“Sir, ten bandits in total!”
“I will handle four of them. Can all of you handle the rest?” (Harold)
“We will try!”
The group charges at the bandit group. Five people from the village against ten bandits. The bandits see them approaching. With a loud vulgar laughter, eight of them charge at the guards. Another two go around the mansion to the back.
A guard shouts and swings his sword at one of the bandits. His sword clashes against the opponent’s sword. At the same time another guard clashes against another bandit.
Harold’s father stabs his spear forward with extreme ease. He plays around two bandits at once. Although he now lacks the strength he has when he was in his prime, he can still stall the two bandits.
On the other side Harold clashes against two bandits. The clashes are much more intense. The two bandits are quite skillful. They will dodge what they can dodge and parry what they can’t.
Harold defends against their offense while looking for an opening. He will parry each strike and blow them away, creating an opening. Unfortunately, there are two of them so the other can help pressure Harold.
After some time, he finally finds an opening. He successfully pushed both of them back to different direction at the same time. He stabs his sword forward to one of them.
It is unknown what kind of fortune the bandit has. Another bandit joins in from the side and deflects the stab. It grazes the shoulder of targeted bandit instead of his chest.
Harold quickly glance around. On the ground one of the old guards is injured. His flank has been cut and he is pressing on the wound. Blood keeps flowing out of the wound.
Harold quickly lunges forward to another bandit while the three facing him are regrouping. The bandit is pressuring a young guard. Seeing the sudden lunge, the bandit pulls back.
“Grab the old man and bring him inside. I will hold them back.” (Harold)
The young guard quickly sheathes his sword while running to the old man. He quickly drags him to the mansion door. A few women quickly helps him inside.
Meanwhile, Harold holds his ground against four bandits. He can’t kill the bandits nor can they. The fight continues for a long time. No side gives in.
Suddenly screams resound from inside the mansion. The villagers inside run out of it. A few of them carry the injured old man. He is wincing in pain. Soon after an injured young guard is kicked out of the mansion. He sprawls on the ground and loses consciousness.
The people fighting outside show different expression. One group grimaces while the other is elated. Unfortunately, they can’t do anything as they are still occupied with each other.
The guard can only hope that reinforcement will soon arrive.
Meanwhile, inside the mansion...
“Quick. Help me push this to block the back door.” (Nina)
A lot of villagers push a heavy cupboard to the door. Another group pushes a table and holds it against the board.They throw chairs and other objects to block it.
A few girls run and close off all windows that haven't been sealed. They lock them with any metal objects they find. The mansion quickly turns into a bunker. Large amount of force has to be used to breach in.
The villagers then gather around near the front door under the stairs. Occasionally there are banging on the blocked door and windows from the back of the mansion. All of them are anxious, both from the banging and the clash of swords outside. A few braver women peek out of the front door.
A few minutes later they call out to the others. When the others approach them, they suddenly see a guard bringing in an injured old man.
“Bring hot water and clean cloths. Quickly!” (Nina)
With swift action, a few women bring hot water and bandages. Nina is pressing the wound to stop the bleeding with a clean cloth. Soon after, she instructs others to drip a cloth in hot water.
The cloth is used to clean the wound. After cleaning it, she rips a cloth and makes a makeshift bandages. She applies the dressing on the wound. Blood mark can be soon on it.
Soon after the bandage is applied and tightened up, the blood stops flowing out. the villagers and guards heave a relief sigh. The fight outside is still going on. Both groups hold their ground well.
The young guard who comes in with the old man, checks the mansion to ensure that nothing wrong happened. He is anxious as to where the two missing bandits are. After going around the first floor, he goes up to the second floor.
The hallway is silent. He walks and looks around. While admiring the decorations, he finishes his patrol. He walks to the stairs to go down once again.
At this time one of the windows on the second floor is smashed. He quickly looks over and discovers a sword stabbing the wall. A bandit climbs over the window.
In his shock the guard did nothing to prevent the bandit from climbing up. Only when the bandit has taken his sword back did he recover. He runs to the stair and shouts to the villagers downstairs.
“Run! The bandits are inside!”
He quickly turns around. The bandit is swinging his sword at him. Subconsciously he swings his sword to block it. Screams ring out from downstairs.
He holds his ground for some time when suddenly another sword catches him off guard from the side. He frantically blocks it and is blown away. His back hit the handrail.
He rolls all the way down the stairs. When he struggles to get up, a kick sends him out of the open front door. After rolling on the floor and sprawling, he loses consciousness. Two bandits come out from the mansion.
“Damn it. The blockages are so hard to breach. Fortunately they didn’t block the second floor.”
“Hahaha. Who could have thought we will climb up?”
“Alright. While the reinforcement hasn’t come yet, let’s finish the job.”
“Hey... Look at that pretty girl.”
“Oh? Wow. She is pretty. We should grab her.”
A bandit steps forward and approaches the villagers. More accurately he walks to a young girl in front of the group. She is Mary.
