Karla and her group reached the hideout of the resistance in a bit more than one day. The news of them returning without Andrik had spread like a wildfire in the camp, and the Fox welcomed them shortly afterwards in her planning room.
She looked at them, and Karla meant she saw something like fear in her eyes. "So, you have returned without Andrik. What happened to him. Is he dead?" Karla shook her head. "Phew. That's good to hear. But what then? Is he imprisoned? Was he captured by Yushkov's men? Then it's only a matter of time until they kill him." Karla again shook her head, this time a bit more reluctantly. "Ok, so what's up? Tell me!"
Karla sighed. "Fox, there is a new threat. An army from across the borders. They rescued Andrik from an angry mob that wanted to burn him. They are led by a girl who claims to be the 'rightful Orene of Kosul'. Ha, there's nothing like a 'rightful Orene'! Whoever claims that is an enemy of the Kosulian people!" She laughed a bit. "But Andrik is leading them here. He seems to believe her. I can't believe that he fell for something like that."
The Fox looked at her with wide eyes. "Did the girl say anything else about herself? Describe her to me!" Her hands were shaking a bit.
Karla was surprised. "I wasn't really able to see her. A red scarf around her head. She rode a white bear, and what a bear it was! An amazing specimen!" The Fox's hands were clawing at the table. "Oh, and she called herself 'Svetya Katarina Stormhalt-Kurtz'. As if anyone of that family survived Yushkov's slaughter. I heard about it. Everyone at the palace was killed, and all who tried to flee were hunted down and killed too. She's nothing but an imposter."
The Fox laughed, but it wasn't a really happy laugh. "Svetya! You survived! You fled from Kosul and survived!" The Fox put down the Fox-pelt on her head and shook her long hair. "Oh, how much I look forward to see you, Svetya! After all this time!" She laughed and laughed, while signaling the others to leave. "Oh, and Karla, be so nice and inform me as soon as they are in sight. I want to greet them myself. Svetya, what a joy!"
Karla was now totally confused, as she left the room. She took a place at the gate and looked out along the street, waiting to spot the foreigners on their way to the hideout.
About half a day later, she saw the first banners floating in the wind. She spat out. She wouldn't trade one oppressor for another one. The people of Kosul should reign themselves! She couldn't understand why the Fox was kind of happy to hear about Svetya returning.
When the convoy finally arrived, they were welcomed coldly. Most of the rebels shared her outlook, but all were at least happy that Andrik returned. The Fox came out of the building, her gun at the ready. "Hello, Sister." She said coldly. Karla was perplexed.
Then the girl, Svetya, answered, her eyes filling with tears. "Camrin! You...you're alive!" The Fox, the leader of the rebellion against the Orens, was one of them? Karla couldn't comprehend that. Were they deceived the whole time?
Now, the face of the Fox grew even colder, and she spat the following words out. "Yes. And no thanks to you. I crawled through ice and mud to escape the slaughter. Andrik saved my life and hid me from Yushkov. Where have you been?" She threw a glance at the priest.
Now in tears not only of joy, but also of grief, the young girl almost cried her response. "In Argenport, trying to get help." She pointed towards the rebels behind her, led by that young man who came a bit closer.
With a sneer, the Fox shook her head. "And you arrive unharmed, with this rabble? Please." She raised her hand, and the resistance took up their arms. Karla had seen the rebels fight, and she knew that the resistence had not much of a chance to win a fight here. But Camrin needed to see the rebels fight, to know how good they were.
The young man smiled, as he too raised his hand and the rebels took up their positions. Looking towards Svetya, he said "I can see the resemblance." Then the arms clashed. Karla soon realized that the rebels did everything they could not to seriously harm anyone of the resistance, and the same yould be said about the resistance, but that would have meant that they had the possibility to seriously harm those trained warriors. Most of the resistance fighters hadn't fought for a single day in their life before they joined the cause, but their opponents had fought for their whole life.
Camrin went for Svetya, who had dismounted from her bear and wielded a sword. Camrin too had put down her gun and drawn two daggers. Svetya did nothing more than parrying the strikes Camrin threw at her. "Camrin, why are you doing this?
The fox spat out. "I've fought and bled every day since the night that Yushkov came. You've been of and played princess. You abandoned Kosul and our people. A real Orene would not run, sister." This seemed to hit a nerve in the young girl, as she now started to go into the offensive. It was a forth and back of blows between those two, and after a short time, the rebels and the resistance stopped fighting and watched the duel.
Svetya seemed to have enough of this, and ignoring the daggers, she threw a heavy blow towards Camrin. And even though one of the daggers cut through the cloth of her robe started turning her side red, the sword hit Camrin with the broad side and send her to the ground.
Laughing a bit, the Fox stood up again while the sword was pointing toward her chest. "Perhaps you are tougher than I thought. Very well, we will talk." She cleaned her clothes, and turned back towards the mansion. All of the fighters on the yard breathed out relieved, and the first hand were shook. Svetya and the man followed Camrin inside, while the others started to really warm up. Karla was amazed by the discipline those rebels showed, and soon after, the first cask of Ale was opened. She now realized that there were not only rebels from outside the borders of Kosul, but even some of the elite bearguard of the Orens. With those new troops, they had a real chance at winning the war against Yushkov. But she still was not able to accept that they did all this just for another Oren to oppress the people. she wouldn't let that happen.
