Swamped Chapter 14 Page 6

Unfortunately, no particular ideas are forthcoming. All you can think of is a direct request.

“Rider!” you shout, making a forceful tap on the walkway with your staff. “What is the meaning of this? I doubt you’ve got this many troops gathered here for a training exercise.”

You see fierce whispering among the other Marshguards as Rider’s beast swims forward. No doubt they find it hard to believe you’re really alone – or perhaps they’re whispering about the rumors you’ve allowed to spread about your wizardry.

“I’ll tell you the moment you explain to me what a group of Bogknights are doing in our territory. Evidently, with intent to infiltrate our fortress.”

“I’ve issued no such orders,” you say. Of course, for all you know, Ash might have, but there’s no reason to let on about that.

“Then if we were to find such an infiltration team, you’d have no objections to expelling them from the Bogknights entirely? Such disobedience cannot be readily tolerated, I’m sure.”

“It is not your place to decide how we discipline our troops, Rider. If there is such a rogue team, I will issue a punishment that I believe appropriate to the situation.”

“It will strain the already-tense relations between our groups if you punish them inadequately, Captain.”

“It certainly would be a factor in my decision. But it seems rather odd for you to raise such a concern when you have this large force gathered not far from our territory. I should think relations would be more strained were you to attack.”

“I imagine they would. Of course, you know well that whatever my intentions in that regard, the decision is not mine alone.”

“And once it’s made, you’ll abide by it. So let me be blunt here. Is this an attack force?”

Rider doesn’t answer immediately.

“We’re awaiting clarification on our orders,” he says cautiously after a while. “I think it would be ill-advised for a Bogknight to be here alone, under those circumstances.”

So he’s warning you to back off. How do you respond?

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Suggestions:

Ask to resolve the challenge with 1v1 combat. The winner gets captured regardless of what the battle orders are.