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After Zaran picked up the twin swords he returned to his camp and inspected them. The moment his eyes landed on the swords' description, his expression turned extremely grim. "So that's why..."
He called the whole group together and told them what he had learned and what he thought was the real reason they were here. Within the guild many dejected faces and cries of disbelief soon appeared.
A bit later the nayeran leader walked over ever so carefully. Behind him were the four surviving commanders and a retinue of ten normal soldiers, who looked at Zaran's group with wary eyes. They had pleaded their leader to bring over more troops but he had chosen not do so. In his eyes, the less men came with him, the more likely it would be that they would be able to talk. With a loud and clear voice he said: "I wish to speak to your leader!"
 
"That would be me." Zaran stood up and walked to the front of the group, carrying himself in a manner that made him look somewhat defined.
 
"I understand that you are here to kill us due to the three villages we have razed... I was wondering if it would be possible for us to establish a truce instead? In the past we have never been the aggressor against any tribe near us, but our now-dead king ordered us to do so, against our wishes. With the king dead we may now revert to more tranquil times, but we need to be given the chance to do so. I know that there is some bad blood with the nearby tribes due to recent events and that it is not something that will just be forgotten and forgiven, but I honestly feel that we need to be given at least a chance to atone for our sins.
Having heard the nayeran leader's intention, the group somewhat relaxed but still kept themselves ready to fight at a moment's notice.
 
"... I will need to return to the city and talk with the mercenary guild's leader to be able to agree to your proposal. Which is what I plan on doing right now, unless there is another question you need to ask?"
 
"Actually... I... have another favor to ask of you. Could you return the king's swords to us?"
"I cannot." Shaking his head, Zaran instantly turned down the leader. "If I return them to you and leave, someone else will undoubtedly come for you and unlike me and my fellow companions, they will not be so kind-hearted. The whole reason we are here in the first place is due to these weapons. After seeing these weapons I even wonder if the actual slaughter of the villages has anything to do with us being here at all."
Confusion spread across the leader's face. "I... I don't understand."
 
"The swords belonged to the previous leader of the mercenary guild and it is only AFTER you've gotten these weapons that the guild put a bounty on you guys. I am pretty sure that as long as you guys are in possession of these two swords that there will always be more people coming after you no matter what happens. Therefore I cannot return them to you. Instead... they might be the thing needed to make the guild give you guys another chance."
 
The leader nodded and said. "Take them then."
 
"My companions will stay here while I travel to the city and back. If anything happens to them our deal is off." Already turning around without waiting for the leader's reply, Zaran motioned to one of the mages, who opened up a teleportation portal to the mansion's gate stone.
 
Stepping through the portal, the scenery of the wide open plains was replaced with that of the mansion. Not intending to let a single minute go to waste, Zaran quickly made his way towards the mercenary guild!
 
____________________________
 
"What!? You want to cancel the mission halfway and instead make us sign a peace treaty with those vermin? OVER MY DEAD BODY!" A man with the features of a gorilla said.
 
"Sir, if I may explain" An uneasy expression filled Zaran's face. As expected the talks did not go well at all.
 
The leader of the mercenary guild immediately cut Zaran of. "YOU MAY NOT!"
 
"I need you to listen to me!" Zaran yelled at the top of his lungs.
 
The mercenary guild's slammed his fists down onto the table and raised himself. "No! YOU need to listen to ME! Your guild took the mission to exterminate the nayeran and now you wish to back off? I will not allow to let that happen. Now go out there and only return when you are able to show me proof that you have finished off every single last one of those fucking vermin!"
 
Smashing the  twin swords into the table, Zaran's blood started to boil. Did they really have to exterminate a tribe for their stupid revenge? Where was the mercenary guild with their mission when the first village near the nayeran got decimated? Nowhere! Only when one of their own lost their lives to the nayeran did they decide to step in! Hypocrits! "Here! I already retrieved the previous guild leader's swords, which is what you were after! NOW WILL YOU LISTEN?"
 
