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Encounter in the forest

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 It was clear that this was as much a surprise for the horsemen as it was for them. The band hastily jumped into defensive formation, keeping to the edge of the forest, with shields forward and a swarm of spears pleasantly resembling a porcupine, while the riders leaped onto their horses, orders shouted, animals whinnying, a rider here and there galloping to the other side of the formation.  It took them a few moments of confusion to realise this was not who they expected. "Slovenians!" grumbled Ibra, spat on the ground and straightened up. He turned around. "Slovenians!" he repeated, more loudly.    Men around him started to loosen up, but a shout came from the background. "Hold formation!" The raiders tightened again. The horsemen, on the middle of the meadow, also formed up, but seemed equally indecisive about the course of action. Abdulla pushed from the rear, raised to his toes to take a better look at the meadow and glanced at the riders. The two for