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The Other Side

Settled deep in the lush, green forest of Furgreen were two forest clans who were enemies. Both clans were situated far from each other and they had guards at a border which forbid any of them from passing into the other’s territory.⠀⠀

Their hatred stemmed from an old war held between their ancestors.  ⠀⠀

King Karl, head of both tribes wanted Wolf peak tribe to unite and merge fully with his tribe but chief Olaf wanted his tribe to be independent and not under king Karl’s control. Hence, a terrible war broke out, causing hundreds of men from king Karl and chief Olaf to suffer heavy casualties.⠀⠀

After a decade of fighting, both leaders decided to sign a truce and made sure that no one crossed the border, Helm, an area in the forest where the bitter war broke out.⠀

Many years later……….⠀⠀

Frederick, a great grandson of king Karl and chief of Elm tribe had a beautiful daughter named Vreni. She had bluish-green eyes and long, dark brown hair which fell over her shoulders in mass of curls. She was also skilled in archery just as she was in using a rapier. A birthday gift from her mother before she passed away due to certain health conditions.⠀⠀

Ever since then, Vreni treasured the rapier more then ever and she brought it everywhere along with her. Sometimes when she was feeling sad or lonely, she would talk to the rapier and made-believe it was her mother, the one person she could talk with and pour out her problems to.⠀⠀

Vreni had two brothers. One was two years older than her and another who was three years younger than her. Being the only girl in the family meant she was not like other girls.⠀⠀

She wasn’t into bracelets and stuffs like that but she loved playing swordfighting and archery with her brothers. She also loved hunting and sometimes would even venture with her brothers deep into the southern part of the forest, the one place her father forbid her from.⠀⠀

There was a time where her father caught them trying to go deep into the southern forest.⠀⠀

“Did i ask your brothers to follow you here?” Fredrik questioned.⠀⠀

“No,” Vreni answered timidly.⠀⠀

“Vreni, how many times have I told you not to go there?” Fredrik was controlling his anger but Vreni couldn’t understand why.⠀⠀

“Why won’t you let us? I’ve been everywhere except for the southern forests.”⠀⠀

“Vreni, as my only daughter, i trust in you not to do foolish things like this. Of all the things you can do, why must you come to this forbidden place?”⠀⠀

“Because I want to know what’s on the other side,” She said insistingly.⠀⠀

“Then you will still go even if i try to stop you?”⠀⠀

“Yes,” her voice was firm.⠀⠀

A slap landed on Vreni’s left cheek. Everyone was stunned. Fredrik had never hit his daughter before.⠀⠀

Vreni just stood there looking dumbfounded with a hand on her red, swollen cheek as tears began to well up in her eyes.⠀⠀

Frederik was also surprised by his actions and suddenly felt guilty. Before he could say anything, Vreni quickly mounted her horse and rode away. Her two brothers said nothing but followed her back.⠀⠀

That incident didn’t discouraged her instead it made her bolder and more curious than ever.⠀⠀

Early the next morning, Vreni woke up to the sound of people talking.⠀⠀

She looked outside the wooden window and saw people walking past while carrying wooden chests.⠀⠀

A man pulled a cow by the rope while a woman was carrying a rattan basket. Its handle beautifully decorated with flowers. Two small girls with flower crowns made out of roses on their heads followed the woman closely behind.⠀⠀

Just then, there was a knock on the wooden door.⠀⠀

“Come in.” Said Vreni.⠀⠀

A man in long brown robe said in a grave voice, “It’s time.” Though she didn’t understood what he meant, she simply nodded her head.⠀

After the man left, Vreni thought to herself, “Is there anything festive happening today? What’s with the parade of people walking past my window and what did that priest meant? Well, there’s only one way to find out.”⠀⠀

Vreni jumped out of bed, brushed her dark, messy curly hair and changed into a lavender colored dress. She put on her cloak and took her rapier along.⠀⠀

When she opened the door, she found the priest waiting outside. Upon seeing her, he said, “Follow me.”⠀⠀

