2.12: Drill

The battle had been less exciting than Drill had anticipated. With the spikes blocking his path, the commander had only recently managed to push his way through. The child was a great archer despite his apparent fatigue. He had been using his bow as a support to stand in between shots, his eyes hung heavy with exhaustion. Drill hadn’t thought there had been enough fighting going on to display such extreme signs of tiring. It must’ve had something to do with his mystical arrows. Drill watched the boy join his sister on the ground as the attacking army attempted to pour in. Drill turned his attention to Panther.

“Our chance to get out is probably coming soon.” He pointed toward the commander. “He’s looking to retreat soon. We can channel our Max’s stealth and change into a fallen Lurian’s clothes.”

Drill ducked as a swordsman swiped at him. He wordlessly stuck his knife into the man’s chest. Panther chuckled as she began to ready herself. Drill didn’t need to look behind him to know that meant more soldiers were approaching. Turning around, he saw there were three men rushing toward him and Panther; two of the three directly for Drill. He hopped back, dodging the strike of one while blocking an attack from the second. Taking a quick glance back, he noticed he was being forced to where the two siblings sat. The girl, though her attention was on the fray, was nearly holding up her exhausted brother.

Drill turned back to the two men, weighing his options. He did ask for action… One sword came at him and he knocked it aside, exhaling as he stepped into the man’s space, cutting his collarbone. Damn, Drill thought. He thought back to his father preaching efficiency.

The second sword came down and Drill didn’t bother deflecting it. He simply rolled to the side, placing one of his knives in the man’s back before jumping back to avoid the other man’s blade. Drill spun the serrated knife, waiting for the Lurian to launch another attack, but he didn’t. The Lurian’s focus was now on the two siblings who were sitting close by. The girl began to drag her brother away when she noticed the soldier advancing toward them, but she couldn’t move him fast enough to make it to anywhere remotely safe in time.

With a quick step, Drill intercepted the Lurian’s path, cutting the wrist that held his sword. The man screamed, immediately dropping his sword to the ground as he clutched his hand in pain. The girl picked it up, thrusting it upward, through the man’s throat. Drill looked at her, his eyes wide – she was tough. He turned and looked for Panther, who was dispatching two new Lurians.

Drill jogged to join her, careful not to engage any other enemies. Efficiency dictated not wasting his time on any of these soldiers. Where was the retreat? Drill thought as he finished off one of Panther’s opponents.

A crow flew overhead, once again pulling Drill’s attention away. It flew way too close to the ground for a natural animal’s instincts – it was likely a hybrid.

The crow changed as it landed in front of the two siblings. The man looked like a shorter version of the boy. The former crow said a few words and the girl’s face transformed into pure terror. She jumped up, waving an archer from the fray to come over. The girl then picked her brother’s hand up, placing them on the shoulders of the archer, whose eyes went wide. The boy immediately seemed to perk up, now able to hobble to his feet. His sister transformed into a wolf and they took off running in the direction Drill had originally come from. The crowman looked around and met eyes with Drill, beckoning him over.

“Hold the gate,” he ordered. “You’re in charge now.” The man changed and took off after the children.

Drill sighed, unable to locate the commander to judge the estimated time for a retreat. He would have to force an opening to leave.

“Panther, new plan.”


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