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marybethgriggs > Otherworldly > 26 Concerning Slaves
"Have you both recovered, Jin and Sebastian?" Becky made her way to the campfire in the middle of the village where the rest were setting up for dinner. Following behind her was Aima who still looked fresh and full of pep.

"Yeah, thank you, Becky and Aima for continuing the patrols. Were there any difficulties you encountered?" Sebastian offered them a plate consisting of stewed meat and bread.

"Not much. We simply closed the empty rat imp burrows and Aima placed a few traps around the village. It was oddly empty. I'm not sure if the rat imps have been exterminated or if they went somewhere else."

"From what I've learned about rat imps, they're extremely territorial, aren't they? Why would they attack this village?" Sebastian looked up as he slowly went through his dinner.

"It's extremely odd. They don't just attack a village and they don't abandon an attack halfway through. Their hoard also numbers in the thousands, so I don't think the corpses here is their entire horde."

"More importantly, Sebastian how did you know that Oswin's party was going to attack us?" Aima chirped in while she prepared to sit around the campfire.

"Yeah, that reminds me. It was very cryptic, but you expected it. For Aima and me, it was good that I realised at the last minute before Bodeth attacked us." Jin also joined in the questioning as he remembered the fight that drove him to his limits.

"Jin, do you remember when we knocked on the warehouse and waited for a response?"

"Ah yes, but you simply waited and signalled for the others to stay in their positions right?"

"That's what it looked like, but I was using my augmented senses to listen for movements inside the warehouse. Someone was shushing the people inside and told them to cover up the bodies. However, that someone was not the person that responded first."

"So Oswin was hiding something? Is that what you heard? Then why didn't you tell us when we were outside the warehouse? We could have easily overpowered them as a team. That was why you didn't want us to split up in the first place, right?" Jin reminded Sebastian that he didn't want the team to split up while they were scouting the village, an act which he contradicted after a few moments later.

"I wasn't sure if they were hostile towards us at that point, but it did appear that they were hiding something and they were extremely wary of us. They strongly insisted that we split up so I had to agree. However, I did organise our units into manageable ones. I placed Aima and you to check Bodeth because your styles are both similar, while I asked Mel and Becky to go with Sylvie because their speed is similar as well. I'm sorry I didn't explain it properly beforehand, I didn't have time you see. They also stayed with us all the time, not giving us any chance to plan anything ourselves."

"How about Oswin, how did you survive his attacks? He would have tried to get the first strike as well." Mel came back from distributing the food to the villagers as she sat beside Sebastian while holding her plate.

"I used a specific set of [Augment] skills which allowed me to see his mana flow so I was able to see him preparing a spell. I'm sorry if I worried you, Mel, also I'm sorry everyone - I carried out a plan without consulting or filling everyone in on the details."

Everyone became silent after Sebastian's apology as everyone looked down on their plates while eating dinner. Becky swallowed a mouthful of her food as she broke the silence first.

"sigh. Sebastian, I think I speak for everyone, but it doesn't bother me as much that you kept us in the dark. Just as long as you explain to use afterwards. I'm just glad that no one was hurt because of their encounters. Let's try to avoid this situation if we can in the future."

"Yes, let's try to think up of ways to avoid giving each other coded messages which could spell a person's life or death." Mel quickly agreed to Becky's suggestion.


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