Meanwhile, the prime suspect herself, Sheena Mekh’ta is walking along the path in the snowy forest at the slope of The Grad Mountains.
Sheena the Bladedancer is a tan-skinned woman, which indicates that she was really born in the hot, desert-climate
Speaking of friends, she’s not alone. A troop of about twenty bandits follow her. Also following her are the rogue bounty hunters that taunted Christopher and Carolyn before the Lumien Troll Hunt, Baxter the skinny archer and Ellephar the fat pikeman. It seems that they have given up bounty hunting and join the bandits instead – the natural targets for bounty hunters.
Actually, all this time they worked as bandits and bounty hunters at the same time, before their shady business was found out and reported to the hunters’ guild by none other than Robert Chandler, right after their taunts, insults and efforts to swindle Carolyn and Christopher. The guild launched a thorough investigation, and about a month later Baxter and Ellephar’s bounty hunting licenses were revoked.
Now they are fugitives and they rejoined their former gang under their former boss, Sheena Mekh’ta full time for protection.
Baxter seems relieved to be finally out of the snow, and he talks, ‘Whew! ‘twas one tough stealin’, guys. Dunno how many of those little guys in there. We were stuck, but our boss Sheena, man, a real deal stealth machine, she is! She infiltrated the castle, totally undetected. Grabbed the loot, planted the decoy, and then ‘whoosh’ outta there!’
Ellephar responds, ‘Uh-huh.’
‘And now, here it is.’ Baxter pats the bulging backpack at Ellephar’s back. ‘The moola. Boy, this thing alone can make us all retire young, retire rich, no!?’
‘And now what, boss? Where are we going now?’
‘Stop it, Ellephar! Your “uh-huh” makes me sick!’
‘You two stop yapping! You don’t suppose to talk about job in the open, you nitwit!’ Sheena scolds them.
Baxter and Ellephar fret and only keep their heads low because they’re on Sheena’s payroll and protection. Sheena talks on.
‘And remember, we succeed because of the Grand Trow’s help, so we stole it with no casualties. They don’t care about this sign of old alliance, now the crusades are over and the undead are banished into the underworld. We’ll take a rest in the nearby town, and then we’ll set off to Escudia to find Don Hernan y Parvaez, and see if he likes a pair of greaves to go with his fancy breastplate... ‘
‘What the hell...!’ Sheena is alarmed and draws her scimitars.
As she sees around, she spots one of her gang members laying face-down on the snowy ground, unmistakably dead. A deep dagger wound on his back indicates that he was backstabbed before he can even move a finger, and he was walking in the pack, not at the back.
Sheena makes a stance as though she is ready to counter any more sudden attacks. She senses that a master assassin is around, and she is the target.
She yells, ‘Show yourself! Or give me your best shot!’
There’s no response.
‘Come on! You want me, take me! Spare my men!’
It seems that the attacker is touched by this remark. His playful, threatening voice is heard from behind the leafless, snowy trees somewhere.
‘Impressive. A good leader, I like that. Don’t worry. It’s not you I want. Hand me the mythril greaves, and you’ll be spared.’
With no further thinking, Sheena yells, ‘No way!’
‘Ah, ah. It’s a waste to lose a beautiful natural leader like you. Had I targeted you earlier, you would be dead by now. Second chance. An admirer’s favor. Hand-me-the-greaves.’
‘Thanks but no thanks. I think I’ll keep it.’
This time the answer is not by the same voice as before, but a scream.
Again one bandit falls. His comrades only stand there in disbelief; they could’ve sworn that they only felt a gust of wind blowing on their backs. And in addition to their terrors, two people come walking to them, confidently and menacingly. One of them is a large, muscular man with short hair, well-trimmed, unusual-shaped beard, and double stripes tattooed on his cheeks and the nape of his neck. He’s bare-chested, and his torso is overly large in proportion with his head. And it’s so muscular and formidable as though he is made from iron. He wields a great iron maul, larger than normal mauls and extremely heavy.
And beside him is a sorceress. Her skin is pale and bluish white. Her hair is snowy white, and a bit shaggy, with side ends bent up. She has a diamond-like, luminous tattoo shaped like a frost particle on her forehead right between her eyes.
Her expression is icy cold, colder than Robert Chandler’s. Had anyone sees her for the first time he or she may think that Agustina is not a human, but an ice golem.
The voice comes again. ‘Meet my associates, Desmond Edmundsen and Agustina Vyrakova. Their feats were legendary in Bjordan and Val’shka. And they will be disappointed if I take all the fun alone.’
