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A note from naosu

Sorry meant to put this up yesterday but I was really, really tired...

Dreamweaver Chapter 150

 

 

 

“HELLLPPPPP!” Sunghee cries out with the massive ogre’s fist closed around her waist with just one hand.

She’s totally trapped and it’s trying to fling her around to mash her to death. Somehow she’s trying to avoid being mashed into buildings and land on her head. That’s the hard part, not landing on her head while I spam runic shielding over and over.

I had to spam three more runic shielding spells hanging on Sunghee to keep her alive just like before within a very quick time frame. I didn’t realize it but my overuse of this spell has helped my speed cast timing in the last few weeks which is the only reason she’s still alive. Each time the ogre is trying to smash her into stuff the shield pops but barely takes the impact. But she’s getting scratched up a bit too. The runic shielding spell spam is going to bleed a lot of power out though if it keeps up.

The dwarves are horrified at the new level of violence that they hadn’t believed could actually happen.

“Save her!” The lieutenant balked. It’s probably one of the few really good contributions he’s done.

“Sharpshooters on the ogre now!” I yelled desperately.

The dwarves are immediately angered seeing the war princess getting thrown around like a rag doll and are now trying to storm the ogre. But without realizing it they just made more targets for him to smash Sunghee into.

This is also a reminder I want to get my stun to last longer and need more incapacitating skills to go with it.

The Lieutenant confirms the order. He shouldn’t need to do that should he, or do they not trust me? Somehow the sharpshooters manage to divert their arrows to the ogre and especially its face, head, and chest.

I cast a fourth runic shielding bubble on Sunghee, while the arrows keep pelting him, and then a fifth. There’s a lot of blood splashes as the darts ripple into his chest. This feels like its wearing me out still trying to keep up with him and I’m feeling light headed.

Even if I have a lot of mana, repeated chain casting with no breathers between it can start to make the body feel all kinds of awful. I feel weak and lightheaded from forcing mana through my body too fast. And it’s a yucky feeling that’s making it hard to cope with standing up.

There are now like six arrows in the ogre’s chest, but he still won’t die. If anything he’s still trying to get up.

I spam more runic shielding on Sunghee while she’s still screaming.

Gyle throws several throwing knives in a row at it. Three out of five of them hit the ogre in the chest, and one of them clipped Sunghee’s thigh by accident when one of the shields had collapsed. But the knives just don’t penetrate deep enough into the ogre. At the same time the front line dwarves with the body shields are straining with all their muscles and backs to keep back the rest of the goblins.

I hear Gyle and the others cursing.

Near me Rina is petrified and holding her breath.

The dwarves continue to shout angrily, and then there’s more runic shielding spam. It’s arm gets slower and heavier but it still has this massive fist around Sunghee’s waist. Like a roller coaster from hell coming to a stop, somehow he ended up slowing to the point of a normal speed instead of his on steroids from hell speed.

“We can do this!” Rina cried out but she’s just trying to make sure we don’t give up on Sunghee. She keeps missing with her sling. At least she has enthusiasm, even though she’s not so good at the battle stuff.

The ogre also uses his offhand to smash at the dwarves’ big body shields, but somehow they hold firm thanks to defensive spellwork and their armor.

But the ogre is getting even madder. Even though he slowed down, now he’s trying to use more concentrated strength.

NO! I want to tear my hair out.

He picks up Sunghee with both hands now to concentrate his violence as he’s starting to lift her over his head.

Oh shit. He’s going to smash her back over his knee. That would be death or the worst thing possible.

I cast the spell as fast as I can to try to save her. I’m lucky my stun ray just finished its cool time now and I unleash its power on the ogre just before he was about to throw her down in some kind of back break over the knee maneuver that would have surely have made me throw up.

This is why I hate ogres more than any other evil critter so far.

Sunghee! Is she OK? I wonder as her tear streaked face and body falls at nearly the same time the ogre also goes down from the stun. Somehow Sunghee is able to get away darting for cover to the right while the dwarves are finishing off the ogre. I grab her hands and I’m pulling her away from it as fast as I can before the stun wears off.

