The caravan, part six

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Trindai wiped grime from his forehead. He preferred riding with the vanguard, but responsible for the escort as a whole he couldn't indulge in spending all of the day scouting ahead in friendly territory. Each mission was different and knowing how people acted and reacted was key to its outcome.

He smiled as Major Terwin returned with his scouts.

"News?"

"Dust and bumps."

"Sounds exciting. Get some food and rest. Rearguard next. Tell them to catch up with us and water their horses!"

"Sir!"

Trindai watched as Kalvar Terwin led his group to a nearby farm. They'd water their horses there while waiting for the rearguard to arrive.

Peaceful this far at least. Luckily enough the greedy merchant and the over sized outworlder both turned out to be decent horsemen. Better yet, neither of them complained. A far cry from the horrid mission when he'd escorted a bunch of fat merchants from Dagd to Vratistak. One of Madame de Felder's less successful assignments. One squadron babysitting lazy idiots never tired enough to cease complaining while at the same time collecting taxes long overdue from the client states they passed through.

He shivered. Collecting them hadn't been half as bad as returning the coffers safely back to Verd.

Well, eightdays yet before he'd have anything real to worry about. Major Berdaler was the one with the problems this time. With the orders Trindai sent was a letter of debt covering the costs for mustering enough soldiers to swell the escort in Ri Khi. The Minister of Commerce had added another letter confirming that the caravan was an official De Vhatic trading mission.

Trindai wondered how much weight it would carry in Ri Khi. Enough to attract a significant number of traders? Enough with the message about Lord Garak leading the caravan? A half truth, nothing more. Harbend de Garak was a titled house, and as such a lord of sorts. Ramdar Garak was a full duke of Khi, the kind of lord people from Khi, or Ri Khi for that matter, would follow into a war zone.

Wiping more grime from his face Trindai rode on. Next rotation he'd be part of the vanguard and he planned to change clothes before his respite from the dust.

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