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.The commander raised his left hand, and there bound to it was a disc of copper.It flickered with green light.The enemy deflected the javelin in mid air as power flashed around the disc, and then hurled his own at Talaos with superhuman force.Talaos wheeled and dodged, but it made no difference.The javelin aimed true and struck him anyway.He roared in pain as it pierced his breastplate, then pulled it back out with a flash of power and cast it aside.He charged the general at full gallop.As he went, he considered that if not for his armor, that javelin would have run him through.To his right, another officer moved to block his path, equipped as one of high rank and probably a tribune.The man had a long sword and round shield with a blue lion on white.Talaos brought his long blade, arcing with his power, down on that shield, and with a flash it split in half.The sword cleaved into the foe's chest and he fell back, dead.The enemy commander made to draw another javelin.Faint green light flickered in his right hand.After the last, Talaos had no illusions of dodging it.Talaos focused his mind.He knew what he had to do.The distance was not far, but his horse would be too slow.A few times before the world had seemed to slow down around him in battle.He knew in fact it was he who sped up.It drained him, but he would have to do so now.Unlike before, he would have to try to do so consciously.He focused his will, his intent, and his power.The wind picked up again, and the rain grew stronger.The commander drew back his arm.All around, the world became sluggish.Talaos rose to his feet in the stirrups.The commander threw, and the javelin soared across the plain.Faster than anything on that plain but Talaos himself, it flew true and deadly.Talaos climbed to the back of his horse atop the saddle, drew his short blade to join the long, stood for a moment, and leapt.Talaos flew through the air at the oncoming javelin.He turned, whirling with his long blade arcing around and down.Power crackled around it as it went.He twisted and cut the javelin in half a moment before it could pierce him.The pieces flew apart with a slow radiance of green and tumbled harmlessly sideways against him.He flew at the enemy commander with both blades whirling.Green light flashed in answer, but his arc-lit blades cut through the shielding power.He scythed the enemy general from the saddle and sent him flying back from his horse in two pieces.Then Talaos whirled onward, leaping and spinning with his blades in motion.To the left, a slain foe, to the right, another.He sheared heads from shoulders and legs from bodies.Confusion and chaos spread all around, unfolding so very slowly.Talaos called to the sky, and lightning struck among the enemy troops on the plain.He moved down the line of enemies.They were slow, weak, confused, yet presumed to strike at him and his own.He cut them down as they tried.One, then two, then more in a line.Cutting them apart from his fleeing friends.They began to move a bit faster.This time he sensed the change as it approached.He withdrew back toward his waiting horse.An enemy horsemen wheeled, slowly, to block his way with leveled spear.He ran.He leapt.The horsemen sped up, step by step.Talaos flew behind his guard, short blade sweeping horizontally, and cut the man's head from his shoulders.Then he spun, landed, flipped, and vaulted into the saddle of his own horse.All around him, both friends and enemies were speeding up.Things had changed.The enemy reacted with fear and confusion.They pulled back, trying to form ranks.His new allies wheeled and spurred their horses away, galloping toward Avrosa.Far away, other enemy commanders were shouting amid the confusion, trying to organize their milling troops.Talaos called lightning down to the ground between his friends and his foes.The enemy recoiled.Then Talaos felt it.The beginning of exhaustion.The first hint of darkness.He wheeled and rode his horse at speed along the gap between the confused enemy and his fleeing allies.Power crackled in his hands and on his brow.Light shone in his eyes, and he roared in primal fury at the hundreds of men facing him.All today had faced choices.He chose to stand and protect those who fled [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]