Chapter 18 – Price of Knowledge
It was a grease-filled room. The smell was unbearable for unaccustomed noses. A dwarven with burly arms sat in front of a table. With a pen on his hand, he wrote about a certain letter to a lord.
Greetings Lord Alva,
My stay on this Avilla stronghold has been productive. The warlord of the City has no knowledge about our relationship. She believes that I work solely for her. It has been a long time since I’ve worked here. She trusts me enough not to put a little bird near me. As you said, she was an already an experienced warlord. You’ve might heard that she recently employed Shig of the Red Garb. Shig the Red Garb had been a torn to the Knight Templar’s. I am a worshipper of the Luci Fera despite my race as a dwarf. I am loyal and will be always.
But that was not why I wrote this letter. I wrote this to inform you of a certain schematics that I recently got hold off. A man named Joshua, who I believe is a foreigner had drawn up an interesting design; a rifle that could fire repeatedly. If it was the older ages, My Lord, I think that such rifle will be inadequate to produce. I’ve seen the drawings and the number of details. I’ve copied the mechanism and the system that this rifle do. The sliding lock, the lever mechanism of this rifle was ingenious. My eyes was widened in surprise.
My Lord, this weapon can be reproduced on our factories back in the lands of Alva. The runes, the fireball spitting runes have grown inadequate at the invention of rifles and firearms. Yet the drawing and schematics that I would deliver along with this letter will change the world. A peasant, a slave, and even a brainless fool could operate a rifle. Now imagine the devastating force that this sort of rifle could do.
I believe that this human named Joshua, a former slave, a foreigner could produce interesting designs despite his inadequacies. He lacks fluency in the common tongue but the ideas on his head are marvelous. This man cannot be bought, and sending him away from the ‘family’ he has here will be difficult. But, I’ll be watching him, my lord. I believe that this human will produce more interesting designs for us.
The rifle he had produced made me think of that greatly. I’ve high expectations for this human and I believe that we can use him. My Lord, the creation of this rifle will change things. With our conflict with the Shonis natives and their Bali Kingdom, we’ve no choice but to steal the ideas of this human. Both the Bali and the Cagan are after the Holy Midland.
May God forgive me for this deceit, and so I wish that you’ll have the decency of owing the creator of the rifle. It may not matter much, and the designs will not go unnoticed. But the loyalty in me has decided to give out the designs of to you, my lord, my vassal. My heart aches that I had to steal such wonderful designs. I have the blessing of Innictis, and this will cause my blessing to falter.
That is why I wish that you’d spare me from losing such blessing milord.
The dwarf wrapped the letter in a paper envelope as he seals it with wax.
Inscribing four runes, and mixing two poison powder on the letter. The dwarf sealed the letter and put it on a tube. Standing up, he walked to the window and whistled loudly.
The cry of a falcon sounded as it glided and landed on the window. The dwarf tied the tube to the legs of the falcon. The dwarf fed it food, patted its head and made it fly away up above the blue sky. There was a look of guilt on the dwarf’s face. But it vanished as he slaps his cheeks and turned to the door.
Carrying his toolbox, he walked out and strolled down the hallway. As he walks he saw the face he was trying to avoid. It was Joshua who was carrying his book. The young man wasn’t thin anymore. He wasn’t malnourished and he was cleaner than everyone. It was a habit of the young man which the dwarven did not understand at all.
“Good Morning, Benton,” Joshua said.
“Good Morning, Joshua.” The dwarf replied, “Going to Old Gale now?”
“Yes, Joshua, go to study, Gale now.”
Joshua was still learning. The dwarven understood this so he nodded his head. “Good, learn much so you can speak good okay?”
“Yes!” Joshua said brightly.
The dwarf patted his shoulder. Joshua staggered as he then smiles wearily as he left to go to the study room. The dwarf looked at the back of the young man who he had stolen from. The trace of guilt lingered but he kept it bottled. There was a fine line between association and loyalty. Benton has grown accustomed to the warlord and this stronghold. But his loyalty lies elsewhere. He has always been a loyal servant. And the only reason why he was here in the first place was that of a rather long plan.
This gamble was something that he has worked on for years. Before the Warlord of Avilla was Mia’s father. Benton has already worked for this stronghold while showing his loyalty elsewhere. His Lord wanted eyes and ears. He also wanted to know how much military force that the Avilla will produce. And there was no better position to know all of this than the stronghold’s head smith. Benton was not spy at heart. He was a smith but he at least knows how to deliver messages and inform his own lord the forces that Avilla has.
Avilla was a major city of the Freelands. It was also near the Giantess Sea and has always been a good strategic location. Many wanted to subdue and take Avilla for themselves. Many failed as she always bounces back. That’s why the Lord of Alva has decided to send Benton here in hopes that someday the City will be theirs.