“Get the men in position!” Duke Hon screamed out to the soldiers that were busily moving around into position. “Move! Move! Move!”
The soldiers started to move in unison. They stomped, clattered, and marched forward.
Phil was next to his grandfather and watching everything play out before him. Soldiers were moving from one location to the next, bringing out and sharpening wooden stakes. They dug up holes and stuck in the wood stakes with the sharp point facing forward. Even the townsmen were busy helping out with the construction around the town. We had arrived in the middle of when their preparation was taking place.
I was wondering what I could do to help as I arrived next to Phil. “Is everything going to be alright?”
“We don’t know. The amount of goblins coming is over fifteen thousand. We’ve never seen such a ridiculous number of goblins congregated together. This has never happened before.”
“What do you mean?”
“They tend to form small tribes, not an army. Even a goblin chief can’t pull this off.”
“Then what could?” I asked, wondering who and how made this even possible.
“I don’t know.” Phil was deep in thought.
“Duke Hons!” A scout on a horse came galloping up to him and stopped. “We have an urgent message to deliver.”
“The Goblin forces that had split up into three smaller units are coming here in a three-pronged attack. We will not be able to escape to the east or the west anymore.”
“How long will it take for them to get here?”
“Less than a day, sir.”
Duke Hon’s furrowed his eyebrows. He reached up towards his beard and gently stroked it. “Pull out all the citizens now. We must move to the nearest city, or we won’t last. I cannot have my people suffer the consequences of this war.”
“Yes, sir, but it will take a while to get everyone moving.”
“We’ll hold them back. Phil goes and takes the people to the City of Manda.”
“But grandfather, that’s a six-day walk. Without reinforcements, we won’t make it safely.” Phil spoke. “Plus, I know I can help you here and keep the goblins at bay.”
Duke Hon stared at Phil with a stern expression. He shook his head and ordered, “No, your Uncle and I will stay behind. Take your grandmother and lead the people to safety. Phil, as the new Duke, you must keep them safe.”
“Yes, sir.” Phil’s shoulders slumped, and he turned around to leave.
I watched him sprint off to gather up the townspeople. “You know he doesn’t hate you.”
Duke Hon’s glanced down at me, surprised that I was still here. “I know.” He calmly replied.
“Is that why you are sending him off? So he doesn’t die?”
“You have quite a sharp intuition.” Duke Hon smiled. “The bloodline of the Zemrick must survive. Especially someone young like him. He has a whole life ahead of him while I do not.”
“That’s a pretty harsh way of thinking. I do not believe you are meant to die yet.”
“You are a prophet?” Duke Hone looked at me quizzically.
“No, it is something I just wanted to tell you. To continue striving to live and come back to meet with your grandson again.”
Duke Hon thought it over. “I shall keep your words close to heart.”
I couldn’t help but give him a wide grin, at the same time I wished him luck with all my heart, hoping that he would come back for Phil.
“You should leave now with Phil. This place is no place for children.”
“I will.” I rummaged through my pocket and handed him nine-level E Common Magic Stone and one Level C.
“Insurance. I recommend you use the Level C one when it becomes your last resort.”
“I shall put it to good use.”
“I know you will.” I waved at Duke Hon’s and ran after Phil. There were a lot of things to do, and there wasn’t much time.
The townspeople scurried around, half throwing things into their wagon. Some couldn’t take anything but the clothes on their skin with a few coins. There was no time to dally, and every minute counted. It took the whole afternoon literally, and it was becoming dangerously close to the time of the battle.
“We need to move out now!” Phil was yelling out to the town’s folks. He was riding on a black warhorse.
“Sol! Sam! Lead them towards the north. Protect my grandmother, as well!”
“Yes, Sir!” Both of them saluted him and ran ahead. A large number of wagons, horses, animals, and flocks started moving. Most of them were mothers, children, and the elderly, while the men stayed back to help in holding off the goblin attack.
“What shall we do, young mistress?” Moca asked. He was right next to me, waiting patiently for what I have to say. While Coco was transformed into a horse, pulling at my sleeves.
“We follow.” I pulled myself up on Coco’s back. Tart climbed up and sat in front of me, pleased at what he had done. Coco pranced around for a moment I thought she was annoyed that Tart was on her back.
