The warriors laughed and clapped their hands as they listened to the tribal beat from their cattle hide drums and chanted a brutal, yet oddly beautiful war song. The tribesmen of the Nacane Kingdom formed a circle while a young warrior stood in the center and danced. It was an odd combination of stamping his feet with a few quick movements and some acrobatics.
“Drink up my friends.” One of the younger warriors emerged from their small watchtower he was supposed to be patrolling, but instead of a spear and shield, he bore a tray of wooden cups filled with wine. “Fresh from our friends in Trepis.”
He smirked and reached into his satchel. He produced a large, narrow bottle of green glass and swished it, no doubt containing more of the delicious beverage.
The camp exploded into cheers and many gladly took their cup and drank deeply, relishing the rare commodity of the smooth and sweet beverage, but one warrior smirked at him. A slender older male called Bheka. “Shouldn’t you be the one chiding us to get back into our posts Mhambi? Where is all that talk about wishing to taste battle?”
Young Mhambi did not even blink as he pulled his tray back. “Very well then, if you feel so strongly about it I suppose you share can go to someone else.” To prove his point, he reached out to take the cup until it was snatched by the warrior in question who quickly swallowed its contents.
“Bah, don’t think me a fool little cattle. I’m not letting you cheat this liquid honey from me.” He wiped droplets of wine from his lips. He lets out a great belch. “Those Trepans are bastards, but they know how to make a drink. It tastes like it's been made by the gods themselves. How did you even get this bottle?”
“Remember that camp of Trepans I spotted a week ago?”
“Yes,” Bheka glowers at him. “you told us about them and made us run nearly two miles only discover the packed up and left.” All the warriors were now facing him, glaring at him with unhappy scowls on their faces.
The little cattle rubbed the back of his neck, feeling his face flush. It was still a great humiliation for him. During his shift on the top of the tower, he spotted a group of Trepan poachers attempting to poach some of their cattle.
He had quickly told the others and organized a Warband, but by the time they arrived all the poachers had picked and left. With about half a dozen cattle with them. Yet it was evident that they knew of their arrival as they left their camp in a hurry. “Well, they left some things in camp, including an unopened bottle of wine that I was saving.”
Bheka grunts and holds up his mug forward. “Refill.” Mhambi obliges and pours him another glass. He swirls it around and takes a great sip. “So is this your form of an apology?” He swallows. “In that case I forgive you.”
Mhambi chuckled and finished his drink as well. It was good wine indeed, though he wasn’t a bug drinker. After one shoot he was done. Besides was still eager to get back to duty.
Older warriors like Bheka may enjoy to tease him about his enthusiasm for his duty. Chieftains often considered this post was nothing more than a stomping ground for young warriors, or a place of elders who could no longer fight to wallow. Yet Mhambi took pride in his service.
The small tower they manned was a key post in the Nacane kingdom. Once an ancient tower that was used to watch out for roving bands of raiders, it was recently rebuilt and used as it was one of the only places that watched the coastline from the island of Vraukx, an island that was taken over by settlers from Trepis.
They normally a rather peaceful island, yet recently they’ve have gotten increasingly aggressive in spite of the treaty they made with his uncles to halt the fortification of their city.
Now there were even rumors that a fleet of ships is being sent here, though whether it carried more settlers or an invasion force was still unclear.
The young warrior picked up his gear and excused himself, leaving the drink and revelries, pouring himself one more glass of wine which he carried with him to his post. He left their laughter and cheering behind him as he returned to his post.
His tower was just that, a single structure made from the Uaphreech tree. Four thick logs were its corners and rose thirty feet high while smaller logs crisscross around them to make an X while the top roof was a plank of wood with hide coverings.
He climbs the ramp that spiraled to the top and sat on its highest perch. At his vantage point, Mhambi had an unobstructed view of the entire coast that ran along the Emerald sea. In the distance, he could make out the shape of Vraukx island and the sturdy stone walls that made the town there a virtual stronghold, that is without even counting the sizable garrison within it.
The shadows part in the doorway behind him. Mhambi doesn’t seem concerned and simply sits down. “I see you didn’t join the others.” He said to the figure, offering his mug.
An ancient voice chuckled, though it sounded more like a croak. “When you are my age, drinking is not high on your priorities.” Though his words did not stop him from accepting the wine and finishing half of it in a few seconds.
