Day twenty-two after I left the Castle Gate, three sword men joined my ranks. There were the first guards that served under my new command as Sheriff of Marshland. The payment were the debt of their blood and heads.
It all happened as I reached Blue River. The land at the other riverside is now under my title to rule and I just need to cross the river before I set foot on my own land when suddenly three sword-wielded men appeared from nearby bushes and stopped me.These were no nice people stopping me to say hello. The moment my broadsword shaked inside its scabbard, I recognized the threat immediately.
"Going somewhere stranger?" asked one of the bandits.
"Home," I replied.
The second bandit move to my rear. He spoke.
"No one lives here. We never saw you before."
The third man stepped in front the horse and grabbed the bridle.
"Nice beast. We can let you pass if you stepped down and leave this horse with us," as he spoke the other two drawn their swords and tried to pull me from the saddle.
It was a pure rage within me. I was about to be mugged on my own land. These rascals didn't know for I was the Commander of 5th Lion's Light Paladin who survived through twenty years of war fighting legions of undead armies. It is time to teach them their place.
I kicked the bandit on my left, turned the horse quickly to block the guy on the right. Before the one at the front realized what was happening, I made a somersault, pulling my broadsword from the scabbard. Like an eagle spreading it wings, I landed as the other two bandits were hesitate to attack me when they saw my sharp blade already against their comrade's neck.
It would be a clean beheading but I was in a good mood that day. Those lucky bastards. They didn't know I could finished them easily like slicing butter with hot knife.
"Please don't kill our brother," the bandit on my left begged for mercy.
"Lay down your weapons! DO IT KNOW !"
"Do as he says," told the captured bandits. Blood was on his neck when I pressed my sword a little harder. The other two bandits threw their swords at my feet.
"Bow to me, for I am Sir Dominic Zugor, Sheriff of Marshland. Offer me your loyalty and I shall spare your lives. Fight alongside with me, I shall lead you to wealth and victory. Fight against me, I shall split your head from you body. Decide now!"
The three bandits knelt before me. Their leader spoke a vow.
"My liege, our swords are for you, and with you, during peace and war!"
"We serve you my liege!" cried the other two.
I shall remember that day when a sword made another swords to pledge its loyalty to the ones that is more powerful than others.
* * * * * * * * * *
For the next two days, we roamed the marshland to explore the area for any sign of human activity. Personally I was looking for a suitable place to build our new keep - a stronghold and headquarter for my new administration.
The three bandits now-turn-lieutenants; Ghadi, Adi and Bazilin seems to know a little about the forest of this land. I assumed that they never went to far deep inside the trees. After all they were waiting for some unlucky travelers that got lost as their victims. It's a jungle law in here and only the strong ones will survive.
From my observation, Adi was the skinniest among the three. He moved fast and silently. Ghadi, the one that I held my sword against his neck, was thick and bad tempered block. He was angry at me for leaving a scar on his neck skin, but that was much better than not having a neck at all. When walking, he liked to swing his sword blindly, unnecessarily cutting plants and roots along the path. A few times I had to remind him to stop doing that. Besides damaging his own sword, he just left marks that gave away our position. And that's not good for me and for us.
Bazilin, the third guy was more brainy than a brawl. Looks like he always has answers for every question I asked. He was also talk a lot and liked to whistle. Sometimes he sang songs. He may be our entertainer. I'll make him sing when we have our dining mess. For the time being, I had to tell him to shut up. I don't want anybody know where we were with the noise he made.
Tactical. Tactical. Tactical.
I wonder if they were trained soldiers. But they were just bandits. And bandits have no discipline what so ever.