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  1. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    “Why was it allowed to lie here?” “No one could open the door,” answered the albino. “It was not locked,” said Rek. “Not to you.” “What does that mean?” “The meaning is clear: You and no other were meant to open the door.” “I can’t believe that.” “Shall I fetch you the...
  2. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Serbitar was waiting at the bottom of the stairs as Rek slowly descended to the main hall. The albino wore full armour and a helm topped with white horsehair. The visor was down, shielding his eyes. He looked, Rek thought, like a silver statue. Only his hands were bare, and they were white as...
  3. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Rek stood at the balcony window, gripping the rail, tears streaming from his eyes and uncontrollable sobs bursting through gritted teeth. Behind him lay Virae, still, cold, and at peace. Her face was white, her breast red from the arrow wound that had pierced a lung. The blood had stopped...
  4. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    The Nadir captain Ogasi urged his men on, baying the war chant of Ulric’s Wolfshead tribe and smashing his ax into the face of a tall defender. The man’s hands scrabbled at the wound as he fell back. The hideous battle song carried them forward, cleaving the ranks and gaining them a foothold on...
  5. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Rek put his arm about her shoulders, leaned forward, and kissed her cheek. “I love you,” he whispered. She smiled and leaned into him, saying nothing. “I simply can’t say it,” said Virae, her large eyes turned full upon him. “That’s all right. Do you feel it?” “You know that I do...
  6. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Moments after Rek had left, Vintar entered. He, too, had forsaken armour for a simple tunic of white wool, hooded and thick. “That was painful for you, Serbitar. You should have allowed me to come,” he said, patting the younger man’s shoulder. “I could not tell him the truth.” “But you...
  7. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    25 Rek sat and watched the stars shining high above the keep tower and the passage of an occasional cloud, black against the moonlit sky. The clouds were like cliffs in the sky, jagged and threatening, inexorable and sentient. Rek pulled his gaze from the window and rubbed his eyes. He had...
  8. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    The artery writhed under Virae’s fingers like a snake, spewing blood into the cavity of the stomach. “Tighter!” ordered Calvar Syn, his own hands deep in the wound, pushing aside blue slimy entrails as he sought frantically to stem the bleeding within. It was useless; he knew it was useless...
  9. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Altogether 650 men chose to leave. Two thousand forty remained. Added to these were Bowman, Caessa, and fifty archers. The other outlaws, having fulfilled their promise, returned to Skultik. “Too damned few now,” muttered Druss as the meeting ended. “I never liked crowds, anyway,” said...
  10. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Less than an hour later the earl’s message was being read to all sections. Bregan brought the news to Gilad as he ate in the shade offered by the field hospital under the towering cliff face of West Kania. “We can go home,” said Bregan, his face flushed. “We can be there by harvest...
  11. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    In the keep Druss raged at Rek, swearing to kill any deserter he recognized. “It’s too late for that,” said Rek. “Damn you, boy!” muttered Druss. “We have fewer than three thousand men. How long do you think we will hold if we allow desertions?” “How long if we don’t?” snapped Rek. “We...
  12. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    In a little house near the Street of Millers, Maerie tried to comfort the small child sobbing in her arms. The noise in the street outside frightened her as families loaded their possessions onto carts and wagons tethered with oxen or milk cows. It was pandemonium. Maerie cuddled the child...
  13. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    On the high day of summer—ten weeks after the battle began—Musif fell and chaos reigned. The Nadir breached the wall at the centre, driving a wedge into the killing ground beyond. The men, threatened with encirclement, fell back and raced for the fire gullies. Running skirmishes began as...
  14. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    24 Day by day more people left the siege city, piling their possessions onto carts, wagons, or the backs of mules and forming convoys that snaked their way inland toward the relative security of the Skoda mountains and the capital beyond. With each departure fresh problems faced the...
  15. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    And Serbitar had returned to the fortress and felt ashamed. But the shame he had felt earlier was as nothing compared with the feeling he now experienced. Was it but an hour since that he had walked the ramparts with Vintar, and complained of many things, and confessed to many sins? “You...
