In the end nothing happened yesterday. From morning till dusk, I manned the tower with Yuni. Other than absentmindedly admiring the scenery, we talked a lot about the village. Unfortunately, I still can’t figure out why she is grinning strangely at me.
At home Mary was anxious all the time that she can’t get things done. In the morning, she cut her fingers when cutting vegetables. Lunch time, the tray in her hands nearly slipped out. Lastly, she crashed into a door. After all of that, Mary was told to just sit down.
“Mary has been anxious for a whole day. I don’t know how to calm her down.” (Erwin)
“Why don’t you stay at home with her?” (Yuni)
Yuni and I walk down the path to the watchtower. Once again I fully armed myself. I found out that Mary was slightly less anxious when she saw me like this.
“I can’t help anything even if I am there. I feel like I should be out here. This way I can prevent any danger early on.” (Erwin)
“I see.” (Yuni)
“I am worried that they might come from behind the mansion though. The hill on which the mansion is built is quite steep and hard to climb. The only easy way up is the path we usually use. The mansion is also enclosed with three meters tall wall. There are a lot of swamps around the mansion as well.” (Erwin)
“Isn’t it safe then?” (Yuni)
“It is safe. So safe that people don't bother looking out for any mishap. That's the reason I am worried. If anyone really use that to catch us off guard, it will be terrible.” (Erwin)
“Uncle Harold is strong. He can handle them.” (Yuni)
“That’s what he said when I told him to be extra careful. I can just hope the bandits, if they really come, won’t use that route.” (Erwin)
“Don’t worry. For generations this village has been attacked a few times. They never attack from there.” (Yuni)
“Haa.... Alright.” (Erwin)
'They are too relaxed about that. I guess it can't be helped.'
After we reach the watchtower, we look on the horizon. The scouts told us that the nearby bandit’s caves are all empty. Today they will go farther as the guard captain thought that it is very strange. We watch the scouts disappear into the forest faraway on horse.
I grab a table and put it on the edge of the tower, facing the forest. I setup my MG3 on the railing, together with the LMG box magazines on the table. If there will be an attack, it will most likely be from the direction of the forest up front.
Surrounding the village is forest and a wide plain spreads out in front. Since the village only has one gate, it is the only place needed to be defended heavily. Unless the bandits have overwhelming number, they won’t rely on siege ladders as their only way in.
“Hey, can I see it?” (Yuni)
“Sure. Just don’t touch this.” (Erwin)
I point to the trigger. As Yuni is staring and touching the LMG, I look out to the plain in front of me. A few shepherds are herding their livestock.
An hour later two riders run out of the forest. One of them are heavily injured by arrows. Soon two more come out, also injured. The leading rider shouts.
“Quickly sound the bell! Bandits are coming! A whole lot of them!”
Yuni and I are startled. A moment later Yuni runs to the bell on the side. She rings it two times, a short while later three times.
I watch the forest entrance as a volley of arrows shoot out of the forest. They are targeting the four riders. One of the horses are hit in the head. It falls dead while throwing its rider. The rider is not moving after that. No one knows if he is alive or not.
The shepherds quickly try to herd their livestock inside the village. However time is not in their favor. Soon they abandon the livestock and run to the village.
“Erwin. What should we do?” (Yuni)
“I will delay them as long as I can.” (Erwin)
Yuni hesitates a bit. She suddenly leans over the edge of the tower.
“You guys quickly tell the captain. The two of us will delay them.” (Yuni)
At this time, bandit riders emerge from the forest. They number around thirty. In their hand are spears and swords. They stop a few distance away from the forest edge.
Soon after, more than a hundred bandits walk out from the forest. Their armors are mismatched and their weapons looks dull. Their savage looking faces though are intimidating.
Yuni covers her mouth when she looks over.
“How? Why are there so many of them?” (Yuni)
“I see around a hundred and fifty bandits. You must tell the captain to prepare! Go! Quickly!” (Erwin)
“No but! Go! I will be fine!” (Erwin)
Yuni hesitates for a bit. She eventually gives up and grabs her quiver and bow. The arrows rattle about in the quiver. I grab my rifle and check the chamber if there is any bullet.
“Yuni, bring this and this. You know how to use it?” (Erwin)
I pass the rifle and a spare mag to her. She hastily grabs them.
“Yes! Just pull the trigger here after pointing this side to the enemy!” (Yuni)
“Good! Remember to switch off the safety by moving this to here later. Remember. Only to here. Be careful in using this. It’s much more powerful than you can imagine.” (Erwin)
“Alright! I got it! Be careful.” (Yuni)
Yuni quickly climbs down the ladders. After looking up for a bit, she then runs to the village with bow and rifle in hand. I shift my stare at the approaching bandits.
I pick up my MG3 and attach the box magazine on it. After inserting the belt of bullets into the chamber, I lock it. I glare at the bandits. They are gathering into a line formation. The formation, however, is poor with many bandits bunch up with each other while avoiding other groups instead of an orderly line formation.
The first wave of attack commences as soon as they gathered. There are less than fifty meters between us. Fifty bandits run towards the tower I am on.
I aim at the foremost bandits. He is wearing a metallic breastplate much better than the rest of them. Only a few others wear the same armor. Assuming he is the leader of the group is not a problem.
When they are within thirty meters of me, I open the confrotation with a barrage of bullets. The barrage hit the leader all over his body. Holes appear on his body. A bullet even hit his head, disfiguring him. He dies horribly.
