Chapter 29 – Skilled Crafters
When I woke up the next morning, Amelia was already here and waiting for me at the barracks. Slightly surprised to see her here already I greeted her, “Good morning, Amelia. I did not expect to see you here so early in the morning.”
“I’m just a bit too excited about joining. It's not every day you can join a new knight order.” Came Amelia’s reply. “Don’t mind me. You can go ahead and have breakfast. I can wait.”
“We don’t have much here right now,” I said. As I indicated how empty the barracks was, “But I can still offer you a cup of tea at least.”
Nodding her head Amelia followed behind me as I led her to the small canteen. Lyn and Catarina were the only ones there waiting. It seemed like everyone else was still sleeping. As we waited for the food to be cooked and ready, more of my friends started to show up. Finally, just before the food was brought in, Anna and Louise showed up, as if they had waited for the exact moment.
Now that we were all here, I wanted to properly divide all the roles up. Throughout breakfast, we segregated the roles that were available and who was the most suitable for them.
Hilda would become head of the strategic operations department. She will oversee all strategic planning and personnel. As the girls from the cultural clubs were going to be part of the department it only made sense that she would oversee it.
Chandre would oversee the scouting and intelligence department. Like the name suggests she would oversee all scouts and collect information that will be of use to us.
Lyn would become the chief of the transport department. Her experience in handling animals made her the obvious choice. Her role would include overseeing the horses and other animals we may keep. Maintain saddles and other equipment required for horse riding as well as ensuring carriages and the likes are safe and ready to be always used.
Dorothy was most familiar with food procurement. Thus, she was placed as the chief of the food supply department. She was to oversee the task of securing food and the preparation of food.
Catarina was also like Dorothy and was familiar with food procurement, but she would most likely eat all the food instead, so she was placed as chief of the daily management department instead. Her role will be to oversee the daily needs of our soldiers.
Amelia would become the chief of the auxiliary department. All weapons and battle equipment we may need will be under her direct supervision. With her meticulous personality, it was for the best that she oversaw the procurement and maintenance of the weapons and armaments.
Anna would oversee the law enforcement and disciplinary department. With her straightforward mentality, Anna would be perfect for the role as an enforcer. It also helped that she was an excellent combatant in a head-on fight.
Finally, Louise would be the chief of the coordination department, while also serving as the vice commander. I had not forgotten about how she laughed at me when I was nervous before the knighting ceremony, as well as, at that time, she volunteered me to become the class representative. She would be stuck as my second in command. There was no way I would let her off now.
Her role would be to oversee and help facilitate the interaction and cooperation with all other departments as well as the interaction with other military units. While at the same time she will help with any task that I am unable to do.
We currently did not have any medical department, but I would like for us to have one at some point. When we do get one, it was agreed that I would take on the duty of overseeing it. Until someone more capable and trustworthy could takeover.
However, the medical department like all other departments of our battalion was virtually non-existent. To be honest the whole battalion itself was non-existent right now. We had Seventeen knights in total which was an exceptional number as the Eternal Garden had only just been formed.
The battalion on the other hand looked a bit shabby with only twenty-six girls that made up the logistical departments and the fifty recruits turned soldiers. We did not even have a total of a hundred personnel.
Thus, from now onwards we could only head outside the academy to recruit our members. For the various departments. It matched with my plan to head out with Amelia to meet the skilled crafters.
Hopefully, they were easygoing and would agree to work with us. It would be even better if they were open to working exclusively for us. However, I knew to keep my expectations in check so that I wouldn’t be disappointed if I was rejected.
With tempered expectations, Amelia and I head off first. My friends stayed and continued to plan on their approach to recruiting more personnel for their various departments. While also waiting for the group of girls from Louise and Anna’s club that would join as knights to the Eternal Garden.
On horseback, Amelia led the way as we weaved through the crowds heading towards the outskirts of the business districts. Different from when I just started attending the academy, I was no longer completely ignorant and now knew more about the capital.
The place we were headed to was some workshops that Amelia was familiar with. Workshops were usually located to the edge of the business districts away from the restaurants and residential areas because they would often work with odorous materials and were laud when working.
Amelia soon stopped outside a workshop with a bow drawn a sign. It seemed like our first destination was a bowyer. Hopping off the horse we left it to a young boy to look after for a few copper coins, before heading inside.
The inside of the workshop was simple but well lit. There were no bows or arrows on display around the front of the workshop, just a teenage girl sitting behind a desk. Amelia seemed to know her and asked her whether the bowyer Alex was present. The teenage girl confirmed and left to call him.
The person that appeared was a lean middle-aged man. The man had similar hair to the teenage girl. If I had to guess they were most likely related to either the girl’s father or uncle. I wasn’t too sure.
