Chapter Eight: Snakes in Green Grass

Levi smiled faintly upon sighting Lancelot’s form shrouded in the tree’s shade. An amused glint flashing in his eyes for a moment.

“Not really,” he replied. “My back hurts, and for a moment there, I was scared he still wouldn’t cave in. Thank goodness he did. I really didn’t know what I was going to do with him otherwise.”

Lancelot raised a doubtful brow and remained silent.

“You really didn’t think I was going to bury him alive did you?” Levi asked, his expression morphing into disbelief and mild outrage.

Seeing his reaction, Lancelot’s stance softened slightly.

“Are you sure?” he asked, his suspicion waning. “You appeared as if you were really serious about doing it.”

“Of course not,” Levi scoffed, “I was just trying to be as convincing as possible that’s all. I guess it worked, given that even you fell for it.”

The viscount silently contemplated before sighing.

“Nobles are very valuable individuals, my liege. Sometimes, so much so that they are worth their weight in gold. But this value is easily diminished with a few major scars or the loss of an appendage. It would be best to handle him with due caution.”

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Levi waved him off with a dismissive gesture. “This is all just superficial. With proper care, he would be mostly back to normal in a week. Sans a bit fearful and submissive. But, I guess that should be a plus, right?

“On that note, instruct some of the guards to help our friend out of his restraints. Also, arrange a room and a warm bath and a meal for him. He has promised to be a good boy, and do anything that is required of him.”

“He agreed to everything?” Lancelot asked, displaying mild surprise.

“Yes.” Levi nodded, walking away with the viscount in tow.

“Well, that was unexpected. Especially, given what you are asking of him.”

“There is always a limit to how much one person can bear,” Levi shrugged. “He just reached his, that’s all.”

“So why are you here?” Levi asked nonplussed.

Lancelot sighed exasperatedly. “The detained merchants have begun acting up again, they are still persistent in demanding their release.”

Levi cringed, his footsteps slowing down.

“Didn’t I tell you to inform them that I would grant them tax exemptions in this region when the lockdown has been lifted? A little patience wouldn’t kill them would it.”

“No, but apparently it is damaging their businesses,” Lancelot replied. “You must pacify them, my Lord, or they might begin to avoid trading in Greenfields or Redwater later on. That is a possibility I assume you would want to avoid. Especially, given the rising trend of your daily expenses.”

“Do I have to go? Can’t you just handle it?” Levi asked hopefully, still feeling sore in his upper body.

“No, my Lord,” Lancelot replied stoically. “You have to go in person.”

{COS}

The Strega Valleys,

Far North Of Greenfields, Souville province

Near the Quilton-Algrim Border.

. . .

A campsite, two days away from Ceria province, Quilton.

A tall brown-haired man in leather armour stood outside a tent.

He stood seemingly unaware of the low clapping sounds and deep grunts echoing from within it. Faint fatigued moans intermittently rang out for several minutes, before ending in with a euphoric grunt.

A few moments later, a rather good looking servant girl with dishevelled brown hair and rumpled clothing shakily walked out of the tent. Her face held a deep blush and was beaded with respiration while her body carried a faint musky scent, tale-tale signs of what just transpired inside.

When she saw a person standing outside, the blush on her tanned face deepened. Though it was unnoticeable under the dim light of the campfire. She bowed her head and mumbled a greeting to the man standing outside before she hurriedly scuttled away from sight.

The man completely ignored her presence from start to finish.

After contemplating for a moment, the young man called to the occupant of the tent in a low voice.

“Lord Sean, may I come in?”

“Oh… sir Drake, is that you? Come in,” a fatigued masculine voice replied from within.

The one referred to as Drake lifted the tent cover and crouched to walk into the tent. Upon entering his nose was assaulted by the thick musky scent still lingering in the air.

The repulsive scent caused the young knight’s expression to scrunched up for a moment before he could ease it back into a neutral expression.

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“Pardon my unsightliness,” Sean said, noticing his expression.

“I am intruding, My lord. There is no need to apologise,” Drake said to the handsome bare-chested blond with goatee laying across from him. “I have completed the task which you entrusted to me earlier,”

“Hmm, So how was it?” the youth’s interest was suddenly piqued at the report.

“Your suspicions were correct, my liege. Sir Blumun and Sir Ralph seem to be conspiring with others against you. I believe an attempt would be made upon your life tonight.” Drake said, sitting crossed-legged on the floor across from Sean.

Sean smiled, seemingly unperturbed.

“I am the only one left, who currently can challenge their authority over the rest of the men,” he reasoned. “Given the fact that I led the insurrection and that even some of their men would be more inclined to support me, further weakening their position. It makes sense they would conspire together to go against me.

“How about the preparations I asked you to make?” He asked Drake.

“It has been settled, my lord.”

“Good. Now, we wait.”

Several minutes later, Drake walked out of the tent.

For a moment, he paused at the entrance with clenched fists as he glanced back at the closed tent flap.

Under that dim moonlit night, a hateful light flashed in the depths of his amber eyes.


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