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SAO:PoA - Chapter Six

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« SAO:PoA - Chapter Five

Sword Art Online: Past of Ashes
Written by: FedeTkd
Published:
Chapter 6

SAO:PoA - Chapter Seven »



Floor 26, February 25th, 2023

A soldier from the army regained his consciousness. He slowly tapped his fingers, and stood up. Looking around, he found himself in the dug trench. He looked at the wall infront of him. No monsters were watching him, apparently he hadn't been noticed. He turned towards the other wall, and started trying to climb up the rocks, a long 4 meters to get back to his friends. Slowly placing one hand and feet at a time, he climbed the first meter. Reaching the last meter, he was already joyous and smiling. Not only he had survived the attack to the wall, but he was alive aswell.

“I can do it” He thought.

He heard a sound. Just three inches from his eyes, an arrow landed. He looked back to the wall, where a picton stood grinning, spear in his hand, and a notorious scar sitting on his left eyebrow spanning all the way to the end of his cheek.

“No.”

He prepared his spear to throw it.

A painful short scream was heard in the mountains.

After that, silence.

---

The Royal Knights fell back to their camp. Some soldiers of The Army accompanied them.

Galant: “Corbatz, take count of those that have fallen, I would have number.”

He went back to the wall.

Gawn: “A nonsense attack. We were only pissed by the soldiers' wall.”

Lance: “The attack was without sense. We should've returned to the mountain pass.”

Galant: “If so, we would all be dead by now. We're here, and that’s all that matters.”

Percival: “Let's return to the camp to rest. And hope for a way of getting out of here.”

Galant: “Yes. I would speak to the girl.”

They walked at least a block long back to the camp, which was made up by the wagons placed in a circular formation. In the middle, several tents were placed. Towards the mountain path, they had placed spiked tree branches, as defense for a surprise attack.

Inside the biggest wagon, the girl remained, but she had woken up. Beside her Galahad, Dagonet, Guinevere, Yuriel and Thinker sat. Elicia was seated near the window.

Thinker: “How went the attack?”

Lance: “A waste of time.”

Galant: “We lost several men. Corbatz went to see who has fallen. He'll be here soon.”

Gawn: “What of her?”

Dagonet: “She has woken up.”

Silica: “Thank you for saving me.”

Galant: “Don’t worry. What's such a little girl doing in here? You aren’t a high level.”

Silica: “I'm not that high, no. I was partying up with some friends in the north when some pictons arrived and…”

Dagonet: “That’s enough, Silica.”

Galant: “I'm sorry.”

Lance: “Besides that, do you know her?”

He pointed to Elicia, who was looking out the window to the great wall, covering herself with her white cloak. Her look was the same as when they questioned her the day before. She was still saddened and nostalgic.

Silica looked at her.

Silica: “No, I don't.”

Elicia: “I told you I carried her in my arms. She had fainted when I took her into my arms. That's way she doesn't remember me.”

Galant: “We shall see if you're trustworthy later.”

Percival entered the wagon in a rush.

Percival: “GALANT, PICTONS APROACH FROM THE MOUNTIAN PATH!”

Galant: “Put all those that can't fight in safe distance. See the others to arms.”

Galahad: “I'll remain here.”

Elicia: “I'm going with you.”

Dagonet: “Me too.”

Silica: “Dagonet!”

Dagonet: “Don’t worry, I promise I'll be back.”

Guinevere: “Do you think this is a good idea?”

Galant: “We don’t have much choice. Thinker, you should remain here. We'll show Cerdic what humans are capable of!”

In the distance, the horde could be seen. At least a hundred pictons, mostly armed with spears, shields and swords. They continued their advance towards the camp in formation.

The Royal Knights moved towards them, alongside 20 players of the Army and other mid-level players. Most of them seemed nervous, facing a horde of pictons capable of thinking and holding the sheer disadvantage of numbers. It sounded the same as when they attacked the wall. They stopped near the defensive branches, looking straight at the enemy, who was just three hundred meters away and decreasing due the fast-paced advance of the enemy.

