Felix placed Erika on his wide shoulders and took her to the edge of the Great Courtyard, from where the entire Cainshire and the Grey Canal was visible. It was the 12th of this month and therefore, it meant that Colonel Reggie was collecting his taxes. He does it every month, for three days from 12 to 14 and everytime, there would be one or more places which will be burnt down to show their dominance.
He pointed towards the three frigates right at the center of the Grey Canal and said, "You see those big ships, Erika. There are enemies. You know what enemies are?"
"Booo!" replied Erika, slumping down on his head.
"Ha! Bad bugs whom you beat. Squash them like this!!" Felix demonstrated by squashing a cockroach which was unlucky to pass infront of Felix's sight, but it was completely ignored by her.
"Boo! Boo!!" she said energetically and started beating his head, indicating that she wanted to get closer to the edge. She was quite a daredevil.
"Yea, yea, little Princess." Sighed Felix and went near the very edge of the courtyard, but while he did so, he clutched her feets tightly so as to not let her fall in any chance.
"Weeee!!" cried Erika as she spread out her hands in fun. Felix let her have her fun, while he stared intently at the scene infront of him. Being a Lord had several advantages and one of them was large eyesight. He could clearly see the soldiers of Colonel Reggie plundering houses and breaking utensils. He also saw some disturbing sights like some soldiers dragging women away or beating kids.
This was a usual act and everytime he sees it, it increases his hatred for Hendrickson and his urge to barge in there and slaughter them. But unfortunately, he can't. He also spotted some soldiers who were slightly hesitating while massacring and that was only because they weren't normal bad soldiers. They were betrayers who joined Colonel Reggie's army. The absolute vermins.
He also spotted a man with a bald head, commanding the troops to massacre from the banks. Felix couldn't clearly see him, but he knew who he was, Colonel Reggie.
After staring at the scenes for almost 30mins, Felix withdrew. "Enough now, little lioness. Do them longer and you would catch a nasty cold!"
"Booo! Booo!" Erika resisted and pulled his hairs but he wasn't moved. He brought her down from his shoulders and held her a bit away from her, so that she doesn't bite him. He went back and saw that Aslak was still shooting arrows at the armor intently and Felix didn't find it necessary to disturb him. He entered the Castle and handed Erika to Lady Aarti who was currently free to take care of her. He then returned to the courtyard and went to the arsenal.
He chose a normal Greatsword, adjusted his armor and wore his steel visored-armet, which was a special type of helmet with a face guard and a large cheek guard. His armor, called Black Wolfe armor, was made purely with Black Iron and Perforated Carbon. The armor had a special breastplate, which was an exquisite mixture of scale and plates. It also had a special black riveted chainmail and a gamberson, which covered the entirety of the body and acted a padding between the armor and body. The gauntlets were also exquisitely created and provided fair amount of protection without disabling movement or agility. It went same for the greaves and footwears, infact the greaves were so light that it was possible to dodge and to spring back up. Normal Knight armors were to heavy to facilitate such movements.
There were also some special things about this armor.
Firstly, it was the hand-guards and pauldrons. The pauldrons were made asymmetrically, such that the left shoulder had a huge Wolf face and much more protection, to facilitate better protection of the left hand. The reason was that, Felix was right-handed and even though, both hands are required to weild a Greatsword, the dexterity of the right-hand is much more pronounced than the left. So, the left hand had a little bit extra weight and armor than the right hand had, but it was less dexterous.
The next specialty was the pointy fingers. The gauntlets had pointy fingers, sharp enough to penetrate and rip through flesh, without damaging or reducing the defense of the hands. This was clearly sinister and was a clear example of how much hatred Master Torgeir had while creating it.
There was also a black cape attached, fixed permanently to the pauldrons and was extremely long and torn at the end. The upper part of the cape was pitch-black but the lower part had spots of blood in it. When Felix asked what that blood was for or whether it was real blood or not. Master Torgeir never told Felix what it was, but Sir Loann later replied that it was a curse in their Norse culture.
Felix had nothing much to reply to that. It was apparent that Master Torgeir hate has seeped not only into his heart, but also his works.
