Chapter 3: (Part 1) War has Begun

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The generals woke up their soldiers to get ready for battle. Their tents were packed up to prevent a raid when it was unguarded. King Derek stood ahead of the other rulers with many commanders by his side, as well as his King's guard, all eager but fearful of the road ahead.

"We are to continue east through the western side of Zerethia."

Many people began talking amongst themselves.

"Almar decimated Ashfield and slaughtered all who lived within it. Unless we face him here, he will continue his rampage until all cities will fall and its people crumble!"

The soldiers whispered to each other in fear and confusion.

"We WILL NOT stand for this! The world is OUR sanctuary, not to some demon who believes himself superior! We rise up now with numbers beyond five thousand trained in war for generations!" King Derek shouted, his heart proud and his mind focused.

The armies remained mostly silent, concerned of the road ahead. King Derek's words of encouragement were as useful as a blind man navigating the sea. The men were tired of war, and to bring another so soon was bound to face resentment.

"Across Lorlyn, Iron Haven, Paldar, Frostford, Marfield, Riversedge, Lindale; we've gathered for this occasion alone. Fear not over what is to come, for I say to you now that we must triumph in what it could become!"

The armies began to shout in praise, though some still doubted.

"Stand with me now on the battlefield. Stand for our homes and our wives! Stand for the dream of a better kingdom!.... Stand up!"

Derek looked around with his hand raised and his sword in its grasp. This was the last praise. Any man who held back then would impact what became of the path ahead.

Let no one stay alone within the strength, the ordeal of defeat. Darkness shall prevail us, but we will triumph through all the odds. No matter how far we are from each other, we will always be one. Within our fear. Within our misery that guides us through.

Zoran ended with those words in his journal, calling his horse to ride on.

The cavalry galloped through the fading view as the footmen made up of spears and bows ran not too far behind.

As the first scout led his horse to gallop within the wall of mist that blanketed the valley, a loud cry came shouting back. The horse returned without a mark on it, nor blood. The young man who mounted it was gone. The horse ran back in an unstable, panicking state. King Derek witnessed the scene as well, gripping his blade even more so on his metal gauntlet, despite being known as one who faced certain death without a single shift of expression.

Deep, but quiet voices were heard. Whispers, screams, footsteps shaking the dirt. In every direction were those same repeated sounds, a demon's cry. The sounds haunted their minds, and their chests could feel the pressure aggravating their hearts and their spirit. The horses were startled, trying to run back, making the cavalry men distracted and having to prevent stampeding into the other units.

"Pikes! Get your shields up and in line!" Derek commanded. "They're here...." His breathing seemed to be slower, like his soul had escaped him at that moment.

"You heard our King...archers! Ready your bows!" The high commander, Armand Malrick, spoke in a tone almost aggressive and merciless, seeming to be annoyed to be beside Theodren at that moment, galloping through each group to give the King's orders.

The whole army was set in a bow-like position. The shielded pikemen held the middle, with a shield wall and spears pointing out to what was beyond. The edges of the spearline curved inward, than the next group of spears faced forward again, for both sides like to make out the shape of a recurved bow. The archers stood as the string in the attachment of the bow formation.

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