Gren recognized the two groups that were fighting. The bandits that Gren was captured by were defending against an army wearing the same armor that the soldiers of Adierton had on. The explosion happened closer to the attacking soldiers but due to the army being spread out there weren't that many casualties.
"Good, you're awake." Gren heard Georgia's voice from behind him and turned around. "The Duke's army has yet to enter Newton. We made it just in time." Georgia sat down in the carriage and shut the door. "It's best not to draw attention to ourselves right now. The bandits are overwhelmed and shouldn't last that long."
"What was that explosion?" Gren was reminded of the injuries that Annie had. Estella was muttering about how Annie was attacked by her own people when he first met her. "Do the bandits have a magician?"
Georgia shook her head. "That explosion should be from a cannon; I remember hearing that a group of bandits stole one a few years ago. I don't think that any magician capable of doing that amount of damage would become a bandit."
Gren watched as a group of soldiers made their way to the wooden barrier. The shields in the front row were raised up to defend against arrows while spearmen in the back prepared to strike any bandit defending the blockade. The group of soldiers worked together as if they were a single organism. After getting close to the barrier and taking out a few bandits, the soldiers suddenly started to retreat; shields up and walking backwards.
A large black box was left behind near the blockade. The black box made some movements that Gren couldn't quite make out from their current distance. "It can't be!" Georgia's yell surprised Gren.
"What is it?" Gren massaged his right ear since it received the most damage from her sonic attack. Before Georgia could respond, Gren watched as the box unfurled itself and started moving.
"An automaton. A metal creature created to kill indiscriminately." The metal arranged itself vaguely into the shape of a human before it attacked the wooden spikes. It ripped the wood apart with its sharp claws and lunged towards the bandits on the other side. "I've only seen it in drawings but the way it transforms is exactly the same as it's depicted."
The soldiers that deployed the automaton had already returned to where the rest of the army was located. The Duke's army was waiting for the automaton to finish their job for them. Gren and the other spectators lost sight of the automaton once it tore its way into the village.
The noise outside of the tent signalled the beginning of the battle. Jane knew that it wasn't safe for them to stay but it was too late for the girls to leave now. Her father could be heard shouting commands to his men and what she heard didn't sound good.
The soldiers outnumbered her father's men and a small group of knights from the Church of Healing Light had been spotted. It didn't seem like the knights were going to join the battle but Susan seemed worried about their presence. "Everybody grab a chest and help me build a barricade." Jane shouted out but her sisters weren't listening to her. "Are you all deaf!? We're under attack!"
"Shut up, fatass." One of the younger sisters that disliked Jane spoke up. "Nothing terrible will happen to us even if father loses. The soldiers aren't going to kill us when they can make money by selling us." The girl paused before she continued to mock Jane. "Of course, they might just kill a fatty like you that wouldn't even be worth selling."
Jane looked around at her sisters and noticed that they were avoiding her gaze. All except for Shelley, that is. Shelley wasn't like the other girls that just sat around waiting to be sold off to some noble. Her mother was part dwarf so Shelley only had a small amount of magic at birth even though their father had a large magic capacity. The nobles that sought to improve their bloodline using their father's genes wouldn't be interested in Shelley.
"What do we need to do?" Shelley approached Jane, looking to be of assistance. The other sisters just ignored them, allowing the two outcasts to do their own thing.
Jane looked around in the tent, trying to find something that would help block the enemies from getting in. The tent was no use in blocking an attack so they would need to hide or block all sides. There weren't enough things they could use to build a large barrier so Jane decided on building a hiding place for the two of them.
Jane didn't trust the other girls so she talked to Shelley in private. "Help me move some of the crates in the back section of the tent. We'll create a place to hide by stacking them."
There was suddenly a loud bang followed by the sound of an explosion. Jane recognized this as the sound that the magic cannon makes. The cannon only had one cannonball that had to be recharged before using it again so it could only be used once per battle. If their father was already using it then the battle was almost lost. Jane's size would make it difficult to hide so Shelley's hiding place would be their top priority.
They stacked the longest boxes on top of the tallest crates. There was just enough room for Shelley to hide in the gap. The sounds of fighting were getting closer and Jane didn't want to put Shelley in harm's way. "Shelley, hide for now. I'll be back."
Jane returned to the main section of the tent and looked around for something to help her hide when she heard screams coming from outside. One of the other girls went to go look and see what was happening out of curiosity. When she came back inside she was panicking and talking about how there was a monster rampaging in the village.
It was almost in the next second that the girl talking about the monster had been pierced from behind. A metal claw tearing her apart--separating her top half from her bottom half and spilling her intestines on the floor. The monster stepped over the girl's destroyed body and guts before attacking the other defenseless girls.
Jane was afraid and tried to retreat but only made it a couple of steps before the back of her foot hit something. Jane tripped on an open chest and landed on a doll; the doll was one that Gren would recognize if he were there: Sheila. Jane's head hit something when she fell and her consciousness started to fade. Although Jane's body was getting a large dose of adrenaline it did nothing to prevent her from falling unconscious.
The sounds of death and violence filled the tent as the automaton went on a rampage. The automaton was designed to kill every living being it could lay its claws on and it did a great job fulfilling its purpose.