All the bandits are panic-stricken and two of them even pee in their pants, they’re too panicky to escape. Sheena, Baxter and Ellephar are standing in defense. They don’t dare to run away, fearing some more ‘backstabs from nowhere’. They need to be sure who their enemies are before they can even move their muscles. They stand back-to-back, guarding each other. Baxter and Ellephar are, naturally, trembling with fear.
‘Third chance. Wow, you surely hit the jackpot this time. No one ever survived after dropping the first chance they got – most of them even didn’t have a chance at all! So, what will it be?’
‘Over my dead body’, says Sheena.
‘Tut, tut. Wrong answer!’
No later than it’s said, Desmond Edmundsen the big berserker and Agustina Vyrakova the ice sorceress attack at once. Desmond runs but not forward, instead he moves to the left side of the enemies as though surrounding them so they can’t escape, giving Agustina a clear shot. Agustina casts her first spell Blizzard Blast by casting the mantra, ‘An Jokul’me Fyasch!’
A massive blizzard blows towards the bandits, sending altogether a storm of snow and sharp ice darts towards the bandits. The bandits become all rigid and nearly frozen at once.
Sheena and Ellephar protect themselves and Baxter by rotating their weapons in front of them that serve as shields to repel the blizzard. Baxter guard their backs, ready for sudden attacks from behind.
Suddenly Desmond comes from the left, charging with his great maul. And from the right, comes a hooded man with his twin daggers, charger towards them far quicker than Desmond. Desmond swings his great maul and it knocks several nearly-frozen bandits off their feet. The impact alone destroys their insides and breaking their bones. This effect is called Megaton Impact. The hooded man slashes his daggers around and stabs several bandits with great speed.
The freezing effect rendered the bandits immobile, and they became sitting ducks for Agustina’s partners. Within seconds, only Sheena, Baxter and Ellephar are left standing among their fallen comrades.
When Desmond moves to strike Sheena down, the hooded man extends his palm and yells, ‘STOP! Don’t kill them.’
Sheena, Baxter and Ellephar are confused. They remain standing back-to-back facing each of their opponents. The man who seems to be the leader of his party removes his hood, showing his dark-bluish skin, long, pointy ears, long purple hair that curves upwards on the tuft, and the sly expression on his face. He’s a night elf. A black, scary wolf head emblem is tattooed on the night elf’s left hand.
‘Kyflynn The Windwalker. I should’ve known.’ Sheena frowns and twitches her lips at the sight of him.
Kyflynn answers, ‘Right-o. The rogue night elf from Terranova himself. I suppose you won’t need this.’ He raises the bag containing the mythril greaves.
Ellephar just realizes that his backpack is missing. Kyflynn must’ve snatched it amidst the killing strike earlier. Baxter knocks Ellephar’s bald head. Ellephar’s dumbness and carelessness has cost them a fortune, their retirement ticket.
Sheena cannot believe her eyes as she says, ‘What are you DOING here? I thought you’re an assassin of principles. You only kill monsters, and bad people. What made you change now?’
Kyflynn laughs and answers, ‘Knock-knock. Yo-hoo! Bandits. See? Bad people. Besides that, I need these greaves. It provides extra protection and extremely light, so it won’t reduce my speed. My legs here are my most valuable assets.’
‘So, why didn’t you kill us then?’
‘Because you asked me to spare your men. I admire your heroism and leadership so I decided to spare you, Baxter and Ellephar instead.’
Ellephar reacts ‘Hey, he knows our names!’
Baxter slaps Ellephar’s head again, saying ‘Of course, bozo. He’s been spyin’ on us.’
This time Desmond talks, ‘Yes. Remember your good friend Blöin? He was with us too, providing us with all the necessary information to ambush you here.’
Baxter says with gritted teeth, ‘Why that double-crossin’... ‘
Agustina talks like an enchanted golem with female voice. ‘Send your complaints to the Grand Trow. But remember, those greaves are your reward, so it’ll be ridiculous to lose your reward on the way home, right?’
Sheena, Baxter and Ellephar cannot contain their disappointment with the double-crossing Grand Trow. Baxter is about to attack, but Sheena prevents him, saying ‘Don’t, Bax. Winter and snow is their advantage now. We can’t win. We’ll have our revenge later.’
Kyflynn answers with a playful voice, ‘Good. We must take these greaves and split now, but you can come back and steal it back from us anytime. In the mean time, cherrio!’
Kyflynn, Desmond and Agustina move away quickly from there, leaving Sheena, Baxter and Ellephar helpless in the snowy forest. Desmond takes out a florin, tosses it to them while saying, ‘Oh, yeah, we are not bandits, so as honest traders, this is the payment for the greaves. Ha, ha, ha!’ And he walks away.
End of Chapter Five