“My gosh, that’s an ogre?! I…I had no idea. I’d heard stories, but…so violent,” the Lieutenant exclaims.

The dwarves have already surged forward tearing it to pieces as best they can while the stun is in effect and poking it for all their worth. It’s like little men poking a bear though. They better hurry the fuck up before the stun wears off.

“Kill it!” other dwarves are screaming. It seems they have an unnatural fear of ogres. The dwarves are still trying to pulverize it while it’s stunned and its turning into a dog pile. We can’t let it get away. There’s a chance it will run now just to come at us from behind or worse.

I can vaguely feel Sunghee’s terror stricken nervous hand clutching at my right sleeve too because she’s on the verge of mental sanity from what just happened.

I had to push her away so I can rush forward for a killing chop. Not wanting it to get away I rush in with my axe before its head is covered and finally deliver the killing blow to its neck, chopping the head clean off with my axe. If it hadn’t been stunned I wouldn’t have been able to do that. Plus it was being held down by the others.

The dwarves are cheering now while I hold up the ogre’s head for both sides to see. The dwarves are seething with anger and courage now seeing the trophy for positive effect, but by the same token the outcry of pain and despair in the goblin side is just as bad. Some of them are cursing us as they try to leave with all kinds of death threats and stuff like they will hunt our children’s children kind of bullshit.

At least that’s what the Lieutenant said they were saying.

The goblins immediately are abandoning this street entirely. Like cockroaches they are scattering all over the place going for hidey holes, gutters, trenches, sewer hatches, gaps in fences, and most of all retreating to ground they still hold which is rapidly diminishing.

“Sir, permission to pursue!” the Lieutenant asked.

“Hold position!” I barked.

“But we have them!” he almost yelled at me.

“Take care of the wounded! Keep the defense perimeter solid. Watch for their retaliatory strike which they should already be organizing if we know this enemy commander as well as we do.” I barked again.

I think the lieutenant has failed to take into account their commander is skilled. He’s already thinking two steps ahead to recover from this. I’m sure of it.

Sunghee is scared but manages to get back to my side, clutching at my sleeve again with shaking hands.

Within another minute I’ve got a regeneration spark going on four of the front line dwarves carrying body shields and two others. The regeneration spell will have them able to fight within a good five minutes, while I have them take a breather.

Beating the ogre really tore up my platoon and a lot of them are scared and wary. There were a few deaths but they seem to be civilians and not my actual platoon.

“Sharpshooters stay ready and fire at will. Don’t let any snipers sneak up on us,” Sunghee said covering for me while I care for the wounded.

It takes us another ten minutes but we finally clear the area of snipers without any further losses. My team is in good spirits and most of the wounded are functioning almost as good as those with no wounds. If we had charged ahead recklessly earlier, the enemy snipers would have torn us to shreds.

Then we secure the intersection with sharpshooter covering the place from the rooftops on either side. I managed to organize the civilian volunteers too. Unfortunately out of the thirty or so of them here, only two of them have range weapons, in the form of light crossbows but don’t have very many bolts. After relieving my supply engineer of everything he had the street is secure but we haven’t managed to push back north again towards the gate that has been compromised.

“Sir, waiting for orders,” the Lieutenant barks with a salute.

“Options?” I asked.

“The best thing to do would be to secure the whole street and go house to house picking off the goblin looters and those that are in the buildings with possible hostages or we can start securing the next street over,” Sunghee said.

“If we move up the street we would probably rescue more civilians but we wouldn’t be more vulnerable to a counter goblin wave trying to come back down the street too,” Sunghee added.

“You’re right, wish we could do both,” I muttered.

“But you can. You must be Shun,” I turned to face another dwarf, who just approached. He looks to be an adult with a long silver beard but a young face. Unlike the others he’s dressed in street clothes with a black set of robes over the top and carrying a staff with all kinds of war carvings in it.

He’s definitely some kind of magic user.

“I’m here to relieve you of control of this street by orders of the General. Thank you for your hard work,” he said giving me a salute.

“But we just took control of this street,” I said.

“And I have my orders. Now that’s its secure you can move on to the next one with your team. You will take your men and me and my men will hold this position,” he countered.

