It was only a little bit passed noon and we were making a mad dash for the gate heading out of the city. That was when the bells started ringing, indicated that the gates would be closed. However, I wasn’t going to be trapped in the city with a lord who clearly wanted me dead. The elves that had come with the Princesses were likely dead. That included the diplomatic elder elf who had traveled with the princess’s delegation.
If they weren’t dead and were able to escape, they could meet up with us down the road. Otherwise, they wouldn’t want the Princesses risking their lives to save them, so I felt no guilt in leaving them behind in the slightest. As we approached the gate, I realized that something was wrong. The gates were closed as expected, but the guards weren’t watching out for us at all.
I had hoped that the message to stop us from escaping had taken too long to reach the city entrances, so when the bells went off, I didn’t expect the guards to be watching out for us per se. However, the inner side of the wall had no watch in the slightest. In fact, everyone was on the walls looking out over them. I could also hear the sound of fighting on the other side. I suddenly had an uneasy feeling.
Baba’s eyes seemed to snap open as if she felt something. “They’re here.”
I frowned, grabbing a soldier who was running by. “What is happening?”
The young boy nearly tripped over himself turning to me. “Sir… the city is under attack!”
I shot a look to Captain Moar and then jumped off my horse, heading to the stairway. Everyone from the city watch was too distracted to stop me from climbing up the wall. When I reached the top, I peered out and my mouth fell open. Sitting in front of the city was a caravan of about fifteen wagons. They had circled around, creating a defensive perimeter. What was attacking them was bandits, but an army of monsters?
In particular, this was an army of undead. There were zombies, skeletons of various sizes, and phantasmal creatures. They were attacking the caravan aggressively. This didn’t feel like a strategy though, as the skeletons attacked in a very haphazard way. If they were under some intelligent leadership, the dozen guards defending the caravan would have been destroyed already. The women, children, and merchants were in the middle, desperately holding each other. A few glanced in the direction of the city, waiting for reinforcements.
As for the city, the caravan sat just out of range of the arrows. A few undead seemed to grow bored of the caravans and started heading towards the city, but they were quickly cut down. As time passed, I realized the city watch wasn’t making any attempt to send any kind of rescue or support. In fact, despite the guard having their weapons at the ready, they seemed content watching the monsters tear apart the caravan.
“What are you doing?” I finally demanded. “Why are you all just standing there?”
At this point, I realized that the Captain and Bala had followed me up on the wall. Baba was staring at the wall with interest as if she could see right through it and look at the caravan. Saria remained on her horse, watching us on the wall with only a little bit of interest.
“Sir… our job is to protect the city.” One of the men said.
I narrowed my eyes. “Protect the city? Can’t you see an army of undead right there?”
“It’s safer to fight them from behind the wall!” A guy came walking up, who looked like he might be in charge. “Besides… they’re beastkin. I have no desire to protect their kind in the slightest.”
“Beastkin?” I glanced out at the caravan again and noticed that some of the fighters did indeed appear to have tails or ears.
I hadn’t seen very many beastkin since I came to this world. The species seemed to segregate themselves very aggressively. The Princess delegation were the only elves I saw in Pria, and I had never seen the majority of the other races. Every princess of Pria was a beastkin. It looked like even my sisters had to fight against a certain level of prejudice. It might not have been to the hatred of devils, but the human race looked down on all other species. I was beginning to understand why it was so easy for them to up and abandon this country and live in another. I let out an annoyed sound from my throat.
“My name is Prince David. I demand a team of men to go out there and…”I stopped as I noticed the sneer on his face and changed what I was going to say. “Open the gate, I’ll go myself.”
“The bells are a direct order of Lord Stebes. The gates are closed.” The man sneered. “You may be a prince, my Lord, but city statute claims in an event that the city is in danger by a foreign entity, the city lord’s command overrules royalty, so that…”
“So that only the ruler who has the cities best interest at heart make decisions that affect the lives of citizens.” I finished bitterly. “Yes, I’ve read them.”
I spent most nights reading books to help me understand this country and its laws. This law came out many years before when callous kings would sacrifice cities and people for selfish gains. It was a check and balance that helped build face between the city lord and his subjects. In other words, if there was a city lord could always work in the self-interest of his city, even in a time of war. This situation only very loosely fit the acceptable conditions.
The man shrugged, but he had a smug expression on his face that made me want to hit him. “So, you see, my hands are tied.”
I clenched my fist tightly as I glared at him, but I couldn’t do anything to potentially create a bigger fuss. A few moments ago, I was ready to fight my way through this man to escape the city, but now that I knew about the existence of the undead, I couldn’t do something that might threaten the city for my own selfishness.
I walked back down the stairway, my body tensed in anger. Without saying anything, I started going through the bags settled over my horse.
“What is going on?” Saria demanded.
“An army of undead,” Bala responded.
Saria shot Bala a complicated look, but the other woman didn’t even glance at her. For a moment, her expression looked a bit hurt, but then it hardened and she sniffed, disregarding her sister and turning to me.
“Shouldn’t we be escaping? With a Lord like Stebes, who cares if this city is overrun with monsters.”
“That caravan was coming from the direction we’re heading. That means that the army of undead were coming from the direction we plan to head. I plan to find out what’s going on before we just run off in that direction.”
Saria blinked at my direct words, but she didn’t seem angry. Rather, she seemed to be looking on with interest. The direction they all came from was also the direction of Perang, the location I was warned away from. I didn’t take this to be a coincidence. First off, why were beastkin coming from the elvish nation? Secondly, why were they pursued by the undead? If nothing happened, these men would die and I wouldn’t have any answers.
