The Battle

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The two armies had been encamped across an empty field for weeks, warily eying each other. Their forces were equal in number and in skill, and neither wished to attack the other. Each army was led by their respective kings, men who had conquered many nations and were widely seen as equals. Each day, the soldiers would wake and stare across the field, as would the kings. The soldiers thought of war, of capturing the enemy, of the excitement of battle. The kings thought of empire, of new territory, but most of all, of capturing his great adversary and establishing himself as ruler of this land.
After a long period in which no army dared move, the white-clad army took the initiative and began its assault. The opposing army, themselves wearing frightening black uniforms, hastily set up a defensive position. They arrayed themselves in an arrowhead formation in front of their king, and their elite knights began to charge up the sides of the battlefield. The white army’s first attack had been foiled, and they fell back to regroup. One of the black corps of knights, taking advantage of the general confusion, came within striking distance of the king of the white army. As the king moved away from the knights, and others rushed to his aid, the knights suddenly changed direction and took over one of the archery towers that the white army had built for defense.
White counterattacked, throwing great numbers of soldiers at black’s defensive formation with no regards for losses. Indeed, many soldiers were lost, but the attack accomplished its objective, opening up a hole in front of the enemy king. The battle raged on through the day as both sides tried to fill the hole.
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Later that day, in the camp of the black army’s forces, an assistant was delivering more news of the battle to the king. The news looked good—black had the enemy forces on the run, with a large number of them having been taken out, and the hole plugged. All that seemed to remain was a mopping-up effort.
“Sire, our army has performed splendidly today. When our knights took their tower, it threw them into even more disarray than before. Our knights deserve commendation for having made such a brilliant move, but so do our armies, which faithfully charged forward to reinforce the knights. Because of this move, the white army was forced to move some of his knights away from the center and toward our knights. But our knights held them off, and they were left with too few forces to take advantage of the hole they made in our central defenses. After repulsing them, we were able to capture a large number of their forces that they had left in an indefensible position. We now are in pursuit of their king, defended only by one corps of knights.”
“Excellent, quite, quite excellent!” exclaimed the king. “We have taken their other corps of knights?”
“Check.” The assistant pulled out a list of battle objectives that had been written, and marked off “eliminate elite fighters”.
“We have taken BOTH of their defensive towers?”
“Check.”
“We have taken at least half of his regular infantry, and retain numerical superiority in this respect?”
“Check”.
“We have captured their religious advisers—what were they called again?”
“Bishops, sir. Just like ours.”
“Right, right, Bishops. We have captured their Bishops and forced them to declare their religion is a false one?”
“Check”.
“Have we taken the white army’s queen?”
“Check”.
“Then lastly, have we captured my adversary, the king of the white army?”
Checkmate.





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