Thieves Forest- Ambush Site- a while later
Scar cracked his neck back and forth. Blood was dripping from the corner of his mouth. He wiped it away, looking at his hand as he did. "Damn Gold Tribe member...B*stard was tougher than I thought."
Sentry looked around the battlefield. The Ancients all stood together, lined up in perfect unison now as if they were dolls. In a way, they were. Mindless soldiers that did the bidding of the Sentinels and Lord Auron. They were loyal and always followed directions, but their lack of sentience could sometimes be a curse as well. No matter, they accomplished their tasks with usually reasonable success. Usually. This time happened not to be one of them. The purpose of this mission was to bring about the end of the thorn that was the Gold Tribe for good. Not to simply kill one member.
"What do we do now? They're getting away." Sovereign said.
"Let them run." Sentry answered. "Eventually, their day will come. Whether it be tomorrow, in a week, in a month, or even in a year. The end of the Gold Tribe is almost certain. There's too few of them now to do much."
"We need to move again." The Inferno spoke, with words that demanded attention, and respect. Sentry nodded in agreement, speaking himself. "I will go to Auron and report what happened here. Inferno, you go with Scar to Cape City. Take these Ancients with you. Crusher, you go to Albia. Frost, Deluge, and Ignitus have just quelled a rebellion there and might need some help keeping the city secure. The Gold Tribe might have lost the battle here, but there's still an Alpha Alliance army out there, and from our reports, they're coming soon."
Without another word, the Inferno already headed off. Scar nodded to Sovereign and Sentry and followed. Sentry looked back at Sovereign and spoke to him. "Keep an eye on Frost. She may be one of us, but her arrogance and pride get into her emotions too much. Keep her in line if you have to."
With that, Sentry took off. The Ancients began to slowly follow the Inferno and Scar out of the area, leaving the once filled plains empty with nothing but echoes of the dead.
Liberty Forest/Sovereign Rainforest Border
Before Zane could really get a grip on anything, he was already teleported to a new area. It was a somewhat familiar sight, having been on this path weeks before. There, he saw Noctus and Wildfire, while TrueStriker disappeared once more to go back for the others. When they arrived, Zane hoped to finally get some answers on what had happened.
"Everyone tell their part of today's ambush, don't leave out anything that might be important. Do not explode on Noctus there-" TrueStriker motioned to Noctus. "-no matter how much you might want to. He's not Roswell."
Zane looked at Noctus. From his expressions on his own face, he had no idea what had happened either. He wasn't sure if he believed him up front, but for the moment, he seemed sincere.
"No, we won't hurt him, but he owes us an explanation. Roswell betrayed us and he's the prince of his stupid forest, isn't he?"
Zane was inclined to agree. He was second in command, and yet Roswell didn't tell him anything? Before anything else about this could have been asked, Zane heard the sound of giggling, and then flat-out laughing coming from Defender. He turned to him, perplexed, and as the Golduck began to speak, Zane became more and more aware of the situation at hand. Had the plan really gone that bad? It appeared so. It appeared as if they were waiting for them the whole time. Roswell was in cahoots with the Silver Tribe from the beginning. The entire plan was just a ploy to get the Gold Tribe, and it seemed that Defender, being the one who orchestrated it, took it hard. Really hard. And for good reason. Zane recalled the conversation the two had merely a day ago, about his entire situation, and how a plan went bad before. This must have been extremely hard on him, and Defender seemed to crack. Ragnaros began screaming at Defender. Wildfire went up to comfort him telling him that Dark Lightning's sacrifice won't be for nothing.
"Wait, Dark Lightning?" Zane asked, standing up and turning to Lyn. It was the first time he had realized that he wasn't with them. Lyn simply shook her head, turning her back to Zane and clutching her knees to her chest. Zane looked at the others, who also hung their heads down in sorrow. He was gone. Zane abruptly sat to the ground. He didn't know what to do now. The others sat with him in silence, nothing to be heard except Defender's slow descent into madness. He was suppose to lead the others, but all he did was lead them straight into a trap. Despite it being Defender's plan, it was Zane's fault that Dark Lightning had died. What could he do now? Zane tried to imagine in his mind what 'Rey' would say. What would the former leader say in this situation? He then remembered a memory of his past, and a conversation he had with 'Rey'. Zane smiled and stood up, facing them.
"Rey once said to me that the most admirable trait we of the Gold Tribe possessed was endurance. He said that no matter what came our way, whether the toughest battle or the worst calamity, we would always make it through because we were fighting for something important. We had the endurance to see it through. He said that everything, even bad fortune like this, can be overcome by endurance. That's what we've done this whole time. That's what Dark Lightning died believing too. He knew we wouldn't just give up once he passed. There really is still hope. As long as we endure, there'll always be hope. No matter what happens. If you still follow me, we can still do this. I know we can."
"Vigil..." Calamity began. "I want to believe that, but what do we do now? The ambush failed. We have no means of getting into the Albia. The Alpha Alliance army will be crushed by those watchtowers."
"Not quite." Noctus spoke up, walking to the middle of them all. "I...don't know why Roswell did what he did. He probably had good reason to. I'm not justifying what he did. It was terrible. But I came with you guys to accomplish a mission. You may not have the thieves anymore, but you have me. I know the secret paths into Albia as well. If you still want, I can take you there, and finish what you started."
A small grunting noise was heard for a moment, and Zane turned to see Hoodhide, stirring from unconsciousness. "Ugh...I hope-I'm not gonna end up beatup likethis in every bigbattle...I'mwithya Vigil all the way..."