The Hun and the General
Published By: Etopia Press
Published: Dec 02, 2011
ISBN # 9781936751914
Available in: Adobe Acrobat, Palm DOC/iSolo, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc), Mobipocket (.mobi), Epub
Attila is losing the will to go on. He is tired of being a tyrant but his people’s future depends on him. The arrival of Livianus renews Attila’s spirit as he prepares to march on Constantinople. Livianus has nothing to bargain with, but when the emperor’s sister delivers a proposition for Attila, a new and brighter future seems to lay directly ahead. For the people, and especially for the two men.
But the deadly hand of the emperor isn’t interested in peace, and as their plans are destroyed, only one course of action remains open to the Hun and the general.
Pannonia, 5th Century AD
Attila smashed his fists into the table, toppling his cup of mare’s milk. “They call me The Scourge of God and yet dare to question my orders?”
The warrior held his king’s gaze. “Your Highness—”
“Don’t Your Highness me, you blubbering fool. I’m sick of your groveling, Barbax. Speak frankly to me, without fear.” Attila rounded the huge table and brought himself up close to the trembling warrior. “Or shall I have you impaled and left out on the plains as a warning to others?”
Barbax shook his head. His lower lip trembled and his voice wavered. “N-no, Attila. I beg you, not that. If I am to die, let it be by your hand, with your sword.”
Attila flung his arms wide and Barbax flinched.
“How could I kill you?” Attila laughed and slapped Barbax on the shoulder. “Of all my warriors, you are the one I need at my side when we take Constantinople.”
“Yes, Attila. Of course.” Barbax shifted from one foot to the other, his eyes averted.
Barbax stared at him blankly.
“I’m waiting for the but. Come on, man, show me your guts. Tell me why we shouldn’t seize what’s left of the Roman Empire once and for all.” Attila turned to the table and saw the fallen goblet, the milk dripping off to soak into the mat on the floor. He bellowed to the far side of the room. “Girl, fetch ale.” He perched on the edge of the table and smiled. “Let us drink, my friend. See if the barley loosens your tongue more than your king’s wishes seem to.”
A slave girl scurried in, carrying a jug and two goblets, which she set on the table.
“Hurry up, woman, or I’ll tear your womb from you with my bare hands.” He grabbed the girl from behind as she bent over the table to pour the beer. He pulled her by the hips until his cock pressed against her buttocks. “Or maybe you’d like us both to give you a good fucking?” He let her go and laughed. “Away with you. We can pour our own ale.”
Attila filled one silver goblet and gave it to Barbax, then shook the dregs of milk from his wooden cup and served himself. He took a long swig and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “Well, get on with it then.”
Barbax swallowed hard. “Theodosius has made Constantinople impregnable.”
“Nothing is impregnable, except that Visigoth wife of yours.”
“The walls he’s built around the city are like nothing else on earth.”
“And nothing on earth has ever stopped us.”
“But this is different. Constantinople is weeks away.”
“We’ve marched farther.”
“But not with the machines we’ll need if we are to even break one brick. We’ll need battering rams and towers and—”
“And we’ll take them. We’ll take all we’ve got, ironworkers and carpenters too, and then we’ll take Constantinople. I’ll personally impale that snake Theodosius before I piss on his throne.” He drained his cup and slammed it onto the table. “Start the preparations. I want to leave before the rainy season.”
“But nothing! Now get out of my sight before I put you over the table and do what I should have done to that serving wench.”
Attila stroked his fine beard with his fingers and watched Barbax leave. Pillaging had served their people well, but they had need of greater wealth now. Yet despite his bravado, the warrior king hoped for an alternative to the march on Constantinople. Barbax spoke the truth. With so much to transport, they would move slowly. Word of their approach would reach Constantinople long before they did, and Emperor Theodosius would have time to prepare. What Attila needed was a miracle.