As the moon dipped down and the sun began to rise and replace it, Caleb departed from the Griiq and returned to the waiting werewolves that had stood guard all night.
“Remind me not to anger any Griiq,” said Caleb to no one I particular.
“So did you get anything out of him?” asked Vilkas.
“I didn’t do much of the interrogation, it was mostly the Griiq who used their skills,” said Caleb with a shudder after remembering what he saw.
“We did learn some important news. Then enemies vanguard will be invading soon and will be setting up a forward base! The humans we ran into were scouts for the vanguard that were looking for weak spots in our defense. They were also given the task of finding our main base so that they could send a raiding force to attack it and divert some of our strength from any future battles. We have to head back and report this immediately.”
“Yes! With these last few weeks full of accomplishments we should be on our way to getting a promotion!” said Frang happily.
“Hmph, promotions are not that easy to get. If they were everyone in the army would be an officer with no soldiers to command,” said Vilkas.
Redbeard stood in the command tent in front of General Blaez for the second time in the last two weeks.
“Your unit seems to have a special skill at finding out important information. This is the second time that you have given us vital information. It is appreciated very much. As I said before if and when this is confirmed everyone will be compensated in due time,” said General Blaez.
“General, my men were just at the right place during the right time. We are just lucky that we were able to stumble upon such success. I will be sure to let the men know that their work is appreciated,” said Redbeard.
“You are dismissed,” said General Blaez.
When Redbeard left the command tent the officers started a heated discussion on what to do.
It was quickly decided to send another unit with a messenger bird to the front lines to watch the enemy army.
The several 100+ scouting units that were currently patrolling were to be recalled immediately back to the main army so that they could move and counter the enemy with their full strength if needed.
It was early morning several days later when a messenger bird flew into its home nest and waited for the leather tube to be taken off its back.
After the messenger in charge of the rookery saw the hastily written words urgent on the rolled-up letter he hurriedly ran towards the Generals tent and handed over the letter.
“What’s this?” asked General Blaez trying to clear the sleep from his eyes.
“It is a letter that just came from the scouts that are watching the main army,” said the messenger.
General Blaez quickly waved him away before opening the letter and reading the short message written.
“Moe, go gather the other officers immediately,” shouted Blaez to his attendant who was stationed outside of his tent.
Ten minutes later the command tent was filled with the commanding officers of the beta packs.
“The information from the other day was true,” said General Blaez waving the paper letter around.
“The enemies main vanguard with over 2000 soldiers left the main army and headed straight in our direction. It is most likely that they are just clearing the way for the main army’s attack, this is no feint. Also, the enemy’s army has indeed split into three and along with the movement of the vanguard 5000 soldiers have started to move to the left flank while another 5000 has gone to the right leaving only the vanguard and the main army together numbering 10k as the center.”
“It is a good thing we recalled our scouting warriors otherwise we would have been caught flat-footed and unable to immediately respond,” said Gren the officer of the 6th beta pack.
“We will move out immediately to stop the enemy from gaining any advantage by flanking us and split into three packs to counter each of the enemy’s armies. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Beta packs will fight the vanguard and the main army led by me. The 4th beta pack will counter the left diversion army while the 5th beta pack will counter the right. We will have to have the 6th beta pack split between the three groups in order to help even the numbers against the enemy. So it will be 3500 to the left 3500 to the right and 8000 to fight the enemy’s main army. Gren, you can choose which of the three packs you want to fight in since your command has been split.”
“I would like to fight alongside you General! Because that is surely where the main fighting will be,” said Gren.
He was not particularly upset about his command being split in fact he was happier than the others thought he should be. This order suited him well since it lessened what he had to worry about and allowed him to focus on fighting which he liked more than commanding.
He had only gotten the spot of the 6th beta pack commander because he was too good at fighting. The promotion had put shackles on his love of fighting and he had been forced into the role of commanding and watching the battles more often than fighting on the front lines.
“Do you have any special orders for us? Do you want us to attack or defend against the diversion armies?” asked Yarow the commander of the 4th beta pack.
“For now keep them in check and make sure they can not do anything that would harm us or the civilians. If you see a chance to defeat them take it. Otherwise, be ready to receive any orders as I may require you to rejoin us or do another task. Everyone go and prepare to move out before noon,” ordered General Blaez.
Akira watched as almost half of the werewolf army split into two large forces with one heading out east and the other to the west. They marched to an uncertain battle where the enemy would outnumber them.
