A continuation of Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
Delphe Knights Castle – 2 Years Ago
[Best while listening to Interloper – Kevin MacLeod]
Delphe Knights Castle is now in disarray. A bleeding soldier at the entrance. Now, Crisostomo Ibarra is leading the charge of Calpheonian cavalry of the 1st Legion, his personal army, to Biraghi Den.
Quartermaster Granbill is standing by the gates of Delphe Knights Castle, watching over the cavalry as they disappear by the distance.
“Why does every Ibarra have to be so reckless?” Granbill said as he clicks his tongue, “If only he wasn’t higher than my rank.”
Granbill then makes his way to the wounded soldier.
“You, what happened?”
The wounded soldier looks up, “Sir… we were ambushed… bandits just came out of nowhere and started attacking the convoy.”
“Have you seen a Shai as you made your way here?”
“A Shai, sir?”
“Yes, a bloody Shai!” Granbill brings out a loud bellow.
The soldier is stunned, “Yes… there are three Shais there.”
“Three? Tell me more. Is one Shai a male and has short brown hair and beard, and wearing a ragged farmer’s clothes? Two females?”
The soldier nods, “Yes sir, how did you know?”
The soldier’s response gave Granbill the chills that went through his whole body. He is now worried as to what might have happened. He failed to make Marco and his family stay, and he forgot to provide an armed escort.
“Ibarra is going to have me killed…”
One Hour Ago
The family of Shais are at the road near Biraghi Den, now on their way to their final stop Heidel the Capital of Serendia.
“Dear,” Mary said, “Sir Ibarra hasn’t aged a bit since the last time I saw him.”
Marco laughed, “Really? That big oaf is getting old and he doesn’t even realize it, he needs to retire.”
“Why didn’t he retire?”
“His whole life is dedicated to the military, that’s why,” Marco then ponders, “Though there’s something to do with his family, that’s why he can’t retire.”
“Being a soldier means having a high paying job, right?”
“There’s that…” Marco then smiles, “but I’m willing to give that all up in a heartbeat just to be with my family.”
Mary rests her head on Marco’s shoulder, “And that’s why I agree to marry you. I love you, dear.”
“I love you too.”
Suddenly, Lorrelle leaps out from the cart behind Marco and Mary and hugs them.
“I love mom and dad too!”
The family of Shais laugh.
[Best while listening to Grave Blow – Kevin MacLeod]
A few minutes went by when suddenly Marco’s ears twitched because of the noise up ahead.
“What’s wrong, dear?”
Marco, being a soldier before retiring, knew what he’s hearing.
“There’s a battle going on ahead.”
“Are we going to be fine?”
Marco smiles trying to reassure Mary, “Yeah… let’s just hurry our way to Heidel.”
Suddenly, an armed bandit with a bandana covering his face leaps out from the bushes and is now running towards the wagon with daggers at hand.
Lorrelle looked behind her and sees the armed bandit now climbed up the wagon. She’s frozen in place, afraid of what she’s seeing. The armed bandit is now slowly making his way to Lorrelle, daggers pointing at her.
It’s as if time slows down as Marco dashes passed Lorrelle and punched the armed bandit at the face. This stunned the armed bandit. Marco then quickly jumps and kicks the armed bandit by the chest, making the armed bandit fall off the moving wagon.
Marco looked behind him and saw Mary hugging a frozen Lorrelle tightly.
“Are you two alright?” Marco said as he kneels in front of the two.
“Dear, who was that?”
“Bandits…” Marco then stands up, “We need to get-”
Suddenly, the horse pulling the wagon let out a loud cry as it was hit by an arrow. As their wagon is about to flip over, Marco quickly grabs Lorrelle and Mary and jump out of the moving wagon.
Their wagon is now flipped on its side and the horse dead.
Mary and Lorrelle are unconscious, only Marco manages to remain conscious. He now realized that they’re at the crossroads by Biraghi Den. The fighting that he has heard earlier, it’s here.
Two armed men approach the Shais. Marco looks up and saw the armed men bearing Calpheon’s coat of arms. He sees that the soldier on his left is badly injured.
One soldier kneels, “Are you alright…?”
Marco gets up “Yeah… but my family… what’s going on?”
“We were… ambushed… not so long ago. And it seems you and your family accidentally got in the middle of it all.”
Another soldier then approaches them, it’s the captain.
