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Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde]

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#26Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:48 am

Jin Tatsumi
The man’s grip loosened. A small tuft of air flowed into the light mage’s lungs, and with it he released a gurgled snarl of hate. He raised his arms and beat the but os his fists into the man’s forearms. The blow struck a sensitive tendon that sent a sharp pain ripple up the man’s arms. His hands flitted away. Jin Slammed a fist into his jaw once more. A small crack and pop only heard by those two acted as the herald of the tooth flinging free from the follower's mouth.

Water welled up in the attacker’s eyes accompanied by rapid blinks. Jin bucked his hips and the man’s weight shifted upward. His head lunged over Jin’s. The catapult rocked. Jin clasped the side of the wooden arm of the catapult that was as thick as the base of a tree and rolled to the side. The two tumbled off. Jin landed on top of the boulder loader with a thud. Now Jin clamped onto the man’s throat to strangle him. They fought and clawed until Jin kept one hand on the man’s throat and pummeled him with another. The blows continued until the missionary of Brunhilde's struggle became weaker and weaker. Blood dripped from Jin’s knuckles. Soaked more and more every time he pulled it back until his fist was red.

“What have you done!” The only one that was uninjured yelled in anguish at the sight of his allies suffering. Jin staggered to his feet. His arms dropped to his sides.

#27Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:49 am

Jin Tatsumi
He held his head low. Visions of blood death and violence clouded his sight. Blood dripped from his fists and stained his clothes. It was a mingled mess of his own and that of his enemies. His fingers twitched from being clenched into fists for a time that seemed never-ending. “What I have to,” Jin replied with weariness clung to the syllables. He tripped over the body as he stepped forward. Arms still hung at his sides and swayed in the breeze like reeds.

“How dare you! Infidel! Blasphemer!” The man screamed and launched himself in the air with a superman punch. Jin rocked his head back. The fist came closer, but it was too fast to evade. The blow struck him across the temple. White filled his vision. He felt his feet shuffling beneath him. Only by instinct did he find footing amidst the blackout. And only long enough to be hit again from the other side. The missionary stepped forward and haymakered with each advance. Jin’s body jolted back and forth. His vision searching for stability that never came.

Hard bark scratched his back from the tree he finally backed into. He bumped off the tree and right into a final strike from the missionary. Jin fell back into the tree and slid down it flopping onto his backside. His vision settled. Blood trickled from his nose and dripped onto his pants.

“Stay down,” the missionary scuffed and rushed to his suffocated friend. Kneeling at his side, the missionary placed his ear next to the man’s mouth, listening for hope.

#28Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:49 am

Jin Tatsumi
Jin coughed and panted with a fraction of the fervor needed to survive. The spear still stuck from the man’s chest like a flag pole calling him. Body aches quaked his being from the battles. He leaned forward, nearly dropping all the way to the ground. His legs gave way and he fell to his elbow. A soft rattle of leaves beneath the partial weight of his body. The missionary still kept his ear to the injured man’s mouth and laid a hand across the man’s chest.

With one eye swollen shut, the light mage shifted his weight to his arm and pulled himself along the ground. One lump forward at a time. Mud and grime smeared his clothes and face. Droplets of rain sprinkled the ground. The sun hid behind clouds. He dug his fingers into the earth and dragged his body forward slowly. His eyes stayed on the missionary, whose back was still facing him. His attention zipped from the spear to the man. Every inch was like a mile. His hand flung onto the dead man’s body.

Exhausted, he pulled himself to a seated position with one arm. The spear was a brace for him. He grasped it and the blade stabbed deeper into the corpse and the ground, seeking stability so Jin could rise to his feet. He leaned with both hands on the shaft of the weapon.

The missionary turned finally. Jin glared back at his enemy, who was standing now with a fist balled and feet planted wide.

#29Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:49 am

Jin Tatsumi
Droplets poured between the two men, slowly splattering on the ground. Jin whipped the spear out. The corpse jolted as the blade burst its way free, slinging blood droplets to mingle with the rain. One from above and the other from below. The paladin held his spear at his side. The weapon was just that...a plan weapon. But somehow, holding it gave the man vigor. He found the strength to stand with his weapon in hand.

“Not...over...yet,” Jin breathed.