The players drew their weapons.

Lance: “WE SHALL SEE PICTON BLOOD UPON SNOW!”

The result was a huge feeling of excitement towards battle, inspiring the players to fight.

“OR OUR OWN GLORIUS DEATH!”

Once again a battle roar came from the inside of the players.

Galant: “HOLD! BE CALMED!”

Lance looked at Galant disappointingly.

Lance: “The hell you're thinking!? We must press attack! Before their swarm washes over us.”

Galant: “They don't intent to advance.”

The pictons stopped at 200 meters from the player camp, where they lowered their weapons.

Bors: “You can predict the future, can you now?

Galant: “I'm familiar with that strategy maneuver. Cerdic's soldiers aren't in a battle one.”

Lance: “But they hold four or more times our numbers. Why are they stopping!?”

Galant: “They await their commander...”


“The legion takes place in the ridge?”

“With your tent in forward position as commanded.”

“Tell me as soon as it is ready. I would see those players die soon enough.”

“King of Monsters.”

The monster left. Cynric turned to his son.

“Throllbard is a useful soldier. You should learn from him.”

“We should get ready, father.”

“At proper time. For now, let us play with their minds; let's see what this Galant is capable of. If he can prove his legend true, or just a tale, to impersonate kids about to sleep.”

---

Lance was on the medical wagon talking to Elicia.

“A storm's coming. With it, death traveling on the frozen winds.”

“A storm's certain, yes. Yet, I wish to be alone.”

“You should look others right now and see thier needs. People in here need help.”

He jumped from the window, turned to her, offering hand to help her, looking at her. She seemed not to like that at first, yet his look make her change her mind. She grabbed his hand and got down from the wagon.

“You have a convincing sight, Lance.”

“Dag, come with us us.”

“I'll remain here with Silica.”

“Alright.”

They walked by the camp to find someone to help.

Dagonet: “What's her name?”

Silica: “Pina.”

Dagonet: “And that means?”

Silica: “It's my cat’s name in real life, I miss it so much.”

Dagonet: “As wel all miss something in the other side. Besides that, it's strange to see a beast tamer here. Especially one of your level and age.”

Silica: “I fortunately came here, as a party member…”

The dragon tamer, lowered her head, tears appearing in her eyes. Dagonet placed his hand on her head. She looked up.

Dagonet: “I'm sorry. We'll make them pay for this.”

Silica: “I'm scared.”

Dagonet: “I promise I'll protect you.”

He smiled down to her. Silica blushed.

Silica: “…Thank you.”

Dagonet: “You should also change your dagger to this. I won it a few days ago. It's called “shadow dagger”. We should to go to see my brother. He's got the best sword skills for daggers.”

Silica: “Ok”

Dagonet left the wagon, Silica jumped after him and grabbed his hand. They walked to find Bors.

--- “What are you thinking?”

“I wonder a way, to get us the hell out of here.”

“You will. You always do.”

The couple looked and prepared a kiss when Thinker and Yuriel appeared.

Thinker: “My apologies, I think I interrupted the moment.”

Galant: “Unnecessary. You shouldn't be here. It's too dangerous.”

Thinker: “I'm not dead-weight. I want to offer my help.”

Galant: “Most players here are freezing. You should help them.”

Thinker: “We shall. Galant, what's that?!”

Galant turned, looking towards the picton camp. A lot of tents had been placed in a circular formation, covering the entire width of the ridge, to prevent escape. In the middle of it the largest tent sat, with several other tents infront of it, and spikes as last defense.

Galants eyes widened. He smiled.

Galant: “Call my Knights, and Corbatz. I've found a weakness in their defenses.”

Thinker: “Sure.”

Minutes later, the Royal Knights, Elicia and Corbatz gathered themselves near the tree branches, as they held a conversation looking towards it.

Dagonet: “Cerdic erects his tent, as if he would fight for his entertainment in this place.”

Lance: “Then he shall behold what miracles a high level player's capable of.”

