[32] Precisely on Time
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Those who lived in this world did not consider it a fantasy. Reality, for them, was that monsters existed and, sadly, they had to live in such a land where that was true. Someone, for a reason or another, could inadvertently start a beast stampede that they had to take care of.

"Draw your weapons!"

The sound of blades sharpened as swords drew out of their sheathes. Metal clanked against the earth, a boisterous yell accompanied a match of men in full armor, shining under the light of the gleaming sun. A particular brilliant sword pointed upwards into the sky, then slashed down until its tip was directed at beastly enemies.

"Charge!" The yell of the troop's captain filled the air.

An accompaniment rang alongside him as men rushed from around his riding, straddled, figure and leapt at beasts.

Ogres thundered against the brown land, accompanying them was what most would call small fries. Goblins. Wolves. The little creatures that should have dwelled within the forest ahead, or the mountainous zone in the distance. Something or another had sent them forward, and these defenders were here to stop them before they reached the city behind.

The men in armor clashed against the group and a bloodbath began. Swords and skills against the battered, but dexterous bodies of beasts. Soldiers and guards against ogres and other walking beasts.

"Filthy ogres," Seated upon the only horse on the battlefield, Evan Macron muttered, silver eyes glaring out at the beastly creatures that had now thrice attacked their city since yesterday's night ended, the moon dwelled, and the sun rose. His men were tired, he was tired, but their failure would mean death behind.

Truth be told, he would have preferred to lay waste to the beasts with a small squad of mages first but, alas, the grounds around Felcius would soon be extended for use as farmland, destroying any hope for that strategy.

'It weakens our hands,' He thought, 'The lord should know better than to do so. Though I suppose a man who kills heroes would not care for our lives.'

Although there was never strict need for competent fighting against the likes of the beasts, as, in the end, most ideas boiled down to surround and kill, there was always some form of casualty. A lost limb. A lost life. Always, someone would lose. If not the men holding back tears for their comrades, it would be a mother crying for her dead son.

Men fought bravely, armor dyeing red, and bodies moving in trained sync with one another.

Evan tched, raised his blade, and prepared to charge into the chaos ahead.

"Open a path for me!" He yelled, weapon glowing red as his mana swirled around it. Unlike the commanders one would find within Tress's capitals, his desire, as always, was to minimize the risks his men faced by also fighting.

"Aye sir!" His men bellowed.

His horse galloped with a light kick to its side and a flicker of his left hand to flap its reigns. Its neighing reached into the morning glow of the sun and the meters were crossed quickly.

His men, quick as ever, leapt from the way and he slashed.

The roars of beasts abounded with the lash of his mana, devouring and exploding until limbs came clean off, and blood splashed the ground in quicker succession. At that moment, a gap was made within the mass of creatures.

He pulled on his horse and sliced.

"Circle around and finish them off!"

"Yes sir!"

Sadly, he was not all powerful. After all, not everyone was. He was not a hero, and nor was he a guardian of a seed. He was a human that had fought until he made his way up and continued doing so. His weapon tore into the head of a sparkling wolf, killing it, and he continued forward until his blade tore into the leg of an ogre, pushing until he sliced clean through and brought it down to a single remaining knee.

His horse, used to battle, neighed and ran from the way of a fist bigger than its head., and he ripped his weapon through the skin of that outstretched, green, arm as he moved forward.

Blood quickly began dyeing his armor, yet, still, the monsters seemed endless. Thankfully less so than the previous night, but too much for no casualties, nonetheless. The first yell of pain was accompanied by the second, as a fist crushed a poor lad within his armor, and onto the ground. Then the second scream was accompanied by the third of a wolf, speed beyond most other beasts around, tore through the arm of an individual, armor or not, its teeth ripped it off and blood splashed.

'Dammit,' Evan Macron thought with unwillingness.

It was at that moment that a flake of snow landed upon his face.

"Hmm?"

He turned up to see the sky fluttering with white, snow that should not have existed within this season of sun. If it were that of the moon, then certainly nothing would be odd, but even his men must have found it strange as they too, momentarily, glanced to the sky as they dodged beasts and slashed.

"Drown."

A voice matched the sound of something striking against the surface of the earth, shattering and ripping apart the ground, as waves of water rose at the epicenter of the battlefield before falling and washing out of the circular entrapment, taking with its mass the slew of monsters that they had been fighting.

White hair bellowed and the thing that had crashed into the earth stood, revealing itself as a girl whose beauty entrapped and sucked their breaths away.

"Freeze."

The monsters they struggled against froze into statues, becoming immobile creatures whose roars were trapped beneath a layer of ice they could not break from.

"Shatter."

The small troop widened their eyes as beasts were crushed under the force of compressing ice, until their bones grounded, and their tissues became nothing more than blood.

Evan looked at the creator of such direct, precise, killing.

Hair of pure white, an attire of a matching color, she was like a goddess of ice and snow, and he recognized her, from a vision of a battle against a hero whom she stripped power from. The wielder of powers over water and ice, the being the world itself had termed. . .

"The Ice Queen. . ." Evan muttered.

The girl gingerly glanced around her, at a pace that made them aware she moved at her own leisure. She ignored the blood. And she ignored the small squirms of pain from men who were still battered. All she did was glance at the surrounding group that had once been fighting creatures she easily slew.

"There we go," Her voice carried itself as she spoke, crimson snow drifting about her as the corpses of ogres shattered into the wind, "I believe that should be the last of the lingering runaways? I'm thankful I could make it here in time."

Under her unnaturally frosty eyes that momentarily glazed gold as they looked over them, the men gulped, realizing why less beasts had charged here today than the prior night. Had this girl hunted down all the stampedes? Though unharmed themselves, they felt a desire to run away from her. Evan, as well, in all his years of battle, found his figure chilling. For a moment, he too wondered if he feared her until he realized that his armor had frosted and his blade cracked with a layer of ice.

"Ah," Claire spoke as she turned towards the man, spotting him as the only one upon horseback, "I'm sorry, even this attire cannot completely hinder my coldness now when in battle. I'll recede my mana at once."

Just as it came, the coldness in the air left, returning to its originator as the snow and frost around them disappeared at once.

She smiled at the man she termed the leader.

"Now, could you perhaps tell me whether I've arrived within Tress?"

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