Reincarnated as a mana core - Chapter 79
Rash’s tail swayed gently as he played around with the scales on his arm. There was a subdued sense of excitement and anticipation in the air around him and the thirteen others as they waited for David to give the signal to start their night raid.
They had been learning the light spell from Jack for the last few days and tried to figure out how the projectile spell of the pots worked. Sadly, the only thing they learned was that the enchantments had a limited amount of times they could be used. At least they hadn’t used all of the pots for their experiments and still had around a dozen or so of them.
Rash didn’t bother remembering. He was as bad a shot as they could come and wouldn’t get to use the pots, he would only function as mana supply should the need arise.
Fact was, with the pots they were now willing to risk attacking the army of lunatics.
He snorted to himself. They had learned a lot about their foe by shadowing them and they weren’t much more than a group of fanatic street thugs with police equipment and the rare crudely made sword. Even the group of 30 village defenders were more disciplined and organized, though their discipline was born of necessity. Otherwise how would they survive their current situation.
David appeared from the wooden gate and slowly weaved his way through the field of traps towards the group and the portal. Once there he grinned evilly at the assembled men and women. “Alright lads, I just got the final permission from Ronald.”
The others and Rash equally grinned. “Tonight we finally get to see some action!”
The assortment of fighters cheered, holding their weapons up and David nodded satisfied before he held up his hand to silence them. “Now, I get that you are all excited and ready for blood, but before that we’ll go through the plan once more.”
Rash groaned loudly, he was sure he had already listened to the same thing a hundred times. David ignored the groans and continued, more worried about the survival of this group. “You all know we’ve been giving these bastards one hell of a time. Their morale is as low as their supplies and most of their precious playthings have sadly died or been collected by us.”
Another cheer ran through the crowd. Besides the victims or rather slaves at least 50 soldiers had been injured or killed by the traps and most of the injured had succumbed to the infection of their wounds. The loss had given even the enemy angel leader pause despite him seemingly not caring about the life of the soldiers under his command.
The army had made camp and sent out a messenger, requesting supplies and more soldiers. The angel managed to get wary of the village without losing all of his arrogance. It was a surprising level of self control of the angel in Rash’s opinion.
Unfortunately, the messenger had never managed to return to the army. Rash and his comrades had caught him beforehand, questioned him and subsequently fed him to the murder squirrels. Not that it really mattered, it turned out that the army wouldn’t get help anyway because the Holy State of Meran had started an all out war with a big city to the south. There wasn’t much the village could do about that, except for making the holy state 500 men lighter that is.
Rash focused back on David’s speech, having missed some of it. “The plan is simple. We got 7 of em missile pots for our mission and the best 7 of us will get to use them.”
“All the others, pair up with one pot so they have more mana to use!” Dave smirked, eliciting a chuckle from some of them. Then he got serious again. “Once we are through the portal we will creep up to the lunatics and strike silent as a viper.”
He looked sternly into each of their eyes for a moment, hammering this point home. “We have to be fast or we won’t be able to save the captives. Our goal is to deal as much damage as possible WITHOUT any of us dying! Is that clear?!!”
The group saluted somewhat mockingly. “AYE SIR!”
David shook his head in amusement. “I will give the sign for retreat if things seem to go awry, if we manage to get the captives to safety before that you can give the lunatics the hell they deserve.”
His eyes were full of determination. “And don’t you die on me, or I will come and make sure that you are dead!”
They saluted once more. The group had gotten really close to each other and they were more like family than anything else. It was just something that happened when one got through dangerous situations like them and thangs to the murder squirrels the whole forrest was dangerous. Luckily none of them had had the honor yet to get hunted down by a pack of them and they only knew because one of the army scouts had been made breakfast.
Dave heightened his voice and shouted. “Alright then, let’s get this done!”
The group turned around, the portal increasing in size to accommodate them and they went through the rip in space. On the other side they paired up, Rash forming a team with Lousanne and the teams spread out into the birch forest. The only one not having a partner was David, his job wasn’t to attack, but to let the others know when things got too dangerous.
Rash and Lousanne expertly rushed past the traps that had been set, traversing one of the many small curving paths that were safe. Their movement and speed was similar to that of an olympic athlete, yet the two of them didn’t seem to be strained or impeded by the dark of the night at all.
Lousanne only had a few batches of scales here and there contrary to Rash and was missing a tail altogether. Her eyes however were completely that of a lizard and gave her quite an exotic look.
When they reached about the halfway point they slowed down for a short while until they met the other groups.
One of the guys nodded to Rash. “Please don’t do anything rash.”
He snickered and the others groaned, already knowing what came next. “Why am I even here then?”
Lousanne sighed loudly. “Why do you even have that name?”
Rash just shrugged nonchalantly. “I don’t know, but it had to be quite the rash decision of my parents.”
His answer elicited another round of groans before the group separated again to evade getting reprimanded by David. The little conversation had calmed some of the stiff anticipation, but that didn’t mean their pseudo leader would overlook them being noisy.
Sometime later, maybe around an hour, Rash could see the first light from the camp of their enemy. They had come dangerously close to the portal, though it had been at a cost and it wasn’t like there were any scouts left in the camp. There had been a few unfortunate accidents and they were never seen again.