Percival: “You speak as if we all were...”

Lance: “We are.”

Gawn: “But too few to face against such hordes that we're placed in between.”

Guinevere: “Lance isn't wrong in his beliefs. We've accomplished the impossible time upon time.”

Galant: “Yet, through intelligence and tactics. Not brute force.”

Corbatz: “What's on your mind?”

Galant: “Cercic has become overly bold by the advantage he holds. He places his tent forward, to have a better view of his anticipated victory.”

Lance: “Perhaps we should pay him a visit. Explain fatal error.”

Galant: "Exactly."

Galahad: “Doesn't Closer position suggests heavier guards surrounding the tent?”

Galant: “Yes. But the wind increases without stopping, in advance of the storm. By the evening, it shall serve as cloak, if our number doesn't drop further.”

Bors: “How many?”

Galant: “Just the most skilled among us. We must strike as a serpent, fast and sure. If Cerdic dies, his army'll be lost without proper command.”

Lance: “A good idea. But what of a sea of death could be unleashed if all of us attack at the same time.”

Galant: “Such a force would be discovered prematurely, and our advange, lost! A thing even a child could see.”

Lance: “You consider me one?”

Galant: “I've chosed my words badly, brother. Stay by my side, for when Cerdic shatters into polygoys we'll see his army promptly follow.”

Galant turned, looking to his comrades.

“Who's with me?”

All of them agreed.

Galant: “Corbatz, ready five of your men, the best of them. Galahad, Elicia, a word. The rest is free to go, get ready.”

Galahad: “What happens now?”

Galant: “You aren't coming with us?”

Galahad: “What?”

Galant: “Your last battle with the pictons was a disaster, I'm sorry, but your skill with sword isn't good enough, and these pictons are much more powerful than the ones we've faced before.”

Galahad: “I won't remain here safely when you're risking your life in this mission.”

Galant: “I'm sorry, but if you fight the pictons they'll easily overpower you. You'll remain here.”

Galant left disappointed.

Elicia: “What did you tell him?”

Galant: “He isn't coming with us on this mission. You'll take his place.”

Elicia: “Understood.”

Galant: “I'll get straight to the point. I don't know you, and I don’t have any good reason to trust you. But, Lance seems to trust you, and since he's my best friend so will I.”

She looked towards Lance, who was readying his weapons. She blushed a bit.

“Don't disappoint me, or you'll regret it”

She shifted her sight to Galant.

Elicia: “I won't.”

Galant: “Great. You can go, but be ready.”

Guinevere approached Galant. She grabbed his arm.

Guinevere: “You're sure about this?”

Galant: “I am. We should prepare.”

---

The sun set on the horizon as the wind increased second by second, and snow fell from the cloudy sky. A picton walked towards the defensive spikes, looking for signs of the enemy. Several more stood guard, yet as one of Cerdic’s commanders, it held privilege in comparison to them.

He laid eyes on a strange light in distance.

“Find out what that is and report.” He ordered with his bestial voice.

Two pictons went to those very lights. The picton commander walked to his left side, still watching the humans. A few seconds later, the two came back.

“It was nothing sir.”

The picton commander relaxed, and regained his confidence. What could simple humans possibly do to them? They were outnumbered and outmatched. It was just a matter of time. Either they would kill them or let them be frozen by these cold winds.

Suddenly, two katanas pierced the pictons' chests, and then slashed upwards, shattering them into polygons. They were surprised, and wanted to scream, but they couldn't do anything. They had their throats cut and died.

Galant: “Well done. Extinguish fire.”

Lance: “Two more, near the tents. They haven’t noticed us.”

Tristan: “No, six more.”

Galant: “Lance, Tristan, Percival, Gawn. Throwing weapons, aim to their throats. On your mark Tristan.”

Tristan loaded an arrow and shot. The other three did the same. Four of them felt to ground.

The other two drew their weapons. Useless, as they quickly fell to another set of tomahawks and arrows.

