Defeat Turns to Victory

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's all about revenge. When one wins, the other loses, and when the latter wins, the former loses. Find out what happens in this War story to the end.

Submitted: July 08, 2008

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Submitted: July 08, 2008

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DEFEAT TURNS TO

VICTORY

Once upon a time, there was a city known as Brocktown. In those days, a king ruled the state and his officers helped him to run it. There were different kings in different states and no definite ruler for the whole country. The people in these states were often divided against each other and fought their rival states for ages.

In Brocktown King Harold was the ruler. He was an arrogant man, treating his subjects cruelly. He became friends of the rich and gave them high positions in his state, while he scoffed at the sight of the poor, who suffered at his hands. He had money, lots of it and was one of the richest men in the country, yet he wanted more and more. He had made many enemies because of his money and rich state.

Having a powerful and strong army, Harold had defeated many other kings in the country and his state was now the strongest in the country, therefore was envied by other people in rival states. His many victories had made him rather proud and arrogant, thinking of himself as the most wonderful man that ever was. He did not care of the poor, not giving them food and water at all and allowing the rich who were friends of his to torment them.

However Harold hadn't known that lots of people in his own state didn't like him, especially the poor. They combined themselves and agreed to give him some trouble as revenge to their own sufferings made by him. But they needed some kind of leader who had a pure hate against the king and there were none among themselves that was fit to take position as leader because all of them were weak after torture by Harold and were no good leaders. So they set about finding a man who hated Harold and had leadership skills as well as being able to fight as a soldier.

As it was, they found the man very quickly indeed. His name was Raymond Paul, one of the rich men in the state. He at one time was a close friend of King Harold, a treasurer appointed by him. But Harold after sometime began to get suspicious of him, suspecting that he had stolen money from the royal treasury, a thing which he denied to have done. Harold prosecuted him and at last it was found by some detectives that some clues that connected to the robbery were found in his pocket, therefore exposing him as the robber. So Harold had fired him from his job and taken away all the money that was earned doing the job, a thing that made Paul very bitter to him. He was also banished from the state and remained away in other states, lingering away.

But, at that time, he was not quiet for long. He had aroused the fighting spirit of the state that he was in and led them to fight Harold's state and attack them for revenge as Harold had before won many battles against them. The attack was a failure, however, as Harold's army made apples out of the army of the state that Paul was in. Paul remained quiet for two years and then stealthily came back to his hometown, Brocktown. Now he was living in secret, on the alert for policemen who might report him to Harold. He now hated the king so badly that he was willing to attack and kill him himself. But he needed more people that were the problem.

The poor, seeing this, decided to be his small army. Paul agreed. He quickly summoned all the poor to a place where they would be undetected. When they had come, he said that it was necessary to make a full attack against Harold's army and overrun the place, so that Paul would become king himself. This way he would settle some old scores with his enemies. "Especially Harold," he said grimly. Some of the poor at first were reluctant and scared at the prospect of taking the king's army face-to-face but after remembering the tortures and torments they had to suffer due to Harold, they too agreed to fight.

Paul was delighted as more and more people agreed to fight for not only him, but themselves too. They longed for revenge. They too longed to settle the old scores with their enemies, the rich. Paul grimaced as he remembered how Harold had nearly won in every battle he had fought so far. He had reminded the poor of this, but they were not at all worried. "Ah, you don't do worry, Mister Paul, whatever happened in that past ain't matter for we'll beat 'em anyhow," said Ralph Gordon, a determined poor man. The others agreed with him determinedly. They were eager to win, eager to prove to Harold that pride always goes after a fall and it didn't matter that they were small in number, they could still defeat his army.

Paul had quickly decided that it would be better to notify the king at once, for they didn't want a sneak-in battle. They wanted to fight in the open, to prove that they were not sneaks but brave men, fighting the enemy in broad daylight and with proper notice. Paul decided it would be better to tell the king of the upcoming battle through a note. He agreed that he would be the one to do this job, risky as it was for him. But he didn't mind risks. He wrote in his own writing because he did not want to disguise it so that it would look as it was written by somebody else, for the king knew of Paul's writing. The note was short and to the point. Here was what he wrote:-

"HAROLD, I AM WRITING THIS TO TELL YOU TO PREPARE FOR A BIG BATTLE IN KELISBURY GROUNDS. NOTIFY YOUR ARMY OF THIS QUICKLY. AND TELL THEM TO BE PREPARED, FOR I AND MY SOLDIERS HAVE SOME OLD SCORES TO SETTLE WITH YOU. BE READY AT 10:00 AM AT THURSDAY. GOOD LUCK."

Raymond Paul (Your ex-friend)

The last sentence in the note, needless to say, was written sarcastically, for Paul had a sense of sarcasm. He wrote the note grimly, wondering what Harold would say when he would read it.

He then carefully put it in his pocket, hoping it would not get stolen. In Brocktown, there was a dreadful habit of pick pocketing and many people found their pocket to be empty at the last moment when they had stored in it something important.

But Paul didn't worry about this issue too much. He knew that he was going at night when there would be darkness and he knew that there were no pick pocketers around at that time.

