The first volley of primitive spears skewered several unfortunate knights to their mounts. Most of them died slowly as the spears managed to find exposed areas, then be crushed under insuring chaos. The chaos that only lasted less than a few minutes as the knights found their bearing, and began to lob spells and spears back. After a few returns, the Hikari slipped away, but not after tens of howls were rosed from the mountainside village.
“Pitiful,” Sir Sebastion said as the village stirred, as wooden barriers were quickly erected around the village. They looked like giant wooden “X”s with sharpened points. The commander would have commended the savages for a good strategy if it weren’t for how flimsy they looked.
Their line of defense was only 200ft up from their hill pass, and the knights were quick to open the first armored wagon. Sharp spears and enchanted tower shields were pulled from it as well as more arrows. Sir Sebastion barked orders, if only just to add urgency to his men. They were like cogs in a clock tower, each of them knew what they needed to do. And after five minutes, their formation had been completed.
15 men held tall imposing metal shields. It completely blocked shielded them, and there were little slits for them to see out of for when they moved. The front of their shields was engraved with delicate and unreadable runes and circles.
“Activate!” Sir Sebastion said as he pulled his sword from his dead horse’s saddle.
And with his words, all 15 men gave out a strange and archaic warcry as they slammed the shields into the ground. Their shields glowed and the air in front of them shimmered. Arrows began to rain down as the spearmen huddled behind the shields. The knight-archers kept back and returned fire from on top of the dirt mount. The Hikari arrows whistled through the air, aimed for the knights forming near them when they hit the shimmering air.
The arrows that landed towards the center of the strange magic were torn apart. Their splinters throw in every direction but towards the knights. Arrows that landed on the sides were just thrown further off into the dirt. The arrows that barely missed the effect were still effected as the strange magic. None of the arrows came close to hitting one of his men. That made Sir Sebastion huff in displeasure. Not even an enchanted arrow to break the wards.
“Did the Duke really ask me to clean the barn here…?” He felt it was a complete waste of manpower to send him. He was here for the new monster that had appeared, not this rabble. “Forward!” The commander bellowed, his voice reaching even the village.
The shields rose as the men pulled them up and the wards deactivated. They could see the savage beasts and their stupid little hope forming. They notched more arrows and loosed them as the knights pushed uphill.
“Activate!” Sir Sebastion barked as he followed behind them. The deep rattle of metal shields being rammed into the dirt-filled the air. The warcry rang out again and the air in front distorted again. Bits of wood and poorly made iron arrows filled the air as they rammed themselves against the wards. “Forward!”
The air returned to normal as the formation pushed harder up the mountain. Sir Sebastion didn’t find any pleasure in the Hikari’s fear. It felt like killing puppies, boring and unfulfilling. Maybe if he’d been younger and more merit hungry, he would have gladly wiped out this village, but not anymore. They weren’t strong. Just as he thought that another volley came for them.
Much to the Hikari’s dismay, Sir Sebastion and his battle-knights were too close to volley overhead. Had they tried to attack from the sides, the savages would have broken the ward. Magic was fickle like that, it diverted or shredded from the front; not the back. In fact, the ward would have shattered because of its nature, though the commander didn’t know why that was. But his musings were cut short as howls rose high above them,
And a torrent of fire came down upon them from the front. The fire was swallowed by the distortion, and it swirled like a made serpent in the flow. Round and round – twisting here and there – the ward tried to tear it apart. It failed to do so as the flames completed the entire circuit and spewed out the sides of the ward. In a matter of moments, flames were jutting to their sides.
The mountainside grew hotter, contrasting the mid-autumn air. The flames continued to spew for a few moments before a loud sound akin to a whipcrack filled the air. The battle-knights holding the shields had depleted their mana, and the flames exploded everywhere. That was short-lived as the current pushed through the old, dancing across the magic shields a few seconds longer before it died off.
It was enough to make shields glow red. The knights holding the shields cried out in pain, but they didn’t let up. Another volley of arrows came soon as they all hunkered down behind the steel wall. Cracks filled the air, along with splintered wood as the arrows slammed into the shields. One shield was pieced as an arrow hit the center where it was still glowing. It pieced partially through, ruining the connecting wards but the man.
