19 The Capture of Alm Castle 1
The battle of Alm ended shortly after Drake fainted. Yara managed to pick Drake up, and started to treat him right away. After all, the elven bodyguards sent by the Queen were born in the lunar elven alchemist family Eldrick, and healing wounds were the first step to become a proper Eldrick heir.
After the battlefield calmed down, the Immaculate soldiers began to rest, and heal up their wounds, while looting the fallen enemies. After their lord got injured, the Immaculate showed little mercy, and as if they entered a berserk state, they managed to overcome the odds and win the battle. Both their prowess and rage, along with the fall of the Knight Berret crushed the Berret army's morale.
It was a complete bloodbath
More than a hundred soldiers surrendered, and the rank 1 acolyte which was the main cause of Drake's near-death state was successfully captured. At first, the immaculate soldiers wanted to behead her, or plunge their spears in her throats. In their whole life, only one master showed them good will: Drake.
In their lives, only one master trained alongside them, charged alongside them and cheered alongside them: only Drake did. If they could, they would have gladly taken lethal hits so that their lord would survive.
60 Immaculate soldiers were injured in the charge, and more than 20 died.
It was a complete victory. They were barely 100, and they won against three hundred enemies.
However, no one rejoiced.
Because Drake was on the brink of death. Three spears had pierced his belly, and he had suffered a nasty injury on his shoulder which didn't seem like an injury that would heal over the years.
"How is he?", Lewis asked.
Yara, focused on her work, muttered: "I have never seen someone who has as much vitality as our lord. It's a miracle that he is still breathing. However, even with my treatment, it is still unclear whether or not he will survive."
"Use this, Yara", Lara said.
She took out a small vial. Inside, a liquor glowed. It seemed like a magical treasure, and it indeed was. Anyone who knew what it was would feel greed upon seeing this treasure. It was a lunar elven elixir, something that couldn't be created anymore.
"Vitality Elixir…Something that all warriors would seek, something that caused war and immense losses in our tribe…The last alchemist capable of refining this elixir died a hundred years ago! How did you get your hands on it?"
Lara simply shook her head. There was only one way to get such an elixir: The Queen had used her authority. However, it didn't matter. No one had to know. The only thing that mattered was the fact that she could help Drake.
The twin sisters came from the illustrious Eldrick Family, and they served the Queen as loyally as they could. When they were sent to protect the heir, Drake Moonlight, a mere half-blood, they were disappointed. It was clearly a waste of their skills. Both the twins had reached the knight realm, and easily qualified as one of the best warriors in the entire elven tribe.
However, this distasteful task turned out to be a novel experience. They found out that Drake was not the useless half-blood that was despised by inhabitants of her tribe. He was a young man full of vigour, already stronger than most of elite elven warriors. In fact, he was perhaps even better.
His mastery in the elven sword art was second to the royal guards only, and his internal energy seemed endless, a truly mysterious trait for humans who were known for their lack of vitality. Single-handedly, he managed to kill over thirty enemies, with no support, after throwing himself as bait to maximize the odds of accomplishing the seemingly impossible feat: winning the battle.
"It doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is the fact that I can save him. We swore to protect him, and I have the means to do so."
Yara nodded, and then proceeded to apply the elixir on the wounds directly. She didn't waste a drop of the shining elixir. Just from applying the medicine, Yara could feel the potency of the medicine. It was something that knights would wage war for. Traditionally, in the Lunar elven tribe, only the Hand of the Queen, captain of the royal guards, could get a mouthful of this elixir.
The Lunar elves hoped that by handing the elixir, they would welcome a new Grand Knight that would allow the tribe to expand their territory and regain their former glory. However, no such thing happened in the past three hundred years.
The Hand of the Queen indeed became stronger than any knight, but he was stuck in a realm between knights and grand knights. He reached the half-grand knight realm, but it was not potent enough to make him break through. In History though, dozens of lunar elves became grand knights in such a fashion.
If it were someone like Drake who consumed the elixir…with the foundations, talent and strength he had…Then the benefits would be tremendous. It would further increase the odds of him becoming a grand knight in the future.
"We ought to move, fast", Lewis said, "Knight Berret is a very influent person in the Frey Territory. In fact, he was probably the third strongest individual among those affiliated with the Viscount Frey. It is only a matter of time before our actions reach the Viscount Frey's ears. It is a heavy blow in his face. The Viscount Frey may have a lot of soldiers, but most of them are armed farmers to scare bandits. Most of them lack experience, but Knight Berret and his men were elites. After his death, the Viscount will be wary, and probably send hundreds of soldiers to kill us. We could only face the Knight Berret because of our lord's personal strength, his tactics and leadership. None of us can match him in any of these fields, unfortunately."
"We will capture Alm Castle", Yara said.
"What? The vast majority of immaculate soldiers are wounded, or utterly exhausted from the two consecutive battles! They've killed enough. They can't go through another battle!"
Yara stared at Lewis: "You're just a squire, so act as a squire. You might have broken through as a knight, but your mind is still that of a soldier. Look at the big picture. What do you think the lord marched here? To kill a puny rural knight? I don't think so. I think he had a much better goal, and Knight Berret's castle, Alm Castle, was built on the highest mountain of the Frey Territory. This castle is famous throughout the whole Porfield kingdom, to the point that even I, a lunar elf, have heard of it. Although the castle itself is not difficult to access, marching with an army is incredibly difficult. The roads are small, but since it is in high altitude, the soldiers are easily out of breath. When the weather is humid, the mist drives any hostile army crazy."
"What's your point?"
"The Alm Castle has been left undefended. Knight Barret summoned all of his army to attack Drake. Obviously, there are probably some remaining guards protecting the Barret family, but they can't face us all", Yara explained to Lewis.
"I don't trust you", Lewis said while cold-bloodedly staring at Yara, "I don't trust you, Yara Eldrick. You lack empathy and you have always shown inappropriate behaviour around me and the lord. But my lord trusts you, so I will comply with your suggestion. However, I won't obey you. I would much rather let Lara lead this capture."
"Me?", Lara asked, in a timid voice. Since the start of this conversation, she only listened. After all, her sister had always overshadowed her ever since she was born. She was far from being Yara's match as an elven knight, and she really possessed little talent in music and dance. In all fields, her sister Yara overshadowed her entirely. The inferiority complex had thoroughly turned her into a timid, anxious lady.
"You are more than qualified. I am just a warrior, and your sister will kill the entirety of the Immaculate soldiers if it benefits her. You are a good woman, I know it because you are very similar to the Viscount's wife, your queen. Lead us. Do it for the lord."
Lara's facial expression changed. It was the first time in her life she felt such a responsibility.
"We will march tomorrow morning. We will let the immaculate soldiers rest and heal the injured. If we are smart, we will be able to capture the castle without many casualties. The problem is that we need guides", Lara said.
She no longer looked like a timid lady. The change surprised Lewis, and utterly shocked her sister Yara. Since when did Lara hide such an intimidating aura?
"Oh, don't worry about that…We have about a hundred prisonners. I am sure that those who aren't too traumatized by this battle will joyfully guide us if it means getting out of our hands alive", Yara said, loudly as if she wanted to be heard.
A corpse suddenly twitched.
"Please…Water…", a despairing voice wailed.
"Oh, I found my first guide!", Yara said while laughing.