“Looks like we’re able to repel them for now,” the captain then looks at the soldiers, “Is the perimeter secured?”
“Yes, sir!” The two soldiers exclaim.
“Good, now grab a horse and go to Delphe Knights Castle with these Shais and ask for help!”
Marco approaches the captain, “Thank you, sir.”
The captain whistles then two horses arrived.
Marco heard Mary groaning; she’s now regaining conscious.
“Mary!” Marco rushes back to Mary.
“Dear…” Mary manages to speak, “Where are we?”
“You’re in the middle of a battle, ma’am,” the captain interjected.
Marco’s eyes twitched then tries to smile in front of Mary.
“Don’t worry, I’ll protect you and our daughter.”
Mary’s eyes went wide open and try to sit up, “Lorrelle!”
“She’s fine, she’s just sleeping,” Marco tries to reassure Mary, “can you stand up?”
Slowly, Mary tries to stand up as Marco aids her.
Marco then looks at the soldiers that are mounting on their horses.
“We’re going back to Delphe Knights Castle,” Marco said, “we’ll be safer there.”
Mary nods then they both approach an unconscious Lorrelle. Marco carries Lorrelle and they walk towards the horses.
Marco mounts on one horse with the wounded soldier and left Lorrelle with Mary with another soldier.
The captain stood still as he watches them rode off on horseback, “Godspeed.”
A few minutes later, Lorrelle slowly opens her eyes, now she sees that she’s not in the wagon earlier but now on horseback.
“Mom…? Dad…?” Lorrelle said slowly.
Mary hugs Lorrelle tightly, “Honey, are you alright?”
“Yeah… I feel like… I have a little headache though…”
“Don’t worry, everything’s going to be fine,” Mary hugs Lorrelle tighter, “We’re going back home.”
Don’t Lay Even A Finger!
[Best while listening to Lost Time – Kevin MacLeod]
Suddenly, arrows started raining over them. The soldiers quickly raise their shields to protect them from the arrows. Their quick thinking protected the Shais.
“We need to get out of here quick!” Marco shouted.
The soldiers are now forcing their horses to sprint with all their strength. The two Shais are holding tightly while closing their eyes, only Marco remains steadfast. He must, for the sake of his family.
Out of nowhere, three arrows are flying straight at them. One arrow almost hit Marco on his side, one arrow went right through the neck of the soldier that’s with Mary and Lorrelle, while the other hits the horse they’re riding. Just as quickly, they crash in the middle of the road.
The two Shais are holding each other tightly as they went rolling at the road, screaming.
“No!” Marco cried then jumps off, made a forward roll and ran towards his family.
The soldier looks back, shocked, then let out a loud cry as his concealed wounds in his abdominal area opened.
I need to get help, the soldier thought.
“Mary! Lorrelle!” Marco slides towards the two, “Are you alright?”
The two Shais are badly hurt, covered in bruises and their clothes covered in mud, dirt, and a little blood.
“Dear…?” Mary manages to speak.
“It’s alright… I’m here, Mary, I’m here. Don’t worry, I’ll protect you and Lorrelle.”
Just a few feet away from them, an armed bandit is creeping behind them with longsword at hand.
The bandit slowly raises his longsword. “Don’t worry, Mary, we’ll get through this. We’ll get-”
Quickly, Marco turns around and tackled the armed bandit, making the bandit let go of his longsword. Marco quickly gets on top of the bandit lying on his back by the road and punched him in the face several times.
The bandit tries to struggle then manages to push Marco away. Marco then looked behind and saw the longsword, he quickly made his way there and tries to pick it up.
The bandit gets up and laughs at what he is seeing as he brings out his dagger. He sees Marco struggling in picking up the longsword. A Shai with a longsword is like an average human with a great sword. What the bandit didn’t know is that when Marco was still in the military, he was vice-commander, second-in-command of the 1st Legion, Crisostomo Ibarra’s personal army, and personally trained by Crisostomo himself to use weapons twice his size.
With the tip of the longsword touching the ground and the handle just above eye level, Marco is now ready for the bandit’s attack.
The bandit thrusts his dagger at Marco. The dagger and the bandit can be seen reflecting on Marco’s eyes. Marco quickly dodged right then raises the longsword and pierces the bandit through the stomach just as quickly.
Two bandits armed with bow and arrows quickly approaches and aims at Marco. They release the arrow and it went flying at Marco.