So he waited for darkness to spread. It seemed to do so very slowly to Paul and he irritably and impatiently, stamped his foot. However at last night was there. Everything was dark. Paul decided it would be safe to go now.

He had with him a bottle of gas; gas that when spread, it would force a person, who would be standing at considerable distance, to sleep. It was very powerful indeed and no person could have had any protection to it. Paul needed it to force his way past the guards who had night-time duty.

His plan was to drug the guards and then keep on, keep on until he reached Harold's room in the palace. There he would leave the note just after the door, so that when Harold woke up and opened the door, his eyes would be attracted to it and he would pick it up and read it.

The plan went on perfectly. Paul, coming up against the two guards that guarded the magnificent palace, put considerable distance between him and them as possible and then sprayed the rather sweet-smelling gas. Then he waited, though he hadn't long to wait as the gas worked perfectly and in a few seconds, both the guards, in a heavy slumber, collapsed and slept immediately.

Paul snickered to himself. 'The plan is going like clockwork' he thought as he entered the palace. There were no more guards, although even if there were Paul wouldn't have been worried. He looked for any sign that showed where Harold's room was. It wasn't long when he found it, a very small and almost unintelligible sign at the bottom of the stairs.

He chuckled. 'Oh, Harold is so secretive about his bedroom that he has a sign which barely can be seen,' he thought. Looking at the directions which were written, Paul read out, "Fifth floor, and top wing." 'This is so perfect,' he thought. 'I know where his bedroom is without a pinch of trouble.'

Going to fifth floor was quite a hard task, he found. You just had to climb on tiptoe, and that was very difficult. And it was fifth floor. The stairs were long too. All these factors Paul thought of as he began climbing, but he shrugged it out of his mind.

He at last reached the fifth floor and then wondered where the top wing was. 'I wonder what it means' he thought. Then he looked up and whistled, immediately feeling ashamed of himself as he feared that someone might hear it, but anybody didn't seem to have. He had just figured a most ingenious plan. The wing was right on top of him!

Yes, you read correct; the wing was right on top of Paul as he stood looking at the extremely low ceiling that was as high as his own tall height. The door was a hole right on top of him and Paul reasoned that it must be along the floor of the wing.

Paul frowned. 'This has certainly complicated the matter' he thought as he looked up again to where the door, or more accurately hole was. He wondered where he could climb to the wing after having disposed of the hole-opener.

As he thought again, he agreed this was the best plan for the moment. He quickly and deftly reached at the end of the hole-opener and pulled it without making a single noise. After having his palms up and fit on the floor of the wing, he hoisted himself up quickly.

A look of surprise was in Paul's eyes as he looked at the top wing. There was around four windows, each made up of glass and fastened by chain. There was only one bedroom, but the door was so enormous, that Paul was quickly sure that it was King Harold's bedroom.

'Now to do the actual job' he said to himself. Pulling the note out of his pocket, he wondered where there was any letter-box that allowed notes to slip and be found on the floor.

But there was no such thing. Paul at least contented himself by remembering that Harold was a sharp and an alert man, who would hopefully see the note even if it was outside. So he just left the note exactly where he had intended for it to be and was satisfied with his job. 'Wonder what Harold thinks when he reads it and wonder what he would say to the public' said Paul maliciously to himself.

Next morning was fine. King Harold woke up early, for he liked to and because of his duties had to. He looked forward to meeting one of his friends that day and was in a happy mood. Little did he guess what surprise was in store for him when he went out of his room.

Harold was unmarried, so he had no wife to provide him morning tea. He had to make it himself, but was now used to do it. After drinking tea, he decided to go out and see what new matters were there and whether his friend had arrived or not. As soon as he went outside, his eyes saw the note, lying crumpled by Paul.

At first Harold thought it was just a bit of ordinary paper, litter which was failed to be cleaned by his servants. But his curiosity got the better of him and he picked it up. He quickly unfolded the paper and saw it clearly for the first time.

He then proceeded to read it, at first getting a shock as he saw Paul's name. Then he calmed down a bit and wondered what the best to do now was. 'It would be better to notify the army of this now,' Harold thought. Well, he would simply advertise it in a newspaper, so that the citizens would hear of it also and then proceed to fight.

So he advertised it quickly and it went off in the evening newspaper. People read it and were shocked, for they expected Paul to be dead after the brutal battle. However they were loyal to King Harold and proceeded to fight for him and defeat Paul once and for all.

The army people quickly combined up and began to think which strategy would be the best for the battle. They finally decided that it would be better to fight in the open rather than the dark. After all, they weren't afraid of their enemy, they would clear it up in no time, as they boasted. So what to be afraid? With these arrogant speeches, the army became bigger more and more as people came to join with the soldiers thinking there was not a chance that they could be defeated at Thursday by their relatively small opponents. Little did they know what surprise was in store for them at the battle-day.

On the other hand, Paul's army was preparing for Thursday as well. They were small in number, but their determination and eagerness to win overran those of their enemies. Paul gave speeches of hope and said whatever their number, they would still have the last laugh at the end of the day.

