The following days went by fast enough for the knight. Most of her time now consisted of assigning scouts and overseeing sparring sessions with other lieutenants. It was easy for the most part. The only challenge she usually faced were a few lower ranking knights that had clearly lost respect for her and of course, Layth. With the other knights knowing better than to challenge the higher ranking lieutenant, Layth was easily the most difficult one to deal with. While Penelope tried to avoid working with him, their jobs unfortunately pushed them together more often than either sibling would have liked. Over the course of the two days, the siblings were usually at each other's throats whenever working together.
Luckily Penelope got a break on the third day when she volunteered to accompany Olivia on a scouting mission. The two friends walked through the forest near the bordering chatting idly to pass time. The weather was rather cold that day so both had adorn themselves with heavier cloaks to fight off the winter breeze. Olivia hugged her arms to herself as they walked, narrowing her gaze slightly as a cold wind blew through.
"Gods I hope this wind doesn't mean it's going to snow again soon... You weren't here when it did a couple weeks ago but it made things miserable." Olivia complained with a frown.
"Hopefully it won't. I can't imagine what it must have been like. Especially when we only have the tents for shelter... Still, at least we're set in supplies for such weather. I noticed they supplies everyone with heavier blankets." Penelope said with a soft sigh.
"I suppose. More so than that I just hope Younis doesn't decide to attack right before such weather. I'm all for your plans Penelope but that'll be a rough time regardless if we're just defending." Olivia complained as she glanced over at Penelope. She shot her a small, teasing smirk. "You've been at the castle for so long you'll probably be the least prepared for it."
Penelope rolled her eyes. "I'll be prepared enough... Anyways, I'm sure we'll be safe from Younis for a while. After all, it seems like they had a lot to recover from what I heard and since they aren't aware of our plans to only act defensively, I doubt they'll be quick to attack us right now."
"True en—" Olivia began to say until a distinct footstep caught both of their attentions. Olivia exchanged an glance with Penelope before both of them drew their swords. Penelope eyed the direction the noise had come in before moving towards it with her sword at the ready. Almost as soon as she stepped closer towards the cluster of nearby trees, a figure jumped out of hiding and bolted away. Her eyes widened as she recognized it to be a knight with the colors of Younis. "A Younisian scout!" she shouted in alarm before taking off after him. With how close he had been to them, the lieutenant knew there was a chance the knight had overheard their conversation and might report back to his baron about the Brerratic battalion's new battle plans. While it was inevitable for Younis to realize that Brerra was only behaving defensively, Penelope wanted to make sure they wouldn't realize it for at least a couple battles. If they put it together too quickly, there was a high chance they would figure out a way to use it to their advantage even faster.
With that in mind, Penelope hurried after the knight, weaving through the trees of the forest. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught Olivia closely following on her right. As the Younisian knight took a sharp turn to try and lose the pair, the lieutenant did the same, keeping him in her sights. The enemy scout clearly lacked the skill of running from an enemy as the pair gained ground on him. After being around Crow and picking up a thing or two, even Penelope could tell that much by the way the knight barely changed directions to escape or look for cover. Gaining ground on him, she gave a quick signal to Olivia to flank his right while she rounded out towards the left.
The scout noticed Olivia's movement first and quickly veered left to avoid her, which allowed Penelope to cut him off. As the lieutenant reached the scout, she glared at him and raised her sword, expecting a fight. However, the scout didn't even bother to draw his own weapon, instead raising his hands in surrender with a fearful look in his eyes. "S-Sorry! Please don't kill me! I-I didn't mean... Well I guess I did but I wasn't planning on spying! I was just patrolling! Honest!" he rambled taking a step back from the lieutenant.
As he spoke, Penelope lowered her sword slightly but still kept it drawn on him. Now that she wasn't in the heat of the chase, she realized how small this particular knight was. He was shorter than her with a rather round and childish face, likely a couple years younger then herself. And clearly inexperienced... She thought with a small sigh. Just as she finally got a clear look of him, the scout seemed to just register what his pursuer looked like as well.
"Woah wait.. You're a lieutenant aren't you? And you're a woman? That's so—" He began but paused cutting himself off, awkwardly clearing his throat. "Ah.. never mind.. look I promise I won't cause you any trouble if you just let me go."
"Man, Younisians are weird." Olivia suddenly piped in, eying the boy with interest as she stepped up behind him with her sword drawn. A small frown crossed the female knight's face before she glanced towards Penelope. "Soooo... What's the plan here?"
Penelope frowned and eyed the Younisian before taking a small step towards him. "Unfortunately we can't just let you go. I know what you heard and we can't let that get back to your battalion just yet." she said with a shake of her head. "But I won't kill you either. We'll just have to take you prisoner for now."
"What?" he frowned.
Penelope raised her blade to the scout's throat, making him flinch. Though the knight wouldn't kill him in cold blood—regardless if he was from the enemy kingdom it seemed cruel and he had just been at the wrong place at the wrong time—she didn't want to let her guard down around him just yet. After all, he still had his weapons on him. Taking him prisoner wasn't ideal either but it seemed to be the safest option they had. Killing him was cruel but letting him go could potentially put her whole battalion at risk, taking him prisoner seemed to be decent middle ground. She just hoped that the barons would feel the same. "Olivia, take his weapons and pat him down." she instructed to her friend.
Olivia nodded and stepped forward to remove the scout's sword as she sheathed her own. The female knight then patted him down as well, giving a strange pause and glancing towards Penelope, before she finished by taking away a dagger that he had in his boot. Olivia stepped back and turned to Penelope. "Looks like that's it." she assured her friend.
"Good. Let's get moving then. Put your arms behind your back and keep them there." Penelope instructed the scout who gave a timid nod before doing so. The female lieutenant lowered her sword and moved to take up the left side of the Younisian, pressing a firm hand to his back to guide him forward. Olivia fell in behind the pair as they began to make their way back to the rest of the battalion, carrying the weapons that she had confiscated from him.