Here's your third sponsored chapter of the week jointly sponsored by Sudarsan L. from the UK and Tyler L. from the USA. Fourth sponsored will be coming tomorrow, so cya all then!
Lorist sat back down on his chair to rest for a while and by the time he recovered some energy, he circulated his internal energy according to the Aquametal Technique for one minor cycle. Feeling refreshed, he sent Josk and Patt off to their expedition with their troops before he headed for the medical area within the camp.
Around the area of the 12 large tents, the injured soldiers of the family could be seen lying and occasionally letting out moans of pain. It was quite fortunate for them that some medical supplies had been found within the construction site. Having had their injuries wrapped up and after consuming some medicinal concoctions that would hasten their recovery, the ones with light injuries fell asleep not long after. However, those who were injured more heavily had a much harder time as they couldn't embrace the peace of slumber due to the pain they were suffering from.
Lorist's herbalism knowledge that he had picked up at Dawn Academy had also been put to good use. After giving the more heavily injured soldiers another check, he had someone else slaughter a goat and used its intestines to make threads that were later used to seal up the open wounds of some soldiers. After that, he cleaned up the wounds and applied some more medicine onto it before he wrapped them up with some bandages. Lorist also came up with a few medicinal prescriptions according to each soldier's needs.
He hoped that these men who had so bravely served his family wouldn't lose their lives due to insufficient treatment. That's why he had refused to listen of the advice of his subordinates to get some rest and worked ten hours nonstop. By the time he was finished, dawn had already come.
When Lorist got up, he felt a sudden dizziness from being seated for too long a time and weakly leaned on Shadekampf to support his body. Shadekampf hurriedly said, "Milord, you really should get some rest. Otherwise, your body won't be able to take it..."
With a pale, but happy face, Lorist said, "I'm fine. I'll feel much better after getting some sleep. I've already came up with a few prescriptions for the respective patients, so make sure they consume it so their injuries don't worsen. For now, help me to my tent so that I may rest. Oh, right, you've also only got around 4 hours of sleep, right? You shouldn't push yourself too far either and rest if you need to..."
However, after only sleeping for two hours, Lorist was awoken by a messenger that Josk sent. Even though he didn't manage to rest for long, more than half of the fatigue that had built up during the battle yesterday had vanished. After hurriedly washing his face to refresh himself, Lorist asked for the messenger.
Looking at the hourglass on the table nearby, Lorist thought, Josk had only left for 14 hours. Considering that it takes only 6 hours to get to the Redriver Valley Bastide, didn't they return far too quickly? After all, they did bring with them tens of carriages...
The messenger who was sent over to deliver the news was rather elated. He mentioned that the Redriver Valley Bastide and the immigrant town nearby had both been taken over successfully. According to him, Josk had left the convoy to Patt and went forward by himself with another 40 riders and spent less than 6 hours before they arrived at the bastide. After killing seven guards and taking over the Kenmayses' castle, Josk and his men rushed to the immigrant town and their garrison troop surrendered without resistance after a few of their squad leaders were killed. Following that, Josk had ordered for the messenger and two other men to return to the construction site to send the good news.
The messenger also said that various supplies and resources were in abundance at the bastide. After Josk ordered his men to conduct a rough estimate of the resources contained within the rows of warehouses, he concluded that most of the items were green vine glue and food. Additionally, the messenger also reported that the head supervisor of the Kenmays Family that attempted to set the warehouses on fire, but he had been shot dead once Josk discovered his intentions. Josk was currently awaiting Lorist's instructions on how to deal with the resources as well as the 2000 plus people of the immigrant town.
Lorist instructed some guards at the camp to fetch Miss Telesti, Supervisor Hansk, Butler Boris, Shadekampf, as well as Paulobins, a One Star Silver mercenary who had just joined the Norton Family's forces, to discuss the matter.
Within a few moments, all of the aforementioned people gathered within the tent. After they were seated, Lorist announced the news of the occupation of the Redriver Valley Bastide and the nearby immigrant town, much to Boris's surprise and delight, as he no longer had to worry about the safety of his family members.
Lorist decided to utilize all the carriages that were available at the construction site for the transportation of the resources from the bastide, including the ones they had obtained from the shipment the day before. According to Hansk, there were around 800 carriages which were all equipped with the necessary horses. The only issue they had was the lack of reliable coachmen. Even if they were to use the members of the temporary defense units that they had just formed recently into the number, they would at most be able to mobilize 500 or so carriages and leave the construction site undefended.
SIgh, what we lack most is still personnel in the end, thought Lorist as he smirked. Hmm, couldn't we just use the coachmen that came with the shipment convoy and pick out some slave laborers who also know how to drive to solve the problem? I don't think that I need to worry about whether the slave laborers and coachmen would take this chance to run away... Given the immense area the Northlands covered and its sparse population, the slaves wouldn't have anywhere to run to nor will they be able to travel far as they wouldn't have enough food to last them long enough. There was also the possibility that they might be recaptured should they ever reach the dominions of other nobles and they might even be punished by the nobles of that land for escaping servitude as all the slaves of the Kenmays Family were branded with a mark behind their left ear. They might even be put to death for that offense.