The missionary lunged. Fists perked up and bludgeoned the rain as he made his way ever closer. The spear sucked in small rays of the sun and radiated it back. The light bounced between the droplets as the spear shot forward. The missionary dipped to the side. The spear ripped the cloth off his shoulder. The missionary followed with a barrage of punches aimed at Jin’s ribs.

Water made the ground slick, and the missionary slid only a few inches. It was enough to throw his punches off target. Jin hopped back and spun in the air with his spear. Rays reflected rainbow patterns in the water droplets. The blade whispered the chorus of light as it crashed down like a wave among the rain. The force obliterated left the man weeping to the forest floor. JIn held the spear with both hands.

“Tell me everything I want to know...now,” He asked. The battles of war raged around them. Bolts cried out against the trees. Missionaries howled in pain.

#30Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:50 am

Jin Tatsumi
Elves ran through the forest with blades and bows, leaping and bounded into conflict against the forces of Brunhilde. Down the narrow bath towards the third catapult, cries of battle turned to whimpers of pain. Gears flung into the air. Missionaries stood with weapons drawn back to back against the tide of encroaching elves. All ready to end the long fight. Footsteps splashed in nearby puddles. Amaris appeared on the path. Clothing tattered, he leaned against a tree, silently waiting for Jin.

“Where are the rest of your forces and your battle plans?” The tip of Jin's spear glanced the man’s throat.

“I die for the will of my church,” The missionary showed his throat and rose his chin high.

Jin’s brow furrowed. For all that war was, he was not a torturer. He ended the man’s fight, leaving him with the dignity of his faith in life and the disgrace of a muddied puddle in death.

“That's all for here. We need to track the path they marched from.

“I’ll have our best trackers on it. Catapults are not a subtle thing to move and there are only so many roads to travel within the land. And we know them all,” Amaris turned and beckoned for his war party to join him. He dished out orders. The words faded and wisped away to Jin. The torment of battle left him drained. He closed his eyes and let the drops of rain wash away his tempered rage as the sun set on the bloody forest.

#31Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:50 am

Jin Tatsumi
An arm slid beneath his shoulder. Jin pointed his spear when a familiar voice whispered, “It’s just me,” Amaris spoke. “Let’s get out of here. The night is done. Jin let his weight fall onto Amaris’s shoulder as the two helped one another walk away from the carnage. The first wave was done but the war was not over. It may not be a war for them, but for the Boscosi people, it was all they could think about.

The two arrived at a small clearing. Tents were already going up, made of branches, moss, and leaves. It reminded Jin of the gritty times during the battles long ago.

“The inescapable truth of existence,” He said looking at the injured being carried in. One man stirred a pot of stew with a single-arm, while his other arm was held tightly in a sling. The flame boiled the pot of stew and brought in elves and demi-humans.

“There is always a battle to be fought and pain to be had,” Jin finished. Amaris opened his mouth to speak about the joys of life...but they both knew that already and neither wanted to reminisce about the good days of the past just yet.

The two slunk down on a turned-over log by the fire. Heat warmed the light mage’s face, scattering the cold chill of sorrow. Boiled meat wafted into the air. Jin’s head bobbed forward. His eyes blinked and snapped back open. Not even the smell of food was enough to rouse the mage.

#32Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:50 am

Jin Tatsumi
Jin leaned to the side, finding the shoulder of his friend once more, and shut his eyes. He could feel the heat. Smell the food. The stench of battle was eclipsed by beef and carrots. His head slunk once more and slumber gripped his weary body.

Birds chirped in the morning light. Dew danced on the blades of grass. A voice flowed through the camp from an elven woman. Angelic in its delivery of an old Elven hymn to the warriors of old. A song of perseverance and triumph after the tribulation. One by one the elves and demi-humans awoke. Jin opened his eyes to the thatched roof of moss and leaves. His feet curled up beneath the small opening. An itchy blanket draped over his body.

Elven feet, slender and graceful, walked by the opening, carrying the voice of the singer. The song stopped. Long dark hair dripped down in front of the small opening. An elven woman knelt down with elegant features and a bowl of water.

“You must be Jin. There aren’t many humans here to help us. Thank you for yesterday,” she spoke with the same grace as the song she was signing. Jin pulled his feet in and sat up. “It was...the least I could do,” he shrugged it off and stopped to look into her opaline eyes.

“You can clean with this,” she sat the bowl of water down. Liquid slushed the edges of the bowl. “The scouts made it back with an idea of where to go next. But take your time...Jin,” she stood and left to continue her song of the morning dew.

