Chapter 8:

Night Games II

Sword Quest

The arrow whistled by as Cedric bent his neck back just enough to keep the tomato from grazing his nose.

“Oi Mel, what’re you playing at?!”

“It slipped.”

Cedric refrained from engaging further, attempting instead to locate the building the sarcastic retort had come from.

“Don’t forget what’s right in front of you, Wardric!”

Just remembering his primary foe, Cedric leapt back once more, barely avoiding the spear as it struck the ground violently, scattering about clumps of dirt.

Face to face, Cedric engaged aggressively, taking precise shots at his friend. As usual, Quentle’s skill with the spear was enviable, as he deflected Cedric’s point blank strikes with crafty angles and footwork.

Having stalled Cedric’s attack once more, Quentle had allowed Mel to fire off another arrow, this time breezing just by the back of the frustrated boy.

This time, however, Cedric had been waiting, keeping his focus split between Quentle and the buildings Mel snuck through.

He’d pinpointed his location this time, and made it evident by suddenly darting sideways toward the building Mel was hidden in.

Quentle reacted, realizing they were in danger now. He burst out, attempting to cut him off. However, his jaw dropped once he noticed Cedric’s true intentions.

Having led Quentle out far enough, he planted his left foot, and shot back in the opposite direction, making to circle around Quentle’s now open left side.

Quentle tried to react, but this time Cedric had a step on him, which was all he needed. With a swift yet loaded deflection of the spear, Cedric had Quentle knocked off his usual center of gravity, and delivered two precise strikes to his right arm and leg.

The spear dropped to the ground, Quentle falling reluctantly after it, his right leg and arm now incapacitated. Cedric had already rounded the corner and entered the main pavilion in a sprint.

Cedric now parried Mel’s arrows with ease, as he’d been forced to exit the building in order to get a proper shot off. In quick succession he fired, and equally quick did Cedric deflect one arrow after another, tomato juice splattering harmlessly through the air.

Cedric cleared the main pavilion, and focused on his target. Of the three shed-like pavilions in front of him, one held the key to his victory. Making a break for the one in the middle, he glanced back to his left to see Mel’s next arrow coming in surprisingly off the mark above him.

This bothered him, and once he realized the reason behind it, he turned his head further round, only to see the tip of a spear soaring at his neck from a meter away.


The wall’s railing imploded in a blaze of fire and rubble, as the flaming boulder that had just landed broke into pieces and bounced wildly across the wall’s surface.

Ralin, having been knocked over by the blast, jumped to, only to see a portion of the wall blown away in the front, and Galgi hanging onto two unconscious shield holders as he slipped further down the sloped ledge of the broken wall. Wondering how Galgi had the presence of mind to grab a hold of them during the blast, he leapt forward.

However, he was already too late.


Ralin grasped at the air, hunched over the wall’s edge.

“I’ve got them, Ral!”

As he fell, he threw these words back to Ralin, tightly holding the unconscious men in each of his arms.

“PROTECT YOURSELF TOO, YOU IDIOT!”, he bellowed down, watching as the three made the ten-meter fall, bouncing down the pile of Teuton soldiers that hadn’t made it up the wall.

Looking around frantically, Ralin quickly accounted for the rest of their men, all either unconscious or barely stirring and nursing minor injuries.

“Tch! Looks like I’m on my own...”

Without any hesitation, Ralin dove off the wall’s edge. After rolling off the bodies of his allies, sustaining several wounds from the flint impaled bodies, he sprang to his feet.

“Galg! Where are ya?”


Jumping to, Ralin scurried to the spot his friend had landed. He’d let go of the still unconscious Esca and Brita, and was pulling shards of flint out of his torso and legs with a grimace.

“Why’d you come down after us, you fool!”

“Oh, shut up, what else could I do? How are they?”
“They seem to be alright, for now. But, Ral….look.”

Ralin turned his glance toward the shoreline, and his face broke open with shock. Some twenty catapults were being wheeled toward the wall by ten infantry soldiers each, and even more infantrymen were pouring forth from the front most ships behind them.

“ALRIGHT INFANTRY GO SQUADS, NOW IS THE TIME!” The voice of the commander roared from overhead.


“Commander Giro doesn’t miss a beat, hehe.”

“Ha, it’s just too bad we get to face the front lines like this, without a ch-”

Galgi stopped short, as his comrade had disappeared from in front of him.

Ralin had taken off as soon as he’d finished his sentence, darting toward the nearest V-shield. The large slabs of stone, ironed down to a V-shape, were lined with five handles, for the amount of men it took to carry one efficiently.

Ralin, however, did not have five able men, nor the time to wait for any. His entire squad playing the role of sitting ducks behind him, he was the only one able to stand between the them and the impending assault.

