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Patrols were dull. Very dull. Braydon had found that out when he ended up joining one of the patrol groups in Kirton. Of course that was because Kirton was much more peaceful than the border with Shuluk. The only reason why there were so many patrols here was because it was a newly acquired territory. Any other comparable territory already had minimal patrols, unless they had a particular problem with banditry. But in Kirton, there were no bandit groups. It had not been a particularly prosperous set of baronies, there was simply no appeal in plundering it. Not to mention any man capable of fighting, with the exception of the heads of households, had basically either been drawn into a baron’s army or died to the skirmishes of said barons.
Braydon found that riding a horse on patrol was nowhere near as enjoyable as it was when he was travelling somewhere with a set goal. He also found it stifling that he could not just decide to change where he was going, there were set patrol routes. A patrol combined the worst of both, aimless yet not able to go off course.
It would be fine for him if there had actually been some trouble to quell, but it was completely peaceful. He knew he should be glad that it was, it would have meant more work for him. But after a couple hours of this, he just wanted something, anything, to happen. But nothing did. And there were still several hours to go before the patrol was handed over to the next group of men.
It was not until Braydon saw the castle walls again that evening that he perked up again. This had not been his idea of ‘joining a patrol’. He imagined that, had Rhydian not blocked him from patrolling on the other side of the mountains, he would have had a much more entertaining time. But, alas the grass was greener on the other side.
When he entered the castle, there was a carriage inside the bailey. ‘Didn’t Steven say that Baron whatshisface was the last person who wanted to see me?’ This did not look like the carriage of a rich commoner, there were far too many golden finishes for that. As he got closer, he understood why Steven had not mentioned anything. It had an earl’s emblem on it.
Technically, higher ranking nobles did not have to inform lower ranking nobles if they intended to visit, but it was still done. Not doing so would be trying to labour the point that the other person is lower than you. It was distasteful to say the least. Blatant mockery at worst.
“And which earl’s emblem is this?” Braydon muttered to himself as he looked closer. The lack of respect shown by the other party had already ticked him off. It did not take long to recognise this emblem. It belonged to what could quite easily be called the most powerful earl in Fiveria. ‘So it’s Earl Blake’s. It was at this moment that a guard rushed up to him, clearly looking relieved that he was now here.
“How come Earl Blake’s carriage is sat in my castle? Should he not be in his own lands?” Braydon asked, it would be massive news if Earl Blake himself appeared here without anyone noticing. He was the leader of one of the factions vying for power, there should be eyes on him at all times.
“It is not the Earl himself, Sire. It is his son.” When the guard said this Braydon’s jaw stiffened. ‘And how did that drunkard manage to even find my castle? I thought he only knew where the brothel and the bar in his father’s city are.’
“And where is he now? I presume he is not still sitting in his carriage.” Braydon did not want to let that man out of sight in his castle. He would not be surprised if the man had already tried it on with several of his maids. Wait. ‘Is he here for Nela?’
“Sir Rhydian had yet to leave for his duties when Jett Blake arrived. He managed to get him to wait in the great hall. But he spotted Lady Nela when she came to see the commotion. Now Lady Nela and Sir Rhydian are keeping him occupied in the great hall, waiting for your return.” It was not the worst outcome. Had Rhydian left already, Braydon would not have liked to see the outcome. He could already imagine Jett Blake trying to forcefully bring Nela away with him, that or Gerald attacking the man for trying. Neither were situations that he wanted to see happen.
“I am going there now. If Roan is in the Castle, tell him to come as well. The only way to get through to an idiot like Jett is to intimidate him.” Braydon would have preferred to hit him rather than try to scare him.
He had once had the misfortune of meeting Jett when he was in the capital a couple of years ago. If anything, his reputation was better than he actually was. His father had done a good job cleaning up after many of his activities, so he was only seen as a drunkard who frequents brothels. It made Braydon’s skin crawl remembering when he saw Jett drunk. He had been bragging about some of the things he had done in a brothel, there was no way that half of it was normal. It went far beyond being a mere philanderer, Braydon was sure of that.
“Sir Harvey is still out in the viscounty directing patrols. Captain Pitts is already in the room as a precaution.” The guard responded, Captain Pitts was the replacement that Rhydian had selected for himself as leader of the castle garrison.
“Alright, you may go back to your position.” Braydon dismissed the guard as he made his way to the great hall as fast as he could. From the looks of pity that the servants were giving him, they knew who had come to visit. ‘His reputation truly precedes him. No wonder I haven’t seen any of the maids, I’d hide too if I were them.’
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