Bazoc rode back to the stronghold city of Arkim. While he was on the road he could still hear the resonating sound of Vinictus voice in his head. Bazoc wasn’t taking to far from arkim before he fought his way out, so it wasn’t going to be a long ride. He approached the rear gates of Arkim and found it unguarded. As he entered the city via the rear gate, he was dumbfounded to find the camp in an awkward state of normalcy. The men were less tense, more confident and relaxed. It almost seemed like he walked into the wrong camp. He dismounted from his horse and decided to take a little stroll around the camp. All his expectations of a victorious welcome with a joyful and an-uplifted countenance by his men on seeing him were only figments of his imagination yet to be figured out. While he strolled he found commander Umaga’s tent, just the right person to explain what was going on in the camp
‘old friend ’Bazoc said as he stepped into the tent. Umaga laid down facing the entrance ‘you look well.’
‘I would say the same thing about you’ umaga replied ‘giving that u were smuggled out of the camp in chains’. Bazoc assisted him in sitting up right. ‘why do you smell like blood?’ umaga asked.
‘where are the men’ Bazoc asked , ignoring umaga’s observation.
‘its obvious that the men have lost confidence in your leadership.’ The Earl(chief) of Nori had a spicy offer for the men. He was quite convincing that you will be dead. But I wasn’t convinced’ umaga said with a scoff ‘you are a hard man to kill Bazoc’
‘Azoc you mean?’ Bazoc asked
‘who else?’umaga asked ‘your cousin’ he added. Bazoc nodded in silence. The last time he saw azoc, he(azoc) was captured by the roman army in failed assassination attempt on vinictus. Vinictus spared his life because of hid relationship with bazoc. Vinictus trust in bazoc’s ability to bring the Norians to order was misplaced because the beginning pf the rebellion started in Nori. In one night the continent of roman army dispatched to nori were over-runned by the Norians and by the orders of azoc , every noble roman family were executed.
‘well’ umaga said ‘I can see that your gifts runs in the family’. Bazoc remained silent. ‘your family have the gift of spoken word. Ten years ago, we would have being in a bloody mess with the Romans, but you spoke and today our children are alive.’ Umaga placed his hands on bazoc’s shoulders ‘your brother spoke and you are about to loose an army. Go now and speak to the men if you really want to win this war ‘umaga urged bazoc ‘forgive me, but stopping azoc’s execution years back was not the will of the gods’. Bazocthen walked out of the tent and made his way to the watch tower.
‘barbarian brothers ‘Bazoc called out ‘why do you flee the field of battle? most of the men who were heading for the woods stopped to listen to what he had to say. ‘have we not endured more than this’ Bazoc added.
‘even without a war, we are dying out here’. one of the soldiers cried out.
‘we need to secure the future of our wives and children’ another man cried out.
‘No!. what we need is to stand together and fight and not surrender to the enemy. Azoc will not protect, he will destroy you because you have betrayed …’
‘…the oath which we have taken to lord your lands.’ The captain of the archers interrupted but completed the Bazocs statement as He stepped out of the crowd. ‘you speak of betrayal and lording our lands. But we all know that you have betrayed your people and sold our lands to the Romans ‘the men muttered in agreement.
‘and if fighting alongside azoc will give us back our lands then so be it. But we will not leave under roman rule any more’ the men roared this time in agreement. Bazoc’s silence was a sign that he had given up hope in trying to convince them. Most of them had lost loved one to attrition and were not ready to lose more. The men continued their mass movement to the woods.
Most of the men watched him as he walked back to commander Umaga’s tent. There was no point convincing them to stay.
‘my old friend, the gods have spoken through you’ Umaga said with with a smile ‘I have a package for you’ he added. Umaga pulled out a rusty old box and presented it to Bazoc. ‘while you were away a little bird from the house of Dominus Vinictus left this behind.’
‘what’s in it’ Bazoc asked while staring at the box.
‘only the gods know and you are about to share in that knowledge. But I heard him say that this was Vinictus original plan ’Umaga said‘whatever is in that box will not stop the inevitable. But you must know that you have to do what is necessary, even if it’s against what you believe.’Bazoc attempted to open the box but was interrupted by Umaga
‘do it outside old friend’ Umaga said. Bazoc tapped umagas shoulders and left the tent. Bazoc strolled around Arkim as he anxiously opened the box. There was a neatly wrapped piece of paper placed inside and a signet ring. Bazoc opened the piece of paper and it was a hand written letter by Vinictus himself. It reads
“ THERE ARE THOSE IN THE MOUNTAIN WHO SAY YOU HAVE BEEN SENT BY THE GODS. TAKE VASIVIUS TO CASSIA”
Vasivius was the roman high priest to the roman god Jupiter and Cassia was vinictus daughter. The time had come for Bazoc to choose his allegiance. Before the end of that day more of bazocs men had fled the Arkim stronghold to fight alongside the Azoc. The camp was filled the stench of dead bodies and the rest of the men including Bazoc were going to burn these bodies. The barbarian army were regrouping in woods ready for fresh attacks to reclaim their lands and the roman army dispatched to Octergurondo not have the strength of numbers to contend with the barbarian fighting force. clearly Arkim had fallen not to swords or spears but to fear. Bazoc took what was left of his men and rode to the mountains to find Vasivius.