55 First Blood
Amongst the stronger villages, hobgoblins were not a rare sight, rather the important posts such as the chief, first warrior or head priests were occupied by them. Which made governance much more complicated, as their support was a prerequisite in gathering their resources. This had been the initial cause for Kol to be relocated to such a far community, in order to overwhelm the entire village, gathering their full support.
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Kol was a seasoned fighter, so after the initial assessment, she came up with a plan to take these intruders out. First, the archer and magic caster had to be neutralized, then drowning the rest with manpower would give them a complete victory. She used the techniques learned in her time of adventures to parry the incoming warriors, then dashed towards the ones stationed in the back. In the back of her mind, Kol had an image of her smiling daughter, she sharpened her resolve, ignored the pain and Jumped over a dead body. However, accidents in the battlefield were a common occurrence, that was the reason many had perished. When Kol landed, her steppingstone, that was slippery due to the blood of her comrades, flew out, leading to her fall. While she was on the ground, an arrow passed by the place her head would have been, and the stone thrown smacked hard on Link's forehead, making him scream in agony.
Angry of her missed shot, Betsy aimed at the enemy on the ground and rapidly shot 3 arrows; meanwhile, Dahlia was helping Alvin and Beryl break the encirclement. Then from the corner of her eyes, she saw the critical condition the leader of attackers was entangled in, so she threw 2 knives and focused on the fight in front of her. The tired warriors would die or be heavily injured if no assistance was given to them.
Kol cursed under her breath: "damn this bloody battlefield, I will make them pay for doing this to my people, the humans have to be stopped". She then raised her shield to stop the incoming arrows.
PAK, PAK, PAK
They made a sound, indicating a successful block, yet from behind danger closed in on her.
Similar to the hands of a grim reaper the two knives landed on her back, making the savage monster howl from anguish. Link used this opportunity to conduct his revenge, throwing a weak spell of acid on the face of hobgoblin.
Normally, Kol would have been more than able to avoid this weak shot, but due to her injuries, she missed some of it, which splashed on her eyes, corroding them; her howl grew louder.
This scene scared the goblins silly, forming a window for the stuck trio to break free and run back to regroup. On the way back Beryl showed an expressionless face, with red eyes, she swung her sword, aiming for the head. Beryl would not forgive the ones who wanted to harm her beloved, no matter who it was, death was a certainty.
Instinctively, Kol raised her shield to block the upcoming danger.
A small part of the wood did not hold on and was chipped, but the hobgoblin survived the attack, this raised the morale of her army; they screamed, rallying behind their chief. One had to know this village had it's first transformed and for the members she was a beacon of hope or a prophet, showing the bright future. Her strength coupled with her looks had made her an idol that many served out of their choice. Thus, it was only natural for them to defend their icon.
The sudden turn of events scared the adventurous group, making them run for their lives; Dahlia guided the rest towards the wall of this tunnel, they could hide in the shadows of it until the danger passed. However, right before Link put the light spell out and they despaired in the pitch-black shades, Betsy shot a final arrow.
It went in the hobgoblin's temple, then got stuck in the shield she was holding in her hand; suddenly the loud howls ended.
Betsy smiled smugly before disappearing.
Kol did not know why or when her vision suddenly turned dark, yet her last thought had been the smiling face and a promise she was unable to keep. The surrounding army of goblins shouted in anger from this loss, cursing the vengeful humans for distributing their daily lives. Some separated from them, running back towards the community, letting them know of this tragedy, then forming an army to hunt the murdering humans.
Meanwhile, the party of adventurers was running through a tunnel that was accidentally found by their leader, Dahlia. After some time, they stopped to have a breather, in which Alvin scolded Betsy:
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"Why would you kill their leader when we had a chance for running, if she was still alive, she would go back, resting but now the rest of them are after us to make us pay, it was completely unnecessary to do such a thing"
"She wanted to kill us, and you expect me to do nothing about it, they drew first blood" Betsy defended her action.
Link cursed loudly: "FUCK, I am not a warrior and for fuck's sake my forehead is broken I can't run any further"
"You have to run, they are after us, if you stay, they will tear you apart limb from limb, then they will eat you" Dahlia argued.
"I can't run anymore, no more stamina left, I am not a warrior, only a mage; we are not trained like you brutes, we are elegant" Link mocked.
Betsy was angry at Alvin, but the large warrior did not continue their argument, so she needed to vent her anger on someone, untimely a comment made by Link set him up as the scapegoat, she wanted.
"You, useless scrawny twig, you are not elegant at all; just a talentless rouge apprentice with some cheap tricks. We will leave you here to die, if they don't catch you and eat your stupid face, you will die of hunger or thirst" Betsy yelled.
When a person is in pain, they are more susceptible to anger, losing themselves in the heat of the moment would be a natural reaction. They would say or do actions, which they never thought to be capable of. Link was no exception to this matter either, after hearing such criticism his face turned red, vain bulged and breathing became rugged. He wanted to shout, cursing aloud; better yet, he felt like killing this ungrateful fool, who dared to humiliate him, questioning his worth. He still had enough mana for a few spells, getting her by surprise would not be difficult.
As his intent was shown, Beryl suddenly became hostile, she immediately unsheathed her sword, walking towards the offender. She never cared who was on the other side of her blade, as long as they dared be aggressive towards her sister, death would become the price they paid for redemption.
When Alvin scolded Betsy about her action, Beryl was also showing a high level of hostility, similar to a mother bear who has seen her cub close to a predator; she wanted to rip him to shreds. Alvin felt the atmosphere turning dangerous, thus had given up on replying and quietly stepped back, defaulting on the position. However, he would not apologize as he firmly believed to be in the right and was not afraid of Beryl either; but if he commented, escalation would be unavoidable, it did not worth killing each other over such matters. Especially now, when multiple hunting parties were after them, from the kingdom and goblin community.
Dahlia saw the crisis at hand, if no action was taken to remedy the situation, it would snowball, getting out of hand. As they were being pressed by a hostile party, any carelessness would result in their demise; so, she quickly attempted to salvage matters.
"You cannot fight at this time, if we are not careful, we will all DIE, don't you understand this. Plus lower your voices and don't make me say this again" Dahlia anxiously told them.
The members of the group did not notice any strange part within this argument, but if someone who had prior knowledge of them saw this scene their hair would stand on its end. The adventurer group had their personalities pushed to the extreme and tweaked; as if they had changed to different people overnight. Otherwise, how would a group who had been through many critical situations, make such elementary mistakes.