Chapter 37:

Volcano II

Sword Quest

Amidst the battle raging across the northern shoreline, two horsed men faced each other, prompting both armies to form a circle around them. The spectators continued their scrap, but their attention was focused mostly on the tense stand-off between the two men.

Sand scattered as the horses kicked toward each other, and the men prepared their large blades for collision.

The two men took wide swings at each other, their horses stopping in a sidelong skid. The resulting crack drew the attention of anyone nearby that wasn’t already watching, as the two heavy swords met and bounced off of one another with tremendous force.

The Teutonic Knight’s green cape shook as he reared back to strike again, and the Wolverine general followed suit, his horse’s plated bridle cutting through the dusty air. As they struck blades once more, the crowds began to roar out.

“That’s it General Persia, take the Teutonic Knight out and it’s our win!”

“Go on, General Hydrick, overwhelm him!”
“You have range on him, General!”

“You’re stronger than him, General!”

The horses moved swiftly and precisely, allowing the two men to engage continuously, neither gaining an inch on the other.

Outside of the crowd of spectators, a helmetless man led a swift charge of cavalry through the mouth of the Wolverine soldiers nearest the shore, his curved broad blade splitting through one enemy after another. After trading blows with a spearman and receiving a cut across his cheek, he slowed his horse and retreated to the inner section of the charge. This allowed several of his men to take over the lead, while a white and green-vested messenger horseman flagged him down from behind.

“Commander Al, a report! Thanks to your anti-seige unit, the enemy warships are withdrawing from range, which leaves small amounts of incoming infantryman wading through the water, and the cavalry units already in-”

“What’s Hyd doing up there?” Al barked, looking towards the beach’s epicenter. “It’s too chaotic to really see anything.”

“Sir…it seems the enemy General and General Hydrick have engaged in a duel! The battle is beginning to bunch up around them!”

“Ahh dammit Hyd, this early? No wonder I felt the battle swaying toward the center…” Al murmured to himself.

“Yes sir, it seems one of the enemy’s commanders have begun to lead his troops-”

“I know already! This just became a game of encirclement. Whoever takes over the crowd in the middle will trap the enemy general, if the duel hasn’t already been decided.”

“A battle in which the heads of each encircling unit have to fight against the opposing charge’s following line, as well as the middle pack, in order to gain inside superiority,” a long-haired man chimed in on Al’s right.

“That’s right, Jack…see that, messenger, it isn’t our first stroll on the beach,” Al answered, a crooked smile beginning to form on his face. “Ultimately, the only way to win inside superiority is to win the clash with the head of the enemy charge enough times to form a full circle of your own, inside of theirs- one thick enough to swarm the center and take out the enemy’s dueler.”

“Hydrick set up a battle tailor-made for our unit’s talent,” Jack added with a cool smirk.

“Heh, you could say that,” Al replied with a beaming grin, thrusting his blade into the air. “ALL MEN, ON ME! WE MAKE FOR THE CENTER OF BATTLE!”