Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 8: “Platoon Leader Rodrick Lockhart”

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 It was about 4:00 p.m. on July 8, 317 in the Tria calendar.


 My brother Rodrick arrived at our inn.



 My brother was dressed in the equipment of the northern governor’s army of the Caelum Empire – blue-toned breastplate, shoulder plate, spurs, thigh armor, and silver gauntlets, etc., and he was wearing a silver-toned helmet with decorative horns at his side and with a straight back in a knightly posture, he reports that he has been ordered by his father-in-law to escort us.



“The Platoon 322 of the 1st Knight Order of the Caelum Empire’s Northern Governor’s Army, under the command of Sir Lockhart, has been ordered by His Excellency, the Governor of the Northern Governor’s Army, to escort you.” (Rod)



 As expected of my serious brother, he prioritizes his duties as a knight over family greetings and reports to our father with a serious expression on his face that he is being assigned as our bodyguard.



 My father responded with an equally serious expression, “Platoon Leader Lockhart, I am in your care.”


 Then my father finally relaxes his expression and says to my brother, “You look well, Rod.” My brother smiled at that.



“Yes. I’m glad to see that father and everyone are doing well.” (Rod)



 Theo and Sera said, “Brother Rod!” and they run out and cling to both sides of our elder brother.


 My brother had joined the knighthood of the Count of Roswell Frontier seven years ago, but he had only returned home once the year before last. Theo, in particular, who yearns to be a knight, adores our brother to the point of almost worshipping him, and my twin sister, Sera, who is also a swordsman, seems to have feelings akin to admiration for our brother.



 My brother says, “Zack looks well, too,” and pats me on the shoulder lightly, and then goes on to talk to Liddy and the others.



 In front of Beatrice, he bowed his head and said, “Zack has always been a great help to me.” The two were acquainted with each other, as they had met in Doctus when we returned to our hometown the year before last.



 Behind his brother is Sim Marlon, Mel’s older brother. He, too, was dressed in the official gear of a squire and standing straight, but his expression relaxed at the sight of a familiar face.



 Father approaches Sim and pats him on the shoulder, saying, “Thank you for always taking care of Rod.”


 Sim’s face flushed and he straightened his back further as he replied with a serious expression, “No, Sir Rod has been the one taking good care of me.”



 We take our places in the mess hall and exchange greetings with my brother’s subordinates.



 In the Northern Governor’s Army, the smallest unit is one platoon of 20 men, with five platoons making one company, and five companies making one battalion, with five battalions making one order of knights. In other words, the knight order is composed of 2,500 men.



 The Northern Governor’s Army has four knight corps, which means that it has a standing strength of approximately 10,000 men. In addition, each lord also has his own forces, but they are usually engaged in guarding the city and are not a cohesive fighting unit.


 Incidentally, my brother’s platoon, Platoon 322 of the 1st Knight Order, stands for the 2nd Platoon of the 2nd Company of the 3rd Battalion.



 Each platoon consists of two regular knights, four squires, eight footmen, and five military attachés under a platoon commander. The regular knights and squires are cavalrymen who engage in mounted combat, while the footmen are infantrymen, and up to this point, they are called soldiers.


 The military attachés are young men who take care of the horses, prepare the camp, and do other chores. They generally do not participate in combat, but they are trained in combat, and depending on their talent, they may be promoted to squires.



 Everyone in this platoon, led by the elder brother, is quite young. Even the regular knights, who are said to be mostly veterans, look not that different from my nineteen-year-old brother.


 When I asked about it later, I was told that many of them had been promoted after the subjugation of the Cyclops, and that about half of them had been replaced. Even so, everyone treated my brother with respect.



 My elder brother, Roderick, has decided to return to the village of Rathmore upon his marriage, and he will resign from the Order after this escort.


 As for the wedding preparations, they were going smoothly, and other than a brief meeting, there was only the wedding ceremony on July 20 and the announcing ceremony the following day, which was to take place in the main cities of the Roswell Frontier Counties. It seems they have to do it before leaving.



 My father and mother nodded in satisfaction, but I was forced to tell them that we had been attacked, and my father, in a rather grumpy mood that had changed from his previous smiling mood, proceeded to explain what had happened so far.