“As you wish young mistress,” Moca bowed, he too pulled himself on a different horse.
We pushed forward, approximately five thousand people trudged forward quietly and quickly. Not a single person spoke a word for fear of being found.
“Where are we headed towards?” I asked Phil. He was leading the group in the front, while Don was trailing behind us.
“To the City of Manda. They have defensive walls that would protect us from the goblins attack. They are also our allies.”
When I had talked to Duke Hon’s about going into the Forgotten Forest, he flatly denied using the idea of living there. Instead, he decided to go towards the City of Manda.
“That’s reassuring, but what happened to the reinforcements? Wasn’t the king going to send any?” Don replied.
Phil was silent. Instead, he furrowed in anger. “He deemed it not worth his time and told us to hold the goblins back. That wretched king, to leave his people behind when we needed him the most.”
“That is a problem.”
“What’s worse is that he will suck the people dry so he could live a more luxurious life. This is why I hate talking with them. The majority of the king’s followers are like that.”
“So, if there are no reinforcements, do you think we will be able to make it to the city without a fight?” I asked. Truthfully speaking, it did not look good at this rate.
“All we can do is hope grandfather will be able to keep them back. If not, then no.”
For the next two days, the townspeople continued to push forward without any rest. Fear was thick in the air, making it difficult for anyone to sleep. The animals and people were being pushed to the brink of exhaustion. They were not even close to the city.
“Phil, I don’t think the town folk will be able to keep marching like this,” Don pulled up next to him. “At this rate, we will all drop dead from exhaustion.”
“I know, but what can we do? The goblins are probably not even a day or two behind us. If we don’t move forward, we are not going to survive.” Phil was concerned as he looked back at his people. He could see the exhaustion, fear, and many were having difficulties following.
“Still, we should take a break for a couple of hours.”
“I agree with Don,” I rode up next to them both. “We’re not going to last if we don’t rest.”
Phil was battling over what to do until he finally gave up the idea of pushing forward. “Fine, We’ll rest for a couple of hours, then we have to move.”
“That’s great. I’ll go tell the rest for a bit.” Don pulled off on his horse and started going around, telling people to rest.
Staring out into the crowd, I could tell that this trip was getting people emotional and physically drained. To have ten thousand goblins enclosing in on them from all sides made them fear for their lives. Even though I could not revert to my dragon form to help fight the goblins, the time limit was not over.
Name: Berry Drakel
Title: Greedy Gaming Dragon
Blessings: Blessing of the Ancient Dragon, Double Trouble, Great Sage, Curse of the Dragons
Abilities: Transform, Magic absorption, Metal Manipulator. Ice and Fire Magic. Coder.
Fire Magic- Fireball.
The fight with the goblin scout helped me grow, but I still had difficulties with them in my human form. Does that mean that in my dragon form, I will also struggle? I did not know, nor did I want to test such theory out. Right now, our priority was to survive.
“Young mistress,” Moca called out towards me. I turned towards him, wondering what he had to say.
“Tart and I will go behind and watch for any goblins. If they do come near, we will kill them.”
I nodded. That would slow the Goblins down, but I did not want them to die. “Don’t die on me. Runaway if you are surrounded. You’re not invincible.”
“Yes, young mistress. I understand. It is truly an honor to know that you worry about us.” Moca seemed to be moved by my words.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” I asked quizzically. Isn’t it a reasonable thing to worry about them when danger is near, especially now that Coco, Tart, and Moca have become her family?
“You are our mistress. Our lives are just pebbles by the river.”
“I seriously think that you are thinking about this incorrectly. You are not mere pebbles. You guys have become my family since the day you received your name.”
“I-” Moca did not have anything else to say and instead went quiet. A single tear fell from his eyes.
“Young mistress!” Tart cried out in tearful joy and was just about to glomp on me, but Coco bulked, throwing Tart off. Her hind leg kicked him enough to send him flying towards Moca, who caught him. Dangling in the air, Tart was injured as he glowered towards Coco with disdain. “That’s not fair! How come Coco gets to stay with a young mistress!”
“Because she is her transportation. You should know better than that.”
“I’m a better and faster transport than Coco.” Tart folded his arms.