Now this would be the place to go into details of the both sides' situation.Harold's army was larger; they had more provisions and more horses, camels and archers. Their horses numbered five hundred and their camels two hundred and fifty. Their archers numbered twenty. These numbers were bigger than that of their enemies, who had one hundred and fifty horses and only thirty five camels with them. Also their archers were only eight. Also Harold's army had advantage of position; Kelisbury Grounds was nearer to their side rather than Paul's side. All these advantages Harold's army enjoyed pointed out that it would most likely win the battle. However their enemies didn't worry on such details. They may be smaller in number, they may have less horses and camels, they may have disadvantage of position but they still were determined to win and eager to prove that despite all these disadvantages, they could still defeat their enemies and they were going to do it.

At last the battle-day came. Both armies were prepared for it and in their hearts they held grim determination. Paul's army came first to the battle grounds and decided to camp on a good hill, so that they would have good view of their foes. Harold's army came little later and camped on a plain, from where they could easily see their opponents too.

The battle started in sword fights, as was the custom of the time and then became a full hot fight. Swords slashed and arrows fired, as the people in Brocktown became excited over who would win.

Right from the start Paul's army attacked Harold's with full force, who was rather surprised. This surprise made them lose a number of vital men and they had to fight without one of their leaders. However after that they regained their momentum in convincing fashion and attacked themselves against their enemies, archers throwing multiple arrows at the same time.

But if people had predicted Paul's army would have disadvantage of position, they were purely mistaken. Paul and his soldiers acted cunningly and came fighting downhill rather than uphill, so that their archers had the advantage. They really worked on this as arrows flied from both sides, usually meeting their mark.

The advantage Paul's army enjoyed was acting decisively in the battle. The army may have only eight archers, but eight were enough for them, posted in cunning positions from where they could strike many people. And so they did.

The fact that the Harold army was not fighting united also cost them. At times, they totally refused to help each other, and even killed each other by mistake while aiming for their opponents. They fought within themselves, and this allowed the enemy to come through.

Meanwhile Paul was fighting himself, for he was a soldier. On the other hand King Harold was also fighting. Little did they know what was going to meet their eyes a few moments later. They were destined to meet again.

And very soon too, for Harold caught sight of Paul fighting one of Harold's officials. He called out, "Raymond! Over here!"

Paul heard his voice and turned in the direction and saw Harold, the first time after the brutal battle. His mouth twisted evilly as he saw his long-time nemesis.

"Ah, Samuel!" he answered, for Samuel was Harold's first name, "So we meet again."

"Yes, we do so, my good ex-friend; although this time we're doing more than just meeting on a friendly basis, aren't we?”

"Ah, yes," replied Paul as he took one step towards Harold.

"Well I see Raymond, that you are still the old sneak, aren't you?" asked Harold, who was watching every inch of Paul's movement.

"No, no Harold, far from being a sneak, I and my soldiers are bold and brave, which particularly shows when I invited you to fight in the open,didn't I ?" replied Paul, still in a false pleasant tone.

"Yes you did so but your movement tells me otherwise."

"Oh really?" sneered Paul. "Cut out the talk, I'll show what I am capable of, Harold!" he barked, suddenly changing his false pleasant tone to a deadly earnest hard one. He took another step towards Harold.

Harold did not appear to be surprised by his change of tone. He took out of his pocket a shining sword and then he too took a step forward.

Paul took his sword out too and then barked, "Let's begin the fight and I'll show what I can do!”

Harold agreed and stood in a fighting stance as his foe charged towards him. Then Paul swung his sword hard and it came to within inches of Harold's face, who was not surprised. He had skillfully dodged the blow and now it was his turn to attack. He swung his mighty sword against his enemy but just in time, Paul was able to duck.

It went on, first Paul would attack and Harold would defense and then the opposite. At times both the men attacked at the same time, with their swords slashing against those of their opponent.

Back at the town, the people were excited at the prospect of who would win. However they weren't worried. They thought just in two hours, Harold's army would win the battle. But they were destined to be shocked at the result.

Meanwhile, the battle was raging on to its hottest. Swords slashed, arrows fired, punches flew. The battle was now at its wildest. People's heads flew off their bodies. The archers of Paul's army had a decisive advantage they were going to use it to the utmost. The army had almost won the battle. But Harold's army wasn’t going to give up so easily. No, they were going to give them a run for their money.

The fight between Harold and Paul was not finished yet. Harold was slightly the better fighter, but he was too arrogant. He made foolish moves, which rendered him unprotected. He thought that he was going to win it easily, so why not end it quickly? But his haste for ending the battle cost him. Paul, suddenly tired of sword slashes, withdrew his sword. As Harold moved over for the final blow and swung his sword hard, Paul acted quickly. He quickly dodged and seeing that Harold was helpless, suddenly made the move. He grabbed Harold quickly and aimed a punch at his hand which held the sword. The punch met its mark and the sword was sent flying. Before Harold could pick it up, Paul picked it up himself and then pointed both the swords at Harold, motioning him to surrender.

