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The End of the Siege
“FIRE!!!” yelled the soldier closest to me. The order was passed down the line of trebuchets, and everyone kicked into action. They released the leavers and the long wooden beams spun and threw its projectile. But as soon as we fired, we braced for the impact of theirs’. The rocks crashed into the wall and the men, sending some flying, others crushed. I sidestepped one the would have managed to clip me if I hadn't seen it out of the corner of my eye. The soldiers were trying to reload the trebuchets, but they could only move so fast. Our artillery hit their ranks, but it barely seemed to dent them. When the Diraku were hit by the rocks, more moved up to fill their ranks, and there didn’t look like there would be an end to them anytime soon. This was not going to end very well. The evil men fired another volley, as did we.
I had only a short warning. I looked skyward and there it was: another flaming rock. I turned to dive out of the way, but I was too late. It landed in front of me and the impact threw me off of the wall. I fell twenty feet below to the dirt streets of Farthad Dur. Darkness filled my vision. I remembered no more.
Someone grabbed my arm and began to lift me off of the ground. My vision slowly returned, along with the pain. But luckily, nothing seemed to be broken. The person quickly pulled me to my feet, shouting something I could not hear. My ears were ringing. That slowly came back as well, and I began to make out the words. But before I truly heard him, I noticed my surroundings. They were on fire. The houses, the buildings, everything. Soldiers were running away from the now decimated gate. The Diraku began to pour like water through the opening. I looked back to the man who was helping me up. He was not a day older than I was. Younger, as a matter of fact.
“Sir, sir? You must come with me. The Diraku are going to take the town and we must flee.” The boy’s eyes were filled with fear.
I stood up and brushed myself off. “Run, this is no place for you to be. Go and flee, I will follow you as soon as I am able.”
I dug my heel into the ground and turned back to where the soldiers were trying to hold back the wave of Diraku. They would not last long. I signaled for retreat, yelling to them loudly. Even though I wasn’t even a soldier, and had no reason to be giving orders, they knew a good idea when they heard it. With a final hack or block from their enemy, they turned and ran. I waited till the last man left and turned on my heel and ran like hell. The Diraku were right behind. More and more of them passed through the now open gate, running over the bodies of man and Diraku alike. The men of Farthad Dur and I ran to the stables as fast as we could. Two men rode one horse, and in that fashion, every man had a horse. There weren’t even any extras. I made sure every man had a horse before I jumped onto the last one. He was white, seemingly perfect in every way. I charged the horse out of the stables, catching back up to the others. We neared the Eastern Gate and galloped through it as fast as the horses could carry us. But there was someone at the gate with a dark cloak that covered their face, guarding it with a bow, firing behind me. I turned on the horse to look, and sure enough, right behind me, the Diraku followed relentlessly. It only took me a second to think of the thought, but I reacted as anyone’s instincts would. I reached down and grabbed the person by the collar and they swung onto the saddle behind me as I hurtled through the gate on my horse. The person didn’t protest, but turned on the horse and fired three arrows. They flew straight and true, and cut straight through the rope the held the gate in place. With the rope cut, the gate slid crashing down, holding the Diraku inside. It would only hold them for so long. I then remembered the quest my father had given me, and I broke off from the other men, and turned north, to circle back around Farthad Dur to head to the Dwarven capital of Barok. The person behind me began to complain.
“You are going the wrong way, the survivors are supposed to meet in the forest to the east.” I did not like the way the person said ‘survivors’, but there was nothing I could do about it, he was right. Oddly, though, the person’s voice sounded quite feminine.
In realization, I yanked on the reins of my horse and came to a stop. I turned around on the horse and stared into the eyes of a young lady. I threw the hood of her cloak off, and she objected. She was no older than I was. She had flowing russet colored hair down to the small of her back, and eyes that had almost a crimson tinge of which I’ve never seen before. Her brow was furrowed. Possibly I was in for an argument soon? She had full lips and a small nose, and her face was mature. She was very beautiful.
“What were you doing fighting back there? You should have been with the women and children. You could have been killed!”
“I have no problem fighting. Just because I am a woman doesn’t mean—” but there I cut her off.
“I do not doubt your fighting skills. You apparently have great skill with a bow, but I was just saying that you should have been with the women and children. Understand my concern,” I said, holding onto the reins and pulling the horse around a lone bush.