With a roar, Ralin lifted the V-shield by two of its innermost handles, and began charging slowly across the beach with it. He could not see anything but the slab, as it provided more than sufficient cover, but charged onward nonetheless.

Gritting his teeth and ignoring the blood gushing forth from his hands, he charged. The first boulder struck the V right down the middle, splitting perfectly and limiting the impact on Ralin’s body.

A second boulder struck the left flank of the V, throwing Ralin’s momentum to the right with crushing impact. The slab’s inside walls slammed against his head and chest, yet he retained his grip on the handles, and managed to maintain balance. A third boulder smashed into the right flank, crushing him once more. Yet he continued his charge.

A fourth boulder struck the top of the slab, this time throwing his momentum back in a direction he couldn’t change with sheer willpower. Feeling his back bending backwards, about to snap, he thought that this would be as far as he would be able to go in keeping the assault’s attention focused on him. He could hear the numerous boulders being flung at the wall around him, and could only hope that he’d taken enough of their attention to give his men enough time to regroup.

Just as he felt his legs begin to give way, two arms appeared on either side of his head.

The two hands planted themselves firmly onto the slab, pushing it upward and forward. Ralin looked back, to see the face of his best friend, purple in the face as he struggled.


“Don’t tell me the strongest brick in the brick wall squad actually needed help from a smaller man?”

“…h-heh…not that I really needed it...”

“Let’s go, Ral. Together.”


The two continued on, quicker than before. They were almost immediately joined by Esca and Brita, who were wounded yet looked lively as ever. They each took a handle from either side of the slab, which allowed the heavily bleeding Galgi to step back.

Coming out to the left side of the slab, Galgi peered around its side at the Wolverines’ side of battle.

“Ralin, two clicks left!”

The slab changed direction slightly, and the next boulder streaked in, hitting the point of the V and breaking off in pieces to its sides. Galgi, who had retreated back into the slab’s cover before the strike, stepped back out and gave Ralin further directions. With this, they continued forward without taking detrimental hits.

“I guess it’s true that the smaller men are more likely to be geniuses, haha! How the hell can you see so well in this?”

“Couldn’t tell ya, Ral…It’s just something that came with practice, not that you’d- oh!”

An enemy infantryman had appeared from the side, attempting to disrupt the shield carriers. Galgi tossed a knife at him before he could swing his swor, and followed up with a quick strike of his own short sword.

The Wolverine soldier fell, but was immediately followed up by two more. Galgi grit his teeth and cut down the men with vigor, despite his wounds.

The group had now gone into the middle of the quickly developing battlefield, shields and war cries resounding around them. Two more soldiered appeared on Galgi’s left side, and as he drew more knives from his uniform’s utility belt, five more men emerged from the slab’s right edge, rearing back short swords.

Galgi could only watch desperately, as-

-six Teutons bolted into the scene, cutting the approaching enemies off just in time and spearing them against the inside of the shield.

“You guys!” Ralin, Galgi, Esca, and Brita all rang out in surprise.

“Sorry we’re late, Captains!”

“Hehe, knew we could count on ya louts! Now we’re in business, eh Galg?”

“You bet your ass we are! Let’s go, Ralin and Galgi squads! Let’s bury some Wolverines underneath this beach!”

With five men to handle the shield and five to protect its underside, the two Go caught some steam, running through some thirty Wolverines, Galgi scouting out the incoming boulder strikes. Around them, five or six V-shields were beginning to make some headway into the beach as well. Their confidence growing with every step, Galgi finally stepped out to survey the battlefield.

` This is..

Two hundred?

Three hundred?

No, beyond the front lines, there’s at least a thousand coming out of the water!
Our advance has allowed the ballista to take out quite a few of the catapults…

But, even if we have four hundred infantrymen left alive…

Even with the hundred that are following right on our trail…this is..

We are…completely outnumbered!

We’re just charging to our deaths!


Is that…the flagship! They were hiding it with smoke!

It’s come this close! If we can clear a path and signal back…

Ah? What’s that it’s loading on the ballista?


And it’s being aimed….!


The strike came without warning. The large, three-pronged iron projectile met the stone slab with a destructive force that shot dirt, dust, smoke, and rubble around like a tornado.

Galgi flew into the ground a meter back, but managed to stand back up. He couldn’t see anything around him due to the smoke, which seemed to be multiplying unnaturally, separate from the projectile’s impact.

Ears ringing, Galgi stumbled desperately in the direction of the comrade’s he could no longer see. However, before he could reach where they should have been, a rapid clopping noise came from just in front of him.

Before he could gather himself to react, the shadow of a horse came upon him, heading on a sudden collision course.