Coco whinnied out loud in disagreement. They both yelled or neighed, trying to prove a point until Coco snorted and showed her rear to Tart, stating that she was not going to entertain his gibberish.
“Just be safe.”
“Yes, young mistress.” Moca bowed and galloped towards the back.
“They’re quite a handful, aren’t they?” Don asked.
“You don’t say, but they are not bad people. Wait, I mean monsters?” I wasn’t sure what to call them.
A monster or a human? It was a delicate line that I could not tell.
“Get some rest, Berry. I’ll keep watch.” Phil got off his horse. He walked over towards a wagon and pulled out a large blanket.
I slid off of Coco’s back and landed with a slight stumble. Coco transformed and caught me just barely before I could fall onto the ground face first.
“Please watch your step,” Coco said worriedly. “I do not want to see your skin tarnished with scrapes and bruises.
“It’s my pleasure serving you, young mistress.”
Coco walked over towards the wagon and also pulled out a blanket. She spread it out for both of us to lay on. “Young mistress, please lay down.” Patting her hands on her lap, she gently smiled, telling me to come over and lay down on her lap.
I didn’t know how tired I was till it finally hit me. Sitting on the back of a horse for an extended period was a painful experience. My legs were shaking from the long ride. I didn’t complain a single bit and went over.
Phil came over with his blanket in hand and sat down next to me. Spreading out the sheet for all three of us to share, he leaned back onto the tree. Sleep washed over me until finally, I blacked out.
“Young Mistress,” Coco shook me awake. I groggily got up, wondering where we were.
Coco brought over a nice warm meal in a wooden bowl. She brought two dishes over for both of us to eat. Taking it off her hands, I gladly accepted it. How long has it been since I last ate? Two days? My stomach grumbled in a riot.
I was so tense in the past couple of days that I completely forgot that I was hungry. The dreaded oppressive emotions bottled up tightly in each people’s mind made it more challenging to think about even eating. It was not until now when I slept and rested, did I remember that I was hungry.
“Are we going yet?” I asked. Placing the bowl on my lap, I slowly ate.
“No, we will shortly,” Coco replied. She was finished with her soup and was putting things away.
“Young mistress, it seems that there is some kind of disturbance from the back.”
Turning towards the back, I saw the people running towards the front. Quickly getting up, I handed the soup to Coco.
“What’s going on?” I ran towards Phil. He was up on his horse.
“I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.”
“Take me with you.” I reached up towards him. Without a second thought, he pulled me up behind him. Before I could even settle down, the horse galloped to the back.
“Kyahhhhh!” A woman’s scream broke through the silent camp, causing people to become panicked.
“Damn,” Phil swore under his breath. “I knew we shouldn’t have rested.” He clicked his tongue.
Phil’s grandmother was also near the back, helping out the wounded and the scared.
“Grandma, are you alright?”
“I’m fine. Don’t worry too much.” Grandma Mary waved her hand as she got up like it was nothing, but one could tell that she too was exhausted to her bones. “These rickety old bones have a couple more uses.”
“Young mistress!” Moca came running forward on his horse. “The goblin scouting party will be on us at any moment!” His hand was covered in green goblin blood.
“How long?” Phil called out. He was thinking of a solution quickly in his head.
“In less than an hour. The first goblin dispatch has been just killed by Tart.”
A bush rustled, and a goblin jumped out towards Moca. Without even thinking, I fired off a fireball straight at the Goblin. In a matter of seconds, the Goblin fell dead.
“Are you alright?” I ran over towards Moca in worry. I prayed that he was not seriously injured.
“I am a fine young mistress.” Moca softly spoke. He patted my head to reassure me everything was okay.
I sighed in relief that Moca did not get hurt, nor was the blood on him his.
“I told you to be careful.” I frowned towards Moca.
Moca chuckled. “I knew you would save me, young mistress. I did not doubt at all.”
Ugh, these monster human idiots. They are putting themselves in harm’s way too much, even though they were reliable. I don’t know when they will collapse or get hurt if they push themselves so hard. They were the only family I had in this world.
Quickly pulling in his reign, Phil quieted his horse. “Everyone quickly! Head North!”
The people busily put away their items in a rush and pushed off towards the direction that Phil had shouted. Moca stood silently watching the mayhem unfold.
“At this rate, we won’t make it to the so-called city,” I spoke. “We should head into the Forgotten Forest.”
