The sound of the warm crackling fire filled the governor’s office and lit up the room. Outside the large glass windows, Akira could see the gray gloomy sky filled with clouds with fresh snow falling.
A tired man with dark bags under his eyes sat behind a large wooden desk that was filled with stacks of papers crying out for his attention. He pulled off his reading glasses and looked over the five guests that had entered his office.
“My name is Scoit. I am the governor of this humble trade post. I was told that you are travelers from Halrverold. It has been some years since I have heard of such a large group passing by. How is the old continent doing?” asked Scoit.
“I won’t lie, the relationship with the kingdoms and the demon races is not good. But if it was only that we could handle it. THEY have returned,” said Wulfric with a solemn look on his face.
“Yes… one of the guards filled me in on what you told them. Are you sure that the people you saw at Froit city were really Demigods and not some rare and powerful skill users?”
Wulfric looked over to Akira who was standing behind the four Grand elders and motioned for him to answer.
Akira stepped forward and cleared his throat, “There is no doubt who they are. I was able to talk to them and confirmed that they were demigods. Burkin a dwarf merchant and a few others were with me and saw them using their skills.”
“This is troubling news. I know Burkin would not start false rumors, so I will have to accept what you say is true. There have been demigods who have come to our continent in the past, but I have never seen one. Do you know what they are doing here this time?”
“I was about to find out that one of the groups came here to hunt something or someone. I have no clue what the other group’s goals were in coming here, but I did hear them talking about finding some land to call their own.”
“I suggest that you strengthen your cities defenses. I have fought the demigods in two of the three great wars. If they want something they will take it even if it means they have to die several times to get it,” said Wulfric.
“So the stories of them being immortal are true?” asked Scoit.
“I am not sure if you could call them immortal in the normal sense of the word. They can die but they reappear a day later. Although we have fought them in several wars and hundreds of battles we still know only a little about them,” said Carl.
“You need not worry. I will make sure that Jerora is fully protected. Now, onto other matters. I hear that you are in need of some supplies and equipment for setting up a new settlement. If I may be so rude in asking but since you are werewolves why are you not going to either of the villages that are already established?”
“It has been a long time since those clans left and came to this land. There is no guarantee that they will accept us. The differences between our clans may be too great, so in order to prepare for the future we have decided to create our own settlement,” said Wulfric.
“We have everything you need but it is not cheap and will cost you quite a bit,” said Scoit as he scribbled some numbers onto a piece of paper and handed it over to Wulfric.
Wulfric looked at the prices and felt a pain in his gut everything was extremely overpriced!
“Can we have some time to discuss this between ourselves?” asked Wulfric.
“Of course, and if you accept I will throw in one of the most recent maps of the frontier for free. If you are successful at finding a place to set up a new village I would be more than happy to start a trading relationship with your settlement. We can iron out the details if and when that happens but I am sure we will both benefit from such a deal,” said Scoit.
“We will keep that in mind,” said Wulfric.
“I have too much work to do right now so I will have to cut this meeting short. If you decide to buy the items listed just bring that paper to the central trading zone and they will handle everything for you,” said Scoit.
He placed his glasses back onto his nose and returned to working on the large stacks of papers on his desk.
While the elders talked over how to raise money for the items needed, Akira sat around a small campfire with Burkin and ate a late lunch.
Mileena and the others were busy with various tasks inside the trading city so it was just the two of them.
“Burkin, can you tell me about the places south of here?” asked Akira.
“The nearby land south of here is what we call the frontier where the last of the habitable land has been claimed by several small settlements.
If you go farther south past the frontier that land is called Kaldrbiod. The name means Cold land. Most of the year it is nothing but snow and ice. My clan is the one that named it long ago even then it was a cold and inhospitable land.
Most settlers do not go that far south due to the weather and monsters that live there. It is wide and mostly unexplored, but I am sure you werewolves can deal with both,” said Burkin as he kept looking over his shoulder checking to see if anyone was looking for him.
“What are you doing?” asked Akira.
“Well, you see there is someone that lives here and… well, I won’t get into the details since I don’t want to bore you. Could you do me a favor and take this letter to the address written on it?” asked Burkin.
“Sure… but… why can’t you do it?”
“Don’t worry you won’t die…I think,” said Burkin as he ran away after handing Akira the letter.
