Camp Intrusion and Takeover
The horseman who was lagging behind the most turned and thrust his pike wildly towards Lorist. He didn't expect for any of the thrusts to actually connect and only hoped that it would help stave off his punisher for the slightest bit longer so that reinforcements from his camp would arrive and save him in time.
Catching the wildly flailing pike with his bare hands, Lorist gave it a firm tug and swung his sword toward the despairing horseman. "Aggh!" cried that man loudly as his left leg separated from his body while he fell on the ground head-first.
Lorist caught up to another horseman who had already lost his pike midway during the chase. He could do nothing but stare at Lorist approaching and impaling him straight through the chest.
Shaking the body off the pike, Lorist saw that there were still six inhumane beasts riding in front of him. The camp not too far away had already noticed the situation and opened the main gates. Ten other similarly-equipped horsemen rushed out of the camp.
At that moment, one of the remaining escaping horsemen noticed that his mount that was slowing down. Suddenly, it lost its footing and crashed to the ground head first, rolling on the ground due to the inertia. When it came to a stop, it merely twitched a couple of times before it ceased moving entirely. The horseman, however, was pretty quick to respond to that as he had jumped off his saddle the moment his horse fell, and rolled on the ground to break his fall before recovering and standing up with his pike still held tightly in his arm. Seeing Lorist nearing him on horseback, the horseman made a savage expression, gave a war cry and rushed forward with his pike. His target wasn't Lorist himself, but rather his mount.
Giving a cool laugh, Lorist waved the pike in his right hand to meet the blow. The moment before the two pikes collided, the dismounted horseman gave a smug look and a blade glow suddenly extended out of his weapon.
Oh, so he's a Silver ranked combatant. Lorist still remembered that during the catastrophic scene back at the convoy just now, he noticed that there were two Silver ranks among the attackers, one of which had been struck off his horse by Lorist with the other one killed by Terman. He didn't expect that there would be another one among the escaping horsemen. However, his intention of hitting Lorist's horse with his blade glow was a futile one when; Lorist gave his pike a flick, causing it to collide against the other pike and knocked it out of trajectory.
Not only did Lorist's pike not break from hitting against his blade glow, he also felt a strong wave of energy conduct through his weapon, causing him to unwittingly let go of it. Looking up with disbelief, the horseman could only see Lorist's pike dig its way through his chest at lightning-speed.
The other five horsemen used their spurs to jolt their horses even faster the moment they saw the ten other reinforcements who were approaching from their front with Lorist quickly closing in behind them. Their horses shrieked from the pain and lurched forward even more quickly like an arrow that was just fired from a bow.
Thinking that they were already in the clear upon seeing the reinforcements, the five horsemen breathed sighs of relief. Just as they were about to greet the incoming soldiers, some of them noticed the stunned expressions of those coming to aid them and turned to their backs. Much to their surprise, Lorist had already caught up to them. Drawing a large arc in the air with his pike, Lorist swung it towards one of the horsemen and caused him to fall soundlessly off his horse with the back of his skull fractured.
The shadow of the pike moving at high speeds could barely be seen as it swished around while making an audible sound in the air. Another two horsemen had their backs sliced open seven or eight times with Lorist and fell off their horses right away. The remaining two horsemen lowered their bodies to lean on their horses to avoid being hit while the reinforcement soldiers cursed and charged at Lorist upon seeing three of their comrades slain so easily.
The first one of the reinforcement soldiers who had made his way in front of Lorist, a Silver ranked combatant, raised his pike that radiated a blade glow and pointed it towards Lorist's upper torso. After swinging his own pike to misdirect that of the enemy's, Lorist traced the weapon back to the horseman's neck and decapitated him.
Raising his pike and spurring his horse, Lorist rushed towards the ten incoming horsemen. Loud booms rang out as the pikes collided, with Lorist's occasionally finding its way into some of the horsemen's bodies, causing various shrieks to echo and mix. Within just one exchange, among 7 of the 13 horsemen reinforcements, 2 were on the ground struggling in pain with the other 5 already long dead. The remaining six of the reinforcements got back into formation, however, none of them dared to rush forward to attack.
