Chapter II The Mission
Rhilian, Dytrallious, Shuyan, Jionous, Bullinous and two other well trained soldiers by the names of Chundack who was born in a trade post in Gaulatraus region and Tynillius who was a distant cousin of Dytrallious and was born in Hildurio Imperial Metropolis. Chundack was an enormous man who wielded a large halberd. Tynillius was a much smaller man but was very quick almost as quick as Dytrallious. He wielded two short swords and had several throwing daggers attached to his belt. The seven members waited patiently back at the camp as the army marched on, towards the gloomy forest. Rhilian knew he was sending some of his men to their deaths but there was no other way with out having even greater losses. Around one hundred of the soldiers remained to guard the encampment; Rhilian saw the relief in their faces. After waiting several everlasting hours Rhilian's group marched to the north entrance of the encampment and began their tiresome journey to the Sentinel's camp.
"I can't wait to feed my halberd the blood of sentinels." Chundack roared out as he stroked his halberd. Shuyan turned to him.
"They aren't as bad as you think; I mean they managed to hit Rhilian with arrows that means they have to be pretty skilful. Besides we got to find where the actual encampment is, we know the general direction but still we may get slightly off course," Shuyan said as he inspected his bow. For the rest of the journey to the trees they were quiet.
"Ok withdraw your weapons and if you see a sentinel archer or scout don't engage them unless they see you. They could alert others then this mission will pretty much fail." Rhilian whispered to his six companions. He turned to the thick forest and walked through with his two handed sword withdrawn. The rest of the group followed with their magnificent weapons out too. Dytrallious and Shuyan walked beside Rhilian while Jionous, Bullinous, Chundack and Tynillius stealth fully followed behind. Whenever they heard a noise close by they jumped and pointed their weapons to face the possible threat but it usually turned out to be a scared animal or worried bird.
"Damn piece of crap, when are we getting there?" Tynillius asked loudly as he watched another animal run for its life. Rhilian continued looking forward and said grumpily
"How the hell would I know? You sound like a child. We'll get there when we get there, until that be quiet and be alert." Shuyan and Dytrallious looked at him in surprise then continued their journey in silence. Rhilian at the moment only trusted two of his senses: hearing and smell. He didn't know if the sentinels did hold magic but if they did then they may be able to affect their senses and be able to sneak up and finish them quickly. He constantly turned around to check if all was clear which it was.
Suddenly he whipped around as he heard distant sentinel voices. He used his hand to indicate them to get down which his group did abruptly. Rhilian then crawled forward through some bushes and saw a path which five sentinels were sprinting across.
"Mistress Thirsa says they have entered to the south of the forest, we already have archers down there stalling them but Mistress Thirsa ordered me to take you guys down to help. Several other groups will join us there." One of the higher ranking sentinels said as he continued sprinting.
"What about the archer guards here?" another one said in a worried tone. Rhilian edged forward hoping he could hear more as they sprinted past.
"Most of them have been moved to attack the army but some have been order to protect the camp just in case the army gets through." The higher rank replied. Rhilian was unable to hear anymore, due to the archers now far in the distance. Rhilian crawled back to his sabotage group and whispered
"Apparently some of the archers have been drawn out of the camp due to the army. But some remain so we still got to be careful. Also there's a path here, we won't walk on it but if we stick close to it, it might led us to their camp. Now more than ever we have to be vigilant. May Hildurio watch over us." The group got up but became even stealthier than before. Shuyan would aim at every tree in the way in case a sentinel was keeping watch, however there never were.
After almost five hours of stealthy walking next to the long path, it widened and finally led to the encampment. Rhilian and his comrades went through the plan.
