"Alright, listen up guys, there is a checkpost just infront. Sir Peder's forces are 150-160 yards behind us and they will only start moving after we've taken care of this checkpost. Keat, Johnathan, Donavan take your squads and go behind them. Don't get discovered. Strider, Perri and Mitchel follow me with your squads. Rest of you take cover behind us and take down every escaping soldiers. Remember. Since this is a checkpost, so it must have a bell and alarm. So, I need all of you to be very careful and not trip the alarm. Along with that… please be a little conscious about the arrows. They don't fall from heaven, got it?!"
Aslak's force of 175 divided into 90 men, 15 in each squad headed by a Sergeant followed Aslak, while the rest of the men surrounded the checkpost and hiding locations. Three squads of 45 men went behind the checkpost silently. Aslak and his other three squads took covering points around the checkpost in small buildings and observed the checkpost silently. They would immediately start firing when they get the signal from Johnathan's squads, which was actually a chirping of a bird. Until then, Aslak silently observed the checkpost with a one-piece spy glass.
The checkpost was a two storied building which was turned into one from a restaurant or inn. It had a sloping top and a large window at the top of the building, perfect spot for giving out a lookout. From the chimney, bellowed black smoke and light moans could be heardfrom within the building.
His observation made him frown. He saw only a few men patrolling the area but from his experience, all checkposts have at least 100-120 men, so he deduced that most of them were inside the building. But, letting 120 men reside in a single two storied building was insane. He had expected most of them to stay out, but—
Chirp! Chirp! Chirp!!
A light shower of arrows erupted on the patrolling enemy soldiers and took them down before they could even shout. All the arrows have hit their vitals. Aslak and his best archer, Strider had taken out the lookout at the top window and therefore, it meant that everything was okay. But right then, another signal of chirping was heard.
Almost immediately, Aslak's facial expression changed terribly and he ordered his soldiers quickly, "Squad 3 follow me quickly. We need to clean the field before the cavalry comes."
The moment cavalry was mentioned, most of their's expression darkened, but Strider, who was Aslak's second-in-command, didn't. Aslak glanced at him and ordered him silently to take his position.
The next moment, Aslak and Mitchel's squad hurried onto the dead enemy patrol's position and dragged the bodies away as quickly as possible. One of the soldiers even spread dirt onto the field to mask the red color. Soon, they returned back to their cover and heaved a sigh of relief. It was then that a messenger from Sir Peder's force arrived and asked about the situation.
"Tell Sir Peder that the situation is not good. The configuration of the checkposts have changed and there's cavalry coming." Aslak said with a grave tone, but the messenger's tone was filled more with panic.
"We don't have time. 10 mins have already passed and there's still three checkposts to go. Sir, you need to accelerate things on your end. We have a time limit."
"Grrr!! Fine!!!" Aslak knew clearly that it was his caution that was delaying things and he had no choice. Felixyon's orders was to cut sharply and precisely with the minimum of the losses. It was practically impossible for some ordinary soldier to accomplish but it was Aslak. And Sir Peder. They were not normal soldiers or captains, they were nobles trained in most difficult knighthood training, the training of the Wardens. And accomplishing this would be the perfect example of proving the difference between normal knights and knights of the Order of Wardens.
Aslak turned to Perri and ordered him, "Tell by signal to Johnathan's squad to move closer. We're ambushing the cavalry on their tracks. And you!" he turned to the messenger and said angrily, "Tell Litho to move his soldiers forward. Tell him that we will be doing a close quarter battle. And oh! Also tell Sir Peder that he doesn't need to mind this checkpost. He should move out while wehandle this checkpost."
"I said we will be fine!!!" repeated Aslak angrily. He then turned to Strider and rest of his team and said, "Follow me closely."
With the messenger gone, Aslak's squads moved forward and quickly took positions around the bushes at the further end of the road leading to the checkpost. It was the only road which led to the checkpost and Aslak had already confirmed the arrival of cavalry by feeling the vibration of the ground.
"30 men cavalry patrol! Be ready."
A contingent of 30 scout Knights, wearing light armor and armed very lightly, they marched slowly on the road to the checkpost. They were arranged in a triangular formation with the most heavily armored person, who also appeared to be their leader, riding on a pure white horse right at the front of the formation. He had two, similarly dressed knights beside him, one of whom had a ruddy face, who laughed loudly.
"Haha! Sir Reggie is taking his sweet time with the Lady Faye, don't you think Sir? I bet he's taking his sweet time tasting her flesh." Said that man with a loud voice. The leader heard his joke but didn't reply him, instead he simply smirked and rode forward. The man joked, seemed unsatisfied and tried to threw out another joke. "Sir Kevin, I know another one. Did you know that Lady Faye have been banged by at least 20 men from behind before she could—puchi!"
"Gahhh!!!!!" cried the man as an arrow pierced right through his collar guard and stuck fatally to his neck. The next moment his mind blocked up and he fell with a thud on the ground. Dead.
