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Lucas stood silently in the shadows of the forest. Several hundred feet behind him the rest of his company waited. They had encountered two more scouting parties. Each time leaving no survivors, now his once merry band had a graver attitude. Ahead of him the Chief Commander stood, apparently oblivious to Lucas's presence. Languidly swishing the air with his blade Lucas considered killing the woman and taking control of the army itself. But his wife and daughter would likely be killed. Though, he considered, would they dare kill them if he controlled the army?

Vague ideas swirled through his mind but Lucas eventually quelled them as he realized it would be difficult to induce the rank and file to follow him. Especially if it was found out that he killed the current commander. So instead he sheathed his blade and walked up to the woman reviewing the war effort. "So you finally decided to come out of the shadows." Lucas stopped, surprised that she had detected him. "You must be good to have seen me." She laughed, a clear cold sound. "Indeed."

Lucas stood silent, waiting as she finished the report. It didn't take more than a few seconds, then she stood and faced him. As he examined her face Lucas felt an urge of hatred seize him, an expression he was sure she saw. Starting back at him was a pair of green eyes, framed with curly blond hair. A smattering a freckles spread across creamy pale cheeks, marking her as an elf of the forest. "Do I offend you?"

"No."

Lucas left his answer short, and abrupt. He had seen dozens of women just like her back in his old village. However this one was more fit, with a sharper gaze. He was sure he had never seen her in his village. She had to be from a different one.

"Would you like a report . . . ma'am?" She threw him a searching glance then nodded, "Indeed, and in the future you will address me as sir." Saluting Lucas nodded and stood to attention. "Sir, yes Sir. We encountered three scouting parties on our journey. Two of which were destroyed. And the first we allowed one survivor to carry a tale of Southern defection. To decrease moral in the troops. Further it implies incompetence thus allowing our enemies to underestimate us."

"Good, I want a written report by morning." Grimacing Lucas acquiesced, he had always hated paperwork. "Yes Sir. And may I request a report on the current situation?"

Panting a man appeared, running across the small clearing. "We're under attack! Under attack!" The commander dropped the page she was holding and dropped a weight on it, so as to prevent the wind from carrying it off. "I'm afraid there is no time for that. Get your company and figure out how to help!" With that she ran back the way the soldier came, presumably heading to her tent to don her armor.

Lucas groaned and ran back to his own troops. "Ready yourselves!" His voice boomed through the trees. When he arrived each of his soldiers stood ready, grim expressions masking any fears they had. With an approving nod Lucas motioned for them to follow him and together they began to circle around through the trees. Yells and clashing metal could be heard so Lucas angled towards the source of the gruesome sounds. Soon he could see the entire battlefield.

The enemy was attacking in a disorganized mob. And semblance of rank and file had disappeared as they reached the tents. Rubbing his eyes Lucas wondered how security had been so lax as to allow them to approach without notice.

As if noticing the same thing Selena smirked beside him, "How desperate is the North to put incapable commanders like that in charge." Lucas ignored her, measuring the fight progressing before him. To give his men something to do while they waited for him to decide on a sound battle tactic Lucas directed them to take up positions in the trees and empty their quivers into the enemy. They were to move often so no particular spot could be pinpointed, and cause general confusion among the ranks of the enemy.

"Right!" was the chorus that answered his command, and his men and women soon disappeared in the trees. Lucas watched for a moment more, then enemies began to fall. Screams of pain sounded and soldiers balked as their comrades fell dead from an invisible assassin. Observing the confusion Lucas decided to simply leave his men in the trees, and signaled as much before joining them. Loosing arrow after arrow into chinks of armor.

With their constantly rotating barrage of arrows the Southern troops soon fell into a panic. All of their commanding officers had been identified and killed, leaving the foot soldiers to either surrender or die. So far many had chosen the second option. But Lucas suspected that that would change as their numbers dwindled.

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