He could not worry about their troubles as he was traveling with the core army of 8000 werewolf warriors.
They were moving as quickly as a large army with a large baggage train could move in the swamplands, towards the enemy’s vanguard who were now under constant watch form the hidden werewolf scouts.
“I heard that the enemy’s vanguard has already picked a decent rare piece of dry land as their main base in our territory,” said Frang.
“From who?” asked Akira.
“Bert, he takes care of the messenger birds. He also said that he head from the general that we would be able to see the human army soon.”
“What he says is true. I received word from Redbeard earlier today we should be encountering them either tonight or sometime tomorrow. We have just been given an order to scout ahead of the army and if we can, we are to either destroy or kick the vanguard back to their main army,” said Ardolf.
Everyone after hearing this hardened their hearts for the battles that were now approaching faster and faster.
The moon was high in the sky, giving off a faint light that trickled through the many clouds that covered the night sky.
It was not enough for humans to see clearly in the dark swamp jungles without large torches and campfires.
The burning fires and torches of the roaming patrolling soldiers were like a beacon in the night showing their exact positions to the scouting werewolves.
The sounds of shovels digging could be heard as the humans continued to work late into the night trying to hurriedly make a fortification out of the damp swamp dirt.
Akira watched the enemy soldiers from a safe and well-hidden spot out of the range of their vision and hearing along with the rest of the werewolf warriors that had been sent ahead to deal with the vanguard.
The unsuspecting vanguard had been silently surrounded on all sides and didn’t even know it. It was that or they thought that the werewolves would do nothing while also thinking that if they did get attacked they had enough soldiers to defend the incomplete fortifications.
Akira’s eyes scanned over the dry patch of ground that the enemy had chosen. It was a rather wide dry island surrounded by ankle-deep and in some places waist-deep swamp water.
It was not so wide that a full 20k army would not feel cramped and it had little room for the enemy’s cavalry to be of any use. What it did have going for it was that it was a good defendable place that would be hard to assault if they were allowed to solidify their hold on it.
Klyn and Frang stood in the shadows of trees next to Akira waiting for the order to attack. Four of the five epsilon packs had been sent ahead to crush the enemy vanguard while the main army continued to move forward.
Frang was shaking with excitement, while Klyn had a look of irritation. He hated fighting and would rather just study his shaman chants and herbalism. He already knew this would be a big fight and everyone would be counting on his buffs. Even if he didn’t fight he would be extremely tired from all the buffs he would have to use.
Before Akira could make a comment to calm the two down, the high pitch sound of the command whistle was heard from the rear signaling to each warrior that it was time to commence the attack.
Slowly the noose around the enemy tightened as the werewolves crept forward as they walked silently in the swampy water.
As Akira moved forward with the rest of the 3rd epsilon he focused on the enemy soldiers patrolling in front of him ready to start his charge into battle if the enemy discovered their presence.
Klyn was busy quietly chanting and re-chanting his shaman buffs making sure that everyone would have something at the beginning of the battle.
Several light thunks were heard after Redbeard gave the order for the crossbows to shot at the nearest patrolling soldiers.
The bolts whizzed through the air and pierced the two patrolling soldiers’ heads killing them immediately. The burning torch that one of them had been holding fell to the soggy sand and rolled into the water letting out a soft hiss as it was extinguished.
The werewolf warriors halted all movement as they looked towards the enemy’s half-built fortifications. When no alarm was sounded they continued to walk forward.
They silently stepped out of the swamp onto the dry land and continued walking in the darkness of night towards the half-complete dirt walls of the large fort.
The sounds of shovels digging and throwing the dirt onto the wall was even louder now. Akira could now clearly see hundreds of the soldiers outside of the wall digging a moat and using the dirt that was dug to add to the walls of the fort.
They were only halfway towards the wall when a cry of alarm was raised on the north side of the fort on the opposite side of where Akira, Frang, and Klyn were.
The sound of battle along with the howls of the werewolf warriors to the north could be heard as the enemy soldiers started to engage in battle.
Redbeard held up and hand to for everyone to stop and they watched as the soldiers outside of the fortification in front of them dropped their shovels and ran north to fight off the 4th epsilon pack leaving this side of the fort lightly defended and wide open for an attack.
Similar cries of alarm sounded from the east and west walls as the 1st and 2nd epsilon packs started their attacks.
With another whistle command from Redbeard, all 500 warriors of the 3rd epsilon charged forward to try and use this to their advantage to enter the fort unopposed while the enemy was occupied at the other three walls.
