It was a dark cold night. The moon was high in the sky illuminating the land below it. We are in a forest. Full of tall magnificent pines, that covered the area. The forest goes along a huge hill, that ends in a cliff, about thirty meters height.
In a certain part of this forest, we find a camp. It was composed of five tents. In the middle was a huge fire. Sitting around it in a circle were people. Trying to warm themselves up, because of the cold. The frozen air, blowing the fire. But due to its size, impossible to put out. The flames going left and right. So everyone kept their distance.
They were sitting on the floor. Some on wood logs, that had just been cut for the camp.
On their right, close to the tents, was a smaller fire, with a cauldron in it. Steam coming out. The smell of cooked food filling the air.
The people there were talking at each other, with smiles on their faces, laughing.
They weren't your ordinary people though.
They were wearing unusual attires. Unusual for us, not them.
Some were fully covered in iron armor. With giant swords or axes on the ground next to them. Some others with lighter leather armor. There were also people dressed in robes. Alongside them were staffs. In various sizes and designs. Some with beautiful stones on them. Others with none at all.
There weren't only men there. But women as well. All sitting around the fire having a good time.
Among them was a beautiful young woman. She had long, curly faded-red hair. An hourglass figure that would make any other woman jealous. She had fair skin and her features were all quite smooth. She wore a rather revealing outfit. Consisting of a short black jacket with long sleeves. Barely high enough to cover her. It was cut at the chest area, showing some of her cleavage. Her waist was exposed showing off her slim silhouette. She was also wearing short black shorts. Along with black boots, with no heel. It seems like she really liked the colour black. Which made a huge contrast with her weak crimson-like hair. Her eyes were almost golden. Giving her an air of royalty.
Her name was Mira. And without her knowing, she was about to play a very big part in the salvation of this world.
Mira was sitting close to the fire. Even with her revealing outfit, she didn't seem to get cold.
A female night that was sitting next to her turned to face her before she spoke.
" Mira. Are you sure you want to remain in this clothing? It is cold already and it is bound to get even colder."
Mira looks at the person that had just spoken to her. It was a knight fully covered in iron armor. Like most of her party. You wouldn't be able to tell her gender if it wasn't for the fact that she wasn't wearing a helmet. She had a small face, with weak features, not suited to a warrior of her caliber. Her long golden hair falling behind her, touching the log she was sitting on. Her deep blue eyes looking at her.
She takes on good look at herself before she answers.
" Nah. I've already told you that I don't need warmer clothes. A simple heat spell is all I need. Besides, it will be impossible for me to move if I wore something like yours."
" I am not saying you should wear something like mine. But at least something that will keep you warm. Don't waste your energy on heat spells. We are going to need your power tomorrow."
She looks at her, clearly upset.
“ I am an A-class mage. Do you think a simple heat spell is enough to tire me?!”
Her companion looks at her with her eyes lowered.
“ I know you are nervous for tomorrow. But don't worry. These fire goblins stand no chance against us.” she tried to calm her friend. As she stretches her back.
“ I don't know Mira. I am really worried. I mean... fire goblins aren't supposed to be around this area. What happened and there were so many sightings. And we don't even know how many of them there are.”
“ Like I told you there is nothing to worry about. We are at war, so it is only common sense that the enemy will try to infiltrate our territory. We just have to hunt them and exterminate them. That's all. Besides they are weak monsters. So don't worry Anna. I will protect you, and everyone else. That is the role of a leader, right?” she said with a grin on her face that showed confidence.
Anna smiles back at her.
" You are right. I might be worrying too much about it. But you know what? Sometimes, being so relaxed isn't a good thing either. But still. I trust you. I trust your words and your power. I wouldn't have sworn loyalty to you if I didn't. I am willing to follow even at the end of the world as your sword and shield." she answered while bowing to her.
Then a voice was heard coming from behind them.
“ Food is ready!”
Mira stood up, clearly pleased with the sound of those words, as she went towards the smaller fire to get her meal.
She had finished her food, and Mira was now lying inside her tent. Next to her where Anna. Her vice-captain. Next to Anna was a very young girl with long dark hair. She wore a traditional outfit in blue and white colours. Her name was Emma. And she was the leader of the mage squad in their team. In the opposite side of the tent, there were two men sleeping. A gigantic muscular man. He wore a red shirt, which showed off his well-trained body. His name was Jason and he was in command of the strike team. A white-kinda bluish haired young man. He wore a gray leather with a white shirt beneath and black pants. His name Greyo, his assignment, leader of the scout squad.
Mira looked at all of them, quietly sleeping. She wasn't able to, so she was staring at the ceiling, thinking about everything that had happened and what will happen.
