“I’m sorry that I had to report something like that to you during such a volatile time. I dealt with the matter there and then by removing the traitor. If you wish to punish me for taking action without the say of the elders I am ready for it,” said Ardolf.
“There will be no punishment. If I were in your place I would have done the same. To think I trusted Ermergerd to keep Akira safe but he defied all logic and constantly leaked your movements to the enemy. How did Akira handle the situation?” asked Wulfric.
“He kept a cool head and showed his skills in leadership when he took control of the right side and helped rally them to push back the enemy. Now that the old commander is gone we need you to appoint a new commander to the pack as soon as you can so we can continue to work on keeping the clan protected,” said Ardolf.
“Elders do you agree with my earlier assessment?” asked Wulfric.
“We agree,” said the elders.
“Ardolf, you will take over as the commander and Akira will take your position as second in command,” said Wulfric.
“I will take this burden and will make sure to uphold the clans honor!” said Ardolf.
“What? You’re promoting me already?” asked Akira who had been quietly listening to the conversation.
“Don’t question it and just take the promotion. In times of peace, you would have to wait years for a promotion but during war, those who prove themselves will always get promoted over others that only have time on their side,” said Ardolf.
“You two may leave now. We’re still waiting for a reply to the letters we sent to the kingdom or the enemy’s camp. Until we receive one you’ll need to keep the enemy away from the clans,” said Wulfric.
A few days later a letter from the enemies camp near Madham arrived by way of a messenger bird.
Akira was called to the Grand elder’s meeting room because of the contents in the letter.
“The letter states that they will agree to host a peace negotiation with a delegation of people we choose as long as you go with them. The meeting will be held in the capital and during this time there will be a temporary truce with all fighting and aggressive actions put on hold,” said Wulfric.
“Are you sure this will be safe and not a ruse to capture a few important people for hostages?” asked Akira skeptical of the kingdoms demand that he join the peace delegation.
“They are a first-rate kingdom and will not stoop so low as to dirty their name by doing something like that,” said an elder.
“The grand elders have already begun to write a letter accepting the terms. You will head out to the capital with the other people of the peace delegation later today. Everyone that will be part of the delegation will have passed the requirements set by the grand elders so there will be no need to worry about their loyalty or weak strength. You need to have all your equipment and be ready when the supplies for the trip are gathered,” said Wulfric.
“How will we get there? It’s going to take more than half a year to travel there and back.”
“Not with what we have prepared. Not only is it safer so no tricks can be played but it is also quicker. You will travel on the ship [Nouds Wind]. Carvey the second rank shaman of the Ironhide clan will be going along with you along with a few other Shaman to help. With him, on the ship and part of the delegation, you will be able to keep in touch and warn us of any trouble. He is also skilled in chants for controlling the wind, so the ships sail will always have a full wind behind it speeding up the travel all the way to the capital. It should only take you a month at most to get there.”
“If it can help the clan stop a war from breaking out, I will go,” said Akira.
“Good. Go get ready for the trip, you will be gone for at most two months so make sure you have everything you need.”
New mission received!
Mission for peace!
Go to Beorin’s capital and talk to the king.
Convince him that there is no need to be fighting. Failure will worsen relations with the king and kingdom which may lead to war depending on results.
“Why can’t we go with you?” asked Mileena next to Akira.
“I already told you guys. The Beorin kingdom has only given the okay for the peace delegation from the earth tribe to enter their lands. Having an Orc, Griiq, and two Nyantails join the peace delegation that is only meant for the Earth tribe will not work out well with the negotiations,” said Akira as he picked up his bag that was now almost completely filled with all the supplies that he would need for the next two months.
“Then why can’t I come?” asked Azura.
“You’re too young and it’s too dangerous for you to go. There will only be a few of us and thousands of enemies if things go bad,” said Akira patting Azura’s head to try and placate her.
She smacked his hand away angrily, “I’m only a few years younger than you, and why do you have to go if it’s so dangerous?”
“It’s been decided on by the Grand elders. If I don’t go this conflict could turn into a full-on war.”
