The group of the Balvan family arrived at the base of Cliffshear mountain.
They jumped off the carriage and stared silently at the trees filling it.
Everyone was in a serious mood since the battle was imminent, the usual exchange of jokes and scoldings was absent, only concentration could be seen in their eyes.
Even if they could arrive sooner if they ran all the way here, they prioritized their physical condition, so they rested during the night in the remains of the village and took the carriage before dawn.
It was still some hours before midday but, even though the sun was high in the sky, the field of view in the mountain's path was limited by the numerous trees on it.
Mark was the first to break the silence.
"They will obviously have sentries around their camp if they are still here."
"The terrain is not in our favor but we should have better scouts, once we find them we can prepare a plan of attack."
Sandy put his arm around Mark's neck and proudly announced.
"The best the outer ring has to offer."
Noah finally understood why they were able to spot the thunder wolves before him.
'So that's why. I wonder if they are just good scouts or if their mental energy is so high that they can take on that role easily.'
He was continuously trying to figure out the real strength of his companions but they rarely showed any clues about their powers.
With the exception of Ethan, he didn't even know what kind of weapon they used.
"You two go ahead and point the way, we will follow. "
After Susan's order, they entered the mountain forest following Mark and Sandy.
They would often go in two different ways before regrouping and point a direction on the ones following them.
Few hours passed by, with no one in the group speaking a word during their exploration.
Then, Sandy and Mark went toward them signaling to be silent.
They crouched on the ground and spoke with a soft voice.
"We found the encampment a few minutes in that direction. It should be them since there were screams of women coming from there."
"The common soldiers are tired and sleepy, I believe that they did nothing but **** those women these days. You are lucky Noah."
Since it was his job to take care of the non-cultivators this was good news for him. Apparently, no one cared about the fates of the hostages at this point.
"What about cultivators?"
"There is the one in the highest place of the encampment that must be the stronger of them, we could not find more about him for fear of being discovered."
"There are 5 of them worthy of our concern after him, the others are just weaklings for the kid."
Sandy and Mark would explain things by dividing the explanation between the 2 of them, Noah was almost certain that cultivating would cause some brain damage by now.
He thought that he had to ask his Master about this matter once he came back.
"How do we proceed?"
He asked and everyone's gaze went on Susan since she was the captain of the mission.
"I will jump straight in the middle of them and face the strongest guy. While they are busy following me, Mark, Sandy, and Ethan will ambush the cultivators trying to lower their number while Noah will storm between the weaklings. Once the situation stabilizes, we go hunt for the remaining ones. Remember your roles."
'She is actually planning to be the bait?'
Noah was doubtful but still decided to follow with the plan, after all, if Susan wanted to take the danger on her, so be it.
They moved toward the perimeter of the encampment and when everyone was ready, Susan jumped out in the open, speeding toward her target.
"Just follow us kid."
Sandy said as he and Mark took out a short knife from their clothes.
Ethan unsheathed his greatsword so Noah did the same with the sabers on his back.
The normal soldiers didn't notice Susan figure as she was too fast, it was only when she was halfway through the camp that someone gave the alarm.
The camp fell into chaos as the soldiers went to pick their swords left on the ground.
When Susan was nearing the top of the encampment, a man jumped out from a tent and directly swung his sword at her.
Susan raised her hand and the sword got deflected by it, the sound of metal against metal resounded in the air.
Yelled Mark, and the group still hiding in the perimeter of the camp shot out in the open.
Sandy and Mark went directly in Susan's direction while Ethan did an ample half-circle with his greatsword severing 3 soldiers in two, then he went in the same direction of the other 2.
Noah was the last one to appear and he took advantage of the confusion created by his companions to sneak out inside the group of deserters.
Blood spilled and heads flew as he ran through the group, the more he killed now while reaching Ethan and the others, the less he had to care about later when the surprise effect dispelled.
When he appeared on the other side of the encampment, 5 soldiers fell dead on the ground.
On this side, Susan was still deflecting different weapons with her hands while trying to reach her target, Sandy and Mark took out one of them with their excellent teamwork but then got encircled by 3 cultivators limiting their movements.
Ethan was fighting a tall man with a big ax alone.
At some point, Susan did a palm gesture with her hand that released a shockwave that stunned momentarily the 2 soldiers that were fighting with her.
She hurriedly grabbed the head of one of them and squeezed tightly.
The head of the unfortunate man was reduced to a meat pulp while Susan didn't even look at him before resuming her original direction, the other man on her side was too scared to react to the woman speeding through him.
Noah turned back to face the other soldiers unleashing another wave of seemingly invisible attacks, Ethan used a destructive move to shatter the big ax and then thrust his greatsword into the tall man chest.
Sandy and Mark were nimbly dodging every attack the 3 men were unleashing on them while delivering fast strikes as a counterattack, all 3 of the deserters had their wrists and arms wounded as a result.
Noah killed another 3 of them leaving standing 2 men that blocked his attacks.
Only 7 deserters remained alive, with 3 of them injured.
At that point, a ball of flame fell from the highest point of the encampment and stopped on the ground in the middle of the battlefield, Susan's figure was barely visible between the flames.