Before the other bandits can react, I shift the aim to the side. The barrage hit the bandits without mercy. At least ten bandits die before they know what hit them. There are also more than five heavily injured. All of this is because they are in a tight formation.
The first wave suddenly stops. A few frightened bandits collapse with wet pants. Others run away to the rear.
For a moment there is only breeze. The bandits just stare and make no sound.
I check the box and discover that I have used up at least a third of the bullets. After closing it again, I watch the bandits. The bandits are getting restless.
Suddenly an armored bandit shouts out from behind. Around thirty bandits take out bows and slings. Twenty bandits put up their shield. The second wave of attack commences.
The shield bearers move up front. The archers and slingers follow closely behind. When they reach the thirty meters zone, a bandit shouts and they stop.
The archers nock an arrow on their bows and the slingers pick up stones. I shift my aim at them and open fire. Once again another barrage hit the bandits. A few archers and slingers are shot dead immediately.
Confusion ensues as they didn’t expect I can still hit them. They get scared and release the arrows and stones without aiming. The arrows and stones fall around the tower and many of them completely missed their target which is the tower.
I fire another barrage at the shield bearers as the archers and slingers take cover behind them. Unfortunately, most of the bullets are block or veer off the target as they burst through the shield. They injure a few bandits but no one killed.
“Damn shields! How hard are they to deflect MG bullets!?”
The archers on the side nock another arrow and quickly aim. They release a concentrated volley at the tower. As I watch the incoming curtain of arrows, I duck down.
The arrows hit the tower with thuds. Right after I hear another whistling sound and look up. Another volley comes down. I quickly duck down and let the arrows and stones hit the tower.
Soon after the volley hit, I rise up and aim. I release another barrage at the archers. I glance around while shooting and instantly feel despair.
The third wave of attack has commenced. The remnant of the first wave combined with the third wave resulting in staggering eighty bandits marching on.
The worst have yet to come. The riders haven’t moved yet.
“Ugh... There are just too many of them!”
I release a barrage to pin down the archers and then I quickly switch my target. I release a barrage at the third wave of attack. They are more vulnerable to bullets as they are only lightly armored.
The bandits quickly scatter around. Until my mag is emptied, there are only thirty more dead bandits. A hundred and fifty bullets for over forty bandits. At least a bandit for every three to four bullets. Not a bad outcome.
The bandits roar to the sky and charge. Their savage faces are filled with anger.
“I must fall back now if I don’t want to die.”
I hastily pick up the MG and the mags. Throwing the mags into my backpack, I then grab the bag. I run to the other side of the tower, then I jump. My suit helps me soften the impact.
I frantically run to the gate while sneak a peek behind. The tower has been hit by countless stones and arrows. Creaking sounds can be heard. It soon breaks under the weight.
“Have I buy enough time?”
I waste no more attention to the back. Soon after, I reach the gate. The gate is half closed with a few guards beckoning from inside. I rush to the gate. As soon as I get in, the guards close and bar it.
I look up and see Yuni walking towards me with the captain. A lot of youths and elders follow behind them. On their hands are swords, short spears, pitchforks and anything that can be used as weapons.
“Looks like I bought enough time.” (Erwin)
“Yeah. That’s a good job you done there. We managed to gather the people and weapons. How many are there?” (Roland)
“Around a hundred and fifty. I managed to take out around forty of them.” (Erwin)
The villagers including Roland and Yuni are stunned. Roland quickly recovers and thinks. Then he shouts.
“Go up the wall. Four men in each group. Remember! You just need to knock them down the wall. Use stones, arrows, spears, pitchforks, iron pots or whatever you can find. Just push them down. The mercenaries will take care of the ones that managed to climb on the wall! Go!” (Roland)
Yuni approaches while Roland is giving out orders. I sit down on the spot as fatigue slips in.
“Are you alright?” (Yuni)
“I am fine. Just a bit tired from running.” (Erwin)
“Take a rest first. The bandits won’t come for a while.” (Roland)
“Yes, Sir.” (Erwin)
“I will be up on the wall.” (Yuni)
“Use the rifle however you wish. Here more mags... You know how to change the mag, right?” (Erwin)
“No worries. I got it.” (Yuni)
I stand up and walk to a bench nearby. A girl shows up with a cup of water. I grab the cup with a smile and drink half of it down. A cold sensation washes down my throat.
I then pour the rest on my head. The cold water refreshes my body and mind. I give the cup back to the girl.
I look up at the eight meters tall wall. Yuni is standing above the gate. Her bow is on the side while she carries the rifle timidly. I unintentionally laugh a bit.
I stand up after a short rest and then climb the wall. Smoke is rising from the ruins of the watchtower. The bandits burn it while cheering aloud.
They are reorganizing themselves near the tower. The hundred plus bandits stare intently at the village. There are quite a few people on top of the wall taken aback by the bandit’s stares.
“Stand your ground!” (Roland)
Instantly the villagers stand up straight. Roland’s shout seems to be filled with a kind of charisma and spirit. It arouses the courage of the villagers.
At this moment, there are movements in the group of bandits. A ram made out of thick tree trunks bound together is being lifted by a few bandits. Shield bearers stand in front of each of them to guard against arrows.
Siege ladders can also be seen being lifted by two bandits each. The siege equipment heightens the tension on the wall. Even with their courage lifted by Roland’s shout, a few villagers are still trembling non-stop.
The bandits roar and charge together with the ram and siege ladders.