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“Duke Rotleach is on the move again, Sire.” A scout reported to Duke Burn. Immediately after he said that, he had the Duke’s undivided attention. This was something that Duke Burn had been paying the closest attention to, especially after he heard that Duke Ryder had decided to move north. That the man had given up on attacking the distraction that he had hired boded poorly for Duke Burn. He knew that there was no realistic way that he could go to battle against Duke Ryder and win in the current state of things.
“That s*** has finally gotten off of his arse then. How far behind Duke Ryder is he?” Burn had given up on the idea that he could get somebody else to fight Duke Ryder for him now. After the several days that Duke Rotleach had wasted by staying still, there was no way that he would be able to make it to Duke Burn before Duke Ryder. Burn just hoped that he would be close enough that they could attack him from both sides at once.
“Well…” The scout replied awkwardly. He knew that his liege was not going to like what he had to say. Sweat was already dripping down his back just thinking of what the Duke would do to him for reporting what had happened.
“Spit it out man!” Duke Burn could tell that something had not gone as planned, more so than usual. If it were just about Duke Tetland, then he would have to congratulate the King for getting an ally of his own. He did not think that he would lose to them though. If anything, they would at most be on equal footing again.
“He is not coming to help us.” When he said it, the scout expected the Duke to lash out at him there and then. But Duke Burn just stared at him as if he did not understand what he had said.
“Err… It looks like his army is moving towards the King’s…” He continued on seeing that Duke Burn had not responded. The lack of any reaction from Duke Burn only scared him more. He had been around long enough to know that Duke Burn had a fiery temper when things did not go the way that he planned. Never had he seen the man fail to react to bad news.
“It looks like? You are my scouts! What the hell do you think I employ you to do?! It has been almost a whole week! How have you not FOUND OUT?!” After looking incredulously at his subordinate, Duke Burn finally found the words to say. And it was exactly the kind of reaction that the scout had been expecting as an immediate reaction. He had not expected his men to bring Duke Rotleach to him to explain why he had stopped personally, but the least they could do is find something more concrete. He was reputed to have the best spies in the entire Kingdom and they could not even do such a simple task.
“Th-their entire camp was on lockdown…” He may have expected such a reaction but it still terrified him when it came. The scout could almost see Duke Burn personally flaying him just from the look in his eyes.
“OH IS IT? And what, pray tell, are they doing right now? Locking down so hard that they are meeting up with ALED?!” Duke Burn would have thrown something at the man if he had anything heavy to hand.
“…” The scout lowered his head, cowed into submission by the raging Duke Burn.
“Somebody have this man’s eyes pulled out! He has no use for them anyway.” Duke Burn shouted to the guards outside of the room, who were equally frightened. They had been able to hear everything that Duke Burn had said even through a closed door.
“We’ve been marching all day, any signs from Duke Ryder?” Braydon asked Rhydian. The army had stopped for the night to rest. Even if they were trying to be fast, it was hard to maintain formation when marching at night. They had stopped later than usual but they had to stop at some point.
“Not yet. It is almost certain that he has noticed what we are doing though.” Rhydian replied. He did not look worried about Duke Ryder changing his mind anymore. If the man was going to turn around to face them, they would have already received the news. It was not like they were particularly far from his army, the scouts would have noticed such a large movement.
“So he is letting us do what we please? How nice of him.” Braydon commented with extra sarcasm. Over the past months he had learned to not like Duke Ryder very much. Not because he had done anything particularly bad to Braydon personally, but because it was him who led a significant number of the Fiverian nobility making camp in his lands. And Since they were his lands, Braydon had to deal with their shenanigans.
“We still have to play games with Duke Tetland and those knights yet. It is not the time for celebrations yet.” Rhydian shot back. Seeing how Duke Tetland and the pair of knights appeared to be playing along with the King’s games, Rhydian was in a much more relaxed state that he had been just a day prior. But the more things seemed to go well, Rhydian knew that he had to be vigilant. Just because they were going well at one moment, did not guarantee that they would be going well the next.
“We? Those are matters for you and the King. I am more than happy to watch you two deal with them.” Braydon was going to try his damnedest to not get involved in whatever mess that situation would be. On the contrary, he was much more interested in watching it play out. Especially on watching when the two knights noticed that they were being plotted against.
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