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A note from kosnik4

Read up to chapter 87 on Patreon if you want to know immediately what happens next.

Cristopher’s Point of View:

 

“General, come back!” I lean over the ramparts and shout at her departing figure. My heart feels like it's about to beat out of my chest. I watch General Pitz walk towards the man who drew in all our siege spells and walked out unscathed. Even though he’s so far away from me, my skills tell me he’s as dangerous as the general.

 

I bite my lower lip until I taste copper in my mouth. Bringing my hand up to my lip, I see that I'm bleeding. I wipe my hand on my pants and ignore the taste of blood.

 

Why did she have to leave? We could’ve found a solution together; she has to know she’s vastly unprepared to fight someone like that without her proper gear.

 

“Sir, what do we do?” I hear the communications mage ask behind me.

 

I round on them, about to shout, 'I have no idea' when I remember I'm in charge now. Everyone is looking to me to defend the fort while the general distracts that monster.

 

If the communications mage noticed my frantic look, he’s hiding it well, patiently waiting for my orders.

 

“Send word to the mage battalions to open fire at Scholl’s front ranks as soon as the general starts fighting. Tell them to keep an eye on the general and be prepared to help her escape if this is an elaborate trap.”

 

"Sir, if we use siege spells, then most likely some might fall near the general." The communication mage informs me with a worried expression.

 

I ball my hands into fists at my side. "It can't be helped. We're outnumbered, and we can't limit ourselves to only archery if we’re to win. I’m confident the general wouldn’t let something as slow as a siege spell hit her. Inform our best archers and mage battalions they're to focus solely on Scholl's commanders. Any bastard wearing a feather takes priority. If one of them reaches our walls, we're screwed."

 

“By your orders,” the communication mage salutes me and starts casting his magic, spreading my plan to the entire fort.

 

I turn away from the mage and focus on the general as she nears the monster disguised as an old man. Why did she have to leave me in charge? I may have helped her by passing along her orders, but I've never been in charge of this many people before.

 

“I was sent to watch over you and to pull you back if need be, not let you sacrifice yourself," I mumble under my breath.

 

After spending months with the general, I should've realized that was never possible. No one can tell her what to do. The men think she's scary and domineering, but I know that she cares deeply for their safety and takes her job as a general seriously.

 

And now she’s stepped into the wolves’ den just to give us a chance to defend ourselves.

 

No, I can’t think like that. I’ll make sure not a single Scholl soldier makes it past our walls, so when the general is finished kicking that old man’s feathered ass around the canyon, she can come back here and rest without worry.

 

I can’t waste my time thinking about the general. I’m sure she’ll win. It’s the eight people spearheading Scholl’s forces I need to focus on. That’s my job, gathering intel on people. The faster I figure out their abilities and stat distribution, the quicker we can counter them.

 

The general and the man she called Pacore are talking to each other. I can see Scholl is prepared to launch their attacks as soon as their fight begins, just like we are.

 

I activate Shadowing Observer and merge with the shadows cast by the morning sun. I’ll stay on the move and direct our men that way. I make my way to the far left of the fort’s walls and observe the first of Scholl’s feathered commanders.

 

I take note of the short woman with light blue hair. She’s wearing a full set of metal armor and is wielding a sword and shield. My skills tell me her highest stat is Strength, probably a close-range fighter. As to not get her information mixed with the others, I mentally label her number one.

 

Number two is a mage wearing a robe that covers most of his features and is brandishing a staff with a large red magic gem on it. He's possibly a fire mage, or maybe the hex mage the general told us about. His strongest stat is Magic, just like most mages.

 

I rush along the rampart’s shadows until I get a better view of number three and four.

 

Three is a bulky man wearing Scholl's military dress with light armor. He has a sword at his side, but it looks more ornamental than practical. He’s probably someone geared towards leading.

 

The fourth person sporting a feather on his chest is of average height and has two swords at his side. I saw the general eyeballing him while she passed by, and he didn’t look worried. Was it confidence or stupidity?

 

I only spend a few seconds observing each of them before I move on. As I run across the wall, I send a quick glance over to the general. Both she and her opponent look like they're ready to start fighting at any moment. I need to move quicker.

 

The fifth individual with a feather is a middle-aged woman with her hair done up in a bun. She’s wearing the same military uniform as number three and has an almost identical sword. Six and seven are a pair of mages dressed similar to each other in grey robs. And eight is another snappily dressed man that looks like he should be leading a military parade rather than standing at the front of an army.

