Later than I planned, but here’s chapter 14 of Re;Blade
Hope you like
Chapter 14 – The bandits’ turf
“There’s no end to them, my lord!” the advisor shouted as he fought two bandits at the same time.
After he managed to kill them, three more came down from a tree. Panting and without any time to rest, he engaged the new enemies.
The lord Alonso didn’t say answered the man he trusted most; he himself was too busy fighting.
Instead of words, however, he simply swung Tetsuko faster, killing another bandit.
As the criminal fell, his faceless body was added to the number of corpses around the noble’s horse.
But before the lord could rest the blade and breath, more bandits showed up.
“There’s no end to them,” Enrique said again, wincing as he raised his double-handed sword once again. “In this clearing, they have the advantage… we’ll be surrounded the entire time…”
“Don’t worry, sir!” one of the soldiers said as he struggled with a single enemy. “We’ll protect you with our lives!”
“Yes!” another shouted.
“So that was their aim,” Alonso muttered, ignoring how tired he was as he raised Tetsuko.
The fight only became messier and bloodier. As more corpses were added to the pile, the bandits managed to push back the army with sheer number alone.
In the midst of that, the criminals put their plan to separate the soldiers from their leaders in action.
Little by little, they managed to push the lord, the advisor, and a small group of soldiers to a clearing.
Then the battle became even fiercer.
It’s as if they think now that the lord is separated from the main army, they can kill him with ease, Tetsuko thought.
No matter how many Alonso, Enrique and the four soldiers killed, more bandits appeared from behind or up the trees.
“It’s like the rumors said,” one of the soldiers said, panting too much. Even as he blocked a blow and strike back, the fear was plain in his eyes. “They’ll fight to the end for their leader…”
“This will only end if we can kill them all,” another said.
“So what? That’s what we’ll do! We’ll kill them all! We’ll make them pay for terrorizing the people!” the largest the soldier screamed.
Driven by his words, he swung his hammer with both hands. It struck the bandit he fought in the head, killing the man right away.
But before he could turn to the next enemy, another appeared and stabbed him in the back.
He howled and run backwards, ramming and crushing the bandit against a tree. The largest soldier killed the woman, but the next moment, he fell to his knees.
Blood spilled from his mouth, and it was obvious; the wound on his back was mortal.
“No!” all the soldiers screamed at the same time.
Two rushed to him. But their path was blocked by a new enemy; no one had time to mourn their companion’s death.
More and more bandits appeared, trying to take advantage of the situation.
Two sneaked behind the soldier closest to the dying one.
For a moment, they almost succeeded in killing once more.
But the lord had noticed them.
With an amazing speed, Alonso slashed Tetsuko at them, taking both their lives with one attack.
The soldier looked up at his lord on the verge of tears.
His eyes were brimming with emotion. Fear for himself, mourn for his dead friend, joy for his life that didn’t end, and wonder for his lord who saved him. All at the same time.
“Do not let them strike fear into yours hears! They drove us here for a reason. Let’s make them regret that!” Alonso shouted, pushing his horse forward.
His mount crushed the dead bandits’ dead bodies beneath its hooves as it obeyed its rider.
As Alonso drove his horse out of the clearing, more bandits showed up, trying to stop him. But it made no difference.
The lord didn’t even hesitate. He made his horse ran over the bandits, clearing a path for Enrique and the soldiers behind him.
Those who managed to jump out of the way died by Tetsuko’s edge.
And those who managed to avoid the sword with a soul, died by the advisor and the soldiers.
Even the bandits realized it was foolish and gave up trying to stop Alonso.
Soon they joined the rest of the army.
“My lord!” Some of the soldiers that noticed shouted when they saw their commander.
Their desperate faces were enough to tell; the fight here had been just as hard as the one in the clearing.
Even in the midst of death, when the lord raised his sword high in the air, his presence became stronger and more reassuring than ever.
Even Tetsuko had to admit her new wielder’s figure, with his armor, face, and sword tainted red with blood, and mounting the horse, whose brow fur were soggy with blood as well, looked too imposing.
