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Chapter 635 – The Messenger
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“And so, we can secure the Front Gate, the Spiral Stairs to the Dockyard, and the Dockyard itself.” Brina Merilis said as she pointed at certain areas on the map.
“The Legion can’t spare that many men. We need to keep a heavy watch on the castle especially with the increase of the spies coming from… literally everywhere.” Legate Rikke seemed reluctant.
“I’ll allow it.” General Tullius approved of what Brina Merilis wanted.
They have a plan to start holding the foundations of Solitude before it becomes too late. Earlier in the War, it was easy to confront the Stormcloak Rebellion and even capture Ulfric Stormcloak but after the first winter, it became increasingly difficult to fight the snow-loving Nords even with Nord Legionaries.
The perspective of the Imperial Authority of Skyrim started to aim for a war of attrition at this rate. Solitude was going to be a major supplier in this kind of war but they needed total control of it first.
It was easy to control Jarl Elisif in the past since she was a pushover and bore vengeance against Ulfric Stormcloak, that was until someone killed her and left this important seat vacant for greed and opportunity.
From this perspective, the Court of the Blue Palace is incompetent in many ways but they have a strong backer who stands against the war. Jon Dare is that backer and he jumped on the opportunity to put his candidate, Thane Bryling, on the throne.
Meanwhile, the Legion figured out that by controlling the major points of the city, they would completely control it.
Sparing Imperial Soldiers to act as Guards was an act that would cause a bad reputation to the Legion but the City Guards were on the side of Thane Bryling. The Legion took a bad move at first and tried to undermine them by kicking them out of the castle where their barracks was which made Thane Bryling take them under her wing and empty her manor for them as the new Barracks.
Right after the departure of Thane Bryling and Jon Dare, General Tullius tried to open the barracks back and invited Captain Aldis, head of the Guards, to go back to the castle but Falk Firebeard showed up and caused trouble with the Imperial Messenger saying “If the General has anything to say to the honest Guardsmen of Haafingar, he better come down here and say it himself.”
This blocked all the attempts to reconcile with the guards or regain control over them.
“So! What did our eyes report?” Brina Merilis asked the General who looked at Legate Rikke in return.
“Thane Jon Dare and Thane Bryling mobilized the twenty guards towards the west and entered an old Daedric Shrine.” Legate Rikke reported.
“That can’t be good.” Brina Merilis said, “Jon Dare is an expert at dealing with the Daedra and whenever he is reported to run into one, he would emerge with a new kind of power.”
“Can we use it against them as an offence against Peace?” General Tullius asked.
“From what we know, the shrine belongs to the Daedric Prince Meridia. She is very popular in High Rock as we know and her worshippers are actually helpful when it comes to fighting the Undead.” Legate Rikke reported.
“Did they part from the shrine with anything that looked eye-catchy?” Brina Merilis asked.
“The report noted that they offered some sort of a gem to the statue of Meridia before entering and came out with a sword that had an Aura of its own. Any attempts to get a hold of that Gem seemed impossible due to the imposing power of the Daedra and the sword is on Thane Bryling’s hand which will prove difficult to take away even if Jon Dare isn’t around.”
“Well… that sounds ominous.” General Tullius didn’t like the report, “What’s in the next one?”
“They traveled further north and entered an old cave. Our spies noticed undead remains on the cave’s entrance and it got very noisy all of a sudden. Thane Jon and Thane Bryling came out two hours after entering with 3 individuals chained up as prisoners. Our spies suspect that they subjugated some sort of Necromancers.”
“I see a pattern here.” Brina Merilis said, “During his rise, Jon Dare hunted down the pirates and the bandits that were terrorizing Winterhold to gain recognition before becoming a Thane. He also had to invite a lot of people with him so that he could get witnessed doing his heroics.”
“You easily admit he is doing heroics.” General Tullius remarked on the words of Brina Merilis.
“Don’t get me wrong, General. Jon Dare is indeed a Hero of Skyrim and someone who is worthy of respect. However, he is a political brute and has no respect for authority. His heroics made him delusional and dangerous.”
“While you may be somewhat right, my Lady, I truly beg to differ. Jon Dare has broken through unimaginable odds to get Winterhold where it is today. If he was any weaker, he would have been preyed upon by rivals.” Legate Rikke refused Brina’s statement.
“In order to save one city, Jon Dare risked the livelihood of the citizens of 3 other cities.” Brina replied, “Dawnstar Docks completely failed, Skyrim’s eastern imports shifted from both Solitude and Windhelm all to Winterhold. And he became the definite warden of the Sea of Ghosts. The freedom of trade was completely shattered and anyone who wants to make a living in the Sea has to work for either him or one of the big companies.”
“Alright, alright.” General Tullius stopped the two ladies from clashing any further, “We are not here to discuss Jon Dare for the Eight’s sake. We want to appoint a Jarl friendly to our cause, which is you Lady Brina and prevent the throne from being taken by anyone else. I hope that you two are on board.”
“Yes, General Tullius.”
“So… any more reports on the movement of our political rivals?” The General asked.
“For now, we…”
“A Report to Legate Rikke!” A voice came from outside interrupting the Legate’s reply.
“It just arrived.” She immediately went out, opened the report, skimmed through it, and returned with a not so pleased face.
“What?” The General asked.
“Thane Jon and Thane Bryling headed further north rather than returning all the way to the frozen coast. Freed a snow bear which eventually ended up chasing our scouts. Until the scouts returned to the trail, they found that Thane Jon had captured two more prisoners… Hagravens.”
