Delivery, Trades, And New Companion

I woke up at the early morning, realized that I'm no longer at home. I felt a bit homesick, but returning back would mean that I giving up my head to the guillotine. So, I would decide to keep on adventuring like this. I got my own men, a few new denars to keep alive, also some experience to deal with kind of "mercenary" job. I walk down to the tavern, I found there's the merchant from before sitting alone while having a mug of ale, I see his face is frown, seems he had another trouble.

"What's with the long face…?" I greeted him and sit right next to him, he sighed for a moment. "Ah… My friend. Things didn't go quite so well as I had hoped. Sanjar Khan couldn't quite find it in him to overlook my little breach of peace…"

"So, how about that watch captain?" I asked, but he just smiled.

"Oh, he's grateful enough that I got rid of his crooked captain – a guard who will let in bandits will let in an enemy army, if the price is right – but he can't exactly have me running around here as a lasting reminder of his failure to take care of things himself…" he drank the whole mug, and he wipe his mouth.

"That hardly seems fair…" I poke his shoulder, but he just laughed heartily. "Fair? This is Calradia, my boy! Kings do what they will, and the rest of us do as they must. He didn't string me up, and instead giving me time to sell my properties – even put in a fine word with the other merchants that they best pay me a fair price, too. That's gracious enough, as kings go. – But, he's a weak king, as they all are here, and weak king must always look to their authority first and justice second. I suppose I'd do the same, in his shoes…" I agreed to him, but I worry if he speak about me in front of Sanjar Khan as well, remembering that I was wanted back at Unuzdaq Castle.

"Anyway, I won't go rubbing your part in this affair in Sanjar Khan's face – But, he's taken note of you, and decided you're not worth hanging and that's something to which I'll raise my glass at any day of the week. He might even have a work for you, further down the road. Or, you can sell your sword to one of his competitors. Anyway, I hope you learn a bit about what it will take to stay alive in this troubled lands, and I suspect that the money you've earned won't go waste, good luck…" he forced a smile, but I can see a trail of sadness behind that face. He stands up and walks away, leaving the tavern. I suddenly feel so lonely again; it's the same feeling when I saw my father on the guillotine.

I decided to get out as soon as me and my men are set, we walks straight to the castle, I plan to meet Sanjar Khan, the monarch of the Khergit Khanates. And perhaps he had something which need to be done, and in shortage of men to do so. I wished to seek opportunity, not just to earn my name, but also to earn the value of my service. We arrived in front of the castle, the castle guards stopped us, after a brief talk, I was allowed to enter the castle, but without my men. I entered the throne hall, and soon facing with the king of Khergit Khanates, Sanjar Khan himself. I kneel down before him, while he sat on his throne.

"Do I know you?" asks Sanjar Khan, I rise up and introduced myself. "My name is Roswell Levingrad. At your service, sir…" he smiled and looks at me from top to bottom, "You may be a common birth, but know that I always looking for good men to fight for me, if they can prove themselves to be worthy of my trust…" I nodded my head reluctantly, "Do you have any task for me, my lord?" I asked, he seems a bit surprised, but later he smiled and gave me a letter sealed with a Khergit mark. "I need to deliver a letter to Count Haringoth of Kingdom Of Swadia, who must be at Haringoth Castle for couple of days forward. If you are going to towards there, perhaps you could deliver this letter to him? The letter needs to reach him within a week…" I fell in silence for a while, Haringoth Castle is quite far from Tulga, and my men are not mounted, perhaps it'll take a bit more than a week, if there are dangers on the road.

"Certainly, I intend to pass Haringoth Castle and it would be no trouble…" he quickly stands up and greets my hands with joy, from this, I understand that the letter is an urgent matter. "I appreciate it, Roswell Levingrad… Here's the letter, and a small sum to cover your expenses. Give my regards to Count Haringoth when you see him…" he gave me the letter and a small sum of 50 denars, I bid farewell to Sanjar Khan and quickly returned to my men.

