And She Said She Loved Me... Chapter 5
Gwynn and his two companions rode silently through the underbrush of a thick forest, until streaks of daylight were finally visible. They rode forth into a meadow with trampled grass and broken twigs.
"A rather large army has definetely been through here." Gwynn observed. "And it seems a vague scent of smoke lingers in the air, I think there was a pretty big fire here recently."
"I can still see smoke a mile or so this way." One of the horsemen said, and rode off through the meadow. Gwynn and the other scout moved briskly through the grass and bushes until a small village could bee seen in the distance. Soon, they arrived at the town gates, and saw burnt huts and farms.
"It seems as if Lepant and Kasim attacked here."
"But why? This was just a local village."
"Nay. Notice the corpses of the bald, dark men? They carry bows in their hands, and the bodies of honest Toran men are pierced with arrows."
"This is disgusting!" The other man said as he kneeled down before a Mooranjran body. He was looking at a long, skinny piece of steel that ran through his arm, and out again, and spiraled its way down the arm in this pattern.
"I hear that sort of thing is custom here." Gwynn answered.
"Over here!" The other scout shouted. Gwynn and the other ran to where Trench was standing, the man's name who had called him over.
"What is it?' Gwynn asked, arriving at the scene.
"This body of a Toran officer. He was cleaved in half! No arrow could do that!"
"Jesus!" Milo said, the other scout.
"No arrow could do this. And look, it appears footsteps and horse hooves lead off in this direction. I think Kasim was fighting more than just peasants." Gwynn announced, and raced off in the direction of the footprints. Bodies of their brothers-at-arms littered the way, and they had to make a short stop for Trench to vomit.
"The prints stop here." Gwynn said, reaching the drop off.
"Do you think our fellow men escaped down this hill, to elude the horses?"
"Possibly. This is much to steep of a hill for horses to easily make their way down, but a man couldn't exactly run down there without suffering his share of injuries."
"Let's tie up our horses on that tree over there and explore in that valley down there. Perhaps there are survivors."
"Of course there are survivors! It would take allot more than a juggernautic army with the advantage of terrain, horseback, and possibly surprise to bring Kasim Hazil down!" Gwynn said loudly. He lead his two comrades to a nearby tree and tied up their horses, then carefully made their way down the steep hill. They waded through a shallow river, until they heard a man's voice.
"Yeah, come on over!"
Gwynn, Trench, and Milo continued to make their way through the river and met up with Kasim.
"What happened?" Gwynn asked, getting straight to the point.
"The town attacked us, so we attacked back, and while we were fighting, a fully armored army ambushed us and we had to retreat. My army is practically gone. Only Lepant and three others remain. Lepant and two of the three soldiers are injured. I sent the one healthy soldier for help. A few others may have made it, but I don't know. We need to search the battle field for survivors."
"Right. Milo, Trench, come with me. We'll find survivors."
"Ok. I'll have to stay here and guard the camp."
About two hours later, Gwynn and his two companions had brought all the survivors to the camp. Eleven total, including the two who escaped with Lepant and Kasim.
"No fatal injuries seem to have been suffered, and a few of them seem fully active." Gwynn reported.
"That's good to know." Kasim replied.
Casts had been made out of small sticks and strips of cloth while bandages had been made from jerkins and cloaks.
"How long do you think it will be before Lepant can fight?" Gwynn asked.
"I dont know, probably four days. That's quicker than most of the others."
"Do you think we can hold out that long?"
"No, unless word reaches Rainer to send reinforcements. But to play it safe, I think you should report to General Shulen and President Jan."
"Right. Milo, Trench, stay here with General Kasim until I return."
Gwynn climbed his way up the hill and went for his horse. He untied it and mounted, then sped off into the distance.
It had been an hour before Gwynn had departed from Kasim, and he was beginning to get very warm. He felt almost feverish so he stopped and took a small break under a large tree. He sat there, bathing in the shade until he heard voices. He looked up and saw two big men grinning at him. They were definetly Mooranjrans. Gwynn let a small gasp escape has he noticed an image of an unknown beast mutilating a human on one of the men's chest. Gwynn quickly reached for his sword, but the larger of the two men quickly clamped his foot on it. He reached down to pick up the sword and, out of spite, drove it straight through Gwynn's horse.
"Swift!" Gwynn shouted.
"Ha ha ha!" The other man laughed.
The first man brought the sword above his head and made ready to strike Gwynn, but felt a searing pain in his stomach. He looked down and saw that Gwynn had plunged a dagger deep into his body. He dropped the sword and fell to the ground, dead. Gwynn quickly jabbed it into the other man's thigh. A loud yell was heard as Gwynn quickly reached for his sword. He jumped to his feet and, with one swift movement, sliced the man's head clear off. Blood showered the grass before his body collapsed. Gwynn walked to a clean patch of grass and wiped his sword clean.
"Perfect. Just perfect!" Gwynn said out loud. He would never reach Sonya's army without a horse. The sun was beginning to disappear behind the mountains in the distance.
Before it was completely dark, Gwynn had managed to erect a makeshift fort out of tree branches. It wasn't very sturdy, but it would offer some protection from the night. He lay his head down on a rather uncomfortable stone, but found sleep difficult. First of all, he was cold and extremely uncomfortable. Secondly, he had a lot on his mind. He stared up at the roughly built roof, contemplating what events tomorrow would bring. There would be many sorrows, losses, and tragedies.
After about an hour of thinking, he was finally overwhelmed by sleep. He closed his eyes, and braced himself for horror-filled dreams.
Rainer was eating his breakfast when a soldier ran into his tent.
Sir, General Hazils army has been wiped out. He requests you send five-hundred men and a sutler wagon with me and return to his camp.
The captain was shocked by the news, What happened?
A cavalry team ambushed us, sir.
Alright. Ill have a team prepared in an hour. Rainer said, exiting his tent.
Sonya looked around, hoping that Gwynn would suddenly come riding up from the trees, but she saw no sign of him. Okay, troops. Lets go.
Her soldiers grabbed their equipment and filed behind Sonya.
Kasumi looked around, and she was still in her dark prison. She sat against the wall and collected her thoughts. She was in a jam and her only hope was that Jan was alive. She heard steps coming down the hallway. She couldnt see in this light, but it was probably the guard.
Hows it going in there, doll? He laughed. It definitely the guard.
What do you want? She said defiantly.
I have some good news. He replied. After saying this, he slipped a key into the keyhole and opened it. Today youre a free lady.
Without a word, Kasumi walked to the open door. As she stepped through, the guard back handed her into the wall and she blacked out.
Kasumi awoke for the second time that day. Or was it the third? The only things she could do were sleep, eat, and wake up. She was thirsty and decided to see of a bucket of water had been laid out for her. She reached up but couldnt. Her hands were tied to the prison bars on either side of the small room! She tried moving her legs, but they were also tied up. Standing above her was the guard, grinning. What can I say? I lied. It was at this moment when Kasumi looked over to see her clothes in a heap on the floor.
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