V3 Ch. 7 Fear, Death, and Awe

Chapter 7

Fear, Death, and Awe

It has been two weeks since both general armies were present at the foot of the Forgotten Forest. Standing at the edge of the open balcony, my head was turned towards the Forgotten Forest. This place was still the highest spot to look out into the distance, giving me a better range of what I could see.

Not too far away, I could see the supposed army stationed at the edge of the forest. I could see them move as half of them entered into the Forgotten Forest, while the other half stayed behind. Moca, Coco, and Tart were doing a great job pulling the army into the Forgotten Forest.

“I wonder if Coco, Tart, and Moca are okay?” I worriedly mumbled to myself. It has been half a day since the three had run ahead to draw in the two Generals into the Forgotten Forest. They have turned into their natural forms to combat against the human enemies that were before us.

Coco was in her Blood Warhorse form, Tart in his Black Fire wolf, and Moca in his One Hundred Face spider. They were quite formidable monsters, but it didn’t stop me from worrying about them. Instead, they had taken it upon themselves to draw the enemies into the forest, while the Adventurers and our small army waited by the city walls. We didn’t have enough to fight against the hundreds of thousands against the small meager army we had. 

I knew that the dominant plant magic around the city walls would keep the enemy back, but that didn’t mean that something might not happen. I found out that they were a limit to the magic walls throughout my stay here. In total, the magic walls could be used only for one hour three times a day. Each time it was in use, there was a charging period of two hours before one could use it again.

In the beginning, supposedly, the magic was used continuously every day around the city walls during the first years against high-level monsters. For some reason, low-level monsters didn’t activate it as often. It wasn’t until seven years ago that the Adventurers did a good job keeping the high-level monsters from encroaching upon the magic and accidentally activating it.

They had learned from the mistake of a large scale monster invasion when a high-level monster broke through the walls and into the city. The monster destroyed a fifth of the city, causing massive damage and loss. Without the help from the founders of the Adventurer guild, the damage could’ve been worse, but they prevailed.

From then on, it has been a large responsibility of the city to keep tally on how often the special defensive wall magic went. The citizens didn’t want such things to happen again, nor would ever want to see their beautiful city being destroyed. The thought of an enemy coming to take what they all had built on, infuriated the people and spurred them forward in protecting it.

Still, I didn’t want anyone of my friends hurt. I disliked war and seeing one knocking on my door made me frustrated that I wish we went back to calmer times. I could still hear Coco’s chatting about what they will do to keep me safe ringing in my ears. The memories once again plagued my mind.

They were sitting in Duke Jeremy’s council room with Coco, Duke Jeremey, and Phil. The morning sun was shining in as Coco, Phil, Duke Jeremy, and I were present inside. 

“Young mistress. You should stay in the castle.” Coco sternly told me. In her voice, I could tell that she was worried about me. “Right now, it isn’t a good time to show your true form.” 

“I know, but they are people out there. This city is my home.” I gritted my teeth when I remembered the news of the incoming invasion. “I can’t just stand here and do nothing.” 

“Young mistress. Don’t worry. We’ll protect you.” 

“Thank you, Coco, but we need to get the city ready for a fight. I don’t want the citizens to become homeless or worse slaves.” 

“Then do you have a plan?” said Phil.

I furrowed my brow. I know I’m not a great military strategist, but I think about a couple of scenarios. Drawing them in towards the wall and using the city defense to destroy them, going out their personal and stomping on top of them for daring to come and invade my city. “Well….a couple of things.” 

“Like?”

“Using the defensive magic the wall has.” 

“And?”

“Um…going out there myself.” 

“Are you an idiot?”

“No…” I pouted. The word idiot made me annoyed.

“Look, they are a couple of things that I found out about the Forgotten Forest.” Phil brought out a huge detailed map of the Forgotten Forest. 

I was immensely surprised that we were able to obtain something so precious. I didn’t have a map of the whole area. “How?” I glanced up at him in disbelief. “I thought it was difficult to maneuver around the forest.”

“Yes, but there are reasons why it’s like that. The once a year fog is nothing much to be worried about, but certain areas.” Phil pointed out different locations that were near bodies of water. 

