Chapter 192 Under the curtain of the night
About 50 people had come, they were all dressed in armor which was sparkling in the sun. Standing in lines of 8 with flags on all sides, three of them displayed the insignia of the royal family: the gray tower with the two pikes. Additionally, on one side there was a flag with a tower and a horse’s head on top. Carving through the memories at the back of his mind, he remembered that this was likely the symbol of the Hawes family of the northern border.
One of the cavalrymen stepped out of the ranks and yelled: “I am Lehman Hawes, the messenger of King Timothy. With me, I have brought the resolution of the King, pull down the drawbridge.”
“Your certificate?” Petrov stretched his head forward and asked loudly.
Hearing his question, the cavalryman took a bow and arrow from his back, tied a piece of paper to the arrow and shot it directly to on top of the city wall.
One of his guards immediately went over and picked up the arrow for Petrov. When he unfolded the parchment, he saw some faint crisscrossing golden threads embedded at the bottom of the document, and there at the lower right corner was the seal of the royal family, which indicated that he was indeed the new King’s messenger.
Seeing this, Petrov took a deep breath and shouted, “Lower the bridge and open the gate.” He could already roughly guess the content of the so-called resolution – it was undoubtedly related to Roland Wimbledon. Since the other party wasn’t a fraud, they also had no reason to refuse the new King’s envoy. Otherwise it was equivalent to declaring the new King, and the Kingdom of Graycastle as their enemy. And in case this news were to spread out, the other families would certainly come to target the Honeysuckle territory without any hesitation, and the currently suppressed undercurrent would instantly rebound.
However, since Timothy had only sent 50 people to inquire about the situation in the Western Territory, one of the Prince’s speculation had been confirmed – the new King, at present, was unable to rule over the Western Territory.
Since the Prince, His Royal Highness, was able to repel the Duke’s coalition who had more than a 1000 soldier, I’m afraid that these fifty people can only return without having any achievement.
Of course, His Highness has to be informed about this development as soon as possible.
Thinking until here, he called the Knight from before, “Westeros, take three short-tailed horses with you, interchange them during the ride, so that you can reach Border Town as early as possible. When you’re there tell His Highness that Timothy’s men have come.”
“As you bid,” Westeros nodded.
As the Knight turned around and left, Petrov sighed. “Let’s go and meet the new King’s envoy.”
When Petrov appeared at the city gate, with the exception of the ten people riding at the front, whose spirits seemed to be trembling with excitement, the rest of the Cavaliers all seemed a little sluggish, they were sitting with a crooked body on their horses, as if they could fall off any time.
“Welcome, Sir Lehman,” Petrov welcomed him with a nod. “I’m the stronghold manager belonging to the Honeysuckle Family, Petrov Hull.”
The word ‘stronghold manager’ left a bad aftertaste in his mouth. If he had really been in charge of the Western Border, being the Duke of the stronghold, he would never have had to salute towards an envoy. He wouldn’t even need to greet him at the gate. Instead, he could just stay inside the Lord’s castle, waiting for the other party to come to him.
“I have heard of your name at the Cold Wind Range, ‘Acting Duke’.” Lehman dismounted and walked over with a smile. “The Western Border is indeed a strange territory, even after assembling a vast army, Duke Ryan actually couldn’t conquer such a small town. Moreover, he even lost his own life, which is a rare circumstance for the Kingdom of Graycastle. Of course, for the Honeysuckle Family, this must have been good news.”
Petrov automatically ignored the irony coming from his words, “Are your men alright? They look to be a little… unwell.”
“Don’t mind them,” Lehman glanced backward, “They probably haven’t acclimatized themselves after rushing through the whole journey, they will be better after some rest. To be honest, this region is just too hot.”
“It’s only because the North is too cold,” Since the other person seemed to not to care about the matter, Petrov was too lazy to pay attention further to the subject. “I’m wondering why sir envoy has come from the Cold Wind Range, rather than from King’s City.”
