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Chapter 29: DEVELOPMENT
Date Published: January 20th, 2015
THE BLACKTREE HOLD
1014 AF SEEDMONTH 78
The door opens and they entered.
The young lord came with his vassal into the rooms, with 10 guards all wearing a golden armour, with dragon design.
The young lord himself looks intimidating with his armour, breastplate that is encrusted with red rubies, his hair long and white, flowing gracefully, off his back, tall for his age.
He looked charismatic and he exudes authority.
I understand why so many lords bend their knees to this young lord.
He walked, strut to his seat, yet he was not arrogant.
His eyes doesn’t view this like a glory, more like a trifle
“Gerrick, see that?”
I whisper to my son who is satnding beside me also watching the young lord with awe
“Look at his eyes. That is a man with a purpose”
I could see it from his eyes.
This man has a purpose. We are the Blacktons and we are a prideful family.
But, more pride will only destroy us like it destroys the Whitetree.Whtetree and us raise our banners when the dragon march here to the South for we are relatives. But now that the Whitetrees are dead their castle occupied by people that is loyal to the Vermont’s.
Of course, we can claim revenge but dead people do not rise
What is dead, stay dead.
“Lord Derrick” the young lord say looking at me after taking his seat.
His Knights stand beside him, their swords were not confiscated.
A show of trust.
“Lord Arial” I nodded
“May I offer you some salt and bread?” I said
“I have no time to spare for salt and bread. What is your reason calling me? Are you going to swear fealty or not?” he said
Arial the Dragon, I reminded myself.
And like a dragon, he is impatient.
Impatient but able, I reminded myself again
“You truly are like what the rumours say of you. You hate people twisting words.” I said offering a compliment
He did not look impressed
“Yes, my lord. And right now you’re delaying. I have been in the South too long. Give me word, my lord. Will you fight us and perish or will you spare your family the fate that befell the Whitetree?
“No dinner?” I said trying to change the subject
“No” he replied his voice hardened.”
“How about a feast?” I said trying to make a joke
His face turns red, with anger
The young lord jump and like lightning he arrived in front of me, his blade on my neck, blood dripping from the cut
Suddenly the atmosphere turns tense.
My knights and guard quickly pull their swords, so does the Vermont’s Knights and bodyguards
“Lord Derrick, say it again, and I swear by all the Gods, I will sever your head from your neck” his eyes look vicious, feral. His voice is laced with anger.
No, not anger.
He was at the feast.
I noticed my son trying to unsheathe his knife
“No Gerrick!” I yelled and Gerrick is startled, and drop the knife.
Arial didn’t even bother looking.
Does this means he already knows that my son was behind him?
“Lord Arial…I..I..was only jesting”
A dragon I reminded myself
His eyes slowly revert to the blue calm sky and the fierce look disappeared from his eyes
He removes the blade from my neck
“Never jest about the life of men. Many died that day. Good men. Men who have their family crumble, their houses destroyed. Their wife and children wept for them.”
The Knight seeing their young lord, calm and sheathing his weapon also does the same and sheathe their weapon.
I signaled my knights to also sheathe their weapon while Arial seat back at his seat, like nothing happened.
If I fight him in battle, I will surely die.
There is no other choice.
I have to kneel.
Kneel or die, I contemplated
But not before I know his intention
“Yes” he said waiting from my word
“I will kneel if I’m satisfied by your answer”
Suddenly one of his Knights shouted.
“You old man. Our Lord is generous enough that he did not kill you.”
“I don’t think he will kill me” I said to the barking night
“Your Lord is an honorable person. He might be angry but he will not kill me, not when I have already provided shelter and food.” I said
“I don’t know if you heard, Lord Derrick, but laws of hospitality seem not to be practiced on this Kingdom” he said hinting to the feast. One of his Knights spoke
“Yet, I’m sure your lord is not like that.”
“What is your play here, Lord Arial of House Vermont? You wielded more military power than this so called King of yours and you want me to believe you are doing this for the sake of the Kingdom.
Are you really?
Or are you installing a puppet King with the Vermont as the puppeteers” I said
“Your accusation is groundless” said a man who is wearing a dragon brooch stuck on his shirt
Arial lift his left hand to the air and his Knights quieted.
“Will you bend your knee or not?” he said his voice rings with finality
Bend or die that is the implication
“I will bend my knee” the other Knights of my house gasped.
“Father!” Gerrick said
“BUT!” I yelled
“But what?” the young lord began feeling slightly annoyed
“I will bend my knee to you. I will not swear fealty to the crown, I will swear fealty only to your family.
This surprised the young lord
“Why?’ he asked his look is suspicious
“I do not bend my knee to weak people, and certainly not to a King that doesn’t win battle. It is you that war. It is you that battle.
By my honour, then only you deserve my fealty. Let it be said that we lost to the dragons, not the sword and shield banner. We, the Blacktons respect strength.” Then I kneeled and speak the words
“By God, I will protect you from your enemies” I ended the oath.
He looked at me
“Are your oaths true?” he asked
“Yes, my lord”
“Hugh” he called and the noble came rushing
“Yes my lord”
“Called the banners of your brothers and pacified the rest of the noble Houses with the Blacktons. It must be done by the end of this year. I will return to the East. Many things need my attention, thing to prepare, things to govern. Fail me…and” he let his words hang.
