Pantheon Online

C.187 InvestmentJun 29, 2023

187 Investment

"Lord Parthus, what should we do?"

Parthus' raised an eyebrow in response to the general as he studied the battlefield. The general lowered his eyes from his God's as he waited for him to give his orders.

"Do not pursue them." Parthus said in a steady tone as he observed how the Skardians deployed themselves in their retreat.

"Why? We have them on the run!"

"Don't be a fool!" Parthus replied in a low, menacing tone. "They are baiting us..."

"Bait? You mean, they don't intend to fight?"

"Hm, no. They intend to. They just mean to do it when the situation favours them." Parthus' tone returned to its usual calmness. "Have the soldiers regroup. Our opponent is likely expecting reinforcements. Did our scout unit break off from the battle?"

"Yes, they broke away during the melee and slipped into the forests."

"Good. We can wait for them to return with what they find. In the meantime, set the soldiers to work, creating defences right here. Once the Skardians realise we aren't chasing them, they may try a night attack."

"As you wish. I'll have a group scout the path back into the mountains as well."

"Oh, you're finally learning? That's good. Yes, make sure we keep our path of retreat clear."

The general bowed his head before walking away to relay his orders. Parthus inhaled sharply as the icy winds blew down from the mountains, washing over him. 'We're moving away from the coastline, but we're still at a higher altitude. It would be best if the soldiers can adapt to the thinner air of this region for a few days before another fight breaks out.'

Parthus' eyes focused on Exile as he led the rear troops in their retreat. 'As for you... either you're learning fast, or someone has given you splendid advice. I know what one I would put my money on. You're not at this level yet.'

His hand came up to scratch at his neatly trimmed beard as he considered his next move. 'His appearance has changed, and dwarves are fighting alongside the Skardians. Hmm, seems like he's discovered something interesting. I'll need to remember that.'

"Randa." Parthus said into the empty air before a light breeze blew.

"What is your command?" Randa's rough voice sounded as he bowed to Parthus.

"The hero you fought out there... What did you think of him?"

"Stubborn... It felt like I was fighting a mountain." Randa sighed as he thought about Bjorn. "I doubt I could kill him."

"In that case, the next time we come across him, we must try to seal him somewhere. We have to take him out of the equation without wasting time trying to kill him."

"Yes, Lord Parthus." Randa hesitated a moment before giving voice to what was on his mind. "If the chance presents itself, allow me to deal with that witch and the wolf."

Parthus cocked an eyebrow as stared back at Parthus. "Very well. But you must focus on the woman. She's likely to be an Oracle. kill her in a single blow. Even that wolf shouldn't be able to do anything about that."

"Thank you." Randa replied before disappearing faster than a human eye could see.

Parthus' attention drifted as he thought about the overall picture of the invasion. 'I've set the board. Now let us see how you respond.' A slight chuckle escaped from his throat as he disengaged his avatar spell.

Meanwhile, Exile frowned from behind a tree. His eyes focused on the Sommerdan army. 'They're not taking the bait. I hate to admit it, but my brother was right about him. Guess it's time for the next phase.'

"Winter." Exile said as he turned his gaze sideways to look at her. "The enemy will have deployed scouts during the fighting. They'll be searching for our reinforcements. Go to them, make sure they believe our allies are further away than what they really are."

"Oh? Now that's interesting. But do you even know how far away they are?" Winter flashed a deceptively sweet smile in Exile's direction.

"No, but I'm sure you can find out." Exile chuckled as he turned away from the Sommerdan encampment. "Everyone, we've delayed the enemy. Make sure and get some rest. Once our reinforcements arrive, we'll move to wipe them out!"

The Ragnarok players laughed among themselves before some of them took their leave to replenish their DP. Exile smiled as he watched them go. 'That's your downfall, Parthus. You're too worried about every detail. You can't leave anything to chance. If you spend too long worrying about something that may or not be there, then all you're doing is paralysing your army.'

"How long do you think they will wait for?" Clay asked with a tired tone as he shuffled up next to Exile.

"A couple of days, at least. It will take their scouts that long to be sure of the surroundings past this point."

"Do you really think so?" Clay's eyes went wide as he glanced at the Sommerdans.

"I know it. By the time they want to move again, they'll have false information about our numbers. We'll have the numerical advantage. This fight is as good as won." Exile looked at Harik. 'As long as Parthus does exactly what my brother expects him to do.'

"Midas. You did well out there." Exile grinned and patted him on the shoulder.

"Hmph. It cost me more than I was willing to spend." Midas frowned before laughing. "But I guess we can call it an investment."

"Yeah. I guess we can. We've still got a long way to go. It's going to get real costly. I'll be counting on you."

Exile walked away from him with a smile on his face. A smile that did not really seem to belong. 'Things are about to get really rough. The goal is not to defeat Sommerdan just now. It is to unite Skardia under Ragnarok and Harik. It's so close I can almost taste it...'