Additionally, Lorist was going to announce to the slaves that he would restore their freedom after they finish transporting the goods by using a special concoction that would help heal the scars behind their ears over time. Initially, Lorist had planned to free them three years later after the construction of the wall fortifications as well as the other castle within the valley was complete. However, now that his family lacked manpower, especially youths, he chose to restore their freedom earlier and believed that they wouldn't run away if that was the case.
Lastly, Lorist also ordered Reidy to bring a group of men from the temporary defense units to participate in that operation to take the place of the soldiers who were at Redriver Valley Bastide. During the next shipment course, another group would take Reidy and his men's place to guard the bastide.
Butler Boris and Shadekampf would also join the convoy to the Redriver Valley Bastide. The reason for Boris's participation was so that he could reunite with his family and help Shadekampf out with finding the hidden storehouses throughout the bastide so that they wouldn't miss anything out.
Shadekampf on the other hand would be in charge of prioritizing which resources to ship over first. Lorist specified that he wanted the immigrants to be the first to be transported over to make up for the severe lack of population the Norton Family's dominion had to aid the development of the dominion.
He also tasked him with burning down the immigrant town as well as the Redriver Valley Bastide following the transportation of all the resources to the construction site so that the Kenmays Family would lose a location for their troops to be stationed and also teach them a lesson for daring to mess with the Norton Family.
Lorist said that given the decimation of the Feathersoar Mercenary Crew as well as the occupation of the Redriver Valley Bastide and the immigrant town, the Kenmays Family would lose all their standing within the Northlands, unless they manage to convince Duke Loggins to send his private army to retake the bastide as soon as possible. However, according to the surrendered Feathersoar mercenaries, the duke was extremely wary of the Kenmays Family and their inability to obtain permission from the duke to send in their own 2000-strong army was proof of that.
It would take at least another 3 days before the Kenmayses would be alerted to the eradication of the Feathersoar Mercenary Crew. And by the time their men at Gildusk City found out, it would take another week or so before the message would be able to reach the viscount. By then, it would take another 4 days approximately before Viscount Kenmays will be able to convince the duke to send out his army, and that in itself wasn't guaranteed either as the duke might secretly delight in the setback suffered by the Kenmays Family. Even if the viscount did manage to convince the duke to help him take back his dominion, it would take at least a month and a half before his army would be able to reach the bastide as mobilizing an army involved many procedures and protocols.
In conclusion, the 50 or so days to come would be relatively safe and the transportation operation would most likely be completed without interruptions. Lorist also instructed Shadekampf to tell Josk to have his men patrol the surrounding area after transporting the immigrants over to the construction site. Ideally, they would be able to catch the scouts of the Kenmays Family to further delay the information from being spread. Should the Kenmays Family's army somehow make their way to the Northlands earlier than Lorist had predicted, he would still be able to order his men to retreat in time even if the resources were not yet fully transported and burn the bastide and the immigrant town down.
"Milord, what do we do if the soldiers of the nobles in the area come over?" Shadekampf asked.
"Those people? Just have Josk get rid of them. They would at most have a couple of knights with the rest of the soldiers being disorganized farmer troops anyway. I believe that Josk would have no hard time showing them their place," said Lorist. He also wondered why the Kenmays Family chose to go against the Nortons instead of eradicating the nobles surrounding his dominion to claim their lands.
What Lorist didn't take into account was that before his arrival, the Norton Family was indeed one of the weakest families in the area with one of the largest dominions which also encompassed the location where the Kenmays Family intended to build their castle. Who else would they target other than the Nortons? However, Lorist's arrival had caused them a huge loss which they didn't even get to know about yet.
"Miss Telesti, I truly am sorry that we have to delay the construction process yet again," said Lorist after he finished managing the affairs of the transportation operation.
The young woman sighed and said, "Milord, I understand that you didn't have much of a choice in that matter. Now that the slaves have mostly been assigned to carry out the shipments, what would we do about the incomplete wall? If the Kenmays Family's forces come knocking a month and a half later, we would definitely have a much harder time defending the place without proper fortifications."
"I've already taken that into account. Aside from the slaves participating in the transportation operation, there should be around 800 laborers left behind here. I intend to utilize every single one of them including the women to help out with the construction. The elderly and children can also aid with the preparation of food. Supervisor Kedan and Old Man Balk, I'm afraid the days to come would be tough on you. Kedan, you will be in charge of managing the elderly, women and children and assigning tasks for them. Balk, I will leave the supervision of the construction of the walls to you. What you must remember is to prioritize the quality of the wall even if that would take a longer time," said Lorist.
"I understand, milord," replied Supervisor Kedan.
"Milord, please be assured that I will ensure that the wall will be as tough as it can be," Balk said confidently while thumping on his chest.
"Supervisor Hansk, you should also make some preparations to store and record the resources that will be shipped over."
"Yes, milord," said Hansk as he nodded.
"Um, Paulobins, since Ovidis is still recovering from his injuries and Reidy is busy escorting the shipment convoy, I am leaving you in charge of the temporary defense units, alright? You will be in charge of their training and managing the wall patrols. Are you confident you can handle that?" Lorist asked.
The young ex-mercenary jumped with a face red with excitement and exclaimed, "Milord, don't worry! I will definitely not let you down!"