Scourge Fifty-Five – Organized
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Stray Cat Strut (A cyberpunk system apocalypse!) - Ongoing
Fluff (A superheroic LitRPG about cute girls doing cute things!) - Ongoing
Love Crafted (Interactive story about an eldritch abomination tentacle-ing things!) - Completed
Dreamer's Ten-Tea-Cle Café (An insane Crossover about cute people and tentacles) - Ongoing
Cinnamon Bun (A wholesome LitRPG!) - Ongoing
The Agartha Loop (A Magical-Girl drama!) - Hiatus
Lever Action (A fantasy western with mecha!) - Volume One Complete!
Heart of Dorkness (A wholesome progression fantasy) - Ongoing
Dead Tired (A comedy about a Lich in a Wuxia world doing Science!) - Hiatus
Sporemageddon (A fantasy story about a mushroom lover exploding the industrial revolution!) - Ongoing

Scourge Fifty-Five - Organized

The Templar are waiting by the edge of a forest about a hundred paces from the road leading into Algecante. At a guess, they’re trying not to be seen from the city in the distance, which actually makes a fair amount of sense.

Most of the Templars have gotten off their steeds and are brushing the horses down, adjusting their barding, or checking their weapons. As my friends and I step into the little temporary camp they’ve set up, more than a few of the Templars glance at us but they continue working to prepare for a fight.

Lieutenant Obrero, the man who accompanied Commander Nunez to our peace talks, jogs over to us. “Ladies,” he says after a moment of hesitating. I think he’s looking for the right title to us and ends up defaulting to ‘ladies’ which I guess is fair enough.

“Hello, Lieutenant,” I say with a little wave.

He nods to me, glances at my friends, then looks past us. I can guess why.

Behind me is a small army of monsters carefully stalking their way out of the woods. We’ve got mantis monsters and wolves whose eyes glow with cultivated power and a bunch of other, fun monsters who are slinking out of the shadows.

“Commander Nunez will want to speak with you,” he says. I get the impression he’s having a hard time not staring at the monsters.

His Templar pals are having the same issue, with more than a few of them with hands on hilts, but my monsters are well-behaved and other than a protesting honk from the pentagoose (though to be fair, one of the templars looked at it, which is practically asking for a fight as far as geese are concerned) they mostly remain deathly quiet.

I glance at my friends, then make a snap decision. I really should leave at least one of my friends behind to watch, but... well, I don’t want to. “Come on, girls, I guess the Commander will want us to organise things a bit more than usual.”

“More than usual implies that we organise things at all, usually,” Felix says.

“Hey! I’m organised,” Esme protests.

Bianca just follows along with a little smile and a shake of her head.

Commander Nunez is, predictably, at the head of the Templars with his other lieutenant whose name I’ve entirely forgotten. He has a spyglass out, and is using it to stare at Algecante from between a few trees.

“Commander, Lady Malvada is here,” Lieutenant Obrero says stiffly.

The Commander nods, then turns while handing the spyglass to the man next to him. “I see that. And you’ve brought an army.”

“A small one,” I admit. “I made the monsters over the last two days. They’re specially designed to counter zombies and the undead.”

One of the Commander’s eyebrows perks up. “Truly? I didn’t know you could make monsters here, so far from the land of monsters. For that matter, I didn’t know monsters could be made.

“Oh, you can make them anywhere,” I say with a proud smile. “You just need to know what you’re doing. Speaking of which... what’s the plan?”

The commander checks over his shoulder, then points to the distant city. “We have a long ways to travel to get to the gates of the city. They are, fortunately, still open. I don’t have the men, nor I suspect the time, to mount a protracted siege against Algecante. We need those gates to stay open. Otherwise, the plan is... rather simple. Our warhorses can easily trot from here to the city. Once within, we will circle around through the city and search for the necromancers responsible for the undead and eliminate them without prejudice.”

“Nice and simple,” I say.

“Far from it,” he says. “But we are Templars of the god of Heroes. We will not falter now when we are needed most.”

I tap my chin, then squint at the city. “Can I borrow that spyglass for a moment?” I ask.