Rash and Lousanne slowed down considerably as they closed in on the camp, making sure to be as silent as possible. The two stopped completely at the edge of the clearing, looking at the camp in front of them.
The original clearing had been widened quite a lot and the trees were now being used as fuel for the fires. Small tents were everywhere, but there was no order to it. The only thing orderly was an empty space in the center of the camp. There was a larger tent there, likely that of the angel and most of the supplies. On the other side of the clear space were a few large wooden cages, though only one had people left inside and they didn’t look like they would survive the inhuman treatment much longer.
Rash could only shake his head. There were a few guards, but they could be easily avoided or cut down silently. Their enemy hadn’t even bothered to construct any defenses and the few torches in the camp weren’t enough to fully illuminate the place. Instead, they would make it that much easier for the villagers to creep close through the shadows.
Lousanne motioned for him to lead and Rash left the safety of the undergrowth. He crouched down and carefully made his way towards the tents, stopping every now and then to listen to any activity inside of the camp.
Out of the corner of his eyes he could see one of the lonely guards getting impacted by one of the missiles. The projectile left a hole in the man’s head and it took a few seconds for the body to realize that it was in fact dead. Before the corpse hit the floor someone caught it and slowly dragged it into the shadows.
Rash grinned. The others had done a good job. He reached the first tent, Lousanne right behind him and began to traverse the camp. The two of them stayed low to use the cover of the tents in addition to the shadows and were further slowed down by all the strings and anchors.
Rash had to stop once again, one of the guards walking past the tent he was hiding behind. He looked questioningly at Lousanne and she nodded. With utmost delight he used his free hand to noisily dig into the soil while he put down his spear.
The guard noticed the noise and looked into the darkness suspiciously. The torches weren’t doing him any favors in that regard, making his night vision that much worse. The guy grabbed the metal club harder as he walked towards Rash’s position and grumbled to himself. “Fucking darkness, can’t wait to get relieved by the next bastard. Hopefully that sound ain’t one of em squirrels…”
The guard got into range and Rash shot up, clamping both of his hands shut on the mouth of the man as he brought him down to the ground. A split second later Lousanne was in front of the two, pot in one hand and dagger in the other and slit open the man’s throat, showering the both of them in blood. The guard just stared at them, frozen by shock. He didn’t get the time to get his grips together though and Lousanne embedded the dagger in his eye and subsequently the brain.
The two villagers nodded at each other with malicious yet righteous satisfaction and continued towards the center of the camp after Lousanne had cleaned the dagger on the guards clothes.
When they reached the cleared out space in the middle, Rash and Lousanne could see that three two other teams had already beaten them to it. There were two dead guards next to the larger tent and one team was just about to enter while the other was busy freeing the captives.
Rash and Lousanne crept over to the latter just as they managed to open the cage with a loud crack. They all winced and crouched down, looking around for danger.
Only two of the seven captives reacted to the noise, their eyes widening in shock. Rash put a finger in front of his elongated mouth and the two nodded meekly. A muffled scream came out of the large tent as the inside got sprayed with blood.
A loud weary voice came from somewhere further away. “What was that?”
The next moment a guard none of them had noticed stood up and looked over to the center, just in time to see the team that had ended the leader emerge from the tent. The guard had to have been sitting for the teams to not notice hime.
The two sides stared at each other for a second before the guard began slamming two metallic clubs together. “ENEMY!!!! WE ARE UNDER ATT-” He didn’t get further, a white magic ball removing his mouth and everything else behind that. Still, the cat was out now and the villagers had to get moving.
The team that was already with the captives got them going, though two of the poor souls seemed to be unable to move so they had to be carried. Meanwhile Rash rushed over to the other team with a wide smile that promised no good. “You up for a bit more evil?”
The two nodded and Rash’s smile widened further, exposing the sharp teeth in his maw. “Good, get yourself one of the torches. I hear tents burn good and bright!” He rushed over to one of them himself, leaving the other two behind. The two guys looked at each other and the one without the pot followed Rash’s lead.
A few seconds later the first tent lit up accompanied by pained screams. The last guards were rushing towards the center only for white balls to shoot them down. The whole camp was already awake now however so it was only a matter of time until they overwhelmed the villagers.
More and more tents lit up while the captives were escorted out of the camp, the other groups following Rash’s example which ensured maximum chaos. The flames started to spread on their own while the villagers ran for their life as the night was filled with screams and the smell of burned flesh.
Had the army been a real disciplined army they would have been able to respond in time, maybe even prevent the whole thing from happening. As things stood though, there was no chance that anyone was even thinking about the villagers. No, the soldiers were much too busy running away themselves.
A man faded back into the forest. He had been shadowing this camp for some time, but never been able to get close because of the villagers. The man had wanted to get some information on what was going on, but he couldn’t escape the senses of the lizard people if he got too close to them. At least he had seen the portal, not that he was suicidal enough to go through there after seeing how careful the lizard people were.
His two tentacles moved in front of his face, pushing any branches in his path away.
He looked at the burning camp as he rushed through the forest. The tents had been placed too close and basically invited this catastrophe, though he didn’t mind. For him it was just an opportunity to catch one of the fleeing thugs and get some more intel for the general.
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