Inside forests, Electra would oftentimes fly up to ascertain their direction; at the moment, she could see the base of the mountains some distance away from a nearby settlement. Squinting her eyes, she could see waterfalls on the mountains' sides and tails and ears on the inhabitants of the village ahead.
Saying so, she descended from the sky and reported to the group. They decided to, if possible, remain one or two nights to explore the village, as it was the first settlement of beast-kin they visited. Of course, there was also the chance that they discriminated against humans or elf, but Aisha was ready to cover for the group in case they needed to flee.
"It's more like an outpost than a village"
Atlas commented once they reached the wooden walls surrounding the village. You could see two lightly armoured beastmen standing by the gate and groups of three patrolling the settlement on the wall-walk. The gate was open and the guards didn't seem to care about the fact that the five were of a different race. Curious about the situation, Matagi asked the reason for such disposition to a guard.
"Why is this village so heavily defended?"
"The spirits and Kijinuma living nearby never liked settlements of the other races built close to their homes, so they frequently amass a temporary army to raid them. Some months ago though, they suddenly stopped, so we sent scouts. Thanks to them, we discovered that this time they intend to destroy this settlement for good, as they are recruiting far more creatures to aid them."
The group was shocked by the situation of the village but before they could discuss what to do between themselves, Matagi continued to speak with the guard.
"We are a group of travelers quite experienced in combat, do you perchance need a hand defending this village?"
Matagi wanted to uphold her vows to Aisha, but she still felt like giving a hand to them. Surprisingly, she didn't receive any penalty. She supposed it was a matter of how Aisha viewed the situation instead of what her alignment, fame and notoriety were.
"We'd be happy if you did, but you should go to the keep we built near the chieftain's house and ask the captain about this."
Matagi nodded and turned around to see her companions staring at her. As the guard walked away, Matagi panicked a little, feeling that maybe she should've discussed with them about the subject.
"It's not like you did anything wrong."
Aisha told her, trying to reassure Matagi, and continued.
"You actually haven't accepted any quest or activated any event or some such things. And even if you did, I don't think any of us would actually mind it."
Gaea was the first to nod, followed by Electra and Atlas, when Matagi looked at them for a confirm of Aisha's words. Judging the matter resolved, they went around the village to explore it a bit. While they walked, Electra noticed that there various beastmen, all of the lion tribe. Curious, she voiced her observation aloud and Aisha was the first to answer.
"My mother told me that there are three types of beastmen, depending on the amount of human blood in them. When you create an avatar of this race, you are given three options: be 25% human, which results in the avatar being an humanoid version of the animal of your choice; be 50% human, which results in the avatar resembling a human with not only the tail and ears of your chosen animal, but also their limbs; be 75% human, and you will only have the tail and the ears."
Electra replied in understanding.
Of course, as this village wasn't a hidden one or a scarcely known one, the beastmen of this village (and beastmen of other animals) weren't the only race present. On the streets and in the shops you could see wood elves, dwarves, humans and two or three high elves.
Since they finished selling their loot and buying what they needed, the five began walking toward the keep, following a kind beastwoman's directions. Matagi knocked on the door of the captain's office after they were let through by the guard.
"You may come in."
A heavy voice replied. When Matagi opened the door, all five of them could see a beastman of the dog tribe. The beastman was probably in his forties, he donned a heavy plate iron armor with some carvings of a black sphere, representing the moon, it was the symbol of the Yinyue Empire's militia. He had neatly trimmed short brown hair and signs of a growing beard, most likely he had shaved some weeks ago. His eyes were black and full of composure, or maybe it was his natural facial expression that made it seem so.
"My name is Reginald and I am the captain of the militia of Jeilou village. I heard from one of the guards that you were interested in helping us. I don't particularly mind if you do, but know that you'll be risking your lives."
Reginald spoke first and gave them a hard look as he talked about them helping the village. No one yielded to his speech though, mostly because this was just an event in a game. Matagi spoke for the group
"You don't have to worry about us, we are pretty strong."
Reginald silently nodded and then began searching for something in his desk's compartments. He took out five badges with the same symbol that was carved on his armor and talked again.
"This will let the other know you are not enemies and you'll also receive a little discount at the inn."
Aisha, Gaea, Matagi, Atlas and Electra each took one and at that time they received a message.
|Event: Village Defense|
|Jeilou village has been attacked and raided by monsters since its construction, but this time the quantity of enemies is going to be in the thousands. You are tasked to protect this village, even at the cost of your life.|
|Rewards are proportional to the amount of contribution you provide during the event.|
|If the village is destroyed or you die, you won't receive rewards.|
|If you flee, you will lose fame. You will be given less rewards and many looks of scorn if the village isn't destroyed.|
|If you help the enemies, you'll gain notoriety. If the village isn't destroyed, you will probably be hunted down.|
|The event will begin in 6 days' time.|