Chronicles of the Darcsen Brotherhood
Chapter 26: The soulless one
Some days have passed since we reached the hidden fortress, and now we're planning how we're going to strike them. But there is a little problem, even with the numbers we got it is impossible to penetrate the fortress defenses, the walls are well guarded and they have long-range artillery, so even If we used our tanks to tear down the walls they would be gone in no time. By passing some days here in the Barious Desert I noticed something that could help us when the time come for us to take the fortress, the sand storms around this area are quite numerous, almost every day that passes there is a sand storm in this region, I fought we could use that for our advantage.
Every time a sand storm strikes the guards on the walls retreat to the buildings inside the fortress, they don't think someone is going to attack the fortress in the middle of the sand storm because that would mean suicide, nobody can survive the sand storms of this area because they are just too strong, but my ghost soldiers aren't nobody, and the enemy didn't counted on that.
We prepared ourselves for the attack, the enemy can see us but they can do nothing, we are too far away, there was no problem in letting them see that we were here. When the storm came the soldiers retreated to their buildings, and so the ghost soldiers led by Nazir were put to action.
"Okay! Go now!" I said to Nazir and his man.
They ran through the sand storms. We waited for some hours for their signal, the plan was that they would climb the walls of the fortress and open the gates for us to come in.
After almost half an hour we saw a small and weak glow coming from the fortress walls, it was Nazir making a signal with his knife, it was barely visible because of the storm.
"Okay, we're going in!" I said to the rest of the group.
They prepared themselves putting on a big and dense cloak that would cover their entire bodies, it will protect them from the wind of the storm and their eyes from the sand, we just needed to walk forward until we hit the fortress walls.
"Now you guys, remember the signal okay?" I said to Lokky that now command our tanks.
"Roger that!" He answered.
We walked through the sand storm to get to the fortress, but the wind was so hard that kept throwing us out of our way, still, we made it to the fortress gates, now opened with the welcoming of the Ghost Soldiers.
"You took you're time." Nazir said to me.
"The most hard walk I ever made my friend." I answered to him.
"What now?" Zanna asked me.
"Now, we sabotage their long-ranges artillery cannons!" I said, and pulled of a bag full of explosives.
"Well, we better hurry, it looks like the storm is about to stop." Mannar said.
So Mannar, Nazir, Zig, Nanah, Zanna and I started to plant the explosives, they were made to explode at the moment the cannons were fired. We were done with the explosives, but that's when things got bad for us. The strong sand storm that was keeping the enemy soldiers inside the building was now gone. We heard a door opening, when I turned I saw one of the bandits getting off one of the buildings.
"Wha- Gallians! There are Gallia-" Before the bandit could finish shouting our presence to the others Nazir pulled his knife out and threw it right at his head, the bandit felt right there.
"Quickly! We must take that building!" Nazir shouted.
And all the soldiers came running to the building the bandit came out of, surprising all of the enemy troops that were inside of it, we cleaned that place in no time.
To take down this fort we needed to take the barracks, their command center, but it wasn't going to be easy. As we tried to proceed to the next building we are pinned down by a machine gun in one of the towers of the forts.
"Damn! We need help from the tanks!" Nazir said.
As soon as I could I pulled my radio out of my bag and shouted coordinates to our tanks, after a couple of minutes their mortar strikes hit the towers and they go down in one strike.
"Damn it! They have artillery support! Quick, get to the cannons!" One of the bandits captain shouted.
They aimed their artillery cannons at our tanks and fired, for their surprise the cannons blew up and took down most of their units that were near them.
"Go! Press forward while they are scattered!" Nazir said.
We advanced taking down every enemy that appeared on the way, eventually we made to the barracks and searched the place for their commander.
"Nazir, Mannar, you'll go east. Zig, Zanna, go north, Nanah, you're with me, we'll go south, the rest of you head to the west of the building, find the enemy commanding officer and bring him alive, he may know something about the location of Clementia Forster!" And so we split to find the commanding officer of this Imperial fortress.
Nanah and I reached a room that seemed to be the room of the commanding officer. I slowly opened the door and entered the room with Nanah behind me. I felt something cold touching the back of my head.
"Drop that rifle now!" Someone said.
I dropped my rifle on the ground and he pushed me to go forward to the center of the room, my luck is that he didn't noticed Nanah that was on the corridor, monitoring the whole situation, just waiting for my order to act.
"So, this is the commander that captured my beautiful war ship?" I turned around.
I saw a fat bald old man with a big gray mustache that was pointing a pistol at me, he remembered me a little bit of General Damon.
"First you take my battle ship, than you destroy one of my hordes and now you dare attack my beautiful fortress?" The man said.
"I would do anything to protect mother Gallia from the Empire!" I said to him.