“It’s still not safe here, sir,” Rina said. She flinched when he glared at her.

“There’s still heavy activity in this area including ogre sightings. I wouldn’t recommend this place be considered secure,” Sunghee said.

“I concur with the um…human fighter,” my lieutenant said.

“Shun. I am aware of your team’s contribution. The dwarven nation thanks you for your service. You are now excused to take your team and now proceed to lock up 2nd and 3rd west. We’ll take care of the disposal of the goblins and the ogre,” the young dwarf said.

He reached out to take the ogre head from my hands when my Lieutenant and Gyle both stepped in front of him.

“Sir, that is against the war rules. The bounty for the ogre goes to Shun. Everyone here knows the bounty for ogre heads is high, and that trophy is by rights belonging to Shun. Not only did he do the killing blow to the ogre but he kept the team all alive with no fatalities in doing so,” Gyle is kind of in the young ogre’s face.

The young dwarf looks offended. “I’ll have you know my uncle is Chief of the Watch here. I was only doing my job to secure it and defend our family and nation’s honor,” he retorted.

“Shun, that ogre head is worth 3 gold. And even if his daddy is the Chief of the Watch he can’t take your war trophies, he can only assist us in moving bodies as is allowed by the Dwarven Nation military rules of engagement charter,” Gyle responded again before the young dwarf mage could take it from me.

“Thanks but I’ll keep the head. Gyle can you check the ogre’s body for anything else of value and then we’re moving out,” I said quickly.

The young dwarf is angry but gave in. Everybody was staring at him with anger and he had to stop.

I’m lucky that he didn’t put up more fight. 3 gold is a lot of money, when people are only making like a silver or two per day. Hell, 3 gold is as big a haul as I’ve had from one thing so far. Even much of the adventurer jobs we didn’t come away with 3 gold from total.

Somehow we end up staying long enough to make sure the enemy snipers are addressed. It takes us two minutes for the new team to take our sharpshooters positions. But I leave most of the civilian dwarves with the new team taking over for us. They look a bit skeptical if it’s still safe but I nod for them to stay here and stay safe.

“If you keep in contact signaling with the street that Svinn is covering and the other secure streets then we can still respond with each other in time for assists,” I said to them to keep their morale up.

As we leave the silver haired young dwarf is still scowling at me.

This totally isn’t worth it. I was so close to losing Sunghee to that bastard and barely kept her alive. Wonder if it’s safer to take up farming?

 

Gyle’s report on the leader ogre’s loot;

30 silver coins

1 club that is too big for us to use and therefore abandoned but could make good firewood or some kind of carving ingredients for a good woodworker

Rags made from human and animal ‘pelts’ that were worn and smell quite rancidly bad.

To our surprise after we’re moving we do find some resistance up 3rd West, but less than before. Because we’d already made the goblins afraid of us on 1st West we are able to push up 2nd and now we’re on 3rd West trying to reclaim it.

“What does that mean? There was a rumor that they were planning to use that 2nd west street to push through the city? That doesn’t make sense. I think that’d dis-information. The best streets for that would be 3rd West or 5th West. The enemy could have sown that rumor to throw us off,” Gyle wondered.

“If this is 3rd West than that would mean heavy resistance on 5th West,” Sunghee warned me.

Crap, she’s right. And so is Gyle.

“Hey that’s good thinking Gyle,” I said.

“Who knows. Could be anything,” Sunghee said.

“For now let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We have to think like we’re still working on this and need to concentrate well or we could let the enemy be underestimated. Then they would end up hitting us back. Stay frosty,” I said.

We managed to shoot down about thirty snipers in about an hour of work pushing through down 3rd west. Another forty civilians rescued. Ten of which we sent back to back up the street we came from, and ten more we put to use to go backup Svinn’s street.

I kept the others hoping to use them somehow but worry because they aren’t fighters mostly; just desperate people trying to keep their homes.

Three of them actually have decent swords, but the rest are using homemade clubs broken off their kitchen tables and hunting knives to go with it.