They walked past the wooden houses and through the forest until the priest stopped before a small  clearing. There was a crowd of people standing there. Vreni spotted her father among them.⠀⠀

“Come, my child.” Fredik approached Vreni and extended his left hand to her. Without saying anything, Vreni took her father’s hand and they walked to the crowd.⠀⠀

“Father, what’s going on?” Vreni asked but Fredik didn’t say anything.⠀⠀

In front of her stood a priest who was clothed in a long, black robe and had a bald head. He said some verses in a language she couldn’t understand before sprinkling some water which smelled of rose petals onto her head. Vreni was confused by everything today. Before Vreni could say anything, the priest wore a silver medieval necklace around her neck. The necklace had a pendant which featured a leaf with jagged edges on each side.⠀⠀

Surrounding the leaf were symbols which looked like swords and ancient language inscribed on it. Behind the medallion was her name written: Vreni.⠀⠀

“Vreni, you have completed the coming of age ceremony. This means that you or your elder brother can rule and look after Elm tribe if I’m gone.” Said Fredik.⠀⠀

“What do you mean, gone?” Vreni asked.⠀⠀

“It means if I’m dead.” Fredik answer straight forwardly.⠀⠀

Vreni felt something was wrong but she couldn’t tell what was it.⠀⠀

“Vreni, you do know what it means being a leader of the Elm Tribe?” Said the priest. Vreni shook her head.⠀⠀

“It means you must protect, look after and never go to the south.”⠀⠀

“Why?”⠀⠀

“Because that’s where our enemy lies. They’re a power of hungry, murderous group of people known as Wolf Tribe.” The priest explained. But the priest explanation only made Vreni more curious than ever.⠀⠀

So many questions she wanted to ask, but decided not to for the fear of getting scolded.⠀⠀

Nikolas, who was among the crowd could see Vreni was up to something.⠀⠀

Finally when everyone had left, only Vreni and Nikolas stayed behind.⠀⠀

“I know why my father is doing this.” Vreni sat on the leaves-covered ground next to a big shady tree.⠀⠀

“What do you mean?”⠀⠀

Nikolas had always been her good brother and best friend. Whenever she did something wrong, Nikolas would protect her, sometimes even taking the blame or punishment for himself. He also never questioned her actions nor her motives.⠀⠀

“Obviously, he’s trying to stop me from going to the south by handing this heavy responsibility to me. But that’s not going to stop me”⠀⠀

“But you heard what the priest said.”⠀⠀

“I know. But that may be a lie told just to stop me.”⠀⠀

“Vreni, I’m afraid you will get hurt.”⠀⠀

“I’m made up my mind, Nikolas. I’m going to the south and I’ll leave when the whole village is quiet.” Vreni got up, preparing to get her horse.⠀⠀

Nikolas looked worried. “Do you want me to come? I can cover you or protect you.”⠀⠀

“No. I don’t want to drag you down with me, should I encounter any problems. I can fend for myself , you know? I’m not a small girl anymore.” Vreni mounted her horse and rode off.⠀⠀

⠀⠀

That night, Vreni made preparations to leave the village. She took a few clothes and took some buns and paced them into a cloth bag.⠀⠀

Vreni didn’t know how she was going to cross the border but because she was curious, she decided to take the risk anyway.⠀⠀

“My whole life has always been here. So why should I be afraid of what lies in the south just because my father or some priest says so.” Thought Vreni as she tightened the knot of her cloth bag.⠀⠀

When she went outside, she took a torch along with her and mounted her horse, her cloth bag carried on her back. With one whip of the horse’s reins, the black stallion galloped past the wooden houses and deep into the forests.⠀

The strong wind hit against her face as the horse galloped faster.⠀⠀

Soon some thoughts began to race in her mind. “What if the priest was right?”⠀⠀

“What if she crosses the border; the other tribes shoots her with their arrows and she’ll never make it home? What if….” Vreni shook her head to clear away the disturbing thoughts.⠀⠀

