When Alishia is trying to climb out of the window, there is a slight noise at the door. In the silent night the sound is very audible. Thinking that the guards are back, I duck down behind the window sill.
Alishia turns around in her fright. I stretch my hand to her back. Gently tapping her, I whisper.
“I am here. Don’t move from the window.”
I grab the barrel of my rifle with two hands. The rifle has now turned into a club. When the guards come closer, I will hit their head with it. That should take care of them if there is only one or I have to shoot.
I watch the nearby room where those nobles are. There are still clamors from inside so hopefully the sound of beating won’t be heard. I listen carefully as the door is opened.
A sound of someone holding their breathe can be heard there. Soon that someone whistles and breathes heavily. I can see Alishia gripping the window sill tightly. I stretch a hand to tap her hand and she suddenly turns it to grip mine.
“Under the moonlight you are really such a beauty. What a shame that man can’t have your first night.”
I tighten my grip. This voice is one of the young nobles. He looked the most calm among them just now. Who knows if he is the most lecherous?
That man closes the door slowly and locks it. Alishia grips my hand harder. I hold my rifle closely and ready to strike. Then that man comes closer.
“Come here. I will--”
“F*ck off.” (Erwin)
When he stretches his hand to grab Alishia, I stand up from behind the window. With a swing of my rifle, the heavy stock hit him squarely on the temple. He flies off to the side.
“That should teach him a lesson.” (Erwin)
I don’t care if that accidentally killed him or seriously injured it. He is disgusting.
“Come now. We have to escape before the others find out that he is missing.” (Erwin)
I help her out of the window and cover her with a black robe I bought from the village. This should at least suppress the level of exposure. I close the window again.
I carry Alishia on my back while my rifle is held by a strap on my shoulder. I take out my sidearm to deal with any alerted sentries. I confirm that my sidearm’s safety is off.
Alishia doesn’t have any camouflage suit and doesn’t have any training in moving silently. As a result, it is hard to move without being seen. I turn on my scanner again and look for a place with as few sentries as possible.
‘Left door eh? That leads to the barracks.’
I start to walk in the shadow. There are little covers here so I have to walk along the wall. Every now and then there will be guards walking nearby. We will go prone and give out as little silhouette as possible.
After a while we reach the gate leading to the barracks. There aren’t any sentries here. They are all sitting down around the bonfires faraway and chat. A sloppy surveillance.
We walk around the barracks in the cover of the building’s shadow. The road is clear except for that one time when a window was suddenly opened. It nearly collided with my face. The guy who opened it up, threw up from there without noticing us.
“Almost there. We are nearly out.” (Erwin)
When we are nearly out of the barracks area, a bell suddenly rings out. It comes from the direction of the mansion. Shouts can be heard from inside.
The bandits around the barracks are dumbfounded. For a short while they don’t know what to do. The guards of those nobles are the first ones to react. They quickly pick up their weapons and rush over to the mansion.
The others are running to their barracks. They are taking out their weapons. Soon they gather at the rally point in the center of the fort. Shouts are being heard everywhere and the fort suddenly turns lively.
The whole time Alishia and I are hiding behind barrels at the back of a barracks. We hold our breath in fear of being found. As more and more bandits gather at the rally point, our surrounding grows quiet.
I silently look around. Then I convey a message to Mary.
A single word is enough to tell her. Since she can check my location on the bracelet, Harold can organize the volunteers and mercenaries. A really convenient thing that none others in this world have.
Though I think that bell should have alerted Mary as well.
“Let’s go. We have to climb that wall to get out. Harold and the others are waiting outside.” (Erwin)
We run to the closest wall while avoiding the bandits. As they are gathering at the rally point, we can run almost unhindered. Soon, we reach the wall.
I lower Alishia down and glance around. There are stairs that lead up nearby. However, we would be exposed as soon as we used it. There are torches along the way up.
I look at the gathering of bandits. They are already starting to scatter around, looking for something. I weight the risk of being found on the stairs than being found when climbing.
The former allows me to retaliate while the latter doesn’t. The former will expose me immediately while the latter might allow me to climb up unnoticed. I touch my rifle and think. If I have to fight them, will my rifle give me an edge over their numbers?
No. My rifle only has thirty bullets with each mag. It is hard to fight back so many bandits at once. Its psychological effects should have already lessen since they have once face firearms at the village battle. I decided to climb.
Alishia and I climb up a wall shed nearby. Up above us is the rampart edge. I turn on the sonar scanner and watch the sentries moving. Then I jump up and grab the edge when there is no one around.
“Grab my hand.” (Erwin)
I pull Alishia up onto the rampart. She crawls up with difficulty. When she finally reaches the rampart, she lays down on her stomach. Then she watches me climb. With a grunt I pull myself up.
“Over there! Up on the wall!”
When I am halfway up, a shout comes up from below. I glance back and see a group of bandits looking up. Soon they shout to tell their friends.
I hurriedly climb up. The sentries on the wall have already been alerted. I pull Alishia up while swinging my rifle up to aim. Swiftly, I turn off the safety.
To my left are three sentries. To my right two more sentries. I aim to the left.
“Alishia. Close your eyes.” (Erwin)
Glancing a bit at her as she closes her eyes, I open fire. Two bullets for each of them. The first bullet hit their body, stopping them. The second, their head.