But that’s for the soldiers’ morale. The bandits won’t fear you, she thought.
“Do not falter! These are the enemies who have thrown our kingdom into chaos. They’re the reason your families aren’t safe even behind walls. If we defeat them here today, this country will be a safer place for all those you love!”
Tetsuko couldn’t help but chuckle.
He’s not only a lord. He’s indeed a commander.
The lord’s words were what the soldiers needed.
With their strength renewed, they shouted as they advanced against the never stopping wave of enemies.
But the soldiers weren’t the only ones inspired by the words.
Alonso himself was filling his confidence grow.
Careful, my wielder. You’re in enemy territory.
To her growing frustration, her voice still only belonged to her.
And not only that. The soul in the sword was right.
This forest was the bandit’s turf.
They knew every inch of that place.
Even if they suspected, there was no way the army or the lord could know about all the traps to fight off invaders the bandits had set up.
As the army advance, they fell on those traps.
Holes covered by leaves for horses to trip. Tree trunks coming out of nowhere to crush people. Pebbles rolling and making it hard for the anyone or anything to keep standing.
Despite all this, the soldiers kept advancing towards the heart of the forest, where the bandit’s leader was.
“If we kill the leader, they’ll give up. Or at least, stop attacking us like flies,” the lord answered his advisor’s unspoken question.
Enrique closed his eyes for a moment. He too understood that was their best chance to end that bandit group.
With a not, he drove his horse forward.
But neither of them could have predicted the snake appearing before the lord’s mount.
Tetsuko saw it but could do nothing besides watch.
Damn it… when he’ll listen to my voice?
Out of one of trap holes to make the animals trip, a snake came out.
The horse stopped on its track when it saw the poisonous animal.
Alonso almost fell backwards when his mount raised its forelegs. The next moment, the mount tried to stomp or at least scare the snake away.
The lord tried to calm his horse down, but it made no difference.
The animal had lost its mind due to fear.
The snake wriggled and avoided every stomp. And when the chance appeared, it didn’t waste.
The animal opened his mouth threateningly. Poison dripped from its long white fangs for a second before the snake sunk its teeth into the horse’s leg.
As the bite tore off flesh and spread the deadly liquid, the horse screamed and shook its foreleg trying to get rid of the snake.
But even if the snake flew off, it was too late. The poison had already made its way into the horse’s blood.
Alonso tried to maintain his control over the animal, but it was impossible.
It trashed around and tried to get rid of its rider. But when it couldn’t, it ran aimlessly, ignoring the lord’s command to stop.
“My lord!” Enrique shouted and tried to go after Alonso.
But before his horse could move, bandits blocked its path.
The lord all his strength to pull the reins, but as the horse thrashed around, the poison spread faster.
The animal sensed its death and then lost its mind completely.
It began racing at full speed in a different direction from the army.
It was so fast Alonso couldn’t get off without endangering his life.
Then the animal ran into a fallen tree.
It flipped over and threw its rider far away.
The lord saw both the top of the trees and the ground at the same time.
Then he smashed against a tree and lost all the air in his lungs.
Even so, he didn’t let go of Tetsuko.
As the pain spread, he realized his armor was dented and the metal was sticking onto his back hurt.
“At least I’m alive,” he said in a low voice as he tried to get up. He leaned against the trunk and looked at his mount. “Unlike my horse…”
The animal was on the floor, moving its legs for no reason.
Little by little, the movements became slower and then it stopped.
Alonso took a deep breath, but it made no difference for his dizziness.
“Don’t worry, my lording,” a taunting voice said behind a tree.
“Yeah. You won’t be leaving here either,” a deeper voice echoed.
“You’ll join that horse of yours that probably ate better than me in a day than I did my entire life,” a female voice spoke.
Alonso narrowed his eyes as the three bandits appeared from behind the trees in different directions.
Without saying a word, the lord raised Tetsuko, ready to fight.
Thank you for reading.
Hope you liked the chapter.
What did you think?