Chapter 07: Father and Son
King Arthur’s father!
It could be said the only thing King Uther did that was useful during his reign in the past decade or so was the formation of the Knights of the Round Table, an elite groups of knights consisting of meritorious nobles each with their own skill in combat. Under them, they fought against those Norse-Gaelic savages and ultimately shrinking their entire line of defense. In the end, the enemy could only bitterly wallow in defeat.
But from Kailar’s perspective, he believed this King Uther was full of charm which inevitably drew people to fight for him.
Kailar had dozens of plans invading the Gauls and thereafter, get them back on their feet and maintain an amicable relationship but his father was a member of the Knights of the Round Table, following the will of the king.
By virtue of war, King Uther ascended to the top in one fell swoop, his reputation amongst the peoples rising.
It’s not surprising to say the least. The Celtics were an easy group to satisfy. The Roman Empire’s emperor, Caesar had been eyeing their land like a hungry wolf due to the numerous natural resources. From the sea, the vikings came in hordes, attempting to take over every autumn season.
But under the leadership of King Uther, the two parties’ venture had proven unsuccessful.
The Celtics had waited over a decade more for such victory!
It had been too long, they thought. Too long!
In this sense, King Uther was regarded a godly figure, his reputation worthy of many praises. In the eyes of the wise, they too found their victory a meritorious achievement.
Sunset had set and stars filled the boundless sky. The promise of life in the darkness was a sense of foreboding warmth in the cold.
Leyton and Kailar neared the gates of the castle. At the same time, the two guards near the gates raised their weapons, wondering whether the two figures were friend or foe but as Kailar and Leyton neared closer, the guards lowered their weapons slightly.
Looking at the chivalrous guards, Kailar frowned. Though the knights were at best useful, compared to a tank in this era… but if only they only they had a gun… they’d be invincible!
The limitless possibilities he could do with them was too great!
In addition, if they created trenches to keep enemy horses at bay, it’d reduce their speed. A horse without speed and nowhere to go was a useless horse.
It’s like a fight between the Gaelic vikings and Celtic knights. In the mainlands, the Celts had the upper hand. But if it was at sea…
The Celts would surely suffer a colossal loss.
Even in the modern era, though tanks were a powerful existence, they still required the help of the infantry in the back.
War is an ever changing tactic and to win the upper hand, one needed to change their style. History had proven it so.
Kailar made up his mind. Later on, he needed to find the time to persuade his father to develop and improve their “army” of knights.
Dinner was rather dull, silent even but nevertheless, Mary was very understanding of it all. Her husband looked truly exhausted and so she thought it best to keep silent.
But however, Kailar spoke up. “Father.”
“Hm?” After gulping down a perfectly seasoned juicy steak, Andrea Ettorek wiped his mouth, raising his head thereafter.
“What’s the population of our Red Leaf?” Kailar asked slowly as he chewed on the tender beef. It was seared brown on the outside and juicy on the inside. Just the way he liked it.
“This…” Andrea Ettorek pondered for a moment before answering. “There are about fifty thousand or so. Combining the knights and our people, we have over two hundred fifty thousand in total.
Red Leaf was fortified by a wall surrounding all four corners and was placed on a hilltop.
Andrea Ettorek’s home resembled a small fortress built on top of a larger fortress.
As the Grand Duke’s achievements spread far and wide, his territory grew and just as slowly, Red Leaf expanded. The whole entirety of the hilltop and mountain became Red Leaf, the south’s ultimate form of defense for the king.
Though to be fair, Andrea Ettorek’s statement of the total amount of people living inside the safe walls of Red Leaf wasn’t based on statistical figures and was more or less a guesstimate. Rather, it was roughly calculated by looking down from the tallest fort.
“Father, don’t you think that Red Leaf is a bit too crowded?”
Red Leaf is indeed crowded. If it is as Andrea Ettorek had said, the daily excrements and garbage made by two hundred fifty thousand people were comparable to modern day pollution.
Who would clean the excrements on the ground? There’s no proper sewer system put in place so who would be the unlucky one? If there’s none, they had no choice but to step on the piles of excrements, it’s smell so disgusting it filled the air.
Though Red Leaf was orderly, it was not clean and Andrea Ettorek paled when thinking of it.
“Yes.” Andrea Ettorek nodded, believing Kailar was mouthing his complaints.
“Father, what if we encourage people to settle outside the walls of our kingdom.”
“Impossible. Our people will never go out. Only the strong are willing. It’s not safe outside.”
Kailar smiled softly. “Father, why is it not safe outside?”
“There are bandits, savages, devil beasts…” Andrea Ettorek trailed off, shock written on his face. That’s right. This idea was over a decade old. Devil beasts had been driven to the forest long ago, bandits no longer had motives for committing crimes because it proved useless, as for those viking savages… they couldn’t come here even if they wanted to. His knights guarded the coast strictly. If they did, then let those chickens know of their Celtic power and might!
Andrea Ettorek sighed. “But the people don’t know that outside this walls is a safe haven.” Though he was delighted by the suggestion, he didn’t like the idea of forcing people to do his will. This sort of character only further benefited him in the long run. He was seen as a righteous and virtuous man by many.
“Father need not worry. Though the people have no thoughts of going outside as they fear the unknown, once we publicize the wonders of the outside, they’ll naturally want to venture out.” Kailar smiled, his face blooming.
“What is publicize?” Andrea Ettorek tilted his head.
“In short, it’s merely gossip.” Kailar dumbed the words down to a basic synonymous meaning to match the current level of literacy in this world.
“If it’s rumors, they’ll naturally not heed by it.” He fought in many battles of his life, learning to differentiate truth and false, learning that rumors were an unreliable thing.
“Hence why we represent the people’s interests.”
“Represent?” Andrea Ettorek furrowed his brows, not understanding what his son was trying to say.
“Father, what if a very famous man goes outside and made a lot of money after hearing the rumor?” Kailar leaned in.
“Then the people inside the walls will rush outside.” Andrea Ettorek thought long and hard before answering. He knew very well what his people liked and disliked.
“If father were to give the famous man a little bit of guidance…” Kailar smiled sheepishly.
“Many will leave and go out hoping to strike it rich…” Then Andrea Ettorek’s eyes grew wider and brighter, his breath rough and haggard. His whole body tingled an exciting sensation. “In this way, the population of Red Leaf will grow. Red Leaf will not be centered around the fort but it’ll become a small little nation in the south. We will have many little small towns and Red Leaf will be the main capital!”
Note: The Norse-Gaelic/Gaels are Vikings who settled in Ireland and in Scotland adopted Gaelic culture and intermarried too. They are of mixed Gaelic and Norse ancestry and culture.