“Some high-level plant monsters are living in these lakes and ponds. Every year for one day, the females let out their pheromones mixing in with the water. The temperature in the water rises up and turns into mist, rendering it difficult to see. The males will use this time to synchronize with the females, mating with them.” 

“Wait, how did you find this out?”

“One of the Adventurers, Sun, stumbled upon this answer ten years ago. Also, the monsters and animals start to get agitated and even get dangerous. All the other rumors about being lost in the Forgotten Forest were exaggerated. They just get killed.”

“I didn’t know that.” 

“Well, now we know.” 

“So, are you suggesting to drag the army into these pockets of water?” Duke Jeremy spoke up while rubbing his hand on his chin. 

“Yes. There is a high-density level of monsters around these areas that are considered A class monsters. So far, they are about thirty of them spread out throughout the Forgotten Forest, and a dense lower-class monsters around them.” 

“Wait, before you go on. Who’s going to drag the army through the lake?”

“I will.” Coco volunteered herself. “Tart and Moca and the other maids will be grateful for taking this task.” 

“Are you sure?” I glanced at her worriedly. “I don’t like the idea of you being the bait.”

“Don’t worry mistress, we are considered the best in our monster class.” 

“She’s right, you know,” said Phil. “You can see Moca, Tart, and Coco as S class monsters, even better than the monsters in the lake. Not only that, but all your maids and butlers are also at least an A-class monster.” 

When Phil stated, their level’s my eyes became wide. Really? I knew that Moca, Tart, and Coco were considered a formidable enemy, but them to be so amazing was quite frightening. I was glad that they were on our side, then the enemy. 

“At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised that you send out your whole squadron of maids and butlers to devastate at least a third of their army.” 

I frowned. I could….but I really didn’t like the idea. Just because I had the power, too, didn’t mean I wanted to throw away their lives like some kind of tissue. 

“It’s alright, young mistress. We will take on this job.” 

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.” 

I sighed in defeat. “Okay.” 

“With the splitting up the army, this should cut down the main force by a half. The fight becomes more manageable for this small city. How many soldiers, mercenaries, and adventurers do we have?”

“7,000 soldiers. 1,500 mercenary. 3,500 Adventurers.” Duke Jeremy spoke, answering Phil’s question.

“That does not even compare to the amount of what the three General’s have. My guess is that they will be hitting over 100,000 in total.” 

I held in a gasp. At this rate, we’ll be wiped out. This made me mad, making me want to go out and fly towards the king and throttle him for sending out such deadly forces. 

“With half the army coming towards the city, we’ll get the magic casters and even some citizens who can use basic magic out on the wall using the magic stones. With that, we can round up another five to ten thousand, but that’s it.”

“That’s not a bad idea.” Duke Jeremy agreed with Phil. “I had thought of implementing the citizens to join in on this fight.”

“You’re talking about the magic stones that I created, right? What magic are you thinking about inputting in them?”

“Explosion, fireball, wind arrows, anything that’s effective on long distance. They are not fit to fight close quarters, and once they use up their magic, they’ll head back into the city or help around with other things.” 

“I see. Well, I’ll ask the twins to buy up all the magic stones and start creating the magic stones that we need.” I replied with a nod. 

“Here. I’ll need you to create as many of this as you can.” Phil handed me a rolled-up paper with a red string around it.” 

“What is it?” I was just about to open it, but Phil stopped me.

“Open it when you’re alone.” 

“Okay?” I look at the paper confused but put it away for later. “Coco, I need you to go to the Wonder Shop and tell Siva to create as many tonics to repel monsters away from the wall and as many high Red and Blue Potions before you leave.” 

“Yes, I’ll do that right now.” Coco quickly left, leaving us behind. 

“So, anything else?” I asked curiously what else Phil got up his sleeve.

“Yes, I’m going to leave for a while,” said Phil nonchalantly. 

“Wait, why?” Duke Jeremy’s voice was alarmed at him suddenly leaving. “Are you abandoning this city?”

