Battle of Belgera, part six

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One down. The enemy wasn't numerous, and each kill counted.

It had better. Karia stared at the shredded remains of his command. They lost enough men for each street defended to make up for an entire season's worth of fighting Khraga, and now he was fighting alongside one. Defending her, to be more correct. She carried a monstrosity of a longbow, almost as heavy as the ballistae mounted on the city walls, and was the only one able to reach the enemy at their preferred engaging distance.

Halfmen, I'll be cursed! She had dragged more of his wounded to safety than he cared to admit. Her curses were as vile as any he knew, but as long as her uncanny ability to sense deathtraps worked he wasn't the one to complain.

Threatening to eat one of his men on the spot she forced enough courage into him to make the sprint across the street when they got separated.

Karia grimaced as they retreated, projectiles ripping stones around them as he dove for cover. He'd have his father screaming down his throat when the lord learned his son had offered free access to the capital to one of their sworn enemies.

Gring wheeled and the first enemy to turn around the corner was flung backwards by the force of the arrow hitting him.

Another down. Eat shit, dear father, I'll have her as the guest of honor at our own dinner table once we get out of this. Ugly as a gherin, but by all gods unholy, does she know how to fight!

Karia threw himself into the protection of an alley. A girl, not even in her eightyear stared at him.

He slapped her. "Run, you piece of shit!"

She fled.

Whatever it takes to save a life, he thought. Whatever it takes to save this city, he added grimly when her wailing reached him through the thundering madness.

Wiping dirt and blood from his face he recalled committing high treason a moment or an eternity earlier. Yielding overall command to a foreign soldier, signing the order with the seal of the council he'd stolen before taking command of his men could be nothing less. Who cared? The council would have a sporting chance to stay alive as a result.

"To my side! Down the sewers! We regroup at Count Haratar's estate."

Karia hoped Gring would fit in the tunnels. Thank all gods she wasn't as huge as the Khraga he knew from summer campaigns in the mountains.

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