A trumpeter arrived, ready to send message to all pictons resting that the enemy was here. Balmung Blade was tossed to him, piercing him right through his chest, and he fell to the ground.

The players hid themselves next to the tents.

Percival: “We should block the perimeter to avoid escape.”

Galant: “There shall be none who come to the mighty Cerdic's aid this night.”

He advanced and got back Balmung to his hand. Lance, Gawn, Guinevere and Elicia followed him to the entrance of the tent. He nodded to them, and they entered.

Nothing inside, but the false body of a human, crucified. From its chest, a red substance fell, from cuts forming letters, and finally words: “Death is inevitable”.

Lance: “Piece of shit...”

Galant: “A trap...We must go. Now!”

Galant went out of the tent, and signalled his comrades to leave. They all rushed through the entrance.

“ATTACK!” Was hard in the distance. Two picton hordes approached, ready for battle.

Bors: “RUS!”

He was joined by the rest, as both forces rushed towards each other, clashing in the middle. Galant jumped and stabbed a picton in the chest. He fell to his knees, and he stabbed the picton's chest once more, killing it. He rolld on his back on the ground, and got back up to continue the battle.

Lance threw some shurikens to a picton's eyes and used “tsujikaze”, drawing his katana, cutting the picton in half. Others came, and he slashed their legs, making them fall to the ground before swiping his blade into their faces. Bors kicked a nearby picton, breaking a spear in the progress, and sending his powerful fist into the monster's throat.

Gawn blocked an incoming bash of a shield, and he spins around to behead the monster with his axe. He smashed a chest with his mace, and threw his axe to the face of another. Dagonet rammed Great Mjolnir into the ground, and with the help of “Thunder Pile” he sends several enemies flying through the air. Percival rushed through the field of battle with his spear, stabbing monsters with ease. Tristan shot his arrows, covering the players in the midst of the fight.

The Army members fought hard, yet the most capable in battle had to be Corbatz. The others could barely face the powerful pictons, two more in their ranks falling prey to their might.

Guinevere defended twice with Laevatein, though the monster kept rushing at her. She jumped, spinned and elbowed the back of its head, making it collapse to the ground. Others attacked and wounded the left side of her belly as she landed back on the ground. She continued to battle with 70% of her HP, and in a flurry she killed another picton. Others charged her in her back, yet Lance saved her by impaling the monster in the chest and slashing his swords through its body.

Elicia used her sword skill, “Sujin no Seiken”, killing a picton, and she cut the neck of another with her knife. One wielding a spear attacked her and she managed to block the first jab, but the second one is driven right through her right leg. She screamed in pain. She avoids another strike, but is hit in the face hard, spilling blood from her mouth and falling to the ground.

Lance: “Elicia!”

The picton prepared the finishing move, only to be sliced in half by Galant himself. Lance looked at him in jealousy, as Galant got Elicia up over his shoulders and carried her away.

Galant: “Fall back to the camp!”

All of them rushed back.

“Run you fucking human cowards!” Shouted a picton.

Lance stopped. He slowly looked back looking to the picton a rushed to him, as several other monsters did the same. Lance jumped and used “Tsumujiguruma” on the two of them, as were stunned, he beheaded them both. Others approached, and he used his shoulder, lowering his body, and the picton flipped and smashed its head into the ground. He slashed through the chest of another and killed the last one that had said mocked them, stabbing its chest and flinging the body through the air.

Galant: “LANCE, WE HAVE TO GO! MORE ARE COMING!”

He looked back, several dozens rushing towards them. He ran, following his comrades back to the camp.

---

Cerdic: “Galant eludes my trap?”

Throllbard: “Among with a handful of his men.”

Cerdic: “Let him feel the sting of his wounds, and think upon the mind that inflicts them. Raise all monsters from rest, the time for tactics and deception is over. We move for the ridge, with our entire army.”

Throllbard: “King of Monsters.”

The sub-boss retired, following command.

Cynric: “Finally, the time has come.”

Cerdic: “As soon as we're there.”

Cynric: “Let's hasten our arrival.”

