Shaar and Ruhr entered the territory of Byzantine Empire with their followers. After crossing the frontier, they first reached Denzel town which was located not far from the north of frontier region. There was a total resident population of about 10,000 people, but because of its location at the frontier region there were also a lot of rural-urban migration occurring and the town’s security was often left in chaos; however, the trade at the frontier region had brought the town a lot of vitality.
Due to the war with Odin people, the temporary army from the military area were all set here.
There was Wildfire Town, which was not too far away from Denzel Town. Basically, it needed either a two day ride or one whole day of fast riding to reach the town.
Although Denzel City was just a small city, the scale of its landscape was twice that of Wildfire Town, with broad and tall walls, showing one of the military strategies onto this frontier area town for war preparation. Once a war began, this town could be immediately be transformed into military fortress. According to the empire’s military law, the wall was built according to the level of the military fortress. It was six meters wide, eleven meters high, with four corners built with protruding tower corners.
Tursh came to Byzantium for the first time, and it was also his first time to get to see such a big city, so his eyes were quite busy looking around. Compared to Wildfire Town, Denzel City had was much more prosperous than the anarchy of Wildfire Town. There were infantry armies wearing high standard armor vests, with the royal flag, and army flag flying ferociously at the side of tall wall.
The building in the city was obviously much bigger than those in Wildfire Town, this making Tursh did not stop of looking around and desperately stared around the city when he walked into the city.
Denzel City was more civilized, people who walking in the street all had nicer clothes and their clothing styles were more pronounced with Byzantine features: Men were mostly dressed in long linen robe with long and slightly tilted pointed boots. The waist cut that narrowed the robe cutting could perfectly manifest a man's strong physique. Some men were armed. There were some people dressed up like warriors, with cheap leather or iron breastplate, and wore warrior's badge. But all these were less prominent in Wildfire Town.
There were various kinds of shops at the side of the road: the blacksmith, the pub…. Yet there was one prominent thing, Byzantine women. These were apparently more conservative than those in Wildfire Town, and they mostly wore cloaks and capes, not just to keep out the wind, but also to cover their face. Their body-wear was relatively conservative. Only a few of the women dressed luxuriously in silk robe, with few servants following from behind to look after their mistresses. These mistresses were mostly to be seen entering some clothing stores or cosmetics shops and other similar places.
Denzel city was occupied by troops. Soldiers that dressed in military uniform could be seen everywhere in the city since the war ended, as though they began to rest. Sometimes drunk men lingered around on the street after having a drink at pub beside the street. Shaar frowned after having a look at all of this. This kind of slack was impossible to find in the thirteenth corps.
Denzel City was not only a city that had a large scale of land, but the area was also larger than that of Wildfire Town’s. There were a lot of small villages with large farmlands surrounding the city. Denzel city administratively was belonged to the Moore County at the north of empire and Moore County was the most important grain producing district at the north of Byzantine Empire. And what was more, this city was still directly under the jurisdiction of the imperial central and it had not been included under the authorized strength of Terma military area command. After all, here was one of the frontier region. Even though there were a lot of frontier trade for oil, water and grains, whenever a war against Odin people began, it was the first place to be affected by the threat. So, those assholes in the army did not ever wish to grab this district. One word...... The so-called military governors of Terma military, they had installed themselves as aristocratic warlords.
The commander of the temporary military theater was General Clark who was from the Imperial Army of the empire. He was a firm Therma military system advocate. His family owned a Therma military region in the south-east of Empire which had been passed down for two generations and General Clark recently served an important position in the Empire’s military headquarter. But when Shaar and Ruhr came to temporary military headquarter at Denzel City, General Clark did not show any unfriendliness even though Tursh had caused a lot of troubles to the army.
However, General Clark acted in a very hasty manner, he held a very brief and simple award-conferring ceremony and gave a gold badge of courage to Tursh. He neither personally awarded Shaar in a formal etiquette nor gave him a military salute. The whole process was only witnessed by several adjutant and then he left in a hurry as though he were afraid of getting trouble if he were with Tursh for longer period.
Ruhr was not really satisfied of all this.
