Welcome to a new chapter of Imperial Struggle, the story of the young Emperor Marco, and the struggles with his new imperial position. Imperial Struggle is my first web novel, so any feedback is welcomed. This is chapter 8, so if you want to read from the beginning please click here
The inner circle of the Seven Hills, where the most trusted members. They all knew the identity of their founder and backer and they all swear allegiance to him. Most of them were Marco friends from his childhood, when he was sneaking outside the imperial palace, to play in the streets with the common people.
The true friendship that this group shared with Marco was a bond that nobody could break. They all were happy because their friend became the Emperor, but they also were worried, because they understood how hard the task was for him.
And now, Scarto arrived in such a hurry from the capital, making everyone nervous. When they heard the summoning from the captain, they hurried to the meeting room, leaving everything aside.
One by one, the mercenaries entered into the meeting room, taking a seat at a round table in the middle of the room.
When everybody arrived the captain started to talk.
“You probably know by now the reason of this visit. Scarto just arrived from the capital with news. So I will let him do the talking”
Scarto was still pale from his crazy riding. With a slow voice he started to share what Marco told him in the capital:
“First of all, let me tell you that Marco is doing fine. But as Emperor, he might not be doing that fine. From what I understood, some high politics games are played right now in the capital, with the Emperor seat as the prize. Marco told us that there are some groups that will try to influence his decisions and control him from the background”
A short burst of laughs was heard in the room. Controlling Marco? Nobody in this world would be able to bind the will of their crazy leader. Whoever will try to do that will have a bad time.
“This is why he needs our support more than ever” Scarto continued.”You all know his temper and his views on the life. But now he isn’t the leader of our group, he isn’t the seventh prince that nobody cares about. He is the Emperor, and his actions and words hold the faith of the Empire. He can’t be careless now. And he doesn’t have any allies besides us. This is why we need to be his sword and shield”
Voices of approval were heard through the room.
“Let him finish, you bunch of kids” the captain roared.
“As you see, Argento isn’t with me. He remained by the Emperor side. Marco also requested the rest of the Seven Swords to join him in the capital. They will become the Emperor's personal guards, that will protect him from harm.”
“Doesn’t the capital have the Imperial guards for that?” the captain asked.
“Marco doesn’t has that much faith in them. At the moment he doesn’t has that much support from the nobles and the imperial guard it’s full with them. He needs people that he can trust, and we are the people that he trusts the most”.
Hearing these words, all the people in the room felt a warm feeling in their hearts. Even if Marco was their friend, he was at the moment the Emperor of the entire nation. To have his trust, between the millions of people, it was a privilege.
The captain looked through the room to see which of the Seven Swords were present. Only two people from the group were there. Scilla, the 3rd sword, and Escarte, the 5th sword. The rest was spread through the region with various missions.
“How fast does Marco want the Seven Swords to be in the capital?” the captain asked.
“I told him that they will arrive in the capital in a week. But seeing that Scilla and Escarte are here, I think they should go as soon as possible. We don’t know exactly when Marco will need help.” Scarto answer the captain.
“We agree” both of the Swords answered at the same time.
“Good. We are all on the same page” the captain smiled. “As soon as the meeting is over, you get ready to head to the capital. And send a message to the rest of the Swords that I want them back now. Scarto, there is anything else that Marco told you?”
“Yes, there is. Marco told us to continue recruiting people to boost our numbers. He wants quality over quantity, but we should still boost our numbers with another 1000 people, I think. Another piece of news that I have is that Marco is thinking to make us knights.”
Everybody rose from their chairs. This piece of news was too shocking. Making them knights? How would Marco achieve that? The requirement for becoming a knight was to be a noble, requirement which none of them would match.
“Hold your horses” the captain felt the need to calm his people. “Scarto, what do you mean by this?”
“He said that he want’s to form a knight order from our members. We should start with a small number of 100 people. I don’t know the rest of his plan”.
Hearing this everybody calmed down a little bit. If Marco had such a plan, that means he knew what he was doing. His plans never failed until now.
“Anything else Scarto?” seeing that Scarto shook his head, the captain continued.”We all know what to do, right? Send a message right now to the Swords to come back to the garrison or head straight to the capital. Whatever suits them best. Scilla, Escarte, prepare yourself to go to the capital today. Squad leaders and lieutenants start harsher trainings of your people. We need the “Seven Hills” in top condition. We aren’t a simple mercenary group. We just got upgraded to the personal army of the Emperor. Dismissed.”
Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting this story. In this chapter we managed to take a peek at the "Seven Hills" and discovered two more members of the Seven Swords. When we will meet the rest of the group?
In the next chapter you jump back to the capital, joining the meeting of the Emperor and his guests in a small garden. Can you guess what this meeting is about?