We waited on that cliff till dusk. All the mages were lined up behind the trees and bushes. Each of them holding a staff that was nothing more than a tree branch at the ready. Once dusk came, the chief gave the order. All of them fired tiny balls of fire. They had hours to get their aim right, so it was no wonder parts of the village were quickly set aflame. The chief also cast a spell. But he sent out a fireball larger than himself straight at the tavern. It exploded upon impact.
When the smoke cleared out, we saw the heavily armoured man standing in the hole left by the chief, staring at us. The rest of them showed up from behind him, all fully geared up. They had been expecting this. They began going through the village, evacuating the villagers to the forest behind them and gathering their small army of greener adventurers.
From the cliff, we had a good view of the battlefield. Both from our left and right, our warriors emerged, charging straight at them in a pincer formation. We had the clear numbers advantage. For every adventurer, it looked like we had 100 Kobolds, though I’m sure the number wasn’t quite that big.
I had requested that Vyth remain with me. The chief originally wanted him on the frontlines. Vyth had proven himself to be our strongest fighter afterall. But I managed to convince him that he’d be of better use protecting the mages. Now that the battle had started I could see on Vyth's face that it pained him to not be there, fighting alongside them. I felt sorry, but didn’t say anything. I couldn’t. I knew this would happen eventually. But seeing it happen isn’t something I was prepared for.
Memories of my peaceful life from before came back. Sure, there were wars there too. But I didn’t have to see them. I could lead a fairly comfortable life, just studying and playing video games. The thoughts sent me to a dark place. It was depressing that this was my life now. I was too focused on finding a way back to really let it sink in. It honestly just felt like an Isekai. Like everything was going to be awesome and I would get to be the overpowered hero.
The chief shook me and said: “Fire with us this time”.
He then gave the order. We all fired a tiny fireball at their archers, while he sent out another big one in the middle of their army. The battle had been raging for quite a while. Our fighters tried to surround them, but they held them back. They managed to cover them on the sides a bit, though, which seemed to give them some difficulty. The massive fireball killed a dozen or so in their middle. Not too much in terms of numbers, but it brought the adventurers some panic and pushed them back a bit.
The original group seemed to ignore it, however. Their long range fighter, like the wizard and an archer, were standing on top of the buildings and shooting out massively damaging attacks. Spells had been flying throughout the battle. Mainly smaller scale ones by nooby mages that didn’t always hit their mark. The wizard and archer didn’t miss any of their shots. Just like the chief, the wizard had sent out large fireballs, killing more than just a dozen. The archer was using spells as well. His weren’t as flashy as a fireball, but still deadly. He conjured up animals and plants to help them. And seemed to set some magic traps.
The other ones were on the battlefield itself. They were monsters. The heavily armoured man was slashing through multiple in one swing, while no one could land a hit on him. The one in leather was zooming through the battlefield, slashing a few down and moving on before anyone could attempt to hit him. The man in chainmail was at the back, protecting the archers and wizards and healing the wounded.
Every now and then we would fire another volley. After the third one in total, the chief had stopped with the large fireballs. He began using different spells. They were less effective, but still better than our fiery specks.
Arrows came our way whenever we would come out of the bushes to launch another volley. Some of us had already died. After the first few did, I took cover behind a tree and fired from behind it. The battle seemed stagnant. Many were dead already. Mostly our guys, but their numbers had been equally reduced. Then, the wizard cast a large spell, creating a wall of fire between the adventurers and our troops. The Kobolds who were unlucky enough to be near it, were burnt to a crisp.
The archers arched their volley over the wall. Our troops tried to retaliate by flinging rocks, but they were burnt up once they went through the wall. It was a massacre. They kept firing their arrows while the Kobolds tried to go around the wall. Their fighters had set themselves up at the wall’s sides to stop our advance. We couldn’t do much from our position. The wall protected them from our fire spells as well.
Even if the wall didn’t stop our fire, it wouldn’t have mattered. I noticed that the original adventurer with leather armour was gone, just has Vyth noticed him right by us. The man pulled out his shortsword and charged us with incredible speed. Vyth blocked his first strike, which was meant for the chief. The man slashed at Vyth, but he luckily dodged it. I had frozen up from the panic, unable to help him. The chief, however, wasted no time casting a fire spell. It was a sort of flamethrower. We were in the spell’s area of effect, although the fire seemed to go around us.