Cerdic: “Your impulsiveness could course death of our monsters.”

Cynric: “And sitting here doing nothing is equal to losing precious time!”

Cerdic fisted his son on the face, making him fall to the ground.

Cerdic: “I told you... as long as I'm alive, I give command. Not you, boy. We're leaving, Follow me.”

Cynric got up. He spat on the ground with ill temper, tired of his father’s command. He then followed him.

---

The winds grew stronger as the storm brewed. In the camp, most of the players hid inside the wagons, yet few could keep themselves warm within the simple and narrow wooden walls, the freezing temperature was biting away at them. The remaining players gathered themselves, covering themselves as much as they could.

Galant walked through the camp, entering the medical wagon once more. Elicia was resting, lulled to sleep, with Lance infront of her, watching over her.

Galant: “Galahad attended you?”

Elicia: “Yes.”

Galant: “Where is he?”

Lance: “I don't know.”

Galant: “It lifts my heart to know you're yet on this world.”

Elicia: “Fate owed you. Lance told me that you carried me upon your back.”

Galant: “It's what any of us would do for another warrior.”

Lance: “She requires more rest.”

Galant: “She'll have it for now. Storm grows greater with every second that passes, preventing the picton attack.”

Lance got up and aproached his friend.

Lance: “I want her to sleep right now!”

Lance left the wagon, upset with a vessel on hand. Galant followed him. He started putting snow inside of it, to prepare water.

“I know that face. The same you had when we were yet kids, fighting each other for nonsence stuff.”

“Forgotten days, when you had a bolder mind! If we had moved with proper force against Cerdic...”

“What would've been the result? Eh? You look upon the path not taken.”

“I look somewhere where the path isn't stained with Elicia’s blood.”

“And we all to join her dead.”

“I would but fight! We're trapped between two sides and your strategies are useless. You've been bested by a more devious mind Galant. WE PLACE SWORDS IN EVERY HAND WITH STRENGHT YET TO LIFT IT AND  ATTACK CERDIC.”

“WE'RE SURROUNDED BY CANYON WALLS WITHOUT HOPE OF FLANKING MANOEUVRE! TO FACE SUPURIOR NUMBER WITH LOW LEVEL PLAYERS IN A FIGHT, WE'LL GAIN NOTHING BUT OUR OWN DEATHs!”

“THEN LET CERDIC SEE HOW WE FUCKING ACCEPT IT! AS WARRIORS DID IN THE PAST.”

“YOU MOVE FROM SUBJECT. FEW THINK THE SAME AS YOU. THEY DON'T HOPE FOR A GLORIOUS DEATH!”

“NO, THEY HOPE TO BE LEAD!!!”

They paused for a brief moment. Their faces had been approaching one another during conversation.

“I WILL NOT MARCH THEM TO DEATH ITSELF.”

“AND I WILL NOT DIE WITH A PICTON SWORD IN MY BACK!!! I'LL GATHER THOSE THAT THINK THE SAME AS ME, AND ATTACK CERDIC.”

He walked around Galant, as he grabbed his arm turning back.

“YOU WILL DO AS I COMMAND!”

Lance smashed the vessel full of snow into Galant's temple, breaking it. Galant fell to the ground, blood coming from the wound up to his left cheek as he remained still on the ground.

“YOU'RE NOT A SUPREME LEADER. AND I DON'T HEAR YOUR COMMAND!”

Galant got up; he fisted Lance’s face once with his right, then his left left, and placing his right at his chest, and once more a left to his head, blocked by Lance’s defense and countered with other punch on the face.

They separated for a brief moment, and gazed at each other. People gathered to watch them fight. Galant attacked once more, but Lance blocked it and jabbed his stomach, and placed a knee to his face, grabbing him and throwing him to the ground.

Galant got back up once more. Lance tried to hit him, but Galant blocked him and righted his belly, and then his face. Afterwards, he grabbed his arm and elbowed his face. Lance felt to the ground, and got back up. He also was also bleeding.