"We enter from the side over there" Rhilian said pointing over "Shuyan watches over us in the trees, Dytrallious, Jionous and me will go first. We will eliminate any possible guards then we call you over and Shuyan comes too. Then we light up the encampment. We will take children and women, they are not to be harmed unless they pose possible threats. Hildurio city will deal with them once they're captured. Oh yes and I am to remind you that we do not slaughter any surrendering enemies. I will deal with the one they call Mistress Thirsa." Rhilian said looking gloomily at the camp. The men ran to their designated places while Shuyan clumsily climbed a tree. Jionous, Dytrallious and Rhilian waited outside the unprotected camp scanning the area for possible threats. After several minutes of spying on the camp they sneakily walked in with their weapons drawn. Shuyan had two arrows like usual notched in the bow in case of a surprise attack, he watched over the three members of his party make their way to the nearest tent. When they got inside he lowered his bow knowing he couldn't do anything while they were inside. Rhilian investigated several different artefacts lying on a nearby shelf before putting one of the lantern flames to the flammable tent walls. The three sprinted out as the tent went up in flames. They sprinted into the forest where the other members waited.
"What are you doing?" Bullinous asked as he watched ten sentinels come running to the burning tent.
"We'll see how many guards they have now, and then we can take as many of them as we can." Rhilian replied quietly watching the sentinels throw sand onto the blazing fire. Seven more sentinels arrived making the total seventeen.
Rhilian looked up then gave the order to Shuyan. Shuyan released the two arrows which skimmed through the air into two unsuspecting sentinels, killing them instantly. The living sentinels whipped around to see where the arrows came from. Then Rhilian and his companions not including Shuyan ran forward to greet the enemy. Shuyan released two more arrows which slammed into two more unsuspecting sentinels. The sentinels cried out in anger as they clashed with Rhilian's group. Shuyan ceased releasing arrows and watched the battle take place. Rhilian twirled around with his sword cutting through one sentinel's legs, then slicing up through the poor sentinel's stomach. Dytrallious magnificently blocked two on coming attacks then instantly decapitated the offenders. Bullinous leapt up and brought his giant axe down the middle of another sentinel. Jionous spun his metal pole around colliding the spikes with one sentinel's face then stabbed him spilling the sentinels' intestines with the sharp end.
Tynillius jabbed one in the neck then blocked an on coming attack to the right with his other sword. He then released one of his swords and withdrew one of the many throwing daggers. He tossed it at one of the charging sentinels causing it to dug deeply into the sentinel's neck. Chundack launched forward bowling over many of the sentinels; he then twirled his halberd once he reached the middle of the enemy. Many torsos flew haplessly into the air. Within minutes the battle was over, and Shuyan came down to congratulate the victors. Rhilian watched Chundack walk back to the group with large cuts across his torso.
"You alright Chundack? Those are deep cuts." Rhilian asked with a worried tone.
"I'll be fine, I'm a Gaulatraus man. I can take a beating." He said smiling revealing his unwholesome teeth.
The group then went around burning all the tents, and herded the women and children into the middle where they wept and sat watched in horror as there homes burnt to the ground. Rhilian looked away from the weeping women.
'This is war, they are the enemy. They will be imprisoned and then released and all will be alright." Rhilian thought trying to reassure himself. Shuyan shot up the fire arrow to indicate they had achieved their goal. Dytrallious then walked up to Rhilian and pointed out one last tent which looked far more superior. Suddenly a tall beautiful woman with long black hair walked out of the tent holding a long metal spear and a small wooden buckler. Rhilian walked towards her holding out his sword. Her eyes were pure blue like Minella's; she was around six and a half feet tall and was very slender. She was very attractive but Rhilian thought only of his mission as he approached her
"I'm guessing your Thirsa; I'm here to take you to Hildurio prison for the attacks on our kingdom." Rhilian said boldly with his chest stuck out. Thirsa stared at Rhilian almost pitying him.
"Ah Rhilian, I warned you in your dreams not to attack this encampment. I'm sure you remember, it was a dream that not many would forget. The diamond swords will be needed in the future and you are destined to get them. So I won't kill you but if you don't leave now and take your mob with you I will cause you a great deal of pain." She said staring directly into Rhilian's eyes. Rhilian smiled revealing his yellowish teeth.
"Poor women, I don't know how you know of my future quest but I know that you can not cause me pain. I bet that pretty little spear is just for show. Plus if you wanted me alive why did you send your poorly trained sentinels to attack me" He said with his lip curled. Thirsa bowed her head then looked back up at Rhilian.