Seeing the twin swords lying in front of him, the leader of the mercenary guild was quite shocked. He wanted to tell the youth in front of him his place but... he did accomplish what the guild was after in the first place. The few villages around the nayeran? They didn't care too much about it as there were no survivors to put up a bounty and there were missions of greater interest all over the country. Generally, the mercenary guild would only really step in once a tribe had slaughtered ten villages... Any below that and one of the survivors needed to put up a bounty themselves.
 
With the current flames of war being kindled ever so slowly and the ever increasing numbers of monsters, the mercenary guild was spread extremely thin and thus they had to decide on what missions were the most important. Obviously there would be missions that they would regard with little interest until they became troublesome enough that they HAD to bother with it.
 
With the coming of the player guilds the mercenary guild would slowly start to be relieved from the pressure they were under at the moment but that was not at this moment and would not be for quite a large time to come. The player guilds needed time to establish themselves and within the current world... players were utterly weak existences.
 
Thinking about the current state of the world... the mercenary guild leader decided to shelve his anger and listen to the Zuno in front of him instead. By completing what he had deemed impossible by a D ranked guild. This proved that the guild the man in front of him was the leader of was not something he could just disregard. "Very well, so you want us to sign a truce with the nayeran. All I need to know is... why?"
 
Recounting what happened, Zaran tried his utmost to convince the mercenary guild leader to cancel the mission and sign a truce with the nayeran.
 
"Hmm... I will sign a truce with the nayeran on one condition. Your guild stays in the area for a full three weeks to check their movements. Afterwards you will report back to me and if I am satisfied with the report I will personally go over and sign the truce. As for the mission, I won't cancel it but I will change the mission directives so that the new mission will be the watch the nayeran's movements. That much is within my power and it will allow you to gain a reward at the end of it all instead of slaving away for no reward at all. Oh, you'll also have to leave the weapons here if you want me to sign a truce with them. If i deem your report good enough I will personally see that you will be additionally rewarded for the weapons."

Shoving the weapons towards the guild leader, Zaran just blurted out "Fine. We will do as you said."

The commander stared at Zaran for a few seconds and then said in a slightly annoyed tone. "You may go now. I will see you in three weeks."

____________________

"So that is the situation." Concluding his explanation as to what would happen in the next three weeks to both the nayeran and his guild, he looked at their faces and noticed that his guild mostly had disappointed faces while the nayeran were quite happy with the overall result.

"Good! Good! It's just three weeks of being what we wanted to return to. I have no doubts that your report in three weeks will force to guild leader to sign a truce with us and cancel the mission."

"Hmm." Zaran thought of what his guild members could do in the next few weeks. If there was no leveling to be had, the whole guild would fall behind and it would become a major set back to them and one they should avoid by all means necessary. "I have one more request that I need you guys to full fill. During those three weeks... while you guys go hunting you have to take a group of us along with you and allow them to participate in your hunts."

"I can't let them hunt with us as we hunt for the resources our tribe needs and if you guys hunt too, the amount of game might reduce too quickly. However the woods are crawling with all sorts of monsters so maybe we can have your troops accompany ours to deal with the monsters? Usually we fight off a couple hundred monsters on each hunt so there's enough fighting to be had if that's your purpose."

"Deal!" Zaran said. All he had to do now was to assure that everyone could continuously accompany one of the hunting parties.

He quickly divided the guild in eight groups of twenty-five people each and left them to their own devise thereafter. Only the group that was with Zaran had to comply with his wishes, but he had already asked that only those who would not have a problem with that all joined up with them and contrary to his expectation, about forty members raised their hands instantly. Afterwards he picked out a couple of them to fill the remaining nineteen positions of his own group. With all that done, each of the groups prepared themselves to stay within the area for a full three weeks.
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NianKaraz

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