Akira sprinted forward with a great burst of speed taking the lead when he reached the wall he tensed his muscles and jumped over the half dug moat. He landed right next to the sandy wall and started to climb up it with Frang, Vilkas, and Klyn following right behind him.
When Akira reached the top of the wall he crouched down looking for targets from the higher vantage point.
“Commander it should be safe back here. You can stay here while the soldiers fight off the enemy,” came the voice of a middle-aged man nearby hidden in a row of tents.
“Huh…huh…those damn werewolves…attacking without warning and making me run. Who do they think they are!”
“It’s called a sneak attack sir.”
“You idiot I know what it’s called.”
Hearing the voices Akira and several other warriors that had joined him on the wall, dropped down to the ground and stealthily walked towards the sound of the voices, while the rest of the warriors fanned out to find other targets.
“Father I thought you said that this would be a safe place to earn a few ranks in the military!” whined a young voice.
“How was I supposed to know that the blasted werewolves would know we were here and decide to attack us.”
Akira crept closer towards the voices and stopped at the edge of the tent he was hiding behind.
He could hear the breathing of several people just around the corner. The nearest person to him was the whiny young voice who was right in front of Akira.
Akira looked to Klyn, Frang, and Vilkas who all nodded that they were ready.
“Father I want…”
Akira charged around the corner revealing a small square opening where a fire was burning around the campfire were several soldiers standing near two extremely fat people.
With his shield raised to block any attacks that came his way, he thrust his sword forward towards the nearest person that was in front of him which was the smaller of the two mountains of flesh.
His sword pierced all the way through the thin leather armor and completely passed through the flabs of flesh and exited his stomach.
The whiny youth could not finish his sentence and was only able to look down at the sword sticking out of his belly looking like someone sticking out their tongue.
“TUBBORD! You vile demons! What have you done to my son!” shouted the fat commander in a mixture of surprise, anger, and horror.
Akira quickly pulled his sword out and turned his attention to the commander that had just spoken.
One of the soldiers used a warhorn to raise the alarm and let everyone know that the enemy was also attacking the rear.
“Protect the commander get him out of here!” shouted a soldier as he ran forward along with several other soldiers to meet Akira and the other werewolves that had flooded out from behind the tents.
Akira used the skill [Shield bash] to knock two soldiers out of his way as he charged towards the escaping commander.
Seeing Akira going for the commander Frang did not want to be outdone and tried to follow but was stopped when a sword swung towards his head.
Clang! He swung his sword up to block the attack and pushed the sword back towards the knight that had attacked him.
“Get out of my way! I have to kill that fat guy so I can get promoted!”
“Fook off! You ain’t killing no one!” shouted the knight while kicking Frang with an armored boot.
Several other warriors started to engage in fighting the soldiers around them.
Akira was able to plow his way through the soldiers that tried to block him catch up to the commander.
He was only able to poke him several times in the butt when he tried to pierce the large man making the commander cry in pain.
For a fat person, he was surprisingly fast and agile when it came to trying to escape someone.
A soldier running with the commander jumped at Akira swinging his sword while shouting, “Your opponent is me!”
With a quick slash of his sword, Akira used the skill [Slash] bisecting the soldier and as well as another person that had come to help.
Seeing this the commander let out a whimper and continued to run trying to escape from Akira.
Even more, soldiers that had come running to fend off the attackers in the rear after hearing the warhorn, now saw Akira chasing the commander.
They tried to block Akira’s path but were all cut down or fatality wounded.
Akira stopped next to one of the soldiers that had just died and picked up his spear.
With a firm stance, he hurled the spear at the running commander piercing his upper thigh causing him to fall to the ground with a loud thump.
“Don’t kill me! I am worth a lot of gold if you ransom me!” blubbered the fat commander as he tried to crawl away from Akira who had appeared next to him.
“I’m not interested in money. If you have any information I can think about sparing your life,” said Akira raising his sword ready to kill the man.
“But.. but… I don’t know anything! That damn Brutus doesn’t share his plans with anyone other than the prince!”
Akira’s sword swung down and separated the commander’s head from his flabby neck in one clean move.
“The commander is dead!”
“Kill that guy!”
“No! Are you insane! We need to escape from here or we will die as well!”
Several shouts rang out adding to the confusion of the battle.
Akira was forced to fight several other soldiers as he backed away and tried to return to the rest of the werewolves.