#33Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:51 am

Jin Tatsumi
Jin pulled the bowl in and plunged his hands into the warm water. His reflection rippled with a glimpse of the blood-smeared face and red-lined hair. He peeked his head out from the small hole. A leaf fluttered down, landing on his head. Swatting it away he saw the woman moving through the camp with ease.

Amaris stood in the center of the camp. Bags under his eyes, he directed the men to suit up. Jin emerged. The radiant spear was leaned against the side of the makeshift tent. The shaft had symbols drawn down it. Elven writing was etched into the weapon. He smiled and holstered it to his back.

“Jin, you're awake. We leave in ten. Southward to the roads. A shipment may be coming by,” Amaris said.

“How long have I been asleep for,” Jin replied and rubbed the sleep from his eyes.

“Only a good night's rest. The roads are a two days trip. We should be able to intercept the second force of missionaries there,” Amaris tossed a burlap sack toward Jin.

Jin opened the sack to reveal apples and nuts nestled into the nooks and crannies. Without hesitation, he shoveled a handful of nuts and chomped into the apple. “Thanks. Ready when you are.” The group traveled for days through the wilds. The closer they came the softer the song of the morning became. The final day arrived and Amaris crawled toward the ridge. It was a small hill that dropped down onto the road below.

#34Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:51 am

Jin Tatsumi
The dirt road was ten feet wide. Grooves Ran down the far sides of the path from thin wheels. Some from wagons and others, sunk in deeper, no doubt the route the catapults had taken. Jin and the elves hid behind the row of bushes and foliage that shrouded them from passing eyes.

Another hill rose up on the opposite side, making this path a death trap for enemies that lurked the lands. As long as someone knew the when and where. Amaris gestured for a team to cross. Five elves ran down the hill and up the other side, with bows on the backs and quivers full of arrows. They vanished even from the watchful eyes of those that knew where they were.

Jin let his spear rest on the ground and out of sight and sat next to it. Now all they had to do was wait. The road was silent. The slither of snakes brushed through the ground. Breath left puffs of white mist in the air. Jin closed his eyes and was lost in thought about what would happen next. What the battle would look like. Did he need to keep killing?

“It’s time,” Amaris whispered and all at once the forces stood to a kneeling position, still behind the trees.

A wagon rolled down the path with two more behind it. The wagon in the lead brandished the holy symbol of the church and beneath it was the symbol of Brunhilde. Come to claim more followers in the land.

#35Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:51 am

Jin Tatsumi

Jin inhaled deep through his nostrils, and they flared with battle readiness. Amaris held up his hand, and the elves knocked their arrows. The pull of the stings was a low hum. The songstress was a few people down from Jin. She too readied her bow. Dirt covered their feet from the hike and they looked more feral than rugal now.

Arrows pointed down at the wagon. Arms drew the bowstring and held it still as if it was the thousandth time they had fired. Amaris’s hand fell. The wagon driver looked over his shoulder back to the men with a smile. A small joke left his lips and was met with a choir of chuckles.

The elves leaned forward and the bowstrings whipped. Arrows flashed through the bushes. One struck the side of the wagon, inches from the driver's head. He scuttled around in his seat as a volley of arrows rushed in. The horses kicked and bucked. The driver strained to pull on the reins, Almost leaving his seat. The wagon veered to the left and then right. An arrow shattered the driver’s collarbone and the reins flung freely in the air. The horses kicked themselves free and bolted down the path. The driver leaped from his seat and rolled on the ground, kicking up a dust storm. The arrow snapped off and he jumped onto the side of the hill.

“Ambush,” he yelled out. More arrows littered the ground around them. The other two wagons veered out of control.

#36Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:52 am

Jin Tatsumi
The horses burst free from the second one. Arrows shut down and severed the bindings that kept the great beasts of burden tethered to the wagons. The forces of Brunhilde took refuge on either side of the wagons, ducking down and craning their necks to get an idea of what was happening. Jin waited as the arrows flew freely, striking the wagons and sending men reeling to the ground.

Amaris raised his hand once more and dropped it down. Jin snatched up his spear and charged down the hill. The first driver awaited him at the bottom of the hill. Jin bounded off the hillside and landed on the dirt road. Whirling around he drove the spear into the man’s gut. Both wounds left him incapacitated in the muck of the dirt road. The paladin felt renewed from the last fight. The elves charged down one after another with shortswords.

