Next morning, as Guard Commander Chan woke up, he heard a knock on his door right after.
Being a Guard Commander he has higher privileges, meaning he possesses a room of his own in the Castle.
Not small either, it's 10 meters across and 5 meters wide. It's a luxuriously big room compared to what ordinary Guards get.
For Guards there is a choice to either sleep with a bundle of other Guards or pick to sleep alone in a small room 3 meters wide and across.
The Castle is quite roomy and there are other buildings away from the castle specifically for Guards, this Domain can fit a ton.
However either choices have benefits and disadvantages.
If a Guard is to sleep in a bundle, he would lack personal privacy but food would be free and they wouldn't have to pay rent. Every expense would be covered by the King.
Getting a small private room on the other hand, would no doubt have benefits when it comes to privacy, but as you might have guessed, the Guard would no doubt need to pay for food and rent.
Which is affordable, being a Guard who is an illustratio is a high position compared to what other races have a status of across the Country [Occidentis Ignis].
Each Guard here in Crutal Kingdom gets 150 Gold Coins per month as a salary, food for a month for one person would generally cost 90 Gold Coins and the rent costs 50 too.
As you can guess, there won't be much left over and one House commonly requires two or more salaries just to scrape by.
But the Guards who sleep in bundles, get to save or spend most of their salaries.
If they have families to take care of, that's a different story. Chan, being a Guard Commander doesn't need to pay for food or rent at all. Apart from that, he gets 250 Gold coins each month.
He reached a lot already as a 25 year old even though he doesn't have grattitude for his position, or is it all dumb luck?
However, as he heard a knock on his door, he right away granted permission to come in.
Entering the room is indeed the King's personal assistant. A well educated, swift, smart and no doubt an overachieving man.
"Aaron my old friend, I'm guessing the King sent you here. Is that list ready?" Asked Chan with a friendly genuine tone for once.
"Indeed. I wanted to give you a warm welcome with some refreshing Beer yesterday but you hit the hay. The King is really pleased with your progress." At this point Aaron was just trying to help Chan feel a tad more confident even though there isn't much to be confident about.
Disagreeing although still not able to fully open his eyes, Chan cited. "Pleased? He would have beheaded me if I didn't have that overgrown freak's heart."
"It is true that the King doesn't show much human emotion, but I've been working for him ever since I was 16. The King shows that he is pleased simply by not Killing you. Giving you more tasks is also a sign of satisfaction." Living side by side with the King for so long, maybe Aaron has a point?
Aaron and Chan were practically grown together, they have the same age and have a long history together too.
Sharing a deeper understanding they helped each other up through the toughest times. Their toughest time was of course growing up as orphans, which in this long lasting War is common to see.
"There are Guards far more skilled than I am, yet he chose me to complete a task deathly important. I was sent there to die" At least Chan is well aware of this fact, shit ain't adding up.
Forced to learn the positive sides of things, Aaron weighed in. "The King sees greater purpose in you, he likely didn't want to see you waste away as a Guard Commander. He picked you to do a task that even he would think twice about."
Slightly slapping a bundle of books over a medium sized wooden table near by, Aaron stuck firm to his point. "If he saw no value in you, he wouldn't do so much to better you."
"Oh so he wasn't fooling around about the ten books? How am I supposed to memorize 10 books? I was illiterate until I was 18." Eighteen! Well that is quite normal here, some people even die without learning the alphabet.
"He wasn't fooling around at all, did you ever even see the King fool around?" That made one point clear, Chan has to memorize everything or his head will get blown off.
Not letting the silence stretch, Aaron continued. "A horse and 10 Guards are waiting for you. They're carrying the list you need, your books, a map, food and water. I'm sure you'll do well with the books, they are short."
As Chan made his way down to the main gate, Aaron headed towards the King's Throne room, holding a different list the King requested for. Shortly after Eric's last visit here in Crutal Kingdom.
After Eric caused Havoc, killing literally hundreds, Aaron had to get into detail about the Guards, Workers or just any random passerby who has been massacred that day.
Knowing such numerical detail would of course show the King what measures to take. "Sire, I got the list you asked for. It took me 3 days and I barely slept but I completed it."
Aaron is the King's most trusted employee and practically the second in command in a few aspects.
He is almost considered a friend to the cold hearted King who threatens to behead if tasks aren't completed and he doesn't behead with a blade either.
Meaning, he asked Aaron to not bent the knee anymore, what better honor could one illustratio obtain?
"Good… A bit too late, but it is understandable. It is not easy to go through five... hundred houses." Showing understanding too? King Xakro sure is acting weird.
Handing over a rolled up Parchment, not needing it himself. Aaron described, "My King, unfortunately the losses are considerably big. That Kid has killed five 532 permanent residents and 407 Imported Guards or Workers."
Looking at this situation gold-wise, Aaron felt it heavy to point out. "Not to mention houses or businesses destroyed, this will be a great shift in your budget."