Aslak's armor was much less complicated. It was created using Silver Veil, a special type of cloth, which had excellent defenses, extremely light weight and flexible. Along with that, it also has scales interwoven with a riveted chainmail, to cover all of it's weakness. It also had sharp fingers and the gauntlets were also made with a special fabric with extreme friction and can help him to climb walls. As for helmet, Aslak requested Master Torgeir to make a pointy Robin-hood like cap, without any mask or face guard and had it painted all white and silvery, as if trying to catch the attention of his enemies. His armor also had a cape attached which was torn and bloodied at the end, cursing Aslak too, but unlike Felix, Aslak wasn't all that affected. He took it with a glass of water and peed it away. No harm done.
Felix sighed and caressed his breastplate, remembering the happy moments he spent with Master Torgeir, but as he did so, the painful and wretched faces of the townspeople and Master Torgeir floated in his mind. He turned firm and started practicing his Black Wolf techniques.
Training had sped time by almost 100x times and before he knew it, night had fallen. The kid's classroom had long finished, but they still didn't go, because they didn't want to disturb their elder brothers while they were practicing. So, they instead went to play with Erika, who had again woken up.
They had again skipped lunch while training, but they weren't all that hungry, after all, both of them were Seeker level 9 and leve6 1, respectively. When one reaches the stage of Seeker, he or she doesn't need to eat always, but it's still recommended to eat in order to keep the body in perfect condition.
After taking a bath, they found that it was already dinner time. They went to the dining hall, when a messenger came to Felix and informed him of a certain situation.
In the Throne Hall of the Cainhorn Castle, the court was on ongoing, but there was something different about it. On the side of advisors, there were Sir Peder, the garrison Commander, Illec, Keep librarian, Kadec, Treasurer, Chester, the head butler, Levi, the accountant and with addition to them, there was another blonde fellow, almost twenty with a bright smile on his face, a fat stomach and chubby cheeks. He was Munroe, an Apprentice ranked warrior and also Colonel Reggie's most-trusted confidant.
On the other side, there was Sir Doncan, Yvette, Lady Yasmin and surprisingly, Lady Faye, whose hair had turned all grey and skin all wrinkled up. Even her eyes dimmed and it seemed she was half-asleep and half-awake and she looked at everyone with a uninterested gaze.
Kadec, the treasurer, was a man in his mid-thirties and had a crooked nose, long ears and slanting eyes. He stood infront of Lady Faye and said in a raised voice, "Milady, it's a time of urgency. The Five-Year Meet is coming in a few months and we need to pay a total of 100, 000 Gold as tax to the Emperor. You need to make a decision or else the Dean family's fief will be withdrawn and we would be reduced to beggars!!"
"Hmm..." replied Lady Faye, still uninterested.
"Milady, please. the situation is dire. The treasury doesn't have a single Gold, please take some action!"
"You're the treasurer. You're the advisor. Advice me." replied she.
"That... well, I've an idea, Milady. Would you like to listen?"
"Why don't we ... why don't we ask Lord Hendrickson for help?"
"Blasphemous!!" shouted Sir Peder, interrupted the court. He glared at Kadec and said, "After all that has been done, how can you still say such words!! Do you know what will become of us if we beg Lord Hendrickson for help? What will be its consequences?"
"Oh! Shut up, you mutt!!" replied Kadec. "What do you know about consequences? Let me tell you what consequences will be-"
"WHAT CONSEQUENCES?" barked a voice, shocking everyone in the hall. They turned to see Felix standing there, wearing his black Knight armor and holding a Greatsword. He looked sternly at Kadec and repeated, "What 'consequences' are you talking about?"
"S-Sir... that..." stuttered Kadec. The aura that Felix was releasing was too much for a simple Mortal like him to endure.
"Its nothing, son." Replied Lady Faye, smiling at him faintly. "The Five-Year Imperial Meet is dawning and we are here trying to brainstorm some viable ways to pay the taxes. Being a small noble is really hard, isn't it?"
"Oh!" replied Felix, only glancing once at her. He, instead turned to Kadec and said, "So, what new 'method' did you come up with, Sir Kadec?"
"Um... that... Sir Munroe will explain them to you!" he said hastily and backed down.
Felix's eyes went to Munroe, who was smiling leisurely at him. His smile turned brighter and brighter and he said, stepping forward, "Listen, oh! Listen, my dear folk of Dean household. My Lord has personally sent me to inform you that, he can pay as well as integrate the Dean family into the Hendrickson household, in return for a single item-"