Jin rushed in toward the next wagon. Two men met him with battle axes. Jin blocked the first swipe. The next one came horizontally at his ribs. The paladin flung the first ax away and parried the second. The two assailants stumbled off and Jin walked through the middle and spun to meet their ire. He was in the middle and they took either side of him.

They tossed the axes, flipping them in the air, and caught them, with menacing grins. Jin lowered his stance and held his spear between the two men, ready to turn to face either one.

#37Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:52 am

Jin Tatsumi
The men ran full force at the paladin. Jin ducked and dodged, his boots hitting the far sides of the narrow dirt path and darting back again. Flashes of the radiant spear filled the space between the wagons. The clang of blades erupted. Jin spun the spear around his waist and over his head, then sent it crashing down with a thunderous boom. The impact snapped the handle of one of the battleaxes. The missionary fell to the ground. The second ax wielder rushed to save his ally.

Jin leapt backward. The ax slashed a line through the chest of his shirt. The spear rained down once more and stabbed into the man’s leg. Jin stepped in, lining his foot next to the wounded man’s. His hips swung in and dipped below the man’s center of gravity. With a quick pop, the missionary was sent flying over Jin’s shoulder. As the man hung in the air, Jin batted him to the ground with the spear.
The men crawled on the ground. The wind blew dirt in their eyes. Jin loomed overhead. Eyes like a demon staring down at his enemies with cold indifference. The spear gleamed overhead once more and the two men closed their eyes ready to be sent to whatever heaven they believed in. Jin struck down with the blunt side of the spear, knocking both men unconscious. Amaris stepped around the wagon neither relieved nor concerned about Jin’s actions. Jin relaxed and shrugged his shoulders back to stretch out the tension of combat.

#38Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:53 am

Jin Tatsumi
“We should be able to get the supplies now,” Jin remarked and stabbed the spear into the padlock on the back of the wagon. The metal lock shattered and toppled to the ground. Jin flung the door open. Within were the teachings of Brunhild’s illumin church. Books stacked on books to the left of the wagon. They were bound in neat bundles. Some were heavier tomes while others were pamphlets to be handed out and convert the masses. On the other side was a crate of oil and a box of torches. Jin ran his hand over the crate of oil. His mind drifted to the church's quick action in burning those that did not agree with them.

Amaris placed a hand on Jin’s shoulder, “It’s alright. We got them this time.”

“Its’ not enough,” he looked over is shoulder at Amaris. He found comradery and understanding in the elf’s eyes. Jin climbed into the wagon and rummaged through the rest of the stock. Food crates and weapons to be delivered to different postings.

“A supply run,” Jin shook his head and rolled the barrel of oil out of the back and onto the ground. The remaining elves gathered up the missionaries from the final wagon. Some died in the assault and others were sat down in a circle. Head wounds and bruised bodies accompanied them.

Jin pried off the top of the oil barrel. “Help me lift it,” He called to Amaris, who responded with a cocked brow and tilted head.

#39Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:53 am

Jin Tatsumi
“They burn your teachings so we are gonna auburn theirs. What they have done to you, we will give back to them,” Jin replied and suddenly an elven scream came from the prisoner area.

An elven maiden dropped her bow and unsheathed her short sword. “It’s him!” She screamed and rushed with fury in her eyes. Another elf scooped her up and held her from a rampage.

“He burned my church. Burned my family,” the elven woman proclaimed. The missionary let out a small chuckle at the anguish. “They were unworthy. Refuse to conform and you will all meet that fate.”

Jin walked by the woman, “Don’t worry.” He said and leaned over the man. They exchanged unwavering stares. Neither one backed down. Jin grabbed him by the collar and drug him toward the wagon. The woman watched in silence. Amaris tipped over the barrel of oil. The dark liquid flowed into the back of the wagon and waterfall onto the ground.

Jin slung the man by his collar to the base of the wagon. He landed with a wet thud, in the pool of oil.

“Are you mad!” The missionary yelled. His brethren turned their eyes away. Jin rose a torch and Amaris lit it. “For the church,” he tossed the flame into the oil and set the documents ablaze. The man writhed in pain. The same searing hot fire he brought to others was now engulfing him. The chronicles of the church went up in flames. Slivers of paper spilled embers into the wagon.