Harold knew the fight had ended, but he was too stubborn to surrender. He flexed his muscles, meaning to fight with his hands but Paul was not going to take it. He pretended to finish off his enemy by aiming at the head with his sword and that scared off Harold. He surrendered quietly, saying, "Hold it. I surrender."

Paul's mouth twisted in an evil smile as his face lighted up in triumph. He had defeated his enemy! He started to remind Harold of this fact, but the king cut him off sharply, "Don't forget, Paul, that the battle is still on, anything can happen, as my soldiers will easily defeat yours."

"Oh, really Harold? Remember that when your stupid army knows that you have surrendered and are captured, they are sure to freak out. Can you deny that?"

Harold couldn't. He knew his soldiers were not really brave and without a leader, they were going to freak out, as Paul had predicted.

News spread from Paul's war camp that Harold was injured, he was defeated and had surrendered! An archer from Paul's camp raised a cry, "Oh, friends! King Harold has been injured and was defeated, so he has surrendered! Oh friends! King Harold has surrendered! King Harold has been injured and now he has surrendered!"

The shout reached the ears of Harold's army. They, as predicted, were scared. They lost their momentum and hurried back. Paul's army, seeing the situation, used their advantage to the utmost. They hammered down the Harold army camp and were soon in hot pursuit of their foes.

Back where Paul and Harold were fighting, the sounds of fighting died down, as Harold's army were in retreat and Paul's were in pursuit. Paul grinned at his enemy. "There you see, the news has spread and your army is in retreat. What do you say of that, my ex-friend?”

Harold said nothing. He looked defiantly at his nemesis. "You'd never get away with this," he barked suddenly.

"In that case, I'd better get away now," said Paul, smiling. "And overthrow you as the king, of course."

"What do you mean?" asked the king in a sudden scared voice.

"Ha, I knew you would be scared. What do you think? That I will let you go like a good boy without doing anything permanent? Say that it was just revenge? No, not at all. After this battle and particularly after that news of yours surrendering will most likely have a bad public image of you.And that's where I come in, the winner of the battle, fully poised and in a better position to be a king than you. You’ll lose your throne, and get revenge to what you did to me previously and I'll get the throne and power, perhaps I may even banish you from the state as revenge to what you did to me before."

This long speech had completely frightened King Harold. He wailed suddenly, looking as if he had changed from a mid-forty aged king to a tearful boy. Crying suddenly he begged Paul, "Oh, friend, please do not do that. You just let me go, please."

"Oh, really do you think I will do that, Harold?" asked Paul, laughing. "But I will let you go quietly to a cottage, not to your wonderful palace. When the people don't see you anywhere around, they'll think you are dead or captured and that will make the whole job easier."

With these words Paul made Harold promise that he was going to a cottage in the woods that Paul had rented and not to his palace. Then Paul, handcuffing and gagging him, left him to go. Harold went, looking very sheepish and ashamed of him as he remembered crying.

Meanwhile, back at the battle, the fight had almost ended. Many of the Harold army soldiers surrendered, for they were cowards, and the numbers became more and less. Paul's army fell upon them hard. It was a day of regret for both Harold and his army.

Many of the soldiers of Harold's army, becoming tired of the battle, ran for their hometown and surrendered. Many more followed their example. Paul's army ran for the booty. Then after having got it, one of the leaders, a poor yet strong man, climbed a high rock and shouted, "We have won the battle! We have won! Rich, we have settled the old scores! We have settled the old scores! We have defeated you! Oh, we have won! We have won!"

This extreme outburst of emotion was not surprising for when one remembers the torture and many more bad things they suffered at the hands of the rich, their enemies. For them, it was finally revenge.

After the man shouted, the battle ended. The Harold army, on a very fast pace, retreated to Brocktown. The Paul army decided to end the pursuit. They had got revenge, after all, and they didn't want anything more.

Harold meanwhile, went to the cottage and kept his word. He knew that if he didn't, Paul was likely to harm him. Harold was feeling very sheepish and ashamed of himself then. He was ashamed because he realized that he wasn't really brave, how could he have surrendered so easily? That was the turning point of the battle. How could he have? And how he could he have cried? How could the brave king of Brocktown act like a silly boy?

Then he rushed to correct himself. He was not brave, he knew. Accepting it was a hard task, but he did finally manage to shout, "I am a coward, not brave at all!" And as he said the words, he felt peace in his mind. Also, he was not the king, either now, he told himself. 'Paul is now the king' he said grimly. He was slowly beginning to realize how he had tortured the poor, how he had became so proud and arrogant. How they had suffered at the hands of him! They had become his enemies, due to that. And how he had scoffed at the sight of them! How could he have been so hard?

He said to himself bitterly, "I have been a fool. A top one." As the feeling of remorse gained towards him, he felt terrible and horrible. 'What can I do now?' he asked himself. 'Oh, what can I do?'

He didn't know. Nobody knew that he was alive; nobody knew that he was free, not captured. What about his fellow soldiers? His army?

After thinking for a bit, Harold soon dismissed the idea. His army people were not really brave men as the poor were and a very bad point about them was that they were not united. So what help they could be of anyway?

Thinking hard, Harold agreed that the best thing to do would be to declare him alive and survived directly in front of the public. He decided to do it.