They stared at each other once more. Lance attacked one more time, but again he avoided it and fisted himin the belly without being hit in the face. They closed in on eachother, and Lance tried to hit him again, but his hit was avoided as Galant grabbed him, throwing both of them in the air with a 360 flip. Both Lance and Galant ended on the ground, both exchanged blows and choking each other.

“Lance!” Gawn neared with Dagonet, separating the two fighters.

Dagonet: “Have you two lost your fucking reason?!”

Lance: “A question better asked to your leader.”

He left to the wagon.

Galant: “LANCE!”

Gawn: “Now isn't the time for quarrel!”

Dagonet: “The storm approaches, see those who are still exposed to shelter!”

---

The player camp stood frozen. Most players trembled with fear in some of the wagons.

Galant: “Come on! Enter, quickly now!”

Inside the cart, there were more people seeking shelter from the storm then that there could possibly fit inside. The cart was filled up to its maximum capacity.

Galant: No more people can come in! Seek other places to shelter yourselves!

Bors: “Galant! Where's Dagonet!?”

Galant: “He isn't with you!?”

Bors: “Help me find him!”

Galant: "I'm going!"

Guinevere: “GALANT!”

Galant: “I’ll be back. Don't worry!”

Galant got off the wagon and helped him search the place, yet there was nothing they could do against the wrath of Mother Nature. They could barely look past their own noses. As the wind grew even colder, they were slowly losing their HP.

Galant: “I'm sorry Bors, but this is a waste of time!”

Bors: “You go back, I'll continue!”

Galant: “You'll be lost as well in these conditions! Dagonet won't fall to wind and ice. You know he's better than most, he's too stubborn to die like this.”

Bors nodded, yet his faced expressed the contrary; he wanted to keep looking for his brother.

They returned to the wagon and took shelter.

Galant: “We didn't find him.”

Bors sat on an empty space near the door and was given a warm coat by Guinevere. She was too desperate to give her his gratitude. His thoughts were solely focused on his brother. As for Galant, he shivered uncontrollably without end. His legs were nearly numb at the moment and he felt Guinevere grab him, and she helped him to get to the floor.

Guinevere: “I never favored the cold. Here, a blanket. Let's keep ourselves warm.”

Galant: “I don't need it.”

Guinevere: “Your appearence doesn't say the same...As does my own.”

She then extended her left arm but pain appeared.

Galant: “Your wound gives you pain?”

Guinevere: “It reminds me that I yet live. And chose to continue.”

Galant grabbed a coat from his menu and shared it with his girlfriend. They hugged, sharing the common heat of their hearts. They shared a brief conversation about what they should do next after the storm ends, a long time since they last had a boyfriend girlfriend conversation. They kissed, while waiting, hoping.

---

Percival: “If we continue like this, the problem wouldn't be the frozen winds, but rather the lack of air to breath.”

Gawn: “I prefer the pressing of rancid meat, rather to become ice.”

Galahad: “How much longer will this storm last? We still don’t know where the rest are. What will we do? We should go to search them.”

Tristan: “No.”

Galahad: “Tristan. Your hawk would easily find them!?”

Trisitan: “There's no way to know where they are, and even if you go outside, or we four do, we would risk our lives. All we can do is keep waiting for the end.”

Percival: “Tristan doesn't speak much. But when he does, it's always true. We have to wait.”

Gawn: “Rest, keep ourselves warm and pray. That's all we can do.”

---

Dagonet waked through the snow,  nearly limping since he was losing his HP minute by minute. He would not last for much longer. He felt his face hit the snow, the biting cold eating away at his exposed skin. He got up, and his eyes laid on a small figure covered by snow. He approached it. It was Silica.

“What happened to you?”

“I followed a small group of The Army, but I couldn't keep their pace of march, and I fell here without noticing.”

“Come on, get up!”

He grabbed her and carried her while he walked. Yet the weight was pressing down on him, and he was sure he couldn't walk like this for long. He then noticed an empty wagon, not 5 meters from him. He carried Silica inside.

