"Land me a short distance in front of her." Leona telepathically communicated with Sylvia.
"Got it!" Sylvia responded as she did a slow loop around a clearing to reduce speed and then straightened out before gently depositing Leona on the ground. The blonde found that as long as she was flown at treetop level her discomfort was manageable. She was still apprehensive about flying, but it was not nearly as bad as flying high in the sky. Daphne handed Leona her ram dao and the quartet approached the tall tan woman.
"Hail, stranger. Are you Leona Jarnefeldt of Silver Wolf?" She asked.
"Yes. I'm Leona Jarnefeldt." Leona answered, showing her guild tattoo to the woman, who nodded in satisfaction.
"Excellent. I am The Scorekeeper. I called you here because I have a job for you." The Scorekeeper started. Leona listened with interest.
"I want you to meet with the Amazon Queen and convince her to give you her belt. Then you are to bring the belt to me. There are two ways you can go about getting it. The way you choose is up to you." The one-eyed woman started an explanation.
"The first is to enter their village under a white flag and converse with the queen. She may ask a service from you in exchange for the belt. Be prepared for anything." The Scorekeeper explained the first way.
"The second is to challenge the Amazon Queen to a fight for the belt. But be warned. The battle will be to the death and the queen will not refuse your challenge." She explained the second option. Leona showed visible distaste with that option. As if sensing the blonde's reticence, The Scorekeeper was moved to comment.
"Perhaps I was wrong to call for you. If you are not up for this job, leave now so that I may find another who is." She said with a tone of scorn. Leona clenched her teeth. The Scorekeeper mistook hesitance for weakness. Leona was not weak.
"No. I'll do it. I'll take the first option. I want to speak to the queen." Leona firmly declared, looking the taller woman in the eye. The Scorekeeper allowed herself a small smile.
"I was right to choose you, Leona. Now hear me. You will find the Amazon village surrounded by a thick wooden wall and manned by experienced warriors; it is but a short distance away. Approach the gate and state your intention, but be sure to put away your weapon. You will be escorted inside the village, where you will meet the queen." She started to give instructions.
"Once inside the queen's hut, you are to speak with her. If you want to peacefully earn the belt, agree to perform the service she requests of you. If you change your mind and want battle, then challenge her for the belt. How you get the belt is up to you." The Scorekeeper finished.
"All right. I'll go there right away." Leona said. The taller woman nodded and pointed the way. Leona and the sisters walked in the indicated direction.
-Approaching the village-
Wearing her white t-shirt and desert camouflage shorts with boots, Leona had her backpack and wore her Argent Gloves. She approached the gates in the company of the Harpy Sisters, who were having difficulty walking on two feet. After a short time they opted to fly just above the ground.
"Like, I can see it! I can totally see the village! There's the big wall!" Daphne said to Leona aloud, pointing a clawed hand in the direction of the village.
"Yeah, that's where that tall warrior chick said you should go!" Sandy echoed.
"Um, guys, why are the gates opening and pe-EAAAHHHH!" Sylvia screamed as fourteen arrows landed near them. The sisters scattered and flew high and Leona jumped back. The arrows had landed just in front of her feet. The blonde had gotten the message... she was to stop walking and stay where she was. The harpies landed beside her once the arrows had stopped raining down.
"Like, that's so rude!" Daphne huffed and crossed her arms. A group of nearly three dozen warriors was charging the quartet. Leona planted her ram dao in the ground and stepped away from it. She had barely been away from the sword for ten seconds when the four were surrounded. Leona raised her hands in surrender.
"Who are you? State your business!" A red-haired woman wearing a leather cuirass and iron gauntlets and carrying a longsword at her left hip challenged Leona. Another warrior took possession of the ram dao. Still another frisked Leona and took the knife from her boot.
"I'm Leona Jarnefeldt, a mage from Silver Wolf. I'm here to speak with your queen. I want the belt she has." Leona stated truthfully. The redhead looked at her with suspicion, then showed a look of amusement. She almost broke into a laugh before getting serious again.
"You have knowledge of our ways. I do not know how you got it, but it does not matter. You will be escorted into our village under a white flag. Be on your best behavior or you will not leave our village alive." The redhead warned her.
"Of course." Leona replied calmly.
"What of these winged strangers?" Another warrior asked the red-headed captain.
"They're my friends. I can send them away if you want." Leona said to her.
"Do it." The captain ordered.
"We'll see you later, Leona!" Sylvia said with a wave before the winged trio disappeared. The captain looked her over. She did not seem to like mages very much.
"You are a strange person with strange magic. But I am bound by law to escort you to the queen. Now follow us." The redhead ordered. Leona wordlessly complied as a pair of younger female warriors carrying white flags on wooden poles fell in step alongside the large escort. She was about to enter the village of the fabled Amazons.
[Word Count: 1,083] [Total Word Count: 1,083/3,000]