John can now see why Nasha was hesitant to come to the Centaur settlement as they stand on the edge of it. Though many of the centaurs are smaller than Kenta, Their horse-halves are still as large as a normal horse. John sees that many of the buildings look temporary and can be transported by cart.
John looks at Nasha’s tail and then says to her “I’ll try to help as much as I can” feeling she is afraid of it getting stepped on by a careless centaur. Nasha seems to be wincing at some unheard sounds. John looks back at Nasha’s tail then looks out to the Centaur settlement and realizes that all the heavy body centaurs walking about on their hooves is probably the strongest vibrations that Nasha has felt through her tail so far.
Kenta calls to them within the settlement “What are you waiting for?”
John walks in and says to her “Please understand she is not use to your settlement.”
Kenta says “Her kind never likes us near their settlement, so why should we.” John looks back and can see a few centaurs giving Nasha a dirty look and glace as if she is some sort of pest.
John says “Perhaps there has been some misunderstanding between your kinds. At least be willing to help me get her to some place safe.”
Kenta looks down at him then lifts her head up and away crossing her arms again saying “fine, what is it that you wish for me to do?”
John and Kenta help watch out for Nasha’s tail as she quickly moves through the settlement. Nasha stops once and while so John can get ahead of her to stop centaurs so Nasha can cross the path.
John finds Kenta’s place is large enough for Nasha to pull herself into without much trouble. But Nahsa keeps her tail in a tight coil as Kenta moves about and then settles down.
John says to Kenta “Thank you” John looks at Nasha to see if she is getting use to the vibrations yet. Kenta looks away from them with her turning her head up yet again saying “You asked for my help didn’t you.”
John says “by the way, not to be rude, I notice you are bigger than most of the other here.”
Kenta looks at John and says “that is because my lineage is of the war centaur lines. I am larger and stronger than most centaurs for that reason alone” She looks away again
John says “So…what is this challenge you’re partaking in?”
Kenta looks at John and says “it is the right for marehood into the chief’s harem.” John gives her a confused look. Kenta adds “He only accepts the strongest of mares and I wish to be one of them.”
John says “and why has he not accepted you yet?”
Kenta looks away but down this time saying “I’m not strong enough for him yet. He has many mares right now and I must beat one in order for me to take one of their places in the harem. But this time I will win.”
Soon John and Nasha are standing around a makeshift ring with some other centaurs. On the other side is a raised platform where John can only assumes the chieftain stands with several other centauride waiting, almost impatiently for the event to be over.
Kenta enters the ring drawing her sword and yells “I am here to challenge one of your mares for the right to be part of your harem.”
The chieftain looks to one of the centauride who then jumps down from the platform and draws her sword. The mare says “You have tried this many times before. What will make this time different.”
Kenta says to her “because every time fail. I train myself before challenging again.”
The mare says “fine, but if you lose this time. You forfeit your life.”
Kenta says “agreed!” and lunges at the mare.
John watches as they clash. Both seem evenly match in strength and skill. But John can see that though Kenta is skilled and strong, she is reckless and bold almost to the point of arrogance. While her opponent is smart and lets Kenta waist her energy. After a minute of fighting the mare seizes the opportunity and knocks Kenta’s weapon from her hand with a slam that also pushes Kenta onto her hindquarters in the center of the ring.
The mare says to Kenta while holding her sword to Kenta’s chest “yield these foolish thoughts of begin on our level.”
Kenta says “Never!”
The mare looks towards the Chieftain for approval. He nods then looks away. The mare draws back her sword…
John yells “WAIT!!!” as he jump into the ring.
The chieftain looks at John and says “What make you think you can interfere in our matters stranger?”
John says “none” he starts walking towards the chieftain “but I have a proposition for you. You see I am a…traveler…just passing though. I have seen this mare fight” motioning to Kenta “and I could use a fighter like her on my journey to help protect us. So instead of you killing her for her stubborn nature…exile her, and I will take her away from here. If she leaves me and returns to you, then you have every right to do what you please with her. All I ask is for the supplies that are need for a long journey.”
The chieftain looks John over and then says “agreed. I exile you Kenta. You have one hour to be gone from this place.”
Kenta looks shocked and unable to speak. The chieftain’s mare lowers her sword and starts to walk back to the platform saying to John as she pass him “I hope you know what you are getting into.”
John turns towards Kenta, who has her head down, and walks up to her. John says to her “well”.
Kenta says with a hint of anger and without looking him in the eyes “You disgrace me.”
John says to her as he walk pass her “You’ll thank me later.” He looks up to see most of the centaurs have left and sees Nasha glaring at him.
John is finishing loading up Kenta’s pack saddle. She has not spoken much since the fight and neither has Nasha. John says “There, all done.”
Kenta says with a hint of anger “So I guess I am your pack animal now.”
John says “No that is all the stuff you need.” He then goes and picks up his bag and slings it over his shoulders saying “In this group, we carry what we need on our own backs.” Nasha softens for a moment, as does Kenta.
Kenta says “I am stronger than both of you.”
John says “and like I said to the chieftain, I want you for your strength in combat. You will be no good to us if you are tired from the load you carry. Also, I have two strong legs, so I will not ride you either.” They set out with John and Nasha in the lead with Kenta following behind.
None of the centaurs bid them any wishes as they leave. John feel uncertain if the centaurs are happy or sad to see Kenta go.
Once outside the settlement Nasha says in a soft tone to John “I do not like are new traveling companion. You should have consulted with me first.”
John says back to her in a soft tone “I know, but it was either that or watch her die.” John can see on Nasha’s face she might have preferred the latter.
Kenta says “Her kind has never like us. Nor will they ever.” Both John and Nasha look surprised that Kenta could hear them.
John slows down so he can walk next to Kenta and says “I believe they have a good reason too. Her spine runs through her tail. One miss step from you and it would be the same as if someone slammed a weapon…here!” He slams his hand in a chopping motion into the middle of Kenta’s horse’s back half.
Kenta stops dead in her tracks and looks at John with a shocked look on her face saying “You might as well kill me if that ever happened.”
John says “My point exactly. So please be mindful where you step” and he walks to catch back up with Nasha who seems to have over heard what he said to Kenta.
Kenta looks down at her feet and sees Nasha’s tail is still nearby. She then runs to try to get ahead of Nasha saying “Then I should lead.”
Nasha says “as a hunter I have much better trail finding skills.”
John quickly steps in and says “how about we walk together with me in the lead and Nasha on my right and Kenta you will be on my left.”