 

Now that I think I know each of their specialties, I can better…

 

I feel the world around me shift as signaling horns bellow from Scholl’s army, which our walls return with their own deep melody.

 

Still hidden in the shadows, I watch the captain responsible for this part of the wall start screaming his orders. Our mages hastily throw up their shields as dozens of fireballs and large rocks are hurled at us. I’m forced to leave my hiding spot to take cover behind the closest shield, less I accidentally take a spell to the face.

 

The captain only spares me a glance as I materialize out of the shadows before he yells out, “brace!”

 

I feel my very bones shake as the mage next to me tries to deflect a three-foot boulder coming straight at us!

 

The rock directly impacts the shield at its center, and I panic when I see fracture lines creep across its surface. The mage shouts out a war cry of defiance and pumps more of his Mana into his spell. The cracks slowly mend themselves together until the boulder starts to harmlessly drop from the shield. The boulder only falls a few feet before it disintegrates into nothing. They’re conjuring boulders instead of wasting their Mana by launching the canyon's rocks.

 

Our mage battalions start launching their own spells, but they're significantly fewer in number when compared to Scholl’s.

 

As soon as I have a chance, I rush over to the ramparts' edge and scan the distance for the general. “Please, be ok,” I tell myself.

 

I spot her in the same general area she met with Scholl's leader, but she's already started their battle. Neither she nor her opponent seems to stop for a moment as they continuously shift their positions, trying to outmaneuver the other. The general is fast, but her opponent never stops advancing.

 

I wish I could watch her battle and cheer her on, but I need to focus on repelling Scholl.

 

Scholl’s army is slowly shifting its forces now that the battle has begun, and it's challenging to find the feathered commanders in the chaotic mess. It isn’t until I look at the mass of soldiers as a whole that I notice they’re shifting around the two commanders with them at the center. Our commanders follow my orders and target them, but the two feathered mages are working together to shield their companions from our attacks.

 

Two commanders and two mages on this side, while the other has a commander, mage, and two close-range fighters. It's hard to see around the wall, but it looks like Scholl's left battalion is focused more on close-range fighters and making its way to our walls, while the right battalion in front of me is more long-range based.

 

I pull up a mental map to better organize everything.

 

Three, five, and eight are leaders with skills geared towards leading others.

 

Two, six, and seven are mages. Leaving one and Four as close-range fighters.

 

They have their forces divided in a way to complement each other while ours are spread evenly across the walls. Our attacks are hitting Scholl's commanders, but they aren't doing any damage. The general's original plan isn't working; we need to shake things up. I turn towards the nearby commander, “keep the pressure on the feathered individuals with magic but attack their surrounding men with your bowmen."

 

“I can do that, sir, but we won’t be able to hold out long facing this kind of barrage.” As if to confirm his point, another volley of Scholl’s spells clashes up against our mage’s shields. All our mages look like they’re struggling to keep their spells active.

 

"Do your best," I tell him. "I need to check on the other side of the fort." I sprint across the ramparts, not having enough time to hide in the shadows.

 

As I pass over the main gate, I manage to steal another look at the general's battle. They seem to have stopped for a moment. I don't see any injuries on the general, but her opponent looks perfectly fine as well.

 

I know the general will come through like she always does; I just need to hold out until then.

 

Reaching the fort's left side, I'm confronted with an entirely different battle than the right flank.

 

Scholl’s left battalion is dangerously close to our wall. Their archers and warriors are pelting my men with arrows and short spears. The sheer number of projectiles has forced our mages, which should be slinging siege spalls at the enemy, to help defend everyone by erecting their own shields.

 

I pass by a young man huddled in the corner. I’m about to yell at him to get up and fight when I notice the blood. I couldn’t see the wound with his body slouched over, but I now realize the poor man is dead. Someone must have moved his body, so it's not in the way.

 

And he isn’t the only one.

 

A quick glance is all I need to start noticing the dead starting to pile up, and the battle has only just begun.

 

Down below, I’m able to spot Scholl’s commander in the crowd. In the center of Scholl’s troops is the man I rightfully labeled as a commander. And next to the commander is the mage, making sure our arrows never touch the man leading the battalion. Leading the charge of their forces are the two short-range fighters. The lady with the sword and shield deflects each arrow with her large shield and launches small spells from her sword.

 

The twin sword-wielding warrior the general was eyeballing is even more eye-catching. He's using his twin swords to hit the arrows coming at him out of the air.

 

This isn’t working, I think, gritting my teeth. The general wanted us to focus on the feathered commanders, but they're just evading or blocking everything we throw at them with their superior numbers and levels.