“No, uncle,” Phil replied, a bit stunned at what Duke had just said. Then a smirk on Phil’s face appeared as he chuckled. “I’m going to go get us some allies.” 

“Who do you have in mind?” said Duke, a bit worried about Phil’s smirk.

“The Beast-kin, of course.” 

“Why them?”

Phil grinned and became sinister. “I’ll be spreading out some interesting information that they can’t refuse.” 

I couldn’t help but feel a bit scared about what he has in mind, making me quite antsy. 

“Why don’t you take Seth. He should know more about them.” I suggested. 

“No. I already know where I will be going. Plus, he needed to be here.” 

Duke Jeremy was calculating in his head for all the things to happen. “How long will it take for you to bring them over?” 

“The minimum time is about a week. If not at max two weeks and a couple days.” 

“That’s going to bring two out of three Great Generals to our footsteps.” Duke Jeremey wasn’t pleased with how long it would take.

“It’s the best I can do.” 

Duke Jeremy sighed. “That’s better than Nothing. Are you sure you can bring them over?”

“Absolutely.” Phil didn’t budge on his answer.

I wondered where his confidence came from. One needed to consider so many things in a war that it was slightly making my head hurt, but I was glad that Phil was on our side. 

“So, our window of opportunity to fight will be in the next two weeks, when they least expected it.” 

“Yes,” said Phil.

“ I’ll get the soldiers and citizens ready. I’ll leave the rest to you.” Duke Jeremy clasped his hand on Phil’s shoulder. “Your grandfather would’ve been proud.” 

Phil didn’t say anything, but I could tell that he was thinking about what Duke Jeremy had said. Duke Jeremy let go and left the room, leaving us behind. 

“So, is there anything else you wanted to say?” I nervously asked. Sometimes being in the same room with him makes me conscious and uncomfortable. I’m not exactly sure why, though it seems that it has been happening more recently.  

“Nothing really. Just finished at least three of the prototypes.” Phil pointed at the rolled-up paper that I had tucked away. “Other than that. Stay alive.” 

I snorted. I didn’t plan on dying anytime soon. My job to discipline and change Phil from being a tyrannical demon lord to a normal half-elf was still in the back of my mind. Even though they are times that I forget, I made sure to be there at times where he needed good advice towards the right direction in life. I made this my life goal, and I wasn’t backing out anytime soon.

“You stay alive. You’re going out into enemy territory when you leave the Forgotten Forest.” I replied sternly, trying to act cool, but failing.

“I’ll be fine. I have a couple of ways out of this forest.” 

“Make sure you make it back.” 

Phil chuckled. “You sound like a wife, sending off her husband to war.” 

I completely blushed scarlet when I heard what Phil had just said. He lifted up his hand and brushed my hair back, making me completely freeze. For some reason, my heart was beating fast from his soft touch. What the heck was even wrong with me? Was this a sign of nervousness and an early sign of a heart attack?

My eyebrows furrowed. Phil flicked my forehead at my scowling face and chuckled. 

“Why are you thinking so hard? It’s not like you’re worried about me, are you?”

“W-what? Absolutely not!” I rebuttal, completely taken off guard. 

“It’s okay. Your husband will come back safely.” 

“You’re not my husband!” I screeched as my voice cracked. 

“Yes. Yes. Yes. I know.” Phil patted my head as if not even bothered by what I had said. Instead, he chuckled to himself as I scowled even harder. 

“What’s so funny?”

“Nothing really. I just thought you look cute.” 

“Huh?” My mouth dropped open from the unsuspecting words. Did I just hear, right? “A-are you okay?”

“Hm? Yep. Now then, why don’t you give me a good luck hug.” 

“Why in the world would I do that?” I look at him funny.

“Because it is custom for females to hug males when they send their friends and loved ones to battle. It brings good luck so that the soldiers will come back alive.” 

“Really?” I was having a bit of a difficult time believing in what he had to say. 

“Yes.” Phil opened up his arm for me to fall in. “I don’t want to die, and having someone hug me 

and giving me good luck will increase my chance to survive. Do you want me to die?”

