24 Going Wrong
Just like the answer Xing had given the Great-Warriors group of 600 odd spotted their destination on the horizon in under an hour after they had exited both the valley and forest. They could have been faster, but upon entering the plains they took the necessary precautions, such as scouting ahead before they moved forward slow and steady.
When they started approaching the tribe Great-Warrior Ying gave out one simple command, "Alright, spread out and look intimidating!"
The moment the order was given, the group followed. Spreading out in a wide semi-circle looking to envelop the tribe in front. Each of the Warrior's started projecting out a killing aura and made themselves look as fierce as possible. While each Shaman made themselves noteworthy by casting their elemental spells and having them at the ready, lighting up the group like a rainbow of different elemental colors.
Such an intimidating group quickly drew the attention of those on patrol within the tribe, as well as those who were tending to livestock nearby. Each and every person who looked upon the approaching army ran back into the tribe, no doubt screaming about the group's existence.
Upon nearing the tribe dozens of important-looking men and women exited and walked toward the approaching group as calmly as possible. They held no weapons, they wore no armor, and they bore no fighting-intent. Xing guessed they were negotiators, it seemed that there would be no fight.
"Alright, halt!" Hearing the command the semi-circle of Warriors and Shaman stopped their advance, yet remained battle-ready.
When the group from the tribe approached the center of the circle, Ying yelled another command was issued, "Let them through!" Leading to a gap presenting itself within the primitive formation, allowing the negotiators through, and to where Great-Warrior Ying was situated.
The surrender was negotiated upon quickly and now nightfall had descended onto the tribe, enveloping the world in darkness. Torches and campfires could be seen flickering in the twilight, lighting up their close surroundings in a warm orange glow. Sounds of jovial laughter and banter resounded through the cool night breeze as the area gave off a festive atmosphere.
Men and women could be seen and heard singing, dancing, eating, drinking, talking, laughing, flirting, and more. People from the surrendered tribe appeared to be placating their 'conquerors' with food, drink, and merrymaking.
The atmosphere was not all fun and games, however, as groups of serious-looking men and women, Warrior and Shaman, patrolled the surrounding tribe and camp. They would not allow anything to catch them by surprise.
There were also those who were not partaking in the revelry, Xing's mother being one. She was within her tent with her advisers and the tribe's upper echelon discussing matters of relocating and the coming integration. After doing this many times before it was now business as usual for her.
Another was Xing as well as his cousin and friend; Lei and Wei. The three of them were also within a tent, one which was set up beside the Great-Warrior's, set aside for her son to camp. Since there was more than enough space, Xing shamelessly invited Lei and Wei to sleep there instead of with the others, earning himself endless teasing from Lei.
Lei sprawled herself over the ground moaning, "That was too easy, they didn't even fight us! I was expecting a fight! I wanted to fight!"
"Fighting would have meant killing, Lei. Do you want to kill humans?" Xing questioned.
"No of course not, but I am prepared to do what is necessary." Lei shrugged with a stoic look appearing on her face, soon disrupted by a frown as loud laughter was heard from outside, "Just what is wrong with these people? We came here to subjugate them and they are already mixing in, not even a day later! Not even a single one of them is being rebellious! It is like they were prepared for this eventuality, and don't even care."
"That's because they were prepared." Wei answered, "It doesn't exactly take much thinking to see that the Xia Tribe was taking over the tribes in the area and that their turn would come eventually."
Lei pouted and playfully hit Wei, "Was that your way of trying to call me stupid?"
"It- it wasn't." Wei hastily denied.
As Lei continued to tease and playful fight with Wei, Xing moved into the corner of the tent getting ready to begin his daily elemental comprehension training with Umbra, but was interrupted by numerous shouts and screams coming from afar.
"ENEMY!!" "THERE ARE ENEMIES!" "GET EVERYBODY UP!!"
"Whats happening?" Wei asked nervously.
"Dunno, let's go see," Lei responded and stood up, then walked toward the tent's entrance.
Wei looked at Xing unsure of what to do. He nodded at her before he too stood and followed Lei's lead. With Wei hastily joining behind the two, not wanting to be left alone.
When the trio exited their tent they were greeted by numerous Warrior and Shaman equipping themselves in their gear and preparing their weapons. When they looked out the tribe and into the night, they saw many torches dotting the horizon, no doubt carried by the approaching enemy.