 

I only hesitate for a moment before I find the closest communications mage who's helping by erecting a magic shield.

 

“What are you doing!?” He yells at me as I pull him behind a nearby tower wall, not realizing who I am.

 

“Shut up, and prepare to send my orders,” I firmly hold him by the front of his robes.

 

His eyes widen when he finally notices who I am. “Sir, I’m sorry for…”

 

“No time for that,” I cut him off. “Send word to each squad that I want them to change their targets.”

 

“Sir?” The communications mage gives me a complicated look.

 

“Yes, I know I just sent out orders not too long ago,” I hiss at him. “Send word that I want our best archers to keep firing on the feathered commanders while everyone else is to shift targets to their regular soldiers. We can at least lower their number that way.”

 

“Sir!” The mage salutes me and starts casting his spell.

 

There’s a short pause from our ranks as my orders are sent around, but soon more spells and arrows are once again launched at Scholl.

 

The brief laps in our attack was not enough time for Scholl to properly defend themselves. The feathered commanders have more mobility now that we aren’t targeting them with magic, but in turn, we were able to kill scores of Scholl’s soldiers before they were able to defend themselves.

 

The constant barrage of attacks lightens as part of Scholl’s forces need to switch to defensive measures. The general told me Scholl is known for their fast attacks and placing their highest leveled people in the front. Usually, you would need to deal with that kind of force with an equally aggressive move, but we can't with our numbers.

 

As long as we can hold their strongest warriors at bay and whittle away their forces, we might stand a chance.

 

Almost immediately, our change in strategy bears fruit. A few spells do land near the general, but she easily dodges them. We manage to deal a significant blow to Scholl's forces for the first time and push them back a little.

 

We continue to exchange spells, and our archers manage to keep Scholl's feathered commanders at bay barely, but it's plain to see that they're quickly adjusting to our new strategy and are regaining their foothold against our walls.

 

We might need to change our strategy again to keep them on their…

 

*Bang**Bang**Bang*

 

Three rapid explosions shake the ramparts.

 

That came from the main gate!

 

“Don’t let them breach the gate!” I hear multiple people shout in a panic.

 

Rushing to the front gate, I see a few mages hastily erecting magic shields as Scholl’s right battalion has shifted their strikes solely on the main gate. To my left, I also see the School's left battalion subtly shifting their positions, inching their way over in this direction as well.

 

Glancing at my feet, I see the masonry under my boots has started to separate and crack.

 

If they breach the gate, we won't be able to keep them from taking the fort, and the general will be surrounded from all sides.

 

I want to drag more of our mages over here, but Scholl is still peppering the other sections of our walls with spells and projectiles. If I shore up the gate, they'll pick apart our other forces; if I don't focus on the gate, they'll walk right through it; I don't have an answer.

 

While I’m freaking out over how to proceed, a familiar noise echoes across the battlefield.

 

That was the sound of the general shooting one of her specialty arrows! I've only heard the explosive sound of the general firing her bow to the fullest of her ability four times before, but I would never forget that sound.

 

I rush over to the ramparts edge in time to see the older man the general was fighting, doubling over with a hole in his chest.

 

“She did it!” I almost cry in relief.

 

Then it dawns on me, she must have used one of her tier 5 skills, and if she did, she’ll be too tired to retreat on her own.

 

I’ll need to organize a rescue party to…

 

The world stops for me as I watch the old man plunge his sword into the generals’ stomach.

 

I can’t believe what I’m seeing, as the general collapses on her back and every person fighting stops moving. Scholl's warriors stop shooting their spells, and the remaining soldiers on our walls are staring at our fallen general in disbelief.

 

“But she won,” I try to tell myself, feeling the life drain out of me.

 

It isn’t until the old man heals himself and rips his sword out of the general and mouths something to her that I understand what's happening.

 

Scholl's leader hoists his sword over his head and shouts, sending a chain reaction through his men, who look like they're ready to go berzerk.

 

Pacore flicks the general's blood from his blade before sheathing his sword. He looks over our remaining defenses before activating the magic item he used earlier to amplify his voice.

 

"People of Olebert, your general is defeated!" He shouts, and Scholl's soldiers cheer so loud they sound like rolling thunder.

 

I watch him fish a vial from his side and hold it up. “I give you one last chance to surrender your fort. If you do, I’ll see to it that your general survives." The old man's words send my mind into disarray. "If you chose not to surrender, then we will take the fort and leave no survivors. Decide now; your general doesn't have much time before she meets Ebeon!"

