Closing his eyes, Kikiru recalls the day when he set out from Nishikyo with his men. Two full companies of archers marching out from the village, Ainu and his Spirit Guide watching them go. They made their way for many days, sneaking past barbarian scouting camps, ambushing barbarian scouting parties. When they found the barbarian village, everything was still going well. It was as expected, a mere five day journey from the village to their advance camp. It explained how the barbarians were able to field so many of their men against Nishikyo.
After a messenger had been sent to update Ainu of the camp, they moved on past a great river. Another company of archers had been met as they were crossing the river. The Spirits had been on their side that day, but casualties were heavy, being half-submerged in water was one of the worst ways to start a fight, especially against archers.
After this, the way had become more difficult, uphill and close to mountains reaching high to the sky. The wind became colder and more biting. They surprised a company of barbarian archers in a valley between the mountains. After a short fight, the fur from the barbs were divided among the men. Barbs had taken to changing the way they fought. Some of them feigning death only to attack when the company had passed them by, many dying of sudden stabs from behind. It was very frustrating.
Three days ago disaster struck. As the men were moving uphill, a massive attack of axemen poured out of the hillside from hidden caves. The first company had been completely decimated in a matter of minutes, it was all his men could do to run back down the hill and escape. Even so, more than half his company had been wounded and it would have gone hard on his men, had the sky not opened up as they ran to their previous campsite. The rain made his men stumble and fall, hurting themselves even more running away from the enemy. But the enemy had stopped. Evidently they were not eager to fight when it rained. Spirits of both water and wind were praised that day.