Volgen was taking the lead.
Occasionally, he would turn around and look at the cart the other two civilian soldiers were pushing.
As he saw the spoils of war on the cart, the young captain couldn’t conceal his excitement anymore. Especially the two leather armors among the pile which caught his eye, Volgen couldn’t help but slow down and touch the leather armor again.
The leather armor was made with a composite material of cow mixed with boar hide; it was tied with a special kind hemp rope which was made from mixing up Calanthe grass and cow’s tendon.
Not only sturdy and firm, but the rope also has quite a strong defense against slashing as well, let alone the whole armor itself.
When Volgen discovered the leather armor, he took the effort to test it out himself.
Of course, he didn’t really test it out with real swords and pikes but a more skillful way. It was actually the feeling from a hunter towards leather.
He was sure that the leather armor could do more than defend against a forward slash from a sword, its defense against arrows would be remarkable as well.
At least common arrows within 20 meters range would never be able to pierce its defense.
The young captain couldn’t help but imagine himself in that leather armor.
However, Volgen’s character had determined that he would never keep the leather armors for himself. He would pass it all to Kieran, similar to the other spoils of war.
There were a lot of bronze utensils with a little mix of silverware. There were also a lot of copper coins, a sack of silver coins and exactly 6 gold coins.
That was all of the so-called spoils of war.
It wasn’t as valuable as Kieran had imagined but it was still not too shabby.
“Keep the coins. Distribute the bronze and silverware to everyone based on their performance tonight. As for the two leather armors Volgen, you can take one. Don’t say no, your performance has earned you that much. Keep the other one in the office and whosoever has exceptional performance during the upcoming missions and operations, he will be able to own it. Of course, don’t forget to show off your knowledge on maintaining a piece of leather armor.”
Kieran said loudly in front of the civilian troops.
The generous and fair distribution of loot earned the support of the soldiers.
The slightly humorous speech also made the soldiers giggled.
Therefore, no one objected Kieran’s upcoming orders despite them having to stay up all night.
“I know everyone is tired but we have to protect Shatterstone. Volgen will split you guys in two, try to find a balance between rest and patrols.”
“Other than that, we need more men to expand our troops here. Volgen, come to me when you finished assigning the tasks,” Kieran ordered.
“Yes, my lord!” The young captain said loudly with excitement since he was eager to equip the leather armor.
All the tasks were assigned in a quick and effective manner. After a mere 10 minutes, Volgen returned to the security office.
When Volgen saw Kieran sitting on the chair and Mayor Holler standing beside him, he greeted them politely.
“My lord, sir mayor.”
Kieran nodded as a reply and signaled Volgen to sit down.
“I need the troops to expand to around 50 men. They also need to be fully armed and equipped, some of them must have a certain level of basic combat skills.”
“My lord, it’s impossible! There are only around 300 regular citizens in Shatterstone. We can’t even gather the number you requested, let alone fully armed and have a certain level of basic combat abilities.”
The young captain shook his head and expressed his idea to Kieran’s suggestion.
“If we can’t gather the numbers from Shatterstone’s citizen, we can go after the merchant group’s guards and mercenaries. Some of them are still drifting from town to town but some of them are tired of such life and want to settle down. These are all viable candidates that we can go after. Volgen, I hope you can find some reliable and trustworthy men around them within a few days.”
“After you locate them, I’ll go talk to them myself. As for the weapons and equipment, they wouldn’t be too shabby since they are guards and mercenaries right?”
It wasn’t Kieran who answered Volgen but Holler beside him.
Holler who had fallen under [Mesly Ring]’s control had prioritized Kieran’s will over everything. The moment Kieran wanted to speak, he already knew what his master wanted to express.
Compared to reading official documents and not get any results in his search for peculiar incidents around the town, Holler didn’t wish to see this task end up in failure as well.
“Alright, I’ll try my best.”
The young captain sounded lacking in confidence but his actions were still efficient.
When Volgen left, Holler turned to Kieran while waiting for his next order.
Kieran too gave his order without pausing.
“Other than the expansion of troops, you need to bring back a fortune for the town and at least 50 superior warhorses.”
“Sayer, here’s a chance for you and I hope you won’t disappoint me.”
“Snacker, Blu, and Riley. Two of you will stay and help Volgen in guarding the town and one of you help Holler to bring back what is ours.”
“Yes, my lord!”
Each of them was called out and were assigned to their respective task; they bowed and accepted their tasks.
Then everyone moved out in unison except Old Peeker who was anxiously standing there.
“My lord, you wish to visit that person’s secret hideout alone?” Old Peeker tried to probe for more information with his question.
“Of course not, it’ll be you and me.”
The first half of Kieran’s sentence made Old Peeker relieved but the second half that followed frightened him, making him almost fall to the floor.
“M-My lord, if this is a joke, it’s not funny at all!”
“I never doubted your strength, my lord, that secret hideout is not only heavily guarded, but it is also very strange as well! A lot of others had their eyes on that place when it appeared but eventually vanished without a sign. The living would be wiped out of existence and the dead do not even leave behind a body.”
“My lord, please, I beg of you, I don’t want to die so early! We can wait for the “trade day” and go in when it opens! There is no reason for us to take such a big risk now!”
Old Peeker was begging for his life.
“The “trade day” is only once a month and the last one ended three days ago. It’s too long to wait for the next. I don’t have that much time. You can choose to stay and I’ll hang you outside the town,” Kieran said calmly but his tone was strict and decisive.
Old Peeker looked at Kieran with a bitter look and went quiet.
Several of the bastards were hung to death on the town gate and Old Peeker knew Kieran was a man of his words.
Dying here right away or dying later in the secret hideout
Old Peeker suddenly knew how to choose.
“My lord, when do we leave?” He asked.
“Now.” Kieran gave a decisive answer.
“Can you wait for me a bit? I need to prepare some stuff and we might be able to use it on the way there. Don’t worry, everything is harmless.”
“A chicken, a female cat and a bundle of fresh grass.”
Old Peeker spoke three items and immediately, he explained, “This information cost me quite a fortune, I was going to Let’s hope they would be useful.”
Old Peeker was being vague here but even without asking, Kieran knew what he wanted to do in the first place.
It was nothing more than “black eat black”.
Despite the short contact, it was enough for Kieran to understand what kind of character and thoughts this dwarf-like hotel owner had.
However, Kieran was not interested to probe a dark cunning old man’s heart.
His attention was captured by the name of the secret hideout that Old Peeker mentioned.
The secret hideout was known as the “secret bazaar”!