 My brother, who had not been told of the attack, looked surprised and angry but breathed out a sigh of relief when he heard that no one had been hurt.



“Does Lord Boyett intend to not report to Welburn? If an incident like this occurs, it should be reported to Welburn immediately.” (Rod)



 My father shook his head and began to speak with a resigned look on his face.



“I think Lord Boyette wants to hide the fact that he himself is under suspicion. Perhaps he is actually going to make a detailed investigation and then report back to us.” (Zack)



 I had somehow guessed that Boyette had not sent a message of report to the Count of Roswell.


 He was probably planning to keep quiet, as my father said, but we have a witness named Maddock.



 If Boyette were a baron or higher, he would probably use his title to silence my father, but this would not be the case with a knight of the same rank. On the other hand, if my father held a higher position among the knight order, he could have restrained Boyette, but since they are of the same rank, neither of them can make a move.



(And for that matter, is Boyette making any moves? It’s possible that the mastermind could eliminate Boyette, but… well, if he’s in control of Rawcliffe, he won’t be easy to get rid of, no matter how high up the mastermind is.) (Zack)



 I had my doubts for a moment, but they were relegated to the back of my mind as I couldn’t think of the measures Boyette would take and how the mastermind would operate.



 The reunion with my brother began in a friendly atmosphere, but the fact that the attack had not yet been solved made the members of his platoon tense.



 If nothing else, it was just a formal escort mission to accompany us on the safe road from Rawcliffe to Welburn, and the Frontier Count was probably just trying to create an opportunity for my brother to see his family alone under the pretext of an escort. My brother’s men seemed to have had the same idea and were puzzled by this sudden turn of events.



 I asked my brother if he had any idea who had attacked us, but he simply replied that he had no memory of any grudge against us. I asked Sim, who also served as my brother’s squire,



“Some people were opposed to your marriage to Lady Rosalind. Perhaps they may have had a hand in it.” (Sim)



 When Sim said this, my brother replied, “Don’t speculate. They have been convinced now.”


 Sim bowed his head to my brother and said nothing more.



 After that, I asked Sim about it, but he wouldn’t talk about it, saying that my brother had stopped him. When I told him that I really needed to know for the safety of my brother and father, he finally told me the story.



“I have heard that His Excellency, the Frontier Count ‘s own brother, Viscount Tysburn, and his confidant, Baronet Gateskell, had been speaking out against it until just a few days ago…” (Sim)



 As expected, it seems that the relatives of the Frontier Count Roswell were opposed to the union, but they stopped opposing it about ten days ago.


 Rumors were circulating that the Viscount and others may have realized that the will of the Frontier Count was firm and that it was impossible to cancel the union after coming this far and finally gave up on it.



(I can’t think of any reason why Viscount Tysburn would attack the Lockhart family, although it is doubtful. Sure, if my father is killed and my mother is kidnapped, the marriage would have to be postponed, but is it really necessary to go that far? If it’s Tysburn, I’m sure there are other reasons…) (Zack)



 I’m reassured by the fact that someone who seems to be the mastermind is finally floating around.



(If it’s the brother of the Frontier Count, he must have some power. Well, I heard that his territory is quite far east, so he won’t suddenly attack us with force, but we should at least be prepared to ride into enemy territory. Looks not good…) (Zack)



 My brother put our story in writing, and at dawn the next morning, he dispatched a knight and a squire each to Welburn as messengers.


 That night, too, they stood watch as a precaution, but nothing happened, and the morning of July 9 arrived without incident.



 July 9th, 8am.


 After breakfast, we headed south along the Northern Road, which runs from Netherton, a major city in the central part of the Caelum Empire, to Rawcliffe in the northern part. At the south gate of Rawcliffe, many merchants were lined up to cross the Rawcliffe Bridge over the Farthus River.



 We, too, were in line and waiting for our turn. The merchants in front and behind us glanced at us, as if they were wondering why we, protected by the knights, were standing quietly in line.


 The Rawcliffe garrison guarding the bridge also noticed us and offered to give us priority passage, but my father said, “We are not in a hurry to travel. Let’s just leave it as it is,” and so the soldiers back off.



