Moira and her group slept through the night and figured they would resume their journey at dawn. Their trip had been perilous, with monsters constantly slowing down their progress and wearing them out. They had exerted themselves more than they wanted to admit.

After a good night of rest and confirming their plan once again, they left, ready to face whatever would come. Their target was a village called Oleo, and they had no other information than its location. As a diplomatic mission, it was the riskiest there could be.

"My Lady, remember that you have to flee if we encounter trouble, and we cannot overcome it. This is of the utmost importance. Even though we've treated you as one of our own, it doesn't mean that your status has changed. If anything were to happen to you, our names would be shamed and duties, failed"

John had mentioned this point repeatedly, with the support of Terry and Henry. Their number one priority on this mission wasn't establishing relations with the village, but it was to protect Moira.

Their constant nagging annoyed her, but she understood their worry. Even if she didn't accept Derrick as her husband, he was still the man whom she belonged to in the minds of every citizen and soldier of Akata. She couldn't simply shy away from all the responsibilities she had taken on these last few months.

"I know, but I doubt it'll come to that. After all, you're the best soldiers we have right?"

She threw them a condescending look and the soldiers felt outraged inwardly. This woman truly knew how to rile up people!

She kept walking and John suddenly leaped forward, grabbing her arm and stopping her in her tracks.

"Look ahead. We've arrived"

She was startled by his sudden actions, but focused ahead and was stunned to see a gigantic village through the thick vegetation. Beyond the forest's boundary was a vast plain, followed by tall wooden barricades that defended its perimeter, with guards patrolling. If one didn't pay attention, it was easy to stumble upon.

After hiding themselves at the edge, they paid closer attention to the guards. They wore leather armor and had swords for weapons. They were rusty and seemed poorly maintained, but it was plenty to defend themselves.

"Judging by its size, it's the biggest one we've ever found right?"

Moira was really surprised about the size of the settlement. It was clearly well-organized.

"Yeah, how many people do you think there are?"

"If I had to guess, two to three thousands wouldn't be a stretch"

John agreed with Moira, flabbergasting Henry and Terry. They never imagined that a village this size could remain hidden with Akata in its vicinity.

"Do we stick to the plan?"

That was John's next question. They never expected a village this size to exist, and conquering it with their military wasn't an option as the losses incurred would be far too great. This meant they either had to report to Derrick, or conclude their diplomatic mission successfully.

"Let's stick with the plan. We'll come out, present ourselves with our weapons stowed, and we'll go from there. We can't show any hostility, or we'll be chased away"

The group came to a consensus and left the cover of the forest, before advancing on the bare plain in the direction of the wall.

It took a minute before a guard noticed them and sounded the alarm. Reinforcements poured in, and the small group was soon encircled by more than 40 soldiers who assumed a defensive formation. They were clearly trained by the Krakow Empire.


The guard's loud and raspy voice echoed, and Moira advanced from her spot, indicating her position in the party.

"We come from the same region, Akata to be exact. We have come here to discuss of a possible merger between our cities. Is it possible to speak with your leader?"

The soldiers in front of her looked at each other, and inspected their outfits. Everyone in this region donned ragged armor, and they knew they could base their judgement around this. When they saw the shining armors and swords, the mood changed. This time, the guard's tone didn't have any wariness, only fury and contempt.

"Lies! Nobody has gear like that except those residing in the Empire. You came here to finish the job, didn't you?! Soldiers, advance"

Their formation started tightening up frighteningly fast and the group were forced to pull out their swords as well. They didn't expect their armors to be their downfall.

"Please listen to me! We even came bearing a gift for your leader! Don't force us into a corner"

The soldiers in front of them weren't listening anymore, and they kept their steady pace, rapidly closing the distance. Formations really were the trump cards of the Krakow Empire.. There were barely any openings for Moira's group to strike.

"Think we can get out of here?"

She asked John, who smiled in response.

"I said we would tell you when to leave us behind. Have you heard me speak yet?"

Her nervousness vanished, and she remembered that she was accompanied by the best of the best. She wasn't alone and if they were confident, there was no reason to turn tail and run. With her confidence reinvigorated, she filled her lungs and yelled for the last time.


The soldiers paused and turned to their leader, which turned out to be the man who spotted them. He looked at their outfit once again and made his decision heard.

"Take them down. We'll ask them questions afterwards"

The soldiers nodded and resumed their march.

"Don't kill them. Just knock them down"

Moira, John, Terry and Henry looked at each other before smiling and leaping forward into the defensive formation, surprising their enemies. These people were, to say it politely, crazy..

The man in charge even turned around, ready to go make his report. This was a fight that was already won.


A gigantic blast resounded and the man froze before slowly looking back, instantly shocked by what he saw. The formation his troops had tirelessly worked on had been broken, and five soldiers were currently flying through the air. The group of four intruders were in the gap they had just created, continuing their rampage.


Shouts and yells were thrown as the soldiers of Oleo tried to hang on, but their numbers were quickly dwindling.

Luckily for them, it seemed their opponents didn't have any killing intent, or they would have already lost a lot of their comrades.

Moira had to say she was impressed by the skills displayed by Henry and Terry, as it was the first time she saw them fight. Their movements and strikes weren't as heavy as John, but they still packed quite a punch. As for John, his strikes were still as devastating as ever, creating openings everywhere.

The fight was so one-sided that the leader had to come out of his daze and call for more reinforcements.


In the center of Oleo

"What's this commotion all about?"

A 7'3" (2.21 m) man stood up from his seat and marched towards the wooden barricades, curious about whom dared disturbing him...


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