Chapter 30 – Fetching the Package
Rikku described what he had on hand. “Let me see… There’s a couple of short swords, one staff, some daggers, throwing knives. What do you want?”
“Anything you won’t use.”
Rikku sent some items over and packed anything he found useful in his own kit.
“Alright,” Ran changed into some sturdy pants, leather top and boots she had bought in Linestone city. “You should find and secure a carriage. I’ll go get Dorian and Kan Yune.”
Rikku threw some wrist guards he’d bought in town over to Ran who caught them with ease.
Then, he reported, “I saw 5 beasts earlier. By now, most of the regular guards should be dead. 5 Heroes went to fight, there should be 3 others on the loose including Nora. 12, no, 11 watchdogs aka assassins. Around 7 or 8 priests apart from Kan Yune. Another 10 to 15 servants, I reckon they should all be dead too. Around 25 people left, give or take. I didn’t see the watchdogs. They must be struggling with other beasts or they didn’t intervene because the situation isn’t dire enough.”
Ran finished fixing the wrist guards and adjusted the blades in her boots. “As long as we don’t get surrounded, it should be manageable. Get Belle if you can. If you can’t, that’s fine. She’ll be lucky if she can survive tonight in her current state. I need as many potions as possible.”
A pouch full of potions flew to her.
“Where should we go afterwards? From what I saw the horde came from the South-West.”
“We can’t go forward for now anyway. We can only ride back to the first camp stop after Linestone City. We’ll get the information we need there. Then, we’ll head to Orchard city.” Ran patted her body as to check if the things she needed were in place. “The carriages are kept Eastward. From the carriage to the road, if we’re to make a beeline, it’s about 300m. If we have to go around the camp…” Ran shook her head.
Rikku slightly knitted his eyebrows. “You want to go to Orchard City?”
“No one will think of looking for us there.” Ran explained as she gathered her hair into a long and messy braid and winked at him.
“What about Dorian and Parvian?”
“Who knows? We’ll separate after dealing with Kan Yune after all. ”Ran shrugged.
“Come on! It’s not like I don’t want them to stick around. Well, yes, I don’t want them to stick around. BUT, it’s mostly because whoever ordered our summoning will look for us. We can change our appearance. They can’t. Don’t look at me like that! Of course, I know you can. How? I guessed, obviously. It would have been reckless of you not to be able to alter your appearance. I told you, we have more in common than you think.”
Rikku threw some miscellaneous items to Ran. “Don’t die.”
“How can I?” Her tone was slightly weird and fake.
Rikku watched her departing back as she bolted through the tent’s entrance. He didn’t miss her tone.
Outside, Ran couldn’t help hissing under her breath. “Wild beasts, my ass! Those are magical beasts!”
The situation was more chaotic than she had thought. The number of beasts had increased and even the watchdogs had to join the fray.
“Who’s ever seen wolves the size of cows?!”
Ran complained as she rushed through the camp, dodging the stray attacks as she went. Her face screwed in simili panic. She stumbled a couple of times, her whole body was dusty and somewhat miserable. Every time she tripped over a corpse, it would disappear when she would stand back up, and some blood splatters would follow her. Random objects, weapons, corpses of guards and anonymous servants were piling up in her storage.
From the corner of her eyes, she saw Parvian engaged in a fight with a snake the height of a car. She shot a piece of a sword at the back of the reptile’s head and stabbed its eye. The snake trashed around violently. Parvian froze for a second, surprised. However, he recovered fast enough and took the opportunity to attack. He summoned an ice lance that pierced right through the palate of the snake. Tremors ran through its body before it crashed on the ground.
“Alright?” Ran gave a mana potion to Parvian.
“Good!” Parvian caught his breath and started to drink the potion. “What’s going on here? Is it that damn Kan Yune?”
“No. We don’t have much time. Go and get a carriage. Rikku will be there too. I’ll fetch Kan Yune and get Dorian deliver him to you. We’ll break through and head back towards Linestone.”
“Understood.” Parvian nodded.
“Try to save as much mana you can. We’ll need it to get out of here. Now, go!” Ran urged.
