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Arc 7 Chapter 124: Gifts

The fierce fighting lasted only a half-hour before the last human soldier breathed their last.

When they finished counting the dead bodies, they were surprised to find the number of dead enemies was less than they had expected there were only 1000 soldiers that had been stationed at the forward base.

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For whatever unknown reason the enemies vanguard had been split which ultimately led to a rather quick defeat.

With this knowledge, they stayed alert and watched their surroundings while they assessed their losses and wounded.

Only fifty warriors died fighting against the humans, most of which were from the 4th epsilon which bore the full brunt of the enemy’s attack at the beginning of the fight.

It was a sad thing to lose even one warrior as the earth tribe needed every warrior they had to hold off all the dangers of the world. They were lucky that the enemy had been caught off guard or the losses would have been far higher.

“Don’t be so down for every person we lost we killed 20 of their men,” said Vilkas seeing Akira staring at the dead werewolves that had been gathered and placed on a large pyre. The pyre had been hastily built with the humans building material that was meant for building the fort.

“Well, now that Jim died someone will have to be promoted in order to take his spot,” said Frang looking at Akira with envy.

The candidate for promotion was most likely going to be Akira and with his recent killing of the commander of the vanguard, it all but cemented his future promotion.

“I am perfectly fine. I’m just thinking about what will happen next and the future where others will surely die,” said Akira.

“No need to overthink it, we’ll get our orders soon enough. Until then we just need to be on guard for any enemy counter-attack,” said Vilkas before returning to the half-built fort walls.

The next night.

Several hours later a buzz went through the camp as word came from the scouting shaman that an enemy force of 1000 or more soldiers was making its way to the fort.

It wasn’t long before the werewolves with their perceptive ears could hear the noise from the small army of 1000 soldiers as they walked unsuspectingly towards the unfinished fort.

The werewolves quietly hid behind the low walls waiting for the soldiers to get closer so they could ambush them.

“Halt! Something feels off…” the voice of an older man rang out clearly being transmitted over the large distance of the swampy water.

“No one is working on the Moat or walls. Where are Porskey’s men?” asked another person.

“Phatherson, go scout ahead and tell us what you see,” said the old voice.

Before Phatherson could move forward a large wind swept past the fort and headed towards the humans carrying the scent of blood and death.

They did not need the nose of a werewolf to be able to smell such an overpowering stench.

“Everyone retreat!” ordered the old commander decisively. He was an old and cautious soldier and did not want to step into any ambush that may or may not be waiting for them.

When the order for retreat was heard by the werewolves a loud howl rang out commanding the warriors to attack and hunt down the enemy!

The wild werewolves leaped out of hiding and jumped over the walls and the moat as they ran towards the escaping enemy.

Unfortunately, the enemy was able to escape as they had been farther away than they thought, as well as the large swamp separating them.

“Return to the fort! It is best we do not chase after them and fall into any traps they lay for us,” ordered Eyolf the commander of the 1st beta pack.

***

Brutus rode his warhorse at the center of the army with Rodger right next to him. The rest of the army’s commanding officers were forced to stay several paces behind them to give the commander and the prince some privacy.

A messenger riding his horse furiously towards them caught Brutus’s eye as they slowly walked forward with the rest of the army.

The messenger stopped several paces away and turned his mount around and matched the slow pace of Brutus who had not stopped to receive the messenger.

“What is it?” asked Brutus.

“General I bring grave news!”

“Out with it already!”

“The Vanguard encountered the enemy while they were setting up to fortification for the future battles and suffered heavy losses.”

“How bad? Do they need reinforcements?” asked Rodger.

“It doesn’t really matter, they should be able to hold out until we get there,” said Brutus.

The messenger was hesitant to answer the question for fear of the anger that would be unleashed by the general.

“…half of their forces were wiped out. The other half of the vanguard is several days behind me.”

Brutus’s rage flared up. He felt the urge to lash out and kill something but he controlled his anger.

‘I am not some low barbarian. I am a respectable and honorable general and I needed all my soldiers alive to win the war in this damned swampland, where everything wants to kill us,’ thought Brutus as his heart raged with anger. He repeated his inner thoughts until he had calmed down.

“When that Porky Porskey returns I will have his hide! I should just kill him and be done with it,” growled Brutus in his somewhat contained anger.

“Sir…Commander Porskey along with his son Tubbord were both among those that died…Currently, Nat is in command of the remaining vanguard soldiers.”

“Hmph! Trash!…Rodger! Take a few officers of your choosing and go relieve Nat of his position. You will now be in command of the vanguard. I expect that you will not fail me and harm our family’s honor,” said Brutus after dismissing the messenger.

“Order the army to move at double speed!” commanded Brutus. They would march forth and fight the enemy with a vengeance!

***

“We have our orders we need to take a shovel and help demolish the wall and fill in the moat,” said Ardolf.

“What? Why aren’t we staying here? We fought so hard to capture the fort and now we’re just going to destroy it?” asked Frang.

Redbeard who was nearby smacked Frang on the back of the head and said, “Don’t ask questions and do as you’re told.”

