The danger from the mist

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After a relatively quiet night, when the soldiers didn't want to party because of the heavy darkness of the forest, the morning arrived too quickly for most of the men, who had not been able to sleep or lunch.

Yiris cursed himself internally. Obviously, she had overestimated the experience of the soldiers at her disposal. She awakened dismayed by the spectacle offered to her by the novices, nothing to do with her scouts who, fortunately, were the best.
Finally, she was not the type to rthink about what she hadn't done, and would do what was possible with "her elite troop."

The convoy was about to move in the next few minutes. The wolf-men had brought the chariots of energist the day before, three in all, one for each buffalo which having accompanied the troops.

Yiris posted seventy men for the first and last chariot. The remaining sixty soldiers, who were in fact all veterans from her regiment and that of Mayek, were affiliated to the middle wagon with instructions to help the wagon which would be the most in difficulty in the case of an attack, which, if her instinct didn't wasn't wrong, would inevitably happen ...

This was a very substantial supply. In fact, the wolf-men sent only one cargo per year, at the end of the exploitation season.
It ended just before the hot season that made the career suffocating.
Then the delivery date depended on their will and, sometimes, if the people had rites to accomplish, the precious stones could wait a long time.

Not being particularly in need of it because the country was at peace, Van had always left a great freedom of decision to Ruhm.
Nevertheless, for once, he would be glad to see his cargo reach its destination.

Yiris supervised preparations with glances. Her gaze was fixed on the tree where Ruhm's hut was. Suddenly she saw movement. The wolf-man descended from his perch, followed by the human.

Arms crossed, the young woman wondered what the result of this meeting.

To see the two men approaching her, seemingly serene, she couldn't restrain a sigh of relief. All night long, she had feared a disaster intervention that had not finally happen.

However, all this anxiety, she had hidden it, although she had opened many times her eyes to look the tree where everything was going on.

"The meeting was very instructive." Ruhm explained with a big smile.
"Ha?" Yiris replied, destabilized.
"Yes, you can tell Master Van that even I am unable to explain the origin of this miracle, I'm convinced that Alexandre is really Folken."

Speechless, she stared at them, hoping a bad joke. Her mind became confused.

"And how do you deduce that?"
"We spoke and, observing him, my instinct gave me the answer."
"It's quite confusing as a way to conclude!"
"According to you, probably, but my opinion is made!"

Yiris sighed nodding her head, she wondered seriously how she was going to explain Ruhm's answer to the King ...

In short, concerning this point, for her, nothing had changed. So, feeling a deep disappointment in front of the inertia of the situation, she chooses to focus on the convoys ...

Then, she looked at her men, making sure one last time that her orders had been respected.

Meanwhile, Alexander was preparing to take a seat in the nacelle of the buffalo. Ruhm gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder.

"The truth is close! Be sure, my friend!"

Rerplexed, the young man did not know what to answer. The arrival of Yiris interrupted his thoughts and he took a seat for the trip.

After an exchange of courtesy between the general and the leader of the wolfmen, Yiris also climbed into the nacelle.
Satisfied of the arrangement of the convoy, she gave the signal for the departure.

OoO

It had been several hours since the convoy had left Arzas. The firsthour had been very stressful. Yiris had to reprimand, on threeoccasions, young recruits, thoses latters having believe that thepassageof some wild animals was a sign of an attack and raised the alarm.

The troop had spent two hours on the road, protected by a group ofwolf-men, whose, at the time of the separation, had told the three menssanctioned to be wary of rabbits ...

Now the convoy was on its way alone.
According to the concept of Yiris, it was surrounded by four groups ofscouts, one in front, one behind and one on each side. Every hour, eachgroup sent a man to the report.

Also, they had a panoply of horns of fog to signal an imminent dangerand to specify its nature.

Even if it annoyed her, the general had chosen to remain on the nacelleof abuffalo, accompanied by Alexandre. She was limped, with an air ofvexation, in her armor, which clearly bothered her to be sittencomfortably, and didn't say a word.

Alexandre, on the other hand, seemed lost in his thoughts and remainedalso silent, which created between them a heavy atmosphere justinterrupted by the noises of the nacelle straps and the distantchatters of the soldiers.

Yiris was relieved by the arrival of the scouts because she needed tochange her mind. She was not comfortable with Alexandre since theconversation with Ruhm.

In theory, everything should have to continue like this until Metel ...

In theory ...

As the day began to decline and there was only one hour of travel left,a strange mist began to appear.

Several soldiers were stunned by thephenomenon which had already been reported by the last scouts.

Instinctively, they reinforced the taking of their weapons and theconvoy was now to the maximum of its vigilance. A soldier finallyclimbsonto the nacelle to talk to Yiris.

"Chief, have you noticed? It's been over an hour, and we didn't see thescouts in the report ..."
"I know ... They are surely already all dead. We are surrounded ..."

At these words the soldier, the coachman and Alexandre widened eyes,terrified.

"I felt them coming ..." The young woman said. "IBut objectively, I thinkthey were following us from afar from the beginning. They are smart,they wait until the night falls ..."
"So what do we do?" The soldier asked.
"We stand ready. In any case, we will not escape it. Goal, resist asmuch as possible. After if it is lost, we must flee to Metel abandoningthe goods. This time, we need witnesses, especially for this mistwhich,in my opinion, isn't natural ..."

The soldier nodded and went to inform the rest of the convoy. A littlehesitant, Alexandre turned to Yiris.

"And what to expect?"
"A massacre!"

Suddenly, the young woman stood up, she had seen something move in thetrees. There no longer was any doubt.

"Protect yourself, we are attacked!"

She just had the time to cry out these words that a rain of arrows fellon the convoy, already causing many victims, including the coachman.

Yiris had put Alexandre on the ground and stood over the young man inorder toprotect him. The bursts of arrows followed rapidly, while the mistbecame thicker and thicker.

Still in the nacelle, particularly exposed and besides already riddledwith projectiles, Yiris had to make a decision.

She had to admit that her plan had failed, however, there was stilllives to save.

"Retreat!" She screamed.

A horn of fog made her echo briefly. Yiris looked at the soldier whowas using it and saw a black-tinted tile emerge from the man's leftorbit.
Fortunately, the signal had been heard and the soldiers began to run inall directions, abandoning the convoy.

Taking advantage of the disorder that had stopped the morbid ballet ofthe arrows, Yiris told Alexandre to jump out of the nacelle. The latterobeyed.

On the ground, the general thought for a few seconds, then took hisprotege by the arm.

"Now, follow me, run and never stop!"

Alexandre had no time to say anything. Yiris led him through theforest, as fast as she could ...

Breathing heavily, she turned around occasionally and understood withanxiety that they were followed by a group of men leaping from tree totree behind them.

"And shit, they don't look like being amateurs!"
"What do you mean?" Alexandre asked, breathless.
"Well, they ..."

She didn't have time to finish her sentence, Alexandre had juststumbled and it took much effort to Yiris to prevent it from falling.
The general was about to shout him when she realized that he hadjust been struck by a crossbow tile on his left shoulder, fortunately,very high, just below the collarbone.

At first glance, she thought there was not too much damage, but therewas no longer any doubt that their race would end very soon.

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