“Don’t come here.” (Mary)
Mary talks softly. Her words are drown by the sounds of swords clashing. A few other elder villagers are standing beside her. They carry a long stick in their hand.
The bandit walks a step forward and the villagers walks a step backward. The second bandit walks to the side of the other. They eye the villagers like a wolf watching its prey.
Two elderlies suddenly shout and charge with their long sticks. One of the bandit charges and in just a few seconds he has incapacitated the elders. The elders are lying lifelessly on the ground.
“Stupid old men.”
The villagers tremble in fear. No one wish to attack anymore. They continuously step back.
Mary is no different. No, she is more frightened than the rest.
Her eyes are unfocused like she is staring at something which isn’t there.
‘What is this? What am I looking at?’
In front of my eyes are blood. A lot of people lie down quietly. They don’t move at all.
‘I... I remember two bandits coming out of the mansion. How did I get here?’
A young man suddenly jumps in front of me. He is carrying a wooden sword in his hand.
“Mary, quickly run. I will protect you.”
The young man before me looks like someone I know. A fleeting thought tells me that he is my brother but I can’t remember anything. Everything I know about him is blurry like something is blocking me from seeing it.
I look around me. A lot of houses are burning. The smoke rises up high. A really large man walks to us in stride. He is nearly twice as tall as her.
‘Why is he so large?’
“Mary! Bring Ina out of here!”
“No, brother. We have to run together.”
‘Is this my voice? Is this me? Is he really my brother?’
I step back together with the young man who supposedly is my brother. The large man slowly walks to us. He looks bigger and bigger with each step he takes.
He casually swings his sword around. I can see another man running to the side behind him. He seems to run around to my back.
I look behind me. There is a young girl smaller than me. She grips my dirty old dress tightly while she is wearing a similar dress.
This is my little sister. Why is she here? She should be studying in middle school. Why is she so small now?
“Hahaha. Kids. Give up! Throw your sword away.”
[Old man! Give it up!]
“No! I will protect them!”
[Over my dead body.]
“Then taste this strike!”
[As you wish.]
‘Why are there two more voices? Who are talking?’
The man quickly swings his sword to brother’s side. Brother blocks it with his wooden sword but he gets blown far away. He loses consciousness soon after.
I watch as the large man comes closer. I take a few steps back to keep distance.
“This kid is quite nice. Unfortunately she is still too young. Ah, will they pay big money for her?”
[This girl is so pretty. Ah, she is so perfect. I want to do her.]
The large man quickly approaches. In just a second he walks right in front of me.
“Nevermind. I will just take her first.”
[Come here with me. I will let you feel good.]
I watch as his large hand is stretching towards me. I close my eyes tight in fright. A lot of shouts come to me but I can’t hear what they are saying.
As a small explosion sound arrives in my ear, a grunt can also be heard from the man in front of me, followed by a thud. Should I open my eyes?
I can feel a breeze blows. I feel a presence in front of me. I open my eyes slowly to see who they are.
“Are you alright?”
[Are you alright?]
I see a middle age man in front of me. Blood covers all over his body. He is..... Dad? He... returns?
Ah! I am so happy to meet you again!
I run to the plaza. The guards there are looking nervously at me. I keep running to them unaware of my action will make them more nervous.
“Where are you going?”
One of the guards at the plaza asks me. Impatiently, I shout while still running.
“The mansion is under sneak attack! Come with me!” (Erwin)
“What!? Guys, let’s go!”
I glance around. Five guards quickly respond and run towards the mansion with me. I check the rifle and ensure that it is properly loaded. I take out a bayonet and attach it to the tip.
When we reach the bottom of the hill, a guard can be seen running out. He is shocked at our appearance. He quickly shouts.
“Bandits are attacking the mansion.”
“We know! Come on!” (Erwin)
I rush pass the dumbfounded guard. Other guards quickly rush as well. With my suits I can run much faster. When I reach the gate, the rest of the guards are only halfway up the hill.
I kick open the gate and quickly look around. Harold and his father are pressured. They are handling six bandits at once. A quick look at other side, I suck in cold air.
A bandit is stretching his hand to grab Mary. Behind her are villagers being intimidated by two other bandits. The closest bandit looks over when he heard the gate being kicked.
She is my important partner! No one can touch her!
I lunge forward with all my strength. The bandit looks over. I raise my bayonet and stab him right into his heart. I block his sword with my wrist guard-like exoskeleton around my arm. I twist the bayonet and kick him. He slumps down with a heavy thud.
I quickly look over my shoulder to Mary. Her eyes are shut tight. Her body is trembling.
“Are you alright?” (Erwin)
Mary timidly opens her eyes. I can see her eyes unfocused. It’s like she is staring at me but not at the same time. Suddenly tears appear on her eyes and flow down her cheeks. A small smile appears on her face.
She suddenly says in a small voice. When I am astonished by the way she called me, her arms wrap around my waist in a quick motion. She leans at me and cries.