Meanwhile, Karyn and Sammel waited for their aquatic friend to return. As they waited, they heard Elwynn's megaphone device come to life again. Apparently, the elf maid had placed more of those devices around the keep, for the sound which sprung to life seemed to be coming from all directions. Karyn looked around and saw that every elf soldier in sight was pounding out a steady rhythm on their shields. The sound was being amplified and directed right at Kieraan's keep. Nearby, Talia Robitaille, one of the Rangers, was standing in front of Elwynn's megaphone and chanting some sort of war-song, the chorus of which was being picked up by the entire army.
"WE WILL.....WE WILL.....ROCK YOU!!!"
The volume quickly became near deafening. Karyn peered over the lake and spotted Chaer approaching them.
"Here he comes, Sammel." Karyn said, shouting over the din, "Get ready. When we get to the pipe let me go first."
Sammel nodded, watching Chaer approach. While he'd been waiting, he'd readied a rope that they could attach to Chaer's belt. That way, he and Karyn would have room to add their kicking power to Chaer's. They wouldn't be able to dive under, but Sammel felt it was worth the risk to save time.
Chaer nodded his agreement as he threaded the rope through the back of his belt. "Others climbing now. Need to get you in quick-quick." He waded deeper into the water, the others holding on to either end of the rope. "Hang on tight-tight," he said. He dove under the surface a bit and started a strong but compact kick, towing them across the moat.
The side of the keep where the tunnel was didn't have a shelf of land, but there were protruding rocks and bricks to hang on to. Sammel clung to one as he watched Karyn take several long, deep breaths, preparing for her dive. He silently wished her and Chaer luck as they dove from view.
"Elwynn sure knows how to wake people up", he thought to himself in disgust, as he heard the elven soldiers down below.
The shadowy ninja then quietly walked away from the sleepng man, who did not flinch at the loud music(!), and towards the guard that was just there a few moments later. He noticed that the other two guards (that were about 50 feet away) hadn't notice their movements, because their attention was directed to the loud chanting by the elven soldiers.
The soldier, Tak and Brea was following, stopped dead in steps as he too turned his attention to the chanting.
"Now's our chance," he thought to himself as quickly walked faster past the closer guard. The ninja put his hand on the hilt of his katana, readying himself for any attack. He was hoping the chanting will distract the guards long enough for them to get closer to corner of wall they were on and the front wall.
However, he drew his sword up a little, having a feeling that the chanting would soon be ignored by the guards. He then looked back to see the single guard (that they had just passed) turn his back on them and started to head back to where the sleeping guard slept.
"That was a little close," the ninja mentally sighed, "I just hope the last two guards are more mesmerized that one."
Upon closing on the two surprised men, the former-assassin knew, from there eyes, that the chanting was losing its effect on them. The ninja then pulled out his sword a little more. Its glowing magical blade shone onto the back his black hooded head. The bloodlust in his eyes became more apparent as he approched the two unsuspecting men. Time was running short now, and at any second the two guards would turn around. If they turned around now then Takayoshi and Brea would have been seen. Then, their plan to lower the drawbridge could fail!!!
So, the tension mounted, Takayoshi quickly glanced behind him to see if Breanynn was right behind him, and to make sure that the other guard still had his back turned on them, and he did.
Brea moved cautiously behind Takayoshi, almost completely oblivious to the noise of Elwynn's loud-speakers. She knew full well the value of noise when trying to sneak into someplace without being heard. She held her sword up in front of her, flat edge to, and moved up beside the silent Ninja.
Hoping to catch his eye, she motioned with her sword towards the two guards in front of them in a slapping motion. Then gestured towards the wall and the moat on the other side. She watched him a moment for some indication of understanding, and silently pleaded with Elwynn to keep the noise up long enough for them to accomplish their task.
The ninja fully understood what Brea was telling him, and pointed to her and the guard on the left. He then pointed to himself and to the guard on the right.
He cautious unsheathed his wakizashi and crept up to the guard on the right. With a quick a motion, he slit the man's throat so no one can hear him scream and then he proceded to push the guard over the wall. Moments later the splashing of guard's body into moat was quickly drowned out by the chanting of the elven soldiers that laid below.
The ninja quickly looked over the see where the other guard was, and noticed that he did not hear anything or see anything as he was too busy tying to unsuccessfully wake up the sleeping man on the ground. Takayoshi then sheathed his glowing wakizashi.
