Chapter 40 Letter
The firewood was burning violently, but Gerald Wimbledon didn’t feel much of the heat.
Although he was in a large tent made of stitched leather, and the ground was also completely sealed without any air leakage, he still felt cold. His toes were especially cold, they were almost frozen to the point that he couldn’t feel them any longer.
“This damn place, even the urine freezes when you take a piss.” he spat and stood up. He grabbed the table on both sides with his hands. When he used all his strength, so that even his hand became red from the effort, the six-foot square wooden table became lively and left the ground.
After he put the table at the edge of the fire pit, Gerald felt a lot more comfortable. He took off his shoes and put his feet next to the fire, warming them in the heat. He spread out the text scroll with his hands once more and continued to write the unfinished letter.
“Dear lovely Olivia.”
“It has been already a month since I came to Hermes, but of course, the Church prefers to call this place their new Holy City. If it wasn’t for the Months of the Demons, I wouldn’t want to stay here for even a moment. I just want to get back to you and share the warm bed with you once more.”
“Faithful to the convention, the church is monitoring us with their own forces instead of supporting us. It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? Speaking about the church, I have to admit that what they were able to do is really amazing. I can still remember the time when I was here for the first time. It was around twenty years ago. In addition to the mountains and rocks around Hermes there was nothing here besides a little church at the bottom of the mountains. But now, they have not only opened up a road for a carriageway up the mountain peak, but they have also established a large-scale fortress city.”
“During the summer, you really should come and take a look at this city with me. The new Holy City is even grander than our Graycastle. Do you remember the theater in Graycastle? You and I had gone there to watch “The Revenge of the Prince”. You were so impressed with the theater’s architecture; the interior was so spacious that it was unbelievable.”
“But after you see the Holy City’s new Hall of Military Affairs, you will think that the theater in Graycastle was only a shack. It is hard to call it a building, I think it’s more like a piece of exquisite art. It’s so spacious that it could swallow five theaters. However, not a single pillar supports the exterior walls. The walls are held up by eight behemoth-like demonic beast bones. Between the curved bones are many smaller bones which are connected by hemp ropes, and the roof hovers in midair as if it were on a pole. How could they think off a building like this?”
“And those bones, if they were stripped from a demonic beast, I bet that guy’s size was certainly more than a hundred feet. Probably only in Hermes will you be able to encounter such a monster. But honey, please do not worry, even if the demonic beasts are massive, they are still the devil’s minions.
In the presence of God’s Eye of Retribution, no evil can escape God’s jurisdiction! Whether it is a demonic beast, a witch, or the devil himself, their only fate is to turn into ashes!”
When he had written until here, Gerald Wimbledon put down his pen and loosened up his tingling hands. This was really strange, normally he could hold his 15 lbs. heavy two-hand-sword all day, but while holding the pen he was only able to write a few sentence before he felt so tired. He smiled in a self-deprecating way and thought that he really was made for a yokel’s life.
“When speaking of demonic beasts, I suddenly think of my fourth brother. He was assigned to Border Town, such a miserable place. I’m afraid he has already turned tail and fled to Longsong Stronghold – even there, the demonic beasts will not be able to reach him and the stronghold’s defense is comparable to Hermes. But I think this is not his fault, even if I went to that place, I would only be able to take refuge in the stronghold. Here it can be seen how unfair my father is. Just because our younger brother performed exceptionally intelligently from an early age, he decided to let him inherit the throne. Father forgets that he himself didn’t win the throne with calculating means. Since our mother’s death, it has become more and more difficult for me to find out what father is thinking. “
Gerald hesitated before he began to write the next part of his letter, he did not know if he should tell his real intentions to Olivia or not. He paused for a moment, but then he decided to write it down. If his plans went well, he should already have arrived at the Palace in Graycastle before she received his letter.