 

Even if he hasn't taken the fort yet, his claims have sent our ranks into disarray. The average soldiers look to me in varying states of panic while my captains and squad leaders look at me with uncertainty in their eyes.

 

They know even if we surrender, there is no guarantee we still won't be executed.

 

'Cristopher, your mission is to act as the steward to General Emily Pitz. She's known for her reckless behavior, but she's one of Olebert's finest assets. The king has made it clear her life takes precedent over your own. Olebert can't lose someone of her level, do I make myself clear?' I think about my superior's orders before I met the general for the first time.

 

Soon after I remember my superior’s orders, I hear General Pitz’s final words to me before she left. ‘From here on out, you're in charge. No matter what happens to me, you're to defend the fort. I'll distract Pacore while you deal with his men. As soon as we start fighting, send everything we have at them.’

 

What do I do?

 

I want to honor the general's orders, but I don't want to see her die.

 

I shakily turn towards the nearest commander. “Raise a red flag, and open the main gate.”

 

"Are you sure, sir?!" He asks for clarification. I ball my hands into fists at my side. Is this what Lady Pitz felt every time I second-guessed her?

 

“Just do it,” I tell him, hanging my head.

 

“By your will, I’ll spread the word.” I watch him run off.

 

As red flags are hoisted onto the towers, signaling our surrender, I make my way over to the nearest communications mage, who watches me approach with a pale face. "Send immediate word to the supply corps in Teeburn. Fort North Ridge has fallen to Scholl, evacuate the city; they're sure to take that next." I order with a solemn face.

 

The mage nervously nods and casts his spell. I hear the front gate being opened directly underneath us. Most of our newer soldiers have already tossed aside their weapons like that somehow guarantees they’ll be spared.

 

I move back over to the edge of the ramparts and glance at where the General had fallen. Mages surround her, but I can't tell if they know healing magic, and I can only hope Pacore sticks to his word.

 

I look up at the sky as I hear Scholl's army pouring into the courtyard below. Black clouds are forming overhead, and I feel a cold raindrop splash against my cheek.

 

"We failed," I mumble as the magic weather washes the blood from our ramparts onto the rocky ground below.

 


 

Master Pacore the Deathless’ Point of View:

 

I stroll through the front gates of the fort with Tellis at my side, the cold drizzle unable to penetrate my magic armor.

 

“What do we do next, Master Pacore? What do we do with the prisoners?” Tellis asks me, high off of the excitement from our win.

 

"Detain everyone above level 50; release the rest of them," I tell him.

 

Tellis stumbles over his feet and looks at me with wide eyes. “Release them, that’s insane!?”

 

I shake my head in disappointment. "If we keep them all as prisoners, how do you plan on feeding them, huh? I'm sure most of the people here under level 50 are conscripts from the surrounding cities and villages. It will hurt us in the long run if we lock them up or execute them."

 

“But what if they rejoin with the rest of Olebert’s army?” Tellis hastily points out.

 

I glance at a few young men standing nearby with my soldier's sword pointed at their necks with horror in their eyes. "That might be true for some of them, but can't you see it, Tellis?" I gesture all around me. "Most of these people are broken. I bet they never considered Olebert would lose the fort, let alone their fate should that happen. If we let them go, they'll scurry back to their villages and spread the word of our victory and our benevolence. We need to control the surrounding cities, and a merciful ruler faces less opposition," I explain.

 

I might have considered killing all of them in my youth, and I've served under leaders who've done just that. They win one fight but make an enemy out of the people they wish to rule, guaranteeing opposition at every turn.

 

"Who is the leader here!?" I shout. The trained soldiers drop their gazes to the ground to not give their commander away, but the newer men all glance in one direction.

 

I follow their looks up above the gate we just entered to see a young man staring daggers at me. “Are you in charge of these men?” I ask.

 

"Is the general ok?" He answers me with his own question.

 

"Insolent!" Tabitha, my only student who’s earned a feather, brandishes her shield and sword, ready to charge the man.

 

I hold my hand out, keeping her in place. “Master?” She gives me a questioning look.

 

Turning back to the man looking down on me, I see my men have surrounded him.

 

I can tell just by his eyes that he has no intention of fleeing, interesting. "I have my best healers tending to her, and I even used my last tonic on her. It won’t be because of my lack of trying if she does end up dying. Now, is this an elaborate trap to try and kill me, or are you surrendering peacefully?" My men jump at the thought of this being a trap, but I was just joking.