The following days were hard. The rebels trained the resistance fighter, and plans were made. Plans on how to disrupt the army of Yushkov and his oppressive rule. Karla learned much during this time. And she also learned to admire the young leader of the rebels, Milos Izalio. He was handsome and full of determination, and he knew what he was doing. He told them that his father was the first leader of those rebels, and how he was brought up to be the leader of the rebellion over in Argenport since he was small. He had dedicated his whole life to the fight, and he was proud about that.
Then there came the days of action. They fought against tax collectors. They fought against militia. The infiltrated Korovyat. Karla was amazed at the efficiency they developed during the time. But not all shared this amazement. It was bloody. It did not only hit the supporters of Yushkov. Innocents died. Svetya grew sadder with every death, and Camrin grew bolder.
More and more people joined the hunt for them. The bounty on Camrins head grew and grew. And Camrin started to ignore the innocents. Karla shared her outlook. Those who weren't WITH them were AGAINST them. They could choose: fight, run or die. Those who did had chosen it themselves. The resistance was not to be held responsible for that. They fought for a higher cause.
Svetya was nowhere near understanding that, unlike Milos. At least that was what Karla felt. He seemed to understand it, but he also understood that making new enemies wasn't the right way. He warned them time and time again to slow down, to think more before acting.
More and more soldiers started to patrol the streets, maybe because Camrin shot a diplomat when they tried arresting her. They needed to lower the numbers of the soldiers. But how should they do it? Victory was near, but Kosul bled and bled.
It was Camrins idea to burn down he barracks. She was sad when she had to trade away the ring of her mother, but they needed the firebombs she could acquire with it. It would be the greatest victory they had won in this war. When night fell, the rebels infiltrated the barracks. They had no problems getting in and setting the firebombs. Karla was one of the bombers, together with Milos and some of both the rebels and the Kosulian Resistance fighters. Svetya, Camrin and the rest of their warriors stayed back and stood watch. That was when disaster struck. A group of soldiers entered the barracks just when the firebombs were set and the fuses lit. The leader of the group shouted "Intruders! Don't let them escape!"
Camrin cried out. "Damn! The firebombs are already set!" She drew her gun, but Milos shook his head.
"Get everybody out! I'll hold them off!" He himself now drew his two guns, while the first rebels retreated. Karla smiled. As Milos fired his first shots, she raised her hammer. She had fought the Oren and his soldiers for a long time, and she had hated them even longer.
Svetya started to cry, tears running down her face as she grapped Milos arm. "Milos!" She looked at him, trying to convince him to retreat with them. But his face stayed cold. He had decided that he would die here.
"Go. Your people need you!" He shook off her hand and shot another soldier. Svetya nodded thankfully and turned to retreat. Camrin stayed a bit longer, even though Milos threw a glance at her, telling her to retreat. She shot into the mass of soldiers coming their way, but Karla went over to her. "Fox, go. It is no good if you die here. Someone needs to remind Svetya who the true rulers of Kosul are. remind her of the might of the people when she starts going astray. We count on you. Don't let our sacrifice be in vain." She shoved Camrin towards the exit.
The Fox looked at Karla. "I am proud that you have served under me, Karla. You have your heart at the right place." Then she ran away.
Karla turned around and looked at the sad little group that was left here. She raised her voice, hearing the fuses of the firebombs burning. "Fighters of the Resistance! Rebels from a lost war in Argenport! We are the people! We will die here. But if we can hold them off for long enough, it will not be in vain! Let us die a good death! The Fox counts on us! Svetya counts on us! Kosul needs us! Let us show these soldiers who we are! For Kosul! For the people!" She raised her hammer and let out a battlecry, and the fighters joined in. They didn't charge, but formed a defensive ring around the bombs. Karla stood next to Milos and touched his arm. "It is an honour to die by the side of a great leader like you." She smashed the head of a soldier, while Milos targeted the ranged ones with his guns.
He smiled. "Father always said a man should die with his boots on and his guns ringing." He laughed, and the fighters with him. The first of them died to the mass of soldiers trying to get through to try to keep the bombs from exploding, but the Rebels just closed their ranks.
"Your father sounds like a wise man, Milos. Let's make him proud. For Kosul. For the Rebellion!" The fuses grew shorter and shorter, and Milso started counting down.
5... A soldier stabbed the Oni on Karla's side. She revenged him by smashing in the chest of his murderer.
4...Milos shot a soldier charging with a spear, but his speed and the bloody ground still carried him further. Karla tried to evade the spear, but it hit her in the side, piercing through her. She cried in pain and broke the spear sticking out of her, but she had to fight on.
3...More fighters fell around her, and the defensive ring grew smaller and smaller
2...Karla had to see how a sword pierced Milos, but he didn't show a single sign of pain as he blew away the face of his murderer.
1...grabbing the bear's tooth hanging around her neck, Karla closed her eyes. 'Mother, Father. Leo, Erika, Anna. I'll see you in the afterlife. I hope you are proud.'
0 The world around Karla turned into an inferno. The light shone through her closed eyelids as bright as the sun. There was a short feeling of pain, and then...nothingness.