 After about 30 minutes, we arrived at the south gate and crossed the bridge, which was quite a spectacular view.



 The bridge, a huge two-kilometer-long straight line, was so beautifully paved that it was hard to believe that it was cobblestone pavement, and the rattling noise characteristic of horse-drawn carriages could hardly be heard.


 Of course, there are no rubber tires, so the rattling sound of the wheels is still there, but one cannot help but be amazed at the excellence of the imperial civil engineering technology.



 Archers on a watchtower along the way monitor the sky above and the surface of the river. They are on the lookout to protect people passing over the bridge from the monsters in the Farthus River.



 At the end of the long bridge, a U-shaped rampart and a huge gate loomed over the city. It seemed to serve as a fortress to hold off the enemy invasion here, even if Rawcliffe were to be invaded.



 After passing through the gate, a meadow area spread out. Unlike the Aurella Road, which is lined with forests, there are gentle undulations, but the view is one that is more appropriate for the word “prairie”.


 A straight road continued southward through the prairie. Unlike the Aurella Road, the main road in the north, and the Ars Road in the east, the Northern Road, which is also a military road, was wide and paved with earth magic, just like the bridge.



 Cattle and horses grazed in the grasslands that spread out on both sides of the road, and small villages were scattered about. The villages have wooden fences that seem to protect them from monsters, but there are no ostentatious walls, and this fact alone suggests that the area is safe and secure.



 The grass in the pastureland is less than one meter high, so there is little possibility for ambush soldiers to hide. Furthermore, the plain was undulating and clear, so there was little chance of a surprise attack.


 Even so, they remained vigilant and proceeded cautiously along the northern road.



 Nothing suspicious happened that day, including during the night, and nothing of note happened the next day either, except for a slight break in the weather and the joining of the platoon that was supplemented from Welburn on the way.



 July 10, 2:00 pm.


 The massive walls of Welburn, the largest city in the northern part of the Caelum Empire, came into our sight.


 A line had already begun to form in front of the city gate, and we slowly made our way forward, admiring the fortified city that is typical of the Caelum Empire, with its three-kilometer square walls surrounding the city.



 Welburn is a large city with a population of 30,000 in the urban area alone and more than 100,000 in the surrounding villages and towns that supply food and other necessities.



 The Well River, from which the city takes its name, flows through the southern part of Welburn, and the area surrounding the city is a rich mix of grasslands and forests.



 In the farmlands that stretch along the northern road, ears of summer wheat sway quietly in the blowing wind. The farmers stopped working many times to wipe the sweat off their hands in the summer heat, but their faces never ceased to smile. The idyllic scenery seemed to tell us that this was a peaceful place.



 About 30 minutes after arriving at the end of the procession, we passed through the north gate of Welburn. My brother led the way to the castle of his lord, the Count of Roswell, on the frontier.



 In the city center of Welburn, the northern road running north to south became a main street, lined with many stores. The main street  was filled with merchants and residents, and the shouting voices coming from all directions gave the impression of a lively city.



 One of the residents recognized my brother Roderick and called out, “Sir Lockhart!” and began waving his hand widely.



 People on the main street also noticed his voice, stopped shopping, and waved their hands with the same smile. As time went by, people began to appear from the second and third floor windows of the buildings, making it look like a parade.



 My father and the rest of had our eyes widen at the sight, but my brother, perhaps accustomed to the sight, responded with a smile from his horse.



 A little to the east of the center of town, the city walls and a spire with a bright flag fluttering in the air appeared once again. It was the castle where the northern governor’s office was located, Count Roswell’s residence.



 The castle was not a fortress for battle, but more like a palace with a number of conical roofs made of rich white stone.


 When my brother motioned to open the main gate on the west side of the castle, the massive but white-painted wooden gate slowly opened.



 Inside, we found a beautiful garden with bright green lawns and colorful flowers in full bloom.


 We dismounted at once and pulled our horses into the castle.



A/N: Rodrick is a platoon leader, but he has “horns” on his helmet.

He does not have to be a company commander to have horns, because he is not in the Ji*n army. By the way, there is no antenna function.




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