3rd west is taken on the first half, but not without a fight. There’s still much more to do here and we need to push through the remaining half. I managed to keep my team alive but three of the civilian dwarves are killed by stray sniper fire before I can even pop shields up. The next part of the intersection was a brief battle lasting twenty minutes during which time we managed to kill another forty goblins there too.

Then while holding that position with my main team, Sunghee, Rina and I made a mad dash between the street we just came from and this one rounding up and stomping another twenty goblins that had somehow crossed over on roof top while the team held our checkpoint. We had been able to spot them from a scout signal of a man I had watching the territory we’d already roamed through.

“For securing two streets we’re not doing too badly. And we’re still alive somehow,” Sunghee said.

“Well…we still have several more to go. We’re just lucky they haven’t burned many buildings. This is tough work,” Gyle said.

As we hold the check point we sent two messengers back to report to Svinn and check for reinforcements to hold this position and new orders.

But another twenty minutes later, there’s no sign of the scouts I sent to deliver and pick up messaging.

So I sent a group of five civilians that looked pretty reliable with Gyle.

They came back ten minutes later holding the heads chopped off the two messengers. Gyle is also bloody and so are the recruits. I heal them quickly but they are already demoralized.

“Looks like our messengers were intercepted,” Gyle said.

“Does that mean they came in from behind on another checkpoint?” The Lieutenant asked.

Finally ten minutes later we’re stilling holding this check point while I’ve been using sniper tactics to burn magic missiles on every goblin I can find on the street we should be using to get passed the area next to the other side of 3rd west.

Mana at 70%

Bulk kills by the platoon in general, unknown

Additional goblins killed by Shun; 36

Sunghee kills; 24

Rina; 3 ½

Gyle isn’t doing much killing but I managed to have him take over acting as my scout and kept the other five with him in another scout group. This will be important to the defense since if we can’t get messages to each other then we can’t correlate a defense. Sunghee’s kills probably would have been higher if I’d had her act more offensively but after the ogre incident I don’t dare risk her anymore and she’s still shaken up.

What’s important is keeping my game pieces alive and not proving they are badass. Surviving is more badass than a bad ass that dies on the front line or from an ambush. And even though we are winning the goblins still have some really good surprise ambushes for us every now and then.

We managed to pull twelve more civilians out of houses and get them armed with another eleven that are only able to salvage knives and clubs. One of them was a close shave right before it’s burning roof collapsed inwards.

“This is going to be a long night,” The Lieutenant said. He’s coughing up a bit of black smoke from the rescue in that building he just did.

He’s anxious for reinforcements and so am I. But so far it’s whatever we find and add to our growing flock.

“I get it. This is your first siege. Don’t worry, just stick with Shun and you’ll be OK,” Sunghee said quickly. Her mood is positive and infectious.

Well it’s my first real big city siege too that isn’t a village actually…but maybe it’s just sticking to the basics.

Five minutes later we had to block a goblin assault squad coming down our street to try to take back 3rd West from us. At the same time we saw it coming I sent Gyle over to the street we’d just come from to check if that street is also getting a new attack. His orders are to signal us as fast as he can rather than engage.

I used a barrier fence like before, and sap energy from civilian dwarf volunteers to cover the cost. But because it had a murder hole we were nuking non-stop I still ended up losing another five percent more mana. It takes a lot of time and patience to work through stomping this goblin assault team even while they see their brethren are dying. I guess they just don’t care about their own people much.

Gyle came back just as we were wrapping things up.

“The young dwarf mage that took our street was killed along with everyone on his platoon, probably from being an arrogant ass like he is. He wasn’t listening to us about that area still being dangerous. The street is still held by our side but only because the military stepped in at the last second and had sent a small army of 100 troops that just happened to be going up that street. They have other lines planning to come up each street as soon as they are able to push them out.”

I can’t say this to the men but I don’t like how fragile our position is.

“But they didn’t have any reinforcements for us yet?” Sunghee asked.

While still huffing and out of breath Gyle shakes his head sadly.

“Damn. That guy was a twerp for wanting to take credit for our work, but I didn’t want him to die for it,” The Lieutenant said.