“Finally, we've got some luck. We'll warm ourselves and pray the afterlife doesn't take us.”

“You pray now?”

“Upon many things. I hope my brother has found the same luck as myself. Is Pina okay?”

“She isn't, but nothing too bad. She'll recover.”

Dagonet entered his menu and took out some blankets. He shared them with Silica, the two hugging together. The little dragon tamer became even redder than before.

A strong sound came from outside the wagon.

Silica hugged Dagonet tightly as he did the same, placing his hand on her head.

“You're safe. I'll protect you.”

---

The Royal Knights walked thought the camp. Guinevere approached a Corp, removing his frozen helmet. His face was frozen aswell sadly, and his HP was gone. He touched his face, but the body shattered into polygons immediately afterwards.

Galant: “How many?”

Bors: “Seven frozen to death, just like him. Four of them were soldiers of the Army. The NPC animals belonged to the Army aswell. The wagons are useless now.”

Galant: "Seven..."

“Gladly you're all alive!” a known voice said.

Galant turned back. Gawn, Percival, Tristan and Galahad came out from a wagon.

Galahad: “Most of our healing potions and crystals are also gone. All what I have is what you and I carry.”

Bors: “Just you four?”

Percival: “Yes, what happens?”

Bors: “Where's my brother?”

Dagonet: “Just behind you.”

He walked to us, the little girl right behind him.

Bors: “I feared you were dead.”

Dagonet: “We were and found shelter, just after I found her.”

Guinevere: “Not all shared the same luck.”

Galant looked to the wall, just a hundred meters from them. The greatness of the wall, and his eyes brightened, as if he had solved an impossible puzzle.

Galant: “Perhaps, we can find a way for those yet living. Where's Lance?”

Gawn: “In one of the wagons with Elicia.”

Galant: “I'll speak to him. Prepare your weapons, and tell everyone to gather the most important things from the wagons for the rest of the journey.”

Galant walked to the tent. Lance was outside of it, practicing shuriken shooting. He turned back. His best friend stranded, looking at him.

“You return to fucking reason?!”

“Yes. We should press the attack on those on the other side of the wall, like you suggested.”

“When we had those other members of The Army, now forever lost! And what of the Pictons awaiting us beyond the wall. How do we match their numbers?”

“Perhaps there's no need to match it.”

“You speak with fucking riddles. Occulting truth.”

"The same as Cerdic obscures all he has done, shrouding his moves with deception... Elicia and Silica as living baits, drawing us to trap within his tent... Nothing is ever as it appears!”

“Then spit your fucking thoughts, or disappear from my sight.”

“His trench is enough to hold our escape. Why has he has constructed a wall then?”

“To keep our eyes from what lies beyond it?”

“Or, what does not. A few pictons placed on top of it can give illusion of hundreds.”

“And if you're wrong?” said Elicia, coming out from the wagon.

“Then we shall have a glorious death.”

--

A picton with a scar on his face noticed the sound of clashing rocks from down the trench. He looked down for a brief moment. An arrow was shot through his eye and he fell down to his death.

The Royal Knights prepared hooks tied with ropes, and threw them to the wall. They looked, and pulled, though an upper part of the wall fell. Two more pictons appeared, and Tristan shot two arrows into them, killing them. Galant, Gawn, Lance and Guinevere began their climb to the top of the wall. When they arrived, more monsters came, all of them fell to the Royal Knight's swords and axes.

Lance: “Your were right! There are but a mere 50 pictons in that camp!”

Galant: “THEN LET'S GET WARM WITH A BATTLE!”

About twenty Pictons began the rush towards the wall. The four leaders stuck their weapons on the wall and descended. Dagonet and Percival got to the top of the wall. One came from both sides, with Percival blocking the first blow with his shield before hitting the picton with his spear, and stabbing him with the dagger right into the chest. Dagonet took two of the other blows, and pierced their bodies with mjolnir pikes.