“I’ve come this far. Why should I stop?” She thought. But somehow, somewhere in her head a voice told her she should just turn back. ‘You’ve got friends and family. Why risk it simply for your curiosity?’⠀⠀

⠀⠀

‘You should go, Vreni, for you do not know what awaits you. Who knows? There might be some really good people on the other side.’ Said another voice.⠀⠀

“If I turn back now, I’ll never know what’s on the other side. But if I follow my heart…..” Said Vreni to herself.⠀⠀

Suddenly the horse stopped, causing Vreni’s whole body to jerk violently.⠀⠀

“Why have you stopped?” Vreni asked her horse. Then, she looked up and pointed the torch in front of her.⠀⠀

It lit up the whole area. In front of her was a river which separated another forest and hers’. Vreni guessed that that was the border. She expected guards to be somewhere else protecting the border but her expectations were proven wrong.⠀⠀

Vreni’s eyes carefully scanned about the forest. Everything was silent, and not a single soul was in sight.⠀⠀

Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blew through the forest, sweeping the leaves behind her and scattering them in different directions. At that moment, Vreni felt her heart beat fast.⠀⠀

Here she was. Seated on her black stallion, in front of a river and all alone by herself in the large forest with no one to protect her.⠀⠀

Why did I not let him come with me? “Vreni felt regretful and thought of her conversation with Nikolas.⠀⠀

“I wanted to prove to him that I was independent, that I was strong because I was tired of being a burden to my brothers.” Vreni sighed.⠀⠀

Suddenly, she felt something moved past her fast. At the left corner of her eyes, she thought she saw someone not far from her approaching her but when she pointed the torch at it, she was relieved to see that it was a fox.⠀⠀

Vreni knew that she was taking too long to cross the river and in the back of her mind, she was worried that someone else in the village might realized she was missing.⠀⠀

“Father would be so mad if he finds out I went to the south.” Thought Vreni. She wanted to cross the river but was afraid of what might befall for her if she did. A lot of ‘what ifs’ played in her mind.⠀⠀

Vreni felt so confused. To cross or not?⠀⠀

Finally, she made her choice.⠀⠀

⠀⠀

With the horse’s reins held tight in her hands, she raised them up and sent them down on the stallion’s neck.⠀⠀

The horse whinnied and then galloped through the shallow river, crossing the other side safely and racing through the dense forest. Vreni used her right hand to shield her face from branches and leaves that might hit her.⠀⠀

After what seemed like a long time, they were finally free from the dense forests.⠀⠀

She couldn’t see what lied ahead of her so she used the torch but she was very upset when she realised the torch was not lit.⠀⠀

“The wind and the horse’s speed must’ve put out the torch.” Thought Vreni.⠀⠀

Just at that moment, the horse whinnied and stand on its hind legs, dropping Vreni to the hard, soiled ground before galloping away.⠀⠀

Vreni was surprised by her horse’s actions. The hard landing made her bottom and her lower back felt pain but she was thankful enough she still had her cloth bag and her rapier.⠀⠀

As she was struggling to get up, Vreni could see, in the dim light, a figure slowly approaching her with a long metal object extended out at her.⠀⠀

Vreni wanted to pickup her rapier, wanted to stand up but she found herself helpless to do so.⠀⠀

Her body was still in terrible pain so she decided to stay still, hoping the figure would not see her.⠀⠀

When the figure had finally reached her, Vreni could see the person clearly under the moonlight.⠀⠀

Black, leather boots, a tunic dress with a waist clinching belt depicting the symbols of a wolf’s head, gauntlet with symbols and writings Vreni couldn’t make out, black legging and a black hooded caped donned on the slim and tall figure.⠀⠀

“Who are you?” The girl asked in an authoritative tone of voice, her sword still pointed at Vreni’s chest.⠀⠀

Vreni hesitated, she was not sure if she should tell a lie. Then her mouth said slowly, “I’m a traveler.” Vreni tried to stare hard into the young girl’s brown eyes, hoping that she would be convinced.⠀⠀

