248 Team Zehr
Munifex Rena dismounted Heracles and looked at the surrounding archers. She didn't recognize any of them, besides Hestia.
"Um... Decanus Constantina?"
"Walk and talk, Munifex." Constantina, the scarred, certified badass, turned to her subordinates, "We move!!"
"YES, DECANUS!!" --The archers screamed as one.
"--Y-yes, Decanus!!" Rena was a bit late-- eh... Everyone glared at her.
'Come on, guys!' She thought, 'It's my first sun in the archer group! Go easy on me...'
She waved goodbye to Heracles and hurried her pace to catch up to them, "Decanus um... with all due respect, is this... everyone?"
They had twelve archers-- the Centurion and the Optio were coming too, as well as Fortuna, and a tent group of Decani and Munifces from the First Cohort, proper... But they should have had at least thirty archers left?
Constantina's archer groups introduced themselves to her, the previous evening. Word had passed quickly that she was going to be taken under the Scoutmaster's wing. It was an honor only given to the Iron-Rank Ranger, Hestia, before her. They had even heard that Constantina had a positive opinion of her, so they wanted to see how weird she was.
"Little Sister," Hestia walked beside Rena. "They were all eaten by the monster."
"Ahaha..." Rena laughed awkwardly as she jogged along. "No, really. Are they up ahead? You see, I have this inside joke with Septimus, and I told him next time I see him, I'd--"
"Munifex Rena," Decanus Constantina raised her voice to interrupt her.
Oh... Oops. Dumb Rena. Stupid, stupid Rena. She was babbling again. She told herself she wouldn't babble in front of Decanus Constantina. She really respected her.
She came the whole way explaining to Heracles how she felt about Decanus Constantina and reminding herself to keep her big mouth shut.
At least Optio Sixtus was jogging beside her, opposite Sister-Hestia. He was handsome. And older. Though to be honest, Rena hadn't decided she thought older guys were hot until recently. He still had nothing on Deca-carius Zehr, though!
Rena decided she would forever be Team Zehr.
The Optio smiled at her. But it WASN'T SEXY ENOUGH TO DISSUADE HER!!!
"Over half of the archers were killed." Sixtus explained, "The creature was quite thorough-- finishing off those it injured."
Rena's mouth widened into a grimace as she ran.
Her and her big mouth...
She suddenly felt like a big hole was deep inside her stomach. She really, really needed to poop.
Seven hecks, she wanted to run away and go back to her tent group.
Ahhhh! She should have taken Zehr's hand! Maybe they would have made out in the wagon while they waited!!
Stupid blockhead Rena! Why u do dis?!? Renaaaa! I hate yoooooouu!!
"It's not your fault, Munifex," Centurion Cyrac reassured her, in his calm old (gross) super-old man voice. "Focus on the task at hand."
Rena narrowed her eyes. By the Flame, the Centurion was old. She didn't like guys *that* old. She would have preferred if Sixtus said that, instead.
"I... I have a boyfrie--"
Constantina cut her off, "The monster has retreated into a nearby cave. The Iron-Rankers are going to engage it inside. Should it fly out, which is likely, we're going to place 13 well-aimed silver bolts into its Flame-scarred face."
"Will your mana hold out, Holy Bolter Rena?" The unnecessarily hot Optio asked.
"Yes, Optio!!" Rena replied.
If it was only a single sun prior, Rena might not have been so confident enchanting so many bolts at a time. The other evening, Zehr showed her that it was wayyyyyy easier to enchant a bolt than it was a sword.
The experience changed her way of thinking... and it became a lot easier and less mana-intensive for her to enchant her ammunition.
She wanted to do this not just for herself and for Decanus Constantina. She wanted to do this for Zehr, too! She had to get rank and recognition to catch up-- Zehr was a Duplicarius and all.
Rena believed in equal partnership and both spouses working hard!
Oh, but what if she got pregnant? Ehhhh, then she wouldn't be able to work for a little bit.
Awww! A baby boy would be soooo cute. A mini-Zehr!! And he'd be a super-handsome baby, too. Oh, oh!! Gianna seemed like the motherly type. She'd definitely help care for him.
Rena figured she'd submit a request to become an Immunes. She figured she'd make a pretty good marksmanship coach like Hestia-- ooh, or she could be a quartermaster. That way, she could travel with Gianna, Zehr, and Justus!
All of them, together! Go, Team Zehr!! Woo!
Rena rubbed her forehead. Oh no! It was going to bruise!!
Decanus Constantina had flicked her, hard, with her finger.
"Focus, Munifex. We've arrived," She scowled.
Tycondrius strode up to a familiar-looking horse. There was no leadership or any of Scoutmaster Constantina's scouts or Equites standing about. Heracles looked more trustworthy than any of the surrounding Munifces.
"(Oh, the Duplicarius. What up? Ey. Yo girl already went ahead. There's a cave or some monster lair or whatever further down the trail.)"
Tycon scanned the distance ahead. There was no cave in immediate sight. Perhaps they still had time.
"(Look, man, I tried to tell her to wait, but that ho, Constantina-- that b*tch be trippin o'er sum'tin,)" Heracles offered his consolation.
Tycon narrowed his eyes, "Your information is invaluable. Thank you, noble Heracles."
"(No problem, man. Go get her. She a good ho! --but I ain't tryin' to get at that, see? That Gianna though? Mm-mm! Yehhhh, boy. She is one FINE piece of a--.)"
"Right, please excuse us," Tycon interrupted. "I'm in a hurry. You understand."
Heracles neighed in embarrassment, "(Oh, mah bad! Yeah, man, you go do your thing. Save the girl. Get that good-good. I'mma chill right 'ere.)"
Decanus Justus had taken off his helmet and was scratching his red head of hair, "Duplicarius... can you... really talk to horses?"
Tycon narrowed his eyes, "Young man, is that really important right now?"
Justus looked away, "No... I mean, uh... What did he say?"
"The archers have gone ahead. We need to catch up quickly." Tycon turned to one of the gawking Decani-- a relatively smart-looking one, "You there, I need two spools of rope. Be quick about it."