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Hadrian's wall- Today, it remains a symbol of the undefeatable spirit of the Scots. The 84-mile-long Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail parallels the Wall.

Hadrian’s wall- Today, it remains a symbol of the undefeatable spirit of the Scots. The 84-mile-long Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail parallels the Wall.

In the last months, after Emperor Trajan died, there were rumours that he never officially designated Hadrian as the new emperor. But apparently according to Trajan’s wife, Pompeia Plotina, Trajan had named Hadrian as successor right before his death. It was just a few days ago and nobody was even sure how long the new emperor might stay in his position. The emperor’s guard had more important problems than looking after the murder of Decima or following her husband, who apparently knew who killed his wife.

-So go, and have your revenge. – She said after a moment of contemplation. – I’ll take care about her.

Marcus Lucius was sure that Verina meant it seriously and therefore, he didn’t wait any longer. He kissed his wife forever-goodbye and run out of the apartment he never regarded as his home. He wanted to go back to Quintus and kill him in a way as long and painful as possible. That was his plan. He thought about millions of possibilities how to put his plan into action. The analysis of these various opportunities made him calmer. Nobody should challenge a good warrior in such way without taking into account his bloody, inevitable revenge.

He thought about the most complicated injuries he could imagine. As much blood as possible should flow. A red massacre could be a good match. Marcus Lucius didn’t know that haemoglobin with four heme groups was the principal determinant of the exact colour of blood due to their interaction. He simply knew that a specific shade of blood was seen on the dead people or when the wound was already closed. He knew scabs and lesions of different calibre, but he hadn’t experienced deep wounds himself – up to now. However, he had already seen deadly wounded. He was used to see them in the battle fields. He noticed that fresh, arterial and capillary blood was bright red, even if he didn’t know that oxygen imparted a strong red colour to the heme group. Such injuries led to a fast death. It wasn’t planned. He had to watch out and shouldn’t lose self-control, if he wanted Quintus to suffer extensively. Marcus Lucius observed people who got wounded, including himself. It was fascinating and his interest started when he was a boy. During his stay in Britannia, he saw some injured soldiers. Sometimes, he accompanied the camp medico and got explanation about mysterious fluids. Already at that time, he saw some of the wounded persons alive again and sometimes, he didn’t. Even without explanation, he knew that some didn’t survive and died. It wasn’t brutal. It was a part of life. It was a daily routine, when you were in a Roman camp with soldiers patrolling the surrounding and keeping the kind of peaceful regime with rare, but brutal resistance. There were some camps with increased numbers of dangerous incidents and there, legionnaires were injured badly every now and then while they served the empire.

Anyway, he thought about thousands of ways of how to kill Quintus in the most brutal, painful way. Marcus Lucius didn’t remember much of the last days, but he knew exactly how he got invited to Quintus’s tent. Usually, they met each other more or less regularly and talked about this and that. They remembered how Marcus Lucius came into the army at the age of 15. Due to his developed skills and already trained techniques, he was sent to a group of older soldiers. Quintus was one of them. Quintus was five years older and some centimetres taller until Marcus Lucius was 18. Quintus wasn’t the best warrior. He preferred to be the strategic leader of the group. He was goal-oriented and loved to play a game, where you draw a map of the empire on the ground and set your wooden armies. You could move your army in turns, depending on how many players were involved. The primary object of the game was the domination of the world or occupying every territory on the board, drawn on the ground, and in so doing, eliminate all other players. Mostly, they used to recreate the initial situation of the famous battles like the Battle of Aricia, where consul Publius Servilius Priscus defeated the Aurunci or the Battle of Pydna, when the Romans under Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus defeated and captured the Macedonian King Perseus, and which ended the Third Macedonian War. Quintus used to challenge everyone to play with him. Often, the soldiers met after the training and played the same game over more evenings. When Quintus was concentrated, he used to squeeze a lot. He planned ahead and he knew some sneaky tricks to win. His strategy was impressive. His wins were respectless. Every time he won, he celebrated his victory by humiliating other players. There were minor, diminutive remarks with the special, unmissable undertone that exhibited the sarcastic, degrading, incalculable background of Quintus’s thoughts. Still, Quintus was a nice, reliable soldier, so legionnaires overlooked the irony of his free time. There were many evenings that could be spent in a more boring way. Every kind of entertainment was welcomed to take the minds off things which created the daily routine of a soldier’s life. What else were they suppose to do during long, underemployed evenings, while their wives, children, other family members and houses were far, far away from the camp?