“Hagravens?” Brina Merilis showed a confused face.
“This far up north?” Even the General found it bizarre.
“After that, they stopped by an old Shrine hidden in the mountains for… Talos… they offered some belongings of High King Torygg and Jarl Elisif. Now, they are riding fast back towards the city.”
Silence took over for a while as n.o.body could get any reading on the situation.
Necromancers, Hagravens, Talos Shrine… nothing connects all of that together.
“Lady Brina. Any thoughts?” The General asked the self-proclaimed Jon Dare expert.
“As I said, he just does more heroics and drags along his audience. Since there is a strange sword in the hands of Thane Bryling, she is getting those heroics attributed to her. The 20 guards they have are merely there to act as witnesses. He will create as much hype for her to make her the leader of the people then when the Emperor senses his eyes to read the situation, she will be the easy pick. Don’t forget that Jon Dare is already carrying a pet.i.tion of the people to the Elder Council to appoint her a Jarl.”
“Fine.” The General nodded, “We will do what we can to take care of those guards. Bribery, transference to the Legion, all the way to silencing them for good. The prisoners are the proof of their so-called heroics, we will make sure to take them to our dungeons rather than the palace’s.” The General said, “I know it won’t be easy but make sure it happens, Rikke.”
“Yes, Sir.” Legate Rikke responded in high spirits.
“One last thing.” The General continued, “Confront Jon Dare and Bryling respectively about their visit to the Shrine of Talos. Make sure they pay for disobeying Imperial Law.”
Legate Rikke paused and Thane Brina seemed bothered.
“What?” However, the General was bothered by the lack of response.
“With all due respect, Sir, I don’t think I can obey such an order.” Legate Rikke replied.
“What did you just say?” The General faced disobedience for the first time in a very long while.
“Sir! Please! I am a Legion Soldier… and a Nord…” Legate Rikke conjured up all her courage, “Not a Thalmor Justiciar.”
“Did you just…” The General was infuriated by her reply even more.
“I think what Legate Rikke just tried to say is…” Thane Brina jumped in hastily while thinking of what to say, “… this job… can’t be done… by a Legionary. Ehem! I think we can just tip the Thalmor Attaché that is located here in the castle without doing anything that… might sway the public sentiment away from our cause.”
The General kept staring at Legate Rikke intensely before speaking once again.
“Such disobedience! It won’t be forgiven ever again.” He said, “And I see the point of what Lady Brina said. Make their clash with the Thalmor Rats but don’t bring up Jon Dare’s when you tip them off.”
“Yes… General!” Legate Rikke excused herself and left.
“Hmph!” The General was still displeased with how inflexible Rikke can be before snorting, “Nords!”
Thane Brina Merilis surely heard him but she had to keep it in as well. Setting someone up because they had anything to do with Talos was a major taboo between Nords despite how often it occurred. Still, she had to think of something in order to get Legate Rikke out of trouble.
“Do you think any of these sly moves used by politicians will hinder his plans?” The General interrupted her chain of thoughts by posing such a question.
“Undermining his efforts will serve as a good way to buy enough time for our allies in Cyrodiil to get the Imperial Council to make the right decision. Add that to the attempts to stop his envoys from reaching Cyrodiil first, it should be good enough for now.” Brina Merilis said.
“Is there anything to be wary of until that time?” The General asked.
“Spies.” Brina replied again, “If Jon Dare is up to the details of our plans, he will rework his own plans to disturb ours.”
“We are not amateurs, Lady Brina. We know how to keep out a few of Jon Dare’s pigeons.” The General said with pride before opening up a drawer, “Tsk! The dried fish snacks have run out again. I should have told Rikke to bring some on her way back.”
*Cyrodiil, The Imperial City*
“I truly love this place, Jon. It is so perfect to raise children.”
“I am glad it is to your liking, wife.”
“The schools, the buildings, the gardens. While I have missed Skyrim’s tundra the past two months, we can make a decent living here managing the company’s outpost.”
“Well, it doesn’t have that much mead over here but I am sure we’ll manage to import some.”
“Oh, silly husband. I worked as a tavern maiden for years. You think I can’t brew you mead?”
“That, my dear, is a blessing to any true Nord if his wife can brew mead. You know what? I’ll buy you a mead house outside the city after you recover from giving birth.” The husband put his hand on his wife’s rising belly as he warmly smiled at her.
“Oh, Jon.” The wife smiled warmly.
“Oh, right. I will have to go now.” The husband remembered something, “It is about time I go meet them.”
“Right, the third day after the news arrives at the city. Jon, you will do this, don’t worry!”
“Bah! I am not worrying! I am the Dare Dragon Company’s Executive Manager in Cyrodiil. This position needs a heart of steel, not some milk-drinker.”
“Quit stalling and go already. They must be waiting.”
The husband had to part with the wife displaying a bitter face. After all, this is the third day after the news of the death of Jarl Elisif arrives at the capital of Cyrod.
The pet.i.tion of the citizens of Haafingar to appoint was transferred to him by Magic not long ago and it carried the hopes of the people to the Elder Council.
This doc.u.ment was supposed to be carried by a caravan, but Jon Dare’s big diversion was nothing but a complete hoax as usual.
The ones with whom he could trust this doc.u.ment were his old friends and the most diplomatic a.s.sociates he has, Jon Battle-Born and Olfina Greymane, the ones currently present under the shade of the White-Gold Imperial Tower.
A/n: 13 Early Access Chapters on P4treon and MORE! ➡️ https://linktr.ee/donovel ⬅️
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