Steel and Sorrow: Rise of the Mercenary king-Chapter 73: Preparations (1)

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Chapter 73: Preparations (1)

It was a small and cozy room illuminated only by a small window on a wall, and few half-consumned candles atop the wooden desk. 'My new work-room' Alpheo mused as he made himself comfortable on the chair. He leaned back as he put his boots on top of the desk, he was currently waiting for somebody to arrive, there was much work to do and little time to waste.

As he waited for Captain Fahil , Alpheo found himself trying to kill time so he in the meantime decided to take better care of himself.Taking out the dagger , he started cleansing his nails, perching off the piece of dirts inside.It was not very effective, but at least he gave him something to do as he waited.

As time went on and on , Alpheo went looking around the room , there were few parchments inside the desk with some writings.

'I will have to pay someone to tutor me and the rest, we need to learn how to read and write as soon as possible' he put his hand on his forehead as the fact that he could not read bothered him deeply . His throat became dry, he rose as he walked towards one of the furnitures in the room.There were some cups and bottles of what seemed like wine.He took the bottle opened it and smelled it.

'Yep wine' he thought as he went to tilt the liquid inside the cup, before sipping from it . 'Maybe I will make that boy be my cup bearer, I have to find something for him to do'. It must have been less than a week since he took the boy in , yet he quickly grew on him.He was clumsy and funny to look at and most improtantly he was eager to learn, somethign that he very much appreciated.

If there was something he noticed , was that the company lacked actual commanders and administrators. And Alpheo had half a thought to teach the boy how to do moltiplications and simple algebra, and make him account for the expense of the band alongside the miscelleanous works. The people he had given the jobs to, proved to be clumsy at best, horrible at worst, so he had to find a solution to it.Which was easier said than done, as mathematics and writings were usually only teached , for the low-class, either by rich artisans or merchants, and most preferred not to have their sons lowered to work in mercenary bands as accountants.

The door creaked open, breaking the silence of Alpheo's temporary workspace. His eyes narrowed slightly as he observed the man who entered, clearly displeased by the interruption. "Is it not customary to knock before entering?" he questioned, his tone firm.

"Not when entering one's own room," Fahil retorted, his voice carrying a deep, rumbling growl.

Alpheo's gaze remained steady, unfazed by Fahil's imposing presence. "This room shall temporarily be mine, so please, next time knock before entering," he replied calmly, though his words carried a hint of steel.

Fahil's expression darkened, but he refrained from further confrontation. "No need for meaningless hostility, Captain Fahil," Alpheo continued, attempting to diffuse the tension. "In less than two weeks, I will be away from here. You shall take back your post and your job , and we will depart, hopefully, on good terms. So please, let's spend these two weeks efficiently, no need to bark at each other like dogs in heat . Have you done what I asked?"

"Yes, there is enough food for the town to last the whole winter. As for the armaments, we have enough to equip another hundred people, with only twenty having chainmail though.As you can see this is but a a small city " Fahil reported gruffly.

Alpheo nodded thoughtfully, though inwardly, he wished they had more armaments , then his eyes moved to his cup . "Oh, how discourteous of me. Would you like to share a cup with me?" he offered, extending a gesture of hospitality.Offering a drink that was not his

Fahil's response was a tired sigh. "Let's just pass this time working. No need for false kindness. You do your job, I'll do mine," he replied, his tone curt.

"Fair enough," Alpheo conceded, taking a sip from his cup. "I have a job for you then," he continued, rising from his seat and crossing the room to gaze out the window.

"What is it?" Fahil inquired, following Alpheo's movements with a watchful eye.

"Right now, the garrison is pretty empty. I want you to recruit as many as possible and train them as best as you can. Think you can handle it?" Alpheo asked, turning to face Fahil once more.

"Of course I can, I have been doing this job my whole life " Fahil replied, his confidence evident despite his gruff demeanor.

'And doing a shitty one ' he mused as he cleared his throat "Very well then. Please make sure they are as prepared as they can be," Alpheo instructed.

"And what will you do?" he asked, his tone laced with skepticism.

Alpheo chuckled, shaking his head. "No, I will ensure that this small town is able to repel whatever is thrown at it and hold steady until your prince comes to help. There is much to be done. If you have no more questions, I would like to be left alone to start my work," he replied, dismissing Fahil with a wave of his hand.

Fahil grunted in response, turning on his heel and exiting the room without another word.As soon as he left the other, that were waiting outside as per order of Alpheo, entered the room.

"Pretty small," Egil remarked quietly, his eyes lingering on the cup in Alpheo's hand.

Alpheo shrugged nonchalantly. "I'm not a big man. This will do," he replied absentmindedly as he settled back into his chair. "I have a job for each of you."

"Well, it's time we get to work. I don't want this to be my grave," Laedio remarked, scratching the back of his neck with a hint of nervous energy.

"Truer words were never spoken," Alpheo mused, his gaze shifting to meet Egil's. "Alright, first job is yours. I want you to take every rider we have. Your job will be to travel through the countryside and gather as many people as you can within these walls. Tell them that enemies will be coming and to seek refuge here. We will be in need of as many arms as we can muster. The state of this city is abysmal,there are many works to be done and most of the refugees will be made to be either workers or guards" he explained, taking a sip of wine before continuing. "If you don't have any questions, please proceed with your mission."

''Will the food be enough?'' Egil asked at the thought of bringing thousands inside the walls

Alpheo gave a chuckle ''The last thing we need to worry about is the food.If we die it will be for the steel of the enemy not for a lack of bread, supplies may dwindle but this will be a problem that the prince will face after the war.''

"Alright you do you Alph, at least I get to ride. I don't like sitting around too much, this beautiful butt here was made for the saddle" Egil replied with a grin as he slapped his ass before exiting the room to carry out his assignment.

''He could have omitted the last part'' He sighed as he sipped his wine before turning to the other as there were many jobs they needed to do, if they wanted to give the city an actual shot at standing against a siege.

This chapt𝙚r is updated by fr(e)ew𝒆bnov(e)