Half a week passed. They received no news of the enemy. No attacks, no sightings, absolutely no signs at all... It wasn't just the enemy. They heard no updates from Elris. The dragons he promised were an essential part of the plan. Without them, they couldn't initiate their final attack.
The brothers Wen and Garth were in front of a hologram of the map sent to them by Frisk. They were busy figuring out the final placement of the fake army. They managed to summon copies of NPCs that were already present in the world. They only had to change their equipment from commoner rags to player equipment. From afar, their true identities were indistinguishable.
"We still haven't figured out one thing," Astrid spoke and interrupted the two brothers.
"Right," Garth knew what she was talking about.
"Who will infiltrate the enemy base and who will go after the reset mechanism?"
Garth looked at his brother. "Wen and I prefer to stay in the front lines and lead the army."
Lyria and Luna appeared at Astrid's side. "We'd like to volunteer for any one of those two missions."
Sphinx suddenly appeared beside them. He had been using his invisibility skill. "Heh. Looks like they got here before we did, Jas."
Jas appeared next. "Well, Sphinx and I will take whatever job they didn't choose."
"I'm up for anything that will feed my blood lust," said Epsilon while eating a bowl of noodles. "I haven't tortured anything for a while thanks to Magnus still being unconscious."
"In that case, Astrid, Luna, and Lyria can go after the reset mechanism. Jas, Sphinx, and Epsilon will infiltrate the base and plant explosives inside," said Wen.
"Yes, boss!" Jas and Sphinx said in unison.
Luna cracked her knuckles. "We'll do our best!"
"Delivery for... Mr. Wen?" They heard a familiar voice.
Everyone turned their heads. Pio was standing at the mouth of the cave. Behind him were several red dragons.
"You guys ordered some dragons?" Pio said with a laugh.
"Pio!" Jas and Sphinx ran to their long lost guildmate.
"Pio, you're leading the dragon army," Wen said while pointing at him.
"Wait what!?" Pio was shocked. "But I'm just here to deliver them!"
"Congratulations. You're now the commander of the dragon forces."
Wen turned to everyone else. "Our preparations are complete. It's time to head out and complete the final phase of the plan. Let's end this madness once and for all. To bring back peace to Aries and for our fallen allies!"
The rest cheered with vigor. "Yeah!"
"Come on, it's time to head out," Astrid said after she packed up the remaining supplies. They were about to set out on their mission and stay positioned while waiting for the signal. They were supposed to move last, after the enemy has been successfully separated. The other groups like Sphinx, Jasmine, and Epsilon already left ahead of time.
"Wait. There's something I want to do before we leave," Luna ran back inside the cave in a hurry.
Astrid and Lyria stared while standing.
Tank was busy putting on his hand wraps when Luna found him. She knew what awaited them would be dangerous. They already lost several of their allies and people they knew personally. That was proof of how risky and real the war was. At the very least, she didn't want to dive into the sea of danger with words left unsaid.
Luna approached Tank. "Tank! I heard you're fighting in the front lines with Wen and Garth."
"Oh, hey Luna. Yeah. That's where I shine best," replied Tank. "This is gonna be one hell of a battle. Be careful out there."
"I will. You be careful too, Tank. Thanks for all the tips and help in training. You've helped me a lot in improving my routine and fighting techniques."
He laughed. "No problem, Luna! Tell you what, if we both survive this, I'll treat you to a drink."
"I'll be sure to keep that in mind then."
Luna took a deep breath and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He was caught by surprise and left speechless by her bold move.
Luna's face was red like a tomato. "G-Good luck out there!"
Tank's face was also just as red. "Y...Yeah. You too."
Luna ran away out of embarrassment and covered her face. She knew she would have to face him again if everything turned out well and both of them survived.
"I-I'm back," Luna was still jittery from what happened.
"We saw everything," Astrid and Lyria said in unison.
"What!?" The look of doom was on Luna's face.
Astrid smirked. "Tank's face was priceless. He totally did not expect you to do such a bold move. You really made him speechless."
"At least if I die, I won't die with regrets!" Luna covered her face.
"Ahh... I should've had beef bowls before I packed up everything." Astrid closed her eyes, imagining the delicious bowl of meaty goodness. "So I can die with no regrets as well."
"Why don't you give Garth a good luck kiss too?" Lyria suggested.
Astrid blushed. "It might distract him..."
"A victory kiss then?"
"We'll see. We need to focus on staying alive first." Astrid couldn't help but imagine it.
Lyria giggled. "I'll make sure to keep you alive for it then."
Luna looked back once. At that moment, her eyes met Tank's. He smiled awkwardly and waved. She had no choice but to return his smile and wave.
"OK. LET'S GO!" Luna hurriedly dragged her two companions away from the cave's entrance before she was subjected to another awkward interaction.
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