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The calm before the storm

The refugees kept moving to the east after they exited the mountain valley. The group formed a long serpentine shape when the path got narrower, progressing slower because they did not lit up torches and traveled in the dark. Even though the stars and moon offered a certain degree of brightness, they were hindered by the fir trees. Shadows seemed to dart about when the refugees marched through, and they shivered with trepidation.

Under Brendel’s orders, Freya had separated the refugees into different sections, with two guards maintaining order at every section. Freya told them what they needed to do so that they would not impede the progress, while Brendel told them what would happen if they failed to follow orders, and with this coaxing and threatening approach, they managed to achieve a balance to maintain speed and order.

The veterans Mano and Leto were not too worried about their movements as noises were easily muffled because of the thick forest, becoming nothing more than a whisper within a short distance. The reason for this was because of the strong wind that caused the fir trees to rustle constantly and loudly.

Brendel strained his ears to listen to the wind while he led the horse forward on foot. There seemed to be all sorts of noises in it: There was the rustling of Fir trees, groups of birds singing together, but there seemed to be some strange music and whispers in them, as if they were speaking another language.

Aouine’s southern region described this whispers as the witches trying to bewitch travelers as there were many who did not return after traveling to this part of the forest.

Brendel did not believe in them, but now that he had experienced it, he felt there was indeed a certain air of mystery.

The other mercenaries also led their horses on foot as they wanted to reserve the horses’ stamina to prepare for the upcoming battle. Even though these specially bred war horses’ stamina were approximately twenty percent better than a normal horse, the cavalry riders did not want to ride on them to maintain their charging prowess.

They had advanced to the east for approximately five kilometers, and was considered to have left the Silver Sparrow Mountain’s area.

[This area should be considered the area of the Hunting Deer forest… Only seasonal hunters would appear here.]

Brendel had already sent out the gargoyle to survey the west and southern area, while the other scouts have returned from their various assignments.

After a few minutes later, the scouts came up to Brendel with pale faces.

The scouts have discovered the entire region ahead was filled with skeletons, even before they reached their designated locations.

[They must have received a shock… It’s not pleasant at all to listen to a sea of skeletons walk on the hard ground.]

Brendel soothed them and allowed them to rest, while turning to the other riders and explained their weakness, so that they

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