Lightholder Crossroads - Interdistrict Carriage Hub <Palace District>

A small village has sprouted on the edge of the Lightholder River where the cobblestone roads from Fastheld's other prominent districts intersect, in the shadow of Caryas Hill and the majestic gray silhouette of Fastheld Keep - the seat of power for the entire realm. Sutlers, traveling performers and other small-time merchants ply their trades along this main crossroads - competing for space with carriages hauling passengers, couriers rushing important communiques from one district to another, and the soldiers of the Emperor's Blades who regularly patrol the area.
On the northwest corner of the intersection, next to the road that twists north toward Lightholder Bridge and the palace, sits a large tavern and inn where weary travelers can refresh themselves.

Owen has just walked from the southeast end of the crossroads, leading in the direction of the market district. Once he enters into the crossroads proper, he slows, taking up a familiar position at one of the corners. His hand rests lightly on the pommel of his longsword, eyes roving the area slowly.

The door to the moneychanger opens and a dark haired women stooped to oneside shuffles out towards the small donkey the waits patiently next to the hitch. She is cloaked with a thick brown wool scarf covering her head and tied snugly under her chin. She carries a small satchel over one shoulder which she removes as she approaches the animal.

Various groups of men and women mill about the crossroads going about there daily business. A couple of men dressed in woodsman's gear stand by tavern, hand resting on bow as they laugh jovially at some piece of conversation.

The pattering of carriages to and from the Crossroads is common during the day and it is on one of these carriages, its covering stitched and painted with the Blades logo that Lucius Nepos hops off. With a smirk and salute he waves off the driver, moving towards the crossroads on foot now.

Owen's eyes continue on their slow survey of the crossroads, the slight wind causing a small ripple at the ends of his cloak. He keeps an eye on the various goings on, attention drawn to the Blades Carriage as it pulls up, an eyebrow arcing up slightly under the protection offered by his helmet.

The woman hooks the strap of the satchel over the donkey's saddle, letting it hang as she starts fishing in the pouch of one of the saddle bags. She looks up at the carriages approach, watches for a second, but seems quite disinterested as Lucius hops off. She pulls a small cloth bindle from the bag and begins to unwrap it.

Lucius Nepos's pace slows as the mid-day marketplace becomes a bit thicker with people, gauntleted fingers drumming against the steel of his tassets. He notes the presence of the other Bladesman and approaches him, calling out, "Hail, Blade. Alls quiet?"

Owen straightens up slightly, his body already fairly straight, as the other Blade appraoches. "All is quiet indeed, sir." He seems to assume the man outranks him, his bearing perhaps giving this clue. "I've only just arrived back from patrol, but it seems well."

Jevonna quickly weaves though the small crowd as makes her way toward the carriage stop. Every now and then she peeks behind her, hopefully one will be there when she gets there.

Lucius Nepos's eyes squint a bit as his green-blue eyes pass over Owen's face, in recognition. "Say, you wouldn't happen to be from Vozhdya.. err, Aegisview, would you? You look familiar." The Marshal says.

The dark haired women, with a head scarf fastened under her chin, leans against the donkey as she finishes unwrapping the small bundle. A small loaf of bread and cheese is revealed. The animal blinks once, shifts one hoof but takes the weight. The women grins at the animal and says, her voice croaky, "Ayup. A good rest post yah makes dear."

"No, sir," Owen replies, inclining his head a little. "Aegisport. But my father's family is mostly from that area. Some folks tell me that I resemble that side of the family more than my mother's, sir."

The women begins to munch on little spippets of the bread. Her eyes wander lazily around the crossroads as she chews, pausing here and there with mild interest. Her head tilts slightly to the side as she watches the blades but soon moves on. Dirty fingers scratch at her cheek as she twists her head to again speak to the donkey, "Yah better rest up. We's gots aways yah know."

Jevonna reaches her destination, finally. She leans heavily on a wall and catches her breath. A slender hand raises to wipe her face and brush away a few strands of hair. She glances down the road for the next carriage.

"Hmm, you reminded me of the Warmaster of Markus Kahar's Ducal Guard, before I was appointed to the position. This is going back a few years.. Milo Stone, his name was." Notes Lucius shrugging armored shoulders. "Wouldn't happen to be a Stone yourself, eh?"

Some more laughter ensues from the man at he tavern as they heft their bows to shoulder and start wandering away from the tavern door in the direction of the Palace bridge.