 

“And you’ll spare the life of my men?” He narrows his eyes at me.

 

“Of course, I gave my word, did I not? If you surrendered the fort earlier, we could’ve skipped all the bloodshed.” I can see the young man holding back his anger. “Who are you?” I once again ask for the young man’s name.

 

“Cristopher, steward of great General Emily Pitz,” he passionately claims.

 

At least a few people in this fort still have some backbone. “Tellis, Tabitha, start processing the captives and organizing our troops. We have more work to do.”

 

“Yes, Master Pacore,” the two echo one another. “Shackle that man and make sure he doesn’t try anything,” I tell my men surrounding the steward.

 

Well, that's all the orders I need to give out.

 

I hope the next fight will be more fun than this one; I think to myself as I walk over the fort’s keep. Time to inspect my new holdings and prepare to take Teeburn.

 


 

Kervin’s Point of View:

 

“What do you think that was all about?” Ryiba motions to the sky.

 

“Nothing good,” Lurte ominously says.

 

I’m just as nervous as the two of them. Soon after we left the supply corps base, they locked down the area, turning away all the other merchants, even those waiting in line to sell their goods. All of Teeburn was talking about it.

 

I got a bad feeling from the whole thing and decided to leave the city early and head back to Drey.

 

I was trying to put it out of my mind, but a vast flock of messenger birds just passed overhead for the fourth time today.

 

It goes against my better judgment, but I turn to Reel, who's walking off to the side of the cart. "What do you think, Reel?"

 

Reel turns towards me, and the hair on the back of my neck stands on end. Reel's expression is serious, and he continues to scan our surroundings even as he answers me. “The messenger guild doesn’t send that many of its birds out unless there’s trouble. The only thing I can think of is if something happened at the fort.”

 

I move to wipe the nervous sweat from my face. Could something big have happened?

 

Reel turns around and stares behind us. “See something?” I ask.

 

"Wagons are approaching, a lot of them," he informs us.

 

I look over my shoulder to see carts stuffed with goods and supplies rapidly approaching us. We can soon hear the labored panting of the charging Bivol as the first cart approaches.

 

I start to worry when it doesn’t look like the cart is going to slow down.

 

At the last minute, the cart swerves to the side of us, ending up halfway off the road, and passes us in a hurry. It's only two minutes before another cart passes us in the same manner. Each is wiping their pack animals, trying to get them to move faster.

 

I try calling out to the third cart that moves to pass us. “What’s the hurry!?”

 

The panicked cart driver yells at me, “Fort North Ridge has fallen! Scholl is free to invade!” The man snaps his reins and passes us without saying anything else.

 

It takes a minute for the news to sink into all of us.

 

“Fuck!” We all curse at the same time.

 

Without saying a word, Reel, Lurte, and Ryiba all hop into the back of my cart. I snap my reins to try and get my Bivol to move faster as well. We're only a day away from Teeburn, and that's the next place Scholl will try to take. We need to get out of here!

 

I turn around and look back in the city's direction and see a hoard of carts heading in our direction.

 

“Gods, save us,” I utter a short prayer to the darkening sky.

 


 

Leonard Grey’s Point of View:

 

“Has this been authenticated?” My hands tremble as I look at the parchment.

 

“It has,” the head receptionist confirms my worst fears. "Word is quickly spreading around the city; people are panicking.”

 

"The fort has fallen," I say out loud, not believing my own words.

 

“This is horrible!” I have thousands of gold coins invested in the Teeburn branch.

 

"You're right; this is a tragedy," the head receptionist bats her eyes with a handkerchief as if she’s actually crying. “What is Olebert to do?”

 

Olebert! Who cares about Olebert, loosing Teeburn will set my plans back by months, I want to scream at the annoying woman, but I know who she reports to.

 

“Has the main office been notified?” I ask her.

 

“Word has already been sent,” she tells me.

 

I feign a concerned look to hide my anger. "That's good; summon everyone we have to the office. We don't have a moment to spare."

 

The head receptionist nods and rushes out of my office. I frown as she leaves; for a second there, I could've sworn she gave me a knowing look before she turned away from me. Maybe I'm being paranoid, or the stress of the situation is getting to me?

 

Max shuts the door after checking that the annoying woman is truly gone.

 

“Damn it, damn it, damn it,” I slam my hands against my desk. “Max, any word from our men in Teeburn?”

 

“None, boss.”

 

“Did Scholl already take the city? That would be the worst-case scenario.”