Although, I also didn’t like seeing people being slaughtered. I could make cold decisions when they were needed, but watching innocent people die put a bad taste in my mouth. I was confident in my lessons, and in Bala and Baba’s abilities. Pulling out a rope, I walked back up to the city wall. The leader of the watch was surprised to see me again, but he didn’t stop me as I tied a rope to the top of the wall. Without a second thought, I jumped over the wall, using the rope to shimmy my way down.
I heard several surprised noises. Some of them came from guards who hadn’t expected to see anyone do such a thing, and some of them came from my own party. Captain Moar looked down flabbergasted and then cursed, ordering his men to fetch ropes. He had to keep me safe, so he and his three men would join me. My feet touched the ground and just as I looked up, a butt fell on my face.
“What are you doing?” I said, my face muffled by a tight buttocks.
“I am your slave. Where you go, I go.” Bala said simply, “Move your face… pervert.”
I shoved her the rest of the way off and wiped my nose. “Who’s sitting on whose face. Get your own rope!”
Bala had slid down the rope and I hadn’t even felt her, her movements were so smooth. I was only slightly flustered because of the suddenness of it and to a small extent because I felt my appearance lost a few points with the men on the wall after a woman slid down after me. Actually, upon reflection, many of the men wore looks of displeasure. A woman was racing into a fight these men were too cowardly to do.
“Catch me!” My eyes only focused as two spread out legs fell around my shoulders and something soft slammed into my face and sent me falling to the ground.
She wasn’t heavy, but I hadn’t expected Baba to follow behind Bala. I definitely didn’t expect her to leap off the rope.
I glared up at her as she sat on my face. I glared because the rest of my face was trapped in her nether regions. She shot a similar glare back at me.
“Why didn’t you catch me?” She demanded. “Aren’t you a man?”
“You can fly!” I said, but my voice was completely muffled. My nose was shoved up into her crack. Had there not been a flimsy pair of striped panties between us, I’m pretty sure it’d be called sex.
“Ahn…” she let out a cute moan. “It tickles… keep talking…”
With an annoyed growl, I grabbed her hips and pulled Baba off me, sitting up. She flew down, landing between my legs, her own still spread open and her panties on full display. It was such a scene, that even some people on the wall turned away in embarrassment.
“Y-you brute!” She cried out, and then bit the nail of her finger and blushed. “P-pervert.”
“Stop screwing around!” I stood up, wiping her flowery scent from my nose which I hoped was just from her laundry soap and not the smell of something else.
“So, it is youth after all that excites Master,” Bala spoke, half to herself.
I rolled my eyes. “Will you stop this? Come!”
I drew my sword and immediately began advancing on the monsters. Bala thankfully decided not to throw any more salt my way, and drew her sword and followed me. Baba also got up and wiped herself clean, but seemed to be in no rush whatsoever. I was halfway to the caravan before the three guards finally made their ways down the wall. Only Captain Moar stayed behind, too fat to climb down himself. Although we had left my Mother and Saria in the city too, so I was fine with him staying with them.
I didn’t waste any time as I approached the undead creatures. Without stopping my momentum, I sliced the head off of one creature and kept moving. I thought things would be difficult, but as dead and decaying creatures, they were just easier to cut down that humans, and a lot less messy. I took out one monster at a time, trying to lighten up the pressure on the guards, who were now down to only six.
Bala worked beside me, hacking away at monsters. Even as some started to turn around, realizing they were being attacked from behind, they barely lasted a few breaths before they were felled. By the time the other three guards joined us, there were being pushed between our group and the caravan. Had they been thinking creatures, they might have been able to do something about it, but as their attacks were already unfocused, most of them just died without a fight.
Soon, there were only a few dozen left and the stragglers. The army of undead was defeated with relative ease. When the last undead fell, there was shouting from the caravan. The guards who were at the center raised up their swords first to let out shouts of relief. They had been convinced they were going to die, so relief was palpable. The merchants and the civilians in the middle began to let out calls next.
With everyone cheering, I walked into the middle of the caravan group. My hood was still up, blocking a clear view of my face. I didn’t want to alarm these people as a devilkin, and even when I was dealing with the city watch on the wall, the fewer people reminded I was a devil, the better.
“We didn’t think anyone would come.” A man in a beard stepped forward. “We saw you climb down the wall, young warrior. We owe you our gratitude for saving us.”
He wasn’t fat, but pudgy might be the right word. He had yellow eyes and grey hair. He had wolf ears and a bushy tail. His expression didn’t look predatory or beast-like in the slightest. Rather, he actually looked like a respectable gentleman. However, I had gambled by saving them, and I needed to have my questions answered quickly.
“I mean no disrespect, but I do have questions for you,” I responded, not taking his offered hand.
The man pulled back his hand but kept his smile. “Perhaps, it’d be best if we all got in the city quickly before they come again.”
“Come again?” I asked, frowning.
“There are more of them.” He said with a grimace. “Much more. You haven’t received the reports?”
“I have not…” I said, but then I remembered a single note telling me to avoid Perang.
“An army is coming, my lord.” The man shook his head. “We’ve been on the run for three days. We’re lucky to have made it here in one piece, but an army of undead is coming this way!”
“it’s those damn cowardly watchmen.” A woman with a hood on snapped. “I told you when you gave them the horses, they wouldn’t deliver the message. They likely ran the other direction!”
The man shrugged helplessly. “That might be the case, or the men died on the way. Undead are all over the countryside at this point. Either way, it’s not safe out here. Our caravan has much needed supplies, especially considering the siege your city is about to face.”
At some point, this man seemed to have decided that I must be someone in charge. Perhaps, he felt rushed and wasn’t thinking clearly.
Meanwhile, I shook my head, still trying to make sense of what he was telling me. “Who would do this?”
The woman was the one who answered, her voice coming out filled with anger and malice. “Who else could it be? There is only one country that would dare to raise an army of undead and send it to attack us. That would be the devils!”