Frang grumbled as he went to go pick up a shovel and join the rest of the warriors that were already demolishing the sand fort.

“The shaman scouts found that the human army will get here maybe a day or two before our own army. We will not be able to hold them off, so it is best to demolish it and take care of them when the main army arrives,” Ardolf explained to Akira as they walked over to the wall to help.

Several hours later when the walls and moat were all torn down and filled in they left a few parting gifts for the human army that would no doubt arrive here and try to reclaim the defensive spot.

After setting fire to the remaining tents wagons and other tools that had been piled up, the 1st beta pack left the area and headed towards the main werewolf army. Leaving only a few people behind to keep an eye on the enemy.

***

As expected the human army did indeed arrive at the open swampland first. The forced quick march made it so they were in no shape to fight a full pitched battle to take back the fort from the enemy or start doing manual labor to set up a defensive fortification.

They needed a good long rest and were hoping that the fort the vanguard had set up was still intact.

But to their horror, there was no fort, no moat, and no enemy!

There was nothing but bloodied dirt, dead bodies, and large piles of ashes.

They did find one silver lining out of all the bad that was piling up. The food and water that the vanguard had taken with them was still intact and not destroyed.

“Send a few work crews to clear the dead and other debris from the area so we can start building the defense fortifications,” ordered Brutus ignoring the exhausted soldiers.

Brutus jumped off his horse and walked over to the command tent that had been quickly erected.

Taking off his helmet and chest plate he sat down on the cot, the only furniture that had been brought into the tent, and laid down so that he could get a few hours of rest before the enemy arrived and there would be no time for sleep.

“AHHHH!” “UWAHHHH!” “GAHHH!”

Frightening cries of pain rang out causing Brutus to immediately sit up and put his armor back on before rushing out his tent to see what was wrong.

“Where is the enemy? How come the scouts didn’t warn us sooner?” shouted Brutus loudly.

Looking around he saw that the soldiers and officers nearby were just as clueless as him.

There was no sound of battle anywhere and no enemy in sight. So everyone looked towards the work crews that had been sent to clear the debris.

Brutus who was followed by his officers walked towards the cries of pain. As they neared they were able to see several large pits with sharp spears cut from random wood placed at the bottom.

Several soldiers had fallen into the pits and had been impaled on spears some dying immediately while others lying on the bed of spears screamed and moaned from the pain of being pierced several times.

As Brutus was watching another group of frightened soldiers that were trying to escape from the dangerous area, the ground disappeared from under their feet and they fell into another pit dying a painful death like all the others.

But that was not all of the troubles that they faced a few of the soldiers that had been sent to move the food and water supplies that had been left behind were now frothing at the mouth while rolling on the ground in pained spasms before they went limp and stopped breathing.

“Those damn mutts! I want that area cleared of traps before the day is over. We have no time to waste on being cautious! The enemy may arrive at any time! Dispose of the food and water so that no one else gets poisoned,” said Brutus once again full of anger.

***

“The General and the elders helping advise him have all heard of your accomplishments in the last battle. With all the other achievements and help you have given towards the current war, they have decided that you are worthy of taking over Jim’s command,” said Redbeard.

Ding!

The sound off multiple messages could be heard but he could not check them right now.

“Congratulations!” said Ardolf, Klyn, and Vilkas.

“Yeah, thanks,” said Akira scratching his head in embarrassment.

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“Don’t think you have beaten me yet, just because you are a pack leader. I will be an Epsilon pack leader before you!” said Frang.

“Frang, If the only thing you keep on doing is boast then the only thing you will have to show for it will be a large mouth,” said Redbeard as he jabbed his elbow into Frang’s side.

“The elders and General Blaez also wanted me to tell you to keep up the good work,” said Redbeard turning to Akira.

“I will be sure to keep working as hard as I can,” said Akira humbly.

“I have other things to take care of before we reach the enemy army tomorrow, so I will take my leave,” said said Readbeard.

After everyone finished congratulating Akira they went back to preparing for whatever tomorrow brought.

When he was finally alone in his small tent he thought for a second on how he felt about this change in status.

‘I was promoted faster than I thought I would be.’

He was now one of the pack officers in the 5th omega. He was still under the command of Ardolf and Redbeard so nothing had changed much other than the fact that he was now an officer with 19 other warriors under his command.

Overall it was not that big of a deal but it was one step up from being a grunt.

Akira cleared his thoughts and turned to the blinking messages that had appeared when Redbeard had informed him of his promotion.

-New stat Charisma has been created.

– (+ 10) to Charisma

-The Charisma stat influences how well the warriors and people under your command will follow your orders or suggestions.

-Requirements met!

-Unlocked new Passive skill tree Leadership:

Leadership (Green officer Lvl 1: 0.00%): The higher the level of the charisma stat the higher the boost to moral will be. Higher levels of leadership will grand more benefits such as skills and larger control over.

-The party function has been unlocked!

-You now have the option to put people into your party as well as kick them out.

-When you further unlock skills in the leadership skill tree the effects of the skills will only affect the people in the party.

-The higher the level of leadership the more people you can add to your party.

“Interesting….This looks like it will be helpful,” said Akira as he read the messages.

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