I had an idea, maybe embassies, including Brethren, were being on siege by radical communist or anarchist rioters in protest, not only because the FPU (legal party edition) was no longer recognized by the Galacist regime, but there have also been unlawful police investigations around the country.
(Although the commune is still located in another city).
Lt. Pârkóv laughs."Close enough. Anyway, we have been patrolling this area and we have noted your presence in the region. For what cause do you keep men under arms in the Grand Ataman's steppe?"A show of strength, taking the high ground; also a time-honored tradition of Pakatska debate. Now it is the foreigner's turn.
"Kilometers? I know not of such a thing, but all the steppe has been declared to be under the Grand Ataman's protection and order, and the border-lands must necessarily be included with the steppe. As for the 'Kingdom of Sanada...' No such thing has existed for since before my grandfather's grandfather. We have read the tablets and seen the great ruins to the south of the steppe; we have seen that the heretical Sanada was laid low by its foes for it's rejection of Ademar's glory. In any case, Sanada is not less than a week's swift ride from here; this cannot be part of that doomed realm's dominion."The troopers brought as Lt. Pârkóv's bodyguards whisper together quietly and extremely quickly before returning to the conversation. One speaks in his broken grasp of Kurikian. "We are here to show you that the Grand Ataman will not be thrown aside like some biting insect from a horse's flank. If you will tell us for what you are here, perhaps he will, in his grace, allow you to remain undisturbed, in exchange for certain favors." The three Pakotski stifle a laugh.
It takes some hushed back-and-forth, but the gist of the foreigner's speech is made clear to the Lieutenant in time."500 millions? Ha! I am amazed you do not collapse under the weight! How do your lands provide enough for so many? Surely you have hunted all your animals long ago, and your people now starve in their huts! Ah, but I digress."500 million is ridiculous; how could so few soldiers (the scouts having found only about 300 or so men in this camp, and estimated no more than two or three more such camps in the area) keep the peace among so many?"I see that you think nothing of my words. Perhaps it would interest you to learn that the Grand Ataman has 60 thousands of men under arms, all loyal and faithful to Ademar?"The Pakotski have decided to use the butchered version of their god's name so as to make the Kurikians a little bit of a break with the pronunciation.
Pârkóv looks him up and down before laughing."Ah, no matter the boasting. I can see plainly that this discussion will go nowhere swiftly; I therefore invite you to a sort of challenge."His bodyguards look at him, confused."We will see who's men are the better shots; yours, on foot and with your foreign rifles, or mine, on horseback and with our fine weapons. We can bet on it,if you wish."