"We must hurry quickly before the other guards sees us," the ninja whispered as he almost ran into a dark shadow in the corner.
He looked down the catwalk to see (this time) three guards looking over the wall waiting for the elven soldiers to attack. One guard was over where the drawbridge is while the other two were about 50 feet away from him. The closer guard was a good 35 to 40 feet away from the two intruders.
"I say we get rid of them all up here," the shadowy figure whispered to Breannyn as he begins to unsheath his katana, "Because that other guard would be either alarmed or suspicious if he finds his friends missing! Deal?"
As her companion took care of one guard, Brea gave the other a blow with the flat of her sword, which both knocked him cold and sent him toppling towards the wall. She quickly reached for his feet and used the momentum of his fall to hoist him over completely. Then, she moved quickly to catch Takayoshi at the top of the stairs.
She listened silently to his words, while gauging the distance between the guards. When he's finished, she nodded in agreement. "Why don't you disappear and take care of the first one. I'll distract the other two and bring them back this way, more into the shadows." She then looked at him and asked, "Over the wall again? So no one finds them?"
After what seemed like ages of swimming in utter darkness, Karyn finally popped up into a round, well-like hole that opened into a room above. Turning to look at her aquatic companion, she indicated with a nod that she was all right and pointed back down into the water to let him know he could return for Sammel.
As Chaer disappeared back into the murky depths, Karyn took stock of the situation. There was a somewhat slimy feeling bottom under her feet, which allowed her to stand about chest deep in the brownish water. The unique, rank, fetid smell of the hole left no doubt as to what this particular entrance was used for. Karyn pushed herself back against the wall of the hole, which partially hid her from view, and hoped the brown things she saw floating in the water weren't what she thought they were. She listened to the barrage of sound that was being laid against the keep; apparently Elwynn had switched her tactics and now planned to annoy the defenders to death. The song that Karyn heard booming through the walls was one of those songs that didn't seem mean anything, but had a catchy rhythm that stuck the chorus maddenlingly into the mind. Karyn, a trained musician, was brought to nausea almost immediately from the sound, which said quite a lot considering where she was.
She was just coming to the conclusion that whoever "Mickey" was, he could not possibly "be so fine" as the juvenile melody proclaimed, when suddenly the wall beside her gave way with a splash of bricks into the water and a dwarf popped his head into the hole and looked around.
Startled, Karyn had raised her sword to strike when she realized that the dwarf was Mister Hobb, the second-in-command of the Second Construction Battalion of the dwarves of Esgrod Mountain. The Second battalion had been the dwarves who had built the Bards Hall under contract, and were now engaged in reconstructing the City of Montfort.
"Mister Hobb!" Karyn said quietly, "What are you doing here?"
The dwarf looked as startled as the Bardmistress.
"Mistress Silversheen, M'um!" he said, taking off his floppy miner's cap, "What are ya dooin' standin' abou' in four feet 'o crap? 'Tis no place for a bonnie lass such as ye!"
"We're trying to sneak into the keep." Karyn said. "What about you?"
"Sappin' the walls, as the Queenie-lass so ordered." The dwarf said. "Tha' foul racket out there is supposed ta cover the noise of our diggin's." He turned back into the tunnel and spoke to some shadows behind him. "Back abou' five meters, lads!" Turning back to the Bardmistress, he waved his cap in a courtly fashion, accidentally dousing it in the filthy water as he did so.
"We'll leave ya to it, lass!" he said. "But be careful where ya step! We'll be bringin the whole east wall doun in abou ten minutes! Adew, Milady and good luck!"
The dwarf disappeared back down the hole where he had come from.
Sammel cautiously poked his head out of the pool. When he saw that all was well, he began coughing and sputtering, trying to get the taste of the foul water out of his mouth.
"Why didn't you warn us?" he asked Chaer, glaring at him. "You said the place was being used!"
"Never said what *for*," Chaer replied with a mischevious grin. "And *you* never asked."
"Sorry about that," Sammel said softly to Karyn, smiling ruefully. "There's very little that Chaer takes seriously."
