Chapter 64 — Roar
Soran followed up his slash with a thrust. Using his explosive speed and momentum, he pounced on the lizardman lurker. A horrendous stench filled his nostrils, but he calmly held his sword and connected his thrust. His charge caused the enemy to lose its balance, and his sword pierced its heart as the two tumbled to the ground. Soran stabbed it again just to be sure it was dead, then slowly got up onto his feet.
The battle between the rogues had attracted plenty of attention. Soran shouted as he held his sword in hand, "Why are you guys standing there?! Go defend the gates!"
Soran blended into the shadows once again. The battle was still ongoing; there should be another lizardman lurking in the village. It was uncommon for a lizardman tribe to have multiple members with advanced professions, but it seemed that at least two or three lizardman lurkers had infiltrated the village. Soran was at the barn when he’d heard a noise, and the entire warehouse was burning the next moment; it was not something a single lizardman could accomplish.
Lizardmen had mediocre Intelligence, but their decent Dexterity and Strength gave them considerable combat strength. Soran had caught the lurker off guard, but the other lizardmen hiding in the shadows would be wary of him after the death of a comrade. It would be difficult to launch another sneak attack.
What would a lurker do in this situation?
Soran glanced at the spreading fire, but as expected, he could not see any traces of the remaining lizardman lurkers. He pondered for a moment, then headed to the front gate. Their goal of disrupting the enemy had already been achieved, thus their next course of action would most likely be assassinating the prominent figures of the village; rogues were all about sneaking around and assassinating targets after all. In this case, the militia captain who was busy ordering his men around was the most probable target. Once he was killed, the defences would become disorganised and fall into chaos, making it easy for the lizardmen beyond the gate.
Some lizardmen had already climbed over the walls; such a simplistic wall could barely delay the agile attackers. They split up after entering the village, some engaging in combat with the militia, while others charged at the children and elderly cowering in their houses. Some of the militia lost their cool and ran back to protect their families, but that was exactly what the enemy wanted.
"Bastard! Do you want everyone to die?!" Soran tripped a militia who was running away from the wall toward his family and yelled, "Defend the walls! Leave the back to me!"
Soran fired a bolt at a lizardman with his enhanced crossbow, then dashed toward it and cut its head off. The beheaded corpse dropped to the ground, its head rolling with its eyes wide open in shock. A woman was hugging her child tightly, and she screamed as she was not used to such gory scenes.
"Shut up!" Soran shouted and slapped the woman to clear her mind. "Do you want to die here?! If you don't want your kid to become lizard food, get a weapon and fight! You can swing a sword, right?"
The woman was startled, and her legs were trembling. However, she steeled herself after understanding what Soran was trying to say. She looked at the crying toddler in her arms, placed the child on the ground, then stood and picked up the sword that was previously used by the dead lizardman. She had a pained expression as she held the sword with her trembling hands, but she mustered her strength and stabbed the lizardman corpse on the ground and answered, "Yes!"
"Gather the others," Soran said while reloading and firing his crossbow. "Pick up whatever weapons you can use. Slice them with swords, bash them with shovels, or even bite them with your teeth! There's a bunch of hungry ogres out there too. Just so you know, their favourite dish is fresh, young kids. Now fight! Fight if you don't want your children to become stew!"
The harsh words awakened the woman's motherly instincts. The fear in her eyes had been replaced by the desire to protect her child. Like a warrior determined to fight till his last breath, the woman grasped her child’s hand while holding the sword and yelled as they ran to gather the others. Even the women could fight; years of plowing the fields had developed their muscle strength.
There were times when malicious and harsh words made more of an impact than encouraging ones. A dozen children and elderly had already died under the swords of the lizardmen, and it was the fastest way to make the women rise and defend both themselves and their children.
Soran's expression became malevolent; it was time for the real fight. He jumped to the roof of a house, then located the lizardman warriors before leaping down.
As he roared, Soran slashed a lizardman’s neck diagonally. The momentum of his fall accelerated his strike, letting it slice all the way through. The lizardman who lost its head and arm flopped lifelessly to the ground. Soran caught his breath as he kicked the weapon on the ground toward the village girl he had seen earlier, then said in a stern voice, "Pick up the weapon and fight if you don't want to die."
Soran did not have time to speak to them all individually. He had already projected his voice as loud as possible when he had been showering the woman with harsh words; those nearby should have been able to hear what he said. If that could not awaken their survival instincts, there was nothing more he could do.
The freckled village girl trembled as she picked up the sword, her jaw working as though she wanted to say something, but Soran had long since left the scene; he was charging toward another lizardman warrior. The young girl took a deep breath, then ran toward those who had gathered.
Gender and sex did not matter in battle—people were only classified as "dead" or "alive. "
Soran did not hold back on using his precious poison and ammunition. He continued firing his crossbow, paralyzing six lizardmen with wyvern poison. The immobilised lizardmen could only twitch their bodies as they were chopped to pieces by the women who should have been unable to kill them in combat. Their first kills made the women realise they could make a difference and boosted their confidence and morale.
There were still lizardman warriors around, but Soran had neither the energy nor the time to handle them. His original objective was to find the lurkers. With enemy assassins hiding in the shadows, he could not fully concentrate when fighting the other lizardmen. Although the villagers were not that well trained, they were enough to buy him a bit of time to hunt down the assassins; the villagers' muscular strength and will to defend their homes brought out their combat prowess.
Soran pulled out a throwing knife and tossed it with all his might. The space behind the militia captain distorted, revealing a lizardman lurker. It was about to stab the captain in his heart, but it flinched due to the throwing knife slamming into its back. The attack which should had been fatal was thrown off target, merely grazing the captain's back. The captain immediately turned and beheaded the lizardman with his sword.
The militia captain wanted to thank Soran for saving him, but he was interrupted before he could say anything.
"The gate's falling apart! Archers! All archers fire at the ogres!" Soran shouted as he prepared his curved sword.
No one present could defend against the powerful ogres. If they entered the village, the defensive formation would crumble instantly. As ogres rarely wore heavy armor, killing them with bows and arrows was the safest method.
The gate was crushed the next moment. Three three-meter-tall ogres that had ferocious looks charged in with human-sized spiked maces in hand. A guard instinctively blocked an incoming attack with his wooden shield, but it was futile. The shield crumbled into chunks of wood, and the guard was sent flying. He landed several meters away, but it was obvious he had already breathed his last breath; his chest was completely crushed.
Soran had a cramped look as he reached for an item in his multi-dimensional bag.
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