TL note: Actually, Arachne captured only one person. We already fixed it. My apologies.
Those who hide in the forest
Raiz had two kinds of subordinates.
The first one was composed of monster with sheer strength as their main characteristic.
Dragon, Lamia, Treant and Dryad belonged to this group, along with other.
Their abilities shone on the battlefield, and they were recognized as a valuable fighting force.
What about the others? They mainly acted in the shadows.
For example, Cat sith could gather a frightening amount of information despite his uselessness on the battlefield, and Arachne possessed top-notch restraining skills. There were many monsters that could use their abilities while hiding.
Among them, the most proficient ones were part of the shadow unit.
Some were known only by a few people of the army, while others were known only by their tamer.
Raiz ordered them to move, and so they raised the curtains on their stage.
Meanwhile, in the Forest of Monsters, the domain of creatures that didn’t like the presence of humans…
“Sam was captured.”
Said a figure fully dressed in black clothes. Its comrades, who were dressed in a similar way, shivered. It was hard to understand if that voice belonged to a man or a woman, probably because of some sort of alteration.
“His monsters did it.”
“As expected from a talented man. I guess he could sense our presence and move his pieces accordingly thanks to his military training.”
“Captain, what should we do with Sam?”
“Kill him. It will be bad if Tend citizens were to know that we are involved.”
The captain ordered for their comrade disposal without a second thought.
“He was taken into custody by Tend’s knights. It’s probable that they would notice something if we kill him.”
“Then kill everyone. Dead men tell no tales.
If we can bring our real target home, no one will know the truth.”
Five black-dressed figures started to head silently toward the city.
Those suspicious men, Serga’s special forces, were now in charge of scouting Raiz.
Their mission was to persuade the tamer to join their ranks, and if he were to refuse, they had to dispose of him in secrecy.
“I wonder if he will really accept. I mean, weren’t we enemies during the war?”
“Who knows. Still, even though he fought for this country, he was driven away by some incompetent general without being even acknowledged as a hero. He’s supposed to bear some grudges against them, so I don’t think he will be loyal to that army.”
Raiz’s sudden dismissal was never made public by Tent, but thanks to their espionage skills, Serga’s soldiers knew about it.
“Still, to keep an eye on the main reason of our defeat is…”
Another one voiced its discontent.
“Soldiers live only to carry out their superiors’ orders. They can even join the enemy’s forces if necessary.”
“But what’s the point of joining the ranks of a kingdom that’s on its knees? Thinking about it rationally, there’s nothing to earn from that. Our army is exhausted, and if I was him, I might change my mind only for a huge sum of money…”
“That’s our superior’s job. We only have to fulfill our mission, nothing more.”
Those words were a signal.
They remained silent, but one of them noticed that something was off.
The figure tried to ask its companions if they felt the same thing, but…
It was trying to speak, but nothing came out of its mouth.
Feeling that something strange was happing, the others attempted to do the same, but no one could produce even a whisper.
The world around them was devoid of sounds.
The insects’ noise, the beasts’ call, the rustling of leaves: nothing could be heard.
Silence ruled over everything.
The soldiers got closer to each other and formed a ring to defend from the incoming enemy.
As they peered into the shadows, their leader stood on guard at the center of the formation.
Usually, they would follow its instructions, but because of the situation, they just kept scanning their surroundings.
Then, they were shocked by another fact.
The crescent moon dimly lit their surroundings, so they thought this was the chance to see what was happening around them.
Still, it was like they were blindfolded.
Blinded and deafened, they started to tremble.
They were highly trained, but this situation was totally out of their expectations.
They couldn’t observe their surroundings anymore, and confused as they were, they wondered what was going on and how their comrades were doing.
Still, relying on their remaining senses, they tried to feel any occurring change.
A sweet scent filled the air.
They tried to recall if they smelled it before, but their legs ceased to support them, and they fell to the ground.
Panic gripped their hearts.
One of them thought that some medicine could be behind all of this, but when he tried to tell the others, its soundless voice reached no one.
It tried to take an antidote, but its arms couldn’t move.
A few moments later, their whole bodies were paralyzed, and they lost consciousness.
The darkness dispersed, and monsters walked out from the forest.
“It went well!”
They started to praise each other’s doing in a cheerful mood.
A half-human, half-spider monster, a humongous mushroom with limbs, a tiny winged human-shaped creature, and a beast so black that it seemed covered with ink.
They were Raiz’s shadow unit.
“What are we gonna do with them~?”
Asked Pixie while swaddling one of the collapsed human’s heads with Arachne’s thread.
Pixies are known as mischievous fairies, but they’re also talented wind users.
He obstructed the sound’s propagation, causing that surreal silence.
“Can I make some mushrooms grow on them?”
Asked Matango. This monster is literally a huge mushroom.
It can’t move keenly, but it can produce spores from its cap that paralyze other creatures.
The ink-black creature warned Matango to stop.
“Uwah! Okay, fine. I’ll just follow our boss’ orders.”
Black dog was a big, frightening monster that usually appears in cemeteries.
He caused the humans to lose their sight by filling their vision with shadows.
“I’ll carry these guys. You can carry the ones we seized before to our Master.”
“I’ll leave it to you~! I can’t do a thing myself, so I’ll just go back home.”
Said Pixie while entrusting his duty to his comrades and flying up in the sky.
“Fine. Let’s get to work.”
While Matango surrendered to its fate, Black dog barked.
“Oh, will you help me?”
The hound nodded and extended its shadow beneath the humans, who slowly sunk in the blackness.
“Okay, let’s go~!”
They started to head back home after Arachne’s command.
They were looking forward to their master’s praises.