"So, what task we've given now, my lord?" asked one of my men, "We will run an errand for our king, Sanjar Khan…" my men started to whispering, perhaps they're talking about the reward money? "But, I must say we just run an errand, the reward money will not be as good as before…" I stated, and they just smiled. "We have no intentions about the money, sir… But, helping a king already? We just started to fight by your side like… yesterday? And now we've the honor to deliver something for our king…" I smiled to them and started to walk, we returned to assemble in the tavern.

By the noon, we set out from Tulga, our first destination will be Dhirim, and it seems it will take around a day ride from Tulga. I bought an extra man in the village of Dashbiga. In the afternoon, we stopped by at Zagush and I hired 5 men to my company. We started to leave Khergit territory and entering the territory of the Kingdom Of Swadia. We ride past Uhhun and Rindyar Castle within 3 hours, and it was dusk when we reached Amere. We decided to rest for a while after a long walk, after rest for at least an hour, we continue our march.

"I guess we will need some Swadian men as well, sir…" said one of my men as we march.

"Oh, perhaps that could be good… But, isn't the Khergits and the Swadia is at war? How could they find comfort in my company if there are Khergit men?" I asked, the man surprised and shake his head. "I don't know, sir… Sorry to trouble you…" he falls back to the line.

We reached Ushkuru right before midnight, and Dhirim is just ahead. We're stopped by the guards as we're approaching Dhirim, they inspected all out belongings, after a brief talk and a little conflict because I brought Khergit men all along with me, and I'm allowed to enter Dhirim. We take a rest in nearby tavern; my men quickly fell asleep on their rooms' upstair, while I'm still in the tavern, drinking alone with the letter in my hands. I wondered what Sanjar Khan wrote to Count Haringoth, perhaps a proposition to make peace? I don't know, but I won't dare to open this seal and read the letter. Later I noticed a woman with blonde hair, I thought it was Matheld but it isn't, she is a beautiful young woman, but what did a woman do in the midnight in this tavern? I decided to find out; I walked to her and sit right beside her.

"Good day to you…" she greeted me with a smile, a very beautiful smile, if I must admit. "Hello. What a clearly well-brought up young lady like you doing in lace like this?" I asked, and her smile vanishes. "A good question… And, I shall tell you…" she drank all the ale in her mug, "My father is a well known merchant decided that I would be married by a man well past the age of 30. I have been an obedient daughter all of my life, but it was a ridiculous and horrid proposition. So I ran away…" we have something in common, that thought bursts inside my mind. "I shall marry whom I want, when I want. Moreover, regardless of what my father would think, I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I was thinking that I would join a band of gypsies or perhaps a troop of mercenary…"

"Why don't I take her along?" I whispered to myself, and thinking for a moment, well, I don't see why not. "Well, as it happens I run a company of mercenaries…" I stated, she turned to me with bright eyes. "Do you?" she asked, I nodded my head. "Well, I'm in no position to be picky! I would be pleased to join you…" I smiled at her, admiring her beauty.

"I think you would find me I would be a most valuable addition to your ranks. I'm well versed in the classics of literature and can declaim several of the epic poems of my people. I play the lute, and am a skilled manager of household servants…" she stated, and to be honest, that kind of skill wasn't really needed in my place. "I am not much use in a fight, but my father taught me everything he knows about the trade. So I can help you get better prices when you're buying and or selling things in the market. I also have some contacts throughout Calradia that I can get a hold of and find out where the best prices are for goods," she said finishing her mug, my eyes brighten, it is true that I need someone who can manage my expenses. I'm nothing but a son of a knight, I know nothing about trade.

"Sounds perfect… Then, I guess you're welcomed to the ranks…" she smiled cheerfully, "I will ready to leave if you are…" she left the tavern and went upstairs. I decided to go up and take a little rest as well; I curled up on my bed, and soon fell asleep.

I wake up in early morning; I went downstairs to the tavern. And well, Ymira is already there, pint on a mug of Ale again. I wonder where this woman put all those alcohol, I don't see her drunk.