One of the kingdom's oldest warriors, a man who saw its inception some sixty-odd years ago sits beside him. His real name was forgotten and now people have simply taken to calling him, Old Zuma. “Yet I notice you have not joined our friends down there as well.” His almond eyes watched the warriors dancing below with some longing. “Besides, someone must watch over the sea.”
Mhambi nodded, feeling a bit guilty that the old man had to remain here alone while others celebrated. “But surely those rumors are just that, rumors.”
Even as he said it, Mhambi also questioned the truth in those words. It was merely an attempt to ease the aging warriors' mind. Yet the wrinkled face of Old Zuma pulled back to a frown. “That is not what the bones tell me.”
“The bones spoke with you?” He asked in disbelief. Bones and other remains were one of the methods used to commune with those who have passed and helped guide the tribes. Although bone reading was considered the least reliable method, it was also the most accessible way for warriors to commune with the spirits, if indirectly. “What did they say?”
In response, he reached into his pouch and threw a femur that was bleached with age onto the ground. It rattled against the wood yet even as it rolled to a stop, it continued to vibrate. Shaking as if there was an earthquake.
“Our people will experience a turbulent time, and I fear it will involve the Trepans.”
Mhambi took this in, feeling his spirits plummet to the ground. He wanted to curse whatever spirits or gods that were in skies above. Yet kept his tongue held back. If there were highers beings up there that are upset with them, the there was no point in aggravating them further.
Instead, his curses came down to the Trepans. The great Wolf of the North. They had brought trouble ever since the colonized Vraukx, demanding tribute, asking for warriors and parading around as if they were kings and the Nacane, their vassals.
The day he heard their capital fell to barbarians, Mhambi felt his spirits rejoice at the news. At the time it felt as though the yoke of Trepis was gone. Yet only a few months later, another master had come to take Nacane’s leash. Cassius, a lesser lord in the Trepan realm claimed Vraukx as his own.
Even though his armies were significantly smaller, they made up for it in brutality and audacity. Already several border skirmishes had broken out between Trepans and Nacane over the establishment of several military encampments at their coast.
That was the main reason why this watchtower was restored. The high chieftain insisted that we have a presence in the west. This tower once used to mark then seen by their explorers, now a vigil monitoring the ever growing expansion of the lions.
Mhambi spreads his arms out as he felt a powerful gust of wind blew at his face. He felt it the breeze caress his cheeks, as it gently whipped at his hair and cheeks and caught a hint of a salty tang from the sea beyond.
“What an excellent gale.” He said softly, closing his eyes. He heard the loud trumpeting noise coming from a herd of elephants. Mhambi watched the great gray beasts lumbered across then. open fields of the savannah. Then patriarch of the herd urging the young ones forward with his trunk.
Yet Old Zuma did not share the young Nacane’s enjoyments. He sat up straighter and squinted his eyes towards the sea, and he froze. Crying out in a hoarse, incoherent voice he stepped back and nearly lost his balance had Mhambi not picked him up. “Whats wrong?”
He pointed at the water, opening his mouth to speak but was assaulted by a coughing fit. “Ships.” He gasped out in between painful wheezes. “I saw ships in the distance. They bore sails of Trepis.”
“What?” Mhambi gasped and released the older warrior. He scanned the seas for the vessels.“Where? How many?”
“Ships transports from the looks of it. They were coming from Vraukx it would seem. I saw at least three of them, though who knows if there were more.”
“But we had a treaty.” He cried. “They are no longer allowed to fortify their settlement.”
Zuma pulled himself up from the ground and grabbed his young companion by a then shoulder, pulling him close and pointing. Mhambi now saw the ships, the Trepans accursed battleships. They bristled with weapons, trebuchets, ballistae and even a pair of fire lances at on either side of its ship.
In the few short moments that followed, Mhambi felt his heartbeat quicken. It was a bizarre mixture of excitement and fear. All the time he spent dreaming of something like this, yet all that dreams had never prepared him for something like this.
“What should we do?” He piped to the elder. Old Zuma looked at him, seemingly amused at his friend's nervousness.
He gestured back to the village. “Return to Isikhungo and inform your uncle of everything. Tell him to send reinforcements while I will remain here and rally the warriors already here.”
Mhambi nodded and was soon sprinting away from the tower towards the village.