“A traveler?” The girl asked liked as if she didn’t believe Vreni.⠀⠀

“Yes.”⠀⠀

“You’re from around here?”⠀⠀

Vreni nodded her head.⠀⠀

“Your horse?”⠀⠀

“It ran away.”⠀⠀

“How did you get here?”⠀⠀

“I crossed the river.” Vreni hoped that the girl would stop asking so many questions.⠀⠀

Stepping one step closer, the girl removed her sword from Vreni’s chest.⠀⠀

Vreni felt relieved. The she looked up to the girl’s face and figured that she must have been around the same age as her.⠀⠀

“Can you get up?”⠀⠀

Vreni shook her head.⠀

The girl extended a hand to Vreni who then grabbed hold and pulled herself up.⠀⠀

When the girl was not looking, Vreni quickly removed the necklace around her neck and shoved it into a small opening of her cloth bag. She knew that she was in the enemy-whom-Elm Tribe disliked-territory.⠀⠀

“Since you are lost and not familiar to our place, I’ll give you a place to stay for the night.”⠀⠀

“But it’s so dark. How are you going to see?” Vreni wondered how they were going to move about as the girl had no torch with her.⠀⠀

“We can see in the dark.” The girl said plainly.⠀⠀

This was something totally unexpected for Vreni.  “Do you have special powers or abilities? ”⠀⠀

“No. Our people were born that way.”⠀⠀

They made their way through the muddy and sandy grounds until they reached a village just like Vreni’s village. Here, there were torches and oil lamps hanging outside each occupant’s house and this made Vreni felt safe unlike the dark forest where she only had to rely on the girl.⠀⠀

“This is where you’ll be staying for the night.” They stopped before a wooden house.⠀⠀

An oil lamp was hung above their heads. Vreni could see that the wooden door looked in a bad condition—probably because it was old and weathered.⠀⠀

Vreni took a step towards the door and pushed it slowly. The door creaked and the wooden floor made a sound whenever a step was made.⠀⠀

“This is my house actually.”  The girl walked inside and went to a corner of the house. She litted an oil lamp and placed it on a small table.⠀⠀

It lit up the whole room.⠀

Vreni could see that there weren’t much furnitures. Only a small, round wooden table, two chairs, a square table at a small window with papers on it, a bed by the window which is next to the door and a wooden chest at the foot of the bed.⠀⠀

The house actually looked small and vreni couldn’t find a place to sleep.⠀⠀

“Where do i sleep?”⠀⠀

“ On the floor. ” The girl’s reply almost sounded as if she was ordering Vreni to do so.⠀⠀

Vreni looked around for a spot to sleep before picking a spot next to the girl’s bed. It seemed to be the only cleanest spot in the room.⠀⠀

As she was about to close her eyes, the girl said, “The name’s Heyns, by the way.”⠀⠀

“Mine’s Vreni,” Vreni replied.⠀⠀

“Night.” Heyns pulled the sheet up and closed her eyes.⠀⠀

“You too.” Vreni also closed her eyes and both went into a state of deep slumber.⠀⠀

The night was long but not long before dawn. Vreni suddenly sat bolt upright, remembering that she had to be at Elm Tribe before dawn. She quickly went over to Heyns side and nudged her.⠀⠀

“Heyns, Heyns, wake up!”⠀⠀

Heyns opened her eyes slowly and looked at Vreni annoyed.⠀⠀

“It’s still dark.”⠀

“I know, but I need to cross the border so I will need a horse.” Vreni looked at Heyns’ brown eyes with a pleading look. But Heyns turned to her other side and closed her eyes. Vreni knew that Heyns was being difficult so she kicked the foot of the bed hard—hard enough that Heyns sat bolt upright looking annoyed.⠀⠀

“Okay! There’s a white stallion behind my house. Just take him! ”⠀⠀

“Thank you.” Vreni hurried outside to find the horse.⠀⠀

“I doubt she would even find her way back.” Heyns threw herself to the bed and closed her eyes.⠀⠀

