Prince Quinn studied the horizon while the scout told him about the enemy warriors. “Good work. There is no telling what havoc they could wreck while in Catheldor. It would take too long to get word to the castle in time for troops to be sent stop them. They out number us but not by many. We will take the initiative and stop them. With surprise on our side we should take them without losses.”
The scout nodded. “Very well my lord. I’ll lead the men to the ridge. From there we should be able to spring our trap on those Ildonians.”
“Keep your men out of this fight. I don’t want incompetence to kill any of my men.” Quinn rode away from Arlin to join his men.
The Catheldor warriors crested the hill and hugged terrain for cover from their adversaries. They spread out and drew weapons, some had swords and others had bows. At the bottom of the hill the band of mercenaries traveled along a trail. They wore armor and carried weapons. They didn’t look like simple travelers.
A warrior rode towards the travelers and called out when within earshot. “Could you help a lost friend out? Which way is it to Undinia village?”
A traveler raised his crossbow and fired, narrowly missed the warrior. “Get lost or the next one will kill you.”
The warrior smiled and arrows rained from the hidden Catheldor warriors upon the mercenaries. The barrage was followed by horseback riders who charged down the hill. Battle calls rang as the horsemen smashed into their opponents. The surprise had given the Catheldor men a great advantage in the battle, felling many in the opening charge.
“This is not our fight,” Arlin said when his allies urged their horses forward.
“I am a member of the Catheldor guard. If one of the princes enters combat then I must fight by his side to the finish.” Gaston rode towards the battle.
Arlin shouted for Gaston to halt, but he joined the carnage. The rest of the group looked to the prince with questioning gazes.
“Are we not out here to fight the Ildonians?” Jarik asked.
“We are here to scout out the Ildonian countryside. I do not want to risk any of us before we our mission had started. Prince Quinn had declared his men were valiant enough to fight these mercenaries without help from non-humans. It is not my place to question his orders.”