“Who goes there?” A loud voice demanded. The sheer authority of his voice caused Mhambi to stop. The two guards had their spears leveled at him. Each bore the dull gray sashes of Thundering Cattle regiment. The men under his uncle's personal command. These men were once his father's personal guard when he took power but was since turned to a city guard by his uncle.
He blinked in surprise and raised his weapons as a sign of surrender. Even though these men recognized him, they were always the cautious type, especially when it came to the safety of their city. They followed their orders with almost terrifying fanaticism.
“Mhambi nephew of Isikhungo and son of Ulwazi. I have important news that I must give to the chieftain.” He said urgently, trying to push past them but was quickly shoved to the ground.
Neither warrior seemed convinced and blocked his path. “If you truly are Mhambi, which we know you are then why have you deserted your post. Tell us this news and we will determine if it is truly important.” One warrior squats down and shoves his face up to Mhambi.
“And if we discover that you are simply deserting your station-” The second warrior thrust his spear in the air a few times the same way one would spear a fish.
Mhambi squared his jaw and leveled his gaze towards them. Determined not to show any fear. He quickly told them everything that he saw, not leaving any details.
By the time he finished the two guards had helped him to his feet and were shouting to the men in the gate's tower to begin opening the gate. Like the rest of the palisade, the gates were made from a combination of sharpened elephant bone and Uaphreech.
The gates creaked as the crank mechanism went to work sliding both sides open. The two guards flanked Mhambi as he entered, shouting for the people crowding the streets to move or simply pushing aside those who were too slow to react.
Despite the speed of their movement, Mhambi still noticed the changes in his home. In the past few months over a dozen new buildings were set up or being built. Markets, butcher houses and even farms now dotted the city. These weren’t even made of the simple of the reed, straw, and grass that their hut was, but of mud brick.
Yet their old huts still remained it was a welcoming sight in an entirely new city. Elders might have wrinkled their nose in disapproval, but Mhambi personally enjoyed the city. It proved that they were more than a collection of tribes but a true kingdom.
“Make way, make way!” The Thundering Cattle warriors shouted. “Our chieftain has news to hear!”
People began poking their heads from their homes, looking at their small group in surprise. “Whats going on?” A matronly woman with two children clinging to her legs asked. “What news?”
“None of your concern.” One warrior barked, clashing his spear and shield. “Just return to your huts.”
But not every person returned, a few even continued to follow their small group. Mhambi continued to look on, he was lost in the sight of the new city. He did not even notice that they crossed another set of gates within the city to the inner ring.
It was the tradition that only the most esteemed and people high status be allowed to live in the center of their encampment. That is why Isikhungo had reserved it for only his greatest warriors and most revered priests.
Yet this was also the spot that was least changed. The beehive shaped huts that rose fifteen feet in the air were arranged in a massive circle. It still looked like the village he grew up in as a boy.
His pride swelled as he saw that in spite of everything that changed in the Nacane these past few years, they still understood where they came from. He was so lost in thought that he didn’t even realize that they had reached his uncle's hut.
It was by far the largest and most impressive home. From the sides hung multiple kills he took throughout his life, Elephants, Lions and even Wolves. Outside were other various trophies taken in his campaigns, vases, tapestries and assorted trinkets.
Mhambi couldn’t take anymore. His news was far too important to wait any longer. He shoved past the warriors and cupped his hands to his mouth before shouting. “Uncle! Uncle.”
“What is it!” A voice crackled like thunder and from the largest hut. And from the darkness of the entrance, someone emerged. A man well into his forties, yet moved with the grace and speed of one a decade younger. His attire consisted of arm and leg bands made from cow hair, a kilt, headband and a tightly sewn apron that was from a bright yellow leopard he personally slew and was reserved for the highest of nobles. He carried his club and hide shield in his hands. A warrior’s garb suited only for the chief.
All three of them dropped to one knee. Isikhungo grunted and gestured for them to stand back up with a wave of the hand. “You called me boy?”
“Yes, uncle.” He replied. “Apologies for disturbing you, but I have important news from the tower I was stationed in.”
His already pinched face wrinkled together in irritation. He gave his nephew a good cuff behind the head. “Bah, just spit out what you have to say.”
Muttering his apologies, Mhambi flinched and half expected his uncle to strike him once again. Beatings among their elders to their children were not uncommon. It was to keep the strong and remind them just how harsh the world was. Especially coming from his warrior uncle it was fully expected for a simple cuff to be turned into a beating. “The scouts in my tower have spotted ships approaching the coast from Vraukx island, and it does not appear to be one of their trading ships.”
