After being treated by surgeons the Centurion recuperates at Caesar's country villa.Caesar is told that mysterous footprints have been seen in the garden. Speculatores? Perhaps but why? The surgeons insist the Centurion will make a full recovery. Quintus is dismayed. Half of the Centurion's right hand little finger has been amputated. Quintus reveals the cause of his animosity toward the Centurion to Caesar who defends him & his decision to let him recuperate at his villa. Caesar tasks the Centurion with seeing if the Summus Poeninus, the pass that conncts Cisalpine Gaul with Transalpine Gaul can be negotiated by an army. Servius Galba is already in Gaul with the 12th Legion to ensure supply routes are kept open. The Centurion & his century are to rejoin the 10th Legion & report to Tribune Gaius Volusenus who in turn will report to Caesar on Galba's leadership abilities. His recuperation complete, Caesar presents the Centurion with a special, copper-backed shield, Caesar's shield. Caesar admits to Quintus that giving Galba command of the 12th Legion was a mistake. Members of Caesar's household guard eventually leave the Centurion alone. He is attacked by bandits who are killed by speculatores. The Centurion wonders why they are protecting him.The Centurion arrives at the 10th Legion's winter camp & receives orders to join Galba in the territory of the Nantuati. They climb over the Summus Poeninus in a snowstorm. As they approack Galba's camp the Centurion & his century are attacked by Gallic cavalry & run for their lives. The Centurion confirms the pass can be negotiated by an army. The 12th Legion attacks Tarnaiae, chief town of the Nantuati. There is a ferocious battle. Afterwards the Centurion is tasked with finding & destroying remnants of enemy cavalry. There is a battle in a canyon. Scout Lutatius Livia of the 10th Legion & speculatores join the battle. Caesar plans the conquest of Atlantic Gaul. Galba divides his force & marches to Octodorus, occupies it but boxes his men in at the far end. The Centurion & his century are on the palisade when Seduni & Nantuati infantry attack at dawn. In danger of being overrun the Romans burst out of their fort & charge the enemy who is caught in a crossfire & defeated. Octodorus is burned to the ground. The Centurion arrives in the land of the Allobroges where the Romans erect a fortified camp. Caesar learns that Tribunes have been taken hostage by hostile Gauls. He orders General Crassus to build a fleet of 30 warships to conquer the Veneti. The Centurion rejoins the 10th Legion. Pilaimen, leader of the Veneti prepares to make war with Caesar & tortures the Tribunes to get information. Different legions attack Gallic tribes isolating the Veneti. There is a battle in Morhiban Bay. The Centurion finds the 2 dead Tribunes in Dariotoritum which is razed. The Centurion is assigned to General Crassus who commands 12 cohorts from the 9th & 12th Legions in Aquatania. Lutatius Livia joins them. They protect the baggage train when it is attacked by Sontiates infantry. Then they lay seige to Scitium, main town of the Sontiates. Some SOntiates try & escape at night but are killed.Numerous Gallic tribes threaten badly outnumbered Romans & cut their supply lines. The Centurion & his centur attack the enemy camp from its unprotected rear & rout the Gauls. While looting far from camp the Centurion meets a speculatore who tells him by they have been protecting him. The Centurion finally has his answer.Caesar defeats the remaining Gallic tribes. The Centurion is given 2 weeks leave & returns to Rome where he meets his 2-year-old nephew for the first time.