“Akira stop lollygagging and get on the ship, we are about to set sail,” shouted Klyn from the deck of the ship.
Akira waved to his companions that he had traveled and fought with and grown close over the many months since they first met.
Now he would have to part with them for several months in order to complete this mission.
Everyone that the grand elders picked to go to the capital of Beorin, were all seasoned veterans that had fought in either one or both of the last two great wars and had an unquestionable loyalty to the earth tribe.
The oldest person in the group was an elder from the Coldfang clan named Bleddyn. He had been put in charge of the whole delegation by unanimous decision of the Grand elders.
There were only two acceptations to the group of veterans and that was both Akira and Klyn who were the youngest of the group and the only ones that had not actively fought in the last war.
Out of the 40 people in the delegation, there were only four other people that Akira knew besides Klyn. He really couldn’t say he knew them all that well since he had only met them a few times back at Bluemoon city.
They were the warriors that Wulfric had personally picked to protect Akira. Each of them hardened veterans that had served under Wulfric in the last war.
Due to the serious matter that would decide the fate of the tribe for the next months to years, everyone was always grim and business-like when they talked to each other.
There was no happy jokes or conversations to pass the time. It was nothing but constant planing on what they would say and how they would convince the King to stop the attacks.
Midway through their journey, they stopped at the dwarven mountain town Thileduhr near the ocean to replenish their fresh water supplies and patch up a few rough spots the ship had gotten due to the pestering of a few annoying sea monsters.
The town of Thileduhr was a vacation town for the dwarves.
This was odd since the place was wide open, something that most dwarves preferred to not be anywhere near. They preferred to stay in the small valleys of the mountains and the dark and deep caves exploring, mining, and creating new armor and weapons.
“We might as well go get some real food while we can,” said Klyn. He had grown bored of dry rations that they had been eating over the last few weeks.
The only thing that had kept him sane was the rare salty fish that Akira would catch every now and then.
“Do you know of any good places to eat here?” asked Akira.
“Nope, but that shouldn’t be a problem. Anything will be better than what we’ve been eating.”
Akira followed Klyn as they left the ship and searched for a tavern or an inn that was serving lunch. After looking at all of their options they ultimately picking a place called Hammer and Eggs.
While waiting for their food in the dimly lit tavern Akira heard a familiar voice from the table behind them.
“Glola don’t make that face. I just said it tasted good, I didn’t mean that it’s better than your cooking.”
“Ha! You’re only saying that to cover your bottom,” said an equally familiar female voice.
Akira turned around to see two people he had not seen in a long time.
“Delgar?” asked Akira.
The dwarf nearest him turned around to look and see who had called his name. When he saw Akira his eyes widened.
“What are you doing here?” asked Delgar.
“On my way to the Beorin kingdom’s capital for an important meeting, and you?” asked Akira.
“Oh me no reason. Just a … vacation,” said Delgar looking away from Akira.
“Don’t lie. We’re on our honeymoon!” said Glola punching Delgar in the shoulder.
“Congratulations!” said Akira.
“Ha! Like he did anything. If I hadn’t dragged him away from his hammer and anvil I would still be single and waiting for him to propose,” said Glola.
Glola allowed both Akira and Klyn to join them at their table where they continued to talk and catch up on the past months they had not seen each other all the while eating their food.
Akira showed a few of his creations that he had made since he had learned the blacksmithing skill. He went into great detail when he explained the daggers that he had made for Mileena.
“It all looks passable but that helmet…Yeah…I have something better I made yesterday if you want to buy it for a few gold,” said Delgar as he looked over everything Akira showed him.
“How did you find time to work on something when we are supposed to be on vacation and not working,” said Glola glaring at Delgar.
“Don’t get mad I just wanted to make something to sell so I could get some money to buy you a trinket or two from the shops,” said Delgar, expertly deflecting her anger.
“Hmph, it better not be any of those cheap pieces that they sell to gullible tourists,” said Glola.
“How could I buy something like that?”
When they finished eating Akira followed Delgar to the inn that he was staying at while he and Glola were on their honeymoon in order to retrieve the helmet.