And so he did, but he was too late. The people had already crowned Paul the king. As no reports of Harold being alive came, they had made a hasty decision and decided to crown him for he was the winner of the battle and most importantly to the rich, he was a rich man. The fact that his forces had defeated the strongest army in the country proved he was also a good soldier and leader.

The people were surprised after seeing Harold alive and confused, but King Paul now decided to assert his authority, and said that this man should be banished from the kingdom. Harold, seeing this, gritted his teeth, as he muttered slightly, "Throwing your weight around."

Paul did not hear the sentence for it was spoken in low tones, but looked sharply at his nemesis first and then at his servants. "Throw this man out of our state," he barked suddenly.

"But why, Your Majesty? This man looks to be the former king, doesn't he ?" asked a puzzled servant, who knew Harold but he had a grudge, although light, against him but was prepared to show that he was caring.

"I don't care what he is; didn't you hear what I said? Throw him out, you idiot!" barked Paul, for the servant still stood there, looking perplexed.

After this unexpected shout, there were few moments of silence, but this was broken by Paul saying in a calmer tone, "Banish him."

This time the servant made signs of obeying. He and some others tied Harold hard. There was no need of gagging and handcuffing for Harold was already in that position due to Paul. The servants looked puzzled as they found this, but they didn't like to ask their new hot-tempered king.

After tying Harold, they then proceeded to throw him out of the state and leave him at the nearest state, at a distance from where he couldn't walking ever again and only come by horseback, which he couldn't since he had no horse after his was taken from him at the battle.

They quickly went on horseback to the neighbor state and then dumped Harold at an old shack. After warning him never to sit foot on Brocktown, a thing that made Harold righteously angry, they went away leaving him no food and water at all.

Now to get them was another problem for him. While he knew this state very well, he couldn't just come out and buy them, for this state's king and people knew him and hated him, because he had defeated them many times. So it wouldn't do to just go out without being disguised. Yes, it wouldn't do.

Harold had a pair of disguises always with him whenever he went, so the disguises were not going to be a problem. He quickly donned the disguises and disguised himself perfectly. Then he went out to buy necessary provisions.

Luckily no one suspected him, for the disguise worked perfectly. After buying the provisions, Harold returned to the shack, wondering what the best thing to do now was. ‘Nothing for a while' he thought. He wanted some peace and quiet to be able to think again and rectify his mistakes. After then only, he would be straight with himself.

However only a few hours had passed when Harold had a visitor. He had withdrawn his disguise, for the shack was out-of-place from any settlement. So he was safe and was in no danger of being recognized. The visitor however knew him, riding on horseback to the place directly. Harold decided to stay in the shack, for the newcomer might be an enemy.

But the visitor was a friend, not an enemy. He was one of Harold's servants; the only one of them who hadn't a grudge against him, for Harold had favored him for his truthfulness and honesty. Now to see his master banished from his own state was too much for the hot tempered yet calm servant.

"Your Majesty, are you there?" he came greeting, uncertain whether his beloved master was there or not. Harold instantly recognized the voice, for he knew him more than any other person in his world. He came out of the shack slowly, saying, "Oh it's you, Thomas. What are you doing here? And why did you call me 'Your Majesty’? Don't you know that I am no longer the king now? Don't you know that my enemy, Paul is now the king and deserves that title?”

"So you are here, Your Majesty. Well, now I will answer your questions. First: I am here to bring you back and if not, to persuade you to start a battle against that wicked man. Second: I will call you Your Majesty till I die, even if I am captured and persuaded not to use that title, for you always be the king and my master to poor me. Third: I know that you are not 'officially' the king now and that wicked, horrid man is, but he will never be the king to me. And the last: Let I tell you, Your Majesty, that he does not deserve that title; he has cheated it from you. That's all me can say now, if the answers are not satisfactory, then you do not hesitate to say it."

"Well, your answers are completely satisfactory, Thomas, so you needn't worry," answered Harold, smiling. "Call me Your Majesty all you like, but don't tell me that I deserve it. Rather, it's the opposite. But your first answer left me a little confused. What do you mean by it?”

"I said that I will bring you back, Your Majesty, and the meaning is that you can't stay here any longer. It's not your hometown. But Brocktown is and you're going to go there, banishment or no banishment. If you refuse, there's another option. You'll stay here, but prepare to start another battle. I'll fight with you. And while there aren't many who would like to do that, I know some, some who hate that man, for good, good reason, Your Majesty. We'll fight and defeat that man and you can be the king again, and he, that horrid man, will go to his fitting place that is prison. That's all me can explain to you."

"Well, here are my answers, Thomas. You say that you are here to bring me back to Brocktown. But I doubt that I can do that. There are many reasons for it. First: As soon as Paul sees me, he'll get mad and say, "Didn't I banish you?" like that. Then it will mean bad publicity for me. Because as soon as someone sees me, they'll be talking-....."

"But you could live in secret like he did easily," interrupted Thomas.