The arrow stopped half an inch from his exposed eye.
“Charge!” Sir Sebastion didn’t wait to give them another chance. “Cut them down!” His host charged up, the last 40ft or so as the Hikari scrambled for their crappy swords and spears. His musings ended once the first of his men grabbed the first barricade and threw it aside – much to the savages surprise. That battle-knight was then nearly cut down and skewered, but it’d taken four of their men to do so.
Sir Sebastion was upon them then. He was large for a human, and bear strong. His long sword was held in one hand and looked like a shortsword next to him. The steel flashed in the sun as it liberated two savages of their heads and one of its lower right arm. Their foul screams filled the air before his men were right beside him. They finished the three off with spearheads to their hearts.
That was when the commander spotted his true target. Lady Syfa of the Hikari – the shaman and true leader of the tribe. She was beautiful for a savage, he thought to himself. Dressed in white revealing furs, the fashion of these wildlings, but he wasn’t enchanted. No. She was just another target and a fat purse of gold to him.
“You!” Sir Sebastion pointed his sword at her. Her face pale from using too much mana at once. She tried to run, but she was slow and weakened.
Several Hikari men appeared on both the commander’s sides. Their spears shot out like striking vipers, much to his surprise. One for the neck and one for the belly. Sir Sebastion swung his sword, trying to cut down the right man but missed as he quickly rolled back. As the commander struck out towards the right, he tried to dodge to the right. But that’d only offered a new target for his attacker.
With the same quickness, the spear circled around and bit into the back of his shin. The muscle was too thick for the primitive spear to cut. Had it’d been castle forged steel, it’d been another matter, or maybe a bone fashioned from dragon bone. But it was not, and it did little to stop the growling human from bringing his left hand round to grab him.
The savage man was like a mewling kitten to Sir Sebastion as his meaty mailed hand gripped his left arm. He didn’t try and savory the kill and was quick to use him as a meat hammer against his fellow tribesmen. He swung the man around into the right attack as he leaned forward to strike. Instead of Sir Sebastion, he impaled his fellow tribesmen. The attacker’s eyes went wide before the steel sword whirled around and sliced through the man.
From the right of the shoulder to the man’s left hip. He fell down in two before Sir Sebastion slammed the second man into the rocky wall of a shotty hut next to him. Blood splattered the walls before he turned his attention to the fleeing whore. She’d gotten further away while he’d been distracted. Sir Sebastion growled in frustration as she began to climb the road that led towards a large cave.
He needed to kill her before she reached it. Shamans were just mages by another name, and mages always had traps and wards in their little holes. But before he charged off deeper into the village, he needed to leave orders. With a quick scan of his surroundings, he found that he’d already gone further into the village than he’d thought. The fighting was already dying down on the barricades.
Ser Sebastion shrugged, believing that his men were smart enough to kill all of the wildlings before they started to rape and pillage. Better fucking a cold corpse than letting one savage get away. They wouldn’t get paid if they did, and they’d lose their heads.
He turned and broken off into a mad dash. His armor rattled madly as his eyes locked onto the woman. As the sound roared behind her, she turned back and a stricken look overcame her as she stuck her hand out. A small useless ball of fire, no bigger than her head, crossed the distance between them in the blink of an eye. Ser Sabastion had only swat it away with a flick of his meaty wrist. And it sizzled off to hiss left before exploding into a mediocre splash of fire. It barely consumed half the but, but the Witch of the Foxes was said to be stronger. He was disappointed.
She sat on the ground, panting. He was about to call it all done as he slowed to a speed walking pace when a shiny black object appeared in her hand. She began to plead to it, like it was some idol, though he wouldn’t allow that. Gods were as plenteous as there were trees, but very few granted wishes. And he wasn’t going to chance her calling upon one that did.
The object glowed to life and she began to press on it desperately as he was crossing the distance.
50 feet. 40 feet. 35 feet. 25 feet—
A loud buzzing rose from above him before it sounded like the air itself was being chopped with a vicious desire. It causes him to pause and look up, but he didn’t see it. The sound grew louder and deeper. Like a monster panting monster. He scanned the sky until he found it. The black dot that’d been high above was no longer high anymore. It was swooping down for its kill.