Chapter 14:

Chapter Twelve: Mountain Yunaria

Beyond the Borders Volume 1

A few months had passed as the Knights relaxed in their Headquarters.
Aryia laid on her bed as Lylianna read a book entitled *Beyond the
World*. After getting what rest she could Aryia awoke only to realize
she was not alone in the bedroom.Bookmark here

“Are you the only one here Major?”Bookmark here

Aryia sat up from her bed as she rubbed her eyes.Bookmark here

“At the moment, yes. Deadeye is out back throwing knives. Melissa went
into the city to buy candy and Ryliah went to see your friend Mari.”Bookmark here

“I see. Well, I should probably get a shower,” Aryia said as she headed
for the large restroom across the hall.Bookmark here

Before Aryia could close the door she was surprised to see Lylianna
standing behind her.Bookmark here

“M‑Major what—”Bookmark here

“I need to take a shower too. So, I figured it was better to get one
with you.”Bookmark here

“I guess that makes sense…”Bookmark here

Aryia slowly removed her clothes a bit nervous about striping in front
of Lylianna while Lylianna removed her clothes as if she was taking a
normal shower. The two of them stood there naked as Aryia looked over
Lylianna’s body.Bookmark here

“Every scar on my body has a story,” Lylianna said as she headed over to
the shower.Bookmark here

As Lylianna turned on the shower the warm water covered her hair and
body. Aryia felt odd around her for the first time in her life. She
entered the shower with her, only for her to turn her back.Bookmark here

“These scars on my back were from Melissa.”Bookmark here

“Why would she do that?”Bookmark here

“Remember, I have everyone in the Black Knights go through interrogation
training. I was no exception.”Bookmark here

Lylianna turned around to face her.Bookmark here

“These scars on my stomach and face were from my sister as you know.”Bookmark here

Aryia looked over Lylianna’s body once more. She had more scars then one
could count.Bookmark here

“What about these two cuts on your wrist?”Bookmark here

“Those were made by me.”Bookmark here

“I don’t get what you mean.”Bookmark here

“I tried to kill myself Aryia.”Bookmark here

Aryia was shocked to hear that from Lylianna’s mouth.Bookmark here

“Do you know how many people I have killed in my life time?”Bookmark here

Aryia didn’t speak as she tried to process why Lylianna would even try
to kill herself.Bookmark here

“I have killed far too many people to count. Most of them were bad
people yes, but I have also killed innocent people too. Men… women… even
children. We all make mistakes Aryia.”Bookmark here

“Major… I—”Bookmark here

“You can just call me Lylianna.”Bookmark here

Aryia brushed Lylianna’s bangs to the side revealing her clock‑like eye.
She moved closer to her.Bookmark here

“Lylianna…”Bookmark here

Her face moved closer to Lylianna’s.Bookmark here

“Stop…”Bookmark here

Lylianna pinned Aryia against the shower wall. She looked as if she was
afraid.Bookmark here

“I would rather not have emotional feelings…”Bookmark here

“R‑Right…”Bookmark here

The two of them stood there in silence. Lylianna blushed slightly as she
turned away. Without saying anything Lylianna turned off the water and
proceeded to get dressed.Bookmark here

“We should be ready for deployment soon. I estimate that it won’t be
long before the Emperor sends us to the front lines again.”Bookmark here

Lylianna left as Aryia put her clothes on. Part of her wished she could
help Lylianna but she knew that she could barely begin to understand
what she went through. *I wish I could help her*, Aryia thought as she
headed back into the bedroom. Lylianna laid there on her bed with her
book in hand.Bookmark here

Aryia headed over to Lylianna’s bed and looked at her. She wanted to say
something, anything to try and make her feel better.Bookmark here

“What is it Aryia?”Bookmark here

Without a word Aryia pressed her lips to Lylianna’s and for a brief
moment, Lylianna closed her eyes. Aryia continued to kiss her until she
felt Lylianna’s arms wrap around her neck. Aryia stopped and looked at
her, puzzled by what she was doing.Bookmark here

“L‑Lylianna?”Bookmark here

“Did I order you to stop?”Bookmark here

“No ma’am.”Bookmark here

Aryia straddled Lylianna’s hips as the two of them continued to kiss.
Lylianna began to relax into her bed.Bookmark here

“What if someone comes in?”Bookmark here

“Why would it matter?”Bookmark here

“Isn’t it wrong for a Corporal to be doing something like this with an
Officer.”Bookmark here