“I heard you wanted to see me,” The voice that came out of the man was unexpectedly soft and quiet.
Quickly overcoming my surprise, I replied and explained why we had come.
Giving us a nod of understanding, he told us about his reply before long and did not leave us in suspense. “I can join work for you, but you will have to supply a new workshop for me. As you can see this one is about to be completely closed down as the owner is not leasing it anymore.”
We learnt that the workshop that Alex was leasing had been sold to someone else and they would no longer lease it out. Thus, Alex would be without a workshop and home until he found a new one. This was the reason why Amelia had led us to him, as he was desperate now, it was easier to convince him to join us.
With one bowyer down we moved on to the next crafter. This time we did not go by horse but just walked there. Along the way, Amelia explained that our next target was a young dwarven smith named Amara. However, the smith was going through difficult times right now as she was had lost an arm due to an accident. While she was still able to work with one arm thanks to a helper, but people were unwilling to trust her to work on their weapons and armours.
When we entered the giant door to the workshop, I found that it was dark and musty as if the furnace had not been used in a while. Looking around I found a drunken giant laying on the floor asleep. It was a common misconception that dwarves were a race of short beings that looked like humans, but this was wrong. They were in fact a race of giants that were three metres tall for males and two and a half metres for females. They were called dwarves because they were the shortest of all the giants. While the Titans were the tallest.
As we approached the slumbering dwarf. She woke up immediately and looked around, before stopping her eyes on us. “What do you two want?”
“We were hoping that you would work for us.” I offered with the most serious voice I could muster.
“You’re joking, right?” Responding in a self-deprecating way, “I’m with only one arm and you are saying you want me to work for you?”
I nodded my head answering her rhetorical question. I watched as she got up from the floor and stood up straight. Instantly, her drunken appearance disappeared. What took over was an extremely intimidating appearance of an angry giant.
“Do not mock me!” I notice her eyes gleaming a silvery colour as she shouted at me.
“I’m not mocking you I have heard that you are an extremely skilled smith.” Keeping up a brave appearance, I stood straight and replied to her, “Even after losing your arms you are still able to perform your crafts. I believe that it has not changed anything and that you just need an opportunity to prove it.”
Taking note of her silvery eyes, I started to suspect that there was more to her. It was likely that she had divinity in her. She may not be a goddess but as someone with divinity, it was dangerous for her if she did not know how to control herself. This made it even more important that I got her to work with us so I could make sure she did not hurt herself or anyone around her. I knew firsthand how dangerous divinity was when the owner of it was enraged or unable to control themselves.
I knew I had to do everything in my power to convince her. I was prepared to even reveal my divinity right here, right now. Even if it meant that Amelia would find out. However, if possible, I still wanted to convince the smith without revealing all my secrets.
Having made up my resolve I took a step towards the giant and stood my ground as I continued to negotiate with her. My show of confidence seemed to have worked, as her straight back slumped down and she sat down on the floor. Even then she was still taller than I was and looked downwards at me.
Amelia and I just stayed silent as we let her calm herself down. Once she had calmed down her eyes were no longer glowing silver and had returned to a beautiful crimson red, like her hair. Once she had calmed down the dwarf initiated the talk.
“Do you really believe in my skills?” Now that she was no longer enraged the young dwarf sounded young and vulnerable.
As gently as possible I affirmed my belief in her, “I do believe in your skills. Otherwise, I would not have come here today.”
Taking it a step further I introduced myself, “I will tell you, as the Crown princess of Kar, I am by no means, short of talented individuals, but I believe you possess enough merit and skill that can be of benefit to me.”
I did not fully explain everything right at this moment, but I was not lying either. I really believed she had skills if she could skill forge with one arm. It is just that the main reason why I want her to work with me was no longer just because of her skills but rather it was her demonstration of divinity.
Following this Amelia and I were able to convince the dwarven smith that we truly believed in her skills and wanted her to join us. After getting her to agree, we informed her where we were currently based in and moved on to our next few destinations.
These following trips were not as successful as we only got one other crafter to join us. He was another dwarf by the name of Kason, but unlike Amara, he was not a smith but a carpenter. He easily accepted our bid as he was not receiving many orders recently.
While we still did not get enough crafters to supply the future battalion it was still a start. With three crafters in the various disciplines, we were still set to make what we needed for now. If we can develop the crossbow Claude may even make our unit into some form of special unit where we can create and test out new equipment and strategies. At that point he will have to delegate some more crafters to us.
I have my exams coming up so I will move to a slower pace of update, maybe once a week or so. It will probably continue so for the foreseeable as I will no longer be working from home, with lockdowns easing for me. see you all next week.