“I cannot go against my grandfather’s orders.”
“But your people’s lives are at stake here. You know as well as I that we won’t make it.”
Phil knew what I had said was true. There was no time to get to the city without losing a good portion of the civilians.
“Everyone, go towards the Forgotten Forest! There is a haven located there!” Phil spurred his horse forward.
The people stared at Phil as if he was crazy.
“What are you talking about? That’s the Forgotten Forest! Are you trying to kill us too?”
“No, you can either die now by the goblins or start walking. We will not be able to make it to the nearest city at this rate. Our chance of survival is through the Forgotten Forest. I know the nearest place that we could rest.”
“But they are monsters there.”
“There are monsters everywhere. Choose now. Die here today by the hands of Goblins or take a chance to live another day.” Phil chortled, pulling in the reigns as his fist tightly clenched. He knew that there was nothing he could do but try to persuade his people.
Phil pushed his horse forward towards the direction of the Forgotten Forest. It was a gamble to run through the Forgotten Forest while the Goblins were chasing us. I didn’t know what other monsters could be inside the Forgotten Forest, but it was a better chance to get to the castle than to keep running forward towards the city. I understood that not even half of the people would survive if we continued.
The people reluctantly followed behind Phil either out of fear of death or hope for survival. They all knew in their heart that they would not survive the long trek towards the nearest city.
Coco ran towards me in her horse form and neighed.
“I think she wants me to ride on her back.” I pulled on Phil’s clothes. He looked towards Coco without much thought and nodded. Trotting side-by-side next to Phil’s horse, Coco neighed for me to climb on her back.
I nodded and reached towards her. Phil grabbed the back of my clothes and helped me over onto her back. It was difficult changing seats without falling over; this was my first time doing this in one fluid motion in this tiny body that I had. Finally, situated, I sat comfortably as I could.
“Which way,” Phil asked.
“I don’t know.”
“What?!” His voice went out in an octave. The way he stared at me, I could feel the intensity of wanting to shake me.
“I seriously don’t know the way.” My voice was smaller than before. “I flew not walked.”
“Then how are we supposed to get there?”
“Coco might know.”
Coco shook her head in agreement. She braced forward and bolted towards the direction that we needed to go. With relief that she knew the way, I patted her on her neck, thanking her for saving my neck.
The wagons squeaked; the crowd followed closely behind us.
We trekked on hard, and we arrived at the edge of the Forgotten Forest. Coco waltzed in the open Forest path as if it was nothing, while everyone else carefully entered with fear in their hearts. Even the other horses bickered and whinnied when they entered the forest. It wasn’t until Coco walked up next to them and gave them a wild neigh that all the horses kept quiet and followed closely behind her like a train.
It was quite an impressive feat to see Coco command the horses without a single word from their owner. I didn’t think that having a horse like Coco would be so useful at such a time as this.
Young mistress. For a second, I thought I heard Tart’s voice. Looking around, I did not find him anywhere near me. Tart?
Young mistress. I’m talking with you telepathically. Tart called out. I am hunting in my Wolf form. I can do short-distance telepathy.
Tart? I couldn’t help but be amazed at Tart’s skill. How is it looking from the back?
Everyone has quieted down, though I do not think it would be wise for me to be entering into the group. Instead, I have destroyed twenty goblin riders. I assume another hundred is following our trail, though I do not know if this means there are more following after us.
A hundred goblins were not a bad amount. It was a manageable amount of goblins that either Tart and Moca could handle. It was the thousand that could come pouring from the back that could kill everyone.
Is it possible to divert the scouts differently?
I can do that for you.
Okay, then do that as well. Where is Moca?
He is setting up threaded traps right now as we speak.
Yes, his silky threads are useful to trap prey. He is considered the best of his kind.
A Red Tyrant Spiders.
I gulped. Spiders. They were not my favorite bugs, but that did not mean I hated Moca. It was just that spiders made my skin crawl, while Centipedes and Millipedes were a whole different story. Their wiggling legs are worse than spiders themselves.
Moca and I will buy you as much time as possible. Please be safe, and we will meet you back at the castle.
Thank you, young mistress. Tart spoke cheerfully. Please reward me ready when I come back.
I’ll think about it.
