by Mr. Juanito
A revelation and a favor.
|The midday sun revealed the vast wheat field along the dirt path. The man in the carriage savored at the magnificent sight while uncomfortably having a rough ride as the carriage traversed the dirt path leading to a remote village. The carriage stopped by a hut at the edge of the wheat field. The roof of the hut is thatched and the walls of the hut were made from large lumber posts and wood as framing plastered with wattle and daub. The small windows were made with wooden shutters that are closed at night or during bad weather. The man stepped out of the carriage and took gazes from the villagers. The smell of fresh breeze was mixed with the stench wafted from the animals roaming about the hut. The man knocked at the door.
“Lord Klaus, I did not expect a visit.” The startled woman greeted him, interrupted from her housework. She wore a long dress with a bonnet made from linen and wore a pair of wedge boots.
Inside the hut, the floor was made from straw with a fire pit in the middle. On the left side, a large bed made of straw covered with linen. A small chest was found near the bed and tools hung on a rack. On the right side, was a wooden table with two stools and on the furthest part was the livestock quarters with a stockpile of hay and a big tub of water.
“Marya, drop the formalities. Since, we are close friends.” Klaus said.
Marya shushed him and whispered, “Be careful how you talk. The villagers might get suspicious.”
Klaus became alert of his surroundings and whispered, “Are you hiding your identities?”
“No.” She answered. “This village favored the previous king. We were brought here after we were attacked. They are very wary of the nobles from the Capital.”
Klaus realized what he has done and decided to hurry back but he was stopped by Marya.
“You do not need to hurry back. We can vouch for you. Veron must see you now.” Marya said. She immediately ran outside and a few moments later, came back with her husband who is sweaty and tired from the work from the field. The man wears a tunic and leggings made from linen with a belt on his waist and a pair of moccasins.
“Why are you here?” Veron asked.
“I came for a visit. I did not expect I would be in a delicate situation.” Klaus replied.
Veron breathe a sigh of exasperation. “Have you heard of a growing rebel army?”
Klaus was surprised of the new information. “No, I did not know the opposition to the current regime is that strong.”
Veron replied. “Well, it was formed from the remnants of my rebellion years ago.”
Marya served some bread and cheese. “Unfortunately, they are funded by the Smarana Kingdom of the east along with several interested nobles from other kingdoms.”
Klaus was overwhelmed by all the revelations. “Good thing Aeron’s threat was destroyed. Militaria would be taken apart like a piece of meat thrown on a dozen ravenous dogs.” He saw the guilt in Veron’s face and tried to comfort him. “It is not your fault. Your rebellion was crushed years ago. It is all in the past now.”
Veron clenched his fist but he relaxed his hand and smiled. “You never change. That kindness of yours can really make even the smartest people do dumb things.” He sliced a bread put cheese on it and offered it to Klaus. “I only incited that rebellion after I heard that Lyhrra was assassinated.”
Klaus was surprised. “Assassinated?”
“Oh, I thought you already knew?” Marya interrupted.
“After the king’s death, well, it was very chaotic.” Veron sat comfortably.
Klaus took the food and ate it. “Yes. During that time, the allies of the new regime threatened the nobles close to the king. Lyhrra looked so stressed during those times and made me worry. She only smiles whenever she was with me and Sharlisia but I can see she is so tired. I ordered the cook to make her favorite foods almost every day during that time. I know my father took her in to be my wife because of her cunning. Even though she is a commoner but still… what?” He saw Veron and Marya smiling.
Veron explained. “Anyway, she had trump cards to repel them. She was one of the strongest threats to them but she cannot protect both you and Sharlisia. When the threat was to assassinate you and Sharlisia, she gave up. She was served with tea during a visit. She knew it was poisoned but still she drank it. She knew you are not much of a threat and will be left alone for long while.”
Marya added. “She took a genuine liking to you because unlike your father and the other nobles and all people in the upper-class, your kindness and smile is very genuine with no hidden agenda. That is at least what she said. We are very sorry for your loss.”
Klaus was shocked by the revelation. Tears fell off his face. “At least, Sharlisia managed to inherit her brains.” He looked at them and spoke. “Veron, Marya. I have a favor to ask you.”
The two got curious. “Yes?”
“We will need the rebel army but cut off their funding. We do not need to owe ourselves to those so-called benefactors.” Klaus wiped off his tears.
Veron was confused. “You do know where to get funding, right?”
“House Everand and House Sinclair are now a vassal of House Vermillion. House Vermillion is reviving the economy of the Thirteenth District. Yes, we are getting rich and can fund the rebel army.” Klaus explained.
The two were amazed.
“You have our word, my friend.” Veron replied.