"It's a pity I don't wish to hurt you, the sentinels I sent were to test you to see whether you had the brains, strength and skill to get the diamond swords, in my book you failed but my father says you passed. I was hoping maybe one day we could be friends but you've left me no choice." She said finally then leapt of the ground. Rhilian watched in amazement as the back of her cloths burst open revealing large bat like wings. Her spear began to glow bright and her eyes turned completely black. Rhilian leapt back holding his sword out. Shuyan notched two more arrows awaiting Rhilian's command. Rhilian leapt up at her and began slashing with his sword. She dodged it with amazing speed then amazingly shot a bolt of lightning from her spear into Rhilian. Rhilian recoiled backwards clutching his chest, the crowd of children and women cried out in happiness but was quickly silenced by Chundack looming over them. Rhilian ripped off his chest plate and saw a huge black burn mark resting there. Rhilian roared out in anger and ordered Shuyan to fire. Thirsa made a simple gesture of her hands and caused them to disintegrate in mid flight.
Shuyan gasped in surprise then notched three more arrows again awaiting Rhilian's orders. Thirsa stared down at him then struck him as well with a lightning bolt. Shuyan collapsed yelling out in pain as his bow flew from his hands. Thirsa then hovered down next to Rhilian flapping her wings silently.
"I guess your wrong about the thing where I can't hurt you. By the looks of it, you're in a lot of pain." She said smiling. Rhilian's eyes narrowed then he twirled his sword around was about to collide with Thirsa's neck when… A huge hand appeared and the sword bounced harmlessly off it. Rhilian looked up and saw the eight foot man called Garacius again. He recoiled back in surprise.
"Rhilian, I warned you. You were not to harm this encampment." Garacius roared out ferociously. "Then you go and try harm my daughter. I'm a very busy man and do not wish to stop you every time you make a wrong decision. You are to forget Nadurio's commands to destroy this encampment and go on your own quest for the diamond swords." Rhilian looked angrily at the huge figure.
"Who are you to tell me what to do…? I should strike you down where you stand." Rhilian yelled out angrily. Garacius began to laugh and was followed by Thirsa.
"Rhilian, you just don't get it. I can't die; I can't even be cut by that sword. I'm as you would call it… Immortal." Garacius said as he crushed Rhilian's sword in shards of metal. Rhilian gasped in surprise then backed away hopelessly. Dytrallious walked next to Rhilian who was puffing on the ground, he placed his hand on his shoulder and whispered
"Leave it be Rhilian, we've already demolished most of the encampment. Let's just leave the encampment, alive." Rhilian stuttered then looked at Garacius who was staring bleakly back at him. Garacius had short brown hair which was curled in an odd fashion. He had green piercing eyes which made Rhilian feel uneasy. He was very muscular and far taller than Chundack. In his belt were two shiny axes which oddly enough had blue light radiating from them.
"Alright…" Rhilian reluctantly said as he forced himself to his feet.
"Rhilian, I suggest riding back to Hildurio metropolis quickly. Your wife Minella may be in great peril." Garacius said then disappeared with Thirsa and then the celebrating prisoners. Rhilian looked down at his absolutely ruined sword in despair. Dytrallious walked up next to him again with Shuyan who was puffing deeply and holding his chest.
"I think that guy may be right, he doesn't seem the sort to lie to you. I think you should get back to Minella. Shuyan and I will go round up the army." Dytrallious said softly then led the men away. Rhilian had one final look at his family sword then sprinted off into the forest.
"Damn, what the fuck. Nadurio never told us we would be dealing with mages. I mean how can swordsmen and archers kill a mage?" Shuyan said angrily as he stared at his burnt chest. Dytrallious ignored Shuyan's question and thought back to Rhilian. He was crushed when he saw his sword crumble. It had been in his family for centuries. Shuyan looked up at Dytrallious.
"I know that sword was important to Rhilian, but he'll be alright." He said sorrowfully. Suddenly Dytrallious stopped and indicated his companions to do the same. Then they all heard something ahead of them frantically running their way. Shuyan withdrew his bow and this time only one arrow. Dytrallious stared in surprise as Filack came running through dense bush and saw the six men staring at him with confusion in their expressions. He was covered in blood and was breathing deeply. His eyes were wide open in fright.