"Damn, if today was to award that silly man, he should have welcomed him with more warmth. Inviting all the noble people in the city to come to the ceremony with bands playing music and with the red carpet adorning the floors... I'm afraid this ceremony is the most cursory ceremony that I have ever seen."
Shaar seemed to be not really care about all these. He held his gold badge and start to murmur: “How much does this piece of gold cost? Well, this gold is very heavy, is this pure gold?” The soldiers were not really pleasant with Shaar, but he did not even care about it. Anyway, it was a travel itinerary, all catering and accommodation were paid by military.
The soldier of temporary military sent a chubby officer to be in charge of welcoming them.Shaar started to demand to stay in best hotel of the city and to partake in the best food and wine, all of these demands were each accepted by the officer. Zhai Quartermaster also quietly handed Shaar a huge piece of gold which was enough to feed one whole family for more than a year!
Not long after that, a few excellent horses were being pulled to the front of Shaar. The soldier requested for one thing only:” You group of people, once you get what you want, please leave!”
Ruhr then came out with an idea of ripping those soldiers off, so Shaar started to demand for several sets of top grade cavalry armors and equipments that were produced from a famous mining area that made equipments and weapons such as swords and also cavalry armors that used mild steel which were all located at south of the Byzantine Empire. The cavalry armors were made of light components and had superior defense ability. This kind of high standard equipments were only given to high grade soldiers!
Looking at his followers, they were now all wearing expensive armors, and Shaar was satisfied. Ruhr sighed: "Damn, if I were in the army it would take me seven or eight years and only then would I be eligible to wear such suit of armor, you guys are so extravagant. Even your followers are also given such a high standard suit of cavalry armor..."
Shaar turned a supercilious look: "I thought this is what you told me a moment ago!" The soldier was very clear:” You can get whatever you want, but please leave as soon as possible.”
Shaar was frank. After he got all the things he wanted. He would leave soo after that.
The moment they were about to leave Denzel City, Shaar’s followers, Tatara and Soulster were riding on the finest horses, wearing expensive soft armors with their horses adorned with high class horse saddles and stirrups, all these can only be enjoyed by a senior officer. Shaar was even more extremely equipped than his followers. He was wearing high-class armor which cost a hundred gold coin. It was a paladin’s body armour, light wear. The armor was made up from mild steel, and on the important body parts, such as the chest, back and shoulders, would be thick steel plates. Wearing armor was the standard imperial Knight appearance. Although based on the identity of Shaar he was still unqualified to wear this armor, but he performed a major meritorious service, and getting a title was a certain thing. He rode a red horse which was chosen by Ruhr. According to the chubby officer, this kind of horses could only be used by those who ranked in the top five in the 13th General Corps of the empire. Riding on such a fine horse, and wearing high-class armor, with a bearskin cloak behind draped over his shoulders, he was followed by Tatara and Soulster who were dressed far better than the ordinary flag Corps ensign. Those who did not know the real identity of Shaar, any person would have mistaken Ruhr, who stood beside Shaar, as one of Shaar’s followers and the entire band itself could have been mistaken as part of the General Corps.
Originally, Shaar had the intention to demand for carriage, but in this regard the Ruhr refused.
The chubby officer immediately said: “We are soldiers, we don’t need carriages! Soldiers who live luxuriously are no longer a real soldier! My teacher, Duke of Minas always told me this."
Although Moore County was not one of the regions that was under the Therma military system, the Imperial Army with farming system had already been introduced for about one hundred years. Away from the city of Denzel, there were quite a number of small villages along the way, and one could see farmers who dressed in military uniforms, but carried a hoe and shovel with the farm. Each village had an empty training ground, but the Imperial Army with farming system was declining. Obviously weapons that were used by these farmers had already become rusty, and the training grounds were full of weeds.
After leaving the city of Denzel, the chubby man was in an eccentric mood. He received the new command at Denzel's military theatre which required him to arrive at the imperial capital Oslo within 15 days; also, his vi corps commander duties were temporarily replaced by the first ensign. Apart from that, Ruhr was also requested to personally go to the headquarters for debriefing as war frontline commander. It was said that this command was urgently passed to the military headquarter in Denzel City just a day before Ruhr and Shaar reached Denzel City.
Translated by: Fahmi
Edited by: patrick_father_of_dragons