Lylianna grabbed Aryia by the wrist and pinned her down to her bed.Bookmark here

“We can do as we please.”Bookmark here

\* \* \*Bookmark here

Aryia sat there on the cargo plane as it flew to the City of Mejorin.
The city was now a make shift headquarters and the new area for the
front lines. As the plane landed Aryia wondered just what it was they
would be doing. Everyone disembarked as Lylianna turned to her squad.Bookmark here

“Listen up, as of right now you are all on stand‑by. Be ready to head
out when I say.”Bookmark here

“Yes ma’am!”Bookmark here

The squad headed for a large building that had thirteen stories.
Climbing up the stairs to the top floor the Knights stood in front of a
double doorway painted in a dark red. Lylianna opened the door and
stepped inside as the others followed. Inside the room was a spacious
office that had once been the room of a now forgotten judge. Sitting
behind the wooden desk was a man dressed in a neatly pressed military
uniform. The name plate on his chest read Abenest Ryker.Bookmark here

General Ryker was in his early thirties with short blue hair. He stood
tall and proud as he looked out of the window like a king overlooking
his subjects. Blowing a puff of smoke from his cigar he turned to
Lylianna.Bookmark here

“Ah, Major Veltress, glad to see you and your… team. Welcome to
Mejorin.”Bookmark here

“Thank you General. We were ordered to help out here on the front
lines.”Bookmark here

“Yes, yes. You can stay at the house on the West corner marked on the
map here,” the General said handing Lylianna a map.Bookmark here

Lylianna looked at the map for a few seconds and then handed it to
Melissa.Bookmark here

“Melissa, you are in charge while I talk to the General here.”Bookmark here

The rest of the Knights left leaving Lylianna alone with the General.
Once everyone had left she looked to the General. She could tell that he
did not want her squad here. After blowing another puff of smoke, the
General spoke.Bookmark here

“The road to Ezorn is being held rather well. We are pushing through but
we are taking heavy losses on our side. Here is what I need you to do.”Bookmark here

General Ryker pointed at a position on the large map sitting in the
center of the table.Bookmark here

“I need you to take a platoon and attack from here.”Bookmark here

“General, if you think I am going to lead a platoon of men to their
death then you would be wrong.”Bookmark here

The General slammed his hands down on the desk.Bookmark here

“Major Veltress, you will lead these men!”Bookmark here

“I don’t have to follow your orders General,” Lylianna said as she
grabbed a spare map of the landscape.Bookmark here

\* \* \*Bookmark here

As Aryia and the others looked around it was clear that things were bad
on the front lines. Soldiers were being carried in on stretchers into a
vacant building that was being used as a make‑shift hospital. The groans
and screams of severely injured soldiers could be heard from outside the
building.Bookmark here

The squad headed for the building marked on the map. It was a single
story brick home which looked quaint. *A perfect home to raise a family
in*, Aryia thought. Inside the main room was a tad dull then the living
quarters Aryia was used to but it was better then nothing. The flooring
was a dusty dark wood that could be seen throughout the home while the
two bedrooms had a fuzzy dull gray carpet.Bookmark here

“This is a nice little home,” Ryliah said as she walked throughout the
house.Bookmark here

“Yeah, we even have a fireplace,” Melissa said.Bookmark here

“The problem is there are only two bedrooms,” Aryia said as she entered
one of the bedrooms.Bookmark here

Melissa turned to Aryia.Bookmark here

“I guess that means some of us will be sleeping together.”Bookmark here

“I would rather not sleep with you. Last thing I need is to keep one eye
open,” Aryia said as she placed her bag down against the wall.Bookmark here

Melissa giggled.Bookmark here

“You make it sound as if I would do something bad to you.”Bookmark here

“Well, I would say waking up tied to my bed was plenty of reason for me
to be paranoid of you.”Bookmark here

Melissa smiled as she headed into the other bedroom. After everyone had
settled in they all sat around in the living room. Lylianna entered the
house which brought the quiet relaxing time to an end. It was clear by
the look on her face that something had happened between her and the
General.Bookmark here

Lylianna looked to her squad.Bookmark here

“I take it something happened,” Aryia said as Lylianna sat down on the
couch beside her.Bookmark here

“The General wanted me to lead a platoon from the North, but I denied
his order. It would be suicide to attack from there due to the heavy
line the Versyian’s have formed.”Bookmark here

“Then what is the plan Major?” Melissa asked.Bookmark here

“We do something that they would never suspect.”Bookmark here

Lylianna pulled out a map of the area and pointed to a river near the
City of Ezorn.Bookmark here

“The Ikou River here, as you should know, is a very wide river. Just
around this area is Ikou Bridge. So far, it is the only way to Ezorn.
Instead of attacking the front line we will attack the rear line from
here.”Bookmark here

