For the next following days, I was put under the command of the commandant Bori, who had a hard time explaining that to the other dwarves. This way, some of my undead could have been roaming around in the fortress, with a huge crowd of dwarves looking at them anxiously. I can understand them, seeing a wraith with the cloth and the scythe, I don't look very good. You are happily discussing with someone, and then, suddenly, you see the angel of death traversing the room through the walls. I bet the first day, they had jumped in fear, but now, they are used too. Our presence, not the fact that we are allies. Every time I leave the room of Bori, to let him sleep without having my horrible face floating around, I see the dwarves grip their weapons. Apparently, I am the worst, a ghost shaped as a ratman.
As for the appearance, I have managed to slowly change it. Now, I no longer have any remnant of the horrible diction of a ratman. No stuttering, no unexpected sleek. As for me, I have gone from a true ratman, to a form between a ratman and a dwarf. I got rid of my tail first, that thing was truly useless the entire time. And my face is more humane than before. I still have my claws, the same size, and those horrible eyes. But Bori told me that he prefers this form. At this point, I don't want to change more. First, I am used to be a ratman, then, I want to have this face when I will meet Aria one last time. To make her see that a rat sentenced to die survived and managed to destroy all her believers.
Since I had time, I created 10 lich, that in return, produced only some ghouls. If I had ordered them to create some zombies, this small fortress would have been filled with them. And, with a low number of undead, the dwarves will be more forgiving with their presences. As a matter of fact, the moment the fight will truly begin, I will create only zombies. But for now, the ghouls will still be useful, especially to defend an exit like the one of the tunnel. I was just floating inside the fortress, to meet Bori, when I found out something weird above me.
(Yes, I just noticed it, the ratmen assassins are already here. I have no idea from where he is coming. The ratmen are still behind the blocked tunnels, no opening to the cave in front of this fortress. As for how long he is here, no clue either. But, he has to come from the capital or somewhere near. Because that's the only location where I have no eyes. Besides the spirit following Thongril, but that's not a good observer.)
So, the ratmen has found a hole, that's not good. I have to inform Thongril. I tell my speaking spirit that I have found an assassin near the fortress commanded by Bori, and that he has to say that to Thongril. In the meantime, I use [Nightfall] on that unexpected surprise. I can see the ratman standing still, while covered in shadows. He has no idea where he should flee, and I make no noise floating toward him. When I am close enough, I activate my domain, filling the air with shadows. I am far enough from the fortress to not kill anyone, except my target. The ratman fall from the ceiling and land directly in front of the fortress, at the sight of the nearby dwarf warriors.
I descend to the huge crowd formed and try to spot Bori. He is arriving because of all the noise created, and the moment he sees me near the corpse, he realizes what I just did.
-An assassin has overcome your final defenses and now have come to murder you. I just noticed him a few seconds ago, but his presence is truly perturbing. I have my spirits checking the frontline, but he managed to bypass them. That's impossible, there is a hole or an area that is not covered. I already told that to the general, but you should prepare for an incoming assault. They are coming.
Bori just nods at my words, and begin to ring the alarm. Everyone is getting ready; the peace is finally over. I don't know where they will hit first, but in the following days, the kingdom of the dwarves will face the threat of extinction.
(They have pierced the tunnel, in a few hours, they will reach the cave and the tunnel leading to this location. There are at least 200 thousand ratmen behind it. And I see at least five rat ogres inside the sea of ratmen, and more are coming. I don't know if it is big or small, but you have to tell that to Bori.)
Well, and I thought that they would need some days. I instantly rush toward the commandant that just left the crime scene. I can see him talk with his lieutenants, and organizing the defense. They have only 5 000 dwarf warriors, but they are heavily retrenched. The tunnel that they will be able to explode, the first wall and then, the fortress. I know that they have some heavy weaponry and siege weapons, even if they haven't show them to me. But one time, during the night, I was bored and sneaked into the armory. Killing 40 ratmen for each dwarf will be hard, but not impossible. Especially with my help.
-BORI! BORI! They have pierced the tunnel; they are coming in a few hours.
-Are you sure?!! DAMN! Fortuil, check the weapons and the ammunition, Dustag, prepare the potions, we will need a lot of those. Gloni, go form the first wall and ask the men in charge to check one last time the explosives. We will need them. EVERYONE!
He provokes a huge silence, where even those that were running stop. He really has a huge voice.
-I just received a report that the ratmen have entered the last cave of the Gold Summit, and are moving in this direction. They will need a few hours to reach this location, and by that time, we will be ready. Don't forget to take your potions against their deadly spells and venomous plagues. Not everyone will be able to see the Heart of the Mountain again. Maybe none of us will. But that's not what matters. What matters, is to make those vermin pay for the affront of the last century! What matters, is by the end of this day, this cave will be filled with the blood of those rats! TODAY WE FIGHT FOR THE GREY MOUNTAIN KINGDOM! AND FOR MAKAN!
That was a good speech, a realistic one. The moment I heard the news, I already prepared the first batch of zombies. The more my undead are targeted and killed, the better it will be. Because I have seen the power of the dwarf technologies, and bloody hell, those ratmen are behind. The only downside is the fact that apparently, they don't have the same range on their sniper rifles. But, in a fight underground, where the visibility is reduced and many obstacles block the sight, it is good enough. The distance between the tunnel and the fortress is exactly the range of most of their artillery. Meaning that a permanent bombardment on the only exit is possible. Bori lead me to his office, where we will talk seriously.
Directly asking the real question, should I reduce a little bit or not? No, the truth should be better.
-For now, approximately 200 000 ratmen and nearly a dozen rat ogres. But, the explosives are still in place and well hidden, so you will be able to cut the fight in two at one moment. As for the assassins hidden here, except the one that I managed to see, I have no clues. I have ordered my lich to begin the creation of my zombies, that way, you will have a good meat shield for the incoming fight.
-Good, good, very good. Do you know the reason why we created this fortress?
Weird question. I mean, it is to defend the kingdom? Otherwise, that doesn't make any sense. But, seeing me not answering he keeps talking.
-Do you know why we didn't destroy this way to the Heart of the Mountain? Do you know why we didn't just close our frontiers and hope that the calamity will hit someone else? Because, we knew, that if we did that, the world like we know it will end. So, we created numerous fortresses like that, just to make the ratmen attack us. Everyone here is sentenced to die. We know that, and we know that by doing so, the army of the ratmen will keep going and reach the Heart of the Mountains. Only there, do we have a chance of annihilating the ratmen. You still haven't seen the genius of generations of engineers working together. But, even if we defeat this first wave, at one point, we will fail. And, at that time, you will retreat toward the capital and join Thongril.
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