Marching through the tunnels ready for battle. Prime Pettapede reports

Marching through the tunnels

 

Chapter 17
The Cavenarian Army advance through the tunnels

Eddie and Ollie awoke bright and early. They flung away their bedclothes, hurriedly dressed and bolted down their breakfasts. They needed to get to Old Judas as fast as they could.

They marched through the black tunnels had begun. Eager to hear what the old man had to relate next they didn’t feel their feet touch the ground. They yearned for the world of the Shamoshelimyticleletite hoping that one day he would return and once again light up the once beautiful land of Cavenarea, but…with huge sadness they couldn’t foresee this happening.

The wondrous beast had injected all his mighty intellectual power into the people, giving them the strength to help protect their own land and find ways to conquer the monstrous iron duke Ebuke before all decent humanity was lost forever.

They arrived breathlessly inside Old Judas’s shack. They flung themselves down onto the grassy mound, quite forgetting to greet the old man and not giving him thought. He too, Old Judas, may have had a very disturbed night thinking about the next events.

He gave them a questioning look, but then realised he mustn’t blame them for their strong determination and slight misdemeanour. He had led and drawn them into his extraordinary tale and therefore it was his duty to fulfil the boys and carry on. Seeing their eager expression and the widening blackness in their eyes Old Judas continued.

“The Forest creatures were crowding around the entrance to the tunnels that would lead the army through to the grey land of Thorsotania. Eddie and Ollie were soon drawn into the atmosphere.

The Little People had collected tall woody plants and dead twigs. They had made torch bundles and bound them in cloth soaked in animal fat. Only one in twenty soldiers would carry an alighted one, the others to be kept as reserves to catch the fading flame of others.

One by one Sergeant Willison saw his men through the entrance. Waiting inside the black foreboding labyrinth General Gallisum and his Pettapede army were ready to lead the two hundred strong Cavenarian army.

The Sergeant commanded caution and wariness. They had to prevent any vibratory movements. Due to the twisting and turning of the craggy uneven terrain the Cavenarian soldiers were unable to march in a uniform manner. Concentration on sure footedness was the priority, helped by the dull orange glow from their torches.

General Gallisum instructed the Pettapede army to render themselves invisible and to give a long lead and Prime Pettapede to alert in good time any unforeseen circumstances. With the grinding of their teeth, they slithered and slid their supple bodies along the roughened channels of rock, eyes scouring every crevice, every cranny.

Very suddenly, they became alerted to a faint rhythmic tempo which pulsated through their lithe bodies. With extreme care they twisted and turned, steering around the jagged walls of the cavernous tunnels. With extraordinary powers of vision, they once again spotted, stretching out into the distance, the tell-tale signs of the faint green outlined helmets belonging to Ebuke’s Watch Guards.

They were undergoing their marching drills. The Pettapedes immediately stopped.
The Pettapede army about turned and launched themselves into a swift manoeuvre, propelling themselves back to report to General Gallisum. At breakneck speed they reached their General. He could hear the grinding of teeth, and once again his army became visible to him and the other troops. General Gallisum held his hand high signalling Sergeant Willison to halt his soldiers.

Prime Pettapede reported findings to their leader, and in turn General Gallisum conveyed the information to Sergeant Willison. The two leaders felt intrepidation. If they were to advance then Ebuke’s Watch Guards, being caught off guard by their shocking and surprising encroachment, would immediately retaliate with attack. This in turn would alert Ebuke’s Warriors and a disorganised mass onslaught would begin.

The two leaders needed to plan carefully their next moves. The Cavenarian soldiers must be prepared. They decided for the time being they must lie in ambush. They must think through the next stage.

The Pettapedes were ordered to render themselves invisible once again and return to survey Ebuke’s Watch Guards. Using their incredible powers of night vision, they carefully and cautiously wound their way back over their tracks.

They watched the drills of the marching soldiers. The beating sounds of feet echoed throughout the tunnels. There appeared to be two groups of marching soldiers inspecting the crevices and openings of the underground passages. The Pettapedes spotted the recognizable green haze in the distance that signified entry into Thorsotania.

Under the command of the Watch Guards Leader, the Thorsotate soldiers marched off down the tunnel branching out to the left from the main one. The Pettapedes followed in hot pursuit and were soon overcome by the dreary foreboding green hue that had enveloped them on their previous mission.

Meanwhile General Gallisum and Sergeant Willes on had ordered the Cavenarian soldiers to be at ease. They sat in the confined spaces to help preserve the diminishing oxygen, not helped by the sapping, hungry flames of their torches It was becoming muggy and airless. Following their leader’s advice, some of the torches were extinguished.

The Cavenarian soldiers were ordered to rest and use little energy whilst awaiting news. This was difficult. They were feeling very restless due to excitement and anticipation with nervousness of the unknown.

The closed in atmosphere of the tunnel added to these stifling feelings and anxiousness. They were hot and clammy under their under their tunics. They fidgeted whilst waiting for the signals to advance. Apart from the spitting and crackling of flames from the remaining torches there was an eerie silence within the tunnels. The dull orange glow added to the atmosphere bringing about unearthly unsettled feelings.

NEXT- CHAPTER 18

Ebuke announces the start date of the invasion of Cavenarea

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