Chapter 46: Mountain Warfare
On the second day of the march, Davos rode on his horse feeling content, and his mind was filled with the pleasure he had with Cheiristoya last night. Cheiristoya is not only beautiful, but her body is also sexy as her appearance, her snow-white smooth skin and undulating mountains made him fond of it, and her extremely flexible body allowed him to indulge in it, and tried to vent the desire of this young and strong body that was accumulated for 19 years. She stayed till late at night, and if not for Olivos covering it up for him outside, then I’m afraid that a morning person would’ve expose his good deed. Therefore, he let go of Olivos’ “crime” of eavesdropping.
After the passion, Cheiristoya rested on his arms and coyly expressed her willingness to be with him. Davos felt that the barrier between him and the world seemed to be much smaller, with this concern, it made him think about the path to take in the future. Davos, who is an adult and came from modern society, knew that passion cannot last. Cheiristoya was born in a noble family, and she was a concubine of Cyrus the Younger and enjoyed a luxurious life. However, he is just a mercenary, an ordinary commoner in Greek society, he isn’t even a citizen and have no fixed home and just wandering around. It is okay in a short time, but he isn’t sure that Cheiristoya won’t be tired of it after a long time… of course, this idea was buried in his heart, and it is currently not the time to think about it, because the main problem at present was to return to Greece safely and alive.
The emergence of the Persians ruined his good mood.
This time, Tissaphernes changed his strategy, no longer attacking, but to harass. The Persians followed the mercenaries and kept a safe distance, from time to time, a team of mounted archer get closer and shot a round of arrows and immediately withdraw. The damage to the mercenaries isn’t great, but it made their nerves always in a tense state, which affected their marching speed and morale.
In this regard, the leaders have no choice and the only thing they can do is to mix the slingers, archers and hoplites, so that when faced with the fast-moving Persian mounted archers, they can force them to not be too aggressive.
At the same time, the Greek mercenaries encountered other difficulties. As the distance to the Corduene mountains became nearer and nearer, the plains gradually became hills and the terrain became rugged. The huge square formation of the Greek mercenary can’t be kept intact, specially when crossing the rivers and trekking the narrow mountain paths, the whole formation fell apart. The Persian cavalry took advantage of the situation and used their archery to cause more confusion to the mercenaries.
After the leaders discussed about it, they had to take the small mercenary troops that had joined Cheirisophus at the vanguard(because so far, most of the attacks of the Persians came from the rear and flanks), and have formed 4~5 units, each with about 200 people and are placed inside of the flanks and rearguard camps. As soon as there is a big crack in the formation, or the formation is compressed due to the narrow terrain, they will rush out to form a new rearguard force to block the charge of the Persian cavalry and provide protection for the archers and slingers who will arrived afterwards.
In this way, the mercenaries had tried their best to deal with the harassment of the Persian cavalry while marching, this situation lasted for 4~5 days. The whole mercenary troops were relieved when the current area became a continuous mountain ridge, because they all know that it is impossible for the cavalry to go up the mountain.
They pantingly trekked the rugged mountain path, over the first mountain, to the foot of the second mountain, the troops then stopped to rest due to fatigue.
Most of the soldiers took off their armor, wiped their sweat, and sat down to rest. In addition to resting, the guards of the supply camp also need to check the injuries and damages to the animals and wagons. The whole troops gathered in a narrow area between the 2 mountains, ready to have a rest and resume the march, once their strength is restored.
Suddenly, there came an attack, countless arrows and stones swoosh, and the mercenaries were caught unprepared, the soldiers and women screamed, the animals run wild and the whole mercenary troops became a mess.
The first to react was Cheirisophus and his 800 spartan warriors, because these Spartans didn’t discard their weapons and armors like the other soldiers after they came down the mountain, and they still have plenty of strength due to their strict daily training. When Cheirisophus found that the attack came from the second mountain, he immediately and decisively gave an order, “Sparta, ADVANCE!”
The Spartan warriors immediately followed him and rushed to the top of the mountain with their shields.
The Persian light infantry can shoot very fast, with a series of arrows slanting down the mountain.
After the initial chaos, the mercenaries also reacted quickly. After all, they were all veteran soldiers who had been through war, they quickly grabbed their round shield that are beside them and hid themselves under it. Only the personnel of the supply camp, except the guards, are mostly slaves and women that have been plundered, have no combat experience. Driven by fear, most of them did not escape, but screamed and ran, so a lot of them got injured in the dense rain of arrows.
At this time, Davos was very anxious. These days, he didn’t go see Cheiristoya in order to take into account the impact in the camp. Now, the situation is urgent, and he doesn’t know whether she is safe or not.
“Asis, tell the officers to form a shield wall and move closer to the supply camp and the medical camp!” He shouted.
In fact, even without his order, Philesius, Kapus, and Antonios had led their troops to lift the round shield on their heads and form a shield formation to move towards the center.
Olivos and Matonis rushed forward with their shields to protect Davos.
Davos yelled, “Marigi! Marigi, are you okay?!”
“I’m fine!” Shouted Marigi behind him.
“Fast, protect him, don’t let him get hurt!” Davos gave his order.
Although Matonis looked down on the Persian, he still carried out Davos’ order meticulously.
Currently, he was the acting captain of the guard team, under his order, Giorgris and several people came to protect Marigi.
Marigi stared at Davos’ back, without saying a word, his gaze was filled with gratitude.
Davos had no time to see the situation of Marigi. He was half kneeling trying to look at the direction of the supply camp from under his shield, as he looked around the chaotic scene.
He hurried to the center anxiously, and he was slightly relieved after he saw that there is also a shield formation arranged in the medical camp. In order to avoid suspicion, he first shouted, “Herpus! Herpus!”
“I am here!” The voice of Herpus came from the shield formation, “We are all fine!”
Hearing this, Davos became at ease. At this time, Hielos came over and briefed him on the situation; the reason why the doctors and the female slaves in the medical camp were safe was related to Cheiristoya. When the first wave of arrows rained, she immediately called them to hide under the wagon, Hielos then directed more than 100 wounded soldiers to form a shield formation to protect the safety of most people.
Davos highly praised Hielos and Cheiristoya’s quick and calm response in the face of danger, and made him have better understanding of this woman. This was perhaps the reason why she was the only concubine of Cyrus the Younger that have manage to escape the plundering of the Persians.
The supply camp have it much worse, Mersis was not injured under the protection of the guards, but there were many slaves and women that got hit by arrows, and several animals died. In the face of Mersis’ weeping, Davos, who was used to life and death, did not send people to protect the non-combatants that had already scattered. Fortunately, the attack of the Persians did not last long, because the troops led by Cheirisophus were about to rush to the top of the mountain.
Of course, the Persians would not insist on fighting the mercenaries, and they quickly retreated.
Cheirisophus left the Spartan warrior at the top of the mountain as a precaution.
After going down the mountain, Cheirisophus called the leaders together to discuss the countermeasures, and said, “The Persians are light infantry, so we can’t catch up with them, although they retreated, they will probably continue to attacks us with arrows in the third and fourth mountain. Our troops is too large to evade.”
In fact, he had already figured out a countermeasure on his way back from the mountain, “I have just carefully surveyed at the top of the mountain, these mountains are not high and doesn’t occupy much land. We can send a unit to first go around the right side of the next mountain to the back, then I will lead my soldiers at the front. If the Persians want to occupy a higher place and continue attacking us, then we will cut off the enemy’s route of retreat.”
Cheirisophus poked at the sketched on the ground with a branch, “Afterwards, we will surround and wiped them.”