‘What am I getting myself into?’ thought Akira.
He quickly ate the last of his food and set out to find the address inside the trade city. With a little help from people on the streets, Akira was able to arrive at a general store on one of the main streets.
“Welcome customer!” a female voice greeted him as he entered the warm building, “Is there anything I can get you?”
Akira found a female dwarf with red hair, long eyelashes, and rosy red cheeks standing behind a short counter.
He looked back at the letter to read the name before speaking, “I am looking for a Kurzlin, from the K’s general store. Do you know where I can find them?”
“I am Kurzlin. What can I do for you?”
“This letter is for you,” said Akira as he handed over the letter.
Kurzlin accepted the letter and immediately opened it and started reading. When she finished there was a scowl on her face.
“Where is he?” asked Kurzlin with a sharp look in her eye.
“Burkin, take me to him now!”
“Sure,” Akira was startled by her change of tone and accepted without a second thought.
Before leaving the store Kurzlin put up a closed sign and made sure to lock the door behind her.
Akira led her back to the campsite where they were staying and found Burkin sitting near a fire drinking some warmed wine with Delgar and Chack who had recently returned.
“See, what I tell ya. You didn’t die, so there was nothing to worry about,” said Burkin as he saw Akira walk towards him.
“Oh? Why would he have died?” asked Kurzlin from behind Akira.
“Pfffff…cough, cough,” Burkin choked on his drink and started to cough.
“Why did you bring her here!?” asked Burkin after regaining his voice.
“You have some nerve to come here after what you did last time! Did you think you could get away with just writing me a letter?” asked Kurzlin as she walked over to Burkin.
“Hmm… I don’t remember what you’re talking about. You see I am a busy dwarf…so…” said Burkin.
“You don’t remember!” said Kurzlin exploding in a fit of anger.
“Calm down Kurzlin. I think I remember now. But that happened such a long time ago so why are you still mad?”
“A long time ago!? It was only a year!”
“Huh? Last year? What was it that I forgot?” asked Burkin.
Kurzlin Glared at Burkin for over a minute.
“I have been waiting for twenty years and each year you keep saying next year! Last year you promised that we would get married but left right after that!”
“Oh that, I thought you found about that other thing, no forget I said anything.”
“I’m not even going to ask about whatever it was that you did since I know it will just make me even angrier. I’m not letting you get away this time!” said Kurzlin garbing onto Burkin’s arm.
“Hey! I’m too young to get married! I’m only 130!” shouted Burkin in protest as he was dragged off back to the city by the ear.
Akira, Chack, and Delgar, just watched as he was dragged away not wanting to get in between the two’s love quarrel.
“What just happened?” asked Akira.
“Ah, I want to get married to…I lie! Women are too scary!” said Chack as he watched.
The sound of war horns came from the snowy woods on their right.
Kurzlin and Burkin stopped quarreling and everyone in the werewolf camp stopped whatever they were doing to look towards the woods.
The guards patrolling the trade city’s wall all stopped and had a look of alarm on their faces.
“What is that?” asked Delgar.
“It’s a warning signal from the guards that should be patrolling in that direction!” said Burkin.
Several minutes later a small group of three sleds with two soldiers each pulled by large deer monsters exited the woods at full speed. They were trying to run away from something terrifying.
As the sled passed by the guards only shouted two words.
The sleds continued at full speed towards the city to find safety behind the walls.
Upon hearing the words several werewolf howls rang out alerting the rest of the warriors of the danger.
Akira left the others behind as he ran to the tent where the Grand elders were currently talking.
“What’s all the commotion?” asked Carl.
“Akira, where are your manners don’t just barge in like that,” scolded Wulfric as Akira poked his head into the tent.
“A dungeon overflow happened! We need to prepare for a wave of monsters attacking!”
“Go and help the warriors. We will take care of the civilians,” ordered Wulfric as he immediately stood up and gathered a few items and left the tent.
Since there was an abundance of snow the entire werewolf encampment only had a chest-high wall of snow in the shape of a triangle surrounding the werewolf encampment. The tip of the triangle was pointed at the forest.
The snow walls were not great protection as they could be easily destroyed but it was all that they could build.
Akira ran to the tip of the triangle where a large number of warriors were already gathering and getting in position to take on the coming wave of monsters.