“You really think he was going to take credit for what we did in relieving that street?” Sunghee asked.

The Lieutenant looked down, “Uh, let’s just say he has a reputation for being an asshole for a variety of reasons. Enough said.”

“Gyle I need you to go hit up Svinn for more reinforcements. If we have a platoon with a solid leader take this street then we can push on to that other side of the 3rd west’s remaining last section, 4th west, and…there’s a 5th west too I’m assuming?” I said.

“Right I’m on it,” he said taking his scouting unit that’s now doing messenger duty. They are all quick on their feet and going quickly.

But a half hour later they haven’t come back. It only takes five minutes to run to Svinn’s side. What’s taking them I wonder?

There also hasn’t been any new developments on this side.

But five minutes of waiting after that, we had to put up another barrier fence with a murder hole in it and execute more goblins. This time there’s even more of them than before but thankfully no ogres. We held them back and made short work of them thanks to the barrier fence spell. That thing has saved more lives than I can count so far, but the mana cost is still scary.

Taking more volunteers for energy life tapping I got some mana back and then kill another twelve goblins. Sunghee gets five, and Rina gets another ½. The Lieutenant now has 3 kills himself but only because he has his friends to help him gank stuff. Still, he’s learning but I don’t want him to rush to the front line like that just to prove he’s a man.

The goblins abandoned this street after they saw our fierce resistance. We push forward deciding to up the block some more with a two sharpshooter civilians at the intersection to point Gyle and his team up the street.

We stopped halfway up the long part of these blocks and ended up finding 15 more survivors but had to pull back because it looks like too many snipers are crowding the way up ahead and we don’t have enough firepower.

But the goblins are trying to counter us too. It was very cleverly done by someone who studied war full time.

They collapsed the whole remaining part of street on 3rd west that we hadn’t gotten to yet, rather than risk giving it to us or letting it be taken. They did this by wrecking buildings over somehow and doing some kind of earth moving spell to create a natural barrier of earth, wood, and stone all together in some kind of wreckage.

And the goblin assault team was somehow to also buy time to accomplish that while also trying to take it themselves. It shows this enemy commander is gifted because he had a winning situation for if he won and if he lost. If he’d won he’d have us all dead and 3rd West in his hands. But if he’d lost, he’d still bought enough time to stop our advance.

“They must have used shamans for that,” the Lieutenant warned.

He’s right, I think to myself.

“You think so?” Rina asked to confirm.

“I’m not an expert but my dad described it to me like that on what to look for. Shamans are also the preferred magic class for goblins and that was obviously magic. They can manage group and team spells really well with how the shaman system has closeness with each other, though I hate to admit it,” he said right after.

I used my mana sensing to confirm feeling traces of it.

Does that mean someone will challenge me with a magic duels later too? That has me worried since we’re trying to already put all energy into holding down the city. A duel with one might work, but a duel with a team of shamans sounds scary as hell.

The minutes of eternal night continue to tick by while we wait for reinforcements. Still nothing is coming while we feel even more tired than before.

Gyle managed to somehow arrive covered in blood and he’s barely alive. Two of his scouts with him are also injured and looked like they were the ones carrying him. He almost collapsed when he saw us and some civilian dwarves are propping him up while he’s trying to not choke on blood while I risk a regeneration heal on him.

“What the hell happened to you? That area was supposed to be ground held by us and you guys look like you just fought a civil war,” Sunghee scoffed angrily.

“Svinn’s team taking heavy casualties. He’s taking the most of the enemy troops going down that street. He can’t send anything to relieve us at this time. Hell I barely got out of there alive,” Gyle said.

I managed to pump two more heals and another regeneration into him. Then I put two regeneration spells into the other two with him. They aren’t as badly wounded as he is.

“I’m alive?” Gyle gasped.

“What about the other three that were with you?” Rina asked.

“They…didn’t make it. I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” he coughed it out and he sounds full of anguish.

“It’s not your fault. Goblins are scary,” Sunghee said nervously.

“Was it worth sending them over?” the lieutenant asked me.

“There would have been casualties either way. We can try to save everyone we can but it’s not our fault the goblins are sneaky,” Sunghee answered him for me.

