Bron and his men had received new orders from the commander. The Orc's had abandoned the mines and with some scouting done Bron was sure that they had left no traps or any other kind of dangers. The camp was moving in and started building some houses for miners to settle in. The only problem was fresh water. The closest source for that was the former Orc settlement.
There was however a note in the commander's orders that spoke of some kind of spring in the mountains. Bron was supposed to make up a scouting party whose sole purpose it was to find the spring. If they found that, then their water troubles would be over. He decided to make up three scouting parties instead. That way they could cover more ground.
"Captain Bron! The scouting parties have been assembled and are in search of the spring." A soldier came to stand next to him.
"Alright. Back to your post!"
Bron began his tour of the camp, checking if everything was in order. His arm was still in a sling, ribs and head still bandaged. He must look pretty fatigued, but he kept his back straight and his men greeted him with respect as he passed.
He thought back to the fight and to how fortunate he had been. The Orc had been on top of him and could have killed him easily, but he was still alive. He got lucky. That was all. It could have been over just as easily.
Bron wasn't so much worried about his own life. It was the things he would miss. The people who he would never see again. Who would never see him. Mary, Alexander and Gregory. Alexander was almost a grown man now. He would probably join the military soon, like his father. He would be able to watch out over his mother and little brother, if anything were to happen to Bron. He was was sure of it.
However, he wouldn't want the boy to step in his shoes too soon. He was alive. That's all that mattered. He just hoped he could get some time on leave soon to see his family. Just in case. It had been a close call. He would really like to see them all again.
A rider came galloping up the road. One of his scouts from the camp's perimeter. He was in a hurry. Bron tensed. Were the Orcs coming back to take what was theirs? Was it too late for him to see his family again?
"Captain Bron! There's news from the capital."
"Let's hear it!" The tension left his body. They weren't under attack. He'd prepared his men for the possibility of an assault, but if the Orcs came in force, he didn't know if they could put up much of a fight. Many of his men were still wounded like himself.
The scout unrolled a piece of parchment. "Dire news has reached the capital from several villages on the northern borders of the kingdom. They have been raided by Orcs. Most inhabitants have been killed. Men, women and children"
Bron had been expecting this news, just not so soon. The Orcs were out for retribution. Doing to them what they had done to the Orcs. They were just doing more of it. His actions had truly just been the beginning.
"What are the King's orders? Have you word from the commander? Something must be done to protect the other villages." His family lived in Freshire, a village in the east. They were safe for now, but who knew for how much longer?
"It doesn't say, but I've heard rumors of a special battalion being trained to fight these beasts."
Good! It seemed the chancellor had listened. Bron wondered how the new trainees would fair. They better do well, because war was coming.