"Oh, yes, but I will be sighted soon," answered Harold. "Please don't interrupt me. As I was saying, I can hardly come back to Brocktown now. Now for staying here and preparing to start another battle, that is different but yet it is more difficult. For the first reason, how many will fight for me, do you know? I think you don't. And there, whatever will we do to form an army; he will always have more soldiers than us. The final and the most important reason is that I don't want to fight now; I've shown myself as a perfect loser. And another defeat would mean ridiculous remarks to me from the public and the media. Do you think you can say anything more?”

"Yes, I could, Your Majesty and here is mine reply. I know that only few people will fight for you cause of your mistakes in that past, but me doesn't worry by them numbers. Didn't you say proudly at the first battle that your army was larger and there were not a chance of them defeating us? You proved wrong. They, despite being smaller than your big army finished you off and proper, didn't they? That shows that numbers do not matter. But that determination and unity and faith in fate matters. That was what your army was lacking in at that day. If you have those things, then you will defeat the enemy very easily, despite them stupid numbers. Your Majesty, you are lacking faith and confidence in yourself. Please be confident. Please have faith in yourself. I know that you can defeat them. Don't worry on anything. Just give it your all. If you still lose, you could at least be satisfied that you tried your best. Please, Your Majesty, listen to my advice. See that it does not fall on deaf ears. Your Majesty, you are highly efficient and all that but the one thing you have to learn is to have faith and confidence in yourself! You doubt that you can win, and you'll have put that doubt out of your mind! Give it your all, Your Majesty, give it your all!”

This extremely long speech had impressed Harold. He smiled determinedly, looked at Thomas with a steady gaze and then sighed, but one short blow and it was over, then the former king put his head up and Thomas saw that in his eyes was a new look stranger to Harold, a determined, hopeful look, eager to at last put worries behind. After a long silence, he began to speak,

"All right. I'll give it my all. I'll put all my strength in that final battle. Paul may have won first round, but we'll see who wins the second. But several things remain to be done, and the most important is to rectify my several mistakes. I was scared and afraid to do them before, but now I'll do them alright. The first of the things I need to do is to apologize to the ones I tortured. And I know who they are."

"Who?”

"The poor people, of course. When I think how I tortured and tormented them, I feel horrid. I must simply make amends to them. Thomas, I'm asking a very big favor from you. Will you do it?”

"What favor, Your Majesty? Is your last question a joke? I'd do anything for you, simply anything!”

"Thank you, Thomas. It is a very big favor. And thanks again. You are the only true friend I have in this hard world."

“My pleasure, Your Majesty. I am at your service. Who can forget the kind things you did to me? Who can forget the endless kindnesses, the endless praises, and the endless appreciation, who can forget them all? I can't. Indeed it’s me who has an only true friend in you. I would never forget you in my life. Never."

"I am touched, Thomas," said Harold, tears flowing from his face as he saw that it was due to this man standing in front of him that he was feeling quite happy now. "But we need to discuss more serious things now, my friend. The time has come for me to correct my mistakes. And that is why I am asking a favor from you. Before you ask what it is, I'll tell you. You'll have to find as many as you can poor people who fought in the battle against me and were tortured. Find as many as you can. I need many because the list of the people whom I tormented is long. If you don't find all of them, it's okay. I'll apologize to them and ask them to spread my word of sorry. But it's a great and a hard task, I know. I am asking this favor from you, my friend. Will you do it?”

"Course me will, Your Majesty," said Thomas, beaming. He was always ready to do hard tasks for his master. "Thanks for giving it to me."

And so Thomas worked hard at the task that was given to him by Harold. He found it to be quite a hard and lengthy task, but he didn't shirk work. He was a hard worker and was used to tasks, and he loved to do them.

But the task was hard in a way that Thomas could not describe. The poor people, despite having their revenge, still held a grudge against Harold. They had now grown devoted to their master King Paul, and they hated everyone he hated. And that included Harold.

After a long time however, Thomas finally managed to convince some of the poor that Harold was harmless and a nice, good person. At first they had laughed when he had said that and told him of their torture and torment due to him but he said that he knew all that, he admitted that his master, Harold did make many mistakes, but now he aimed to correct them. The people were a bit dubious but at last agreed to meet him if his real purpose was just to apologize and nothing else. Thomas assured them this was the case and they finally agreed to come at night on the next day. They also agreed to invite some of their friends, ones who had been tortured, to receive the word of sorry. They said to Thomas that if their friends refused to come, then they would leave the word of sorry to them. Thomas agreed. He was delighted. His plan had been successful! Hurrah!

The poor people kept their word and persuaded some others to join them for the meeting which was going to held dark in the woods at night. However most of the poor were dubious about Harold apologizing to them and they refused to come despite of their friends pleading them. The people who were coming shrugged, and said whatever to their stubborn friends who were now leaving.

The meeting was held. Harold was at the head of the whole crowd, for a remarkable number of people had joined the others, eager to see if Harold would fulfill his promise.

Harold did. He announced the name of the person and then the person would come to him. Harold would apologize most profusely and earnestly and ask if he deserved to be forgiven. The answer was mostly yes, for the poor were kind and good people. Then Harold would ask whether the person would be friends with him or not. If the answer was yes, they would shake hands but if the answer was no, Harold would say 'your wish’. Still they would shake hands, and then the person would go away, satisfied.