Pointing to a heavily wooded area that appeared to be a jungle, Aryia
was a bit worried about the trees. The rest of the squad looked over the
map.Bookmark here

“Anything else we should know Major?” Deadeye asked.Bookmark here

“Only fire if fired upon. We leave in one hour,” Lylianna said as she
stood up.Bookmark here

Without another word Lylianna headed outside for the weapons storage
room. The rest of the Knights got up and followed Lylianna. After
gearing up the Knights headed for a helicopter that was ready to take
them to the position that Lylianna had specified.Bookmark here

Flying for almost five hours gave Aryia enough time to think about
things. About the mission; about Lylianna…Bookmark here

Aryia looked over to her as she sat there as calm as always. *I wonder
how she truly feels*, Aryia thought. Time passed until Aryia had to
focus her thoughts on the mission before her. The helicopter hovered
over the drop‑zone as Lylianna slid open the door.Bookmark here

“Go!”Bookmark here

Within seconds Melissa grabbed a rope tied tightly to a handle on the
side of the helicopter and started to slide down the rope, reaching the
bottom within seconds. Ryliah followed soon after along with Deadeye.
Aryia turned to Lylianna for a brief second and then grabbed the rope.
Sliding down the rope would have burned Aryia’s hands had she not been
wearing gloves.Bookmark here

The area where they had dropped was a dense forest, surrounded by thick
luxuriant trees. Everyone took up a defensive position after Lylianna
finally descended. As Aryia laid there in the dirt watching her fire
sector, the Doppler shift of the helicopter became apparent to her. Once
the helicopter was completely gone Lylianna stood up.Bookmark here

“All right, lets go.”Bookmark here

\* \* \*Bookmark here

Aryia laid there under the thick brush of ligneous saplings. Lylianna
had signaled for all of them to hit the dirt only after traveling for a
few meters. Six meters out — twenty feet — Aryia could could see a
Versyian soldier patrolling the woodland area. *He is probably part of a
scouting party*, Aryia thought as she trained her weapon on the man.
*They probably heard the helicopter in the distance and sent him to
check it out*.Bookmark here

The man continued to look around for any sign of people but found
nothing. Once he was satisfied he turned the other way and left. A few
minutes passed as the Knights continued to stay as still as the wind.
Lylianna slowly got up and signaled for everyone to get up and continue
on. After traveling for some time they came to a river near the base of
a mountain.Bookmark here

“Hold here,” Lylianna whispered.Bookmark here

Everyone took up defensive positions as Lylianna pulled out a map and a
<abbr>GPO</abbr>. The sound of the rushing waterfall was all Aryia could
hear as Lylianna continued to pinpoint where the bridge was at. Lylianna
signaled for everyone to form up.Bookmark here

“The bridge is five‑hundred five kilometers. We hold here to eat and
drink, five minutes and then we move South.”Bookmark here

Aryia opened up one of her rations once it was her turn to eat. She had
gotten used to taste of the rations. After finishing the cold beans
Aryia readied her weapon as Lylianna signaled for everyone to head out.Bookmark here

All of them slowly made their way until they came to a clearing in the
heavily dense woodland. The river continued on as far as the eye could
see.Bookmark here

“Deadeye, cover our approach to the bridge,” Lylianna said.Bookmark here

With a nod Deadeye used his magic to shift the ground around them. He
made slight shifts when forming the hills to camouflage their
clandestine approach. They moved slowly at a snail’s pace until they
stopped about one‑thousand meters away from the bridge. Deadeye
carefully set up an observation post while Lylianna looked through her
binoculars.Bookmark here

Once the observation post was finished Deadeye readied a sniping
position just in case he was needed while the others settled into the
dirt bunker he had made.Bookmark here

The observation post was nothing special. A simple hole in the ground
with a tunnel near the rear leading down into a small area where two
people could sleep when not watching the bridge.Bookmark here

Lylianna turned to Aryia after surveying the bridge.Bookmark here

“Aryia, I want you to try and get as close to the bridge as you can. We
need more information about the bridge. Come nightfall start heading
out.”Bookmark here

“Will do Major.”Bookmark here

As a crepuscule golden hue filled the once blue sky Aryia readied
herself. She was a bit nervous but it quickly passed as she continued to
tell herself that it would be okay.Bookmark here

“Be back before day break,” Lylianna said as she turned back to watch
the bridge.Bookmark here

Once she was ready Aryia quickly but quietly made her way for the
bridge. Using the sound of the river to mask her steps she was able to
make her way under the bridge without anyone noticing her. For a while
she heard nothing but the sound of her heartbeat. It was beating a bit
faster then usual.Bookmark here