"A young woman shouldn't pint too much on these ales… "she turned to me and smiled, "Well, men shouldn't as well, no man could held a sword and fight well after too much ale…" I laughed, "Well, I guess you could say I'm used with Ale and capable to resist the alcohol, perhaps you could say that to my men…" she laughed as well; we cheered and drank our Ale. I found this woman quite fascinating in some fashion, though we just barely met.

"Let us go then, we must go as soon as possible…" I left her as I saw some of my men started to went down to the tavern, after proper preparations, we left for Suno, it will took almost 2 days of travel. We're taking detour from village of Yalibe, I recruited some Swadian men, around 9 men and I hope they would be comfortable in my group. We continue marching westward; I keep pushing on until one of the Swadians walked right beside me.

"Sir, I've got to tell you this…" he seems a very serious, "Well, speak what you had in your mind…" I replied, he looks at the distance behind. "We're being followed…" he whispered, I was surprised to hear that. "How'd you know?" I asked, another Swadian men come to me. "We've been living in these parts long enough to learn things, sir… There's some looters are after us, around group of 50 men, and all were un-mounted…" he stated.

"We best prepare, how far are they? And when they can catch up with us?" I asked, the Swadian mumbling for a while, thinking to himself. "I guess they're quite far beyond us, it'll take them two or three hours to catch up with us…" I looked back at my men, I don't think they're quite prepared for the battle, and the terrain doesn't come in favor to us.

"We must increase our pace…" I said, the Swadian men quickly fall back to the line. Ymira catches up with me, she seems a bit worried. "Is there anything wrong?" she asked, now I have two regulations inside my mind. If I lied to her, perhaps it'll be bad, I learned that it is not good to lie to a woman. If I tell her the honest answer, perhaps she will get panic, and with her in panic, it can slow down our advance and the looters may catch up with us.

"Bandits… We've been followed…" Ymira gasps for a moment; I know that she might be worried. "So, are we… safe?" she asked.

"Probably, at this speed, we can turn right to Tshibtin to avoid them… And left straight to either Burglen or Nomar…" I stated, but one Swadian men hurriedly catches up.

"We better not take for Burglen, sir… It is surrounded by cliffs, and we're very vulnerable to be attacked from atop the cliffs, we might get ransacked before we know it…" he said, the other men agreed.

"Well, I know these terrains less than you are… Then, we'll better take it to Nomar…" I point direction a little bit to southwest.

"Is the road to Nomar safe?" asks Ymira to the Swadian he just laughed.

"No road in Calradia is safe, miss… It is safe if we could defend ourselves, if not, no road is safe…" Ymira doesn't seem to be relieved.

"Safe or not… You just stay out of the fight, Ymira… I'll protect you…" she blushes a bit because of my words, well, that words just slipped out of my mouth. The moment I realized, I'm blushing as well.

We crossed into separated roadway, cliffs to the right takes us to Burglen, a dangerous road, but bring us closer to Haringoth Castle just after we climb from northwestern part from Burglen. And to westwards, road to Nomar, the road is a wide open area not surrounded by trees. Less dangerous, but of course, there's always a chance for an ambush. We keep pressing on westwards; the sun is high above our heads now, soon we will reach Nomar, we can see trail of cattle on the grasslands, the track led us straight to Nomar.

After an hour, one of the Swadian men approached to me

"Sir, they've lost their track on us…" said one of the Swadian which keep on looking for the looters that have been following us.

"Sure, glad we pulled off…" I sighed with relief, and I see that the Swadians and the Khergits are getting along quite well in my company. I don't see any quarrel or fights between them; I think that being a mercenary brought these men together as one.

"Umm… Excuse me… uhh… Sir?" Ymira reluctantly called me, I turned to her.

"What is it? Don't bother to call me with sir… Roswell will be enough; we come in same age…" I stated.

"Perhaps, we could stop by at Suno by any chance? I think, I could figure several profits for us… Of course, with your permission, I would take your denars to buy several commodities which could make us good profits…" she pulls out a small journal, it seems she noted every expense she made, or I made.

