"You can't find the Elder's Spirit?" Urka asked in surprise at the three hooded Shamans gathered in front of him. "Did you try all ways?"

"Yes, Warleader, we did," The lead Shaman bowed and replied, "There was no trace of his Spirit in this plane."

"How about the Spirit Walkers?" Urka asked after he got over his shock. "Can they be controlled now that the Elder is not here?"

"Yes, we might not be as powerful as the Elder, but we will share the control among our selves." The Shaman said, giving the greeting of the Hand before leaving Urka alone to his thoughts.

"Summon Orth here now!" Urka shouted out from his seat inside his tent to his warriors outside, and shortly after, the flaps of the tent lifted up and a heavyset Oerkin entered.

"Yes, Warleader?" Orth greeted Urka with the Hand greeting.

"Did you find anything in your search?" Urka asked.

"No, Warleader, even the Great Wolves could not find any trace of the soft skins," Orth replied.

"Find them, they killed the Elder right under our noses!" Urka roared, "This is a disgrace to our clan! We must find them and make them wish they were never born!"

Orth nodded, "I will continue the search for the soft skins than."

"Go," Urka waved his lieutenant away, deep in thoughts on how to win this war, and explain about the death of the Elder to the Great Chief.

The Shamans stood before their tents and started chanting, using bones to drum out a rhythm that makes anyone listening to feel their bones aching. The nearby Oerkin quickly departed away from the Shamans, and not long, the area in front of the Shamans cleared, and slowly one by one, the dead started appearing and gathering.

Nodding with satisfaction, the three Shamans split up, each will lead a portion of the dead, they actually felt happy that the Elder has died, thus the position of Elder was now opened. It had been occupied by the Elder for many many generations. The rest of the Shamans were also unhappy with the fact that the Elder used the dark arts to prolong his life and not only that, he chooses elf slaves to be his host, transferring his spirit from one body to another when the previous body started to rot.

Just at this time, as the three Shamans were thinking of plans and schemes to take the position of the Elder from each other, a brazier flared loudly, sparks and embers flying high. Startled, the three Shamans stared at the brazier, the bright flames killing their night vision, preventing them from spotting the burning fuse that ran to the rear of the tents.

Suddenly a flickering brightness appeared among the tents, and the realization came to the three Shamans. "Fire!" They ran and shouted, "Fire!" Standing behind the tents and watching the flames licking the sides of the tents. "Quick! Our scrolls and artifacts!" They shouted for their followers and apprentices to put out the fire and save their magical items.

As they dashed back into the tents, and one of them paused, making sure that the other two didn't notice him, he ran into the largest tent which belonged to the Elder, hoping to salvage what treasures that had been left behind, when the makeshift explosive of shotgun shells exploded.

The explosion of the shells drew the entire camp's attention to the Shamans' tents. The explosion stunned and shocked the Orcs around the tents, making them wondered what was going on.

The two claymores facing the tents were armed by a det cord fuse. Tyrier had set the fuse length for ten minutes and as the Shamans and their followers were inside the tents confused with the earlier explosion, the special blend of black powder and mana stone dust shaped charge blew, each throwing 700 ball bearings into the tents.

The material of the tents was reinforced by magic to protect against both physical and magical attacks. But with the fire constantly draining the magic barrier and the damage by the makeshift explosive, the ball bearings ripped through the weaken barrier and into the thick animal hide material of the tent and despite slowed down by the magical barrier and the animal hides, the spread of ball bearings still carried enough kinetic energy to paint the insides of the tents with blood.

Another five minutes after the first wave of claymores that went off, the Orcs that arrived on scene to investigate and put out the growing fire was cut down by the last two claymores placed in strategically located positions, even some of the gathered zombies were not spared.

Urka who came rushing over to find out what had happened in his camp managed to witness first hand his warriors turned to blood mist by the second wave of claymore mines. "Waaa?" He stood shocked at the sudden deaths of over twenty strong and powerful Oerkin warriors. And as to further pour salt in his wounds, the gathered undead suddenly collapsed bonelessly on to the ground with hardly any sound.



Uncharted Forest, Enroute to Rally Point Alpha

"-ore Actual co-in over! This - Squad -wo!" Tyrier heard Hitsu's choppy voice in his comms. "Claymore Actual here! Can you hear me?"

"-nk god! -tual, -nal is bad," Came the reply in Tyrier's helmet. "If you can hear me, rendezvous back at Rally Point Alpha now!" The whole forest appeared to come alive after the claymores went off. Tyrier and his team could hear something roar in the direction of the Orc camp.

"-ger tha-,"

"Young, do you copy?" Tyrier switched comms and called for Squad One's Young.

"I copy," Young's voice came in crisp and clear. "Young, get to Command, tell them the Necromancer threat has been eliminated completely." As they retreated, they saw several of the undead collapsing, meaning they must have destroyed something important.

"Tell Command we need immediate extraction, the Orcs are very pissed with us!" Tyrier told Young over the comms. Suddenly a howl cut through the night, followed by another and another, "Oh shit, their pet wolves must have found our scent!"

"Run!" Tyrier yelled as heavy footsteps could be heard coming from the rear. "GO!"