I was silent, and my lips were twitching in annoyance. “Um..” 

“I knew it. You don’t like me at all and want me to die early.” 

“I didn’t say that.” Plus, if he died early, the chance of me dying increases.

“Then why don’t you send me off with good fortune?” 

“Well…that’s because….” I gazed up at him, and he was giving me the most pitiful pout I have ever seen on Phil’s face. Is that a teardrop that I see running down his cheek? Such a sad face struck my heart, and my feet unconsciously shuffled forward. Why must he do this to me? I cried silently in my head. Beautiful things being so heartbroken is too painful for my heart, especially bishounen. Ugh! 

Suddenly, Phil’s arm reached over as he wrapped around me into a tight hug. My head reached up to his chin, and I sunk into his chest. What the heck? Was a hug usually this comfortable? Wow~ It’s so soft.

The sweet but slight scent of the pine forest wafted in my nose. I didn’t expect such a calming smell and warm embrace could make me feel so comfortable. Who would’ve thought that a man’s arm would give off a sweet feeling of safety? My last boyfriend didn’t give the same feeling, but instead of coldness and indifference. 

My hands slightly moved up towards his back, giving him a light hug. Phil grip his hands around me tighter, pulling me in closer. His chin tickled my head, and he leaned down, whispering into my ears. 

“Thanks, Berry.” 

Those two words were enough to create a sudden shiver running up and down my spine. I pushed back in startlement but was held from escaping. 

“I gave you your good luck, hug. Now let me go.” I squirmed. 

“Just a little longer.” Phil snuggled, even more, putting his head into my hair. 

“You’re taking advantage of me!”

“So?”

“So?” I squirmed even harder and stared at him with wide eyes. My nose wiggled. “What do you mean so?”

“You look like an adorable bunny when you get angry. Your nose does the same thing.” Suddenly Phil leaned over and pecked me on my nose.

Alarmed, I froze. Did he just? Yep. He did.

Phil finally let me go and patted me on my head. “Be a good bunny and stay safe.” 

He just called me a bunny. Me. A dragon. I was speechless that I couldn’t say anything. Phil just up and left like a storm, before I could even retort back. 

Such memories made my head hurt, wondering why Phil had done all that. I made it sure to remind myself to stay a good distance away from Phil from now on. There were too many instances where he invaded my space too often. 

I sighed and shook my head. I turned around and headed out of the castle. Instead, I went towards the south district, where the Wonder Shop was located. I need to see if they have completed the task that I have given them.

Opening up the door, I stepped through. A bell rang through the shop as a middle-aged Beast-kin with dog ears stepped forward. It was an older version of Siva. Her cute face was still present, but she had gained a bit more weight and obnoxious large breasts and hips. My eyes twitched, looked down at mine, and sighed as I looked away. The only word that stuck to my mind was defeat. 

Wonder Shop was a big ten-story mall in the middle of the South District. Each floor sold different types of items and appliances for the people. Different varieties of potions, herbs, and inventions were displayed for the people to see. On each corner of the shop were sturdy Beast-kin, wearing armor with a silver dragon logo on their sleeves. Since the beginning, they were from Seth’s Mercenary group that has been working with protecting the Wonder Shop.

One could say that the shop had a ‘homely’ feel to it rather than a licensed commercial mall back on Earth. Not a single thing was out of place, and comfy chairs and sofa were placed in the middle. A sweet smell of gingerbread could be smelled, lingering in the air. I couldn’t help but wonder who was cooking.

I have visited this shop quite a bit of time, but I couldn’t help but crack a smile every time I come by. Siva has been doing a spectacular job of keeping this place flourish. Even though right now they were barely any customers, usually this shop was jammed pack day and night. 

“My lady.” Siva gave a brilliant smile. “I am glad that you have come to visit. The order for the monster repulsion tonic to place around the city wall has been completed. The Adventurer’s had already come and taken it outside to place around the wall.” 

“That’s good to hear.” I nodded. “What about the High Blue and Red Potion? How many were you able to create?”

“We have over ten thousand ready to be used if necessary.” 

“Wonderful.” 