"Before you recruited me, I heard that Salt price is going low in Suno, but is rising in Praven…" she smiled, "This can be a good start…"

"Well, I have no knowledge in the trade… I could learn a thing or two from you, so, how much is our profit worth?" I asked, Ymira pulled out an abacus and started to count.

"Based on the information I procured from my sources, a bag of Salt in Suno can be bought for 80 denars, and sold at Praven for 270 denars…" my mouth waters when I heard the prices, "Overall, we got clean profit of 150 denars for one bag of Salt…" I felt gold coins raining atop my head, so this is the lust of money feels like.

"Trade is sure pretty interesting isn't it?" she laughed at me, I just nodded my head.

"But, we will need a wagon to pull those bags of salts, and at the very least, two horses to pull it…" I said, I reminded with the merchant from Tulga have said. "Great profit also comes with great risk…"

"Trust it to me, I give you a wagon and two horses as soon as we reach Suno…" she winked at me, I just can smile and I hope this plan would work out real good.

About 4 hours past since we depart from Tshibtin, we finally reach Nomar, our checkpoint and took a rest before further advance

I was greeted by the village elder who allowed us to take a rest in the village; I'm walking with Ymira around the village, to see if there are any good commodities we could find. Though, we don't have a wagon to put the commodities, but we don't planning to buy much, perhaps some sets of tools or anything. I still store my share of loot from the bandit's lair near Dashbiga, two sets of tools and three furs. Village of Nomar seems to be unremarkable, the fields and orchards are busy, with villagers engaged in the task of the seasons. Humans and animals alike look relatively healthy and well-fed. However, a small number of the outermost fields are left unsewn, and some walls are in ill-repair, suggesting that there are still not enough hands to do all the work which is need to be done.

"I guess we can't find anything here at all…" said Ymira after we walk for a while, I nodded my head. "This village is not quite prosperous compared to Tshibtin, so, we cannot really hope much…" I stated, we returned back to our men which seems to be fully rested and in shape to advance.

"Now, we can go to Ibiran for quick walk to Suno, or we can stop at the city of Uxkhal… How is it?" I asked to all my men, including Ymira.

"I guess we better stopped in Uxkhal, perhaps we could find some wagon and Salt there…" Ymira replied, the Swadians agreed to her. But, I see the Khergits seems to be a bit troubled.

"My fellow brothers, what is bothering your minds?" I asked to one of the Khergit men, he reluctantly looked at me.

"Please excuse me, sir… But, we just felt like stranger to walk in Swadian territory…" I hum to myself for a moment.

"We are all strangers; in fact, we will walk on the lands which we've never been before…" I gazed to the skies, somehow I felt like I never raised to do this, but now I feel that I'm so much free. "Because we are all free man, we are free to do as we will, as long as that won't give injustice to others…"

My men smiled to me and cheered my name, even the Swadians, they seemed to be moved with my short speech. Well, I don't really know what I was talking about. I just let it out from the bottom of my heart, I glanced at Ymira, and she smiled and giggled at me. I thought the life of an adventurer might be like, grey skies before rain, but I was wrong.

"Fine! Now, we march to Uxkhal! Full speed ahead!" I yelled, the men cheered with excitement and we increase our pace to Uxkhal, sooner the better.

After two hours past, we finally reached the gates of Uxkhal

I let my men get their rest in the tavern, while I and Ymira walk along in the market. The town of Uxkhal seems unremarkable. I hear the occasional grumble in the marketplace about the price of everyday items, but there appear to be a reasonable amount of goods for sale. I see the occasional abandoned building, shops, and carts, but nothing more than the ordinary. I also saw the banner of Count Delinard, a Swadian Lord.

"I guess, we can buy a wagon and some Salt here…" said Ymira while observing the marketplace, while I followed her from behind. We turned into a goods merchant which seems to have couple bags of Salt.

"Good day, traveler… Interested with some commodities we have?" the merchant asked, Ymira smiled and said. "We take five bags of Salts, and perhaps we can buy a wagon as well?" she asked, the merchant's face brims with happiness. "Certainly, young miss… That'll be… Nine hundred denars…" my eyes almost popped out.

