Chapter 65: Preparations (2)

The sound of clanging tools, screams of men, and servants rushing about filled the afternoon air. It was a relatively warm day for spring, almost reaching summer temperatures. The weather had been in a bit of a flux for the past month and the days were increasingly growing unpredictable, although it wasn’t as if there were no trend. It was becoming increasingly warmer, there was just a variable in regards to how warm each day might be. Overall, the central parts of the continent had relatively warm temperatures during the summer months and somewhat cold weather during the winter months. It was a balance between the cold north and the hot south, but leaning slightly more towards the southern climate.

Either way, it was too hot for Aleks’s taste and acting as the young master that he wanted everyone to believe he was, he had servants fanning him while he lounged on a chair which looked more like a throne. He was in a large and fully furnished tent which had been prepared for him out in the fields outside of the city of Kordusk. It wasn’t necessary for the tent to be so luxuriously furnished, but he had a bad habit of always going too deep into the role he was intending to fulfill. This was the same drive that had led him to live within a sewer and to smell like sewage while he was in Andor’s Edge. He had gone from one extreme to the other with relative ease and no one would ever expect that the two roles he played were actually one man. Even Lenia couldn’t believe that this was the same Aleks as before.

Nelay was standing right beside Aleks’s throne like chair and while she wasn’t fanning him, she was ready to assist in any way that Aleks required and would occasionally serve him wine or fruits. Other than the servants, Brock was also present giving a report of his activities over the past couple of days. Lenia was busily training the newly recruited slaves while Grobak was organizing his all Orc unit. Of course, this mostly meant he was busily bashing their heads in and showing them who’s boss. Aleks found it quite sad that this was what the Orcs had devolved into from their once proud empire.

“In the past couple of days we have purchased two hundred elite peak intermediate class battle slaves and each of them was branded with a slave rune. They are completely loyal and will be easy to manage. They will also be instrumental in policing and managing the other slaves. There are also five hundred high intermediate class battle slaves and one thousand low to mid intermediate class battle slaves. They have all been given promises of freedom for meritorious service and promised pay according to their ability. This should aid in assuaging any from the idea of rebellion. I was able to procure one hundred and fifty Arendor horses and thirty Telgarion horses. The Arendor horses are from the deserts of the south and are quick and agile, excellent for light cavalry. Telgarion horses have a much burlier lower body that looks similar in color and appearance to that of a white tiger, except with longer and thicker legs. They also have a single horn on their heads. These horses are excellent for heavy cavalry. They can easily mount a fully clad knight in adamantium plate and their horns are strong enough to pierce through armor. We will of course have to train some of the slaves in order to utilize these horses effectively. I will select some of the best out of the slaves and train them as cavalry, but this will take time. The slaves are currently being trained and organized into units with elite peak intermediate class battle slaves being chosen as officers responsible for squads in each unit. Only the peak battle slaves are being chosen to lead and this should also help in retaining control over the army. Of course, at the end of the day, absolute strength is the only guarantee. With my strength as a master class and Lenia’s as a peak advanced class, it shouldn’t be difficult to keep the rest orderly and loyal. This is assuming we aren’t met with any misfortune.”

Although it appeared that Aleks wasn’t paying attention as he watched a slave dance on one side of a tent from his large seat, he was in fact carefully going over every piece of information in his head while Brock eloquently gave his report. Initially, they had purchased slaves in order to construct the camp and also to act as servants fulfilling a variety of roles which would be expected of any expedition led by a nobleman.

It seems the wealth I procured from those hapless Dons is going a long way. It’s a shame I can’t thank them for their contributions to my cause. So two hundred slaves at level 60, five hundred between level 50 and 59 and the other thousand range from level 31 to level 49. Even among private noble armies it would be a force to be reckoned with. The only difference is the level of training, discipline, and organization, but this is something which only requires effort and time.

“I should also report that we have purchased one hundred and fifty mortal slaves to act as servants, laborers, and to be given any other miscellaneous work required.” Brock continued while raising an eyebrow towards the beautiful slave women who were dancing and fanning Aleks.

“Very good Brock. However, I will also need you to acquire one hundred whores for the soldier’s entertainment. This will also help in keeping them in line.” Aleks replied nonchalantly while lounging and sipping wine.

Brock only nodded his head in response and was ready to leave when a commotion from outside caused him to become concerned.

“What could be going on?”

Just as he was about to exit the tent, a servant came running into the tent.

“Master! Someone is rampaging through the camp!” The servant shouted in fear.

Brock grabbed the servant and asked him what exactly was going on and he was about to rush out when Aleks calmly called out to him.

“Brock, relax. No need to meet our guests, I am sure they will soon come to meet with us. Don’t let them have the initiative.”

“Do you know who they might be?” Asked Brock.

“I have an idea of who they might be. I was wondering how long it would take them to approach us, looks like it didn’t take very long at all.” Aleks chuckled while relaxing on his throne.

Brock gave Aleks an inquisitive look and raised an eyebrow but said no more. He waited patiently as the noise and chaos of the outside drew closer. It wasn’t long before two very large and burly men came clambering through the entrance of the tent followed by another tall man in stately robes. The two burly men looked very similar and appeared to be twins. They both wore thick fur vests with leather underneath. Their huge and muscular arms were clearly exposed and heavily tattooed. Both had long and vibrant braided beards which had pieces of jewelry entwined within. Their mannerisms were extremely aggressive and they immediately began intimidating all within the tent. The man in stately robes who followed behind them walked calmly with a smug smile on his face as if he were impressed by his own entrance.

Aleks quickly analyzed the three with his ability ‘Soul Analysis’ and could see that all three were master class beings. Just from appearances and the style of their clothing, he could also deduct that they were clearly northerners. His ability even allowed him to determine that the two men who appeared to be twin brothers were in fact not Human, but Werewolves in Human form.

Before Aleks could give any words of greeting, the tall and robust man in robes laughed in an over exaggerated manner. He was clearly overly impressed with himself.

“So this is where you’ve been hiding. I went looking for you at your hotel but you had already left. It’s a good thing you didn’t run too far.”

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“And what do I owe the pleasure, for such a distinguished personage as yourself to pay me a visit?” Aleks asked while eating fruit from Nelay’s hands.

There was no nervousness or concern at all written on his face. It was as if the noise and chaos caused by their arrival was no concern of his. This behavior was not missed by the robed man who was paying attention to every action and expression of Aleks. He thought arriving in such a chaotic way might intimidate Aleks, but it seemed to have little to no effect. At least it was so on the surface, but he wondered whether or not Aleks was truly unfazed. What gave him the confidence?

“Hmm, by your expression it seems you were expecting me?”

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