Trouble Maker part 1
Characters in this chapter:
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- Visual Kheda: Cohen’s father. Duke of the Swabia Empire.
- Steven, Manta, Winslet, Dimmock, Windsor: Sons and daughters of non-human races, rescued by Cohen at their youth.
- Moya, Jack, Marfa, Wilder: Homeless boys, Cohen’s childhood friends till then.
- Luhrmann: The Prime Minister, a Holy Temple assigned official to Swabia.
- Maiza: Visual’s head of guards
“Cohen, there is one thing to remember.” Father’s words ran through my thoughts, “You never know what you’re gonna get in this world. As about the location of your new city. It’s not necessary to stick to the books. Get a right place and build it significant. Me and His Majesty, we are always for you.”
“Stick to the book, no?”
“Make it both defensive and offensive!” Father lowered his voice, “Consider every aspect of possibilities.”
“We are at the front end of the two opposing forces; thus it means danger.” Father said, “Prime Minister has been acting arrogantly recently, who knows when he’s gonna stab us from behind?”
“I see!” I said, “Rest assured, father.”
“You have to realize; it’s not an easy job being a viceroy. You are a ranked nobility, should anything to occur…” Father fondled with my hair, “You can always get angry, or cheat, you know, act like a reckless young man.”
“Like that?” I was surprised to hear.
“Why do you think that so many who want to be one noble?”
“Doesn’t it because of the droit de seigneur?” I put on a hippie face like Steven.
“Get lost!” Father taunted, “Your mother will slaughter you!”
Approximately a month later, after my brothers and I traveled harshly and restlessly, we’ve found a suitable place.
Everyone stood on the top of a hill and looked down upon a vast plain field.
“Boss, are you sure it is the place?” Wilder asked.
“Positive.” I answered, “This is it, regardless of the rest.”
“Boss, it’s just another land!” Moya turned and said, “I don’t see anything special.”
“Okay, you people, let me start from the geo-advantages.” I signed Jack to scroll down a map, “This place is located between Dark Forest and Ocean of Death, and near trading route as well as the sea gate. With its natural accessible traffic, my city could easily establish connections other commercial districts.”
“Means tons of money!”
“And strategically,” My friends were nodding as if they could understand, I bittered and made my mind to give an extra lesson here.
“The land is flat, with the hills and mountains around; two hundred miles ahead is a desert and behind, forest and peaks. That is to say; it’s both easy to defend and to be offensive if we build a city here.”
“But we are not on the border.” Jack asked, “ Why are we preparing to be offensive?”
“Good question!” I praised, “A man without distant care must have near sorrow. We aren’t indeed anywhere near the border. However, those mediocre viceroys in front of us hold no strong armies. I’ve read the war log; the enemy had once breached to DC.”
“Indeed! Although this is far from the frontier, still, we have the coastal line to defend.” I continued, “Besides, that minister old fox, I bet he’s not happy with me owning this land. What would he do against us? We have to get prepared.”
“Boss, you mean the minister will… attack us?”
“I’m not saying that for sure, in short, remember.” I said, “If friends are not, then enemies!”
“Thirdly,” I continued, “if we are to build it big then food is crucial. You see, the land is flat, the soil is fertile, and the water is abundant. With enough farmers, it’s much easier to feed a city of half million people.”
“Half a million? That’s how much?” Moya asked.
“Let me put it this way, DC’s population is about eight hundred thousand to a million.”
“Boss!” Wilder said, “Where are these people?”
“Don’t worry, our alien friends and fugitives in Darkmoon will suffice.” I smiled and look up to the sky, “No matter where we are, when it is, people is countless, like cow hair.”
“Boss,” Wilder asked again, “what are you talking about? We don’t get it!”
“Wilder, think this way. You see, how much commoners and slaves do we have on this continent?”
“I… I’m not sure, boss, sure a lot.”
“If we feed them and give them shelter and hope.” I looked at him, “Do you think a city with a size of half a million will be enough for them?”
“I… don’t… know!” Wilder jabbered as he thought desperately.
“We have no time for this, Wilder!”