"You just grab the Salt, give me your purse, and I'll settle down this bargain…" she whispered to me and took my purse, while I take the bag of Salts to the wagon, which is right next to the shop.

Not long Ymira returned with a bright smile, she gave back the purse to me. I was expecting that I lost those nine hundred denars, since that's all I've got. But, I was surprised that there's still four-hundred denars in my purse. She bargained five bags of Salts and a wagon worth for nine hundred denars for five-hundred denars? By Heavens, what did she said to that merchant anyway?

"Heavens… How could you…" I can't finish my words, I'm way too amazed.

"I've told you…" she smiled happily, "I can manage your expenses, and of course, figuring out good deals which bring us benefit… the merchant will have the wagon delivered to the tavern, let us go there now…" I nodded my head, and we returned to the tavern.

We entered the tavern and pint on some Ale, good Ale after quite a long track from Dhirim. Nothing can be better than this, especially, when accompanied by a beautiful young woman like Ymira. After we had a drink or two, someone entered the tavern; it's that goods merchant from before. He had the wagon and the Salts delivered right at the tavern, now we only need to get some horse to pull it. The merchant thanked me and Ymira for a great deal that we made, I wondered what Ymira had speak to that man, either he was fooled or she was good at bargaining price, I can't tell.

"We better go get a horse…" I sobered, Ymira just scoffs. "It's been taken care of…" she stated, and I wondered again.

"I told the goods merchant to search for two horses for us, I bargained the price for him, and I paid him an extra 200 denars with my own money…"

"Your own money…?" she nodded, "You don't have to do that…"

"Well, great profit comes from great loss and great risk… My father told me that always…" she finished her mug of Ale and stretches a bit.

"I see… thank you, Ymira… I couldn't even bargain for a weapon…" she laughed at me.

"Then, you have to learn from me~…" she said cheerfully, in the end, we both laughed together. We took an hour rest before we set out from Uxkhal to Suno, before we went, I bought some sets of tools, and I heard from the rumors around the marketplace that tools sold well in Suno.

Two hours have passed, we crossed the bridge which just past the village of Yaragar, after recruiting nine men to the party, we greeted by the dense forest of Swadia

"Bandits could probably be here…" said one of the Swadian men.

"Keep your guards on, everyone! We're entering a dangerous area…" I commanded the men to make a formation surrounding the wagon; we'd better march slowly to Suno and make it safely, rather than rushing and only to be cut down by the bandits.

"Are we truly save…?" asks Ymira, he's awfully afraid and is sinking in the wagon. Alongside with the bags of salt.

"Worry not, Ymira… We will make it out safely…" I whispered to her, but I don't know for myself if we REALLY can make it.

Not long, an arrow flies straight to me. It took time for me to realize, but it's just too late. It hit right on my shoulder, I fell from my horse, but I'm still strong enough to stand up. I pulled out the arrow, fresh blood squirting out from my wound. I give the sign for the men to form a shield barricade, the arrows started to shower, but none break my shield barricade. Soon, I saw men charging right to us. We prepared for the battle, Ymira hides inside the wagon. I sliced out my blade from its scabbard, followed by some of the men.

"Archers! To position! Fire at my command!" I yelled, the Khergits which I placed as archers take their position between the gaps of each shield. I keep my eyes on the looters which are charging, scattered with no formation and no strategy as well. "FIRE!" I yelled, and the arrows are flying towards the looters, most of them were fallen, they screamed as they get showered by arrows.

"At my command…!" I yelled once again, the archers prepared for another volley. "FIRE!" another volley of arrows sent towards the looter, they begin to scattered and scream in pain. We started to keep advancing while keep on firing to where the bandits came, soon, the bandits successfully getting near to us. Together with the Swadian as infantries, I battled against the looters, although I had my shoulders wounded.

I battle through rains of arrows; many looters had fallen on the edge of my blade. The Swadian has fought well too, I saw them cheering with songs of war as they march and greet the looters with their blades and axes. Less than an hour, we're victorious; the rest of the looters scattered and fled. We let go those who were still able to flee, we looted everything we could from the looters, mostly are weapons. I returned back to the wagon, there's no casualties in my side, only 5 of my men were wounded, and not severely struck.