"Milo?" The Guardian cracks a slight smile, nodding his head. "I'm Owen Stone. Milo is my father's cousin. I think it was actually he who urged my father to commit me to military service. If not directly, then it was by his example my father set my course."

The last bit of cheese is popped into the woman's mouth and very slowly she wraps the cloth around the remaining bread. She stuffs it back into the saddlebag and ties it firmly shut.

A bit of parchment flutters out from under the porch of one of the buildings and blows towards the spot where the Bladesmen stand.

"Huh, good to meet a relative of him, then. Milo was a good man, and a good superior. Made me feel like I was still in the Blades full time, even though the 2nd Blademaster put me in the reserves for that time." Lucius chuckles good naturedly, patting the Guardian on the shoulder. It's then when he notices the woodsmen as they make their way to the palace bridge, arching an eyebrow. "Hmm. We should check that out." He is, though, distracted by the parchment, which leans down to pick up.

Owen's eyes had been previously distracted by the woodsmen, so when Lucius speaks of them he nods. "Yes. I obly met him once or twice but he struck me as a good man," Owen muses. Then as the senior Blade picks up the parchment, Owen leans over slightly, indicating some interest in it's contents.

A carriage finally pulls up and Jevonna jumps aboard.

"So I's heard that the hunt for Tumbler is pretty good 'long this shore," one of the woodsman says to the other. The other pats his bow, "Less hopes. She' rarin to git a good one."

The woman moves around to the front of the donkey and loosens the strap off the hitch. "So," she croaks at it, "Do you's say we heads ta the market or this dere Palace? Minnia says theys lookin for helps in the help likes sort." She tilts her ear at the animal as if waiting for and answer.

Lucius Nepos 's eyes narrow at the page, folding it up and handing it to Owen. "It's one of those plays that's being written by a disgruntled citizen." Putting it out of his mind now, Lucius begins to stride towards the hunters, hands at his side non-threateningly. "C'mon, Stone." He says, as if an afterthought.

Owen's eyes scan over the play quickly, a slight frown creasing his features. Then he folds it up and tucks it away. He moves alongside the other blade, his posture similar, but still on guard a bit.

One of the men notices the blades heading in their direction and nudges the other with his elbow. They both turn, seemingly quite relaxed. One calls out with a respectful nod, "'Lo there, Light's Greetings ta yah both.”

"Uh huh, uh huh," the woman grunts while nodding, seemingly at whatever she thinks the donkey is saying to her. "Yah foods good, warm's good. Needs imps fer all that. Uh uh...uh huh." Her head snap up and she grins a crooked grin, "Then dats where we goes den."

Beneath his helmet Lucius offers the men a smile as well, stopping when he's a few feet away from them. "Afternoon, gentlemen, Light's Greeting. Just wondering where you two were heading, given the bows on your backs and the direction." An armoured glove motions up to the palace. "You understand, I assume, with all the recent events that security's been stepped up."

Owen remains silent. The large man does a pretty good job of playing the silent menace, his face remaining blank as his superior addresses the men. Eyes shift to each of them in turn.

One of the men points towards the side of the bridge. The other smiles amiably at Lucius and rumbles, "Understandable of course. We's just heading out along the shore in search of some supper. Won't even be crossing over da bridge." The other pipes up, "We heard in the tavern that a colony of Tumbler's been spotted bit further up.""

The woman grabs the donkey's reigns and starts walking down the short stretch of road leading to the bridge. She pays little if any attention the the group of men that stand nearby, seemingly quite absorbed in the one sided conversation. "Mabe, better was me face at leasts." She lets stifled guffaw, "Might sees the new Emperor fellow. As she reaches the bridge railing she stops and peers over at the water. "Long way downs though."

Lucius Nepos seems to be very pleased at this news, and nods his armoured head. "Oh, that's great. I've actually been craving a little bit of tumbler recently. You think that we could accompany you two there and watch you at work? I promise not to scare your quarry, but I would like to buy a few of the corpses off ya. I definitely know my men would enjoy some good, non conventional meat." Explains Luc. At the noise of a donkey he glances up briefly and catches sight of the woman; he doesn't recognize her, however, and continues with his attentions on the men.

Owen nods slightly too, the thought of food apparently perking him up a little bit. He too glances over his shoulder at the donkey, but as his superior seems to give little attention to it, he does the same. "Sounds interesting," he says quietly.

