Forbidden Love :
A Story Of The Goddess Lofn
" Move Against Their Flank ! "
" The enemy of my enemy is my friend ! " he heard over and a over again.
" What will we do father ! ? " Heinrekr asked his father in a tone that revealed his feelings of helplessness.
King Harjulf patted his son on the shoulder and pointed to the northeast.
" We are almost upon the Swedes. I will take the better part of our army and attack them from the south. I want you to take your division and hit them from behind as they try to regroup. Hit them hard, and continue to move against their flank until they either retreat or surrender ! " he told his son.
Heinrekr nodded that he understood.
" Then I will get with Trosti, and move out at once ! " he assured his father.
King Harkulf reached out and grabbed his son by the arm, pulling him close, and nearly knocking him off of his horse.
" No ! Trosti will lead a division of our army to bolster the Jamtalanders. If King Vifinnr cannot hold the Swedes in his front then all will be lost. " he explained to his son.
Heinrekr could not hide his surprise.
" I will lead the division on my own ? " he asked.
Harjulf smiled and patted his son on the back.
" One day you will be the king of Herjardalr, and possibly more. It is time that I trust you to be my equal. " he told his son, before pushing him away as a sign to leave and prepare his division to move out.
King Vifinnr's heart sank when he spotted another small army marching up from the south, apparently to join up with the Swedes and attack him from the rear. If the enemy had gotten in his rear then this brief pause in their running battle with the Swedes would soon be at an end, and all might be lost. Not long after, however, a rider came galloping up to inform the King of Jamtaland that Trosti would soon be on the battlefield with a division of the Herjardalr army to assist him in holding back the Swedes. The messenger also explained that the commander of the Herjardalr division respectfully wished to know which position on the battlefield would be most beneficial to the Jamtaland king. King Vifinnr breathed a sigh of relief as he responded.
" On our right ! That is where we are weakest ! " he instructed the courier, who reined his horse around to return to Trosti immediately after receiving the king's request.
After the rider left, King Vifinnr turned to his son Almsteinn and drew a line on the ground in the loose soil with his boot.
" We will not retreat past this line ! Set up our defenses one hundred yards beyond this point. If we remain to the north of this line we will be victorious,...., and if not we will be defeated ! " he told his son.
Almsteinn looked up at his father and nodded to him with a huge grin upon his face.
" Glory or death father ! " he shouted as he drew his sword and pointed it to the heavens.
Vifinnr tried to share his son's enthusiasm, but it was clear to Almsteinn that his father was greatly troubled by the enormous weight of his responsibilities as king.
" Also, bring your sister, and her division of shield maidens, back into our main lines before they are wiped out by forward elements of the Swede army. They will no longer be needed to scout out the enemy's position. Soon they will come to us. " he commanded.
Almsteinn nodded again.
" Yes, father ! " he responded faithfully.
As Harjulf came upon the left of the Swede formation, commanded by Edmund Ringsson, he could not believe what his eyes were seeing ! The entire Swede division appeared to be stalled in place by a counterattack by a small force of shield maidens, who were lobbing volley after volley of arrows at the Swedes. These mighty eastern warriors were forced to hunker down in place with their shields over their heads to protect themselves. As Harjulf looked more closely at the shield maiden line he laughed with sheer delight when he saw who was at the front of these women warriors leading them.
" By Odin's beard ! I am beginning to like that little bitch that my son wants to marry ! " he whispered to himself.
With a wide grin, that stretched all the way across his face, the King of the Herjardalr drew his sword and pointed to the space between the shield maidens and the cowering Swedes and shouted.
" Let us relieve these shield maidens of their burden and drive a wedge into the Swede army ! "
With a deafening roar the Herjardalr warriors ran forward screaming at the tops of their lungs like madmen. Moments later they fell upon the Swedes like locusts descending upon a field of wheat. And like locusts feasting upon a food source they decimated a large swath of the enemy's front ranks as they went. It was not long before the Swedes broke and began to run back to their main army.
When victory seemed certain King Harjulf broke away from his warriors and rode with a small contingent of his personal guards over to the shield maiden line. As he reined his horse up in front of Myrgjol he reached down with one of his massive hands and grabbed hold of Viffinr's daughter. With a mere flick of his wrist he lifted her up, and swung her behind him onto his saddle. Then, before the startled shield maidens could loose an arrow at him, he pointed to the rear.
" Return to your lines ! The Herjardalr army is now on the field, and we will continue the fight that you have so valiantly started ! " he shouted to them.
The king then turned to one of his guards.
" Almod ! Take several warriors and bring Myrgjol back to our baggage train. If anything happens to her I will personally kill you ! " he told the warrior in no uncertain terms.
Almod reined his horse up to King Harjulf's mount and transferred the stunned shield maiden onto his saddle.
" Yes, my lord ! " he stated before he kicked his horse into a fast gallop towards the rear. He was quickly followed obediently by two more of the king's guards.
As the shield maiden's slowly, and somewhat reluctantly, retreated back to their own line, now bolstered by Trosti's division, there came a loud roar from the rear of the Swede battle formation.
Harjulf knew exactly what was transpiring behind the Swede line, but King Vifinnr once again wondered if the Swede army was being reinforced by another division. When the King of Jamtaland saw the Swedes forming a defensive line in his front, however, he assumed that someone was attacking King Ring from the rear. With a feeling of great joy that he had not felt for weeks King Vifinnr punched his fist into the air and shouted.
" King Harjulf has arrived ! And we may yet win the day ! "
King Vifinnr's exhilaration and relief was quickly tempered, however, when moments later the shield maidens returned and informed him that King Harjulf had taken Myrgjol to the rear of the Herjardalr army. Vifinnr hung his head low, as he slowly shook it from side to side.
" The war against the Swedes may soon be over, but it seems that King Harjulf wishes to continue our conflict ! " he admitted dejectedly.
- End Chapter 16
- Next : Chapter 17 : " For The Greater Good ! "
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.