And this went on until Harold had apologized to all the people and most had made friends with him, promising not to mention their old grudges again. Then one poor man shouted uncomfortably, "Oh, Harold we need to fight against our new king. He's a bad, bad man. He shouts at us. We fought with him against you but he betrayed us. He had told us that he would give money if we won that battle. When we did, he didn't keep his word, that man, and didn't us give that money. We were shocked by that, but we kept quiet.

But now, when he still doesn't mention the topic, we're angry. We want to rebel against him, for he has betrayed and cheated us like you did before, although I must say his tactics are a lot more cunning and non violent. But the fact is, we want a good leader, for there are no worthy leaders in our crowd. Until now, we'd be pretty hopeless but that's where you came. You apologized to us earnestly, and that is enough for us. How about combining and making an army, one that is small but yet powerful? Numbers don't matter. We'll be fighting again and we can extract our revenge like we did with you and you could extract yours with that man. I heard he defeated you. But don't worry. We'll see who wins second round, like you said. But this all depends on your decision. If you don't want to fight, there's no problem, you can just say so. But if you do want to fight, say it and then we'll prepare for the battle."

This rather long speech had angered Harold about Paul. He agreed that the man was a cheat. But about the battle, he wasn't so sure. Then he suddenly remembered the speech Thomas had said and his promise that he would fight. After a long moment of silence in which he was thinking then he said,

"I'll fight. Yes, I will fight. We are going to get revenge against him, aren't we?" Harold's eyes blazed.

"Yes, we are," shouted the people, cheering.

Then they quickly made the preparations and counted their numbers just for precaution as Harold said and then went back to their homes. They agreed to come on the next day having counted their horses, camels and archers. After getting the numbers, they would decide which method would b e the best to inform their enemies of the battles.

They came on the next day having counted the numbers, which I will tell you later, and then wondered which method would be the best to notify their opponents of the battle. One man suggested the same trick they used - to leave a note. But Harold disagreed. He said he wanted to try something different, something daring. After thinking for some moments, he slapped his head and said,

"Yes, I got it! Why didn't I think of it before? It's very daring and risky, but it's great. We'll just form a crowd outside the palace and shout in loud tones, so that it would reach Paul and other people's ears the news. Then we'll have a call for help and shout, "Who's joining us?" like that. This way it would be daring and the people will know I mean business. If they join, then it's good but if they don't, we'll have to fight against them, for after the battle, there must not be a single plotter left in Brocktown, so that we would live peacefully. Is it good enough, my friends?”

"Yes, I think it is good," said Peter Cane, a man of the group. "We don't care about risky things, we'll do it alright. We'll do it."

And so they did, forming a crowd and shouting hard, much to the shock of the guards and the public, who never expected Harold to set another foot in Brocktown. However when Harold's group cried for help, no one responded. It was clear that they intended to fight with Paul, not Harold.

"Now you see, Mister Harold, that how selfish these people are?" asked a man from the group, noticing the silence of Harold. "When you were rich and were the king, they pretended to be loyal and fight for you till you died. But now, when that man has these things, they side with him for their own good. They always want to side with the best. Do you see that?”

"Yes, I do, my friend," answered Harold. "Now that only leaves one option. That is to fight 'em. They deserve to go to prison. And they shall go. They will get revenge for what they did to me. They shall get it."

After doing this they returned to their hiding place in the woods, preparing for the battle five days later. It was going to happen on the same place Paul had first decided, that is Kelisbury Grounds. But now it was Harold's army who had the disadvantage because of starting from the woods. On the other hand the Paul army had the advantage because of starting from the town. But Harold didn't worry on this matter as he remembered how Paul's army had disadvantage of position yet managed to win.

I said before that I will tell you the numbers of both the armies and their respective horses and all that and now I am going to say them. The statistics had completely changed from the last battle. Then Harold's army was larger and bigger in everything, they numbered sox thousand and five hundred men while their enemies’ numbered only two thousand people. Now however, it was the opposite. Paul's army numbered an astonishing seven thousand and eight hundred men, for many people from different states had came to join the army after hearing the publicity of Paul. Also the whole town was on his side. The Paul army also had about seven hundred horses, four hundred and thirty camels and about forty five archers. This was in sharp contrast to the Harold army who had only one hundred and twenty five horses, fifty five camels and about ten archers. They also themselves numbered only three thousand and five hundred men. But they didn't worry at all about this. They had determination, confidence in themselves and to them; these were the only things that mattered.

Finally the great day came. This time around it was Harold's army who came first to camp. The Paul army came a little later and then proceeded to fight. The battle had begun!

The battle started quickly and then raged on. Both the armies fought extremely hard and equally. It was a hard day for both of the armies. The Harold army numbered less and due to this fact one soldier of them had to fight three or more soldiers of the enemy.