She was the next heir of the Gracial family. A noble family with lots of influence in Red Empire's politics. But of course, with her status as a woman, she wasn't expected to do much. Everyone wanted her brother to be the next heir. She was too expecting him, but their father had other plans when he made her the next heir.
Now she had to increase her status and win everyone's approval. The only way she could do that was to actually do some good for her country. And now in times of war, it was very easy to gain glory by fighting these monsters. And that's what she decided to do. When she heard about the fire-goblins attack at the Jackal region, she quickly took her squad and rushed there. After asking for the king's approval of course.
That was her reason for being here and putting these people at risk. She might act all relaxed in front of them, but deep down she was scared. Scared of losing someone. She takes one last look at them. They were all her precious friends. They were the ones who stood by her side when her family had left her alone. She wasn't going to let anything happen to them. She promised to herself.
Her eyes slowly close, until she is asleep.
She was awakened not too long after. It seemed like one of the scouts had spotted the fire-goblins close to the edge of the forest. About 2 kilometers away from where their camp was.
The idiots she thought. They trapped themselves between the cliff and them. This is was her chance to eliminate them.
“ How many are there?” was the first thing she asked.
“ Not many. Around 30 or so.” the scout answered her.
“ Thirty ehh?” she questioned with a worried look.
Thirty were no trouble. They had 50 troops in their party. Some of them could hold themselves in a 10vs1 scenario. She herself could most probably defeat every single one of them. If she gave it her all.
But what really bothered her was the fact that if they attacked them, then they would be the ones with their foot on the cliff afterward.
“ Mira. We can't waste any time. This is our chance. We know where they are and how many. We even have the advantage of positioning. We have to act now.” Anna informed her.
She looks at her troops, who are in arms already, waiting for her to give the single.
“ Ok. We march now for forest edge. Our target the fire-goblins. Our mission, to slay them all.”
They all loudly applause her. Hitting their feet on the ground in rhythm.
By the time the sun had risen, they had already covered most of the distance. They were moving in stealth, so they can catch them by surprise. As stealthy as an army of tanks can be.
The group formation was quite simple. Jason with his heavy armored troops was in the front row. So he can be the first one to come in contact with the enemy. In his left and little in the back was half Anna's group with her as the leader. In his right and again a little back was Anna's second half of troops commanded by Mira. In the back there was Emma. She along with her mages were going to provide support and cover the front lines. As well as trying to take out as many enemies from afar as possible. Greyo and his scouts were to be hidden at the top of the pines, transferring information from one party to the other. They all had special training so they were able to do some small level of acrobatics. If the situations were different they would have just used communication magic circles but they weren't going to risk the goblins finding their magic signature and spoil their plan for a surprise attack.
Anna and her group were marching through the forest. Slowly and quietly making their way towards the enemy. The quiet was broken by a young man that came to her and asked her.
“ Captain Anna. Can I ask you one question?”
Anna looks at the young man, she was young herself but this guy looked like he had just reached adulthood.
“ Yes you may.” she said as she turned to move forward.
" You see... in my village I had seen goblins. They were these small green creatures that stole things. But to afraid to face us head-on. But... what are fire-goblins?" he asked muttering the last part.
Anna looks at him in annoyance.
" You didn't read the manual, did you? If you had you would know that in there are listed all kinds of monsters. Along with their category and weaknesses."
“ Yes, ma'am! I know that but... I just enrolled and I didn't have the chance to properly read it. So... could you please inform me about them? If it isn't too much of a burden of course.”
She lets out a heavy sigh.
“ I guess we have some time before we reach our destination, so why not? Ok, listen up. Imagine your stereotypical goblin. Now increase its size to that of a human's and set it on fire.”
“ That's it?” he asked.
" Well yeah. Fire-goblins are just more powerful goblins. Their skin is black instead of green and it is permanently ablaze. Their fire only goes out when they die. Their hair is pure fire. The same goes for their mane. They are equal to soldiers like you, but not with us."
He looks at himself. The same as he?
“ Of course there are others, stronger fire-goblins. Those ones have a blue fire. But they are a very rare site.”
" I see. Thank you very much, ma'am. I really appreciate it" he said sounding pleased with her answer.
“ No trouble. Now eyes on the road. Stay concentrated. We are almost there.”
As soon as she says that a scout appears right in front of her.
“ Ma'am. Jason's group have made contact with the enemy.”
“ How many?” she asks in a hurry.
“ All thirty of them.”
“ All thirty eh?” she says to herself. She thinks for a moment before she turns around and speaks.
“ We have found the enemy. All troops charge and help captain Jason and his squad. Move!”
And with that, they all start running.
' Jason. Please be safe until we arrive.”
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