Seeing two of the remaining horsemen that initially attacked the convoy distancing themselves from him, Lorist quickly continued his chase while the six other horsemen behind him felt insulted that they were totally ignored and started cursing loudly as they followed behind Lorist.
But, Lorist paid it no heed as if he wasn't aware of the rest approaching him gradually from behind at all. When one of them finally got near enough and prepared to stab him with his pike, Lorist suddenly twisted his body and hooked that man up with his pike and swung it towards another horseman. Before the second horseman could decide whether he should catch his incoming comrade, he noticed Lorist suddenly change direction, and within a flash, two other of his comrades had fallen off their horses.
The horseman was greatly startled and could no longer care less about his approaching ally. As he dodged the airborne body, a sudden flash of the blade of the pike could be seen enlarging before his very face, followed by the feeling of cold metal on his nose before everything turned black as he lost all awareness.
Without taking too much time, Lorist had successfully dispatched the six horsemen who were chasing him. Turning back to the direction where the other two had escaped, he noticed that they were only 100 or so meters from the main gates of the camp, with 40 plus other horsemen riding out to fight him.
Even though the encampment looks pretty big, there are only so few soldiers coming out, thought Lorist with much curiosity. By right, hundreds of soldiers should have rushed out like a horde of hornets by now given that they had seen tens of their comrades slaughtered right in front of their camp.
Once again rushing towards the enemy, Lorist laid his pike horizontally on the saddle and reached for his javelins with his right hand. Seeing 40 or so horsemen approaching, with a couple of grunts within a short period of time, he expended all 24 of his javelins, with each taking the life of one horseman with them. As the remaining 20 were still stunned at the sight and hesitating whether to continue the charge, Lorist lifted his pike once again and dove right into their midst. With the horse maneuvering like a swimming dragon and the pike lashing out like a lightning bolt, one horseman after another fell in quick succession. After a while, the remaining 6 or 7 horsemen screamed and turned back towards their camp to escape.
The two who had a part in attacking the convoy had just made it to the gates of the camp and the guards manning the gates desperately tried to close it. If they hadn't been so desperate to close the gates, Lorist would have still remained outside to fend off the other horsemen while letting the two escape, However, the moment he took note of that, Lorist figured that the main force probably wasn't at the camp after all. Otherwise, why have only tens of people come out instead of hundreds? Even if they didn't have enough horses, there could still be infantry units.
Now that he had a hunch, Lorist stopped hesitating and followed behind the escaping horsemen and quickly arrived before the gates. The guards at the gates quickly took up their pikes that had been leaning on the walls in an attempt to block Lorist, only to end up dead by the side of the gates with holes dug deep into their chests.
After entering the camp, Lorist noticed that it was in fact quite empty. It seemed that the ones who came out to fight him just now were coincidentally near the gates at that time. Further away, the two fiends could be seen getting off their horses and entering a tent, presumably to report the encounter to their superior officers.
There was not one soldier standing guard outside the tent the two entered. Lorist got off his horse, tossed his pike aside and drew his sword before walking towards the tent.
The tent looked to be quite spacious from the outside and loud scolding voices could be heard.
Pushing the tent entrance open, Lorist could see the two escaped horsemen kneeling down to him and begging for mercy. Wonderful. I won't have to waste so much energy now that they won't resist. With his sword flashing, Lorist diced the two people's limbs into small parts, causing them to roll all over the ground and begging for a quick death.
Fwing! The sounds of two swords being drawn from their scabbards could be heard. It was then when Lorist lifted his head to check out the two men who stood up in the middle of the tent.
Standing in front of a bed within the tent was a plump man with dark brown hair and gray-colored eyes who had his upper body bare, wearing a fierce expression. In front of him was a stool on which stood a man half-dressed in a chain mail. The two of them currently had an expression on befuddlement with both their swords pointed to Lorist.
