The Legatus

Describes Violence do not read if literary depictions of simple violence offends.

A young Minotaur, a Senator and patron of the arts of war, Legatus Torlaus stood with the acute air of military superiority common to his kind. The deep southern winter chilled others to the bone, but the young bull was dressed in no more than stiff starched trousers and a grin. His captors, a shorter Zoanthrope man and an older canine scowled at the defiant bull. Even the clink of the shackles didn’t seem to dampen the spirit of the military commander.

“One would wonder,” started the bull, “why you would go through this trouble Barka.”

The Zoanthrope laughed “Trouble? You? You are no trouble my young friend.” Barka the Zoanthrope rubbed a scar on his face a long ugly gash. “Nah, after what you did to me? I’m going to mount those pretty carved horns over my mantle.”

“Oh! Is that a threat I hear?” Torlaus laughed

Barka growled and relaxed against a tree. “I see you think it’s funny!” The rasp of metal filled the morning air, a nasty gleam flashed from a ragged evil-looking blade in Barka’s hand. “I’d see how well you take to having your horns snapped off while your still alive. Then my good Legatus I’m going to take those wicked horns and gouge your face open with them. Just like you did to me.”

Torlaus shifted his weight from one hoof to the other in impatience. “I find it funny you threaten me but you’re not doing anything. What happen Barka? When they sowed you back up did they forget to put your balls back in?” The Legatus chuckled at the half human’s sudden change in color. “You bastard! I will open you up from mouth to balls and string your innards up in a tree for your army to see!” The Zoanthrope charged at the bull, but the older canine grabbed the Zoanthrope. “Let me go Tin! I will gut this slimy bastard!”

“Barka, ya seem to be a bit rash with a hair-trigger. Ya  playing directly into his hands. Did ya forget so easily, with those horns he’s still dangerous.” Tin, the canine restrained his colleague.

“It would be wise to listen to the dog Barka.” Torlaus grinned.

“You think you and your kind are so grand! The soil you walk on is holy! You! You and your kind are abominations! Aberrations of the blood of the creator!” The Zoanthrope yelled in impotent rage as the canine held him back the spittle flying from his mouth, he continued to struggle against the old dog’s grip. “You doomed our kind! You doomed all of us to die on this forsaken place! This unholy and ugly planet!” The struggling man finally managed to break loose. He recklessly charged the shackled bull with his blade, the canine looked on with detached interest. The mans face contorted with rage as he quickly closed the gap.

A sickening thud could be heard in the clearing, a ragged wheezing gasp. Torlaus just at the last moment had lowered his head and braced himself against the ground, the Zoanthrope jerked a few times, a long wicked horn protruded from the his back. Shaking gently the bull dislodged the Zoanthrope and flung him to the ground the ragged wound penetrating just under his rib cage. The canine spit on the corpse without any ceremony.

“Foolish twit.” Tin looked up from the body of Barka. “Hmmph it seems the only reason to keep ya is gone. I ain’t heard about any reward for ya.” The canine walked around behind the bull and undid the shackles. The bull rubbed his wrist to reestablish blood flow.

“You aren’t half as stupid as the half-human.” The Legatus shook his hands a few times and stretched. The bloody horn dripped on his forehead. “I assume the buffon had a horse?”

“Yeah he had a horse, don’t see why I should give it to ya.” Tin grinned.

“Hmmm, get my things and I can pay you for it how about that?” Torlaus sat on the grass away from the corpse.

“Seems fair enough.” Tin disappeared for a few moments coming back with the big heavy field pack the Legate carried around.  Torlaus dug around in the pack for a few moments and pulled out a few gold Sun coins. Counting out seventy Suns he handed them to the canine. “Good enough. Nice doing business with ya Legate.” The canine ran off and fled on his own horse a few minutes later going past Torlaus to reach the Brabur Pass road.