the charge.
And instead another was already forcing his way across the walkway. Tall, broad and dressed with a full helm, he almost imitated La Roule himself. In the blazing light the man’s dragon coat-of-arms seemed to ripple in the sun. Lowering his shield he rammed forwards into the enemy.
And to their amazement the man cut, and thrust, and parried, and advanced into the crowd of foe.
Without a second’s hesitation both Ansfroi and La Roule leapt after him, using the cleared path that the newcomer had created, racing down the walkway to join the bold knight. The man had long since disappeared into the battle scene, surrounded by at least five or six Muslim warriors.
Dodging a spear thrust, Ansfroi brought his sword around to plunge it into the warrior’s throat, the enemy’s shadowy eyes opened wide with surprise as blood sprayed the squire. Blocking another blow with his shield, the young man turned to strike out once again, this time narrowly missing a black haired warrior who was quickly struck down from behind.
The dragon knight stepped forward and pulled his blade from the dead enemy and briefly looked across at Ansfroi and for a second the youngster felt as if a demon was boring into his soul. And then the knight was gone, slashing left and right in such a careless, forceful manner that the Muslim warriors began to flee before them, despite the reckless nature of his strikes.