6 Ch 06 Where“s the wine
MRE Ch 06
The hall of Duke's bunglow is built lavishly with imported furniture and crafts from different parts of the continent. Even the simplest of wine presented to them here cannot be found in the Royal palace.
Duke Conley and Kipler left the garden, they started towards the hall. The guard on the gate saw Duke and Kipler , he announced it to the nobles in the room. All murmuring and gossiping nobles shut their mouths , and the room became still for a second.
Duke entered the room with Kipler. Other nobles started guessing 'who this square faced and brown haired guy is that even Duke is so courteous to him'. Duke saw them confused, he understood thus introduced Kipler " My dear Friends this person here is Sir Kipler from the Dakota kingdom as you can guess he is here to help us."
Nobles' expression eased momentarily only to change when one of them asked Duke with curiosity " Sir Duke how can a man help us alone even if he is from Dakota."
Duke started boasting " What one man, Sir Kipler is here with his 1200 elite troops of the Dakota kingdom which are at least hundred times more advanced than our elite troops. Even if we exclude the troops he is still a mid rank 8 knight who can stop him in Arcania."All the nobles are now stunned by the information they got their mouth agape .
Duke further added "Dakota only has 5 brigades of elite troops those sent here are best of the best." Some nobles which were more knowledgeable reached a conclusion ' Dakota is surely giving it's all to get the mines. They must have mobilized 2 brigades,which is more than 1600 combat ready men but only 1200 made it to the capital . They must have selected high mountainous path to avoid the Kingdom's patrolling men.'
Nobles were looking at Kipler with adoration in their eyes, it made him feel slightly uncomfortable, he subconsciously tried to loosen the collar of the padded coat he was wearing and thought ' Duke is truly a master in conning others . Good Duke keep boasting, keep these fools motivated, till we need them.'
Duke took people from the hall to the meeting table on the second floor. Duke lives alone in this house with his servants . His wife and second son left for Dakota earlier this year to meet his elder son and daughter who is pregnant.
The big rectangular meeting table made of ashwood with seating for 40 people was in the middle of the room . All of them took their seat . Duke sat opposite to the door, along the breadth of the table, Kipler took his chair near Duke and sat there , the rest of them took their seats as their rank stipulated. Room fell silent, everyone looked at Duke waiting for him to start the meeting.
Just as Duke was to say something, the sound of running with heavy steps came from the corridor outside the room. Everyone moved their head towards the door as a man wearing a hood appeared on the door breathing heavily "Oh milord ! I Ah! Ah! I am sorry , Ha! Ah! " thinking ' thank God ! I reached on time or that shitty Duke will cut my fees what will I do '
Duke gestured to him to take a seat. Other nobles had seen this narrow faced man with broad nose many times with Duke .
Hooded man asked innocently " Milord Duke , where is the wine that you promised" thinking ' he he , old man do you think I will forget about the wine, you moron'
Duke was now irritated by this fellow's shameless behaviour and angrly glared at him " you will get wine after this meeting is over. "
Duke with a serious expression asked for everyone's attention " Now that everyone is here. We can start now."
It had been more than an hour by the time other nobles entered the house. Evans was circling the perimeter of the house to find a way to enter without being spotted. But Duke had arranged his patrols meticulously so that no intruder could go in without being spotted.
Having failed to do anything he got back to the palace reported his observations to Robert. Robert knew from his narration that the situation was grave without wasting any time.
Robert took him to report to Jason, after inquiring about the prince's location he got to know that he went to the resting area . On their way they saw Duke Wilkinson coming from the opposite direction with a delighted expression.
" Robert at this time why are you going to the resting Chambers." Questioned Duke .
" Sir Duke we have been sent to investigate Duke Conley after meeting so we are going to report to his highness" replied Robert with a straight face.
" Don't disturb him now , he has gone to rest , his health is not completely well and it needs some time to recover. " then looking at their downcast expression he assumed 'they had found something crucial',thus he further added " Both of you come with me to Charles office . We will discuss your report there ."
Trio of middle aged man and two young men left the corridor and entered the palace grounds which had grass and some trees here and there . They crossed it and reached the pavilion of palace guards.
Palace guard pavilion is built separate from the main palace, near the main gate. Here sounds of instructors yelling at their full lungs on practicing troops, swords clanking, Pike thrusting, maces smashing on wooden dummies can be heard.
Duke took them to one of the larger rooms. Inside was a pretty simple table and lots of documents. Charles is analysing some documents sitting on his chair opposite to the door . Hearing the door opening sound he moved his head upward and recognized the person on the door. He left his chair to greet him but stopped when he saw two other people with him.
He now knew Duke had come to discuss some important matter . "Sir Duke please be seated . Young fellows you two also take a seat" said Charles pointing towards the chair in the room, then he signaled the doorman to shut the door, he asked Duke " how can I help you sir Duke".
"These fellows were tailing Conley and have come to report their findings." said Duke . Charles looked at two of them .
They are of the same age and it seemed that they have good synergy . Both of them had well built muscle, tall and with broad shoulders.
Charles inspected their physical condition, a look of admiration flashed through his eyes. Noticing Charles' changes , Duke mentioned " Both of them are members of elite men I assembled to protect the prince . They are the best young soldiers of our kingdom. Future of our military depends on them." Robert and Evans felt elated.
" With just one look I can see they are good." If the troops practicing outside heard him saying that , they will also take their belongings and start protesting at palace gate. No one in the past year heard Charles evaluating 'good' , at maximum a ' not bad' evaluation comes from his mouth.
They have heard about Sir Charles' evaluation while their stay in the palace, Evans with an ecstatic expression explained everything.
Charles' expression became glum , from what Evans said , he inferred that " Duke Conley is going to reveal his hand soon, he doesn't fear us as he has gone to visit protestors openly. This means he has got powerful support to deal with us."
" I agree with you Charles. Duke has never been the one to do things without being in control of the situation" Duke affirmed Charles with a sour expression.
Whole room fell silent, everyone was in deep thought . Charles responded first " we need to gauge the support Duke obtained".
" Yes but how are we going to ask Conley himself?" asked Duke Wilkinson .
"He is being overconfident and is not taking us seriously. We can use this to our advantage, he will surely do something to our advantage" replied Charles looking towards Robert and Evans.
Evans hurriedly replied " Sir When I was there I circled the whole boundary of the house but was unable to find any opening . "
" Hmm! Sending someone inside to gather information can not be done. Anything direct and threatening is not possible , it will alert their underlings.Threat will remain there and without someone guiding them, they will be uncontrollable doing more harm than good. Conley sure has thought about this." mumbled Duke.
" Ha! Ha! Ha..." laughed Charles as he said " there's a saying ' your enemy knows you better than you know yourself '. That Sly old man sure knows what we will do even if he gives us some hints." Duke Wilkinson also started laughing. Men stationed on the door stared at each other's faces with confused expressions ' Pal didn't you say something serious is being discussed' as the sound of laughter reverberated inside the room.'
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