"Ah…" Ymira closes her eyes and looks away as I approached her.

"What is it, Ymira…?" I asked and wipe away the blood which stained all over my face. She seems to be afraid of me, to see me bathed in blood.

"Y-You're… Bathed in blood… You look… S-Scary…" she trembling, I only can wipe away the blood on my arms and face. I took my canteen and wash off the blood on my face, it feels so refreshing when the water touches my face.

"Let us go on by now…" I said to my men, we're marching while the men boast on how good they are when fighting against the bandits. Some are tending to their wounds, helped by the others. While I'm tending to my wound all by myself, I still have some medicinal herbs that I brought along from Tulga.

"Ah, you're wounded…" Ymira hurriedly come to me.

"Not a big deal, this is nothing but a scratch…" I lied to her, the wound is painful, and it is pierced straight to my flesh.

"Stop complaining, let me patch you up…" she takes out a bandage from her pouch. She patched up my wounds, I can't stop her, and she's a bit of stubborn girl if I may say.

"That's it! All patched up… You better not move too much!" she warned me with a serious face, I just can nod my head, I don't know why, but I don't seem to be able to confront this woman.

"Ah, thank you…" I whispered to her, she just turned away, but I see her face a bit red.

"Umm… Just be careful next time…" she returned to walk beside the wagon, while I'm in the front, leading the men.

After an hour, we relieved with the view of grasslands, we've been through the forest and Suno lies just ahead. It is almost dusk, and I have five days left to deliver this letter

We finally arrived at the gates of Suno, I lay rest at the tavern for a while. Also had a doctor to examine my condition and my wounds, though I'm quite fine, but Ymira wants to make sure of it. I can't blame her though; she was worried sick about me. After hearing the doctor's result, I decided it's time to go and sell some of my goods, so I went out with Ymira to the marketplace with our wagon.

The town of Suno seems to be flourishing. The people look well-fed and relatively content. Craftsmen do a thriving business, and some migrants appear to be coming here from other regions to seek their luck. I see the banner of Count Klargus of the Swadia, a banner which resembles an image of a lion. We head straight to the goods merchant, I'm quite surprised that the weapons we looted can be sold at three-hundred denars, and Ymira sold 5 sets of tools for seven-hundred denars. We make a good clear profit of five-hundred denars, I started to love this trade.

"I'll take ten bags of salts…" I said to the merchant, he nodded with a bright smile. "Nice choice, I would sell this to Praven for high profit… I've sent my caravan there; they'll fetch a good price, sir… I'll warrant that…" said the merchant while he counts with his abacus.

"That'll be… Nine-hundred denars for all…" I turned to Ymira, which already smiled behind me.

"Then, you can discuss about the price with my goods manager…" I poked her shoulder, she just blushes and then I left them to talk; I load the salts to the wagon. Not long, I returned back to them.

"Nice making business with you, sir…" the merchant greet my hands, "I hope we will see each other again in the near future…" he said, I nodded my head and smiled. "Of course, we will stop by when we had chance…"

We returned to our wagon and count our expenses; Ymira stated that we paid only five-hundred denars for ten bags of salts. "This is a robbery…" I whispered in my mind, I must admit that Ymira had a good head on her shoulders, especially when it comes for trade. I feel that I'm lucky to have such a great companion in my party, although she can't wield a blade, nor' she can hurt a man.

"You shouldn't stare to a lady all the time, Roswell…" I'm surprised, I was lost inside my thoughts while staring at her, and I'm completely blushing.

"Uhh… I get lost in thoughts… Sorry…" she giggled at me and hold my arms, "Rarely did I find funny soldiers…" she smiled, I can just sighed, I don't know what else to say to her.