"The Empire? HA HA HA HA HA!" He starts to laugh like a crazy man.
"What is so funny?"
"Nothing, except the fact that you'll die without knowing the whole truth." He pointed the pistol to me.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not going to die today." I made a signal with my hand to Nanah.
"Freeze! Drop the gun!" She said as she aims at his head with her rifle.
The man let go of the weapon and lift his hands up.
"Well now, we'll just have to make a few questions to you" I said.
As I was starting to interrogate the commander Zig appeared.
"Hey Neroh, we didn't find anyone at the-" Zig stopped talking as soon as he saw the commanding officer of the bandits, he looked shocked.
"You…" Zig said.
He pulled out his pistol and aimed at the enemy commanding officer.
"Zig, what are you doing?!" Nanah said.
"It was all his fault! My village was destroyed because of him, my friends and my parents are dead because of him! He was the one that attacked my village!" Zig said,I could see the rage in his eyes.
"Okay now Zig, let's calm down for a second." I said trying to calm him down.
His hands started to shake and I can hear the sound of the metal moving as he slowly pulls the trigger of the pistol.
"Wait now Zig, just hold on!" I said.
"No! He must pay for what he did! He must pay!" Zig said.
This doesn't even looked like the Zig we know, the boy that was all about fun and playing around, the one that kept jumping and running with excitement everywhere we marched. This boy was full of hate and was hungry for revenge.
"Okay, fine! Pull the trigger if you want to!" I said to him.
"What?!" Nanah said.
He was almost at the end of the trigger.
"But first! Ask yourself this! Did your parents wish you to revenge them?" I asked him.
He stopped, the face that was full of anger now looks confused.
"Did the friends of your village that cared so much for you wish the same? I don't think so. Zig, you're better than this, does this man committed horrible crimes against the people of Gallia? Yes he did, and he'll pay for it, but this is not the way. He is a cruel cold assassin, don't be like him Zig, just drop the gun…"
Little by little Zig convinced himself that that was not the right thing to do and had finally dropped the gun on the floor. He felt on his knees and started crying.
"*Sigh*" I was relieved.
"It's okay Zig, you're friends are here for you…" Nanah tries to comfort him.
We head our attention at Zig the entire time and forgot about the enemy's commanding officer, when I turned he had the pistol that Zig dropped with him and was pointing at us, before Nanah could aim at him with her rifle he said:
"Stop! Drop the rifle right now!"
Nanah had no other choice.
"You're so full boy, you had the chance to revenge you're family and friends and you wasted, now you'll see them personally again. Time for the family reunion…" He said as he pointed the pistol to Zig.
But before he could shoot a knife came flying and hits his hand, making him to drop the pistol on the ground and shout in pain. Nanah was quick and grabbed her rifle from the ground as fast as she could. I looked to the door and there was Nazir.
"It would've been better for him if he had stood down." He said.
"I agree with you, you appeared at the right moment!"
The enemy's commanding officer is captured and the fortress is taken, all of the enemy units in the fortress have surrendered and they're now my prisoners. As we prepared to load the trucks and send this prisoners to the Militia H.Q. one of the soldiers came running to me.
"Sir! We have bad news!" He looked scared.
"Calm down comrade! What is it?" I asked.
"At least a thousand bandits are coming to the fortress! They come mounting horses and camels, and they're coming fast!"
"What?! Close the gates!"
"We can't! They're too close already!" One of the soldiers shouted.
"Then we have no choice. Everyone prepare your weapons! Bayonets on! Tank squad! Get up hill and prepare the mortar artillery!"
"Roger!" Lokky said.
"Nazir! Take the Ghost Soldiers to the top of the roofs and also place tome heavy machine guns on the towers that are not too much damaged!"
"Yes Sir!" Nazir said.
"The rest of you, form a line! Snipers and rifleman kneel on front! Machine guns standing in the back!"
The troops started to move, and from the middle of the dust that raises in the desert they came, a gigantic horde of bandits mounting horses and camels, using sabers and a few using pistols, they came running at us.
"Wait a second…" I said.
When they got close enough I gave the order for the tanks to fire the mortars and it hits them really bad, but they didn't stop coming.
"Fire at will!" I said.
All the troops started to fire, the bullets hits the bandits and one by one they start to fall, heavy machine guns from the towers keep shooting and quickly starts to get low on ammo, and so does Nazir and the Ghost Soldiers started to get low on arrows and throwing knives.
"Stop firing!" I said.
All of the guns stopped the shooting and they could be seen in the distance, most of the bullets we fired hits their horses and camels, and now they come to us running, like mad man ready to die, but the few cavalry that remains tries to charge one last time.
"How are we on ammo?" I asked Mannar.
"Very low, we can't hold them forever." He said.
