Chapter 2: Arrival of the New Lord 
The thin flickers of light signaled the cry of the new day. The chirping of the birds and the boisterous noises echoed from within and without. The joyful chorus coming from the running kids heralded the coming of springtime. It was a great time for the village of Lother.
The young kids chortled and giggled as they play around the village’s wooden fences. Picking branches from the nearby tree to play princess and the knight. They were free as the doves, making the village livelier with their innocence.
The main plaza of the Lother Village buzzed with sounds of laughter and whispers. The fizzles of chatters overwhelming the rustles of the trees.
A mixture of anticipation, hope, and nervousness occupied the eyes of men, women, and even children.
“I heard that the family of the Knight Brooks would be transferred to this village today.” The lanky village carpenter Zaan spoke. “I believed he tasked by the Lord Baron to further develop the wilderness.”
"The forest of wilderness, though full of danger, is also a treasure trove. A place filled with unique plants, animals, and monsters." The village carpenter added. "When I went to town, I tried selling a unique plant that I found in the forest, and it fetched quite an acceptable price there. I also overheard that this village will be the knight's fee from Baron Gisvold."
Suddenly, a young child shouted; “Daddy! I was the one who picked that plant up”. Inviting the laughter of the villagers.
“Hahaha, Brat! What's yours is mine. I’m your father. You hear that young’un!” Zaan, the head carpenter of the village, had his thick cheeks reddening a bit like a ripe fresh apple. He got busted because of his son. “Just wait, hmnp, you're gunna’ get beaten with my wooden stick latter.”
Hearing what his father said, the little child immediately pouted. He escaped and ran after the group of children playing nearby. The little kid ran, trying to avoid further angering his petty father.
On the other side of the plaza, a few elders were chatting with each other as they waited for the new lord. The old chief assigned them to lead the welcoming of the Lord whilst leading the boisterous crowd.
“I wish the new lord would not take too much of our harvest.” An old fat elder murmured, his tone showing a few of his frustrations. “If not, many of us will not last for another winter. The damn fields are not producing enough food for us!”
“Damn old man, you’re cursing us!” A skinny old man tried to avoid the jinx as he cursed the guy. “The goddesses would definitely take you next winter first.”
“What did you say!? The old fat elder’s face turned tomato red. “You bag of bones! You dare!? The goddess would definitely take you first! They'll need your wood-like skeletons to warm their hearth next winter! You’ll become quite a good firewood!”
“Bah! Who will need this bag of old bones?” The skinny old man laughed. Closing one of his eyes, he scanned the body of the fat elder. “Well, your fats would be good enough to let the fire in their hearth burn throughout the winter!”
“Shut up!” The fat old man huffed. “Are you cursing me to die in anger!?”
“Haha, guess? A witty look appeared on the face of the skinny old man. “Anyway, how about we get your lazy grandson to help in the fields?”
“Trash! I’d rather till the fields all day than convince that no-good kid to do farm work.” The fats in the old man shook. “His laziness would kill me faster than talking with you!”
“Hah, same with me,” the skinny elder grumbled.
Clack... Click, clack, clack.
The sound of horse hooves clamored around the street, silencing the chatting old men. It also invited the expectant gazes of the villagers.
Sitting on the sturdy horse, was a muscular bearded man. He had brownish hair, blood-red pupils, and a manly face. His gaze was sharp as an iron, but upon looking closely, it was also full of passion and warmth.
The knight’s posture resembled the noon itself, firm and fiery.
There were almost a hundred horses in the knight’s contingent. Ten horses were used to transport provisions. Another eight horses for the wooden carriages behind. And as for the rest, the esquires and the knight’s family rode them.
After seeing their new lord and the knight’s escorts. It seemed, the crowd stood in attention like they were curious and a bit intimidated by the appearance of the knight.
Although the knights were one of the lowest ranks in the nobility, a noble was still a noble. Seeing one in a poor village was as rare as it could get. These high-born were a rare feast to their eyes. They only show themselves during wars or during territorial campaigns. Or in big cities. The last time the villagers saw a noble was a few years ago during a surprise inspection by the Lord Baron.