“My dear, Astrologer Ansger was right. If I do nothing, ultimately the throne will not end up in my hands. Ansger observed the stars and what he said was, “The Star of the Apocalypse will burn for the next four months before it leaves its orbit again.” This tells me that I obviously have little time left and cannot wait in vain any longer like this.”
“After today’s battle, I will quietly return to the capital and meet my father, and I will take my loyal soldiers with me. Here maybe I have much less opportunities to get riches like in the City of Golden Harvest, but instead there is no shortage of brave warriors here. I just have to throw some coins around and make some promises, and they will follow me like hungry wolves, and help me reach my goal. Of course, I do not want to start a revolt. I just want to personally ask my father why he gave the orders to start the battle for the throne. In the end, what was it that let him forget that I, as his eldest son, have the right of inheritance?”
“Ansger has already arranged everything for me. Olivia, my love, you will only need to wait a little longer. The day when I become the King is the day that I will marry you as my Queen. If I fail miserably… you shouldn’t come back to the capital, but instead, you should stay in the Kingdom of Eternal Winter. “
“Love you, Gerald.”
He carefully folded the letter and put it in an envelope, then sealed it with wax. After checking it a few times, he knocked on his table and his personal guard quickly entered the tent.
“You have to deliver this letter to the hands of the Rosefamily in the Freezing Wind Mountain Range. You do not have to travel all day and night. Don’t even take a horse, just travel dressed as an ordinary traveler, as a passenger on a wagon from town to town. You only have to remember one thing; this letter must be hand-delivered.”
“Yes, Your Royal Highness!”
“Good, you may leave.” After Gerald waved his guard away, he simply sat down at the table once more, letting his feet hang over the fire pit.
If something happened, he would have no way out.
He closed his eyes, recalling scenes of his childhood. At that time, he was playing hide and seek with his second brother and his third sister in the King’s Garden. When his third sister fell down, she needed her two brothers to take care of her. Exactly when had it began that the three of them became more and more like strangers?
Gerald shook his head, putting his confusing thoughts aside. It wasn’t suitable for him to become sentimental, he thought, there was only one possibility to end this – he himself had to sit on the throne.
At this moment, the dull sound of a horn could be heard in the tent.
“Ohh ohh ohh ohh ohh ohh ohh——-“
“I’m coming!“ He jumped up from the table and put on his shoes. Stepping out of the tent, he saw that the whole camp was a riot. Everywhere, soldiers were running and waving flags, merging into one big chaos, getting into battle formation. From the distant mountains a muddy echo came in continuous stretches.
When the horn blew, it meant the demonic beasts were attacking.
“Come with me!” He rode on his warhorse, taking his guards with him.
Only one person remained standing on the walls of the Holy City, in order to experience its grandeur – it was like an insurmountable natural moat, standing across the path through the impassable mountain range. The pass to the top was flat and wide, it was wide enough for dozens of people to pass through side by side. At the beginning of the path, there were cliffs formed by a glacier on both sides, but the later part was a plateau.
This was why the church desperately wanted to build the new Holy City to the top of the mountain.
Using this terrain, they built a line of defense that was almost impossible to break through.
However, Gerald Wimbledon looked at it more in long run. They were able to transport so many stones and timber from the foot of the hill to the top. In just twenty years they were able to build a city in Hermes, the power The Church had exhibited was astounding.
But regardless of how tired he was of doing business with The Church, Gerald had to admit that they also had their strong points. If they didn’t build the stronghold in Hermes, all countries on the continent would have had to face a catastrophe. They were also responsible for the convention against the Demonic Beast Horde.
Every year during January when the demonic beasts attack, the four Kingdoms which border Hermes must send troops to support The Church and fight together under The Church’s verdict.
Their four banners were floating in the wind. A snake wrapped around the scepter of the “Kingdom of Dawn”, the shield and sword of the “Wolfsheart Kingdom”, the icerose of the “Kingdom of Eternal Winter” – as well as the tower and pike of the “Kingdom of Graycastle”.
Looking at the black spots appearing in the distant sky, Gerald Wimbledon clenched his great sword.