“To arms! To arms!” a soldier called out as their captain crumpled to the ground before them. The rioters had begun arming themselves with bricks, staves, swords, hammers, axes, knives, bows, and stones as they assailed the king's men who sought to contain the fire and insurrection that continued to grow and spread despite their best efforts.
“Va te faire foutre!” an insurrectionist cried out, hurling a brick into the midst of the encroaching imperial troops as they advanced upon the protesters.
“This is where the fun begins!” Stefaan joked to Claude as they brandished their concealed weapons openly, joining into the affray.
The soldiers filed into a line formation and used their shields to form a wall of protection from the rioters' projectiles as they fell upon the insurrectionists. Charging into their shields, the greater numbers of rioters came crashing down upon the outnumbered soldiers, though the imperial troops were better armed and trained. They hacked the protesters down even as they fell upon the shield wall, though a few of the soldiers found themselves misfortunate enough to stumble in standing their, quickly become victims of the insurrectionists that stripped them and beat them down into a bloody pulp. Arming themselves with the fallen soldiers' weapons, several of the townsfolk turned to the remaining soldiers, using the own shields to protect them from the blows that assailed them as they made their own attempts to cut through the king’s men. Luckily for the townsfolk of Calais, the chapel stood on its own away from the neighbouring shops and houses.
“So this is how you would seek to honour and serve Ordeus? By burning down his temples and blaspheming in his name?” a soldier called out as he hacked through an insurrectionist's shoulder, severing the man's arm as the crushing blow brought him down where he proceeded to shriek in agony.
“And you serve him how? How does the church serve our god or people when they simply exist as another means of tax extortion under the tyrannical rule of a corrupt king?” Claude shouted back, firing an arrow into the face of a charging soldier as he called out. His kinsmen shouted in unanimous approval as they shouted similar messages of dissent at the imperial troops. More guards began to arrive as messengers were sent on horseback to request aid from the neighbouring towns and cities.
Stefaan slashed through the neck of an imperial soldier before plunging the second of his twin daggers into the chest of another even as the man tried to attack him from behind. Claude wielded a hatchet he’d managed to scavenge from a stall nearby and used it to bash another soldier's skull in before his ribcage was pierced from behind by sharpened imperial silver. Crying out in agony, Claude sank to his knees as he let loose his final death-cry. This grabbed Stefaan's attention, drawing his focus away from their battle at hand as he witnessed his comrade in arms sink into the abyss of defeat.
“Damn you! Va te faire foutre!” Stefaan shouted as he flung one of the twin daggers he wielded into the face of Claude's killer, grabbing an imperial shortsword from one of the fallen soldiers as he rushed what was left of them...
Fleeing the church as the smoke began to wisp behind him, Mathias made his was through the chapel's cemetery back onto the streets where he diverted from the original plan to retrace his steps back towards Robin and Edwin. What is the meaning behind their deviation? He knew that time was of the essence, but he could not afford to attract any suspicion. Even as he made his way back onto the high street leading towards the southwestern checkpoint leading out of Calais, townsfolk were beginning to notice the smoke as they pointed towards it in shock, rushing along towards the source to see it for themselves.
“Someone call the guards; there's a fire in the town centre!” a pedestrian called out frantically as a commotion arose behind Mathias from whence he’d just come.
Guards rushed past as Mathias narrowly avoided being trampled by them in their haste, pushing onwards towards the checkpoint as he sought to catch up to Robin and Edwin on their own travels. Reaching the improvised military checkpoint, Mathias was greeted by the corpses of two imperial guards, leaving the position totally unsupervised. Putain… they're already well on their way… Mathias thought to himself as he departed from the city, opting to abandon the main road to avoid being intercepted by reinforcements or imperial couriers along the way. He travelled directly south towards the towns of Mons and Seléne where he would make his way into the city of France via the East Road.
About the author
Kelson Hayes is a British-American author and philosopher, born on 19 October 1994 in Bedford, England. His books include Can You Hear The Awful Singing, The Art of Not Thinking, and The Aerbon Series.