Klyn had been given the job of keeping Glola company to allow Akira and Delgar to talk privately.
“Sorry about not giving you the letter. I now see that you have no need for it since you already found the Earth tribe,” said Delgar.
“Well thanks to you forgetting that I have made several good friends and allies,” said Akira.
“What’s with all the need for secrecy?”
“The mission I am currently on is a very important one that involves the entire Earth tribe. You may or may not have heard that the Beorin kingdom started to attack our villages recently we are going to the capital to try and negotiate a stop to the fighting. I hope you can pass the word to your king that a war might start in the next few months. If it does you should be ready in case they try to pull something against your own cities.”
“Those are indeed dark words to be hearing. What do you think are the chances of you being able to stop the war from happening?”
“I have no clue since we have no idea why they started to attack us in the first place.”
“I will have to think about it I can not just go to the king and tell him something that turns out to be false. I would only be lowering my status in his eyes and my words would be less trusted in the future. Let’s hope that it does not come to war,” said Delgar as he handed over the helmet and accepted the gold from Akira.
Helmet of secrecy: (Rare)
This helmet was made in secret when the creator was supposed to be relaxing.
Durability: 50/50 | Defense: 12
-Has a 3% chance an enemy will overlook you at night while wearing the helmet.
“Impressive,” said Akira as he looked at the new helmet. Instead of the crude bowl-shaped cap with a nose guard, he now had a real helmet that covered his entire head and neck. The front was still open and had a nose guard but it was larger thicker and made of sturdier metal.
“Eh, it’s just something I made on the fly, we best get back to Glola or she might come looking for us,” said Delgar.
The ship continued to travel north to the port city Blaisan second only to the port city connected to the capital.
They had sent a bird ahead a day before to let them know they were going to arrive soon and received a reply that they were to meet up with an escort that would take them to the capital.
The weather in the north was a drastic change from the hot and humid south. Every morning they woke up to the cold and the warm afternoons that were unique to the north.
Akira wore a dark hooded cloak to keep warm and hide his face as they disembarked from the ship.
He was surrounded by Klyn and the four veteran Bluemoon warriors.
A squadron of knights riding on their own battle horses was waiting for them near the end of the docks. The sight of so many knights had drawn a large crowd of onlookers wondering what was going on.
One of the fully armored knights with a red fur cape moved his horse forward to intercept them.
“Akira?” asked the knight as he stopped his horse in front of the hooded Akira, before taking off his helmet.
The face that was revealed was one that Akira knew well.
Akira thought for a moment before he pulled down his hood and revealed his own face.
The two looked at each other in silence while the warriors around Akira tensed ready to transform and tear anyone that made an aggressive move against the future clan chief.
Where there was once the bonds of brotherhood they were now not certain how to act towards each other. It had been over a year since they each had last seen the other and the parting was not friendly.
In that year each of their lives had changed drastically. Through his marriage to Ruth, Rodger was now the prince and through his wife heir to the throne of Beorin kingdom.
On the other hand, Akira had gone through many trials and was now being trained to lead the Bluemoom clan in the future.
They now both lived in vastly different worlds from the other.
Their past relations were forced to be put on hold in order to deal with the current political climate between the two factions. Rodger for the humans of Beorin and Akira for the werewolves of the Earth tribe.
“You look different,” was all that Rodger could think to say.
“Yeah,” said Akira.
There was more awkward silence for several seconds.
“I’m sorry about making your face ugly,” said Akira pointing to the scar that he had left on Rodger’s left side of his face.
With this comment from Akira, the ice was broken and Rodger gave him an awkward smile.
A cough from one of the impatient knights behind Rodger broke the silence.
“Let’s not dwell on the past, we have come to escort you to the capital so that you make it there unmolested. Luckily we brought enough horses for everyone,” said Rodger after counting everyone.
“Lead the way,” said Akira.
Before Akira could follow after Rodger, Klyn held onto Akira’s shoulder and whispered, “Don’t get too friendly with him he is still the enemy otherwise the other people in the delegation might get the wrong idea.”
“I know what to do and not to do. My past relationship with him will help us in the long run,” said Akira.