Chapter Seven: A Slave’s Revenge
Kurva, along with every hare fit to do battle, marched from Salamandastron with his or her arms at the ready. Lance and pike bearers marched at the front, archers and slingers at the rear. Lady Marcella headed the army, wearing a deep breastplate, a chain mail kilt, and a war helmet. She gripped her battle blade tightly in one paw, the light of battle glowing in her red eyes.
Suddenly from the ranks a scream rang out. A young male hare fell, transfixed by an arrow. Every hare broke ranks and ran then, and the two armies collided with earth shattering force. Blades flashed and arrows flew between both sides. However, it didn’t take long for a few of the senior officers to notice where a few of the stray arrows were coming from. Dashing off to the side, they disappeared in the woodlands. The screams of vermin rang out, and the two hares were seen chasing a small force of archers out into the open.
Kurva fought his way through waves of vermin, hacking at any enemy that dared come within reach of his blade. He had yet to see Ragar Hookfang, which worried him slightly. Gritting his teeth, Kurva slashed at a weasel that came hurtling at him with a spear. He kicked the weasel hard in the stomach and slew him with a single swipe of his blade. He could see Lady Marcella battling not far off, and a team of three hares fighting back to back. However he also saw young recruit named Brumley go under a group of vermin.
“Yaylaharr!” Kurva roared as he ran to aid the fallen recruit. He butted and slashed, with the help of Drunn, another hare who had arrived. Together they reached the young hare, who was bleeding from a wound in his side. Kurva helped him to his paws. “Stick with me.” He growled shortly, jabbing at a rat with his sword point. The recruit nodded, lashing out with his spear.
“Will do, ol’ boy!” He panted, catching a weasel in the throat with his spear.
Kurva snarled as an arrow whizzed by, shallowly slicing his shoulder. He ducked and lunged, smirking with grim satisfaction at the death scream that followed. He stood, sucking in deep breaths as he watched scores of vermin retreating. He still had yet to see Ragar Hookfang, and hadn’t heard him call for his beasts to retreat. The voice he had heard shout for the vermin to run had belonged to another member of the crew.
“Stay with Brumley, mate.” He hissed shortly at Drunn. Without waiting for the warrior hare to reply, Kurva started to run towards the retreating enemy, his blade clenched tightly in his paw. He passed many of the hare archers, who were firing arrows at any vermin stupid enough to turn and try to throw a javelin or fire off a stone from a sling.
Lady Marcella was standing a few yards off, battle blade resting against her shoulder, surrounded by the bodies of weasels, rats, and assorted corsairs. Argen ran up to her, the tip of an ear missing and bleeding from a number of cuts and scratches.
“D’you see him, marm?” He asked, watching Kruva run. “Should we go after him, wot?”
Marcella shook her head, looking at Argen through her visor. “Leave him to me. I’ll follow him myself.” She rumbled. “You see to our own dead and wounded.” Then she, too, began to trot in the direction the vermin had retreated in.
Kurva was once again in the midst of enemy blades, hacking at what few of the vermin remained. He was surrounded, and bleeding in more places than he wanted to count. Still, he was standing, ragged corsair bodies piling around him. It was then that he heard Hookfang’s voice.
“Kill him! Kill that otter like slave he is!” Howled the golden-eyed fox.
With a roar, the former otter slave rushed headlong at the circling creatures that surrounded him. His blade cut down any that got in his path. Ragar Hookfang saw him coming, and drew his own blade: a curved scimitar.
The fox dodged Kurva’s first blow, and landed a strike of his own to Kurva’s side. Gritting his teeth, the otter lashed out again, and ducked under Ragar’s sword when the fox tried to retaliate. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Marcella dash onto the scene, shouting and swinging her battle sword at any and all creatures in her path. Kurva smirked, growling harshly as he tried once again to run Ragar Hookfang through.
Ragar dodged Kurva’s blade again, glaring at the weakening otter. “You won’t last forever, Kurva. You’re already slowing down!” He cackled, slashing his scimitar at Kurva’s face.
Kurva ducked and rolled to one side, rising up on one knee just in time to parry another of Ragar’s blows. “I won’t die by your paw, sea scum!” He snarled, barreling forward and landing the fox a vicious head butt. He rose swiftly as Ragar tried to stand, kicking the fox back down into the dirt.
“Stay where ye are, ye scum o’ the oceans.” Kurva growled. He raised his sword, ignoring the pitiful plea that halfway escaped the lips of the fox. “Shuddup, Hookfang.” He snapped, and slashed downward. Yet the blade stopped only inches from the pirates nose. Kurva, trembling with rage, pulled back the blade.
“Get up…” He said. He glared coldly as the fox as he slowly stood up on his paws. “I wanted to kill you, fox.” He began, growling as the fox began to moan again. “But I’m not heartless, like you are, Ragar.” Kurva sheathed his blade at that. “Take the few of your crew that still lives, an’ go.” He turned to walk toward Marcella, who had finished off nearly all of Ragar Hookfang’s remaining crew.
Ragar made as though to go to his vermin, but rage rose up in his chest. Picking up his fallen blade, he rushed at the otters unprotected back. Then, his paw slackened, and he found himself staring curiously at the sword blade that had sheathed itself in his middle. With a garbled sigh, the fox slid to the ground, never to rise again. So died Ragar Hookfang, the most feared corsair fox to sail the seven seas.