I got my act together and started casting my own spells. All of us focused fire on him, but he was too quick. Most of them, he dodged with ease. Only the chief seemed to get hits in. As he dodged the constant fire of spells, he went from mage to mage, slaughtering them in one strike each. He couldn’t get to me or the chief as easily, thanks to Vyth defense.
Since we all focused him, we didn’t notice the firing of arrows towards us. Their archers took a couple more of our mages, but the worst was the archer of the original group. As the chief was casting another spell, he was struck in the back with her arrow. He turned around and received another arrow. This one through an eye. Both arrows were coated in poison, leading us to believe it must’ve been her.
Our troops were cut down in half, while they still had most of their soldiers. The archers were still trying to finish the rest of us up on the cliff off and their assassin was still alive and able to fight, though heavily wounded. My fears had come true. I saw no way we could win this, so I took Vyth's hand and ran towards the forest. The assassin tried to cut us off, but I had expected it, so I preemptively turned around and shot out an icy ray. It wasn’t enough to kill him, but it did slow him down a lot.
The remaining mages tried to flee with us, but one by one the talented archer on their side picked them off. We were shot at as well, but I was lucky the arrow had only scraped my side. Vyth protested, but even he knew there was no hope.
We managed to enter the forest still alive. There, we could catch our breath. A handful of mages managed to flee with us as well. The atmosphere felt grim. Everyone had escaped death by the skin of their teeth. Some were wounded, and everyone had lost at least someone dear to them. Yet, despite this atmosphere. Despite all that he had seen, Vyth wanted to go back and fight after he had rested for a bit. A tried to stop him with all the strength I had, but he still kept moving forward. The others didn’t even try to help. They were all lost in their own thoughts to even notice.
I knew I had to think of a plan to help Vyth in the fight. He wasn’t going to give up, so trying to convince him would be pointless. I desperately looked around me, seeing if there was anything that could inspire an idea. That’s when I saw the hill up ahead. The hill where we saw that triceratop.
“Vyth, wait! I have an idea! If you truly want to help them, listen to me!”, I yelled out.
He stopped and looked at me. His eyes were burning with fury and his patience was thin, so I wasted no time explaining.
“Remember that beast we saw? We could send it to the enemy!”.
His eyes widened at the idea. Some hope had returned.
“Our guys can probably evade it, but there’s too many of the humans for them to be able to dodge it effectively!”, I continued.
“Let’s do it, then!”, he said before pulling me in the direction.
We ran as fast as we could up the hill. When we arrived, we saw it, just eating some leaves. I climbed on a tree and jumped off of it, onto the beast’s back. Vyth followed my lead after taking a branch with leaves on it, as I asked him to do. He gave me the branch. I held it out in front of the triceratops. It tried to eat the leaves, but they were just out of reach. It’s how I controlled it. I lead it down the hill and into the open field. Once the armies were in sight, I asked Vyth to hit it on it’s behind with his spear. It let out a roar, before charging straight ahead.
Within a minute we were at the battlefield. We stayed on it, Vyth stabbing people on the left, while I threw acid over the ones on the right. It was enough to turn the tides of the battle. The firewall was no longer there when we arrived, so we had free reign over the field. The human army was in disarray. Most of them confused and in panic. Some of them even fled.
We wreaked havoc for a good 5 minutes, before the large man in heavy armour shoulder bashed our mount. It was enough force to stop the triceratops and more than enough to push us off of it. We quickly got up, but he was already standing over us. He stared into our souls with the fury of a vengeful spirit. We froze up from the fear. Time had slowed down for us. We were staring death in the face. He lifted his sword over his shoulder, ready to cut us in half. I had to move, I had to do something. Without thinking, I grabbed Vyth, and together, we jumped backwards. The blade swung just below our feet. Yet, we didn’t fall down towards it. I could feel something moving on my back. I could feel the air on… something that was part of me. I looked behind me, to see small, dragon-like wings. They were mine!