"There really are enemies out there? Who- who are they?" Wei questioned with notable wavering in her voice.
"They are most likely to be the Yan Tribe." Answered a cold female voice, coming from the right of the three.
The trio's gaze went over toward the voice's direction they saw Great-Warrior Ying walking out of her tent next to them, fully armed and armored, and looking ready for a fight.
She regarded all the ready Warrior's and Shaman around her, "Alright, listen up! I want a strong defensive perimeter set up whilst everyone is getting up and ready! Only when we have full force will we go out and counterattack! Am I clear!?"
""YES!!"" The group responded, including Xing, Lei, and Wei.
"ENEMIES ARE ATTACKING FROM BEHIND!!" Ying was interrupted by a heavily bloodied tribesman crashing through the crowd screaming. While his shouts were followed by numerous bloody screams of terror and pain coming from the other side of the tribe.
"So they have decided to go all in huh?" Ying thought aloud before turning toward the tribe's leaders who were standing beside her. Each one of them was pale and shivering with fright. "You lot! Go and gather as many of your tribespeople as possible and bring them here! You have 10 minutes before we will break out of this encirclement and retreat!"
"What!? Retreat!? How do you know we are surrounded!?" One of the men shouted panickily.
"There are enemies marching in front, and now enemies coming from behind. Of course, we are surrounded and outnumbered, hence; we retreat!" Ying harshly spoke down to the outspoken man with annoyance.
"But- but this is too fast! They won't be able to bring anything! What are we supposed to tell them?" Another frightened man asked, this time the tribe's chief.
Ying looked even more annoyed now, "Isn't that your job! Simply tell them that if they stay, they die, and if they leave, they live!" She shouted seriously.
"Ye- yes," The terrified chief went and brought away the other leading figures to go and gather the tribe.
Great-Warrior Ying turned back and regarded her assembled forces, "Alright, belay that last order! As you've just heard we are going to take as many people as we can and punch through the encirclement. Then we will retreat back the way we came, back to our tribe! Now get ready to defend this position!"
They acknowledge loudly, ""YES MA'AM!""
The moment they sprang into action a rain of arrows dropped down onto their position, followed by a battle-cry of enemies surging in from the front.
Ying turned to the trio and told them, "You three stay at the back! This will be your first taste of warfare so you won't be used to it, and furthermore, you'd just get in the way of my experienced unit." She spoke in a harsh tone, yet one could see the concern in her eyes.
"Alright, mother we'll stay safe." Xing was the only one to respond, as Lei didn't look too happy about sitting back, while Wei was too frightened to think.
Xing's mother nodded to her son before she moved to the front of her forces, looking heroic and ready to command.
Weapons, magic, and bodies collided with each other as both forces met each other head-on, a brutal melee ensuing. Xing, Lei, and Wei were caught up in the combat, the trio sticking together and helping one another. They somehow managed to stay away from the most brutal positions and ended up not needing to kill anyone.
Hours seemed to pass as everyone around was enveloped in a bloodthirsty aura, hacking, slashing, piercing, and even punching their closest enemy. The fighting atmosphere was broken when an icy-cold female shout resounded across the battlefield, "It's been 10 minutes! Group together and start pushing through!!"
Those who heard the command immediately followed and began pushing back against the tide; they turned into berserkers who cut down all who stood in front of them. A lull to the brutal combat was quickly created.
Xing took this moment to survey his surroundings, and what he saw was absolute chaos. Fires now raged all throughout the tribe, burning down everything in sight. Corpses with numerous cuts and bruises, bodies impaled with arrows or spears, and missing arms and legs littered the ground. Their blood soaking into the dirt beneath them, and the differences between friend or foe could not be distinguished. All while screams of pain and despair echoed out into the cool night sky and the stench of blood and death rolled over the plain.
He saw his mother using her lance to skewer any who got close to her as she advanced forward, both she and her weapon were completely covered in blood. She continually shouted for a retreat, as well as ordering her troops to piece through the blockade. He also noticed the group of a few hundred cowering and frightened tribesmen waiting behind them, ready to begin the retreat with them.
Xing, Lei, and Wei looked at each other, noticing that each was pale and trembling after their first fight with so many. They did not say a word as they nodded together, coming to some silent agreement, and followed up behind Great-Warrior Ying and her Warriors and Shaman as they pierced through the enemies envelopment and retreated into the night.