The Sword of Jupiter - Cover

The Sword of Jupiter

Copyright© 2021 by Lumpy

Chapter 38

It took hours to round up the survivors and a full day to remove all of the bodies in the streets. Thankfully, there had been little damage outside of the palace, since all of the fighting had been either inside the palace building itself or in the plains outside of the city.

“How bad is it?” the Emperor asked when Ky rode through the barriers now surrounding the palace complex and to the small gathering on the steps of the palace.

Faenius hadn’t taken any chances, despite the surrenders, and had his men erect wooden fortifications around the entire complex. The only armed men allowed inside were praetorians, since in the final tally about a fifth of the city guard had joined the attacking forces. Everyone, even Ky, was stopped and checked on the way inside the secure area. Ky was impressed with the efficiency of it, and it spoke well to the ability of the praetorians to protect the security of the Empire in the long run.

“Bad, although it could have been worse. We lost about a thousand men in total, mostly among the Seventh, which hit both the First and Second Legions head-on, holding them in place until the Ninth Legion and the Picts could get around. The Third and the Fifth both came in through the city and were the ones who actually lifted the siege of the palace. By the time the Seventh broke off two cohorts into the city itself, they’d already cleared the other side of the palace, although they hadn’t reached us yet, because of the collapse.”

“Yes. Although I understand why you did it, they’re telling me it won’t be repaired for months, probably not until the summer.”

“At the time it seemed like the thing to do. We were being pressed from both sides of the forum and we needed to concentrate our forces.”

“Like I said, I understand. How about the losses among the rebels?”

“That’s a lot worse. They lost about thirty-five hundred men in total, mostly to the Picts, who hit them hard from a third direction after they were already engaged on two sides. It wasn’t a complete envelopment, but it was close. They’re going through the men now and figuring out which ones can be absorbed by other legions and which ones will have to be held. By the time we get this sorted out, it’ll be spring and we’ll be up against the Carthaginians.”

“That’s almost a full legion, across both forces.”

“Yes. It’s not good. We needed those men, although Eborius had already made it clear he didn’t plan on participating in our plan, so in the end, we might actually have more soldiers in the field.”

“Speaking of Eborius?”

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