Boooooo. Please, young mistress. I’ll be motivated if you kiss me on the cheek.
Ugh, this little kid was a handful. Okay. Fine.
Yay! I’ll be sure to make it back alive. It’s a promise!
The telepathic communication was cut off in a matter of seconds. I couldn’t help but chuckle at Tart’s cute behavior. This little rascal will be a lady killer when he grows up later on. I need to make sure he doesn’t turn out to be one. I had so many things to do, from not dying any time soon either by Phil or some other reason, to teaching Tart not to take advantage of women, and finally not get eaten by Goblins.
Me, a dragon that already has a lot on my plate.
“You alright?” Phil asked. He curiously examined me.
Don came over and took a lap around me as he waved his hand in front of my eyes. I didn’t react.
“She’s off to Lala land again.”
“It appears so.”
“Berry? Berry?” Don waved his hand continually in my face.
Snapping back to reality, I quickly pushed away such thoughts and instead focused on what was ahead of us. “Yes.”
“We should go in.”
Don pulled down his fox mask, covering his face. I wondered why he did that, but there was no time to ask him.
Phil nodded. He was the first one to enter into the Forgotten Forest. I trailed closely behind him, wondering what was really in the Forgotten Forest. Was it all a hoax to scare people, or was there something that did exist? I was not sure.
It was kind of sad that I didn’t even know my own back yard. I quietly told myself that I would explore the forest to get a better understanding of what I had.
The dreary atmosphere of the Forgotten Forest was everywhere around us. The vines and plants were all twisted into strange shapes that I had not realized until now.
Phil went through the Forgotten Forest carefully. The others scurried behind in careful steps for fear of disturbing the eerie forest. We continued deep into the woods until the moon hung over us. The lights that we had sold to the citizens were the only things that lit up the dark path.
“Kekekekekeke.” A shrill like voice echoed throughout the forest.
“What is that?” Don glanced around, looking for the source.
The scared citizens huddled tightly together in fear.
Even I felt a sudden shudder that went up and down my spine. It was not human, and what was worse it was close by.
Phil reached over towards his back and pulled off his bow that he slung over his shoulder. He eyes around, carefully looking for any strange and sudden movement.
“Is everything all-“
Raising his hands, Phil stopped me from saying anything further. He knocked on an arrow onto his bow and shot into the bush. I honestly did not see what compelled him to shoot so suddenly.
“KekekekekGack-” A monster the size of a rabbit jumped out. It was an ugly-looking monster that looks more like a rat than a rabbit. Its huge bucktooth, sharp claws, and a long tail that had a snake on end.
I stared at it strangely. Did that monster really make that noise?
“It’s a Squealing Rat. They make those awful noises to keep the predators away. On the other hand, it makes our location known by higher-level predators if we are not careful.” Phil spoke relieved that it was just a Squealing Rat.
“I see…..” I look down at the strange creature on the ground. Coco went over and stomped on it a couple of times to make sure it was dead. Is she a rat hater or something? I swear she stomped on it more than a few times.
“Coco, that’s enough. It’s getting all over your hooves.” I tried to pull her away, but she insisted on stomping it a couple more times. “Coco!”
Coco stopped and turned her head over towards me. She shook her head up and down. Turning away, she kicked up dirt onto the dead rat.
“Are there any more?”
“No. The Rats don’t usually come out at night.” Phil stated, concerned. He gazed around to find something that I wasn’t sure what. “It’s a bit odd to see one out this late.”
Multiple sounds of the Squealing Rats began to go off around us like a siren.
“What the hell?” Don was startled by the sudden loud sound. He pulled out a hidden dagger out of his shirt and threw it into the bush. A loud squeal was heard, and a dead rat flopped over, but even still, the sound of the Squealing Rats continued to scream.
“What’s going on?”
Alarmed, Phil turned around and noticed his people in a panic. Even I looked around, bewildered at the sudden squeals from the rat monsters.
“What’s setting them all of?” Phil spoke, confused. He knocked his arrow one after the other, firing them in seconds. The sound of the Squealing Rats was finally silenced even though it took a few arrows to kill every single one of them. “I do not like this at all.”
Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.
The sound of drums echoed through the forest. Birds and insects that were silent burst into life as they flew away in panic. Even the wind stopped moving and became silent.