“My lady, I was wondering when you would come back and lead the Wondershop again? I have been saving your seat until now.”

I thought over what she said and shook my head. “I don’t think I have too. Honestly, you’re doing a wonderful job in leading the shop yourself. If you have anyone you want to groom to take your place, just tell me. I would like to know who it is.”

“You are too kind. Without you, our kind would’ve still been enslaved. My descendants will always be indebted to you.” 

Gently raising up my hand, I rested it upon her shoulder. “Siva, you really don’t need to talk to me so formally. We’re friends. Plus, this shop is partly yours, meaning we are both on equal grounds.”

“I wouldn’t dare.” Siva shook her head.

I sighed. The mentality of some people really doesn’t change. Same with my maids and butlers.

“Mom.” A young girl around the age of eleven peeked out from behind Siva’s back. 

“You’re daughter?” I couldn’t help but smile. I squatted down and stared eye-to-eye. This little child had the same eye color and facial features of Siva. Even her cute dog ears and tails flopped forward just like her.

“Yes.” Siva noded. “My son has been helping me run the shop as well.” 

“You have a son?” It’s my first time hearing this. “What’s their name?”

“Her name is Rose, while my son’s name is Bae.”

“She has a pretty name.” I couldn’t help but rummage through my pocket and hand her a small tulip pin. This accessory was a simple magical accessory that I had made. It had a couple of unique features: the ability to detect lies was one of them, and the second was the ability to sense danger. “This is for you. It has special enchantments on it, so don’t lose it.” 

Rose huddled over the little pin that I gave her and broke into a wide grin. “Thank you.” Her eyes were twinkling at the gift that she received, and she clipped it on her hair. With a bashful face, she looked at me with a shy smile.

“My lady. Thank you.” Siva replied with a gentle expression.

“How is Seth doing anyways? I heard many good reviews from clients with his White Dragon mercenary group,” I got up.

“He has been picking up quite a lot of contracts lately, especially during summer seasons. After the fame of the Wonder Shop increased every year, his name was spreading far and wide. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s outside working with the Adventurer’s right now.” 

“I see. I’ll go look for him.”

“Is there anything I could do before you leave?”

“Nothing really, just get the shipment for the high red and blue potion ready. I’ll take it over towards him right now.” 

Siva nodded. “I’ll get it ready in five minutes.” She left to quickly get the stocks of potions that I had asked for ready to be transported.

Rose was standing by herself in front of me, fidgeting from my stare. “Um…” She grabbed the edge of her dress.

“Yes?”

“Is it true that you’re the Grand Magician Berry?”

“You can say something like that.” 

“Really?” Her eyes became wide. “Can you show me magic?” 

“Well…” I felt embarrassed. I didn’t have a good handle on my magical output, so it was something that I didn’t really like to show off. “I’m not very good with my control.” 

Rose frowned, she put her hands to her hips and squinted. “Are you really the Grand Magician Berry?”

“…” I rummaged through my pocket and pulled out the lowest level magic stone, and inputted a quick code. Throwing it up in the air, I called out a word. “Activate.”

A sparkle of light refracted outwards, covering the whole interior of the shop in light. Everyone present turned around to see what was going on. The light refracted and shimmered. Out before them, a holographic view of Earth was shown from my memories. The giant skyscrapers, the vast, beautiful lights that turned on during the nightlife, and even the beautiful untouched landscapes were shown.

Rose gasped in shock and awe, looking around in dazzlement. “Is this what our city looks like?”

I shook my head. “This is what our city will one day look like, but slightly different.” My goal was leaning towards a more environmentally friendly city.

“This is so cool!” Rose jumped up and down.

The image slowly shifted into the mist and turned off. 

“So, you are the Grand Magician Berry!” Rose squealed in delight and ran over towards me. She glomped on me with a wide grin, staring with awe. “Can you make me your disciple? Please!”

“Well…right now, I won’t be able to take anyone in. We have a war on hand.” 

Rose frowned, turning into a scowl. “War….My dad is out there right now. Protecting mom and dad.” 

“Yes, your dad is doing a wonderful job.” 

