For Part III, click here.
As Patrick, Tassac and his company of priests and deacons began to descend the hill, the group of warriors who had fought against the serpent were walking up and returning to their village.
The leader of the troop stopped Patrick, “Where are you going, miracle-worker? The sun is nearly set and lately we have heard many fowl beasts in the valley below.”
Patrick replied, “I have no doubt that there are many horrible creatures, but we must be on our way to discover where the Magician has led his pet serpent.”
“I thought you were fleeing a little while ago? What makes you certain that you can conquer the beast now?”
“Previously I had relied too much on my own strength. Now I know how weak I am and insignificant in the sight of God. He is my shield, my sword, my deliverer. He will protect us if we put on his armor and recognize our nothingness. It is in our weakness that he is strong.”
“I do not understand what you say. A warrior is measured by his strength not weakness!”
“Indeed, according to nature that is the case. This is not natural, but super-natural. Now we must be going before the light of day is entirely spent.”
“Wait. We will go with you. I may not understand your ways, but I trust your judgement. Lead the way, miracle-worker!”
The group of warriors joined Patrick and his followers and they began walking towards the opposite hill. As they crossed the valley they approached again the circle of stone where Patrick had experienced a terrible vision earlier in the day.
Patrick said forcefully to the group behind him, “Look straight ahead! Do not let your eyes or ears deceive you!”
While they passed the circle, members of the group glanced to the sides and saw a frightening scene. Thousands of dark beasts were surrounding them, taunting, snarling, biting and hissing. One man started screaming and suddenly ran backwards. The beasts pounced on him at once and quickly devoured him.
“Do not look back! These beasts are harmless unless you give them power over you. Let me show you.”
At that, Patrick held his staff aloft and struck the ground saying, “Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana!”
Immediately the ground shook and a blast of air pushed back the beasts. Many started to flee and a path was opened before them.
They continued on past the circle of stone. One by one the beasts left them until suddenly they all disappeared. The warriors lit their torches as the darkness of night covered the land.
Patrick led everyone to the top of the hill, but then stopped abruptly. Little could be seen in the dark, but one thing was true. Nobody was there.
“What should we do, Abba?” asked Tassac. “There is no trace of the Magician or of the serpent. How can we possibly follow them?”
“It is useless to go any further under the cover of night. The darkness breeds more darkness. Let us set up camp here and wait until the first rays of dawn. We are children of the light. May the Light ever be our guide.”
Stay tuned. Part V will be released on February 27.