But Heyns was wrong, Vreni did remembered her way back from the forest to the border.⠀⠀

Having been through the forest until to the edge of them when she was a little girl, Vreni developed an ability to remember routes even more difficult one.⠀⠀

Vreni had crossed the river safely. She looked up to the sky, it was nearly dawn. She whipped the white stallion and it galloped until they reach the village. She pulled the horse’s reins, got off the horse and hurried into her house.⠀⠀

While shooting some arrows at a dummy made out of hay, Vreni couldn’t stop thinking about the girl and Wolf Tribe.⠀⠀

“She was not dangerous as I expected. Though she was cold, she was helpful anyway.”⠀

“So how did it go?” Said a familiar voice. It startled Vreni and she accidentally fired her arrow past the dummy. Luckily, no one was in the way. She turned around, annoyed. “Don’t do that! I’ve could hurt some poor fellow.” She scolded him.⠀⠀

“Sorry,” Nikolas chuckled. “But tell me, did anything unfortunate happened to you? ”⠀⠀

“No. But I did met a girl who I think belongs to Wolf Tribe. But you know what? She wasn’t dangerous as I expected.”⠀⠀

“She didn’t harm you? ”⠀⠀

Vreni shook her head. “The priest was wrong.”⠀⠀

“But if you go there again, I’m afraid…”⠀⠀

“Nikolas, I’ve seen it all. They are just liked us, except that they can see in the dark.”⠀⠀

Nikolas didn’t seem interested in Vreni’s discovery instead, he felt he should tell their father about Vreni’s recent solo adventure. However, doing this meant betraying Vreni’s trust and Nikolas couldn’t bring himself to do that.⠀⠀

“I should go.” Nikolas turned away and left.⠀

“Okay, bye.” Vreni wondered why Nikolas didn’t seem curious or interested in her discovery.⠀⠀

⠀⠀

When night came and the sky was covered with a blanket of starry, little stars, Vreni decided to go to the southern forests again. The white stallion galloped through the dark forest and slowed down when it reached the river. After they had reached the other side, Vreni spent a great amount of time touring the village.⠀⠀

The village was next to a market place and there were some people buying goods. Vreni spotted Heyns among a small crowd gathered at a small stall.⠀⠀

She got off her horse and went over to Heyns.⠀⠀

Heyns turned around, a rattan basket held in her left hand.  “Vreni, what are you doing here?”⠀⠀

“I came to say ‘Thank you’.”⠀⠀

“For what?”⠀⠀

“For lending me your stallion.”⠀⠀

Heyns walked away from the crowd and to her house.⠀⠀

“Have you ever wondered what’s on the other side?” Vreni wanted to know if Heyns had done the same as Vreni.⠀⠀

“The other side? I plan to go there one day.”  For a moment, Heyns had that dreamy look in her eyes but only for a short while.⠀⠀

Vreni felt like she should tell Heyns the truth about her origin because she didn’t want to build their friendship based on a lie.⠀⠀

They entered the wooden house. Heyns put the rattan basket on the table.⠀⠀

“Heyns,” Vreni began slowly.⠀⠀

“Yes?”⠀

“I’ve something to tell you: I’m not a traveler.”⠀⠀

Vreni placed a hand on her rapier, getting ready to draw it out. Just in case Heyns attacked her.⠀⠀

“You’re not?” But Heyns didn’t look surprised.⠀⠀

“You…know? But how?”⠀⠀

“When I approached you that day outside the forests, I spotted a necklace around your neck with a leaf featured on its medallion. That necklace is only worn by those who are successors to the chief of Elm Tribe, ” Heyns explained.⠀⠀

“Then why did you help me?”⠀⠀

“Because I have no grudges with you.” Heyns took off her cloak and threw it to the bed before laying her sword on the table.⠀⠀

“But my father me that Wolf Tribe was dangerous,” Said Vreni. ⠀⠀

“That’s what my father also said. But before he died, he told me he was tired of hating everyone, so he told me that when I take over his place, I and everyone in our tribe should put down our grudges and hatred.”⠀⠀