Hugh Ales nodded and went outside of the Grand Hall no doubt is ordering his men
Then he gestured another noble or probably lord also wearing a dragon brooches on his shirt
“Give the Blacktons 10 thousand gold and order some supplies from the Keep to be sent here. The Blacktons must be battle ready.” The man nodded
“My lord” I said not expecting this kind of generosity
“I’m not worthy”
“You are under my protection, it is only natural”
The young lord is merciless towards his enemies, yet generous to those who bend their knee.
“In a week can you deploy your troops?
“Yes my lord”
“Good. I will leave 5000 thousand troops here to help you subjugate the other Houses. Either by negotiations or force, by the end of this year I want the South to be completely under the Crown”
“Where will you go my lord?”
“I will depart for the East. I need to govern the city. It has been so long that I left the governance to the large House Council”
Large House Council. Another term I did not understand
So, I just nodded
Then after finish ordering and saying what he wanted to say, he leaves the hall, while his guard followed him.
He kept his words short, precise and then he moved to his next objective
A young lord that I felt without a doubt will rose to fame and greatness.
I would rather swear fealty to such a lord then to swear my fealty to a Northron noble.
The Vermont’s are from the East, while Adrian no matter his quarrel with his brother he is still a northron lords.
And not only that.
It is not Adrian that fights me, it is not Adrian that strikes fear to my hearts, or awe me, it is that young lord.
In order to judge a person, you need to meet with him.
And I met the young lord.
There is no doubt of his leadership.
He is strong.
But being strong doesn’t guarantee that you will win.
Something that inspires loyalty
That is what important
Strength fades like beauty.
Now that will last for a long time.
If the strong governed the world, why was it that Alexander the First becomes the Emperor while Levitia is only a commander?
When it was Levitia that is hailed the strongest?
Because the strongest doesn’t governed the world.
Strength alone is not enough.
1014 AF SEEDMONTH 70
The water moved smoothly.
The wind rustles the leaves.
The spring air can be felt.
My sister is cooling herself in the lake while I was just dipping my foot on the lake.
We are here in Seren, land that has weird culture, their house different, and their belief is weird.
We are here to protect Lord Aries and Lady Julia, Arial parents.
At first we were here to solve a quest by the Knight Academy, not a very hard quest just some quest about helping some nobles sending their package to some other noble in Seren.
Then suddenly war broke out in Alan, the Dukedom…no, the Kingdom
We were sent letters from the messenger of the House Vermont, from Arial.
He ordered us to protect his parent here, and he already sent letters to his mother to stay in Seren.
All we have to do is protect his parents.
Not that there is many threats here.
His parents’ lives in a house provided by Will Eren, another friend of the Vermont’s.
Our family is a noble family after Lord Aries gives some lands to my father a few years ago.
House Lethe is a direct vassal of the Vermont’s.
In other words our family serves the Vermont’s.
Our symbol is a white raven being speared.
Our motto is Defy Fate.
We heard from the letters and the rumours, Arial leads the House now, acting as Regent, taking the control of the governance of the duchy and the troops, and that it was Aries that orchestrate Adrian to become King, a kingdom away.
But I knew better.
This is Arial plan.
I have known him for a long time.
Arial is the one that orchestrates all this.
For a long time I have always been amazed the way that Arial think and his ideas.
It was like he is not a kid like us, his thoughts mature, his action are planned, and he always diligent in his studies whether it be the art of the sword or the art of the mind, like he is preparing for something.
Right now the Dukedom is fighting a war, war of the Brothers, the other Kingdom dubbed the war, war of succession in our country between King Adrian, who declare that Alan is a new Kingdom and demand that Duke of Arouen, who is now claiming the throne, the crown that Arial placed on top of Adrian head, a claimant to the throne, after the rest of the Kingdom acknowledge the legitimacy of Adrian Alan, a war that is spearheaded by Arial.
I should have been there by his side as their family direct vassal, with him going to battle.
Lisa also complained that we are not part of the war.
But yesterday I got another letter from Arial.
In the letter he said that he fears for his parent’s safety and he would trust no one else with the lives of his parents
A letter to console us.
He said that right now there are some families in the South that still are not pacified.
After they are pacified, he will send a letter to his parent inviting them home.
The wind blows again.
I release a sigh and walk into the sky above.
The clear sky greeted me.
How is Arial now?
We are here, playing at lakes, enjoying the spring, watching the blue sky and at night we watch the stars.
Why do you have to bear all burdens by yourself?
Let us help, Arial.
Let us in.
“Brother, are you done?” I looked to the voice direction.
Lisa hair is damp, no longer wearing her armour, but instead a dress.
A dress that she bought during Levitia Homecoming festival 4 weeks ago.
“Are you done?” she said to me.
I got up from the ledge, wear my greaves and reply
“Let us return. We have been outside for long”
We have been too long. Maybe Aunty Julia needs our help with the baby.
Last year at the end of the month, Aunty Julia safely delivered a young baby, a girl, white hair, blue eye.
It is kind of the trademark of the Vermont.
But unlike Arial the baby is always crying which sometimes makes Aunty Julia lost on what to do. She said it has been too easy raising Arial.
“ When will we be going home, brother” suddenly she ask while we are walking back
“When Lord Arial ordered us to return home”
“I hope he let us return before his wedding” she said hoping.
I of course understand.
Helia is not only Arial betrothed but she is also our friend.
Our closest friend.
The 4 Greats
So when we heard that they will get married of course we are very happy. Helia is like a family to us.
“Maybe by then, the war will end” I said hoping that it’s true. Lisa nodded.
The wind blows again.
New chapter....Double releases.Give youir commenty. Has been catching up to the release in RR