My mother does not accept failure.
We landed on King Phillip’s Island in the far northern portion of Blood Lake.
The naiads and merfolk had agreed to a truce, and so they had helped guide the flat-bottomed bateau from the old boathouse to the island. Brutus and his comrades had been in one, some of Miriam’s in a second. I’d gone forward in my own canoe, ammunition and my warclub, my sole companions.
The naiads and the merfolk, like the dogs and the ravens, wished to drive the Kinderzähne and any of my mother’s troops from our lands. The ravens had discovered a camp of both on King Phillip’s Island, and they had reported back to me.
I had spoken with the queen of the merfolk and the council of elders from the naiads. Our plan was simple. I would land with the dogs on the southern shore of the island. From there, we would drive the troops and the Kinderzähne back until they were on the edge of the island. There, the enemy would have a choice to fight or seek refuge in the water and attempt to escape to the Hollow.
They would not make it.
Merfolk and naiads would be waiting.
The enemy would be drowned, and their flesh would feed the merfolk.
When we landed, I took the center, and Brutus anchored the right wing. One of Miriam’s hounds anchored the left. With the dogs strung out between us, we moved forward through the long grass.
Soon, we came into contact with the enemy, but only the Kinderzähne stood their ground.
The troops ran.
The howls of the dogs served as a chorus to the death chant of my Colts as we butchered the Kinderzähne.
As we fought, the ground shook, and the screams of dying men drowned out the sounds of battle.
At first, I thought the men had reached the water, but as we crested a short rise, I saw the troopers laid out in the grass. Their deaths had been quick, though I doubt painless.
My mother’s voice ripped through the air.
As much as I hate her, I have to admit I felt much the same way.
I’ve no use for cowards.
No Blood does.
In the cool breeze that sprang up, the dogs and I dragged the corpses to the water’s edge.
The merfolk still needed to eat.