#40Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:53 am

Jin Tatsumi
Slips of paper floated in the air and glowed red, consumed by the fire. The wagon dropped to one side. A wheel popped off and then another sent the wagon to the ground. The other wagons followed suit, all lit up in flames, except for the weapons and food the elves unloaded. JIn walked away from the burning wagons and the elves finished off the rest of the men. In the fire, a small book slid out from beneath the driver's seat. The cover was burned and some of the pages fell free.

JIn reached in and pulled his hand back as the flames licked upward. Mustering his resolve he reached in once more and yanked the book free. The pages were hand written in messy ink.

“What is it,” Amaris asked, looking over Jin’s shoulder.

The book was an account of supply lines and camps to visit during their mission. They had the keys to success now.

“Victory,” Jin replied and handed the book to the elven leader. Amaris smiled and brandished the book for all the others to see.

“After today we split into two teams. We take the supply lines and ransack the food stores. According to the book, there are five locations in the immediate area. The elves and demi-humans regrouped away from the fire, leaving it burning as a message to any other travelers.

Jin sat in the ring of forest runners. The elven songstress sat next to him. A hand on his shoulder of thanks for bringing them this far.

#41Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:54 am

Jin Tatsumi
“We have our work cut out for us according to this. First, we hit these supply routes. Then one of our leaders is being taken to stand court. We won’t let that happen,” Amaris laid out the plan and rolled out a map of the area. On it, he marked the different routes and bases that the book mentioned, as well as what path the elven prisoner was taken on.

Jin volunteered to go for the furthest ones. Amaris politely disagreed. Giving Jin the closer targets that would also put him on the rescue team.

The light mage agreed and sat back, thinking about how they would do it. But there was plenty of time for that later. The songstress volunteered to be with Jin’s team. With the plans laid out, they began their assault in the morning.

Jin cuddled up in his hideaway of a tent. The songstress walked by and stopped once more, “We leave tomorrow. I’ll have your back,”

“Thanks. I’ll have yours. Now let’s get some rest. Lots of work in the morning,” Jin rolled over and pulled his tunic up like a pillow.

The sun rose once more and the teams split into two. The songstress stood behind Jin and they ventured out. It was nightfall again by the time they got to the first camp. They held a candle-lit vigil at night. Jin and the elves waited for the prayers to end. The last missionary dropped his hands from a praying position and scuttled into tents much nicer than how the elves slept.

#42Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:54 am

Jin Tatsumi
Lamps swung from trees around the camp. A fire burned in the middle with an old pot of food sitting next to it. Sleepy late-night watchers sat huddled around it, too tired to make their way to bed. Missionaries walked the perimeter keeping an eye out for anything. Their hands lazily rested on crossbows. Jin nodded to the songstress and she began to move closer to the camp. She dropped to a small bush.

Jin tossed a stone against a tree, by a night guard’s head. The guard turned slowly and waddled left and right, to find the source. The songstress snuck up and wrapped her arm around the man’s neck. With only a slight rustle, the two fell into the foliage and she was the only to emerge.

Jin slipped into the camp with two elves behind him. One grabbed a lantern on the way in. A guard opened the flap of the tent right next to the infiltration team. Jin froze in his spot, not even a breath escaping his lips. He held his arm across the chest of one of the elves signaling for them to halt. The missionary yawned and walked toward the urination station.

Jin nodded and spun around the tent. He kept a low profile while easing his way through to the other side. A stock of supplies silhouetted against the thin fabric of one of the tents. Jin reached back for the lantern and with a small dagger, busted the glass letting more air feed the flame.

#43Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:54 am

Jin Tatsumi
He heaved the busted lantern at the tent. The sound caused the guards around the fir to leap to their feet. As soon as they looked over, an arrow struck one of them and then another.

“Attack,” a missionary yelled. The tent with the supplies went up in flames. Jin pulled the flap of the tent back to see the lantern landing close to a stock of oil barrels. “Run,” he yelled and dove to the nearest tent he could find. The barrels exploded sending missionaries skyward in human balls of flame.

The missionaries in the tent rolled out of their bunks and everyone froze, seeing the paladin crouched in the doorway with two elves at his side. The men rushed to their feet half in armor and the others in loose-fitting pants for sleeping.

Jin held his spear out horizontally as the men rushed. The two elves pushed against Jin’s back, giving him the force to shove the missionaries back and stumble over each other. With another swing of the spear, Jin sliced a hole in the side of the tent. He jumped through the hole and dashed toward the edge of the camp. Missionaries rushed with buckets of water to the fire but all it created was steam as the fire raged on.