They nodded at each other and went on their separate ways. Ran waved her hand and pocketed the snake. She looked around and spotted Kan Yune fighting near the giant bonfire. At his side stood Dorian and a guard. He was being protected by a random watchdog and were surrounded by 2 enormous wolves. They were struggling, but it was obvious that given some time, they would defeat them. Ran smirked, how could she let them off this lightly? Dorian was fighting fiercely, Kan Yune who wasn’t too far was barely helping. It looked like he wanted Dorian to go down with the beast.
She rushed through. In her hand appeared a blood needle, she discreetly aimed for the watchdog’s knee. The man’s joint gave out for an instant, his attack went askew and missed the wolf. The wolf swept its paw at him and slammed him to the ground. Then, it launched itself toward Kan Yune, who was so surprised that he barely managed to put up a shield. The shield held fine on its own until Kan Yune cried out in pain. Something had just pierced through his left knee, he stumbled to the ground.
The guard tried to chop at the wolf’s neck. The wolf roared, slashed at the guard and killed him on the spot. The watchdog thrust his sword to impale the beast. However, he lost his footing yet again. The wolf took a fierce bite and tore off his arm. The guard hollered, blood spurted everywhere. An arrow came out of nowhere and violently pierced its throat in the midst of its howl. The beast collapsed on the spot.
Kan Yune shuddered. Things were getting out of hand. He started chanting a spell when he heard a pitiful cry behind him. Kan Yune saw Ran running to him. Her face was grim and her hair a mess, covered in dust and mud. There was blood on her clothes; she was obviously running for her life. He just sat there, unable to comprehend how she could still be alive.
“Help me! Please!” She screamed as she reached out, pleading to the high priest.
The high priest furrowed his brows. He ignored her, opened his mouth to chant when he felt something was wrong. His instincts bellowed in danger. Ran reached out her hand, he noticed the shadow of a smile on the face of the young woman. All of a sudden, he felt a sharp pain in his throat. He fell heavily on the ground. The staff he was holding rolled aside, out of his reach. He was in so much pain that wanted to cry out, but couldn’t.
He heard the Ran’s annoying voice drawing closer. His eyes were popping out of their sockets.
“Kan Yune-sama, are you alright?”
The high priest wanted to get angry and just kill that useless annoying girl. Ran hovered over him and her hand touched his shoulder. He sensed a another sharp pain and a numb feeling going from his shoulder down to his fingers.
The high priest paled. What did you…?
He choked and felt a warm and coppery taste in his throat. Facing him was the brightest of Ran’s smiles. In the depth of her eyes, he saw viciousness and a cunning light that gave him goosebumps. He zoned out and realised way too late that she was poking him all over. Wherever she touched, a sharp pain followed and a numb feeling spread.
“Oh my goodness!” Ran’s voice was sweet and a bit disgusting to the ear. “What is going on? How come you’ve fainted?”
Kan Yune tried to struggle. He couldn’t move. His face had lost all its colours. He was helpless as Ran slapped her right palm above his heart. Aaargh! If his vocal cords hadn’t been severed, he would’ve howled in pain.
Ran leaned close and whispered sweetly. “Let me help you.”
Her eyes turned into two crescent moons as she laughed. Then, her left hand covered his forehead and a warm liquid seeped out of her palm. The air around her became cold. Under the moon, her gaze was peculiarly ominous.
Behind, Dorian had wrapped up his fight against the remaining wolf and was catching his breath. He saw everything from the corner of his eyes and couldn’t help being shaken. That girl was bad news!
“We need to go.” Dorian reminded her.
More and more beasts were bound to arrive and they wouldn’t be able to get away otherwise.
Ran lifted her head, at her feet, Kan Yune was unconscious.
“Parvian and Rikku are waiting for us at the carriage site. It’s not too far. Carry him, I’ll clear the way.” Ran sprung to her feet.
Her hand lightly shook as she packed up the high priest’s staff, the beasts’ corpses and the 2 dead men before running. She pursed her lips. Dorian knelt down, threw Kan Yune over his shoulder and followed Ran. They hadn’t run far when a thundering roar echoed.
Dorian and Ran swung their heads around and their expressions turned ugly. Kat – Dorian’s maid – had spotted them. The pair glanced at each other. Shit! Ran looked around to grasp the flow of the battlefield. The maid was far but at her speed, she would catch up in a matter of dozens of seconds.
“It’s fine! Let’s move forward!” Ran decided.