 

“I don’t think so, boss, but Scholl shouldn’t wait to secure more territory while they have the chance.” Max gives me his possessional opinion.

 

“Ok, contact our men in Teeburn and tell them they don’t leave the city until they have all my important documents secured! If they leave the city without those papers, they’re dead.”

 

"Understood, boss," Max briefly leaves the room to convey my orders secretly.

 

While Max goes to deal with that, I’m forced to figure out where I’m supposed to move my secret documents. I've stored every bit of information I've gathered on Silver Herds operations over the last ten years in Teeburn. The city has remained under my jurisdiction for over a decade, and until the war started, Silver Herd pretty much ignored it.

 

I can’t believe those fools in the military actually lost the fort.

 

Leaning back in my chair, I try to imagine how Giovanni is reacting right now. Scholl's army will move in this direction after they take Teeburn, and everything will become complicated.

 

Depending on what Giovanni decides and how we interact with Scholl will make or break Silver Herd. If we help fight Scholl, it would further Giovanni's goals with Olebert but put us at the mercy of Scholl's forces. If he decides to do business with Scholl, that could also make us quite a profit but should Olebert manage to expel Scholl; we'll be in big trouble.

 

I know I wanted to leave the company, but I can't join one of the big three merchant companies if I'm labeled a traitor.

 

How do I deal with this mess, I ask, looking out my office window at the spring sky.

 


 

Richard’s Point of View:

 

"Move, you stupid animal!" I crack the reins, but the bivol continues at its leisurely pace down dirt road leading towards Spotted Creek Village. "Do you think it will move faster if you throw a fireball at it?" I ask Sandra, who's sitting next to me on the cart.

 

“I told you, you shouldn’t have bought the cheapest one,” she grins at me.

 

I know she's making fun of me, but she's too beautiful to argue with. "We only need it to get us back to the village. Why would I spend money on a beast we'll throw in the village pens and never see again?” I playfully whine to her.

 

“Because it will take us a month to get back to the village at this rate,” she snarkily points out to me.

 

She might have me there.

 

I wonder if our furniture is too heavy?

 

Looking behind us, I see all the belongings that we've collected over the past five years. In my spare time, I took up woodworking, and with my architect skills, I was able to craft a lovely dining room set and two dressers for Sandra's clothes. I still keep my clothes in a bare wooden chest, but whatever makes my lovely mage happy. Even if she never wears half of her wardrobe.

 

“What are you thinking about, sweety?” I immediately have flashbacks of my mother questioning my dad.

 

“Nothing,” I lightly shake my head.

 

“You weren’t just thinking something negative about me, weren’t you?” She questions me.

 

“Nope, just thinking about how lucky I am to have such a powerful, beautiful, amazing woman by my side.” I lean over start kissing her passionately. And psychic, I note to myself.

 

Sandra plays along for a little bit, but I can see she isn't buying it when she pulls away.

 

"Are you ready to see the village again?" I ask her, trying to change the subject.

 

She raises one of her eyebrows at me, meaning she wasn't fooled, but she playfully takes the bait anyway. "I am; I miss our families. I wonder how much has changed since we were last home?"

 

“I wonder how much the little rabbit has grown,” I chuckle.

 

“In father’s letters, he said she’s one of the strongest people in the village now. Call her little rabbit to her face, and I might need to find a new man," Sandra jokes.

 

I playfully lean up against her. “I’m sure the beautiful mage next to me will protect me.”

 

“I wouldn’t count on that,” Sandra pokes my side causing me to flinch away from her.

 

We both share a laugh, but I know she's right.

 

Aaliyah has always been outstanding. I've worked extremely hard these last five years, and I'm still mentally preparing myself to have a lower level than my little sister.

 

I glance up at the sky. “Things are changing,” I mumble.

 

“It doesn’t matter how things change as long as we have each other,” Sandra says, leaning up against me this time.

 

I watch a large bird fly overhead towards our village.

 

“As long as we have each other,” I agree, stealing her lips with a kiss.

 

I can’t wait to be home again.

 

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A note from kosnik4

5,600 words.

 

Ha-ha! Just like every DC and Marvel comic book character ever, no one stays dead for long!

 

But no, seriously, I never intended to kill off Emily. She still got her ass kicked, but she isn't dead… yet.

 

This chapter was meant to wrap up the fort's fight and show a glimpse at how the world is shifting around Aaliyah.

 

Speaking of our main girl, the next chapter is back to Aalyiah's perspective.

 

Thanks for reading the chapter, and as always, stay safe.


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kosnik4

Bio: Just love a good story.

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