“I know.” Rose beamed. “He’s the best dad ever!”

I couldn’t help but smile at the cute girl before me. She really did remind me of Siva, the bright personality, and the cute adorable smile. My hands were itching to reach over and pinch her cheeks, but I stopped myself.

“Rose!” Siva called out towards her in a stern voice. “Don’t bother Grand Magician Berry and come over here and eat your lunch.” 

“Yes, mom.” Rose waddled over and sat on a small stool. Siva brought over a plate of food for her to eat away from the counter.

“I’m so sorry about that, my lady.” 

“No. No. It’s alright. She’s very adorable.” 

“Thank you. I have the package ready to be delivered. Please this way.” Siva directed me towards the back where five large cargoes were strapped inside floating carriages forming a line. In total, they were five wagons strapped behind a horse. Each of the precious cargo was heavily guarded with the best White Dragon mercenary and high-level Adventurers.

I came to the front of the wagon, where I took a seat. Sitting next to me was a strapping young man with the same facial features as Siva, but more manly. His ears were not droopy but instead pointed upwards, twitching side-to-side listening for any possible danger. 

“My son, Bae, will take you towards Seth.”

Bae nodded, understanding what his mother wanted him to do.

“Thanks, Siva. You’re a lifesaver.” 

“No, my lady. You are our life savior.” She bowed, and the wagon pushed forward. 

It was kind of strange to see a floating wagon without any wheels, but at the same time, it gave transportation a fluid ride towards where we needed to go. Honestly, I wished they made a floating car instead. That would be so much cooler.  So far from the Adventurer’s that came from Earth, none of them had any memories of their past life. It was close to a blank sheet, all they know is their name and their past skills that they had.

No technological information crossed over in their mind, making technological progress a bit slow for my taste. Even still, we were doing pretty well in advancing the world step-by-step.

“My mother explained to me that you’re the actual city lord instead of Duke Jeremy.” 

“I wouldn’t say I’m the city lord.” I frowned. When did this strange rumor start? Was it Duke Jeremy himself that stated this? I don’t remember telling him to say this to people. “I’m more of a financial backer.” 

“So it’s something like you’re the true power holder of this city, and Duke Jeremy is your puppet.”

I couldn’t help but sigh. My cheeks twitched at his words, and I leaned forward onto my hand. He made it sound terrible that I wasn’t sure if I should refute that or not. “You know this is not some kind of dark plot, okay.” 

“I never said it was, but the way you’re saying it makes me now wonder if it is.” 

I groaned. What the heck did I just dug myself into?

“Either way, it doesn’t matter. You take care of my family very well, so I have nothing to say about how you run the city. Other than that, I have no complaints.” 

“I see.” I thought over what he said. Bae was the type to be tied down heavily to his family’s trust and loyalty. This made me paint a whole different picture of him that I couldn’t help but smile.

“Why are you smiling?”

“Nothing really. Just thought you are very loyal to your family.” 

“Isn’t that normal? Don’t you?”

“Well, I don’t really remember much about them, so it’s hard to answer that question.” 

“Did they die?” Bae asked a bit worried that he offended me in some way.

“Well, my supposed mother did, and my father is supposedly alive. I found this information out a couple weeks ago, but the problem lies with my amnesia. I don’t remember anything else.” 

“I’m sorry to hear that.” His ears flopped towards the side. “I didn’t mean anything bad…” 

“I know. You can say I’m looking forward to what my memories are going to be like when I remember them. So don’t worry. Instead, I am glad that I am alive another day.”

Bae gave me a sweet smile. “Yes. It is a blessing that we are alive another day.” He nodded his head in understanding.

We finally arrived at the black towering obsidian colored walls that were proudly, standing without a dent. Up ahead before, we were a large group of the city army and Adventurer’s tangled together, helping out in the city defense. 

“There is Seth.” Bae pointed. He then shouted towards him, waving his hand side-to-side. 

“Seth!” 

Seth saw Bae and the wagon. He trotted up towards us.

“Berry.” Seth bowed. 

“Seth, glad to see you. Is everything ready?”

