Amandina listened to the faint sounds of the birds flapping away within the distant forest and felt a little shiver creeping up over her.
Jana stood beside her. Both stared silently ahead on top of the wooden walls, with the faint moonlight barely lighting up the trees’ silhouette.
Who knew what dangers lurked in the darkness? They could imagine the Subterrane Dwellers emerging from the forest, with their heavy footsteps crushing the dry branches with threatening snaps, burly figures appearing before them and sieging the lumber mill —
When the Subterrane Dwellers indeed emerged, there were thirty of them pursuing the mercenaries who had been sent out to investigate the forest. Jana had considered that point and sent out experienced riders so they could at least escape from the enemies, or so she thought.
The creatures were swiftly moving across the ground, and the mercenaries were not able to shake them off. If the humans somehow panicked and made a mistake by opening the fortress’s gate without dealing with the pursuers properly, they would rush in and hold the gates until their main army arrived.
Jana immediately reacted and ordered her men to open the gate to allow the riders to enter the lumber mill. She then yelled at the mercenaries on the wall.
“We’re hitting the Subterrane Dwellers, ready your crossbows now! Nock! Mark! Loose!” She roared.
The concentrated bolts struck the Subterrane Dwellers’ formation like an invisible whip, causing them to stumble and lose their footing. But as expected, the damage done to them was suspect. Amandina saw the fallen Subterrane Dwellers getting up once again, with only five or six casualties on their side.
She took in a cold breath. Even though she saw them in the afternoon, they were much further back and were not as close as they were now. She realized how ineffective the crossbows were.
When the creatures found that the riders were already in the lumber mill, they retreated without taking back their comrades’ corpses.
“They are definitely scouts,” Jana confirmed this point when she watched them retreat.
“They are probably the Subterrane Dwellers who guarded here this afternoon,” Amandina responded in a quiet voice.
“How do you know?”
“Their reactions to recover after they struck by the arrows was much faster compared to this afternoon.”
“It’s possible that the scouts know our tactics because those creatures told them what weapons were used.” Jana raised her eyebrow. Amandina had asked a basic question earlier, yet her insight was good for something that was harder to determine.
“Maybe so, but they also seemed like they know this area. The terrain is uneven in this area, and our riders appeared to be slightly hindered when retreating, yet the Subterrane Dwellers had no such problems.”
The two did not have time to discuss their arguments, as they spotted approximately a hundred-odd Subterrane Dwellers walking
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