"You... Who are you? How did you get in here?" stammered the chain mail-wearing middle-aged man. Looking at the two limbless horsemen who were twitching in pain on the ground and turning his gaze back to Lorist, he broke out of his trance and breathed a deep breath before saying, "You actually dared to injure my men in my presence? How foolish of you!"
Without waiting for Lorist to reply, the brown-haired man regained his composure and leaped towards him like a raging storm, sending two blades of light flying towards Lorist with his two-handed sword.
Clang, clang! With but two light swings of his sword, Lorist knocked the blades of light away and said, "Hmm, a Gold rank?"
"Are you afraid now, boy? It's too late to have any regrets. I will let you understand that daring to go against us within our own camp is nothing but a death wish!"
"Ptooey!" Lorist displayed a completely unconcerned expression and said, "So what if you're a Gold rank? It's not like I've never fought one before. Since you said that these two fiends were your subordinates, then I guess you should be their leader? Then I guess I'll have to make you pay for the sins of your men who actually dared to attack my people. Even though they've already been wiped out by me, you still hold responsibility as their leader for not disciplining them well enough. How do you intend to make up for my loss?"
"What? You want me to pay you back even though you've killed my men? Let your mother roll in hell, what impudence! I will not rest until I skin you alive!" screamed the brown-haired man. With a heavy kick, he sent the brazier that was on the ground flying towards Lorist and rushed behind it with his sword readied.
Sol, Lorist cursed in his mind. Even though the man looked brutish and slow, he was in fact really quick-witted and sharp. While he looked like he was rushing towards Lorist in a fit of rage, it was actually a deviously calculated move that aimed to catch Lorist off guard by using the flaming hot brazier as a distraction. The man equipped with a chain mail had also moved to Lorist's back and prepared to engage in a pincer attack with the brown-haired man. So you think that by shouting, you can draw my attention to you and I wouldn't notice that guy behind me?
As the red-hot charcoal was flying towards him, Lorist noticed a 30-centimeter-long blade glow emerge from the sword behind him. That plain-looking man was actually a peak Silver rank combatant. With the burning brazier and charcoal as well as the brown-haired man on one side and the Silver ranked chain mail-wearing man on the other, Lorist seemed like he had his escape routes sealed and had no choice but to face the full brunt of the force head on. Both the assailants revealed a sly smile as they thought that Lorist would definitely lose to them if he dared to take their strikes head on. After all, they had even successfully killed Gold ranked fighters with their plots and tricks before.
However, Lorist slumped downwards suddenly and stuck close to the floor as he moved out of the attack range of both the men before standing up again almost 2 meters away. Now that he was no longer between the two of them, their attacks headed towards each other, much to their disbelief. The brown-haired man desperately retracted his arm, but that had disrupted his circulating Battle Force and the backlash caused him to breathe heavily as a result.
On the other hand, the man with the chain mail managed to cut the brazier apart, but he wasn't able to deflect each and every one of the charcoal pieces, some of which landed on his face and hissing sounds could be heard accompanied by a smell of burnt flesh drifting in the air. Having been scalded right in the face, the man tossed his sword away and clawed at the spots where the charcoal had landed while letting out a ghastly shriek.
Flashes of the light reflecting off the blade could be seen within the tent as Lorist suddenly creeped up to the Gold ranked fighter and stood straight up. Thinking that the brown-haired man's shadow had suddenly come to life, the Silver ranked man who had been jumping around just a moment ago pointed his finger towards the Gold rank's back wordlessly with his mouth agape. Still not recovered from the backlash he received from suddenly retracting his Battle Force, the brown-haired man could only leap behind the middle-aged man in hopes that he would be able to buy himself some time to regain his composure. However, his movements couldn't match the speed of Lorist's sword.
Three sword swings flashed and both the arms of the brown-haired man fell to the ground with another one of his legs parting from his body. With a loud thump, the man landed flat on the ground and still managed to roll behind the man with the chain mail as he had wished. But when he noticed his missing limbs, he started crying out in pain uncontrollably.
The middle-aged man stammered, "17th... 17th brother..."
