Either way another wizard of the Abandoner from the forgotten tower was on his face bleeding out at the hands of Dagger and his magical blade. I regarded the blade as I looked up and back, I saw the entire outfit staring at me with wide eyes.
Crusher’s army drove off the remaining beasts from the Grinder, killing as many as they could in their retreat. Crusher rode up and regarded the remains of Grinder, and then he looked at me through his narrow silvery eyes.
“Earthshaker will not forget one who has killed two of his wizards, yes his wizards. The Abandoner he considers just another of his wizards also, be careful Dagger. Possession of that blade does not make you immune to his retribution.” I noticed knight-captain Iron staring at me as he walked towards where I was standing.
“Now I have to keep my eyes on you Dagger, he’ll be looking for you seriously now. Word about that blade is out among the forgotten.”
“Well, it doesn’t have to be me right? Anyone can use the blade correct sir?”
“Sure, but not with your skill, I don’t know how to explain this Dagger but try to listen. The blade is what you could call alive; it has chosen to use you. It’s yours now get used to it.” There was that Iron in his voice again that you can only nod and agree with.
Once the chaos subsided and the dead and injured were counted we were left with eighteen thousand healthy soldiers when we started from Glory with forty thousand. The ghost legion had lost sixteen brothers as I said; our numbers are low these days anyway. We are in the low thousands. We never give out exact numbers of how many we are to try to maintain that mystique of being everywhere that we had in the past. Part of our tradition each night is for every brother to light three fires so the outfit appears three times as large to enemy armies. We are such a small brotherhood now; every loss was felt personally by the others. The ghost legion is all we have; we all wanted nothing more than Earthshaker and Abandoner’s heads on platters. These hit and run tactics were taking a huge toll, both on morale and plain old numbers. We cleared out of the area and hiked a good five miles away from the battle scene and camped to regroup, to find out what exactly was left of the army.
“Why didn’t he just turn into that rock beast and smash everyone?” Wormy asked knight-captain Iron as we set up camp away from the day’s earlier carnage.
“He did Wormy, why do you think eighteen thousand men lived and we won the day?” Wormy shrank,
“Oh, I didn’t see, sorry sir.”
“It wasn’t necessary anyway on our end, Dagger cut the head off of that snake, almost literally. Always fun to see a big oaf underestimate our brother Dagger here. I’m just glad that blade made Grinder’s magic useless in your presence, if not who knows how it would have gone?”
“Me too sir, me too,” I tried to manage a smile but the shock was kind of setting in of today’s events. Usually happens that way for me, I thought I was over it but I guess not. This feeling was much more intense though, I started to shake. Cast put her hand on my shoulder and I instantly felt relieved. “It’s alright Dagger,” for one of the only times in my life I was happy to be calmed with a spell.
We regrouped on the road two days later; we had no choice but to keep moving north to reach Nalpore and the forgotten tower beyond. The knight-captain seemed confident we had hurt Earthshaker and Abandoner enough by killing Grinder that we should be left alone for awhile on the road while they recovered and plotted. At least until we begin to reach closer to Nalpore and the forgotten tower anyway. We marched, my mind was clouded. Earthshaker and the Abandoner now had a personal reason to keep pursuing us; the fear of thinking that I had put my brothers in further danger bothered me to no end.
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