They are coming. The KoraKora will reach Hamada tomorrow, and we can think of nothing to stop them. We have created two rings of fortifications around the central hall, razing more than one building in the process to do so. The wrath of the cannibal nation is about to descend on Hamada and there is naught to do but wait.

The river rushes past us and over the edge of the cliffs with a ferocity that only the KoraKora can match. They have pursued us relentlessly for months. Over hundreds of miles and through numerous skirmishes, they have not stopped. They will never stop. If we do not hold and finish them here, we will be running from them all of our lives.

There is still no sign either Inifra or Dionus. The people are terrified. We have sent all of the women and children north over the bridge. Well, not all of them. Timber remains. Balthandar’s Klotian sword never leaves her hand, now a permanent extension of her arm. If we survive this I have promised her that I will teach her how to use it properly.

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There are other women who have stayed. They have found or fashioned spears and knives for themselves and have taken posts along the fortifications with grim determination. They know the horrors they face by standing alongside us, and yet they remain. If nothing else, I will always respect the strength and courage of the women of the Nanten.

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Unfortunately for us all, “always” may not be such a long time to hold onto. There are great plumes of smoke rising from the jungle to the south and west. Scouts have been spotted within miles of the city’s scattered limits. Their rattling horns blast day and night, and the deep boom of drums has begun to roll through the trees.

The KoraKora are here, and they do not want us to doubt it. Fear runs hot through the Nantese that have stayed to guard the bridge. Fear runs hot through Balthandar and myself. There is nothing I want less than to be eaten by these monsters. I do not want to die.

We will face them tomorrow. I am certain of that now. If I am left one thing to pour my life into, may it be the removal of these traitors from the ranks of humanity.

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