Armored men with large shields upon their backs soon assembled just in front of the pike line. Sarah watched as they formed a box. There was a shout and the box split for a moment to let two fairly unarmored people inside. One looked to be wearing a skirt.
Wholawski kept the knife pressed into her neck as the group marched forward.
“Hold your arrows men, we’ll wait until the Princess moves from James’s side. She is the first target, then move on to those around her.”
Jay, you’re not with the rescue party are you? Sarah had no idea what she needed to relay.
No, and, there was a pause as he consulted with someone, neither is Master Philip.
Then we can’t warn them that they are going to get peppered with arrows, starting with the Princess?
There was a slight smile in Jason’s reply. No, but if you can see the party, then I should think you can see the precautions that have been taken.
Oh, Sarah grinned herself, realizing exactly what the giant shields were for. She should have realized that sooner. After all, she had watched 300 with her brothers. Though, that had been ages ago.
“They are cooperating nicely don’t you think?” Wholawski whispered as the party from the pikes stopped, leaving a decent sized gap between them and James’s group.
Deciding not to comment, Sarah watched as the biggest of the group moved forward and bowed before stepping aside. Whatever words they spoke were not loud enough for Sarah to hear. The blowing wind certainly didn’t help and she realized that the rain was beginning to soak through her jacket.
Suddenly shouts echoed across the field and Sarah’s attention moved toward the pikes. A man on horseback was cantering through the barricade, scattering people left and right. A red headed man was shouting at him, though Sarah couldn’t understand the words. All he got for his efforts was to be nearly run over as the horse barreled past him.
“NOW!” Wholawski’s bellow nearly deafened Sarah.
The twang of bow strings made her look to the party below. Allmarah had an arrow in her shoulder, but she was soon shielded, one of the unarmored ones, supporting her. The remaining arrows began to bounce off shields and armor as the group began to move away. Helpless, Sarah could only watch as the horse rider met the shielded group half way to the pikes.
“No...” Her voice left as a whisper as Sarah finally recognized the rider.
“Oh yes.” She felt Wholawski’s chuckle before it escaped his lips. “I do believe the Prince of Vervell has come to rescue his sister. He should have listened to those who were trying to stop him.”
The man let her go as his mirth continued. Stumbling forward, Sarah gripped the wall. Straightening up she turned to face Wholawski. His mirth was dying but the smile remained upon his face.
“Now, I had been hoping to force you to watch your Princess die.” His eyes glittered with malice. “But to be able to serve up Prince Theodoso, dead, to Princess Allmarah, as I promised...”
General Wholawski was chuckling again, his eyes watching her intently. Sarah held his stare and controlled her temper. Never before had she wanted to kill anyone as much as she wanted to strangle him right now. A cry of pain from beside them made her whip around. A arrow protruded from one of the archers shoulders.
“Well don’t just stand there!” Wholawksi told the others who had ducked below the wall. “Return fire.” He pulled Sarah back with him, out of the enemies' sight.
Three of the archers tried, but all they received for their efforts were arrow wounds.
“Our, our, bows can’t reach them, General,” one man said as he slid down to sit upon the floor.
“What do you mean?” Wholawski growled.
“They are shooting from the pike line.”
Snarling Wholawski, spun upon his heel and dragged Sarah down through the gatehouse and back into the courtyard. They reached James just as the drawbridge clanked closed.
“Their bows have a better range than ours,” he told his Major as they approached.
“What?” James looked up form folding the white flag. He handed the flag to the man beside him.
“They just shot our best archers from the pike line.”
“That is not good.” James stated flately.
Suddenly Wholawski thrust Sarah forward at him. “Escort her to her room and be sure she doesn’t leave. I will be up shortly.”