The two men hesitate and look at each other. One scratches his chin before speaking, slow and apologetic, "I dunno Master Blade. It's not that I gots any problem wit yah all tagging it's jus that if yah do we more en likely won't git nothing. They're a might skittish and all and takes lots of sneaky like moves." He looks them over, "No offense or nothin.. If yah likes we can bring some back and gives it to yah if yer that hungry."

"I've watched tumblers from a distance before. It's just that we don't get much of an opportunity to watch people hunt, really. I don't mind watching fourty feet away kind of thing, but I honestly think, gentlemen," Says Lucius, explaining as his hands move about in various motions, "that me watching you from a distance will help me become a bit sneakier. See the masters do it afterall, hmm?"

As the woman continues to look over the edge of the railing. She makes a loud gurgling sound in the back of her throat and hucks a rather flemy looking wad of spittle out towards the water. The donkey looks bored. Shifts to one side and abruptly sits.

Owen nods slowly. "Yes. You could show me a little something too, I'm sure." He smiles a little. "Don't know much about sneakin'. Especially not in all this here armor."

Again both men look at each other. One looks quite irritated. They other liek he really doesn't care. One shrug and the other follows, "Yah alright, but we ain't takin' no responsibility if yah guys can't hack it down dere." The irritated one turns without waiting for any more talk and heads towards the path the leads down from the western side of the bridge.

Lucius Nepos smiles rather triumphantly. "Thanks, we do appreciate it. And don't worry, we'll pay you a pretty penny for that meat.. it's pretty rare we get something that unconventional on a spit, of course." As the wad soars down and hits the water near Lucius, the Marshal glances up once more but shrugs, now moving to follow the hunters.

Owen follows the hunters as well, careful not to loose his footing now that they are descending a bit. He seems a little confused about what is going on, at least his facial expression would demonstrate as much. This notwithstanding, however, he looks willing enough to go about following orders.

”Then follow me gentlemen,” the man beckons with his hand after a passing glance at the spitting women. He turns to follow his companion.

Lucius Nepos leans in to quickly whisper something to Owen, then continues on.

Under Lightholder Bridge

Green marble arches fronted by the tall sculptures of armored soldiers span this muddy jade width of the Lightholder River, which flows beneath the Lightholder Bridge in the heart of Fastheld's Palace District.
The river is about ten feet deep and one hundred yards wide at this point, flanked on either side by embankments that appear to be safe mooring spots.

Small groups of fisherman line the shore. Some pulling in nets. Some holding onto rods that bob in the running water. The two hunters make there way down the path and start trudging down the small path that leads along the shore. "Bit of a trek. Hopes yah two don'ts mind a walk."

Lucius Nepos smiles. "We're Blades. The first thing we're taught in training is how to march twenty five miles in a day. Then how to force march even more than that. Of course not." Lucius says, obliging the two with a nod. He follows.

Owen chuckles a little, softly. "Thats a fresh memory in my head," he remarks casually, "Just fresh outta trainin', I don't even feel comfortable sittin' down. Feel like I need to be marching." He nods then, apparently to whatever Lucius had told him.

"Yeah of course," the talkative one says with an amiable laugh as the other trudges along ahead. "Watch yer step though. Can git a might slippy at times. Wouldn't want yah ta fall in. Wit dat armor yah'd sink like a rock in some places." Both walk on, their steps like an easy.

Lucius Nepos follows along with a further nod. "Don't worry, we're going to keep our distance from you, let ya do your work."

As the groups draws away from the bustle of the bridge the sound of human life quiets and is replaced by the sounds of the river shore, water laps at the shoreline, a frog croaks here and there, bugs buzz lazily overhead, the breeze rustles through the leaves of bushes and trees that line the ridge the stretches high above them and the occasional sound of sticks snapping wavers downward. The shore up head curves slightly and a splash can be heard off around the corner.

The hunter in the front holds up his hand at the sound. He slows but keeps moving, "Everyone quiet, might be dem."


A smooth strand of gray soil along the river's murky green edge. The shore slopes sharply upward as it leads away from the waterline, forming a steep ridge. Thick twists of vines and tangled brush and trees cling to the ridge.

Lucius Nepos slows his pace immediately upon the hunter's words, stopping when he is in a position to see around the curve and, hopefully not rouse the hunters' prey. He watches their movements carefully, eyes darting to check the shoreline.