Despite the intense hardships they suffered, the Harold army kept on and fought their foes with great enthusiasm. The sounds of sword slashes, arrows firing and punches flying were common sounds at that day. Also the sound of horses' hoofs was common, for a great many of soldiers were on horseback. What was more astonishing was that the horses were stallions of a bloody nature and were trained to fight against other horses at the day so to make the rider fall! So even the horses were fighting among themselves. King Paul's horse was a bloody one who was used to fighting against the other horses and was doing that at the afternoon. He snorted and stamped, he neighed and jumped and all together was a very great source of noise at the day.

While they were all fighting, Harold dismounted his new horse and tried to locate his nemesis, Paul. He found him quickly indeed. This time he did not call out as he had done previously but instead walked towards him quietly amidst of all the action and noise. Then Paul too sighted him and dismounted his horse. He looked at Harold, and then motioned him to follow him to a quiet place where they could have a fight without being heard and watched. Harold obeyed Paul and followed him to the place.

As soon as they were out of earshot Paul sneered and said, "So you are back again, aren't you? And back again to make another wretched attempt to defeat me? Well, you won't do it, that's certain."

"We'll see about that." Harold looked grim and his eyes blazed as he remembered their last fight. "Right now, I mean business. Get ready, Paul." And with that words Harold took out his sword and Paul took his out too.

The great fight then began. Harold used a completely different strategy to the one he had used at the last battle. At that time, he was too arrogant, full of haste and that had cost him at the last moment. Now however he was different. Looking calm and collected, he waited for his foe to make the first move. And so Paul did. He swung his sword hard, but Harold quickly dodged. Then he swung it again. Again Harold dodged. And this went on, Paul swinging hard and Harold dodging or ducking. There wasn't any sword slashes like last time, for Harold refused to attack at all.

"You're a coward, that's what you are," sneered Paul as he swung again. "Waiting for me to make a move, not doing it yourself."

This was exactly what Harold intended to do. His strategy was to tire out Paul by dodging and ducking and then when he appeared too tired - Harold would make his move. Until then it was just a test of patience. He passed the test. Paul, tired by sword swings, appeared to be a little out of breath. Harold quickly thought it. 'Perfect chance,' he thought. He flexed his muscles hard, knowing they too would have to pass a big test with swinging the heavy, shining sword of Harold. Making one last breath, Harold put all energy in his body and then swung the sword against Paul's so that the enemy wouldn't have a chance of responding.

Believe it or not, Harold had swung his sword so hard that not only did it met its mark, the antagonist's sword, but slashed it with so much force that the other sword was sent flying hard, so hard that it hit the wall with a thud. Harold was amused and satisfied with him as he saw Paul looking electrified. For a few moments his face registered fear and its color was white and then it changed to bright red. Then blood red. He looked behind himself at the wall where the sword had fallen and looked for it but there was no sword there. The sword was in the hands of his opponent, Harold.

"Too late, Paul, it's too late," said Harold, enjoying himself at Paul's plight. 'You are captured, my old friend," he said pleasantly, although the tone was false as his action proved it, quickly handcuffing Paul, who said nothing and allowed himself to be handcuffed. "It's the exact opposite of what happened previously, isn't it?" he asked.

Paul, who had rather been silent for the last few moments, barked suddenly, "You can't do this to me!”

“Yes? But I've already done it," said Harold, smiling. "The fight has ended and you are defeated, Paul, once and for all," he announced.

Paul said nothing. He seemed to be wondering how he had lost the battle. 'Well, I'll let him wonder,' thought Harold. After all, Paul was safe now and a few hours later he was going to be dumped at an even safer and fitting place for him - prison.

After news reached Paul's army that their leader was captured and defeated, they lost their momentum. The Harold army closed in. They had really done a fantastic job that day, ignored their numbers and killed most of Paul's army's officials. At times it seemed that Harold's army numbered thirty five thousand rather than three thousand and five hundred, the way they seemed to be everywhere which was a good fighting and hiding place.

After losing their momentum, the Paul army surrendered. Harold's army ran for the booty. Then their commander shouted, "We have defeated you!" Only this could get out of him, for he was tired.

And so the battle ended, with the Paul army retreating fast to another state. Harold got back to Brocktown with his army and was crowned the king again. Paul was safely sent to the prison, the king's crown snatched from him. Harold made the poor citizens of the state and promised never to torment them again. Harold thanked Thomas earnestly, for he said that it was due to him that he was able to rectify his mistakes.

A few days later he was at the palace with Thomas and some of his new friends, the poor, reminiscing over the happenings over the last few days. "I sure learned a lot of things these last few days," he said. "About victory and defeat mostly, I think. I have learned that when defeat comes, we have to be brave and put our head up, not down I mean. Victory comes sooner or later. When we're united and not arrogant, we'll win. Unity is strength."

"Unity is strength," repeated Thomas. "Yes, that's right. That's perfectly right. Everything that's happened in the last few days was good. You correcting your mistakes, Your Majesty, and learning a few things. That man is also safe now in prison. It's a fitting end to this story, wonderful."

And so ends the story. Harold, once a cruel man, now lived happily ever after, treating his subjects kindly. And Paul was safely behind bars. Everyone lived happily ever after.


© Copyright 2017 Jack12. All rights reserved.

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