[READ PART 3]

Appius Lacer was so delighted that he couldn’t help but talk aloud to himself. In that short moment, when his granduncle suddenly sided with those two loonies, Marcus and that peasant woman, the junior architect was scared that his plan had been threatened. The plan in question was relatively simple. He would build a fortress near the village, leaving the defense of the Old Vulture at its weakest until the Romans were close enough. Then they would strike.

However, eventually this worked even better than he could have imagined! Appius was questioning whether that woman, Kora, was simply insane or whether she was another infiltrator of Rome? He had to admit that she was way better than himself at deceit if the latter was true. Somehow, she had single-handedly managed to persuade the Old Vulture to waste tons of resources for nothing! He couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the audacity of it all.

In any case, this would all end soon. Whether Kora was a Roman infiltrator or not, he would not let her live long enough to find out. He did not need anyone to share his triumph of bringing Rome the key to their victory. It should be all his. In a few days, the Roman banners would be raised on the gates of the Old Vulture’s Nest.

Appius sighed. Sad, that Marcus seemed to not support his plan. He was a good playfellow, not too smart, but loyal, and that’s why still wasted his time in those forsaken lands. I made the right decision, he routinely told himself but somehow this didn’t sound as soothing as before.

Suddenly, Appius saw something that made his heart sank forebodingly. A woman’s bird of prey – a hawk – was perched at his window, looking directly at him, attentively, with those intelligent wide eyes.

 
 
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