"Dytrallious, the army is surrounded by hundreds of archers. We don't know where they are. They just… just seem to disappear. And… and… hey where's Rhilian?" He said frantically. Dytrallious eyed him carefully then responded
"Rhilian was called back to Hildurio city. Shuyan and I are in command now. Lead us back to the army and we'll deal with the archers." Filack smiled weakly then collapsed to the ground revealing two arrows sticking out of his back. Dytrallious rushed forward and tried to feel a pulse… he never did.
"How the hell did he make it that far with two arrows out his back?" Jionous said in amazement.
"Well I guess we'll just have to head in the direction he came from and hope it leads us to the army." Dytrallious said as he left Filack's corpse.
"Wasn't he supposed to stay outside the trees?" Shuyan asked in surprise.
Rhilian was sprinting non-stop towards his own encampment. He only thought about the safety of his wife Minella. She was a personal magician for king Nadurio and what annoyed Rhilian the most was that Garacius was her master and taught her the magic. Rhilian continued sprinting as the forest became dense again. Twigs and sticks lashed at him as he skimmed past, he realised he was totally defenceless if he encountered sentinels on his journey back to the encampment. The thought was forced out of his mind and was replaced with his fear of possibly losing Minella. After sprinting non stop Rhilian reached the exit of the ever stretching forest. His clothes were soaked in sweat and his face had cuts from protruding sticks. Rhilian looked up at the encampment and sighed in relief then continued sprinting towards it.
Dytrallious and his group were continuing with their journey to the army.
"I hear our men or the sentinels over there" Shuyan said pointing to the left of where they were heading. Dytrallious stopped everyone and listened. There were a lot of voices and one of them sounded like Thirsa. Shuyan raised his bow indicating to Dytrallious that he wished to have another go. Dytrallious nodded and whispered to his companions apart from Shuyan to stay where they were. Shuyan edged forward with Dytrallious and saw a large group of sentinels chattering away excitedly.
"Those stupid Hildurians, they came to destroy us and now they're in a small little group constantly being pelted by our arrows. I mean you would have thought they could think of a better plan than just walking into the enemy territory and expect you're better than they are." One of the sentinels yelled out happily. Then Shuyan saw Thirsa, she was wearing new cloths but was still holding her spear and buckler. He indicated to Dytrallious that he was going to take his shot. Dytrallious looked back in the direction of his comrades then back at Shuyan and nodded.
Shuyan kissed his bow and whispered
"May goddess Hynula and her blessed tree guide my next arrow to its target. May the enemy feel your wraith and if you choose your mercy." He then notched a unique bright red arrow and pulled back on the bow string. He recited what he said before releasing the unique arrow. It twirled past the waving trees, humming as it went. Thirsa turned to face it, she raised her hand and the back of the arrow began to disintegrate. Her eyes widened in shock as she realised her power wouldn't fully affect it. Within a split second it had reached her neck. Shuyan watched as it dug mercilessly into her throat, the sentinels jumped in surprise as they saw the arrow protrude from the back of her neck. Her beautiful eyes closed causing a tear to fall. She then lowered herself to the ground with the last of her strength and stopped moving. Shuyan turned away; it was the most horrific sight he had seen. He felt like he had just slain an innocent child. He fell to the ground shaking in anger and disappoint with himself.
