The Golden Peony
Book 2 in a series of 4 - Agymah and his comrades begin the long return to their home in Egypt. North across seas of bronze to the land of the Q’in and the court of the Khan. Still must Agymah face the evil of Dong Yun, the icy wastes of the Tien Shan, the blazing eye of the Golden Peony, and the seas of Sand and Blood. All must be vanquished if he is to return safely to his homeland. More
Book 2 in a series of 4 - The Long Journey of Agymah Chahine continues. Agymah and his comrades begin their long return to their homeland of Egypt. North across seas of bronze to the land of the Q’in and on to the court of the Khan. They travel endless seas of grass and flowers and see many wonders - the great wall in the clouds, where battlements spun with mist curl across distant peaks unto the far horizon; the mighty city of Chongqinq, its heart thundering with the roar of a great host of voices; the Mongol, his horn bellowing, his arrow darkening the skies, his sword sharp and swift; and the mighty Yellow River, its swirling waters dark and filled with malice. There is much yet to tell of Agymah’s story, and much hardship and danger still must he face - the evil intent of Dong Yun, the icy wastes of the Tien Shan and the beasts beneath; and the seas of Sand and Blood. All must be vanquished if he is to return safely to his homeland.
“Far to our left we saw a wave of horsemen stream over the top of the hill, banners red and gold in the light of the evening sun. It was the Golden Peony and her band, their horns sounding as they raced to join the caravan. But the thunder of hooves that came behind was greater than that of the Golden Peony and her warriors, and we watched as the top of the hill filled with horses and men, clothed in furs, long spears held aloft, tipped with ribbons streaming in the wind. I felt a stab of fear at my throat for I knew, as did every man of our caravan, that I looked upon a Mongol horde, greater than two score, mayhap even three score, the peak of the hill a churning mass of horses and men and waving lances. Even from a great distance we heard Mongol horns, not sweet as is the bell of the horns of the Q’in, but as if the bellow of a mighty oxen. A finger of ice caressed my body.”
“All but five score of warriors now rode against the Mongol on two fronts, short bows to hand, sharp arrows showering upon the furred horsemen of the west. But the Mongol also loosed many arrows. I saw Q’in warriors fall, struck in the eye or at the throat, or falling as their horses fell, with arrows striking at their legs and shoulders. But many Mongol also fell, sharp arrows piercing tunics of fur and leather and striking horses in throat and body. The air was filled with the thunder of the hooves of many horses and the screams of the Mongols, the screams of wounded horses, the shouts of Bo Mingyu and Dong Yun and those of the Q’in warriors and the roaring of the horns. I heard also the screams of my comrades and that of my own throat, though, truth be known, I screamed in fear.”
“I leapt forward and struck my sword against that of the pale fox, seeking that I might halt his attack, such that I might then turn and throw myself against he of the long body. But the pale fox struck with a greater speed than I, his blade crashing upon my right arm in a cold blaze of pain, and my sword was thrown unto the mud beneath. The Mongol of the long body leapt forward, and I knew in that moment, even as I sought again for my sword, that the Gods now called upon me. Above me the Mongol rose, sword high…”