The leader looked shocked for a moment and was just going to shout 'ambush' when a flurry of arrows erupted from the bushes 10 yards away.
"Ambush! Ambush!!" his right-hand man cried but the next moment, an arrow pierced him behind his neck and before he knew it, he was dead, right on his horse. Shocked and terrified the leader shouted "Run!!!" and made a run towards the checkpost but surprisingly, he didn't hear a single hoof behind him.
He glanced behind him only to see the last of his squad being downed by arrows. He looked like a hedgehog before he fell to the ground. His shock was raised to the next level and he whipped his snow-white horse to ride faster but then, at the corner of his eyes he saw a flash of blue and then—Bang!!!
He looked down and saw an arrow with a blue hue pierce him right through his armor and his body. His mind turned blank and weakness gulfed his body as he fell powerlessly from his horse. The arrow was too cold and froze his chest and heart but for some reason, he did not die immediately. He watched helplessly as his snow-white horse, whom he groomed so beautifully being pierce by arrows and falling down like a slab of meat.
Time seemed to have stopped as he watched the scenery of his dead horse and the inn-turned-checkpost but then a person's shadow masked his face. He moved his eyes slowly towards this man, with the thought of pleading for help but all that he was met with was a cold smile. "Don't talk about my mother like that!!"
"Sir! We've taken care of the horses and the corpses."
"Good job, Perri. How much time has passed?"
"Two minutes Sir."
"Okay. Now, we need to storm the checkpost. Johnathan, back to your position and remember, one chirp to compromise."
"Yessir!!" replied Johnathan as he rushed back to his position with his men. Aslak then turned towards his previous hiding spot and saw dozens of shadows waiting patiently. They were the rest of the men of the archery division, headed by Litho. He nodded his head slightly and those shadows moved out from the darkness and headed straight towards the door of the checkpost.
He then turned to his squad and smiled coldly, "Seems like we need to fight like commons now, fellas."
"What's with the sound outside?" cried one of the sleepy soldiers inside the checkpost. He had a darker shade of skin and bright topaz eyes, which clearly indicated that he wasn't a conscripted soldier of Colonel Reggie. Conscripted soldiers of Cainshire were usually emancipated young men with hollow eyes and relatively fair skin unlike these people, who come from further south and had darker shade of skins. He was one of the young captains who had arrived from Yalevile, one of Hendrickson's important strategic fortified cities. Around him, lied dozens of his soldiers, most from where he came, with bottles of rum and whiskey in their hands. He as well as his soldiers were all naked and other than them, there were a bunch of ladies and girls, who were clearly from Cainshire. All of these ladies and girls lied, also naked, with pale faces and bruised bodies, some of the wounds were even bleeding profusely. It was clear that they were the **** victims. And what was the most horrible, was that among them the youngest **** victim was a girl of about 6. At one corner of the dark room was three men and two women, all of whom were elderlies with only one young boy of about 5 or 6. Out of them, only the child was barely breathing and others were all dead. All of them had died from bleeding and torture and even the boy had terrible bruises all over his body.
But it seemed that the Captain was least cared about them. He frowned deeply as he felt like he had seen human figures over the window but then shook his head to dispel such thoughts.
He stood up wobbly, as his legs still weren't able to cope with the furious s*x he had last night. He glanced at the small girl a distance away and smiled lewdly. His 'little man,' which was drooping down until now, again turned stiff. He went towards the girl and crouched near her. He held her waist tightly and started thrusting his into her.
"Aah! Aah! Hah! Hah! Aaaah!! Good girl! God!!!" he moaned in pleasure but the girl had no reaction. She stared at the ceiling with hollow eyes, as if she had no soul and was already dead. The Captain was completely unaware of the deadly stares he was getting from the men hidden in the darkness.
"1… 2… 3… GO!!!" a sharp cry resounded outside, which broke the Captain out from his pleasure but before he could understand anything, the door broke open and throngs of men in armor flooded into the room. Shock and muscle memory instructed him to stand up, but the furious s*x he was having, made his legs further wobbly and he tripped down. He tried to stand up but his legs just wouldn't give in.
"Kill! Kill! Leave no bastard alive!!! Charge!!!!"
"How dare you!!!"
He saw the men in black armor infiltrate the checkpost and shot each one of his men down. All of his men, even he himself, was completely naked and therefore was completely vulnerable. He saw arrows pierce through two men at once before falling in a heap.
"Please spare me!!!"
His men called for him, but he hid himself smartly, or rather cowardly, between the bodies of the women. He at once understood that these men were Cainhorn Castle troop and therefore wouldn't fire a single arrow at their own women. He crawled safely to the corner of the room, where more women were lying and hid in between. He snatched the blanket which one of the women was using to cover himself and tried to prolong his life. He was successful too, as he heard steeled footsteps dart to other places, but it wasn't long before a hand, almost like the Devil's clutch his blanket and remove it forcefully from him.
"We have a mole here!!!" cried the soldier coldly as he clutched the Captain's hair and pulled him up.
