[RP Episode] The Bloody Ballad


#201

The outpost was now on high alert, but that may have been a mistake they couldn’t have known of. The assassins who attempted to infiltrate the base were not alone, there were more, many more. With the base up in arms, and their comrades nowhere to be seen, they knew their quiet attempt had failed, now it was time for their loud one.

Arrows suddenly began flying out of the snowy darkness of the stormy night, landing more or less randomly, but the surprise did strike a few of the outposts men. Arrows hitting the wooden walls of the hall warned the inside unit that an attack had begun. The commander, who too had returned to his quarters to fetch his things, rushed to the dining hall in his fully body armour. It was unlike anything the rest of the men at the outpost were wearing. Wei-Yong too had adorned heavier protection, while Ren and Liang decided to stick with their light foot equipment.

Heavy Infantry 01

The commander drew his battle horn, and blew it so it echoed all through out the base and its surroundings, warning anyone and everyone that a battle had now begun. The group busted out of the main hall through the main double door, and in to the snow. It would be difficult to get anywhere in such weather. A melee had already begun at this point, with assailants leaping from the dead cold night in droves, the militia forming a rough line, and holding them off as much as they could, but there were too many. A few flanked the line and began heading straight for Halatir’s unit, until Wei-Yong stepped in between, picked him up by the neck, and using his one hand, snapped it. But there were more than just one…


#202

Halatir had barely a moment to wonder where the armor that was quite similar to the hauberks of his own country had come from, before the battle commenced.

Without his Ji, he was armed only with a dagger and his short sword. In Halatir’s hands, that was enough.

While the small party was swarmed from all directions, Halatir decided to take the fight forward. The first elf who rushed at him was surprised by the ferocity of Halatir’s defense, who fronted attacks from several different directions with his sword before gutting
the assailant with the dagger in his left hand. Ths next he dispatched by dropping into a roll and coming up blade first, stabbing the surprised assassin in the chest.

After that, the fights blurred together. Halatir parried a spear whose owner was dispatched by a militaman, who was in turned cut down by another assassin whom Halatir upper cut and beheaded. His sword was smashed from his hand, and he fought with his knife alone. An elf with a small round shield rushed him yelling. Halatir relieved him of it, and threw him headlong in the general direction of Wei-Yong, who was covered in blood and ripping through elves like rag dolls.

Now armed with a shield and a curved longsword which he had picked up from a fallen attacker, Halatir fought his way back towards his commander, Liang and Ren, who were fighting off foes from multiple directions. Cutting and bashing grimly, Halatir waded back into the fight, scoring hits on arms, heads, and legs without discrimination. His helmet was knocked from his head, allowing his white hair to swirl around him, quickly staining red from the spurts of blood frothing from the wounded around him.


#203

‘‘Ren! Run!!!’’ the commander roared after cutting down his last opponent. Ren parried an attack, and slashed his attacker’s stomach, letting his guts spill out all over the white snowy ground. He hesitated, he did not wish to leave his comrade behind, when Wei-Yong grabbed him, placed him over his shoulder, and began running up the road and towards the mountains.

‘‘Wei-Yong! Let me GO!!’’ Ren resisted, ‘‘No!’’ Wei-Yong replied.
’‘That was an ORDER!’’ Ren roared, and Wei-Yong stopped. He placed Ren back on to the ground and they both turned towards the battle. The poor militia were getting decimated by the invader, simple farm boys and petty criminals cut to pieces by a professional army.

The commander regrouped his remaining troops at the edge of the outpost, forming a semi-circle around himself. ‘‘Liang, Halatir! Go with Ren, you MUST reach Guayong! We will hold them off!’’ he barked, and at that moment, a hand slapped him on his shoulder. It was Ren, he pulled him so he turned around and they were face to face, ‘‘I am not leaving you behind, old friend.’’ he told him in a calm voice while the remaining militia barely held the line. ‘‘You are mad. GO! NOW!’’

They shared a moment more of teary eye contact, before the head of a spear peeked through the commander’s chest, blood spilled from his mouth, and he collapsed to the ground.

Ren was peeved, but if they stayed any longer, they would all die. He did not want Huangfu-Shang’s death to have been in vain, so he yanked the battle horn from the commander’s belt, and blew in to it once more.

‘‘Retreat!!’’


#204

Halatir’s face went pale for a moment, his eyes flashed, and he began smashing through the enemies in between him and Huangfu’s body. His shield was torn apart, so he wielded his sword with both hands, paying little attention to his wounds as he chopped through the mass of bodies.

He reaching the fallen commander just as the militia’s line came apart with a rush, enemies pouring through the gaps in the line. Halatir was overwhelmed for a moment and knocked off his feet, only to spy Ren, Liang, and Wei-Yong cutting their way out the gate. With a roar, Halatir heaved the opponent on top of him off, tossing him aside, and won free. He scooped up a bow and quiver from a fallen archer, and began loosing a hail of arrows on the ones who were nearest his squad. Their attackers melted away, shafts jutting from their backs, and focused their attentions on the blood-spattered archer to their rear, taking cover. When his arrows were exhausted, he ran to the edge of the small parapet, looked briefly behind him, and jumped. Landing in the snow, he floundered out, and headed up the mountains after the survivors. Behind him, the militia still trapped inside were cut to pieces.


