Duncan Wolfe lon Diluc III woke to the sound of birds chirping outside his window. His eyes fluttered as he struggled to maintain consciousness. When he finally managed to keep his mind awake, he looked about him and discovered he was in the castle, back on his bed and in his room. He was garbed in a robe and had multiple bandages around his wounds and torso.“Ah, the young prince is awake,” a familiar voice called.Duncan checked the door and saw the family chamberlain, Sir Gregorio Heron, standing at attention. Duncan slowly sat up to address his servant and leaned back on the bed’s headboard. “I… I survived?”Gregorio nodded and approached. He headed first to a bedside table and poured Duncan a glass of water, which he then promptly handed to the prince. As Duncan drank, Gregorio explained further. “Soldiers found you behind a bunch of crates and a ruined wall. You were lucky; without that protection, you would’ve burned to death from that explosion.”“Valerie!” Duncan screamed as
“Victor!” Duncan shouted. Tears began to well in his eyes and he could feel the anger rushing in his chest and cheeks. His whole body warmed up as he felt nothing but rage boil inside him. He then looked up and realized he was just a few feet away from the ogre’s eye. “You’re mine,” Duncan whispered as he climbed up to stand atop his sword. He then reached up and grabbed onto the ogre’s eyelid. The monster retaliated, again attempting to swipe him down. Before the giant hand could strike, Duncan slashed again with his sword and tore through the ogre’s exposed eye. Water and blood exploded all over him and then he felt a heavy impact. The hand had struck and Duncan was thrown down. Fortunately, he crashed into a small cluster of trees that broke his fall. As he landed on the dirt, he felt a few broken ribs and a sprain in his left ankle. He then turned to look for Valerie. “There’s… there’s nothing more for me to do. I can’t move. It’s all up to you now, sister.” Valerie, who st
“Everybody move!” Victor shouted. The crowd at the gates looked up the sloped streets to see Duncan and his group rushing down. They didn’t stick around for long, however, as the ogre began thrashing everything and everyone in its path. “Get out of the way, run!” Valerie screamed at the people ahead of them. “Run to the castle!” Duncan didn’t wait for the people ahead to comply. He jumped onto the cart and used its momentum to charge toward the ogre. “Victor, make it chase you! I’m going to see if I can climb it!” “Are you insane?” Victor asked as he followed. “It’ll crush you with one swipe.” Valerie shouted back, “We have no choice! Just roll with it!” She then turned to their escorts. “I need one of you to help me set up the bomb. The rest of you, assist Lord Victor and make sure that ogre doesn’t go anywhere else. If my brother can climb up that beast, he might be able to strike a vital weak spot to slow it down long enough for us to detonate the bomb.” “Yes, Your Highness!”
Victor shot up from his seat. “Come on, let’s take a look outside.” Duncan nodded. Without a word, he tossed a few coins to the bartender and then grabbed Victor by the scuff of his cloak. Together they made their way to the entrance. They were barely fifteen feet from it when it burst open and in came a Fildebrand soldier. The man’s helmet had been ripped apart despite being made from pure steel and blood had splattered all over the soldier’s chest plate. “Run! Everybody run!” the soldier screamed. He barely got to say another word when a reptilian beast snatched him in its jaws and ripped his torso apart. The beast was at least eight feet tall when on all four limbs and stood even taller when on its hind legs. Its tail was another five feet in length and its claws looked sharp enough to tear through metal. The beast snarled at the people inside the tavern and then leaped inside. It pounced on an old man right a few feet away from Duncan and started ripping into the man’s guts.
There weren’t too many soldiers. Duncan poked his head out of the corner one more time and did a headcount as quickly as he could. He then slumped back into his hiding spot behind the column. “How many?” asked Victor. Duncan glimpsed at his friend and then answered. “About fifteen. They’re in formation, though, so we can slip right behind them if we time it right.” Victor squinted as he thought about it. “Maybe… but it’s risky. Why are they in formation? I thought the vanguard left three days ago?” “I don’t know,” Duncan replied with a shrug. “Maybe my father thinks it’s time we send more forces. We could be winning. We could be losing.” “Right, so now’s the perfect time to go visit the Founding Princess, eh?” Victor rolled his eyes with disbelief. Duncan raised an eyebrow. “What — and you don’t want to go?” Victor lightly hit his friend on the shoulder. “Of course, I want to go. I’m just saying… with a major battle just a few miles away, don’t you think your father will sudd