Harms quickly found the rest of his men. However they had not had enough time to find their own weapons. Instead they were armed with knives and swords and found themselves hunted, the cries of their pursuers ringing through the wooded area.
The only way he could see that they could upgrade their armoury now was to find the Tauran troops, taking what they needed by force. However, the first thing that they had to do was lose their pursuers.
He signalled a halt, indicating that his men took refuge in some dense undergrowth. They had not long to wait, their new enemies had to at least follow them on foot, the Knights finding it impossible to follow on their horses. This to some extent had reduced the armoured men’s advantage, but not by much.
A group of four or five soldiers passed by, beating the surrounding bushes with the flat of their swords and making a lot of noise. It seemed as though they were more used to hunting game than men and Harms smiled. For once, they would find that their prey had teeth.
As the last of them passed by, he slipped from cover, silently stalking his man. He covered the distance separating them in a silent run, his knee slamming into the man’s back as his hand covered his mouth. Almost simultaneously he slipped his blade between the man’s ribs and then gently lowered the corpse to the floor. Nodding to Renard, he moved forwards; they now had become the hunters.
Harms led his men forwards, dispatching silently any opposition as they closed on the main body of Taurans. They had almost stumbled into the larger and superior force as Harms had pressed them too much. His eagerness to get away from the armoured Knights was nearly their downfall.
“They’re not moving,” whispered Llorente, without taking his eyes of the soldiers who were semi-hidden by the trees, “they seem to be waiting for something.”
“Where’s Renard?” asked Harms, unable to see the stocky trooper amongst the shaded vegetation.
“He went to see what he could find,” grinned Llorente, “he said he was getting a little bit bored just waiting around.”
“I’ll skin him …” cursed Harms, but Llorente’s frantic signalling, caused him to bite off the rest of his comment in mid-flow.
“There he is,” whispered Llorente, “it looks as though he's found something.”
Renard slipped back into cover, a rifle hung over his shoulder and another clasped in his hands.
Harms thought about reprimanding him, but he felt a surge of elation at the sight of the rifles, “Any chance of some more?” he asked eagerly.
Renard nodded, “I had to leave a couple, this was all that I could carry.”
“Well done,” congratulated Harms, taking one of the weapons from him, “this is more like it!”