Tristan and Bors got up the wall. The archer took out his Mongol Bow and started shooting, covering his companions, while Bors drew his dual weapons and got down with his leaders. The squad of pictons approached and the leaders clashed with them. Lance blocked a spear and used Fujin no Seiken on it. Guinevere jumped on one with a shield on its back, and she stabs him at the neck. One with a sword tried to deal a blow to her arm swiftly, but the strike was countered by Photon Flash, killing it.

Galant used Stardust Slasher and killed one of the Pictons, another wave approaching as he was rammed by shield to his belly, falling back. Spinning on the ground, he got back up. The picton did the same move, but Galant moved in and stabbed it through the belly. He then slashed to another picton at his sides, cutting it in two.

Gawn blocked two monsters and at the same time he rammed his axe into one’s neck, decapitating it. He used Great Slam with his mace, dealing out blows from left to right and the opposite, and the mace struck the demons' heads as lots of crimson blood came out of it, tainting the snow scarlet red.

They rushed with the rest to the picton camp, being followed from several members of The Army. Galant and Lance took the vanguard, slashing all that stood before them.

Bors flipped and kicked an opponent with Meteor Impact, sending it flying several meters to the other pictons. They al fell to ground upon impact. His brother appeared, using Thunder Pile on them, leaving nothing but polygons.

Lance used Raijin no Seiken killing other monster. One approached by his back, but the picton was stabbed in his own back by Elicia. He smiled to her and began a back-to-back battle with her while as four more got near to them. Using the power of both sister swords, the pictons were no match for them, and they were killed before they could even attack.

Galant knocked down a Picton with his shield, and blocked one sword blow before ramming his sword towards another.  He used Crescent Stardust Slasher, beheading the blue demon. He threw his shield, killing another and stabbed other, flipped and grabbed his sword.

Galant: “Dagonet, Bors ,Corbatz! Take some of the men and see that a breach is made in wall!”

At least ten players went to the wall and started ramming their weapons towards it, slowly breaching it.

---

Cerdic, accompanied with the rest of his monsters, arrived at the camp.

Boewolt: “King of monsters.”

Cerdic:  "Report.”

Boewolt : “A large snow storm has just ended. I fear that without protection to snow and wind, the humans must be dead. I sent a squad to research their camp.”

Cerdic: “So the weather threatened to clean the human disease before us...”

Cynric: “Then we should go there and see whatever's left of them.”

The recon squad approached, a sub-boss commanding it.

Hagen: “King of monsters.”

Cerdic: “Give report.”

Hagen: “There's no sight of guards upon the walls, and neither of the humans.”

Cynric: “It makes no sense...How could he span the trench?”

Cerdic: “We'll approach with your squad right now.”

The advanced to the wall with the principal leaders of the monster army, accompanied by several shielded and heavily armed pictons. As they approached the wall, they noticed something.

Thollbrad: “He used the wagons as bridge...”

Cerdic: “His legend's proved. He really is a good strategist and fearsome warrior.”

Cynric: “You did all of this just for that?!”

Cerdic: “Don't ask about my plans you pathetic bitch! He uses the means left to him. They can't have travelled far. Give order to advance the army. We shall claim their lives.”

An arrow stuck into Hagen’s chest as he fell. From the wall, the players got up and started throwing spears, kunais and weapons to kill them.

"Protect the king!"

Pictons assumed formation with their shields, covering them from the attack.

Cynric: “We must fall back!”

They falled back as Cerdic gazed to the players briefly, asking himself which of them was Galant. He briefly looked to a player with a blue coat, grinning as his friends attacked.

Cerdic noticed it was him.

Lance: “THE MIGHTY CERDIC SHOWS HIS FUCKING ASS AS HE FLEES FROM US!”

Bors: “RUS!”

Royal Knights: “RUUUUS!”

Gawn ends the celebration.

Gawn: “They'll return. With the entire army.”

Galant: “They'll find this wall set on fire. That will give opportunity to place distance between us. Let's go to Londinium, and honor the fallen with future victories...and the blood of the King of Monsters...”

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