Footsteps. Swords clang. Shouting. People running everywhere like disturbed rats.
“Eydis!” Petter called a young woman who was arming herself.
“What the bloody hell is going on?” she asked, irritated that she had no information what so ever about events in the castle. She was the God damn leader of an elite warrior group called Vulpes, after all. The best assassins in the whole land. Their king took pride in them.
These elite warriors were smart, skillful, deadly. There were only 50 Vulpes. 15 of them women. One of them was the leader.
“We are under attack. Our scouts were killed except one who managed to get back to the castle. He was wounded badly, but before he died, the boy managed to say one word.” Petter said while helped Eydis put on her armor that consisted of leather and iron.
Petter was tall and lean, but hell, was he fast. He and his sword moved like they were one, and it was a magical sight to see. His skills definitely helped in battles.
Eydis turned to look at her friend and second in command.
"Bareadon.” That word made Eydis’ blood run cold. That was bad. That was really, really bad. If there was one man she was afraid to meet, Bareadon was him.
“How? How we didn’t know this sooner?” Eydis asked, putting different kind of knifes in her armor and taking her sword in her hand.
“They came without warning through the mountains. We think that they’d avoided everyone on their way here so there was no one who could warn us.” Petter followed his leader through narrow hallways to the stalls.
“That means that they are targeting specifically us. But why? We are the farthest land on the West. There is nothing but woods and mountains after this. It would make sense if they attacked Highbore or Lands of 3 brothers. They are bigger threats to him and much more valuable. This doesn’t make any sense,” Eydis was really concerned.
Right before they reached stalls, the warning bell rang.
“They are here.” Eydis whispered and quickly got on her horse.
Petter and Eydis rode out of the stalls and passed the gates of the castle, that banged loudly as they closed behind them. These two warriors hurried to the rest of the men that were already waiting in the forest at the border.
“What’s the status?” After arriving, Eydis asked Stine that was one of her best warriors. He was big as a giant and fought like a beast. He was audacious. Sometimes it helped to win, but most of the time it backfired as he must have been the most wounded man Eydis knew. Yet here he was. Still alive and ready to fight by her side.
“We have been here for about 30 minutes, still no sign of them,” Stine informed.
Half an hour and she just arrived? Eydis would have to kick the ass of whoever was responsible for the delayed information.
“What do you mean, no sign of them? Then why the hell they rang the bell?” Eydis asked furiously? All this situation was one big mess, and she hated not to know what was going on. That was dangerous for them, and she was not ready to die today.
“Something is not right,” Petter said, looking around in alarm.
“Did you send out new scouts?” Eydis wanted to know.
“Yes,” Stine nodded. “But they have not returned.” Yet another bad news.
“We need to stay alert. Who knows what that barbarian has planned for...” Eydis was interrupted by an arrow that flew right by her face, scratching her left cheek and crashed in a tree trunk that stood only a few feet away from her. She felt warm blood dripping down her cheek.
“We are under attack! Everybody swords out! Get ready to kill some bastards!” Eydis yelled as men dressed in heavy leather armor and fur appeared out of nowhere and coughed the Vulpes off guard. They were large man with overgrown hair and beards. They were filthy, making them that much more savage looking.
As one of the enemy ran at her with his sword in motion to cut into her flesh, Eydis swung her sword and blocked his attack. She pushed the man with her leg and he fell down hard. Eydis had no chance to strike him again as a new enemy warrior came at her.
They seemed to outnumber the Vulpes at least 4 to one, but these skilled men and women fought with everything they got. They would never give up. Even if it meant certain death.
Chaos was everywhere Eydis looked. Could this be the end of her and her fellow warriors? How could this be happening? They had been prepared for surprise attacks, yet something had gone wrong and here she was. Unable to predict anything.
Eydis’ sword was knocked out of her hand, but she quickly grabbed a knife that was hidden in her sleeve and struck the enemy with it. She was about to attack yet another one when suddenly she was grabbed from behind. A knife was pressed against her throat. Both of her hands pulled behind her back.
“That’s enough!” a loud voice roared by her ear, making it rang for a moment.
Somehow, the chaos stopped.
“Disarm her!” Eydis’s captor ordered, and another man came and took every knife she had. Even the one that was hidden between her breasts.
Her heart was beating fast, ready to jump out of her throat. Chest lifting up and down from her hard breathing. Eydis was captured. She knew what that meant. Especially to a woman warrior. Bareodon’s men were known as savages who raped and killed everything that moved. They didn’t care if you were a woman, man, or a child. They had no hearts or conscience what so ever.
What upset Eydis the most was her men that were captured as well. They had lost and now they would pay for their unpreparedness. They would have to pay the ultimate price along with those who were behind the castle walls.
She had failed them.