"No!" shouted Callum, dropping to his hands and knees. The samurai Callum stood beside turned and looked down at Callum.
"Do you know the people who live there, sir?" asked the samurai, kneeling down beside Callum.
"They are my aunt and uncle's barn, and my home." said Callum through his tears. Without a doubt, he knew his aunt was gone too. Otherwise, she would have been calling out for help in the crumbled remains of the tavern or have already came over to find Callum.
"I'm sorry we didn't come sooner. We should've known the samurai we had here were actually enemy samurai in disguise." the samurai explained. Callum was thinking to himself how the samurai from his territory didn't realize that there were enemies in disguise, but then again, the samurai probably don't familiarize themselves with every one in the military.
"It's okay." said Callum, trying to compose himself. He stood back up to his feet and looked at the remains of the house and barn.
"I really want to get those samurai back for what they did. And I really want to find my friend they took."
"Wait, they took your friend?" asked the samurai.
"Yes, one of them grabbed my friend Jerall after knocking him out and carried him away." Callum explained.
"We're going to have to go get him back. By the way, my name is Tito." said the samurai, bowing towards Callum, who at first thought it was strange, but instinctively bowed back anyway.
"Callum Lynx." said Callum. Tito smiled.
"Let's go to my other mates and talk. I don't want you to have to see this mess any longer than you need to." said Tito, turning Callum around and leading him around Gares and to the other side, where a group of eight samurai were standing around discussing about the attack.
"So were you and your friend trying to stop those samurai by yourselves? How did they get you?" asked Tito, once they stopped walking.
"Actually, that wasn't the main plan. I grabbed a couple swords and daggers for my friend and I in case we needed them and I was going to try and rescue my aunt from the tavern, but before I could get anywhere, one of the samurai grabbed me and I had to fight him because I had no other choice really. I thought about running to the tavern anyway, but they were going to come after me and fight me." Callum explained. Tito nodded his head in understanding.
"Let me tell you this, Callum. You are a brave soul for fighting a samurai. Samurai are very skilled warriors. You are lucky we came by in time to save you." said Tito. The samurai noticed the sweat still pouring down Callum's face and he walked over to pick up his tankard of water and handed it to Callum.
"Are you sure?" asked Callum, hesitating to drink it.
"Go for it, you look like you need it." said Tito. Callum lifted the tankard and drank most of the water before handing it back to Tito.
"Thank you, that hit the spot." said Callum, wiping some of it off of his lips. Callum saw one of the other samurai walk up to Tito while eyeing Callum.
"Is that the kid you guy's saved in the village earlier?" asked the samurai. Tito nodded. Callum laughed when he was called a kid. Callum was nineteen, and in several months, he was going to turn twenty. I'm no kid anymore, Callum thought.
"Hey buddy, my name is Kr'aska. I'm one of Shogun Lekkyu's generals." said the other samurai, bowing towards Callum.
"We plan on helping you guys rebuild Gares and get it back to the way it was." said Kr'aska.
"Do you guys know why those samurai attacked my village?" asked Callum.
"I believe it's because they want to claim our territory. Shogun Kaz is the leader of the samurai that attacked today. He has plans to claim every territory there is on Newern for himself before taking over Emperor Daiyes' title." Tito explained.
"Well, I want to get them back for what they did, and I also want to find my friend and rescue him." said Callum, shuffling his feet around due to them starting to ache from standing around.
"Don't worry, we will help you as soon as we can. How old are you?" asked Kr'aska.
"You can join the samurai military, we are looking for new recruits right now." Tito offered. Callum's eyes opened wide. This is perfect, I can become a samurai, stop the rival army for destroying anymore of my territory, and rescue Jerall, Callum thought to himself.
"Yes, I wish to join." said Callum with pure confidence.
"Great, we are going to get some samurai over here who can rebuild this village first and then we will head to Felshire, where Shogun Lekkyu's temple is." said Kr'aska. He turned around and walked back over to the group of samurai. Callum looked over towards the village and noticed the fire had stopped and villagers were looking at their burnt down houses and other buildings.
"Don't worry, we will get them back. I promise." said Tito, putting his hand on Callum's shoulder. Callum overheard Kr'aska making plans about sending a squad of samurai over to help rebuild the village.
"Are there samurai who can build houses and stuff?" asked Callum.
"We have a group of samurai who were builders before they became samurai, so yes, we have people who can build. I believe Kr'aska is sending some of them over here to repair Gares." Tito explained. Callum breathed out a sigh of relief. At least this place will be back to normal eventually.