Right after, I turn my body halfway around while releasing my right hand from the trigger. I hear low thuds from the fallen sentries. I pull out my sidearm with my free right hand.
I aim swiftly at the remaining two sentries on the rampart. They have stopped their sprint in fear. They raise their sword to defend themselves.
I fire at their leg first. As they reflexively hold their leg in pain, I fire on their body a few more times. I holster my sidearm again and pick up Alishia.
“Come with me.” (Erwin)
I peek down from the rampart to the outside. There is nothing around yet. Harold and the others should already be on their way here. The mercenaries will cause a distraction on the other side of the fort.
I take out a rope and secure it on the parapet. Then I take out two hook and another rope. I beckon Alishia over.
“Lift your hands up.” (Erwin)
Alishia lifts her hands up. I tie a rope around her waist securely. Then a hook is placed on it. I check it time and time again so that it won’t fail in the critical moment. Next I give her gloves.
While I am busy, the bandits is also busy. They are gathering rapidly to us. Even the sentries from other walls are coming to us, leaving only two or three to keep watch.
I look at the approaching bandits and then my bracelet. Mary and the others are quickly approaching here but they will still need five minutes. Meanwhile, I have to defend Alishia and myself.
I lift my rifle again. The sentries are coming but they are scared so their paces are slower. They are moving with shields in their hands. I take out two flashbangs.
I pull the pins on the flashbangs and throw them to my left and right. They roll to the feet of the sentries. As they watch with strange eyes, blinding light and deafening sound disoriented them. Some sentries let out a scream as they fall from the rampart.
“Argh. My eyes!”
“I can’t hear! What is this ringing! Someone stops it!”
Ignoring them, I turn my rifle to aim at the archers below. The most dangerous of them all. It’s because the rampart doesn’t have anything for cover against an attack from inside. I stand in front of Alishia while doing so.
“Loose! Don’t let him do anything!”
At this distance the arrows are fast. One second and the arrows have already reached us. I reflexively cross my arms in front of me to cover my head and chest.
I watch from the gap in my arms as the arrows closing in fast. For my luck or the grim reaper is on vacation, none of the arrows hit me. They either hit the rampart or flew past around me with quite a distance. I quickly lift my rifle again.
“Why is none of the arrows hit him!?”
“We didn’t have the time to aim!”
“Quick! Kill him quick!”
The frantic shout of the burly man at the back is annoying. However it is right for him to be frantic. Let the slaughter begin. My rifle points at the panicked archers.
Suddenly I feel pain on my right shoulder. Following that, my fingers are losing their strength quickly. A glance on my shoulder shows that there is an arrow embed there.
I quickly pull out the arrow with my left hand. A pool of blood instantly forms on my feet. I throw the arrow beside me and try to feel my right arms.
‘There is no feeling... This is... Poison? Paralysis?’
I quickly look at my status on the bracelet. There is a warning on top of it.
“WARNING! Paralysis Poison Grade 2! Recommend immediate evacuation and treatment!”
My whole right arm is in yellow. It means that my arm can’t be moved. In general there is three grade of status. Green means that it is functioning normally. Yellow means it is not properly functioning (temporary disabled). Red means decapitated or no longer can be used (permanently disabled).
The yellow color is spreading slowly. My right chest is already losing feeling. The poison is strong.
“For injuring our young master, I will have you tortured. All of you! I have disabled his arm. Capture him. Anyone who can catch him will be rewarded a gold coin.”
There is a young man with bow on top of a carriage. Beside him there are six other guards. The bandits regain their calm under his command. They get excited on the mention of reward and swarm to climb the rampart soon after.
The sentries also don’t want to lose. They throw away their shield and quickly run up to us. The archers lower their bows as to not hurt their friends. They also seems to want to run up the rampart.
I pull out my sword and hold off the sentries. Due to my suit, I have much more power than them. I knock them back with each brute strike of my sword. However, it is getting tiring and more of them are coming. The power of the suit is getting lower and lower as the battery is getting low.
“What a brute! He is so small but his strength is not a joke.”
“He is getting tired. Surround him.”
Suddenly there is a sudden war cry from the wall opposite of us. Beyond the wall is bright as if there is someone that burns the forest. The startled sentries on that side turn their sight from the spectacle on this side.
A round of arrows suddenly turn almost all of them into hedgehogs. They drop down from the rampart. Another war cry sounds out. This time, even louder than before. The bandits stare in a stupid daze.
One of the bandits suddenly shouts. The rest of the bandits recover themselves from their daze state. The bandit at the back shouts to the others.
“Quickly! Man the rampart! Don’t let them get inside!”
For a moment they seem to forget about Alishia and I. I knock the sentries around me down the rampart and quickly bring Alishia closer to the parapet. Before hitting the ground, the sentries can only let out a short scream.
I hook her to the rope then ask her to wear the gloves and tighten it. I also hook myself on the rope. We crouch down as to not draw any unnecessary attention at this point of time.
The bandits are rushing to the other side without any sense of order. Some of them are trying to get the order back but they failed miserably. Even when the sentries I knocked down screamed, they didn’t seem to hear it.
“Don’t let them escape! We still have intruders here!”
Unfortunately, the young man from before still remembers us. He shouts at the guards around him.
They are still in orderly formation around him. After he shouts, the guards quickly form into three groups of two and run up the rampart where Alishia and I are on.
I briefly check the whereabouts of Mary. Approximately one minute until their arrival.