I glanced around, confused. The bright lights were making it hard to see in the darkness. We could only see what was in front of us and nothing in the distance.
“I hear the drums.” A woman with children spoke out loud. She clutched her children closer to her body in fear. “It’s coming from behind us.”
“Is it the goblins? Are we too late?” An old man was hyperventilating. A young girl came over to help him calm down.
“How much further?” Phil asked with a strained voice.
I looked up and noticed that his face was filled with worry. Turning towards Coco, I asked. “Coco, are we almost there?”
Coco neighed in an up and down motion and stomped on the ground with her foot. I was relieved that we were closer than I thought.
“That’s good, though we need to get there now.”
I completely agreed with him there, but I was not sure how close. Damn, this was a problem for someone who doesn’t know their way home. I honestly lived too long as a shut in not even to know how to get back home.
Coco pulled towards the direction that we needed to go. I was glad that Coco knew the way.
“Quickly! This way!” Phil yelled and motioned everyone to follow.
We rushed through the forest nonstop. The sound of the drums got louder until it felt like it was all around us.
“Neeeeeighhh!” Coco yelled, and she suddenly halted in a dead stop.
“What’s wrong?” Phil asked as he pulled up next to me.
Looking around, I noticed a giant stone gate in the middle of the forest. Large walls menacingly tower over us. Thick vines and vegetation grew all over it, making it look like it was part of the forest if one did not stop to take the time. I wondered how high the walls were, but such thought was quickly thrown away.
“How are we supposed to get inside?”
The metal gates were tightly closed, not allowing a single person to go through. Even I did not know a single way in. Looking from left to right, the walls seem to endlessly disappear into the night.
Sliding off of Coco, I walked up towards the gate. Was there some kind of mechanism that I needed to pull or something? I curiously went over and placed my hands against the wall. Nothing. All I could feel was the harsh cold metal that blocked our path.
“Young mistress,” Coco walked over. She finished her transformation, startling everyone around her, for they have never seen a horse turn into a human maid.
“Coco, how are we supposed to get in?” I asked, feeling the wall for some kind of answer that I hoped to find, but nothing budged in my favor.
“There is a mechanism in the back. Allow me to get it for you.”
“Please do,” I asked with urgency.
“Yes, young mistress.” Coco darted off into the darkness.
“What now?” Phil asked. He got off his horse and tried his best to calm it down.
“We wait.” I pulled back my hand. I was still feeling the leftover tingling from the wall.
“Waiting is not something the villagers will want to do.”
“I know, but I don’t know how to open the gate, and Coco is going to open the gates for us.”
People had begun to stream towards us like water and surrounded us.
“Duke? Why have we stopped?” A man yelled out in worry. “Don’t you see that the enemy is upon us? Have you given up?”
“No!” Phil shouted, trying to keep everyone’s nerves from spilling over. “We need to wait until the gates open. Someone has already gone over to the other side to open the gates for us.”
“But the enemy is right behind us!”
The citizens were in a panic; they wanted a solution to this predicament now. As the second crawled by, it brought impatience to their heart.
“We can’t stay here!”
“Lion of Dragonia, please save us!” They cried out to Phil’s grandmother.
“We should’ve gone to the nearest city.” A woman cried out desperately. “We are going to die now.” Her hysteria had caused everyone around her to glance around nervously.
“Calm down. Stick close to the gate and enter when it is opened. Gather an able body that is willing to fight with me. We will keep these unknown monsters at bay until the gates open,” said Grandma Mary.
“There is no one here who can fight!” A desperate woman called out in panic. “You’re just trying to stall time and kill us all!”
“We shouldn’t have followed this brat!” An old man shouted and threw a rock at him.
Phil caught it in midair and glared at the old man. Don was ready to pounce on the old man when Phil stopped him.”You should be glad that you have made it this far.” His voice turned ice cold.
“Unless you want to use yourself as a shield and be fed off to the monsters. Something like that could help stall time without having to fight.”
I felt a shiver run down my spine. The demon king mode has arrived. It has been a while since I heard such cold words.
“No buts, aren’t you a man? Berry here can even fight off a pack of goblins in her small body and fight for her dear life. Why can’t you, you senile old fool. Your sons are off to war in trying to protect your ungrateful hide.”