"Okay! We'll need to use the bayonets! Everyone in line and ready!"
We prepared as the horde of bandits charge in our directions, the steps from the horses and camels gets stronger as they come closer and closer.
"Now!" I shouted.
Using our bayonets we were able to strike down the cavalry, once the horse is dead, we just need to kill the rider that's on the floor, but now the rest of the horde that is on foot is coming for us, and we had just shot our last bullets, they were coming in a force of at least six hundred man, we were tired and outnumbered, and we can't use our tanks as support now because the enemy is too close to us, I didn't knew what was going to happen next, but we prepared for the worst.
The bandits finally reached us in a turbulent and stunning clash, we tried to fight our way out of there but it seemed hopeless to even try, that's when it happened. From the gates of the fortress I saw a familiar figure, a small person covered with a cape full of ancient runes, it was her, the same girl that saved me from Selvaria.
She came running to the enemy, it was amazing as every blow she gives ten of the fall, she threw her dagger and it passed through fifteen bandits. They start to flee as they are terrorized by the strange girl.
"It's over! They're running away!" Mannar cheered with the others of the warpack.
"Yeah, but not thanks to us at least." I said, looking at the girl.
"Las time we didn't had the chance to introduce ourselves properly, I'm Neroh, what's your name?"
"Lirya." She said, still with no emotion on her eyes.
"Sir! The prisoners escaped!" One of the soldiers told me.
"Even the commander?"
"Well, at least we're alright, for now. Did we lost anyone?"
"We have a few injured man, but they'll be alright." Mannar said.
"And what about you?" I asked Lirya.
"My master told me to find you and bring you to him." She said.
"Yes, he lives in a temple, not to faraway from here."
And so she guided us to her master as she said, but who was her master? And how did he know about me? Well, I guess I'll have the answers soon, there just one thing that it's still bugs me, what that commanding officer said to me…
In a meeting room at the Imperial military base of operations in Gallia…
There was Maximilian with all his generals around him.
"Well than, shall we start?" Asked Jaeger.
They were about to start when suddenly someone came in.
"I'm sorry for my delay your majesty." The man that walked inside the room said.
"At least all of my generals are here. And how are you're plans going?" Maximilian said.
"They're going well my prince, there is nothing to worry about." The man said.
"Good, we'll need any force we can to capture Gallia, that's why you're here, General Arkadius Apollinaris."
"Why yes my lord, to serve you is my purpose of life." Arkadius said.
He said that but his eyes looked malicious. The whole meeting Selvaria had an anger look to him, she knew he had his own intentions rather to serve Maximilian, for he was indeed a mysterious man.
In the middle of the meeting one of Arkadius captains entered the room and approached him.
"Hmm? Oh, I see." Arkadius said as he got up from his chair.
"I must ask my lord, is there anything else your highness would like to discuss with me?" He asked Maximilian.
"No, you are free to go." Maximilian answered.
"Well then, if you excuse me, I have some business to attend to." Arkadius said as he left the room.
After the meeting was over everyone got out of the room and got back to their business, Selvaria followed Maximilian as usual.
"My lord, you should not thrust that man." Selvaria said.
"Hmm? What are you talking about Selvaria?" Maximilian asked.
"Arkadius, my lord, I can feel that he has more intentions than to realize your orders my lord."
"Selvaria, there is nothing to be worried about, Arkadius have no intention to betray me. Even if he was a Gallian in the past now he serves me and only me."
"But my lord-"
"Enough. This conversation ends here!"
Selvaria holds her tong.
"Y- yes my lord." She said.
They continued to walk. Meanwhile, at Arkadius office.
"So, what happened?" Arkadius asked the commanding officer that had escaped the Darcsen Brotherhood.
"They came during one of the sandstorms sir, we don't know how they opened the gates, and they also sabotaged our artillery sir!" The commander said.
"But in other words, they took the fortress didn't they?"
"Well, I guess it's over for you…" Arkadius picks up his revolver and pulled a bullet of a drawer from his cabinet.
"Wha-?! Wait sir! I still can do something!" The commander said.
"I'm sorry commander, but you know that I don't like to deal with failures. I guess you just have bad luck." Arkadius said with a malicious expression on his face as he pulls the trigger and kill the commander.
"Sir! We heard a shot!" One of his soldiers came in the office and saw the commander dead on the floor.
"Take this body out of here!" Arkadius said.
"Y- yes sir!" two soldiers came in and dragged the body out of the office, letting a trail of blood on the floor.
"And call someone to clean this up!"
"Yes sir! Immediately!" The soldier said an left.
"My lord, what do we do about the warpacks?" One of his captains asked him.
"Don't worry, in time, they'll be nothing more than dust and stories of brave but foolish warriors… After all, no one is going to stop me from reaching my dream…"