Previous Chapter: Erik laughed, "A castle? At the border of Georgia? Stop playing with me; what's the actual good news."
Sara and Luis had the straightest faces that Erik had ever seen.
"Oh... so you're not joking. There's an actual castle," Erik paused.
"I know it doesn't make sense, but there is. Probably from some rich guy who didn't know what to do with the extra money he had," Luis laughed. "We can use it. It'll give us a base of operations."
"Hm, we might have a plan on our hands." Erik grinned.
(Previously Known As Cloudland, Georgia)
Monday, November 5, 2018
Dusk - Apocalypse Month 2
It's been a month and some days since Erik’s group had found the unfinished castle. Although, now it’s beginning to change. They were able to convince the nearby town of Cloudland to assist them, giving them extra help for these winter months and hard at work trying to finish the castle. The once calm fall weather of the Blue Ridge Mountains was now the cold winter in northern Georgia.
"It’s been a long time
Oh, it’s been a long time
But we made our way
In this place, we’ll stay
With our family alive and safe
There won’t be a better day!"
The men and women in the castle sang over and over again. The halls filled with joyous singing and dancing. "Let's give a round of applause for the man who did this for us, Chief Erik! Because not only did he save our asses, but he gave us another reason to live!" A man announced. After that, feet stomped the ground in thunderous waves, and claps filled in the drunken room, and cheers of gratitude radiated from his people.
"Thank you, thank you!" Erik grinned happily. "If it weren't for y'all, I don't think we would be here either!" The crowd cheered and whistled at his praise. "Let us live this night like it is the last! We shall feast! The winter has just begun, and we must work hard to be ready for the spring. So, until then, drink! Party! Find a loved one!" Erik raised his glass and shouted, "To new days!"
The officers echoed, "To new days!" The festive party continued; men were chanting and laughing, women were dancing and prancing, and they all drank even more. Erik, though, sobered up. Even though he wanted to party as badly as he did, he had too much of a responsibility to this new home to drink. Only his people who worked so hard deserved it. He looked around the room and gathered George, Luis, and Sara and brought them into what would be their version of the Round Table.
The room was grande with a stone covering the walls and torches encompassing it filling the room with dim light. The round table was beautifully set in the middle of the room with swivel chairs surrounding it as if it was a mix of historical and modern furniture. As of now, the table was barren but who knew what the future held. "What now?" Sara complained. "I was just starting to have fun!"
"We need to talk about the future of 'Holm Castle' as you guys put it," Erik stated. Sara and Luis had been responsible for that. ‘Those damn history books and their imaginations are a dangerous combination,’ Erik thought. It's been the influence of these kids as to why he was named Chief of this castle and leader of it in the same breath.
"What about it, chief?" Luis questioned.
"Well, this simple system of me being Chief isn't going to last; I can’t do everything by myself. We need to figure out some things in particular."
"Like what?" George questioned.
"Well, first off, I believe you should be my advisor, George. You're the man I trust in everything ever since The Regression. You no longer have to be my eyes and ears secretly."
"Sara, your excellent skills in hunting are highly respected in this castle, and everyone knows that you're one of the most silent and deadly people here. This is why I need you to scout for me.”
Sara tilted her head in confusion, "Scout? As in leave you guys? What if there’s problems here and I can’t help?”
“We need to figure out what’s out there as soon as possible, and you’re one of the best people for the job.”
Sara hesitated, “... I guess I could do that.”
"Good, good," Erik stated. "And to you, Luis. I need you to keep doing what you’ve been doing. This means you will be helping with training the men and women that can serve. You're the best warrior we have out here, and your ability with hand-to-hand combat is extraordinary. Not many of the people here have gotten the hang of the ax and shield. Hell, I can barely withstand my own ground."
Luis paused with contradiction behind his eyes and then dismissed it, "Yes, Chief. But, may I request one thing?"
Erik raised an eyebrow, “What is it, Luis? You won’t get anywhere in life without asking questions.”
"I want in on the scouting mission with Sara. She's my sister, and she is going to need all the help she can get."