His hand lowered a fraction and his eyebrows knit together. For the first time, the chief understands the gravity of the situation. The peace treaty he had established with the Trepan settlers on Vraukx island had agreed that they would not fortify their holdings further or push inland. “How many? Can they be sure of this.”
His nephew nodded “Yes, they were sure of what they say. Three of their giant boats. There could be hundreds of them within its belly.” He paused and swallowed a breath, quickly describing the ships and the weapons mounted on its sides.
“Can you be sure of what you saw?” Isikhungo said, sounding less angry but more perplexed at what he heard. Mhambi could tell that the gears in his uncle's head were turning as the strategist side of him took over.
“I am, Old Zuma saw those things as well.”
Mhambi was pleased to see that him accepting this information. Old Zuma was well respected for his wisdom and patience. Even Isikhungo tended to listen when he spoke.
“Damn those bastards.” He grabbed a guard by the shoulder and shook him, pointing towards the nearby fields. “You there. Send smoke signals to summon the warriors back. You!” He pointed at another man. “Gather whoever you can and begin fortifying the village.”
The men quickly run off in different directions. “What will you have me do Uncle?” Mhambi straightens and holds his spear aloft. A breath of excitement was caught in his throat which he forced down.
His uncle looked at him for a moment, but slowly, his hard look changed and a smile formed as he wrapped his arms around him. “You are a great warrior Mhambi, and you’ve served our kingdom dutifully for almost six months. For that, you shall be leading a single regiment. The Red Desert Regiment shall be placed under your command.”
Pride filled every fiber of his being, Mhambi stood up a bit straighter and saluted. “It would an honor to fight alongside you uncle.”
“Then you shall, though your regiment shall remain in the reserves and provide support for the rest of the army.” His uncle said gruffly, turning away.
In an instant, all of Mhambi’s pride was replaced by disappointment. Then reserves were meant only for warriors to fight in the direst of situations. a position of importance true but his uncle had a reputation of never unleashing his reserves. “Uncle I wish to fight alongside you, not simply watch you win the battle while I sit on some hill.”
His uncle stopped and turned around. Mhambi tensed and prepared himself for another blow to fall, but instead, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Isikhungo was smirking at him. “So the young bull elephant is eager to prove himself in battle? Well, the nephew tells me. What makes a great warrior?”
Mhambi racks his brain through all the memories of his uncle when he brought him campaigning. He thought of the lessons his uncle drilled into his head. “Skill, daring, aggressiveness.” He paused and thinks of the last quality. “Patience.”
“Exactly my boy. I have no doubt that you have the aggressiveness and the daring to be a leader of men, but you must learn patience, to wait until the very best moment to strike. And the best way to learn that is in the reserves.”
“And how will I learn about skill there?” He grumbles under his breath.
His uncle caught wind of that and grinned at him. “By watching me of course.”
It appears Old Zuma had used his time well. By the time Mhambi had returned, all twenty warriors stationed within the tower had been gathered on a cliff side. Ve They clattered their spears and shields together in a mad chant. A pair of warriors had rhino horns and were stomping their feet as they blew into them.
The cheers grew even greater when they saw their reinforcements arriving. Mhambi marched together in the loose column alongside his warriors. In the few hours that the warriors took to gather an army over four thousand men had taken up the call. Even with their small numbers their lines still stretched a fifth of a mile.
Unlike their neighbors to the north who prefer to travel in tightly packed formations, Nacane made use of their open spaces and made sure to move in loose formations.
They sang and chanted as they marched, echoing the rhythm of their footfalls. These men, like Mhambi, were eager to fight the Trepans. By the end of this day, the sea will run red with the blood of their soldiers.
The second and third regiments suddenly broke rank. They marched on opposite sides of the army, one moving up to the watchtower and the other towards the edge of the coast a good distance away from landing sight. The two halves of their army formed a pincer-like formation. It was only the Isikhungo and Miami's regiment that remained in their original direction.
While Isikhungo’s men continued to advance, Mhambi ordered his troops to stop. He raised his finger and spun it around in a gesture for his men to turn and sit down to ensure that they don’t panic or become over eager and attack.
“Mhambi!” A runner shouted and waved his hand. “You're uncle is calling you and wishes you to join him in his parlay with the Trepans.”
