• An old man in his late 40's walked in to a camp. He was a strong, tall, and handsome man who wore a soldiers uniform. Two young men, both no older than 30, followed him in, they looked alike but weren't twins. The younger men wore conscript's uniforms. As they walked in a young girl watched them from behind a porch rail. She eyed the coin pouch of the young man closest to her. He was fairly short for a conscript. His hair was short, no longer than an inch, and a dark brown. He was carrying a tall glaive that he carried with ease, he also had two dual claymores on his back in easily breakable scabbards. Swiftly he looked at the little girl without moving his head and caught her staring at his coin pouch. She saw him look at her and she darted behind her older brother who was standing next to her.

    The old man in the center saw the little girl and smiled a bit. He walked over to her reached in his own coin pouch and handed her a couple gold coins. She was uneasy about it at first but then reluctantly took them from the man and smiled back at him. The old man had bright blue eyes and carried two claymores on his back like the other young man but also carried three daggers on his belt and in his hands a long pike. There was something strange about these three men. There had been many soldiers walking through the camp but these three stood out. They were Chinese. It was a fascinating event they didn't get many foreigners in this part of England.

    “Xin lang, We need to keep moving the Emperor wants us to deliver his message to their King,” the other young man said. He was anxious and constantly moving. He had short hair like the other conscript and it was dyed green. He unlike the other two men he did not carry claymores, he only had a heavy double sided battle ax and a small staff.

    “Wei hu, could you remind Shi jiu who's in charge here?” Xin lang stood up and looked at Shi jiu
    Shi jiu returned his stare but looked away soon after. Wei hu just looked on and then answered Xin lang.

    “Would you like me to punish him har-”

    “No.” Xin lang held out his hand to stop Wei hu. He remembered that there was the little girl there still and just started to walk on through the camp. “Lets go. We still need to get horses and fresh provisions for the rest of the journey.”

    They walked until they came upon a stable. Xin lang approached a man tending a chestnut stallion. “Sir, we are traveling a long distance and are looking for three horses. Do you have any?”

    The man looked up and smiled a toothy smile. He was very old and losing most of his hair. “Ahm sures I could sell ya a few 'orses. It'll cost ya tough. Three hndred gold.” he held out his hand.

    “For three?” Shi jiu looked wide eyed at the man.

    “No, he means each you idiot.” Wei hu smacked him upside the head loudly.

    “T'is ere's a smart un.” The old man chuckled. “Tells ya wat. Since 'e's a smart lad ahll giv'em to ya fer two undred a piece.” He held out his hand again. “Deal?” He smiled.

    “Deal.” Xin lang pulled out six hundred gold and set it in another pouch and handed it to the old man. “Six hundred gold. Now which one's do we get?”

    The old man took the bag and tied it to his belt. He then walked back into the stables and gestured to the three men to follow. “Ya can pick any tree ya like.”

    Xin Lang was skeptical about it. He thought a couple seconds and then figured out what was wrong. “Whats the catch?”

    “Eh?” the old man looked confused.

    “What's going to happen when we choose one? Are they conjured up and going to disappear the next day? Are they really old? Are they some breed of really hard to tame wild mustang?”

    “Nope, none o' te likes. They are most Arabian 'orses. Most stubborn 'orses in all the world. All o' 'em are 'ready tame tey're just stubborn. The rest are S'ires. Large, 'eavy, and 'ard to care for S'ires.” The old man smiled again.

    “That is a catch.” Xin lang sighed and started looking.

    Wei hu had already found his horse. It was a tall, black as night, mare Arabian with a cream mane and deep black eyes. Wei hu looked her over and found that she had scars on her knees and evidence of
    whip lashes on her hind knees. He looked at the old man. “She was a cart horse before, wasn't she?”

    “Aye tat she was. They sold her to me cause they couldn't get her to work like a real cart horse would.” He shook his head and pulled out an apple for the mare and handed it to Wei hu. “Some folks just don't lis'en to meh wen it come t' te Arabians. I warned 'em she was stubborn.”

    “We'll take her.” Wei hu gave the mare the apple and started to brush her.

    Xin lang smiled to himself when he saw that Wei hu was happy. It was hard to make Wei hu smile and this was the first time since he killed the last conscript that Wei hu was truly happy.

    Shi jiu was looking at a large Shire stallion. It was painted which was unusual in Shires but none the less it was a pure-bred Shire. The colors were black with brownish-red splashes. “I think we'll take this one too.”

    “O e's a good one tere. Once was a knight's 'orse 'e was. Still only five years old. 'E was wit 'em til te end. Te knight died right 'ere in tis stall. Tis boy never left 'em till we moved 'em out.” the old man looked sad for a moment but then returned to his large toothy smile

    Xin lang looked over each horse individually till he found the one he wanted. His was a silver Arabian Stallion. “This one's our third.”

    “Are ye sure 'bout tat one Sir? He's got temperament problems.”

    “I'm sure whatever is wrong with him I cam handle him. I already have to deal with these two.” He pointed to Wei hu and Shi jin.

    The old man laughed. “Am sure ye can Sir.”

    The three of them thanked the old man and mounted their horses.
    “Are ye sure ye don't need saddles?” The old man thought they were crazy.

    “I'm sure. We have had plenty of practice bareback.” Xin lang laughed and bid the old man goodbye.

    They took off heading for the forest in search of prey and fresh water.