“Marcus! Riders!” Jon shouted from his lookout.
“Kill the prisoners and get the farmers into position. Archers to your places.” Men scattered to their posts like actors at a play. Horses screamed in the distance and Marcus smiled. “Farmers! Make sure you look appropriately haggard!” he ordered and rubbed soot on his face.
Several moments later twenty armored soldiers entered the village. “Swords!” shouted their leader, a broad man with a nasty scar across his face. “Let no brigand live!”
“No need, Captain,” Marcus said as he and Rhol, a giant of a man, stepped in front of the soldiers.
“What’s this?!” the Captain unsheathed his sword. “Who are you?!”
“Marcus, leader of the Band of the Wolf. May I have the honor of your name?”
“Search the town!”
“You will find a few of my men helping the survivors,” Marcus admitted. “I’d appreciate if you don’t kill them.”
“If they cooperate, no one will be hurt. Men! You heard my orders! Go!”
“Thank you,” Marcus bowed.
“How does a boy like you lead a band of killers?” the Captain asked as he dismounted. His light blue eyes did not linger on any one thing and twitched nervously at every passing shadow.
“I follow the money,” Marcus shrugged.
“So, how come you’re not in the desert with the rest of your kind? The throne of Kaa’has has more wealth than the Dragons.”
“We aren’t as likely to die here.”
The soldiers returned, all with the same story between them. The courageous Mercenaries fought off the unnamed raiders. If it wasn’t for them everyone’d be dead and the grain plundered. The Captain took their reports, mounted and readied his men to move out.
“Captain,” Marcus bowed.
“Good luck, Marcus of the Wolf,” the Captain replied and rode off.
“Well, that was rather strange,” Sol complained as he tapped Marcus’ shoulder. “Didn’t even take the grain.”
“Didn’t give his name either.”
“Oh, that’s probably not good. Yeah… that can’t be good.”
“Spread the word, tell everyone to scatter. We will meet by the Toros Crossing.”
“Good idea, boss. On it!” Sol saluted and trotted off.