Delighted, Mhambi had to trot in order to catch up to his uncle and his retinue. As far as he could see, none of the chieftains were present and it was only his personal guard accompanying him.
They were marching down the cliffside to the coast where the Trepans were mobilizing. The there ship's remained a good distance away, though not far enough for them to be unable to fire their catapults. Their fire lances had a far shorter range. Oddly enough there were far fewer Trepan soldiers than he expected. With all those ships there could easily have been three times as many, now there was only a single legion present.
As if reading his thoughts, his uncle placed a hand on him. “Don’t let their numbers fool you, they are few, but well trained and well armed.” He said pointedly. He noticed they were still heavily armed in their glittering armor. But he still recognized a soldier in a steel body cuirass and crested helmet who detached himself from the army. An officer then.
Mhambi hands rested towards his spear and gripped it tightly. He wished dearly he had a throwing spear just so he could try and kill him.
As Isikhungo walked, a great shout came from the warriors. They raised their spears in leaders. They broke ranks and stepped forward, hammering their weapons together in a thundering chorus. For a moment the Warband leaders seemed at a loss, though the quickly reined their soldiers back.
In response, Isikhungo raised his club and pounded his other fist on his chest, shouting in a deep bellowing voice. “Why even try talking with them? We already know that they are here with demands and nothing less.” Mhambi protested.
“True, I do not with to bother negotiating with the, either,” His uncle admits, calming down. “but there a reason why I bother talking with them. They believe us savages, a mass of undisciplined warriors. By talking we prove that we are just a civilized as they. So when we march to battle, we will not be savages, but equals to them.”
The young warrior bared his teeth in a brutal grin. Let them look at the bull in the eye before they are gored by its horns.
The officer he spotted earlier marched directly parallel to Isikhungo. He held his chin held high and one hand reaching for the short sword at his hip. The man looked to be the most brutish looking person he’s ever seen. His uncle marched right up to him and gave a stiff nod. “Greetings Centurion. What brings you and your fleet here? Surely our gentle winds would not have been enough to batter your mighty war fleet.”
The officer jerked his chin up as if unwilling to look beneath him. He opened his mouth and spat in between the Nacane king's legs. Angry shouts rained down from his warriors, screaming profanities, and catcalls.
His mouth split into a grin as he gave a mocking bow to the chief. “Apologies for my rude entrance king. But I come here with a request for my lord. You see, he requires soldiers to join his army for his planned campaigns.”
“Then I am afraid that he shall be disappointed. There are no mercenaries among my men.”
“Well, mercenaries are far too expensive anyways.” The warrior explains, sneering at him. “It is a good thing then that my lord has his eyes set on your native warriors. You will be compensated of course for your services.”
“We are not mercenaries, and I will not be ordered around like a vassal in my own kingdom, now I suggest you and your soldiers leave.”
The officer suddenly threw his head back and laughed, one hand slapping against his thigh and the other pulling out a sword. He raised his sword arm and pointed it forward. The sound of ropes releasing tension drew Mhambi’s focus to the ships. On the lead ship, three of its catapults fired their load.
Stones the size of a man's head came flying above him. He followed after their trajectory and screamed out a warning as they fell on the watchtower. The first one merely grazed the side of one leg, but then the second one smashed into the roof.
The simple brick and wood splintered underneath it and the whole roof caved in. It was then final shot that was the coup de grace. It struck the weakened leg and easily snapped the Uaphreech log that had stood for so long. The whole tower groaned and tilted to its side, but stopped after. For a moment it seemed as if it would stop.
But it continued its downward trajectory a heartbeat later, sliding off the cliffside as the ground gave way underneath it. The warriors who were standing on the tower screamed as they tumbled off.
“Break away! Get out off the range.” Isikhungo shouted and waved his arms away. His warriors did not hesitate to turn around and run away. They were the brave warrior, that was without question, but even their skills could not counter the Trepans trebuchets.
A cloud of dust and debris blinded Mhambi momentarily to what had happened, but the smoke cleared to reveal the splintered frame of their tower. Mhambi broke away from his uncle's retinue and towards the tower. He spotted the first warrior, or what was once one-half crushed under a pile of planks. His body was poked with holes from where wood tore through and his lower body was less solid and more of just gore now.
