Ibelin sat back and picked up his reins to signal to Centurion it was time to halt. Those Saracens who had been slow to disengage were now being slaughtered systematically by the better-armored Christian knights. Ibelin felt no pressing need to take part in that. They had secured the springs, and that was all that mattered.
The Constable trotted up beside him. “Well met, Ibelin,” he remarked with a weary smile, his eyes in the shade of his helmet and its nosepiece.
“We were bored,” Balian quipped back.
“Well, thank God for that!” The Constable dropped his chin, and with his right hand raised the front of his surcoat to wipe the sweat off the lower part of his face.
Ramla trotted over, grinning under the nosepiece of his helmet. “Well, that was pretty easy. Let’s hope it was a prologue of things to come.”
“No. Let’s hope not,” Aimery answered grimly, taking the brothers by surprise. They stared at him, puzzled; they had almost no casualties to hundreds of Saracen dead and wounded all across the floor of the valley—and control of the vital springs.
“My ass of a brother didn’t have a clue about how important these springs were! If I hadn’t happened to be with him when the Turcopoles reported what was happening, and if I hadn’t happened to have a hundred men already mounted, we might have lost the springs. You notice he didn’t reinforce me!”
Ramla and Ibelin exchanged a look of foreboding mixed with déjà vu; this news only confirmed their low opinion of the younger Lusignan.
Aimery’s near brush with death made his tongue loose. “Guy’s in love with the trappings of command, not the substance. He doesn’t have an ounce of competence! He panics under pressure and he dithers. He’s a bedroom hero and nothing more!”
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