However, the brown-haired man had long lost consciousness from all the blood he had lost. The middle-aged man once again picked up his sword and a blade glow quickly manifested. Under the impression that the middle-aged man would fight to his death, Lorist witnessed him swinging the sword twice before he dashed out of the tent right away.
Sol, do you think you can escape? Lorist followed the man out of the tent quickly, only to find the middle-aged man swinging his weapon towards him rapidly with a loud grunt.
Lorist lightly groaned in dismay. He had often experienced such desperate attempts when he was dueling all those competitors back at the Dawn Academy. However, now that he didn't have to hold back unlike the days when he was dueling, he raised his sword, aimed it carefully and moved into the rain of sword strikes like an agile fish swimming swiftly in a pool filled with blades...
"Ugh..." The sword pierced the man at his left chest as he voiced out his pain and slumped onto the ground with both his eyes opened wide in disbelief.
Lorist only used one sword strike. Without parrying any of the middle-aged man's strikes, he thrust towards the opening amidst the storm of swords and killed that man with only one move while only sustaining a few light scratches on his shoulder.
As he pulled his sword out and was about to head to the larger tent, Lorist detected sounds of people breathing from the tent before. Turning back and re-entering the place, he pushed the curtains around the bed aside and saw two naked young girls huddled together, shivering in fear. Trails of tear stains could be seen on their faces with numerous bruises all over the rest of their body as a result of the abuse they had received.
Lorist sighed and let go of the curtains and searched the tent for the girls' clothes, but he couldn't find them. He had no choice but to get two sets of clean men's robes and tossed it into the curtains before leaving for the larger tent.
Upon exiting, he saw that a battle was going on: it appeared that Yuriy, Reidy and Patt had led the scout cavalry to the camp after seeing Lorist rush in recklessly without regard for his own safety. However, they were only met with up to 70 soldiers who weren't even properly dressed in their armors, with some of them even coming out half-nude or barefoot. Faced with that comical sight, Yuriy and gang started slaughtering away in delight. The scout cavalry was just like Lorist in that they used their javelins to take down nearby enemies while opting for the crossbow to shoot ones that were further away. Before Lorist left that tent, they had already managed to gain control of the whole camp.
Seeing Lorist emerge from the tent, Yuriy quickly rode over. Getting off his horse, he said, "It seems like the main force of this camp has left only a few of them to guard the place."
Lorist said, "Ask your men to leave some alive so that we can question them later."
Yuriy relayed that order to a scout near him and that scout nodded before heading off again.
At that moment, Reidy and Patt could be seen approaching. "Master, 400 people are being held prisoner at the middle section of the camp. Also, we've discovered a large amount of food and other provisions at the back as well."
"Oh," mumbled Lorist as he looked towards Yuriy. "It seems that the camp is not an ad hoc one, but rather a long term outpost. Yuriy, send some men to follow Patt to go back and inform Charade to bring the convoy here. We'll be staying here tonight. Patt, make sure you stay safe."
"Alright," Patt said as he left the camp with three other light cavalry troops.
"Reidy, release the prisoners and have them stay together at that area. Make them some food as well. We'll handle the other stuff once Charade gets here. Yuriy, have the light cavalry sweep the camp once more just in case there are any soldiers who have managed to escape our grasp. Make sure you secure the food as well just in case anyone intends to burn it."
"Yes," said Reidy and Yuriy.
Walking to and fro around the large tent, Lorist waited patiently for the rest of the convoy to arrive. Several light cavalry troops could be seen searching the tents one by one. Just as Lorist was planning to ask someone to clear out the corpses in the large tent, he saw a blade glow flash from within a tent in the distance followed by two light cavalry soldiers flying out of the tent with blood coming out of their noses and another one falling on the ground outside the tent with his head severed. A tear opened up at one part of the tent as a silhouette emerged and got on a horse of the cavalry troops and escaped from the gates of the camp.
Sol, so there was still one Silver rank hiding there, Lorist thought, before he got on a horse nearby and started his chase.