“That is because His Majesty Timothy Wimbledon is currently in the Northern Territory,” Lehman answered bluntly. “Duke Essie thought had thought he could take advantage of the weakened state of the Northern Border Guards to instigate a rebellion. After being suspected of starting a revolution, King Timothy had no other choice than to put down the revolt.”
Rebellion? Perot frowned, that does not meet with common sense. Although the Border Guards were put together of Knights and mercenaries from all over the kingdom, most of the members were still the Duke’s own men. So how could it be that he had substantial losses created by the rebellion? Remembering the letter within Duke Ryan had written about his plans to annex the North, Petrov created a bad image within his mind… Could it be that Timothy Wimbledon had the same kind of idea?
“That being the case, what is the King’s current decision?”
“He has issued a recall order,” Lehman stated, “His Majesty sent me to see if the Western Territory has also sunken into a state of chaos, caused by war. If I remember correctly, prior to the Months of Demons, the King had sent a recall order to Roland Wimbledon, but until today he still hasn’t returned to King’s City.”
“The instruments should have been forwarded to the stronghold five months ago, but unlike the previous Lords, Lord Roland didn’t choose to return to the stronghold and take refuge here during the Months of Demons,” Petrov paused. “He decided to instead stay inside Border Town and lead his people against the demonic beasts. So, for that reason he couldn’t immediately set out to King’s City and follow the King’s orders.
“By now the end of the Months of Demons had been almost three months ago,” Lehman didn’t waver in his duty. “The King has sent me to escort the Prince back to King’s City.”
“When will you leave for Border Town?”
“We will set out tomorrow morning.”
Traveling at a regular pace, they should arrive at Border Town in three days, while my Knight will move through day and night, and should be able to deliver the message after only one night and day. This way His Royal Highness should have enough time to prepare to deal with them. I, Petrov, can only do so much.
When the group reached the stronghold’s barracks, Petrov stopped, “This is the place where the Duke’s Knights were stationed, so staying here you should get a good rest, dinner will be sent later to you. As for Sir Lehman,” Petrov looked at Lehman Hawes, “there will be a hearty dinner prepared for you, please be sure to attend.”
“Thank you for your generosity, Sir Petrov,” the latter laughed.
After dinner, when Lehman returned to camp and stepped into the central tent, he was immediately surrounded by several people.
“What’s the situation?” He asked.
“We are surrounded on all sides by people who are keeping a close watch over us. They have also stationed around a hundred troops at the gates, but most of them don’t possess a whole armor, so they should belong to the city patrol,” one of his men reported. “It seems that the Lord doesn’t trust us.”
“At least it appeared that our intelligence was correct, the information I gathered at the banquet also confirmed this point,” Lehman spoke in a hushed tone. “After the Duke was defeated, most of the Knights were arrested and brought to Border Town, so there aren’t many Knight’s left for them to use in combat.”
Before he had arrived here, he had gathered detailed intelligence about the current situation in Longsong Stronghold. The task given by His Majesty was very simple, which was, to discover the reasons for the Duke’s loss, and then to take the appropriate measures to take gain control over the Western Territory as quickly as possible.
“What’s with those who took that medicine…?”
“They will soon reach their limit,” said the other, “as long as we give them pills, they will do anything.”
The messenger group was also only a pretext, of their team of fifty, the numbers of real Knights were only counted at thirteen, the other were mercenaries disguised as knights. Under the influence of the church’s pills, they were more obedient than the loyalest of hounds, while at the same time being even more ferocious than demonic beasts. They were also the key to Lehman’s plan in capturing the gate. According to his plan, a 1,500 people strong militia were slowly nearing the stronghold and as long as they opened the gates, the city would fall into their hands.
“Hand out the pills, then have ten men stay behind to deal with the patrol and send the others to the East Gate.” Lehman finally gave his orders.