The lieutenant holding it hesitates, then hands it over. I pinch an eye shut and look through the folding telescope. The city has decently tall walls all around, as I’d expect from any city that wants to protect itself from roaming monsters. The city is technically at the bottleneck of a peninsula, with the walls stretching out across the entire opening. The land on the other side of the city must be worth a fortune if monsters can’t reach it by land.

That mostly means that the city has two ports, one on either side. “If the gates close, we could enter the city by the water,” I say.

“I considered it,” Commander Nunez says. “But Altum’s people are Fear cultivators.”

“Ah, right,” I say. They’ll be quite capable with water-based magics and... yeah, I’d rather not be caught on a raft fighting against someone who is trained to manipulate water. I might not be a tactician, but I’m not a moron.

“Think we can take the gates?” Felix asks.

“I think so,” I say. There’s a big gate in the centre of the wall, and two smaller ones to either side. “Are we aiming for the main gate?” I ask the commander without lowering the spyglass.

“No. The southern gate leads directly to the warehouses and the dock district of the city. I suspect it will be less defended than the northern gate, which leads into the noble quarters,” Commander Nunez says.

“Isn’t that the most likely place for the necromancers to be?” Esme asks. “If I were a dastardly necromancer who had just taken over a city, I wouldn’t be sleeping in a warehouse.”

“You are likely correct,” the commander says. “That’s also what I assumed. The noble quarter has defensible structures as well as walled-off mansions. They will likely be the easiest part of the city to defend. Lady Malicieux, you are familiar with the nobility of Algecante, are you not?”

“I am,” Bianca says.

Commander Nunez nods. “Does this have a keep, or a castle of sorts?”

“No. The families that rule Caselfella have long agreed not to build fortresses for themselves. We live in mansions with walls, not castles. It’s a thin distinction though. The Notari residence will probably be the largest within the walls.”

“I see. Thank you, young lady.”

“So, that’s the plan?” I ask. “We charge over, break in through the south gate, then... rampage our way through the city?”

“We will first capture the gatehouse. It would be wise of us to protect our path into and out of the city, in case we need to retreat or reinforcements arrive. Purging the city of undead will not, I’m afraid, be an easy task.”

I nod slowly. That makes some sense, I guess. “I can send some flying monsters over to the gatehouse right away. If they can scare off any necromancers and kill the undead there, then they won’t be able to close the gates ahead of us.”

Commander Nunez grins. “That sounds exceptionally useful.”

“Yeah, useful.”

I turn to find Lily walking over with the expression of someone who is just walking into a fart cloud.

“Are you going to win the day for us, Luna?”

I glare. “My name’s Valeria,” I say. “And no, I’m not going to win the day. My monsters aren’t suited to a lot of things, and I don’t have the time to make all the different kinds of monsters I need.”

“Can’t you get a dragon or two to help?” she asks.

“Well... probably. But dragons are the opposite of delicate, and we’re here to get rid of the undead and save Semper’s books, not raze the entire city to the ground.”

“Yeah, let’s save the dragons for plan B,” Esme suggests. “Or maybe plan C.”

“Plan D, for Dragon,” Felix says with a snort.

The commander doesn’t seem as amused. “Do you ladies have a way to keep up with us as we move towards the city?” he asks.

“We can fly overhead,” I say. “If you want, I can have my monsters lead the charge. They’re a lot more expendable than your Templars. I don’t want to see your people die for nothing, not even the annoying ones.” I shoot Lily a look, to make sure she knows that last bit’s aimed at her.

She sticks her tongue out at me, but straightens up real fast when the commander turns her way. “Alright. No point in dallying. Templars! We ride in five! Mount your steeds and prepare your steel and your hearts. Today we make our lord proud.”

I whistle, then gesture and my mantis monsters pour out of the forest around us and circle around to the very edge of the forest. I can tell that they’re eager to get stabbing. The Templars eye the monsters warily, probably because the mantises are as tall as they are on horseback.

“Alright,” I say. “Let’s see what we can do about those undead.”

***

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