14 Ch-13 Aftermath
One month later…
Felix and Aslak spent the month in absolute silence and leisure. The strangeness of the situation and the fact that neither Lady Faye nor the expeditionary squads, still returned was making it more and more difficult for them to concentrate on their works. It was only on the second week of the Month of First Snow that, Sir Loann's unit returned and they bore serious bad news.
According to them, they heard rumors that Lady Faye had signed a pact of non-aggregation with Viscount Clovers and Earl Roderick of her own accord and that 'armies' of Cainhorn had attacked and ransacked various villages and towns in the surroundings of both the fiefs. And this was the reason why Sir Loann hastily returned in order to check up on the Castle.
No one could make head or tails of the situation. The only one who seemed to have some kind of clue on where this situation was leading to, was Lady Yasmin, but even she wasn't sure on what is happening and therefore, they needed to wait for at least another unit to return bearing information.
It was only after the 2nd week of the 2nd month that the next unit returned and that was Lady Aarti's ship. They were exactly one month and a half late and even then, they returned quite miserably with only one frigate, which was half broken. This was shocking, not only to the Castle people, but also to the Cainhorn people, who considered those big ships to be equivalent to Gods.
According to her, they were attacked by pirate-costumed soldiers of Sir Hendrickson. They had 3 Man'O'Wars and 11 frigates and vastly outnumbered, outmaneuvered and outflanked them, costing them their only Man'O'War and a frigate and 110 men. The last frigate only returned with 30men and they too bore the same bad news but with a few bits more. According to them, Lady Faye had signed a non-aggregation pact but due to the recent invasion of the Cainhorn army, she had been detained along with the rest of the soldiers.
Sir Loann, assumed that those 'soldiers' were none other than Julian's forces and therefore, wrote a lengthy letter to the Grandmaster of Order of Wardens and requested his help and also wrote letters to the Imperial court and Duke Hendrickson and other dukes to help out. After sending them, they had nothing but to wait and unfortunately, not a single reply came.
The only thing which came was an Imperial verdict to appear in the Imperial court.
Sir Loann and Lady Yasmina understood that they were deep sh*t and could do nothing other than to attend. They gathered the last few soldiers and went to the Imperial capital of Xerith, leaving the command of the Castle for the first time to Felix.
Felix and Aslak taking this opportunity, gathered all the official soldiers of Cainhorn Castle and started garrisoning the Castle and Cainshire. It was during this time, Felix and Aslak started getting more into and into governance stuff. With the help of Aslak and Sir Peder, he completely toned down the rowdy armies and initiated what could be called the most basic and primitive form of marching and patrolling.
He also ordered the last frigate to be repaired but unfortunately there wasn't any good and hard timber to do so and the timber imported for making arrows were too light and straight to do any job. He ordered to take it from the Cainhorn forests, but not only the advisors advised against it but even the woodcutters and sailors refused to enter the woods. Therefore, instead of repairing he ordered for heck lots of arrows and axes to be built for the soldiers from the already imported timber and steel. Axes were much economic to build compared to swords and for these unskilled soldiers, axes can be their best weapons for now.
6 months later…
The contingent of Sir Loann and Lady Yasmin returned and fortunately, this time, Lady Faye was there with them. Felix immediately ordered the soldiers, who were fairly disciplined to a certain extent, to create a huge protective square around them, in order to prevent the common people to know too much.
Sir Loann and Lady Yasmin were certainly shocked by the number of soldiers who were actually following command, but this wasn't the time to admire their discipline. They hurried along the rugged paths of Cainshire and quickly entered the Cainhorn Castle. They were also surprised the number of soldiers garrisoning the Castle and the amount of people training marching in the background and they sure did praise Felix and Aslak for their contribution, but what they said after shocked Felix and Aslak to the core.
According to Lady Yasmina and Sir Loann, everything was a cunning deception of Sir Hendrickson, who had joined the Crest faction in secret. He already knew about the curse of the Fabled Crown and had intentionally invited her to a banquet with highly rich dining party, inducing greed into her. Later, he utilized the curse and baited her into signing the non-aggregation pact with the Crest faction and Viscount Clover and Earl Roderick, in return promising large trade routes for the family. It was for this reason that she stayed with Sir Hendrickson for an elongated period of time, but it is not known what has happened after that.
Later, Sir Hendrickson, Viscount Clovers and Earl Roderick led a puny force and ransacked the surrounding places and put the blame onto Julian's force who was also passing through that region, thus effectively violating the pact. Thus, with permission Earl Roderick captured Julian's force and sent the order of fake Imperial Verdict.
Later, on the name of Imperial verdict, Sir Loann and Lady Yasmin were actually invited to the Crest faction court, where they were forced to either submit the Fabled Crown or 2million Gold and Cainshire as ransom for Lady Faye and ironically, the decision was made to fall under Lady Faye.
The result, 2million Gold was distributed among the people of the Crest faction and authority of Cainshire for 2 years was passed to the Sir Hendrickson.