  16. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    “You must return.” “I cannot. I have seen.” “As have I.” “Then you know that I would rather die than see it again.” “But you must, for it is your destiny.” “Then I refuse my destiny.” “And your friends? Do you refuse them also?” “I cannot watch you die again, Vintar.” “Why...
  17. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    The spirit of the older Serbitar tastes again the total joy that flooded the youth that day as, arm in arm with Vintar the soul, he walked across the courtyard until at last, in a brightly lit corner, they came to a tiny rose cutting nestling by a high stone wall. “This is your rose...
  18. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Back he travelled, back and farther back. Thirteen long, wearisome, joy-filled years flowed past him, and he saw again the caravan that had brought him to the Abbot of Swords. Riding at the head of ten warriors was the giant red-bearded Drada, the young Earl of Segril—battle-hardened, volatile...
  19. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    The room was Spartanly furnished: a rug, a pillow, and a chair, all bunched beneath the small window by which the albino stood naked and alone. Moonlight bathed his pale skin, and the night breeze ruffled his hair. His shoulders were bowed, his eyes closed. Weariness was upon him like no other...
  20. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    “Twin accidents—you know it well!” said Rek. “Why must you torture yourself?” “Why? Because I wonder at accidents in life. I wonder how many are caused by our own secret desires. There was a foot racer once, the finest I ever saw. He was preparing for the great games, to run for the first...
  21. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    For over an hour Bowman stood on the ramparts, staring out over the valley, listening to the faint songs of the Nadir women drifting out from the far camp below. “You are troubled?” said a voice. Bowman swung around to face Rek. The young earl was dressed in the clothes in which he had...
  22. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Hogun and Bowman had taken to walking together on the battlements at night, the grim legion general and the bright witty outlaw. Hogun found that in Bowman’s company he could forget the loss of Elicas; he could even laugh again. For his part, Bowman felt a kinship with the gan, for he, too, had...
  23. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    23 Bloody day followed bloody day, an endless succession of hacking, slaying, and dying, skirmishes carrying groups of Nadir warriors out onto the killing ground before Musif and threatening to trap the Drenai army on the walls. But always they were beaten back and the line held. Slowly, as...
  24. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Hand over hand, he lowered himself to the Eldibar ground below and strolled toward the diner. “I am a stranger in your camp,” he said. The man looked up. His face was broad and clean-cut, the jaw firm. The eyes were violet and slanted beneath dark brows; they were eyes of power...
  25. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    The morning drifted by, and the Dros shone in the warm sunlight. One of the soldiers produced a flute and began to play a lilting springtime melody that echoed down the valley, a song of joy in a time of death. At midday Rek and Druss were summoned to the ramparts. The Nadir had fallen back...
  26. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    The brush blazed for over an hour, and the four thousand warriors manning Musif stood down. Some lay in groups on the grass; others wandered to the three mess halls for a second breakfast. Many sat in the shade of the rampart towers. Druss strolled among the men, swapping jests here and...
  27. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Bowman and a thousand archers stood on the ramparts of Eldibar, watching the Nadir mass for the charge. Arrows were loosely notched to the string, and hats were tilted at a jaunty angle to keep the right eye in shadow against the rising sun. The horde screamed its hatred and surged forward...
  28. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Back at the keep Rek lay staring at the ornate ceiling. The bed was comfortable, and Virae’s naked form nestled into him, her head resting on his shoulder. The meeting had finished two hours since, and he could not sleep. His mind was alive with plans, counterplans, and all the myriad problems...
  29. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    Throughout the long night the silent retreat continued. Wounded men were carried on stretchers, medical supplies loaded on to handcarts, and personal belongings packed hastily into kit bags. The more seriously injured had long since been removed to the Musif field hospital, and Eldibar barracks...
  30. Marcus Antonius

    Legend by David Gemmell

    “Tests! All we keep hearing about is that the real test will come tomorrow. How many damn tests are there?” stormed Elicas. Rek raised a hand as the young warrior interrupted Serbitar. “Calm down!” he said. “Let him finish. We have only a few moments before the city elders arrive.” Elicas...
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