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Colosseum - Rome

Then, he didn’t like the Britannia. He preferred the warm lands of the Roman Empire. There, he could sleep during the nights without needing a blanket. There, he could eat meat the way he loved it. Britannia was just good for two reasons. One, he appreciated the trust of Appius. This mission was the best proof that Octavian was the solid, reliable man, he always wanted to be. Two, he was close to Julia. He was entranced by her from the very first moment he saw her. She was Appius’s guest, who practically hosted an old friend and new husband in one person. Octavian heard some stories about Maxentius’s miserable army career. There was a story that Maxentius held a sword like a girl. There was another story that Maxentius was scared to death when he was supposed to go to his first battle. When Octavian saw Maxentius for the very first time, he noticed the extremely tender, but wrinkled skin of a man, who dabbled with battles, but had enough power to beat a weak and defenceless being. Octavian had already seen beaten women, while they rested as a team in different places. He noticed women visiting their man, soldiers, who were stationed in camps, and overreacting after days or weeks of broken contact to their families. Octavian observed how much these women suffered in silence, how their eyes became dashed off and how their moves lost the vigorous dynamic. The same symptoms, he noticed with Julia. She still had a kind of fire, but it wasn’t a fire that could burn for ages. Instinctively, he wanted to protect her. His first reflex was to kill the man, who was supposed to watch over his own wife. Affected by unexpected emotions, Octavian got shaky hands. He noticed that Appius registered the tension, but not the reason behind it. Sending Octavian as the leader of the convoy to Britannia could have two different explanations. Either Appius knew what really happened in Octavian’s mind and wanted to him to learn a lesson or Appius knew that of all soldiers, Octavian would fulfil his task with the strongest motivation. Either way, it showed Appius’s trust in Octavian.

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