He nodded but turned back to keeping the dwarven civilian volunteers organized for me.

“Sorry. Thanks for trying. What you did was important though. We needed that info,” I reassured Gyle.

Him and his men are still taking it badly though. It’s a hard thing for them to see their brethren die in front of them.

“If Svynn’s team is taking the front of the attack and the bulk of the enemy then we need to create a diversion Shun,” Sunghee said.

“Any suggestions?” I asked.

“Well what if we collapse the street on 4th west next to us like the goblins did while having a small force hold the positions and intersections here that we already hold. Then we move up and take 5th west and push all the way up to the gatehouse and where they are coming into the city?” Sunghee asked.

“That could work. I was wondering how we were supposed to keep so many little streets too actually. This can work in our favor,” The lieutenant said.

“That would also free up more dwarves to concentrate on the other streets. I like it. If it gets really bad any of the others can try to collapse buildings to fence up smaller streets too but the locals won’t like it,” Gyle said wearily.

Sunghee’s got the fire back in her eyes. That means she totally trusts me. It’s good to see her get her fighting spirit back.

But the other dwarves are scared stupid while still trying to hang onto their fleeting courage.

“The problem is any dwarves on the other side of the barricade you put up, are pretty much given a death sentence,” the Lieutenant argued.

“We’re doing everything we can,” Sunghee glared at him.

“But aren’t I right?” the Leiutenant said again.

That guy sometimes says the wrong thing. He doesn’t realize you have to pick battles you can win. I can’t just be everywhere and against the whole goblin army with only one platoon and some civilian volunteers.

“This is…cough…cough…triage already,….cough…,” Gyle choked out while being held up under the shoulders of the two dwarves with him. I need to get him to a medical tent but there’s no safe place to leave him at now.

“We have to keep the city from falling but I don’t have enough troops yet to defend every street. Also if I run out of mana all of you will surely die,” I hinted.

“Yeah…that’s scary. Fucking scary indeed,” one of the dwarves said. The others look downcast and dour.

Surprisingly what astonished me is that they are all hanging intently on every word we’re talking about. They are very quiet and serious, but not wanting to give in. I’m surprised by how well they are taking it. These people have real courage and they are real with their own real lives and feelings on the line. None of them wants to give up and it helps me see that in wanting to save them.

“Is there an armory or army depot near here where we can get more weapons and more crossbows and crossbow bolts?” Sunghee asked.

“Good idea,” Rina said to her.

I like it too.

“There is at the intersection of 5th west at the very part we were heading to already. There’s a city guard station with fortifications there too that can help us hold it. But the problem is do we even have people trained in crossbows that can shoot them if we relieve that station? Just holding it and pointing to shoot doesn’t make you a marksman,” Gyle interjected.

It’s too bad they didn’t have guard stations on the streets we’d already had to fight for.

It also makes sense that a weapons shop family guy would say that.

“Maybe we can requisition any City Guard people there standing around and available to have them help us,” the lieutenant suggested.

“That’s good thinking. If any of you think of anything else helpful let me know. Let’s do this people. We’re keeping this city and we’re going to send those goblins straight to hell!” I yelled.

The dwarves somehow back up what I said with shouting of anger and swearing revenge.

“What do you say? By a show of hands, how many of you can shoot a crossbow and actually hit stuff without killing people from friendly fire?” I asked.

There are more civilians here than I realized. Plus dwarves live with the thought of constant invasions being possible. Out of fifty-one civilians here not counting my team and only about ten or eleven of them are a decent shot at a crossbow from mandatory civilian militia training similar to a weekend National Guard system from our world.

“Just hope they didn’t have a budget cut for supplies to that station,” Gyle said dourly.

Shit. Is he for real? He could be right. I see several dwarves flinched when he said that.

“So we don’t know if there’s even going to be any extra supplies there do we? And the sharpshooters we have now aren’t going to be able to last forever. They run out of bolts don’t they? How many can they carry anyway?” Rina said.

“That was the wrong thing to say right now Rina,” Sunghee sighed.

Did she just jinx us?

 

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