I uncomfortably shifted back and forth. I could feel a large number of eyes boring down on me with scrutiny.
“She’s just a child. How is it possible for a child to fight?”
“Even though she is a child, she still strives to live. Compare all of you who bicker and complain for someone to save you. This kid is worth saving more than anyone of you selfish brats. That is what you are, a spoiled child that whipped from fear.”
Uh, Phil. This isn’t the time to get everyone agitated. I stared at him with gaping jaws. Why is he doing this now when the enemies are just around the corners? I even look at Don, asking him what was going on. He shrugged it off as if it was nothing.
“Have you no shame? A child that has killed a goblin stood up without fear. If she can do it, why can’t you?”
The people were silent and ashamed. Their eyes averted away from Phil, and fidgeted hoping to be invisible, but failed. Phil’s unrelenting eyes found them all without giving them a sense of kindness and instead a deep hatred that I had never seen before. A red aura softly glowed around him.
Was what this called an awakening of a demon lord?
No. No. No. No. This was not the time to go all Demon Lord on me. I quickly rushed over and grabbed his hands, jolting him awake. The hatred, the red aura, and his emotions rapidly settled down when he saw me looking up at him with worry.
Once again, I squeezed his hands, telling him it’s alright.
“I’ll go and fight.” A young woman raised her hands. “I know basic combat. I know I can be of use.”
“Me too!” A young boy that looked at the age of thirteen raised his.
“I am as well!”
One after the other, more and more people raised their hands in the hope of helping out. The rest
that did not look away in shame.
Looking up, I stared shocked. I swear I saw a hidden smirk plastered on Phil’s face. It quickly disappeared, and a stern gaze was looking over his people. I couldn’t believe it. I was fooled.
Why this crazy emotionally twisted ass wipe! I continually cursed in my head. Instead, I tried to pull away from him but was stopped short by his firm grasp.
What-a-at? Was I going to get the brunt of the Demon Lord fury or something? I shook my head, trying my best to kick out the negative thoughts in my head.
“Well, what do we have here?” Phil turned towards me with a hint of mischief.
I swear I turned into a frightened little bunny, while Phil was the wolf in disguise. I was dead. Yep. I had concluded my life would be over today.
“The little bunny had snuck her way into my hand.”
“It’s alright. I’ll take excellent care of you.”
Take good care of me? Was this a declaration of my death flag?
“I uh…wait…you know…I was just helping you out. Do you know? I..you.” I continued to stutter useless chatter, trying to formulate words, but everything failed miserably.
“I know.” He snickered. Bending over towards me, he whispered. “It went all according to plan.”
I couldn’t move. Crap. This is so not a dragon-like at all. This was Berry, the human that was frozen like ice. It wasn’t until the sound of beating drums broke my concentration. It was becoming so loud that I wondered whatever it was not already on top of us.
Phil lets go and gets up. “Everyone willing to fight will follow me.” He stepped forward. People who were busily talking among themselves stopped and trailed behind him. They were equipped with simple farmer tools. Only a few had a couple of knives and swords with them.
I power walked after him. Just standing there daze would not cut out for me as well. I wanted to help.
Half of the citizens moved towards the closed gate. The wagons, animals, and people were all crammed together. It was challenging to move around in the tight circle, while the other half brandished whatever they had out in front of the people who they wanted to protect.
Boom! Crunch! Boom! Bang! Boom!
The sound of drums became louder, and the forest floor shook. Even the sound of the trees breaking could be heard endlessly in the Forgotten Forest.
I stared out into the open darkness. Icicles were forming thickly onto my right hand and swiftly turning into a glittering blue ice sword. Crouching forward, I waited for whatever was coming at us.
Crash! Crunch! The trees shook and broke apart, revealing three giant ogres that were three times the size of a normal man. Following close behind them was a large group of goblins. Some were in battered-looking armor, while some of them were playing a drum in a rhythmical beat.
“Ogres!” Gasped a woman in fear.
“What are they doing with the goblins?”
“This is crazy, and we are supposed to fight that as well!?” An old man stammered and dropped his
“Do not be afraid,” Phil called out. He pulled out his sword in front of him.
Don was also ready, but afraid.”This is too wild.” He spoke in a gasp.