The sentinels launched forward literally crying out in anger and shock. Dytrallious never saw the actual arrow hit but felt a great sadness wash over him when he saw her body lying motionlessly on the ground. He turned around and roared out
"Everyone attack." Seconds later the rest of his group launched forward from the dense bush and clashed with the insanely angered sentinels. Chundack again ran into the middle of the sentinels and began swinging his halberd crazily. Many sentinels cried out in agony as their torsos left there legs. Dytrallious leapt up kicked one of the sentinels in the throat cracking his jugular. He then ducked down as an enemy weapon twirled above him. He launched forward cutting deep into the one sentinel's chest then decapitated another with his other scimitar. Shuyan's bow was lying uselessly on the ground as Shuyan was shearing several sentinels with his machete. Jionous sent the jagged part of his pole into three unfortunate sentinels' stomachs then ripped it out again and battered another ones head into the ground. Bullinous cut through another's legs with his axe then leapt up and elbowed another foe in the neck then brought his axe down on his head. Tynillius was standing back releasing constant streams of daggers into the throats of battling sentinels. After almost ten minutes of battling, the wave of sentinels had greatly depleted. Dytrallious went around getting weapons and ordering any surrendered sentinels to the gather in one place so they could keep a close eye on them. Dytrallious looked over at Chundack, again he was bleeding badly but yet he was looking perfectly fine. Suddenly a huge figure appeared behind Dytrallious.
"Young Dytrallious, I warned Rhilian not to attack the sentinels and he followed my commands and I suggest you do the same. Rhilian will need your help and the man who murdered my daughter called Shuyan's help in getting the diamond swords. This is why your life and Shuyan's life will be spared. Now I will resurrect my daughter and be on my way." Garacius yelled out as he confronted Dytrallious. Chundack had enough and launched forward holding his halberd firmly. Garacius loomed over him and simply waved his hand causing Chundack to fly into a nearby tree.
"Garacius, I will not abandon Hildurio's army to the sentinels. If that means I die trying to get them safe then so be it." Dytrallious said boldly as he sheathed his scimitars. Garacius smiled then replied
"You're brave young Dytrallious but I'm afraid the only one who could order the sentinels around was my daughter and it'll take me hours… maybe days to resurrect her. I do not approve of you attacking the sentinels as they will play a huge part in saving Sendurius in the future. So I will teleport them to your encampment but if you attack another sentinel then I will kill them all."
"I will defend myself if a sentinel attacks but I am grateful for your powers. May I ask one question?" Dytrallious asked as he stared boldly at Garacius.
"Ha you're beginning to sound like someone I know which you will be meeting someday… Yes you may ask one question." Garacius replied as he looked around at the forest scenery
"Why will the diamond swords be needed?" He asked politely as he continued to look at Garacius showing no fear.
"Well this will take me a while to tell so I will answer it when you, Shuyan and Rhilian are together in Hildurio metropolis. Now what is about to happen may feel weird." Garacius announced then began twirling his hands around and chanting unknown words.
Rhilian was within metres of the encampment when without warning there came an extraordinary bright blue light appearing in front of him. He squinted due to the intensity of it then his eyes opened in shock and amazement as all of Hildurio army appeared in front of him. In the masses he saw Dytrallious, Shuyan and his other companions shaking slightly and looking around them.
"Rhilian, my first estimate was correct. Minella is in the same trouble that your mother faced. I would suggest making your way back to the city. I will enchant your horse to speed it up." A loud voice said next to Rhilian. Rhilian jumped and fall back as he heard the deep voice. He saw that it was Garacius.
"Same trouble my mother faced? My mother died when she was giving birth to me, Minella isn't pregnant." Rhilian said as he recovered from the sudden arrival of Garacius.
"No she's not… yet but your mother wasn't killed at your birth. She was killed by something else, which will try kill Minella as well. Now I must go tend to some matters, maybe your journey be swift." Garacius said then vanished. Rhilian cursed in anger then continued sprinting to the encampment where all the dumbfounded soldiers stood staring around in wonder.
Dytrallious looked out towards the hill and saw Rhilian emerge from behind it. He had cuts across his face and his cloths under his armour were drenched with sweat. Dytrallious walked over to Rhilian and was about to greet him when Rhilian yelled out
"Sorry Dytrallious, I've got to get back. You're in charge now." Dytrallious stood there in surprise then watched Rhilian run over to his white horse then saddle it. Within minutes he was riding along the path to Hildurio city. Dytrallious proceeded walking to the hill, while the army started talking with each other.
"Men of Hildurio, we are not to attack the sentinels anymore. We are to gather our resources from the encampment, take any wounded and leave back to Hildurio metropolis." Dytrallious roared out to the excited army. The army looked up to the large figure on the hill then proceeded towards their tents.