Heyns continued, “Hatred is like a disease which will eventually consume your mind and soul. That’s what my father said before he left this world.”⠀⠀

A few drops of tears rolled down Heyns’ cheeks.⠀⠀

“I sorry to hear that.” Vreni decided it was best to leave Heyns alone and she knew that she had to go back to her tribe. So, she rode her horse and headed for the river.⠀⠀

As the white stallion had successfully reached the other side, Vreni could see figures on horses not far from her. She pointed the torch at them and gasped with her mouth and eyes opened wide.⠀⠀

Seated on the horses was her father, the priest who wore the necklace for her, Nikolas and some other men.⠀⠀

Suddenly, there was the sound of a horse trotting through the river. Vreni looked over her shoulders and saw Heyns.⠀⠀

“Heyns, what are you doing here?” Vreni asked.⠀⠀

“I….I though you left.” Apparently, Heyns was trying to do a little solo adventure on her own.⠀⠀

“Who are these people? Your friends?” Heyns stared at them with a cold look (she didn’t had a torch with her).⠀⠀

Vreni wanted to lie but before she could say or think of anything, her father said, “Vreni, what’s the meaning of this? Crossing the forbidden ground, sneaking off in the middle of the night!? And that girl, who is she? A new friend you made?” Fredik had a disgruntled look.⠀⠀

“I’m Heyns, leader of Wolf Tribe. And who may you be? ”⠀⠀

As soon as Fredik’s men heard that Heyns was the leader of the Wolf Tribe, there were whispers and murmurs among them.⠀⠀

“You? A leader of Wolf Tribe? ” Fredik laughed.⠀⠀

Heyns felt insulted. Vreni felt angry by her father’s behaviour.⠀⠀

“So you made friends with the enemy? But why do this? Don’t you know that you have brought shame to the entire tribe?”⠀⠀

“No, I don’t think I have,” Verni said in a rebellious tone of voice.⠀⠀

Fredik felt a surge of anger in him.⠀⠀

“You’re a very rebellious child. Men, attacked Heyns! ”⠀⠀

The men were about to pull their horses’ reins when Vreni shouted ‘Stop!’.⠀⠀

“ Stop! All of you! Including you, Father! Why pick on an innocent and harmless person when it was you who thought me never to attack the weak.⠀⠀

Yet, here you are and your men, doing what is contradictory to those words you taught me.” Vreni felt like she wanted to cry.⠀⠀

“But Heyns is leader of the Wolf Tribe. The Wolf Tribe are a….”⠀⠀

“Father, when I was lost without a proper shelter and hungry and injured, Heyns helped me. If she is everything you described Wolf Tribe people as, then you’re wrong. Very wrong!”⠀⠀

Fredik felt angrier.⠀⠀

“Move aside, Vreni, or I won’t show you any mercy.”⠀⠀

“I won’t.” Vreni draw her rapier.⠀⠀

“Why can’t you put down your hatred? The people of Wolf Tribe already put theirs down.”⠀⠀

“Why are you standing up for them? Have you been brainwashed or possessed?” One of the men asked fiercely.⠀⠀

“No,” Vreni replied firmly. “I’m standing up for them because I’ve seen how much hatred can do to people, to the tribe and to ourselves.”⠀⠀

“Well, you asked for it then.” Just as Fredik was to give out his hand signal to the men, Vreni shouted ‘Stop!’ again.⠀⠀

“Father, if Mother was here, what do you think she would do?”⠀⠀

Vreni knew that her father missed their mother a lot and he would never disobeyed her commands nor questioned her actions.⠀⠀

“Surely she wouldn’t want to see both tribes fight but rather, she would want them to forgive and forget,” added Vreni.⠀⠀

Fredik was speechless. “But Skogum is not here,” he managed to say.⠀⠀

“Then ask Skakh to summon mother’s spirit down to earth!” Cried Vreni.⠀⠀

Fredik didn’t know what to say. As much as he loved Skogum, he didn’t want her to interfere with certain matters of the tribes.⠀