After the three sleds entered the city the gate slammed shut and locked. They would not open until every monster outside was killed. Everyone inside the city was stuck where they were and could not return to their own camps outside, this included the three girls who had been browsing the many shops.
Akira joined Chack, Delgar along with the rest of the warriors in his patrol unit who had been waiting for him.
Several of the older warriors seeing Akira welcomed him warmly. Many of the gathered warriors had either fought with him during the war with Beorin or had seen him fighting on the trip to Jerora. They all had great respect for the young future clan chief.
“Sir, would you like to take command of the warriors?” asked one of the older warriors in charge.
“There is no need, you are doing just fine. I’ll just take control of my own warriors and help defend,” said Akira.
He did not want to step on any toes right now since he was still inexperienced with commanding large forces. It would be better to control his own unit.
The warriors stood behind the short walls waiting… and then several [Hungry Snow Wolves] burst out of Forrest. Everyone readied their weapons only to see them monsters ignore them and run around the human and werewolf fortifications trying to get away from the snowy forest.
Everyone looked back to the forest. They could hear the sound of crunching snow coming from within.
“Transform!” shouted the commanding officer.
Several trees were knocked over as over a hundred white-furred monsters plowed their way out into the open.
Akira checked to see what type of monster they were. [Twin Tail Snow Panther lvl 60]
The [Twin Tail Snow Panther] was covered in white fur and stood over 4 feet high with a length over 5 feet and they were headed straight for the werewolf’s who had all transformed.
“Archers! Fire!” the majority of arrows missed as the [Twin Tail Snow Panther] nimbly dodged them, only a few took any real damage. In a few seconds, the large monsters were already halfway to the snow wall.
“Throw the Javelins!”
Akira who had three javelins hurled them at the fast-approaching [Twin Tail Snow Panther] and was able to kill one and wound two others.
“Spears out! Brace for impact!”
Akira and the other front line spear-men created a wall of spearheads over the snow wall pointing at the charging [Twin Tail Snow Panther] ready to break their charge.
The [Twin Tail Snow Panther] were undaunted by the mass of spears and picked up speed.
The [Twin Tail Snow Panther] slammed into the spears sending several warriors stumbling backward or even falling onto their butts.
The [Twin Tail Snow Panther] that were in the front of the charge had all been impaled by numerous spears and died immediately.
A few unlucky [Twin Tail Snow Panthers] were still squirming and letting out howls of pain trying to remove the spears from their body, some snapping the spears or pulling them out of the warrior’s hands with their erratic squirming.
The tip of the snow wall had lessened the charge but had crumbled and now there was little protecting them other than their armor and shields.
Akira yanked his spear out of the [Twin Tail Snow Panther] that had impaled itself on it and pierced it a second time to make sure it was dead.
“Don’t let them pass, we must not let a single civilian die!” shouted Akira using his[Shout] skill, boosting the morale of all who heard him.
There were still at least fifty [Twin Tail Snow Panther] still alive. They crouched down and jumped high into the sky clearing the spears that were still entangled with dead and half-dead bodies of the other [Twin Tail Snow Panther].
Akira raised his shield to block a [Twin Tail Snow Panther] which fell right on top of him slamming him into the ground.
A claw slammed into his shield trying to knock it away so it could get to Akira’s stomach.
Delgar with a battle cry slammed his warhammer into the side of the [Twin Tail Snow Panther] causing it to stumble to the side allowing Akira to roll away from it and get back onto his feet.
As he did he grabbed his spear from the ground and rejoined Delgar and Chack.
Akira quickly used the skill [Shadow chains] to keep the [Twin Tail Snow Panther] immobile and unable to dodge their attacks.
Their attention turned to another nearby [Twin Tail Snow Panther] that was trying to get past them.
“Surround it!” commanded Akira as he charged towards the [Twin Tail Snow Panther] to get its attention.
With great efficiency, they were able to kill it quickly.
They continued to search for the [Twin Tail Snow Panthers] and helped whoever was fighting one.
In this way, Akira took a big roll commanding the warriors around him, even when he had not intended to.
With the help of Akira using his tactics skills, there was no loss of life for werewolf warriors.
But there were still many wounds that would need urgent medical treatment.