We returned to the tavern and take a rest for the day, I quickly fell asleep. I'm quite exhausted after the battle in the woods, especially; the wound I suffered also slowly sucked my stamina away. By the next morning, we depart to Praven. It is quite a close distance; we will reach it just in couple of hours. We went westwards straight to the shores of the Swadia, where Praven is located. We met several caravans in our way; it seems the road is safe, since we met around 5 caravans just in an hour.

Within three hours, we reached the gates of Praven, capital of the Kingdom Of Swadia. We lay back to rest once again, before heading straight to Haringoth Castle, I plan to sell off all the salt I have right here, for the enormous profit we've speculated beforehand

The town of Praven seems to be flourishing as well like Suno, the marketplace is bustling with activities. Many craftsmen do their work and the business seems to be successful, people look relatively well-fed and structures are well maintained. I and Ymira head to the goods market with our wagon, the merchant seems to be young compared to the goods merchant we've met along the way.

"Welcome, please have a look…" the merchant stared at us, "Oh, it is you, Ymira…" he smiled weakly, I don't know if it is just him or he is sick. "Yes, it is me… I come to sell some Salt…" she smiled; the merchant walked to our wagon and see the bags of salt.

"Ooh… Quite a good merchandise you have here, you know well that Salt fetch a good price here, so you're here to sell it to me? What a thievery…" Ymira only can chuckle, while the merchant counts his money.

"I'll buy all of them, since I know you well, I trust that you have a fine quality items, I'll buy it 280 denars each…" I'm astonished; I felt a hammer knock off the back of my head.

"Great deal!" she greets his hands, making a deal, then the merchant ordered his men to unload the wagon. Ymira walks out with a huge pocket of denars with her, she smiled brightly.

"We make a good clean profit of 2000 denars!" she stated, I felt another hammer hit my head.

"You're a friend of that merchant?" I asked as we ride back to the tavern with our wagon, she nodded.

"An old friend, one of my contacts… He said that furs can fetch a good price in Reyvadin, also, Iron is a good commodity if we want to return to Halmar…" she tilts her head, "Perhaps it's about time you wear a decent armor and weapon, you don't have a good look only in that leather jerkin…" I started to look at myself, she's right, the leather jerkin is torn everywhere. And my blade is an old blade, soon it'll crack.

"Let's go patch up your gears…" we stopped at an arms shop, the craftsman seems to be busy crafting a strange blade.

"Excuse me; I would like some weapons and armors…" I said, but the craftsman did not move from the forge. "E-Excuse me…"

"I HEARD YOU… Just pick your weapon and stop disturbing!" yelled the craftsman, he really get me shivers in my boots.

I took a Nordic War Helmet, a Tribal Warrior Outfit, a Khergit Bow, and a Shortened-Military Scythe. The craftsman's apprentice helps me to put it on, I tried to wield the military scythe, it's surprisingly light and easy to handle. I tried to slash couple of time, it seems I get used to this blade, it is all set then.

"That blade was my finest masterpiece; I see that you were skilled enough in handling that blade…" the craftsman walks closer to me. "I usually won't sell such blade to ordinary soldier, but I see that you have experience in handling that blade… And I see that the blade chooses you as well…" I don't quite understand his last sentence.

"How much all of this?" I asked, the craftsman rubs gently his overgrown beard.

"I would usually charge around twenty-five thousand denars only for that sword you took…" I felt a catapult hit my head, there's no way I could pay for the sword! Ymira also surprised, I see her face tighten up a bit.

"Then… I better change with another blade; I cannot afford such blade for the moment…" I gave back the blade to the craftsman, but he won't take it.

"You can have that blade for free…" he said and returned to his forge, I'm astonished.

"You sure about this, sir? This isn't ordinary blade that you can…"

"Just shut up! Or you can just pay that blade for five-hundred denars… Consider that I'm in a generous state…" he started to smack a blade on the anvil.

"All of this will be around twenty-six hundred denars…" the apprentice stated, Ymira walks in and ordered me to wait on the wagon, I gave her my purse of twelve-hundred denars in case she can't bargain the price.