A few hours passed as Aryia scouted out the bridge little by little. She
took note of the guards and what they were doing. As she continued to
gather information she overheard two guards talking to each other.Bookmark here

“So, are you ready for the hike?”Bookmark here

“Don’t remind me. Even if we are walking the pathway around Mountain
Yunaria it is still a pain.”Bookmark here

*Hike? Mount Yunaria? That sounds bad for us*, Aryia thought as she
checked her watch. *I need to get this information back to Lylianna and
quick*. Aryia made her way back to the observation post and sat down
beside Lylianna.Bookmark here

“So, what did you learn?” she asked as she continued to look through her
binoculars.Bookmark here

“There are heavy fire resistant emplacements on the bridges and I over
heard a plan about a hike through Mountain Yunaria.”Bookmark here

“I see. Aryia, spot for Deadeye while I look into this,” Lylianna said
as she handed over her binoculars to her.Bookmark here

Lylianna pulled out her map and studied it carefully. She ran through
all the routes she believed a size‑able platoon would take. Once she had
an idea of what might be done she turned to Aryia and Deadeye.Bookmark here

“Aryia, Deadeye, we need to fall back from here to the mountain base
line. Once we have an idea of where this army may go we can set up an
ambush along a cliff side. Aryia, get those two up, we move out now.”Bookmark here

Lylianna quickly packed up her stuff as Deadeye did the same. Aryia
headed into the small dirt enclosure to wake up Melissa and Ryliah.
After waking up the two of them they all headed out for the base of
Mountain Yunaria. While everyone slowly made their way back Deadeye
covered their tracks.Bookmark here

At the base of the mountain Lylianna looked for an easy pathway that a
platoon would take through the mountains. After finding a suitable slope
up the mountain Lylianna signaled for everyone to follow her.Bookmark here

\* \* \*Bookmark here

Mountain Yunaria stood ten‑thousand two‑hundred ten meters above sea
level. Its precipitous geological formation made it hard to climb for
most people. There was only one road that led through the mountains.Bookmark here

The Knights continued to follow the road until they came to a valley
that was as deep as *Hyria’s Trench*. It was known to the locals as
*Belvogore’s Pass*. Lylianna took note of the large canyon formation and
figured it would be the perfect place to setup a trap.Bookmark here

“Listen up team, we will ambush the platoon in this valley. Deadeye,
setup at the end just there. The assault will begin on your shot.
Melissa and Ryliah, you two cover the rear just there. Mow down anyone
that tries to leave.”Bookmark here

After the others left — leaving just Lylianna and Aryia alone — Lylianna
looked over to Aryia.Bookmark here

“Aryia, you and I will take the top of this valley and rain down fire so
to speak.”Bookmark here

With a simple nod Aryia headed off to try and find a way up to the
canyon walls. After a few hours of setting up Aryia looked at her watch
and began to wonder. She laid back against one of the rocks near the
cliff overlooking the valley below. Aryia could feel her body getting a
bit tired after some time but she knew that she needed to stay awake.Bookmark here

*Maybe I should write a memoir of my time in the Black Knights*, Aryia
thought.Bookmark here

Hours passed well into the nightfall until Aryia snapped to at a sound
in the distance. She could make out the sounds of soldiers barking
orders along with the sound of at least five‑hundred soldiers heading
their way.Bookmark here

Aryia looked over all the ammo she had. She readied herself as the army
began to make their way down the narrow valley. Minutes passed as Aryia
waited for Deadeye to fire his sniper rifle. As she watched the soldiers
pour into the valley she begin to wonder if the five of them could
actually kill all the soldiers. Aryia continued to wonder until she
heard one shot rang out, there was no more time to think about things.Bookmark here

\* \* \*Bookmark here

Lylianna quickly pulled the pin on her grenade and dropped it on the
unsuspecting soldiers below. Once she had gone through all of her
grenades she fired her rifle into the crowd of soldiers who were to
disordered to even fight back. *This is to easy*, Lylianna thought as
she fired her gun at the head of a running soldier. Before long the
valley appeared to be soaked in blood and seemed to flow like a river.
*Perhaps this valley should be renamed as Death Valley*, Lylianna
thought as she made her way down one of the gentle slopes.Bookmark here

The Knights slowly converged to the center of the valley, stepping over
bodies and trying not to get blood on their boots as best they could.
Once they had made it to the center — checking bodies as they went —
Lylianna noticed a young girl sitting against the large rock wall of the
valley.Bookmark here

She noticed that the young girl was bleeding from below the knee where a
stray bullet had lodged itself. After striping the girl of all the
weapons on her Lylianna looked to Melissa.Bookmark here