He averted his eyes but forced himself to keep looking for Old Zuma. He found Bheka, or at least him from the shoulders up. His mouth was still open in surprise. He was just one casualty. Others were sprawled about, crushed by tower or cut apart from the debris
“Zuma. Old Zuma!” He shouted, cupping his hands over his mouth.
“I’m ok.” A voice croaked from above. He saw the venerable warrior limping towards the edge, looking remarkably unhurt. Old Zuma seemed to notice his confusion and offers a rueful smile. “I was not in the tower when the artillery hit. I wish I could say the same for the others.” His gaze moved to then flattened bodies around him.
His gaze turned and he pointed back to the beach. “Ready yourself boy! Then battle has just begun!” Old Zuma pushed him aside and raised his shield just as an arrow struck.
Mhambi spun around and saw Isikhungo and his guards defending themselves against the sudden surge of Trepan soldiers. Steel meet stone as they fought. His uncle expertly blocked an attack and swing his club across the soldier's face. His check guard didn’t offer much protection against the blunt weapon and caved in his face.
He blocked another attack with his shield before he swept his legs at a second soldier's feet. Meanwhile, his guards form a circle around him and viciously cut their way through Trepan soldiers.
The officer reached down to his and pulled his sword out. He marched towards Isikhungo, raising his blade up, but his uncle moved like a cat and easily stepped aside.
The young warrior rushed towards the fight, he pulled his shield in front of his body and raised his spear. A Trepan advances to intercept Mugambi, his sword held over his head as he cautiously stepped closer.
He used the signature one-two punch of bashing his shield forward followed by a quick thrust. Thankful he was trained to counter that attack and he caught then shield by its rim as the man pushed it forward. With his other hand, he jabbed his spear down.
Blood bubbled and mixed with froth at the soldier's mouth, he dropped his sword and sank to his knees. Adrenaline rushed through Mhambi’s body, he held his chest until the rush passed. Yet he felt exhilarated. This was his first kill.
At that moment he was no longer a boy, but a warrior for the Nacane.
His uncle continued to fight with the officer, the pair circling around one another with their weapons probing out. It seemed more like a dance more than a fight. The Chief moved with grace and lightness on his feet that it seemed he barely touched the ground.
He ducked as a sword swing went over his shoulder. Taking this opportunity to attack, Isikhungo threw his body forward, ramming his shoulder against the Trepans chest. It was only then the strength of his metal shirt that protected him from serious injury.
As they fell to the ground, Isikhungo’s hands shot up and he pushed himself from the ground, doing a flip and landing gracefully on his feet a foot away. He didn’t give his opponent a chance to recover, he swings his mace once again as the officer got to his knees. The weapon struck his leg guard which immediately dented after and left then man howling in pain.
Quickly, the Nacane moved behind him. He grabbed his arm and wrapped it around his throat. With his free hand he held his club right above his head. The Trepan struggled under his foes iron grip. He flopped around like a fish but Isikhungo simply pulled the man's arm tighter. “Struggle all you wish but you will find it's not so easy to escape me. Now, I suggest that you call off your men and leave now while you still have the chance.”
The officer's guards don’t back down until he signals them back. “Stop fighting now.” He choked out and struggled to breathe under the chiefs hold. “Very well Nacane, you win. For now.”
Nodding, he released his captive. Taking a moment to rub his neck and inspect for damage, the officer glared at the chief. “But don’t think we will not return.” He jabs his finger at Isikhungo chest. Mhambi and the other guards bristle, but none move a muscle. “And do not think you will win a second time.”
A chorus of deep growls escaped the lips of the surrounding warriors. The officer turned around and marched back to his ship. His men spent a few moments to gather the bodies of the dead Trepans.
There were at least nine of them, and a dozen Nacane. Of course, that wasn’t counting the almost twenty warriors who were on the tower when the Trepans struck it.
Mhambi watched as a rope ladder was thrown off the side of the ship and then soldiers climb on board. Once they were up and out of sight, he heard his uncle sigh heavily. “He corrects, though, on both points.”
“Are you saying we will not fight them?” The young warrior cried, incredulous.
“I never said that.” He assured me. “But in this situation, it might be best to discuss things with the other chieftains. They would likely wish to know what’s happening before we make our next move. Wouldn’t you agree?*
Mhbimi nodded and walked with him. The rest of the warriors began to vanish back to their settlements. War was in their blood, but they also ached to see their family. In truth, he also longed to be home to his hut with a mug of warm tea and a leg of meat. He gladly trails after him home.