Missionaries chased after the trio. Jin held the rear, whirling his spear at any who got too close. A missionary ducked the spear and leaped toward the paladin. An arrow blasted the attacker in the shoulder sending them careening to the dirt.

#44Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:54 am

Jin Tatsumi
Jin looked over to see the songstress holding a freshly fired bow. The two locked eyes and she placed a hand on her hip with a smile he could see from there. She loosed another arrow and a man howled in pain behind Jin. The paladin looked back to see reinforcements on the way. He darted to the forest with the songstress cover fire overhead. Another explosion marked the end of the camp. Supplies gone and conversion material eradicated.

Jin collapsed once they were safely away. A breath of relaxation finally hit him. “Thanks for watching my back,” He said to the songstress. She offered him her hand to get back to his feet.

“Told you I’d have your back. We did. We really did it,”

“Yeah...we can win this,” he took her hand and the two stood up. The other elves gave them a moment and forged for their food. Time passed by and the team struck more camps, leaving explosions of supplies behind them.
The final camp burst into flames. Most of the missionaries escaped and ran scattered into the wilds themselves. They were most likely too afraid to risk the other group of elves attacking them on the roads. The songstress stood in the middle of the camp with Jin next to her. Her bow was held with an arrow ready to fly. Jin stood with his spear held before him and her at his back. Enemies surrounded them and encroached with crusader mindsets written on their faces.

#45Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:55 am

Jin Tatsumi
The elven lady fired arrows into the crowd of attackers. Jin spun the blade of his spear at anyone that came too close. He ducked and spun around the elven woman to keep her safe. She fired arrows around him and over his shoulder, thinning out the attackers. The missionaries were struck to the ground by arrows. Some took a shot to the leg immobilizing them. Jin hacked at limbs and anything else that came within range. One eye always held the lady to know exactly where she was. They wove around on another, switching spaced each time an attacker got too close and Jin needed to intercept.

His spear thrusted over her shoulder and beneath her legs as she jumped over it and rolled across his back to fire more arrows. Eventually, the attackers were all laid out on the ground. The two backed into each other. Their backs bumped lightly but they knew exactly who it was without looking.

Her bow hung at her side. Long dark hair ran down her back in a braid. Jin stood next to her, both of them looking at the victory. Until her eyes found him with a smile. “Made it.”

Jin looked over his shoulder at her slender features and turned to face him. “Yeah. Thanks for having my back once more.” They stood in a moment of silence before she stepped in and found his lips. Jin tensed up surprised and leaned into the moment. His spear stabbed into the ground, he wrapped his arms around her.

#46Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:55 am

Jin Tatsumi
Night covered the land and the followers of Brunhild were another missionary camp down. Jin and the elves retreated to their forest refuge. When the morning light came it found Jin asleep alone in his sleeping bag. An extra pillow was waded up next to him and a feminine stack of clothes was bundled in the corner.

A voice sang out from the forest. Jin peeked his head out to see The songstress singing and sharpening her arrowheads. A plate of food was placed on the stump next to her and an empty plate was by her feet.

“Mornin,” she replied with a lopsided grin hidden behind her focus on work. “That plate is for you. We’re gonna leave soon to rescue the elven prisoner.”

Jin yawned his way out of the tent and scooped up the plate. “Thanks. I’ll be ready.” They went into their daily routine out of habit. She sharpened his bladed weapons and he made sure her armor was bound and fitted. Only this time a small glint was in their eyes as they moved around one another.

Jin downed a decanter of water. “Alright then. Let’s head to the rendezvous point and move in.” The group traveled a few more days to the main road that twisted through the center of the land. Amaris’ camp was an hour off the road and they greeted each other like old friends. He was down man but no one brought it up.

“Here is the break-in procedure,” Amaris laid out a crude drawing of a keep.

#47Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:56 am

Jin Tatsumi
The team snuck through the forest under the cover of night. A full moon brightened the sky. The songstress pulled Jin’s hand. The couple stopped as the rest of the elves snuck ahead. “I just wanted to say, be safe. Let’s be quick about this one.”

“I know you have me covered,” Jin winked at her, gave her a quick kiss, and rushed back to meet the others. Grappling hooks reached out and hooked the second-floor window. They scaled the side of the building. A guard turned the corner to be struck down by an arrow from the songstress. Jin smiled knowing things were just as expected.

