=============== Raban / The Nightsong Tiger’s POV ============
The edge of River Gris was slowly becoming brighter as the sun rose.
The Nightsong Tiger and Raban were hiding amongst the dense foliage of the forest, silently staring at the noble’s boisterous army from afar as they continued their march into a used path. It was not a strange thing; even soldiers from Aouine’s formal armies were not disciplined enough to curb chattering.
The Nightsong Tiger and Raban’s mercenaries were obviously different, mainly because they were attempting to ambush them and had to be silent. Hundreds of mercenaries were lined near River Gris’s edge and waited for Lord Macsen’s last soldier to enter the ideal spot for their ambush.
Their crossbows and longbows were already aimed at their chosen targets.
“Even though their scouts don’t seem like much,” the Nightsong Tiger said as he watched their enemies, “they reacted quite well, and merely lacked a little experience in a real battle.”
Raban glanced at the man next to him. No one knew what The Nightsong Tiger’s real name was, and Raban had never heard of a tiger species with Nightsong in it.
[Lacked a little experience? You’re the only person who would say that!]
He had seen much as a former Karsuk’s cavalry commander, and Lord Macsen’s scouts were good enough to be placed in any of Aouine’s regular armies, but the Nightsong Tiger and his men simply overwhelmed them with sheer skill.
The Mercenaries of Lopes charged towards the enemies’ scouts swiftly, leaping onto the horses and killed them in a single stroke from behind. They even discarded the bodies without startling the horses. Even now, these murdered men were still warm to the touch as they slumbered forever on the forest ground.
The level of coordination they had made Raban feel they were not mercenaries. The fact that the Nightsong Tiger was considered as a low-ranking subordinate and not treated as a retainer made him wonder what Brendel’s real identity was.
His crude appearance belied his intelligence, as he saw more subtleties and recognized Brendel’s capabilities earlier than Cornelius and Jana did. At the same time, he was curious as to why the latter had to come to this impoverished and rural area.
He accurately discerned Brendel’s great ambition, which was why he surrendered to Brendel early.
He had gone through many difficulties to create a group of mercenary of his own because he did not want to be a common man. He hoped to look for someone who he could serve, but the people he judged worthy did not cast a glance at him, and those who did were bastards like Graudin.
It was until Brendel came along to give him this chance and they struck a chord with each other.
Raban continued to ponder over Brendel’s identity while Lord Macsen’s army advanced in the forest—
============= Lord Macsen’s POV ==========
Lord Macsen had slowed his
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