Owen slows, then stops as well, a little bit further back from Lucius. He he positioned a little closer to the water though, apparently intending to keep an eye on the hunters.

As the group makes it's away around the curve. The source of the splashing comes into view. A lone figure stands ankle deep in the river, holding a fishing rod and tugging at it, the line appearing to be stuck on something in the water. The hunter in front frowns. The other grins slightly, "Well dat 'ill scare em won't it." The sound of rustles and a couple of snapping branches can be heard behind the group.
Slightly disappointed at the hunters mark, it appears that Lucius understands this is all part of the job; you need to be patient to be a hunter, whereas soldiering is usually more straightforward. However, the branch snapping catches his attention, and he turns about, trying to catch sight of the source.

Owen doesn't look excited or unhappy, basically just impassive at this moment. His eyes turn toward the sound as well though, a few heartbeats after Lucius. His training apparently hasn't set in completely. The noise has attention though, a sidelong glance is sent toward the other blade.

Within moments the source of the noise is indeed revealed. A couple men dressed in green hued forest garb rise from the bushes, bows in a hand and arrows trained on Lucius and Owen. There faces are covered with black cloth. At the same time the fishermen turns to greet the new arrival it can be seen that his face is similarly masked. He calls out in a passive voice as the rod drops with a splash and his hand slips into his pocket, "Weapons down gentlemen. If you value your life that is." He gestures at the surrounding shoreline, "You are absolutely without out question surrounded."
The hunters both stop dead and stare one quipping, "See told yah didn't want no responsibility."

The only weapon that Lucius has near ready is his iron spear which is tucked into a compartment of his shield, this he lays down, eyes narrowing. "Light, this is the second time this's happened in the past two weeks. When will I catch a bloody break?" Nevertheless, his gauntleted hands rise, foot making sure the shield doesn't slide away on the ground. He makes no moves to touch his sword, either, keeping his hands in sight. "What do you want?"

Owen looks taken aback a bit, especially at the words his superior utter. Nevertheless, he has no choice other than to comply, hand dropping to his sword and pulling it out slowly before setting it on the ground. This done he look over to Lucius. "Look's like we won't be getting a nice dinner," he remarks.

The fisherman doesn't answer the questions instead directing a query at the talkative hunter who doesn't make any move to give up his weapon. For that matter neither does the other. He turns to face the bladesman and if it was the most ordinary thing in the world slowly takes an arrow from his quiver and knocks it.
"Any trouble?" goes the fisherman. The hunter shrugs, "Not quite how it was planned and we got a hanger on, but shouldn't be much trouble." He thumbs at Owen as he speaks. The fisherman looks at Lucius, "That him?" After a nod of confirmation he barks, "Alright. Separate them boys and girls."

Lucius Nepos's eyes roll a little bit at the exchange between the hunter and the fisherman. "I suppose you would mind telling me what's going on, then. Do as they say, Guardian, and I doubt anything is likely to happen to you." He says. His booted feet dig into the shoreline a little bit, eyes darting from person to person.

"Sir. This is clearly in violation of Imperial law," Owen states, sounding only a little nervous as all the self importance and blade pride from his recent training wells up in him. He looks from man to man quickly, then back to Lucius.

The hunter finishes setting the arrow and points it straight at Owen. "Smart superior you got here. He gots it right. Fraid though you going to get a little wet." He gestures with the tip of the arrow at the water. "Now all careful like. Walk in to yah knees, face away from us and sit. Then we's gonna sit and waits while Nepos over here goes on a short little adventure. Shouldn't be long though if yah cooperate." The fisherman nods his agreement and speaks to Lucius, "Hands on your head Sir. And start walking. Again we got yah covered and have no qualms in shooting." He points up the river shoreline.

"Don't be an idiot, Stone. Does it look like that matters? Do as they say." Lucius repeats, shaking his head, doing as he's been told and placing his raised hands on his head. His shield has been firmly toed into the ground and as a result isn't moving anyways. His eyebrows both raise when the fisherman says his name. "Hmm, looks like I have an admirer. I'm guessing this was planned, if you knew my name. I'm coming." He begins to walk as the fisher instructed him.

Owen frowns, but nods at his superior's words. "Fine," he grunts out. Then the man turns and walk into the water, stopping where it reaches just to the top of his shins. Then he drops down into the water, frowning as it immediately begins to seep into all the little cracks between plates.