“Patch her up.”Bookmark here

Melissa nodded as she began to remove the girl’s boot and roll up her
pants leg, revealing a bullet hole fifteen centimeters below her knee.
Lylianna looked at the girl. It was clear she was young for her age and
was no older then twenty years of age.Bookmark here

“What is your name?” Lylianna asked.Bookmark here

“Second Lieutenant Lynix Tyrivel, number zero seven zero four zero nine
two.”Bookmark here

A few minutes had passed before Melissa had managed to fix up the bullet
wound, however, walking on it would prove to be a challenge.Bookmark here

“Aryia you will have to carry Lieutenant Tyrivel on your back,” Lylianna
said as she stood up.Bookmark here

Melissa injected a needle into the neck of Lieutenant Tyrivel that made
her fall asleep almost instantly. Once they were ready the Knights
headed back to the City of Mejorin with their prisoner of war.Bookmark here

\* \* \*Bookmark here

Aryia continued to carry Lieutenant Tyrivel until they came to a large
building that was once a police station. She placed her into one of the
cells and locked the door.Bookmark here

“Melissa, Ryliah, you two watch the Lieutenant,” Lylianna said as she
headed for the door.Bookmark here

“Yes ma’am.”Bookmark here

Aryia and Deadeye followed behind her. As they continued to walk
Lylianna turned to the two of them.Bookmark here

“You two should get some rest.”Bookmark here

Lylianna headed off to the command Headquarters leaving Aryia and
Deadeye standing there.Bookmark here

“Well, you heard the Major,” Deadeye said heading for the house they
were staying in.Bookmark here

“Right.”Bookmark here

The two of them entered the house with Aryia taking one bedroom and
Deadeye taking the other. As Aryia slept she began to recall the
nightmare when she killed the young girl, Anna. Waking up in fear Aryia
quickly found herself pinned down against her bed. Lylianna had
straddled Aryia’s hips as she slept.Bookmark here

“Aryia calm down.”Bookmark here

It took Aryia a few seconds to calm herself before she closed her eyes.Bookmark here

“Major…”Bookmark here

Without hesitation Lylianna pressed her lips to Aryia’s. Aryia began to
felt a calm peace as Lylianna continued to kiss her.Bookmark here

“I know how you feel Aryia but try not to think about it, okay?”Bookmark here

“Thank you Lylianna…”Bookmark here

Lylianna got off of her and looked at her watch, taking note that it was
nearing 2300 hours.Bookmark here

“Go and tell Ryliah that you will take her shift.”Bookmark here

With a simple nod Aryia got up and headed for the police station. She
ambled over to the building as she thought about what Lylianna did. *She
makes me feel calm*, she thought. As she entered the building Melissa
was laying down on one of the wooden desk, humming to herself. Ryliah
stood against the wall with her arms crossed.Bookmark here

“Ryliah, Lylianna told me to take over your shift.”Bookmark here

“All right.”Bookmark here

Ryliah headed out the front door as Aryia sat down in one of the wooden
chairs. She looked over to Lieutenant Tyrivel who was sitting on the bed
in a black short‑sleeve tee‑shirt and camouflage patterned pants. It
appeared that Ryliah and Melissa had been feeding her quite well.Bookmark here

A few hours passed in silence as Aryia continued to delve into her own
mind. She was still feeling guilty over killing that innocent girl. It
was hard for her to forget her face.Bookmark here

“Hey Melissa…”Bookmark here

Melissa sat up and looked to Aryia.Bookmark here

“What is it Aryia?”Bookmark here

“How does one deal with killing an innocent person?”Bookmark here

“There are many ways to deal with it. One could drink themselves to no
end, which is what most soldiers end up doing. Some kill themselves to
be done with it.”Bookmark here

“None of those seem like great alternatives.”Bookmark here

Melissa laughed.Bookmark here

“No, but the other way is just hope that the next mission happens. If
you are to focused on a mission it is hard to think about the past.”Bookmark here

“That just seems like running away from it.”Bookmark here

“Not really, but antithetical people handle these things differently.
The only other thing would be to talk to someone.”Bookmark here

Aryia sat back in the chair and closed her eyes.Bookmark here

“Do you have trouble sleeping? If so, I could get you a drug that would
help you get to sleep and stay asleep.”Bookmark here

“I have trouble living with it…”Bookmark here

“It will become easier in time.”Bookmark here

“That doesn’t make me feel better Melissa.”Bookmark here

“No, but there is no changing the past. You killed an innocent civilian
and you just have to live with it until you die.”Bookmark here

“And what if I can’t live with it?”Bookmark here

Melissa didn’t speak for a minute.Bookmark here

“In time you will be able to.”Bookmark here

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