“Yes. We got reports that Moca and her group had successfully pulled a good portion of the army away.”

“What about the second half of the army?”

“They entered into the Forgotten Forest a couple hours ago. So far, we expect them to be coming here soon in the next hour.” 

“I see,” I said, “I brought over the high Red and Blue potions. I need you to quickly give it out to each person.”

“Yes, mamn.” Seth saluted. He then called over the others to take the items on the wagon. Swarms of soldiers, mercenaries, civilians, and even Adventurers excitedly took the presents graciously given away by the Wonder Shop. 

I knew that the income from the inventions and the Potions brought in a considerable amount of profit, and giving it out to the people for free in times of war made the Wonder Shop’s reputation skyrocket. The Wonder Shop had the budget to compensate for the loss and knew that if we lost this war, the secret formula would be taken away from the enemy by force. I couldn’t afford that, especially Siva, who worked hard on making the shop grow to what it is today.

With that, both Siva and I knew that this was more profitable in the long run. If we win, the shop reputation will dramatically rise, solidifying the citizens’ trust. Even more, word of mouth will flourish further.

I was also helping out in handing out as many potions as possible. Each person had at least one, but for the magicians, they had at least two blue potions. With the distribution of the potion over, I broke away from the busy group and headed towards the walls. Climbing up the long stairs, I made my way to the top. 

Out before me were the dense trees that blocked my view. I realized that the trees around the city walls were getting a little too close, and made a note to myself to send in a commission to the lumbers to cut down the trees around the walls and replant new offspring to take place the ones we cut.

I squinted to see if there were any noticeable movements, but I didn’t find anything. Seth came up and stood next to me. He didn’t say anything as he silently stood there, watching off in the distance.

“So, how often did you go into battle?” I just randomly threw out a question. I know it was a pathetic attempt to calm my nerves, but it was better than not talking. The stifling silence was making me even more nervous, and I needed something to occupy my mind.

“Quite often.” Seth’s voice was low but strong. “Sometimes we would be ambushed at night during our transport. It wasn’t pretty, but we pushed through to make sure that the merchandise and the people were safe.

“Just out of curiosity, how do you stay sane without getting scared?”

“A strong resolution to live.” 

“That’s it?” I thought of having amazing martial art skills or sword skills. Was the answer, but it was far from it.

“Yes. Even if one knows how to fight, it becomes useless if they freeze up. A person changes when their life is on the line.” 

I nodded my head in understanding what he meant. 

“A master swordsman without a single battle experience has an equal chance to die on the field, but their sword skill can give them the edge to survive another day.” 

It made me wonder, Seth been doing this his whole life, meaning the majority of his life he saw war. “Seth, when are you stop going to be a mercenary and settle down?” I curiously asked. I never saw him with any other females.

“When this war is over.” 

“So, you have someone in mind?” My eyes lit up with interest in what he has to say. This was the first time I would hear any juicy information about the relationship on Seth. 

“Yes, my fiance is waiting for my return.” 

“You’re fiance?!” I blurted out in shock. Turning towards him, I tilt my head to the side. 

“She ‘s eight months pregnant.”

“Wow.” 

This was definitely an exciting tidbit of information that I couldn’t stop from smiling. 

“Congratulations!” I threw up my arms and reached over to pat his back. “I didn’t know you had it in you.” 

“What do you mean had it in me?”

“I just thought you would live a lonely old man’s life.” 

Seth snorted. “I would not.” 

“Either way, this is truly a celebration. During the twenty-seven years, a lot of things must’ve happened for you to have finance. How did you meet her?”

“We met on the job, while we were escorting Duke Jeremy from the city to the nearest human establishment. We ran into a large group of goblins attacking a band of Adventurers. Duke Jeremy ordered us to help them out, and we pushed the goblins back. Honestly, I believed that they could’ve won even without our help.” 

“So, that’s when you guys hit it off?”

“No. It didn’t happen until she threw a punch at my face in the bar.” 

“You got punched?” My mouth dropped open in surprise. Seth was one of that beast-kin that you don’t want to mess with, but someone actually had the balls hit him. Wow.