It’s as if time moves slowly, Marco dashes to the right to dodge the incoming arrows and leaps forward with the longsword and pierces the closest bandit through the stomach. He then kicks the pierced bandit to release the longsword and swings at the other bandit. The bandit’s head rolls at his feet.
I Love You
[Best while listening to Virtutes Instrumenti – Kevin MacLeod]
“Marco!” Mary shouted from behind.
Marco looks back and saw another bandit holding Mary and Lorrelle hostage.
Lorrelle is now crying, “Dad…”
The bandit is holding Mary in his right with a dagger by her throat and Lorrelle in his left being held tightly at her shoulder.
Marco raises his left hand to his family, “Let them go…”
“Put down your weapon first!”
“Everything’s going to be alright, Mary! I’ll get you two out of there.”
Mary smiles as tears stream down her face, “I love you.”
The bandit is getting impatient and moves the dagger closer to Mary’s throat, “Put down your weapon!”
“Fine…” Marco scorns then let’s go of the longsword, “Now, let them go.”
The bandit grin, “Alright.”
Everything went silent, deafening silence, as Marco screams his lungs out.
Time slows down as Marco runs towards Mary, trying to reach for her lifeless body slowly hitting the ground.
Suddenly another bandit armed with a bow and arrows fires at Marco, hitting Marco at his lower back.
Marco let out a loud cry in pain as he crashes to the ground.
Marco is now lying in the ground in his belly, motionless.
[Best while listening to Trio for Piano, Cello, and Clarinet – Kevin MacLeod]
The bandit holding Lorrelle raises her up to eye level.
“Let! Me! Go!”
The bandit only smiles then he looks down to the necklace Lorrelle is wearing. Lorrelle is wearing a unique necklace with the symbol of the Black Sun.
“We’ve struck gold!” The bandit exclaims.
They then start walking back to their camp above Biraghi Den.
Half an hour has already passed, with crows flying overhead and some at the ground eating the corpses.
What it seems like Marco’s lifeless body slowly twitched. He’s still alive but barely. He then tries to crawl his way to Mary’s lifeless body.
“I’m sorry… I’m sorry…” Marco said repeatedly as tears flow down his cheeks.
A few seconds later, a few horses arrive and stop a couple of feet from the Shais.
“Secure the perimeter! Now!” Someone with a deep baritone shouted.
This deep baritone man dismounts and walks towards Marco.
“Marco…” this man said, “I’m… sorry…”
Marco looks to his side and saw Crisostomo.
“Hey there, old friend…,” Marco said slowly, “it’s good… to see you again…”
Marco smiles, “Sir Ibarra… please… save Lorrelle… take care of her… for me and Mary both.”
Crisostomo kneels, “Rest now, my friend, don’t worry, leave the rest to me.”
Show No Mercy
Crisostomo then closes Marco’s lifeless eyes and stands up. He then walks towards one of the bandits still alive but badly injured. He holds the bandit on his neck with both hands and forces him to stand up.
The bandit tries to struggle his way out of Crisostomo’s grip but with no avail.
“No… please… mercy…!”
Crisostomo’s eyes are filled with rage and the ground trembles as he tightens his grip, choking the bandit.
Crisostomo snaps the bandit’s neck, but he still hasn’t let him go and instead just strangles his neck tighter. He just looks at the lifeless bandit’s face with rage.
A few seconds later, Crisostomo finally let’s go and unsheathes his greatsword. He lifts his greatsword and mercilessly stabs the bandit.
The captain of the cavalry approaches Crisostomo, “Sir! Perimeter secured and we’ve found the entrance to Biraghi Den!”
Crisostomo slowly looks at the captain, “Leave no survivors. I don’t want to see even one bandit left standing!”
I’m Ibarra and I’d like to thank you all for your continuous support.
I’d like to thank Pearl Abyss (SEA) for picking me as one of the top 10 Supporters for January-February.
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Andrei Jarell Vedad is a passionate financial literacy advocate from the Philippines. With a background in Information Technology and currently pursuing a law degree, Andrei combines his knowledge and expertise to empower individuals in managing their personal finances. Through his blog and extensive research, he shares practical tips, strategies, and thought-provoking articles to help readers make informed financial decisions and achieve their financial goals. With a global perspective, Andrei aims to inspire positive change and foster financial well-being, not only in the Philippines but also worldwide.