#205

Ren, Liang and Wei-Yong vanished in to the stormy night. They had lost their pursuers, but not for long. In this thick snow, they would be easy to track down. They proceeded up the mountain path, thinking they were alone and that everyone else had been lost.


#206

For a few minutes, they were alone, as Halatir struggled to find their trail. But having discovered it, leading straight up the path, he raced after, adrenaline surging through him. He appeared without warning behind them, popping around a bend in the path.


#207

‘‘Halatir, you’re alive!’’ Liang gasped, and dashed towards him to offer help.


#208

“For a moment I was in doubt of that outcome.” Halatir went down on one knee, whipped out his dagger, and started cutting strips from his cloak. “How many else made it? I was the last.”


#209

Liang looked back at his other two companions, '‘We are all that’s left.’'
And in that instant, a cry echoed past them.
’‘Hey! Hey guuuuys!’’ the male voice yelled as he neared, it was Xi-Wan, ‘‘Oh thank the gods! I thought i was all alone out here!’’ he whelped as he stopped to grasp some air.


#210

”You fucking deserter. Your idiocy left our sentry lines open!” Halatir snarled, then suppressed a gasp as he poured snow into a wound and bound it up with a strip from his cloak.


#211

‘‘I didn’t desert, i was still at the base! Maybe i was gone for a few minutes because of an urgency, but how was i supposed to know we would get invaded tonight right at that time!? I didn’t even know our outpost was worth that much effort! OR that we had enemies who would want it that desperately!’’ Xi-Wan cried in defence.


#212

With a grunt, Halatir tightened the makeshift tourniquet he’d made. ”You left your post without permission to do so. Where I come from, the penalty is death. I don’t know what it is here, but if you ever pull such a stunt again I’ll gut you like a trout. Those men died because of you.” He began repeating the process on another wound.


#213

Xi-Wan coughed sarcastically, ‘‘Oh, i’m sorry. I didn’t realise opening a door spawned an army at our doosrtep which would otherwise had not been there before. That must be that educated wildling logic.’’

‘‘Enough!’’ Liang intervened.


#214

Halatir restrained his urge to toss Xi-Wan off a cliff, and looked at Liang. ”Huangfu’s dead, and the unit gone. Who is in command now?


#215

Liang looked down at Halatir in thought for a minute, before turning around looking at Ren. ‘‘Well, there’s no point in hiding the truth any longer, is there?’’ Ren spoke out. Liang nodded, and turned back to Halatir. ‘‘Ren is.’’


#216

Halatir lifted an eyebrow. ”And why is that?”


#217

‘‘Because… he’s…’’ Liang began to explain with some difficulty, unsure how Halatir would take it, and then got cut off by Wei-Yong, ‘‘WAS, the commander’s favourite, he promote him to lieutenant.’’

Liang gave Wei-Yong a scrutinising look for interrupting, but he was thankful he did. He was beginning to have second thoughts about this revelation, though Ren was confused about this lie and didn’t quite see the reasoning behind it, nor the need for it. Ren wasn’t the best of warriors, nor did he even get a chance to lead yet, so he would make a poor military leader. But Liang continued, ‘‘I am an Adept of the Mageai order, i cannot hold military ranks, and Wei-Yong is…’’ he stuttered as he looked at the towering elf, who gave him an odd glance, ‘’…too intimidating, if you can understand. And you, you are too new.’’

‘‘What about me?!’’ Xi-Wan asked abruptly.


#218

Halatir paid Xi-Wan no mind. He looked at Liang instead. ”Why can’t Ren? If he is a lieutenant, then by all means, he should lead.” Ren’s age had nothing to do with his ability to lead in Halatir’s mind. He would have perfectly comfortable leading the surviving elves himself, despite his own tender years.


#219

‘‘Right.’’ Liang confirmed, and turned to Ren for confirmation. Ren simply shrugged, ‘‘Alrighty then.’’
’‘So whats the plan, sir?’’ Liang asked, and got a glare from Ren.
’‘Well…’’ Ren began to think out loud, ‘‘The enemy is bound to follow us up here. Our tracks are obvious. If they can get their hands on some decent horses, we are done for.’’
’‘I have some bombs.’’ Liang bluntly pointed out. ‘‘Wot?’’ Ren gawked, ‘‘What do you mean by, you have bombs?’’, at which Liang sighed, '‘Well, i have only a few, but it could be enough to set up further up the slope and detonate to trigger an avalanche, which would in turn cover our tracks, and if we time it right, sweep any horse mounted pursuers off of the side of a cliff.’'
Ren thought for a moment, ‘‘What if it catches one of us?’’
’‘Only one needs to stay behind on an overlooking slope to light the fuse, the rest will continue on to avoid it entirely, and we would meet up at Guayong.’’ Liang explained, ‘‘Oh, and… whoever detonates these, their footprints will be the ones a pursuer will most likely find coming up behind the avalanche area… so. Any volunteer?’’


#220

Halatir stepped forward.