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A thin man sat on a horse as he stares out at the expansive plains below him; it was almost bare, but with a couple of sprightly trees dotted across the land that looked almost if it would stretch on for all eternity.
The land’s serenity was almost surreal, given that it wasn’t more than 10 years ago when this place was where many great battles took place.
Xiwu, the kingdom located in the southwest, frequently invaded its neighbours, and it was here that Xiwu troops met with the allied troops; primarily made up of Donghai, Pan and Xiang armies.
The thin man stirred and almost ducked, but stopped and sighed in relief when he saw a pair of crows sitting calmly on the tree behind him. There used to be a lot more of them around; the numerous battles and countless war dead made sure they had more than enough food.
He turned his sight to the plains again.
The land is now peaceful, if only on the surface. It has only been ten years, but the political landscape had changed beyond recognition.
Xiwu for the past several years had not renewed its invasions; the strong and reliable Donghai had sank into internal strife; Pan had abandoned its longtime friendship with Xiang, and tied up an alliance with its arch enemy Xiwu; Xiang was on the verge of collapse.
The invader was no longer an invader, and the now former allies had turned inward.
The crows took off, and the thin man’s eyes followed them for a while before returning his gaze to the plains. A small movement in the horizon alerted him and he leaned forward, narrowing his eyes.
The small movement slowly emerged and it soon became clear to the man what it was he was seeing. He sucked in a deep breath and grabbed the horse reins. The horse neighed as it spurn around.
“The Xiwu entourage’s here! We’ve got to alert the general to welcome the bride!”