"I don't know about that... we need you to train my men as fast as you can. The bandits out there won’t wait for us."
"I'll get them in shape and you at a decent level by next winter. Please, this is my sister we’re talking about. No one knows her like I do," Luis begged.
"I'll see what I can do, Luis," Erik sighed. "On to the next subject, we've all caught up on those books I've told you guys to read, right?" Erik had found a room inside of the castle, which had an abundance of books, especially historical texts. Some even praising the old English feudal system above all else.
They all nodded in unison.
“I still don’t understand the importance of medieval European history… specifically in England?” Sara questioned.
Erik continued, "Well, I have a theory that we follow or at least be inspired by one of these medieval civilizations, particularly the ones in England since we live in similar climates more or less."
"You mean how their kings and queens were tyrants in their own right. Sounds like a power grab," George scoffed.
"George, you know damn well I did not mean it like that. They had things they believed in and so do we. A new system,” Erik chastised, “Continuing with what I was saying, most of their culture delved into complicated law that I need not go into. We will be doing similar concepts as them but this time we will have a council to decide the bigger decisions, help and write laws, and not become tyrants."
"Woah... buddy, slow down," Luis chuckled. "Say that again but slower?"
“He wants us to adapt to this new world, idiot,” Sara hissed.
Erik nodded, "Yes, ma’am."
“Well, why didn’t he just say that?”
"This will be an interesting theory to try out, eh?" George stated as he glanced at Luis.
Luis nodded in agreeance, but then Sara blurted out, "Why not just go with our republic system? We're Americans. It's what we should do."
Erik shook his head, "It won't work. Republics take time. Laws to be put in place. Decisions into what places into what, Allow for war, etcetera. We need something quick. Something with command and this is the only thing we can find that fits perfectly."
“Who said anything about war?” Sara asked. “We can’t just go around killing people.”
“We’re not going to do that, Sara,” Erik said. “But that doesn’t mean people won’t do the same. We have to protect this place one way or another.”
“I,” Sara paused and thought about it, “What if I can’t kill?”
“Then you will be killed,” Erik warned. "I shall have the specifics in a week or two for the entire make-up of the council, but for now, the meeting is adjourned."
The next day the first snowflakes of winter hit Holm Castle, meaning that the beginning of a harsh winter for the south had begun to enter the castle's domains. The snow stuck to Luis’s body as he set his shield in front of his face and covered most of his body while he held his ax against his shield. Only to show his dark brown eyes in contrast to the white snow, "Come and get it!"
The man ran up towards Luis with an ax ready in hand. He pulled his ax up high in the sky and crashed it down towards Luis’s shield. A loud thud rang out from the impact. Luis followed the force on his shield and deflected it to his right flank while swinging the ax towards the man. The man deflected the ax simultaneously, and combat rolled to the left, fixing his footing and securing his ground.
"Wasn't expecting that," Luis huffed. "But not good enough," Luis smirked and sprinted towards the man with the shield in the same stance as earlier, only to miss a step and faltered. The man smirked and thought it was his chance. He pulled himself away from his shield from in front of him and swung his ax down to do a crushing blow to Luis, only for Luis to deflect his attack above once again and tackle the man to the ground and chokeslam him with his ax. "Don't underestimate your enemy, or you're as good as dead," Luis stated, pulling his ax away from the man and helping the man back up to save his dignity.
Suddenly, a small applause of claps came from behind him; Sara and her four girl-friends she met at the nearby town. They were wearing that supposed scouting ‘outfit.’ Which only consisted of similarly styled clothing they could salvage from unused buildings. The point of the clothing was to hide themselves well within the forests of the south. decorated with two axes hoisted at their waists. "You're so amazing," Sara said ironically.
"If only your sarcasm were as good as your combat skills," Luis smirked. Sara's face turned beet red. Quickly, she turned around with her friends towards the woods so they could practice being unheard in the wilderness. The siblings eyed each other with a play-like intimidating stare, and both smirked.‘Things won't ever be the same,’ Luis thought.