“Do it now!” Demanded Vreni. ⠀⠀

Fredik looked at the priest standing behind his horse and said, “Skakh, do as what she says.”⠀⠀

The priest quickly stepped forward.⠀⠀

Then he raised both hands up to the dark sky before bringing the to his chest and letting both palms meet each other all while uttering a string of foreign phrases Vreni couldn’t understand.⠀⠀

Soon, a strong wind blew across the forest floor and swirled around the priest’s body.⠀

Vreni saw his eyes lit up in orange.⠀⠀

Heyns was surprised to see such magic but to the people of Elm Tribe, seeing such magic is common as only priests possessed them.⠀⠀

“Skakh, ask what would mother do if she was here?” Vreni had to talk loud because the wind howling and swirling sounded noisy.⠀⠀

A few seconds later, the wind stopped howling and swirling around the priest’s body. It blew across the forest floor, sweeping the dried leaves off and vanished in to the deep darkness of the forest.⠀⠀

The priest’s eyes changed back to brown.⠀

“Skogum said that both tribes should make peace with each other. The old leaders had a fallout with each other, hence causing both tribes to divide. But now that they are gone, hatred and grudges should be put away and harmony and peace should be embraced.”⠀⠀

Vreni looked at her father. “We should have both tribes signed a truce.” Fredik felt defeated.⠀⠀

He had always hated Wolf Tribe although there weren’t any grudges between him and the current leader. His hatred was partly because of what his ancestors told him when he was a boy and partly because of his low sense of judgement and narrow mindedness.⠀⠀

“Nikolas,” he said, “Bring an ink and paper here.”⠀⠀

“Yes, father.” Nikolas rode his horse away.⠀⠀

Vreni felt proud because she had managed to bring the two tribes together.⠀⠀

“Thanks for standing up for me,” Heyns said in a low voice.⠀⠀

“Don’t mention it. After all, I owe you a favour.”  Vreni glanced over her shoulders.⠀⠀

Nikolas returned with a paper and a bottle of ink. He passed the to his father who then asked Skakh to put some words on the paper as the paper was actually blank.⠀

The priest said some foreign phrases and soon, words appeared written on the paper.⠀⠀

The words read: I, Chief Fredik, hereby declare that from today onwards, Elm Tribe and Wolf Tribe will no longer go to war with each other.⠀⠀

Instead, both tribes shall be united again.⠀⠀

At the bottom of the letter which read: Signed…..,⠀

Fredik inserted his thumb into the bottle of deep, dark ink and then slowly placed his thumbprint next to the word: Signed.⠀⠀

“Nikolas!” He called, “Give this paper to Vreni.”⠀⠀

Saying that, Fredik left the forest, angry and disappointed. The other men also quietly followed after Fredik.⠀⠀

“You’ve done it,” Nikolas said proudly.⠀

“So what happens now?” Heyns asked worriedly. “Will Fredik let you go easily after this?” ⠀

“Don’t worry about me. I don’t think father would do anything to me because he made an oath before my mother’s deathbed.”⠀⠀

“An oath?”⠀⠀

“Yes. He sworn that he would ensure no one else would harm me and that I’ll always be in good hands.”⠀⠀

“I see.” Heyns nodded her head.⠀⠀

 ⠀

After the truce was signed, both tribes did trading and lived in harmony with each other. Fredik learned to accept changes and he soon passed the position of Chief to Vreni who then ruled Elm Tribe along with the assistance of Nikolas fairly.⠀⠀

Heyns and Vreni would occasionally meet up in the west forest and go hunting for wild rabbits along with Nikolas.⠀⠀

“To reunite both tribes and heal past wounds is one of the greatest achievement l’ve ever accomplished.”  Vreni thought as she released the arrow from her grip and it flew straight into the hay dummy’s chest.⠀⠀

⠀⠀

⠀⠀

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