“Here’s my letter, you and a team of guards will go to the dwarf’s and the elf’s lands. Let Manta and Winslet know what’ll happen here. We need their help. Dwarfs are in charge of stones and rocks, elf, lumber. Contact the vampires as well.
“Moya! Go to the sandman and winged-man’s clan, same purpose, ask Steven and Dimmock and get their best craftsmen.
“You two will set out immediately! Finish the job in fifteen days and bring back everything I need!”
“Boss, how about us two?”
“Marfa, I’m going to give you my city draft within three days. You will stay here and prepare for pre-production. Jack, you are with me to DC after three days.”
“Why are we going back, boss?”
During the three days that followed, I’ve designed and redesigned my first city countless times. By utilizing my limited knowledge on architecture and in reference to the city planning models I knew, my design has finalized.
The Dark City on the draft was ten miles wide and ten miles in length. It was divided into four sections by two crossing grand boulevards, and each section was divided into districts and blocks. Sewage, hygiene, supply, defense… anything I can think of were shown on this draft.
Compared to which, designing the walls was simple. A mere swung of a pen, then, a one-tall-one-short double-layered four gate wall appeared.
I spent a whole day explaining this city design to Marfa, to know that my design was not something to be easily understood. I had no choice but once again wrote several pages of manual in addition, which included s set of full detailed instructions. Thus passed one more day, I’ve made my mind to account my advancing knowledge and others’ level of intelligence into the schedule.
Jack and I rode at full speed towards DC, along with the guard’s team following, which was assigned by my father. Some of them were the people who watched me growing up, say Uncle Maiza.
“Boss!” Jack said loudly as he rode, “Why are you in such a hurry?”
“I need to be there before dad’s heading back to Darkmoon!” I didn’t bother to turn to him, replied, “With father’s help, we could ask for even more money.
No more words, no more stop as we rode day and night. Finally, the Divine City caught our eyes by sunset. Guys were exhausted and covered in dust, no better than the refugees that were currently settled in the Darkmoon City.
For myself, the gate of DC was familiar and somehow intimate, seeing it would make me delightful, but as of now, I was not in any way near happy, for the gatekeepers stopped us.
The man they sent out was an infantry squad leader. I bet he felt fine by wearing a suit of shining armor with a hand on the long sword.
He said, “It’s almost time to close the gate! Access denied!”
“Almost, then it’s still open! Let us in.” Maiza was to negotiate any trouble all the way here.
“You are armed! And I said no enter!”
“We are guards of the Dark City Viceroy! The viceroy himself is here! Let’s us in!” Maiza argued.
“I said no enter! Not even the Darkmoon Viceroy’s here!”
Days of long distance travel had made me exhausted, plus my worry on father’s early return, I’ve been a bit heated up all the way along.
Now I’ve got this squad leader jumping off his feet, and he was making me damn irritated.
I urged my horse forward to Maiza and peered this soldier carefully.
“Your Excellency, apologies.” Maiza said, “You’ve seen the DC Garrison.”
“No need to apologize, Uncle Maiza.” I said, smiling, “It’s not your fault.”
“I am Cohen Kheda, Viceroy of Dark City and Viscount, I hereby order you to let us pass,” I said to the leader.
“Your Excellency, I’m sorry!” This sucker glanced at me and said, “We take orders only from the Corps and DOD.
“Your Highness,” Maiza leaned and whispered, “DOD and Corps work with the minister.”
I nodded. Looked like I hit on a hard stone today.
The sound of discord grew ever so louder that made passersby, DC residents or soldiers up on the wall noticing our presence. That squad leader sure felt proud of himself stopping a noble viceroy. I bet he’s going to brag about it somehow during dinner. As for me, being held up here at the gate by a random soldier was not a plus on my reputation.
“You can’t? Are you sure?” I stealthily coded my men to get ready, “We have urgent business.”
“Your Excellency, your work could wait until tomorrow!”
Heard this, without thinking, my whip left a bloody trace on his face.
“Ahhhhhhhh!” Sucker bent over as he covered his face and howled.
“GO!” I ordered, and more than twenty horses raced through the gate, whipped more guards on the way.
“Get them! Sound general quarters!” Someone shouted!
The sound of alarm meant enemy. I had no choice but to stop.
Someone’s goose was cooked.