The group pulled the window open slowly. The top elf leaped inside. A small metallic clang followed and then silence. A second later the elf waved them in. A holy knight of Brunhild’s church laid on the floor. The elves shuffled the unconscious body into a closet.

Amaris pointed to one direction and then waved a group to follow him down a different path. “I’ll hold off the guards. You get the elf.”

“Got it,” Jin said and waited by the window. Two archers climbed the ropes. He helped the songstress climb in and wrap up the grappling hooks, hiding their presence. They exchanged a quick glance and tip-toed down the hall. A music box played in them. Jin halted. The songstress and the other elf mirrored his action. After a few seconds, he continued down the hall and ducked up a stairwell.

#48Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:56 am

Jin Tatsumi

Amaris and his men flanked a hallway further down. Their job was to make sure they didn’t get ambushed if things went to hell. Jin gulped and moved up the winding stairwell. The steps were wide and the stones on the walls were old and some of them chipped. The flight of stairs ended with a set of double doors. Two guards stood posted at either side. The window to the right of Jin showed the fourth story of the keep and the tower that they climbed higher into.
Jin eased his back against the turn in the wall and counted down from three on his hand. At one he pointed around the corner and the trio dashed out. Jin hurled his spear and the songstress fired her bow. The spear pinned a man’s throat to the door. The arrow struck the other through the eye. The second elf on the team made it up in a flash and stopped the bodies from rolling down the stairs.

Jin wiggled the handle but it was locked tight. With a deep breath, he raised the spear. The songstress put a hand on his chest. “Let me,” She said and unfurled a lock pick kit. With adept maneuvers she wiggles the tools into the lock and a few clicks later the gears opened. “Full of surprises, Jin smiled and pulled the doorknob. The door rattled open, despite how slow he pulled it. He winced at the rattle and pressed his ear to the door.

#49Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:56 am

Jin Tatsumi
Hoping there were now sounds of stirring on the other side of the door, he held his breath. Tense seconds passed and sweat beaded his forehead, but there was only silence. He looked back to the songstress with a nod and pressed the door open further. His head peeked in first. A dim light filled the room for candles adorned in the corners. Dank and wet cloth sipped its smell into the walls. A bucket of half-full water sat next to the door. The water had warped the shape of the wooden bucket and a silver ladle dawdled within it. Jin stepped in, careful not to hit the bucket.

The room was lined with four cells. Two on each side. Bars ran from the ceiling to the floor. All were empty except for one. A bundle of rags laid on a stone slab. Shackles draped down the side of the slab and slithered across the floor to an iron hook in the middle of the cell. Jin stepped forward but a hand grasped his shoulder and tugged the man back. The songstress put a finger on his lips to hush him and tilted her head to the window in the room.

A reflection of plate armor shimmered on the window. Jin took a deep breath in through his nose and nodded. With one hand he pointed to himself and then at the other side of the door. He held up two fingers and pointed at the songstress then to the door. He repeated that to the third elven man.

#50Jin Tatsumi 

Casting out Faith [Sabotage: Brunhilde] - Page 2 Empty Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:57 am

Jin Tatsumi
Jin braced himself against the wall and the floor. His spear was held behind him. He could see the reflection of plate armor and matted hair inch closer to the door. Jin dove into the door, knocking it open with his back and tumbling into the room. The knight slung his shield high in surprise. Jin rolled to his feet and pointed his spear at the man. The songstress rushed in and slid on the floor feet first. The bucket of water spilled on the ground.

Before the water droplets washed the dirty stone floor, the elven maiden launched two arrows. One struck the man’s knee. The knight dropped to his good knee, crying out from the sudden pain shooting through his leg. The next arrow pierced his shoulder and sent the man spinning to the side.
His back was facing Jin. The paladin dashed forward and drove his spear forward to finish the job. “Close one. Good eye,” Jin helped up his lover and the third man walked in backward, keeping an eye on the stairwell.

Jin cleaned the blood from his spear and peered out the window. Below them was a courtyard full of knights of illumin and the flag of Brunhild rose high above the ramparts. Haystacks lined the sides and a makeshift chapel was in the center, near the barracks. “Seems they have moved in here,” the songstress replied. The small keep was turned into a religious fort. But nothing about the supplies showed a long-term plan.

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