Sammel looked around the dim room. He noted the hole in the wall, and nodded as Karyn told him about the dwarves' efforts. Dusty weapons, armor, and machinery were piled haphazardly along the walls. Near the door, however, was a pile of bright, new weapons and armor. "Looks like they're storing some weapons here, even if they're not using the forge," Sammel commented. He took a closer look at the forge machinery, which was coated with dirt and rust. "Can't say I blame them for not using this. It was probably easier for them to build another forge than use this one."
"Who in the heck is `Mickey'?" the Ninja asked himself as he heard the strange song blaring out from the outlying area, "Funny, one of my old clans man had a mouse named Mickey...So we called him Mickey Mouse."
Takayoshi nodded at Breanynn's suggestion and dissappeared. The glowing magical katana crept up on the unsuspecting guard (who was just as confused as we were upon hearing the song).
"Mickey, Mickey, your so fine, you really blow my mind!...Hey, Mickey! Hey Mickey!"
The phantom sword crept closer and closer, as Takayoshi eyed him intensly through the blaring song...
Then without warning, the guard turned around, and gasped at the site of the katana floating in midair.
"Nighty, night," the unseen ninja told the now frightened guard.
The katana then proceded to dip down. The Frightened guard just stood there. In a blink of a eye, the katana seemed to magically appear above the guards head. Instantly, the dying guard saw his assailant reappear right before him. Again, the blood-lusted ninja delivered the fatal blow.
Instantly, the guard quickly brought his bloody hands up from his stomach to his neck. Gasping for air and trying not to lose his head, the guard lost his balance and fell down into the moat.
Again, his screams were drowned out by the Elwynn's contraption. This time it was a Toni Basil song (From a world called Earth?) that was blaring at the keep.
"Mickey, Mickey, your so fine, you really blow my mind!! Hey Mickey!! Hey, Mickey!!"
Satisfied by his work the Phantom ninja sheathed his sword and again dissappeared, he looked back to see that the guard was STILL (!) trying to wake up the dreamer, who still fast asleep. The ninja then paid no attention to them and continued to wait in complete secrecy. The Ninja's finely tuned sense of night vision saw every move Breanynn made as she proceded to distract the last two guards. And like a lion stalking his prey the unseen phantom was ready for any action.
Brea moved slowly along through the shadows, slipping cautiously past the first distracted guard. She only gave a quick backwards glance to make sure he hadn't caught her movement before she moved on to the other two. She carefully hid her sword behind her back as she got closer.
She slid up behind the two men who were now shoulder to shoulder, pointing at the Elwynn's troops down below. She moved closer until she was within inches of them, eyes gleaming with mischief. Then she gently blew into each of the two guards ears to get their attention. She took a step back as the two men turned in unison and gaped in surprise.
She flashed her biggest smile then, and tried to look as seductive as possible. She cocked her head towards the deep shadows where Takayoshi would be waiting, and raised an eyebrow. Then she began to back slowly along the wall, beckoning them with one hand. The two guards looked at each other in disbelief before returning their gaze to Brea. Finally, one of the men laughed and elbowed his partner, cocking his head in Brea's direction. The other nodded, and Brea gripped her sword tighter behind her back as they followed her into the shadows.
"Two for the price of one," the human tiger thought as he waited eagerly for their arrival, "Brea, sure is an attractive woman, but I must get back to business."
The black menace waited until the two men were close enough. Then he lept out of the dark shadows, as he unsheathed his sword and delivered a fatal blow to one of the guards (who lost his head). He then proceded to turn around with his sword at hand and devocalized the other guard. The last remaining and certainly frightened guard clasped his neck as he slowly suffocated. Takayoshi then with a high kick, kicked the guard in face. His pain stricken face quickly faded away as his body fell into the moat. Takayoshi then through the body and the head of the other guard over the wall as well, and sheathed his magically glowing sword.
"Nice job Brea," the ninja whispered to her, "You could've fooled me. By the way, maybe you want to go out and get some ale when all this is over? You don't have to answer now, It was just a suggestion. Now it is time to finish our job."
Tak looked over to where the sleeping guard was.
"It is time that we have to move quickly now," the now disturbed ninja blurted out, "Just follow me down the stairs o.k.?"
They slipped into a shadow that hung onto a wall inside the stair entrance.
"When I looked over to were other guards were...", the ninja softly explained, "I only saw one guard there, the one that was sleeping!!"
The now cautious ninja slowly started down the stairs, he could hear faint chattering and footsteps down the stairwell.
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