Hectic (Part 3)

As he walked Raktacolas passed their orders on to his second who produced the current inventory from somewhere on his person. Then they set off to the first of many places they would need to visit in order to make the amendments needed before it could be returned to Trackon. An action that would result in the man reading it and then passing it straight back to them so they could fix any problems before he ordered another inventory the next time he felt the need to keep Raktacolas busy. If that didn’t occur for a while then Raktacolas and his men quietly kept stock of their stores and made sure there was enough to keep the army going.

By the time they finished the sun had passed its zenith and Raktacolas was wishing he had managed to slip away on his hunt when he had chance that morning. Now he was stuck listening to reports on how much grain they had when he’d much rather be hunting, never mind that they needed more meat so any he brought back would be gratefully received. Still they eventually finished and he headed back to Trackon glaring angrily at the guards when they went to stop his second entering with him. They were so surprised at such a reaction that they put up no further resistance and Raktacolas came to be standing before Trackon once more but this time his second stood at his side.

“The inventory,” he said handing over the wax tablet in one smooth movement. Trackon flipped it open and started to read leaving the two men standing at attention before him.

Eventually he put it down and looked up at the two waiting men and had to suppress the smile that tugged at his lips. Standing there the two of them looked so much like the army’s champions that they were decked from head to toe in armour with hands resting on weapon hilts and a steely glint to their eyes. More than that though there was no obvious split between the two of them as you might expect from a man and his second. Instead they stood side by side, each with their body tilted so they could better protect the other if any attack came. Not that an attack was likely this close to the centre of the camp but Trackon suspected it was simply habit and neither was aware of what they were doing anymore. “Everything appears to be in order. Ensure that you fix our supply of meat,” he said at last.

The two men before him nodded and he offered the tablet back to them, not at all surprised when it was Raktacolas’s second who took it. The only writing it contained was his so no doubt it was he who ensured it was kept safe and away from prying eyes. “I believe you are needed in the West camp again,” he told them. He watched as the two men exchanged what could only be an exasperated looked before they left.

Raktacolas stopped just outside the tent to exchange a few words with the guards making sure to keep his uncharacteristic temper under wraps. They joked for a few minutes before he begged their leave due to another disturbance in the West camp and they waved him on saying they wouldn’t keep him from his duties. He was glad he’d made the effort though because they looked considerably more at ease when he left than they had when he’d first emerged from the tent.

When Raktacolas and his second arrived at the West camp it was to find that their tents had been set up but in the process the three mercenary factions had found something new to argue about. Namely exactly where their tents should go as they all battled for the prestige of being closest to the hero of the army. And so began the rest of Raktacolas’s day as he set about reorganising the whole camp to ensure that no faction fared better than any other and by the time he had done so and watched the last tent be re-erected dusk had fallen.

With a sigh he headed into his tent to place the hunting bow, he had been carrying in hope, back into its chest before going in search of food. It appeared that today wouldn’t be a day for leisure and now that night had fallen there was no chance of even a quick hunt. Instead he resigned himself to hunting on the morrow if he wasn’t dragged away by duty again. As he ate his second came to sit beside him. “It has been organised that due to a need for meat stores our company shall be heading into the forest to hunt,” the man said with a grin. A grin that only grew bigger upon seeing his leader’s face at the news. “Next time you want to get out of the camp, tell me,” he whispered conspiratorially making his commander laugh. So maybe there was no hunting today but tomorrow he would be able to escape with his men on what promised to be a considerably more entertaining trip although not as quiet.


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