As Lucius walks a stand of small trees and bushes reach down to the shoreline in a semicircle, forming a small secluded grove. A couple of fallen logs lie on the ground including one against a larger tree that is out of view of the rest of the shore. The fisherman gruffs and points, "Go in there and sit against the tree. Keep your hands up. My boys like hiding in the trees yah." He grins at this.
The others down near Owen keep steady hand and arrow on him as he sits. The hunter without a mask, tilts his head, "Hope it ain't to cold." The other turns an scans the shoreline.

"Right under the nose of the Blades and the Tribunal. Smart, huh." Lucius says, a bit bitterly as he is told to sit against the tree. His gauntleted hands remain locked on the crosspiece of his steel helmet, the man's eyes continuing their scan of the area. He doesn't speak any further but moves to plant his bottom down and wait.

"Yeah, I'm sure you hope," Owen mutters softly, keeping his eyes ahead of him, focused on the other shore. He frowns still, shaking his helmeted head slowly. "What do you want with the other Blade?"

As soon as bottom touches wood a nearby bush rustles. An obsidian colored dagger sails through the air and plants itself with a wavering thunk in the trunk of the tree beside where Lucius sits. "I'll take that as a compliment Lucius," comes a female voice from amongst the leaves.

"Well yah can understand why we's got yah in there huh?" says the hunter to Owen, ignoring the question "Pretty good tactic if I say so myself. Dat armor kinda awkward in dere ain't it?"

Lucius Nepos seems confused, initially, especially when the dagger, noticeably /his/ dagger comes flying through the air and nearly impacts him. At first his eyes squint, as if trying to pin a face to the voice.. then, he asks tentatively, "Ester...?"

"Slightly," Owen replies to the man, moving around a little in the water, leaning forward a little bit. If one were to see his face they would be able to tell he is not happy. "So you're just some henchmen? Thinking you are important? Big men, ambushing a pair of Blades."

The question is met by a soft rustle of leave and a long pause. Ester answers in a soft voice that now comes from practially behind him close to his ear, "The question I have Lucius, new leader of the Justicars Claws... Where now do loyalities lie...when one is alone and need not play the game."

The hunter snorts at Owen, "So your just somes bladesman thinkin yah important?"

"I think you can answer that question yourself, Ester." Says Lucius. "There is hope. Serath is still alive, as the Justiciar and I discovered when we went to check up on him. But.. I am glad that you didn't have to do what you wanted to do, with that knife of mine. You know not how it pained me to see you in that state, with nothing I could do."

Owen snorts in reply. "I'm more important than you. Wasting your life away making problems for other people. Damaging people. Ruining their lives," he shakes his head, slowly again. "Well done. Be proud, gentlemen."

"I am glad as well," Ester says softly. "Though as you can see the results...quite different. It is difficult to trust, even those who were friends, " There is a short pause, "Are you enjoying the show I've put on for you? "

"Thanks. I think I will," the hunter quips, "Maybe when we get done here and you go off to dry out we'll have a party to celebrate."

"I learned a long time ago that nothing is without purpose, Ester. So why the big show? Simply to lure me out here? Or are you going up the hill and taking out that snake on the throne?" Asks Lucius, tone pointed.

"Lovely," Owen quips back at the hunter. "I'll need a change of clothes though. Afraid these ones are a bit wet. Not sure how that happened," he replies snorting softly.

"A example of ability is all," Ester replies, "A tactic of sorts. When one knows not where the opinion of the prey lies then..." She stops and lets out a small sigh, "I'll cut the poetics. I don't know if you would turn me in Lucius. Either way this shows a bit of what I can muster. A warning of sorts I suppose. I won't be crossed...without repercussion. There are many people that are unhappy with what has happened and will not just lie down and take it."

"Well there's a great store in Lightholders," the hunter laughs, "Think you'd look good in a new frock."

"Yes," Owen replies to the man, his tone conversational but with the angry undercurrent still remaining. "I've been there. I am not impressed with the wares. I had to go to the market district for this," he gestures at the cloak floating around him. "Shame."

"You really don't know me, then, if you think I'm taking this lying down. I have a duty to do, and that's to the people of Fastheld. That's what I'm doing in my new command. If you have an ability to change things for the better of Fastheld, then by the Light, I support you." Says Lucius. He sighs. "I'll even help you with it, but I must maintain an air of neutrality. It is how I, as a Blade, operate. What would you have me do, then Ester?"