A dark green shape loomed up in Tyrier's night vision as he looked back, the eyes of the wolf flashed brightly like lamps and Tyrier's laser sights interset with the head of the wolf and he squeezed the trigger of the M2, the silenced pops of his weapon and flashes and the clouds of smoke, blocked his vision temporarily.

A yelp and several Orcish cries of surprise could be heard as the wolf flinched from the shots and crashed headlong into a tree, sending the riders on its back flying off like broken toys. The wolf sat down on his hind legs and shook its head, clearly dazed by the impact and Tyrier took the opportunity to switch to his shotgun and fired a couple of explosive shots at the wolf.

Tyrier turned and ran, knowing that there is one lesser wolf on the chase.


Sawtooth Mountain, Marine Support Base

The whine of turboprop fans steadily grew louder and louder and the two Valkyries on the tarmac powered up their engines. The rear cargo ramp laid open and Sergeant James stood on the foot, waving at the Marines to board. "Come on! What's there to be afraid of? We did this in practice!"

"But Sarge! It was just a piece of wooden cutout!" Someone protested as they brunched up before the ramp. "You sure this metal bird can fly?"

James rolled his eyes, god, he kinda forgotten these guys never seen an aircraft before. "Don't worry, I am here inside with you!" He gestured to the other bird on the other side, "Look, section three and four have boarded, now all is left is you pussies!"

The brunched up Marines looked at each other and slowly one by one entered the belly of the beast. James shook his head and the crew chief just smiled and gave him a thumbs up before the ramp doors closed up.

"Alright, buckle in tight!" James yelled over the whine of the turbofans. "Check your weapons are not loaded! I do not want to have someone shoot a hole in this bucket and kill us all!"

The Marines hearing that quickly double checked themselves and their neighbors' weapons making sure no one is loaded. James smiled as he watched the elves panicking as the pilot lift off the bird, "Alright Marines! Do you want to live forever?"


Uncharted Forest, Rally Point Alpha

Pops and barks of silenced gunfire erupted from the line of defense, Tyrier had his men hold. They conserved their shots, making sure each shot counted as the horde of Orcs charged towards them.

Without the night vision goggles of the Hundred and First, the Orcs could only blindly charge at where they believed the soft skins to be hiding at. The superiority of the weapons and training allowed team Claymore One to fight off an enemy hundred times their size.

The M2 Magespitter proofed to be very efficient in close quarters combat as the rate of fire of the weapon allowed Claymore One to down large groups of charging Orcs while Loke and Young sniped at the wolves with the M3 Magekiller, requiring one to three shots to bring down a wolf. When the Orcs rallied to attempt a charge into their lines, Hitsu and Doth will switch to the shotguns, firing explosive shots into their midst, tearing them to shreds.

"I am out!" Tavel shouted, dropping his M2 and drawing out his Single Action Dragon revolver, rapidly squeezing off five shots of 5mm into a blindly charging Orc in front of him, sending it toppling backward. "Reloading!"

"Here!" Tyrier tossed a magazine across to Tavel who fumbled for it in the dark. He himself switched to the shotgun and pump shot after shot at where the Orcs were concentrated. "Come on, where's the pickup?"

"Claymore One, this is Valkyrie One, inbound to your location in five mikes," A welcoming voice came into Tyrier's comms. "Heard you guys got some pest problems?"

"Valkyrie One, this is Claymore Actual, requesting immediate pickup! Area is hot! Repeat area is hot!" He yelled into his comms, craning his head up to look into the dark sky.

Not long the whine of engines could be heard in the distance, "Claymore One, keep your heads down, we got some presents for your friends!"

"What?" Tyrier was confused by that statement, "Oh shit," He then remembered from watching all those movies about helicopter pilots, "DANGER CLOSE! DANGER CLOSE!"

Several whooshes followed by loud clumps of explosions ripped through the forest directly in front of Claymore One, turning the night into day. "Say hello to my little friend!" Peter yelled as he hovered his bird over the rally point, his payload of 70 mm experimental rockets fired from twin rocket pods torn into the forest, setting it on fire.

The 70mm rocket's payload was a mixture of hydrogen, oxygen, aluminum and mana stone dust. Using an impact fuse of fire rune on the nose of the rockets, the thermobaric rockets worked similarly to a fuel-air bomb, which dispenses the aluminum and mana stone dust into the air before the hydrogen and oxygen mix ignites.

His wingman, Tommy staying on his station at 200 meters away, rippled fired a volley of rockets into a patch of the forest, sending huge balls of fire into the sky. "Valkyrie One to Two, I am dropping my cargo, cover me, over."

"Roger," Tommy, piloting Valkyrie Two, spun his bird on its axis and continued to ripple fire volley after volley of rockets into the night.

Valkyrie One turned, its back facing the direction of the Orcs and hovered over the clearing, dropping its tail ramp, and dozens of Marines jumped out and fanned out to form a security cordon.

They fired at the shell-shocked Orcs, who were backlit by the burning forest and balls of explosion raging behind them. Valkyrie Two also hovered over the clearing after One had cleared and dropped off the remaining Marines who reinforced the line, driving the Orcs back into the forest, screaming about dragons and fireballs.

A note from neo Koh

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neo Koh


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