“Why did she hit you?”

“Just a misunderstanding. She thought I touched her butt, but actually, it was the human male next to me that did it.”

Things happen. “Her name?”

“Jasmine. She’s human.” 

Yep. Hands down. Jasmine has now become one of my favorite humans. She has the balls to hit THE Seth in his place. I nodded, just thinking about what her character would be like if I ever met her. 

“So, she’s an Adventure as well?”

“Yes, she’s taking part in this war.” 

“What?!” I shouted in complete disbelief. “She’s eight-month pregnant!”

“I know.” 

I stared stunned at his answer. Was he right in the head? The last two months were a serious time 

for a woman during her pregnancy. It could be really dangerous for her health and child as well.

“She wouldn’t even listen even if I stopped her.” Seth sighed with defeat. His shoulders slumped at the thought of his fiance hurt.

Yep, someone as strong-minded as her would be trouble in her own way. If someone like Seth can’t stop her, who could?

“She’s not fighting in the front lines, right?”

“Of course not.” 

I gave out a sigh of relief. “Then, where?”

“She’s a magician. She’ll be on the walls casting spells. Her magic is formidable, and she is considered one of the few rare magicians that can cast a level A high-level magic.”

I was surprised. There weren’t many magicians that could cast high-level magic. Only a small handful of people were able to cast at least a level B, and a very rare number level A magic. The majority of magicians fell in the lower range. 

“She’ll be somewhat away from the battle.” I knew that wasn’t a reassuring answer, but it was the best I could do.

“Yes, I told her not to strain herself. I don’t think she will listen.” Seth sighed, and he frowned deeply. 

I could tell that he cared about his fiance very dearly. The way that he talked and the look on his face told me everything that I needed to know. Honestly, I was glad that he had found someone extraordinary that he held dear in his heart. Just looking at him filled with love made me wonder when I would find someone who I would cherish deeply like him. 

Someone who I could spend my life with and share the up and down of life. Someone I could fight side-by-side in battles, and even go on wild adventures together. To laugh, to cry, and also fight and enjoy the simple things in life. Suddenly, Phil’s face erupted in my head. 

What the heck? I quickly brushed it aside. That was a perilous thought that actually scared me to death. I made sure such thought was eradicated entirely in my mind. 

“I know. So, I asked her friend to keep a tab on her. The only one who is able to sway her mind is her friend, Chole.” 

“Oh.” So there was someone out there that could sway the stubborn women. 

Boom!

Suddenly a loud explosion is heard throughout the whole forest. Smoke appeared from the south. Birds flew out in panic, and the screams of animals could be heard in fear. 

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!

The explosion continued to come towards us in a straight line as the ground shook from the numerous sudden explosion.

“What’s going on?” I held on the side of the wall, gripping tightly not to fall. 

“The traps that we set have been activated. They’re coming!” Seth ran down the stairs and jumped towards his mercenary. “Get ready!” He shouted. 

People were scurrying around, climbing up the stairs in a hurry. The magicians, archers, and soldiers all dispersed into formation as they cast their gaze towards the forest with worry creased on their faces. 

With a heavy groan, the tree shook back and forth. The sound of more explosions could be heard, going off in front of them. Each sound of the explosion heralds a step closer to the battle to come. What made this difficult was that we couldn’t see through the thick trees, making the tension in the air a lot more stressful. 

I gulped as I patiently waited for the army that was going to come to invade us. My knuckles were becoming white from gripping the edge of the wall. As worry creased my face. 

Suddenly, a piercing sound of an arrow cutting through the air flew past my head, and with a 

sickening thunk, an arrow embedded itself into the soldier’s eye, right next to me. With a clatter, he fell over dead. The war had started, and my mind quickly dismissed all unnecessary thoughts as I pulled a large amount of magical energy into my hands.

For the death of my people, I was not going to hold back.

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2 thoughts on “V3 Ch. 7 Fear, Death, and Awe

  1. Pingback: Black Moon V3 Ch. 6 – home of the dragon

  2. Pingback: V3 Ch. 8 Welcome to Abomination – home of the dragon

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