Part 187: Orangesoda: Update 2
Mouth agape, I stared at the countess, remaining silent for a good moment before I could gather my senses.
The countess only smirked, as if she'd just spouted a good insult rather than offering me the chance at being the leader of an entire fortress.
"I said, A performance like that could make a peasant into an overseer. We need a new one anyways, as our previous overseer has vanished suddenly. Not a trace of him. Of course, if you're not up for the job, we can surely find a place for you."
I didn't like the sound of that last part. I imagined i'd end up like that royal guard, in a forgotten cell with blood caked into my clothes, literally next door to the merchants and crowds yet forgotten by the rest of society forever...
"No, it's fine. I'll do it."
And just like that, I was the leader of Syurpleaf, master of over 70 dwarves and commander of some of the most fearsome champions alive. But was I needed? You see, iv'e only been here for a day and I know one thing already: Syrupleaf works.
It works with or without some dwarf telling them what to do. It works day and night, blizzard and sunshine. When the ground splits open and continents fall into the sea, Syrupleaf's guards will defy gravity and stand up straight at the entrance as their fortress sinks into the ice, the craftsdwarves still making toys and instruments at their desks within.
Besides, i'm no overseer. I'm a craftsdwarf. I don't know a damn thing about tactics or economics, trade or labor.
So I put what I did know to work. I assumed since i'm going to be spending so much time here with my non-overseer duties, I may as well design something new for the stage. Iv'e only begun planning, but the miners are more than happy to have something to do.
That night, after practicing with the band, I went to sleep in my eerily quiet room again. I felt like a child afraid of the dark, it was silly. I saw demons swirl in the shadows, heard whispers of long dead dwarves...I forget when I fell asleep, but I got enough rest at least.
No amount of sleep could prepare me for tomorrow, though.
I awoke to the sound of a horn being blown. A call to arms of the fortress guard and military. I nearly broke my shin getting out of bed in a hurry and slammed into my door before I wrestled it open. I didn't know a damn thing, but I did know I needed to get to the barracks now and give at least some sort of orders to Tehsid and his men.
Imagine my surprise when I was nearly trampled by Tehsid no more than two steps outside my door, his troops following behind in formation. They already had a plan and were already set to fight. I stopped Tehsid for only a moment and he saluted me, which was a strange, though rather gratifying feeling.
"What is going on? Is it the spawn?" I asked, trying to hide the fact that I felt ready to vomit with stress.
"No, it's the giants." Tehsid says, his expression remaining neutral and stony the entire time "This isn't a raid, though. Four leaders of local tribes have banded together and sent a massive army our way, this is an all out offensive."
I winced, motioning for Tehsid to move out. He did without question, thankfully, his troops following along without even a glance my way. At least he knew what to do, because I was lost. That's when things grew strange.
My heart beat faster than it already was, somehow. I felt as if someone was pulling me, as if I was being lead to..the stage?! Soon, I could not resist. I grabbed my rock guitar from my room and stumbled there in a daze, only to find my band already there and in place, the same dull expression on their face. It was like those strange moods dwarves sometimes got, when they would create strange, amazing things...
We began to play.
Blue man came, across the sea...
He brought us pain, and misery...
We'll fight them hard, we'll fight them well, out in the wastes, we'll give them hell!
But many came, too much for me, Ner will we ever be set free?
Riding through snowstorms and frozen wastes! Charging across the plains!
Chasing the blueskins back to their holes!
Fighting them at their own Game!
MURDER FOR FREEDOM, STAB IN THE BACK!
WOMEN AND CHILDREN ARE COWARDS ATTAAAAAACK!
RUN TO THE HILLS! RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIFE!
RUN TO THE HILLS! RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIFE!
Soldier gray in the barren wastes! Hunting and killing again!
Slaying the women and wasting the men! The only good giants are tame!
Steal all their whiskey and take all their gold! Enslave the young and destroy the ooooollllldddd!
RUN TO THE HIIIIILLLS! RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIFE!
RUN TO THE HIIILLS...!
Run for your liiiiiiiiife...