"That is good to hear then. I am relieved," Ester replies her tone holding and air of consideration. "As I understand what it is you must maintain... you must understand why I must act in such untrusting fashion. One misplaced belief in someone and I am dead." Some leaves rustle and she draws her face up beside him so she's whispering in his ear, "Meet me then. At another time. Where we can be alone and discuss matters further."

"My wife can sew better then that," the hunter jibes, "You got ripped off."

"When? Where? Are you always to make the terms of the meetings? You know I feel ill at ease with that.." Lucius asks, tone a tad bit more desperate as it appears that this meeting is winding down.

"Not from the look of you," Owen jibes right back, eyes still forward. "Oh let me guess, these are you ambushin' clothes. They differ from the finery that your wife weaves," he adds.

"I know you do," Ester replies followed by a light touch of fingers on his upraised arm, "but understand that for now...that is just the way it has to be. As long as you are alone and do as I ask then all will be well." There is a short pause and her tone takes on an amused quality, "Besides, you have a friend out there who must be getting rather uncomfortable. The question is now. What in the realm shall you tell him?" There is a small laugh, "Us bandits, robbing you of important messages, interrogating for information. What trouble we are huh?"

The hunter looks down at himself and wrinkles his nose, "Well dese are my good style ambushin clothes. Gots ones worse."

Lucius Nepos smiles a bit, the first time he's done so all day. "I was just going to not tell him anything, despite his questions. Soldiers are used to that kind of thing, anyways. Chain of command. I suppose that could work, though."

"Thats hard to believe," Owen deadpans in response to the man's comment. If he is getting uncomfortable, he does not show it, his face still rather stoic.

"Well that part my friend, is up to you," Ester responds. The leaves rustle and from farther back a sharp whistle cuts through the air. "You are free to go," she states, "Feel free to call the search for us as you must. Of course you will find nothing."

The hunter quirks his ear as the whistle reaches him, "Seems like you may be getting that frock soon enough my good man." The arrows still remained trained on him however. The fisherman and other hunter nod at each other and start retreating up the ridge.

"I'll ask your wife to sew me one the next time I see her. One of these nights I will, she is good at what she does," Owen remarks. He hears the whistle, and them moving away. He begins to stand up slowly.

"Take care, Ester." Says Lucius, rising from his seat on the ground and taking the obsidian dagger into his hand. This he stares at for a moment with the former smile still on his face, and then moves to slide it into a hidden sheath under his steel vambrace.

No other words come forth. The leaves rustle again, leaving silence in their place.

The hunter nods as he to starts backstepping, "Take it slow buster. And hey see yah around." He turns and bounds off into the trees. The other dip down as well and disappear from sight.

With that done, Lucius sets a faux-sour look on his face, frowning deeply. Though it might not be the emotion he actually feels right now, the Marshal has no problem scowling. He grumbles something incoherent as he walks around the bend of the shoreline, spotting Owen. "Let's go, Guardian." He scoops down to pick his shield and spear up. "I'm sending the bloody patrols out to find those damn bandits. I reckon they saw some Bladesmen or Tribunal soldiers and that's why they left in such a durn hurry." He walks towards the bridge.

Owen does take it slow, eventually making it back to shore. Water streams off the lower reaches of the armor he wears. He stoops quickly, scooping up the sword. "This is part of my territory, sir," Owen states. "I'll begin the search!" He hefts his longsword, his steps turning toward the woods.

"Negative, Guardian. I need you to come up to the Keep with me to report. I'm going to get other Blades on it. In the meantime, I want you to join the Claw's. You have a pension for performing your duty that is rare among young soldiers such as you, and I want to take you under my wing so this doesn't happen again." Lucius grumbles something else, motioning for Owen to follow.

Owen doesn't point out the fact that because he was with Lucius this happened to him, but a look equatable to this thought does flash across his face. However, it fades as he realizes what he has just been told. "Yes, sir. I'm honored you would ask me to join you in that endeavor."

"We need young, motivated people, and I knew your father's cousin was a good man. Good soldier. If as you said he was the one who influenced you to join, I have great hopes for you. Plus, Harper, who's about your age, could use the company." Responds the Marshal, gruffly. He walks up the path.

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