“Halt! Halt!” shouted the knight in a booming voice. “Haha! At last! After a week of the journey. We already arrived at this fief of mine. See this, my beautiful lady? This land is ours as promised by the King and the Baron.”
Behind the proud knight was a beautiful lady. The lady had unique silver hair draping down her slim waist. She had an oval-shaped face that would seem to fit a man’s palm. In the eyes of the villagers, she was like a goddess, a rare beauty. Though the lady’s attire was of a knight, it only made the lady more charming and endearing.
Sounds of choking echoed from the men of Lother. It seemed like the pinches of the village women have awoken the men from their stupid stupor. They lowered their heads because of the sheer embarrassment and excitement.
Hearing her husband’s playful words made the lady feel embarrassed. Her cheeks turning a little red before returning to normal. Setting that aside, the lady chastised her husband while giggling a little. She focused her eyes, looking at the curious villagers.
“Levo, stop that. Introduce yourself to the villagers properly.” The charming lady gazed at the burly man. “Look at them they are already gawking at us. Please explain to them what we came here for, introduce our little guys along the way.”
“Villagers of Lother! Hear me. I am Knight Levo von Brooks! Knight of Baron Gisvold and your new lord. The King had awarded me this village upon my merits.”
The knight announced loudly. “Behind me is my wife, Madame Annis von Brooks, and the three behind her are my children bore of her. Hey, little guys introduce yourself!”
Hearing the words Madame and wife, many of the men gulped hard in fear and lowered their heads deeper. They never thought that the beautiful lady was the madame. They remembered the terrifying stories spread by the traveling bards. Stories about villagers getting beheaded along with their entire family. It was a well-known story.
A jealous noble caught his wife having a tryst with a commoner. For having dirty dealings with a noble’s wife, the entire lineage of the commoner suffered.
Meanwhile, the eyes of the women dilated. Shocked after hearing the words bore and children. They also never thought that the madame bore three children and still look like that.
“I am Liszt von Brooks, the eldest son of Knight Brooks! I’m ten years old. A pleasure to meet you.” The grayish-haired child said. It seems like the little guy with baby fats in his face inherited his father's sharp crimson gaze.
Then, a little silver-haired girl firmly walked near towards the madame’s side. She curtsied at the villagers and said. “I’m Ciera von Brooks, firstborn daughter of the Knight. I’m eight years old. A pleasure to meet thee, acquaintance.”
The little lady resembles her mother more. The villagers knew she will definitely become a beauty when she grows up. Curiosity and wittiness flashing in her two eyes.
Lastly… The villagers tried to look at where the third one was but to no avail. Then suddenly, a little one shyly strutted at the front of the villagers.
Mumbling a little, the little boy said.
“I’m, I’m. hmmm. My name is Klive and I’m the youngest! I’m… hmmm, wait let me count.”, counting with his tiny fingers he proudly added; “I am 6 years old.” The boy’s ashen-grayish hair swung with the wind. His blue eyes clouded, inheriting parts of his parent’s looks. He looked rather clever, amusing, and full of life.
Seeing the funny little lord, the tension in the air dissipated. Soon, it faded into nothingness.
There were gawking and weak giggles coming from the villagers. While some curious children eyed the gray-haired little boy. They also saw a rectangle piece of wood, lying on the little lord’s arms. In the eyes of the children, it was a new playmate.
Hearing the peals of mirth in the air, the little lord pouted. Feeling shy, he hid behind his mother again, his blue eyes peeking a little at the villagers.
“Lord Knight! We are at your service!” said the villagers in a loud and clear voice, their knees and heads lowered on the ground. It was something they had rehearsed a few days ago under the instructions of the old village chief.
Looking at the villagers, the Knight grinned.
“Stand up! Bring us to the village head. Lead us to his house!”
The villagers bowed their heads towards the knight in agreement. What the old chief taught them bore fruit. They had put the brief etiquette class to good use.
Their actions gave the knight and his family a good impression.
“Yes, Lord Knight!”
Thus, signaling the arrival of the family of Knight Brooks.
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