Holly sat astride her mount, peering through her spynocs (Indashi binoculars made from exosaur leather and hand-crafted lenses) at Flaysac’s bandits, stationed throughout various bunkers across the Ankaran Mountain Range.
Once she conquered Flaysac, she’d cross the Territories, find the Eye of Scylish, then lead her Death Riders (a cadre of her fiercest warriors) into the portal back to Earth. First up was Peter Lee. She’d pike his asshole, then work her way down her sizable shit list, decapitating anyone and everyone who’d ever fucked with her. After that…
She lowered her spynocs and thought it over. What would be better: return to Earth and continue her ascent toward socioeconomic royalty, or stay on Elithia as a badass king with a bloodthirsty horde?
She shook her head. There’d be time for that later. Right now, she needed to focus on Flaysac.
“Yes, milord?” She coaxed her mount forward, sidling up beside Holly.
“Yes. Everything is in place.”
Holly was touched. The favorable report was par for the course, but still, having a trusted general was a top-notch luxury. Holly had learned (the hard way) that reliable help was a rare commodity.
“You impress me Yinhalka. You’ve been…” Her voice caught. “You’ve done good.”
“Thank you, my liege,” Yinhalka replied.
“Uh…do me a favor.” Holly continued looking straight ahead.
“Call me Holly. Not in front of the others, but when it’s just us. I would…I’d really appreciate it.”
“Of course, mi—Holly.”
Holly cleared her throat. “Good. Let’s fuckstart Flaysac in his goddamn face.”
Yinhalka straightened and shouted: “BLAST-LEADERS! READY YOUR ORDNANCE!”
Calls of “Blast prep!” echoed through the lines. Fresh-lit catapults cut a bright line of dots along the base of the mountains.
Yinhalka chopped her arm down. “LOOSE!”
Enormous spoons rocked forward, sounding out a series of rickety creaks. Black-shot fuses burned and vanished, and the roar of cannons shook the air. A wave of destruction arced forward, marking the night with smoking red trails.
The missiles crashed against the slopes. Dust and debris leapt up from the impacts. Bandits scrambled back and forth, extinguishing fires with buckets of water.
Fresh boulders were loaded on spoons, fresh shot was rolled into barrels. Once they were set, each team lifted a skull-emblazoned flag. There was a momentary pause as Holly’s captains counted flags.
All teams ready, the captains signaled. Yinhalka raised a hand.
“LOOSE!” She sliced it down in a violent chop. Iron and stone smashed the peaks. Bandits scurried behind cover.
Yinhalka turned to Holly. “How many volleys would you like to—”
“All you’ve got. Two supply trains are on the way. We’ll have plenty of ammo.”
Yinhalka nodded and spread her arms in a wide V—the signal to keep firing. Flags waved from side to side, broadcasting acknowledgment.
Holly smiled. She hadn’t captured Krul’Dar or Wodec, but they were small potatoes next to Flaysac Chinsay. And Flaysac Chinsay was small potatoes compared to Peter Lee.
Soon. Her smile widened.
I’ll see you soon, Peter.