"AAAAHHH!!" he cried pitifully but grip only tightened. He slowly opened his eyes as he tried to look at the situation. He was astonished to see these men covering the bodies of the women with blankets and carrying them to some place safe, rather than checking the corpse. One of the men, who seemed to be their leaders, faced him and stared silently for a moment. Hope rose in the Captain's heart but it was soon dashed into pieces.
The man coldly remarked, "Kill him!"
"As you wish," replied the soldier clutching the Captain. He took out his dagger and was just about to slice his throat, when the Captain clutched his captor's hands and pleaded, "P-please d-don't k-kill me! I-I can h-help you! I swear I can!"
"Oh~" replied the leader with a hint of curiosity. He glanced at him and said, "Why? Who are you?"
The Captain put up a brave front and replied, "I'm the Captain of the third division of the Burkaneer Regiment."
"Just a Captain?" asked the leader back with a hint of displeasure. The Captain felt a bit angry because getting that post wasn't easy for him, but before he could speak for himself, he was interrupted by another of the soldiers.
"Sir, the Burkaneer Regiment is the same regiment which is stationed at the outer garrison."
"Oh! Really, Strider?" asked the leader in amazement.
"Good! Then that means he is indeed useful."
"Yes! Yes! I'm very useful! Very useful! So please don't kill me!!!" pleaded the Captain in a teary voice but the leader was least cared about his situation. He laughed menacingly and instructed the person named Strider, "Give this man our best treatment and get everything out of him about the Burkaneer regiment."
Doom fell onto the Captain.
"What's the casualty, Perri?" asked Aslak with a deep frown. He was already 3 minutes late but even then, he couldn't leave things unfinished here, especially when it came to his own soldiers. "Three injuries, Sir. Nothing fatal. They can still fight." He replied with resolution.
"Hmm." Aslak nodded and orderd, "Send them back with two escorts. Rest will move fast to the next checkpost. I hope Sir Peder's force haven't been discovered by now."
"Yessir!! Everyone! Get ready to move out!!" Perri went about ordering the ranks and organizing the soldiers when Strider came back with the report.
"What did he say?" asked Aslak.
"Many things, Sir." He replied, "He said that most of the regiment there is simple soldier and the cavalry, while most of the elites have gone to the docks. He also said that half of the cavalry is also at the docks and that there is an acute shortage of troops in all the checkposts and the garrison. It's the perfect time to attack."
"Thank goodness! Finally, good news!!" exclaimed Aslak in relief. But Strider thought otherwise. He said, frowning, "But Sir, Lord Felixyon is going over to the docks. If the elites and the cavalry are there, won't it be a lot of problem for him?"
Aslak shook his head in denial. He patted Strider's pauldrons and replied, "Don't you worry, Strider. I know Felixyon. He is not someone who can be downed by some puny elites. He is a Lord and Lord's don't die easily."
Aslak's force of 170 men hurried to the next checkpost but was surprised when they got there. They found the doors of another inn-turned-checkpost destroyed and corpses all around. Most of them seemed to be the dark-skinned Hendrickson's soldiers, others were Cainshire conscripted soldiers. And one of the common things among all of them was that all of them were stark naked.
Aslak frowned and went to Sir Peder.
Peder was on the field talking with one of his soldiers about the casualty when Aslak entered his view. Sir Peder turned to him and said in a tired tone, "You are late!"
Aslak smiled ruefully and replied, "Couldn't leave business unfinished. But what's with all of these corpses? Aren't some of them Cainshiren(1)?"
Peder sighed and replied, "They were. Not now. These traitors have completely turned into Hendrickson's mindless servants now. They have started raping their own families and neighbors now. Tell me, what can I do? By the way, what's the situation over in your side?"
Aslak sighed at what Sir Peder said. He, very much like Felixyon, didn't want to kill more Cainshiren than needed but, just like Sir Peder said, there were no choices. Traitors and back-biters must be paid back in blood. Both of them had a small talk and Aslak shared his knowledge of the change with Sir Peder. Like Strider, Sir Peder worried a little about Felixyon but he was a real soldier once. He knew orders came first and therefore without delay, he and Aslak's force marched towards the third checkpost.
With Sir Peder's timely intervention, they had saved three minutes time and they were going to fully use it. It was decided that in the next checkpost, they were going to work simultaneously.
In the third checkpost, they started attacking immediately after reaching it. At first, Aslak and his men took out the lookouts and spotters and then, Sir Peder's forces infiltrated the compound. It was followed by another round of slaughter and screaming. Just like all the other checkposts, this too had an equal share of Cainshiren and Hendrickson's forces but thankfully most of the conscripted soldiers surrendered.The surrendered soldiers were tied and placed with the heap of corpses in the corner. Only the most trustworthy weren't tied but instead were ordered to take care of the **** victims and other casualties with a few supervisors from the force. There were some even in the Hendrickson's forces who surrendered but none of them were spared.
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