“They are leaving!” Ed calls from the front.
“What?” I ask in surprise. That was not one of the actions I thought he would take. I thought they would resume their attack, but with all the openings this time, turning into a full skirmish. It would be fierce fighting with casualties and injuries on our side, with many of the Lannisters dying. I told Nathan to go back into the building and find the staircase to the 1st floor and any windows that lead to the rear alley.He just came back a second ago to tell me there was.
The plan was that once they break inside, I would use as many projectiles as I could to slow them down while the rest retreat up the staircase. Once up there we could use the high ground to cause even higher casualties, while one of us uses the sheets from the brothel rooms to create an escape route out of here. While everyone else is climbing down I and Brutus would slow the soldiers down and when everyone is out we would follow, cutting the sheets and jumping. We could make the leap even from the 2nd floor if needed let alone the 1st.
We would use the time it takes them to reorganise to flee. This is all under the assumption we haven’t either killed them all or sent them into a retreat. Between the entrances and stairs acting as choke points and me and Brutus acting as the core attackers, they will likely lose dozens in the fighting. Most armies flee when they lose more than 30% of their troops, though that depends on the composition, training and size of the force.
The other option would be if Jaime fell for my bait and agreed to duel me. In the past when using qi I could probably beat Jaime in 10 or more moves, now that I have broken through, with greater strength and duration, I could dismember one of his limbs in 3 moves, then take him hostage to force the rest of the troops back. Since we are at the point of no return I don’t care if I offend the Lannister House or not. Hell if they didn’t retreat fast enough or refused I would probably just kill Jaime and use that to affect their moral. From what I have seen and heard of Jaime’s arrogance, this was a likely option.
Him ordering a retreat was not what I was expecting. Although we killed 3 of his men in a rather easy and brutal manor, and they will definitely be affected, it was not enough to cause a rout. Those deaths were due to surprise attacks. I know it, he knows it, the men out there know it. Although we have the advantage of positioning and their weapons are less effective in here than out there, they still outnumber us nearly 5 to 1. It would be tough but they would still be able to get inside, and then he would be able to swarm and slaughter us. The casualties would be reasonable for wiping out our entire force. He could even split his force into 2 and send them around the other side of the building and come at us from both sides. We would be unable to defend both sides and without the choke points his casualties would be greatly lowered. Of course, that is assuming he doesn’t know I have broken through to 2nd tier, and together with my men I could fight my way through either of the weakened sides.
I haven’t shown the full extent of my abilities since breaking through, even against Thoros I held back with my qi usage. So, it was unlikely for him to have taken plans against that, and without the knowledge that we have already planned an escape route, I can’t think of why he would run away.
I was half expecting that this was a trick to get us to come outside, but when they all run off towards the direction of the Red Keep, and don’t leave any men on the corner to watch us, I amalmost certain this is not a trick. Jaime doesn’t seem like a coward, so either he is trying to catch Lord Stark, knows about my plan to retreat or there is something else I am not considering.
“Pack-up boys, we’re leaving!” I call to the others, giving a quick check on Ed and Ethel to see if they were injured in any way. “Listen I want the 2 of you to split up and take different roads back to the Keep. Assume everyone that tries to stop you is an enemy, that is trying to silence you. If they are not the Lord or the King you ignore them and run as fast as you can to the Keep. When you get there, and if the Lord hasn’t returned, tell the vice captain what has happened. Get him to increase guards on the girls and keep them safe. Then tell the king what happened, he will order a search for the Lord.” I give out a list of commands to the two guards that I don’t know the names of.
“Thank you for your help, Ser Baskerville. We will always remember your service, and comply with your orders.” They salute me and run off down the street, taking different ways when they reach the end.
“Listen up, we are going to run back to the inn at the fastest speed we can. Brutus and I are in the lead, if we spot trouble we will warn you and we will decide what to do then. Let’s go.” I order the rest of the group, and start to run. I have no intention of being found by a pile of dead bodies, covered in blood and weapons. I have about as much faith in being found innocent if tried as I do in rocks floating. This city does not have a reputation for fair and impartial investigations.
I could have followed the guards back to the keep to make sure Ned got their safe and if not try to find him, but I done enough already. Now I need to make sure I and my family survive the night.
We run for 5 minutes before we reach the inn. No trouble on the roads, though we did get some concerned looks and angry shouts from pedestrians, and when we entered we saw a warming sight. Elsa was already there, safe and sound, but other than her the rest of the people were all buff men looking like they were going for war. The Ravens were all decked in their Leather and bronze armour, swords by their side, as well as about 32 men from the crew that were equipped with a variety of weapons, from cutlasses and fishing spears, to kitchen cleavers and sticks with nails inside. They were anodd mix to call an army, but they were filled with grim faces and ready for a fight. I like to think they were coming for me, but if I'm being honest they were likely doing it for Ethel and Curt., their sergeant and captain respectively.
“Boss!”, “Captain”, “Ben” was the mixture of calls and shouts, Elsa quickly rushing to hug me and then Ed when she saw he was safe as well. There was a lot of relieved shouts and calls for what happened.
“Alright, quiet down, all of you!! We will tell you all what happened later but for now we need to move quickly. Captain how soon will it take to load the rest of the supplies and be ready to set sail?” Once I finish comforting ElsaI shout to be heard above the din. I address the Curt to find the time requirements for our next moves.
“2 days, maybe 1. I would have to check what they got done today.” He gives me a vague answer.
“You’re all working overtime. I want that ship to be stocked and ready to sail for White Port by morning. Relax I'll pay you double for the day.” I say when it looks like they are losing enthusiasm, which immediately reignites. “Then I want all of you to close whatever sleeping arrangements you have made. We are all sleeping on the ship for the next few days, and I want it ready to move at a moments notice if I give the signal.” I tell the crew, and one of them asks, confused.
“Sir, what is the signal.” These guys are mostly foreigners and not used to calling someone ‘Ser’, so they just call all superiors except the captain ‘Sir’. “When you see the docks on fire and a hundred guards are chasing a man and a giant dog, that is a good time to weigh anchor.” I tell them sarcastically. They gulp at the now serious implications, some doubting if I was joking and others wondering just what could warrant such a response. Soon we all break up and I go to get some sleep since I can assume I won’t be getting much over the next few days, if any.