Not long, she gets out with a bright smile on her face. She seems to get a very good deal with the apprentice, but I'm still wondering why the craftsman would let me have this masterpiece with such a low price, perhaps he is lying about the blade is his masterpiece? Or, it is true that he is just in the mood to give away his masterpiece in such a cheap price? I don't know, but I'm grateful enough to him.

"We only spend two-thousand denars…" she sits right next to me on the wagon, we head back to the tavern immediately.

"I guess the craftsman seen your talent with blades, so he gave you a low price…" she speculated, I just tilt my head. "I can't tell if it is true… I'm sure more comfortable with bows and arrows, but I'm well-trained with blades by my father…" I replied.

We returned to the tavern, my men watches as I entered the tavern with my brand new look. Some of them fell into silence, either it's amazed by my new look, or amazed by the extraordinary scythe that I bought. Soon, all of them were cheering my name and laughed. I laughed as well, they let me pint on a mug of Ale.

"You look more like a commander-in-arms now, sir…! The looters might run with fear as soon as they saw you…" said one of the Khergit men, everyone else laughed loudly.

"Go and take a rest all of you! We're going to Haringoth Castle!" I yelled at my men, and they just laughed even harder. They think I'm a clown or something?

We soon depart after resting for almost two hours, now we're heading alongide the shore and ride towards the south direction. Straight from here, we can reach Haringoth Castle by the midnight, but I really hope that we can reach it right before nightfall. The wide grasslands are becoming quite friendly to my eyes, I see Swadian patrols surrounding these are. Since it is the capital of Swadia, there's patrols surrounding the whole city until Haringoth Castle.

"Guess bandits won't be ambushing us here, yes?" Ymira gazed upon the patrol party at the distance, there's a banner of King Harlaus with them.

"This place is a safe route, since it is often used as a gathering point for campaign, this place is also a strategic place for an attack, so, it seems the Swadia wants this place to be secure…" I stated, while keeping the wagon's pace high.

Just before the nightfall, we can see the silhouette of a castle right at the distance, Haringoth Castle. When the sun finally went down, we reached the castle gates

"I'm here to deliver a letter from Sanjar Khan of Khergit Khanates…" I showed a letter to the guards, they quickly let me in. But, the others must wait outside. I hurriedly entered the hall and bow down before Count Haringoth, which seems to carefully put his eyes on me.

"Do I know you?" he asked, I shake my head. "I'm Roswell Levingrad. At your service, sir…" I replied, while keep myself low before him.

"I'm Count Haringoth, a vassal of Kingdom Of Swadia, and the lord of Haringoth Castle, Ryibelet, and Tshibtin…" he stated.

"Speak quickly, if you have anything to say, for I have no time for bandying words with common soldiers of fortune…" he said arrogantly, giving me the impression that he is a lord who have no intentions to care for his subjects.

"I'm here to deliver a message from Sanjar Khan, my lord…" I take out the letter and gave it to him, he seems delighted, he walks to me and take the letter. Opened its seal and read it, a bright smile is emerging on his face.

"It was good of you to bring me this thing, Roswell Levingrad. Take my seal as a proof that I've received the letter, with my thanks…" he quickly left the hall room; the guards near the throne forced me to leave. As I go out, one of the castle maid hurriedly come to me and gave me a pouch with 250 denars in it. Then, she went back in again. I rejoined with Ymira and my men, I gave the pouch of money to my men, to distribute it fairly to everyone.

"Where we will go next, Roswell…?" asks Ymira as we rest in Haringoth Castle outdoors, I hummed for a moment. "I guess, I'll return to Khergit Khanates and report that his message is sent…" I turned to my men, "How about all of you?" nobody seems to have trouble, "I don't mind to enter the Khergit dominion…" said one of the Swadians the others agreed to him. "With you leading us, I have no doubt, sire…" said another one, I never praised like that before, but sure it feels great to have someone trusted you so much.

"Very well… We rest here, and tomorrow… Our destination: Halmar!" my men cheered with joy and excitement, one task is done now. I wonder if there's more tasks from the lords which I need to accomplish, and of course, I will be willing to help with the task, as long as I'm capable to handle it…