"Are you sure that they came in this direction?"
"I'm sure of it!!!"
"Let's keep searching then, maybe we'll see their horses nearby."
7 thuggish men, were currently looking around the premises in hopes of finding Santa.!!"
After a while, one of them spotted 2 horses hidden a little further from Santa and Penelope.
"Boss!!... I've found their horses!" One of the men yelled out.
As they conversed, Santa and Penelope began to think about the origins of these men.
"Do you know them?" Penelope asked in a whispery tone.
"But they said they were looking for a 'he'... and since you're a man, then they're definitely talking about you."
"Hmhm....It looks like they're here for trouble." Santa replied.
"Don't worry..... I'll protect you."
Santa turned and looked at her warmly.
"We'll protect each other." He relied.
For some reason, she felt all warm and fuzzy inside when she held heard him.
She concluded that something must definitely be wrong with her.
When she got back home, she would have to ask her grandfather and parents about her current state.
Hopefully, she wasn't sick.
As the men walked closer to the horses, they continued to scan the area in hopes of spotting their target.
"You two... ride these horses away from here, so that they wouldn't have any means of escaping from us."
The two men turned to the horses and tried to climb on them.
The horses tried to avoid the men, as they didn't recognize them.
'Bang! Bang! Bang!'
The men who tried to ride the horses, were abruptly kicked by the horses.
What a joke!!!
These horses had been used by their owners for several years now, and no one else had ever ridden them.
So how could they allow anyone apart from their owners to ride them?
"Ahh... a filthy animal like you dares to kick me?"
One of the men became pissed, and immediately took out his dagger in attempt to kill the beast.
Step away from my steed!!!!" Penelope yelled out.
How could she let them kill her trusty steed?
The men turned around and spotted Penelope and Santa coming their way.
They immediately knew who Santa was, since they had been trailing him for the past 3 days... but for Penelope, everyone had no idea who she really was.
They thought she looked familiar, but they brushed it off.
If she really had a high enough position, why was she here was a merchant?
Even if he was a wealthy one, a merchant was still a merchant.
"I'm glad that you guys have finally arrived.... This would make my job go faster.
Benjamin Hamilton right?" The leader of the group asked.... even though he knew the answer.
"Excuse me, but I believe that we have never met before.... so why have you all looking for me?" Santa asked with a smile on his face.
"I have just one simple question for you.... if you answer me truthfully, then me and my boys here won't play with your little girlfriend over there."
Penelope who heard this, immediately grew mad.
But when she sneaked a peak at Santa and saw how angry he was, she couldn't help but smile a bit.
And when she remembered that she had been called his girlfriend, blushed intensively until it looked as if the sun had burned her.
Although she still maintained her unemotional facial expression, her blush was still very eye catching.
Santa looked at her and was utterly confused.
Was she so mad that she had anger had roasted her face off?
"Are you okay? I mean, your face is so red!
If you're sick, why did you come out?... Blah blah blah" Santa had totally forgotten the people in front if him.
Penelope looked at the nagging man and smiled.
Truly a fool, even in a time like this one.
But she couldn't help smiling at this idiot.
The 7 men who were left out of the conversation grew angry the more they watched the shameless couple.
"Are you 2 looking down on us?!!!" One of the men asked angrily.
"Ohh... you're still here.
Pardon our manners, you were saying?"
The leader looked at the hateful couple, and didn't want to waste anymore time on them.
"Boy..... I'll make this quick.
Where is Queen Winnie!!!"
Santa's eyes immediately lit up, as he heard the question.
True enough, that old hag queen Ivy, couldn't sit still anymore.
It looked like she sent these men here to kill Beri and his family.
"Sorry.... the name you mentioned doesn't ring a bell!" Santa replied.
"Doesn't ring a bell? Your ship was spotted around the same time as their disappearance.
Plus we have eye witnesses that said that they personally saw you on that ship as well!!" The leader said.
The leader couldn't understand it, they had already been in Carona for a month and a half now... and they hadn't been able to spot Queen Winnie or any of her children this entire time.
It was like sorcery.
From the reports they had gotten, they left with Santa to Carona.
People had even said that they had seen the exact ship land in Carona a while later... so was it magic, where did they all disappear to?
"Sorry but... for real, I have absolutely no idea of who you're talking about!!" Santa said while yawning.
"It seems like you're willing to die for them right?
No problem, we'll do it your way then.
Men.... play with the girl, while I tie up this ingrate!!"
"Can you hold on?" Penelope asked.
"I'll try!!" Santa responded.
"Do you best, and don't die on me!!"
Santa looked at Penelope, and they immediately nodded at each other.
Instantly, Santa ran up to the leader and unsheathed his sword.
'Cling! Cling! Cling!'
Their swords clashed several times.
Santa was forced to lean backwards, as his enemies attacks were fierce and mighty.
His enemy was bigger and taller when compared to him... and it was clear that the man had more strength too.
Sigh... at this point, he try regretted why he didn't grain seriously.
He was more of a thinker, than a fighter.
The leader yelled, while swinging his sword sideways at full force.
The leader was aiming for Santa's arm.
Santa blocked the attack, but this time.. the force of the attack pushed him down.
He immediately rolled away, as the leader tried to pierce his rolling body multiple times.
If he didn't think of something quick, then he was sure that he would be at a complete disadvantage.
He looked at the floor and his eyes lit up.
"Ahhh... my eyes!!
Benjamin had thrown dirt into the leader's eye.
Taking advantage of the situation, he immediately swung his sword at the leader's knees.
"son of a b**ch!!
I'm going to kill you!!!"
The leader started swinging his sword around like crazy.
He couldn't see well, and his left leg had been cleanly cut off.
What more could he do?
The leader's swings were all over the place.
Santa meticulously dodged them, and swiftly cut off the leader's head.
He turned around in hopes of helping Penelope, but was stunned at the sight before him.
She had just finished dealing with the other 6 men.
She had left the last one unconscious for questioning.
"Benjy... I thought you said that your skills had greatly improved?
Why did you take so long to deal with just one person?"
"Hey, that wasn't my fault alright.... Have you seen his size?"
"All I hear are excuses and more excuses.
If I wasn't here, aren't you aware that they would've ganged up on you?" Penelope asked with a cold tone.
How could she not be angry?
"But I'm okay aren't I?"
"Indeed, your fine.... but what about next time?
Tomorrow morning, I want to see you at the royal training field.
It looks like I've been really soft on you over the years!!"
For some reason when he heard her, a chill ran down his spine.
As he looked at the unconscious man on the floor, he immediately began to think of his next move.
It looked like he would have to head over to Baymard A.S.A.P.