[I thought I was going to die! And what's with this place?! 'A little bit of trouble' she said? 'Nothing I can't handle' right?]
[Where is my castle? Where are my armies? Wait. Is that kid, over there, picking his nose while looking at me?]
[All I can see are hunters and farmers. Can we even communicate? That damned god was speaking my language but do they? Huh?]
His thoughts were interrupted when everyone kneeled and shouted "The Sun King!"
He tried to hide his surprise the best he could, not that it would have mattered as they all looked down. They didn't dare look directly at him.
[Oh... That makes things easier. The flashy entrance and my scarily good looks, certainly helped. I am glad I managed to strike a cool pose before the dust settled. I would have looked silly if there was no one around.
So... the Sun King huh. Not bad. The golden runes on this robe are strangely appropriate. Did that little god know about the title in advance?]
Chris' mind was working as fast as he could. He was about to speak to his people for the first time. Right now they were in awe, but if he messed up things could turn bad very fast.
He calmed himself down and said in his most majestic voice : "Everyone, rise!"
[Right, let's act king-like]
Everyone hesitated but then stood up. Suddenly a man, jumped as if he came out of a trance and ran to Chris.
"Welcome Sun king! I am Berg Silowas, I am the village chief!"
"Well met Berg! I am Chris Duhan, the Sun King! I was sent by the Goddess Ariadne to save humanity!" He said just loud enough to make sure everyone heard it.
He looked at faces full of hope and thought: [Nailed it!]
"I have just arrived, can you show me around and explain the situation?" after saying this Chris thought: [Get it? I am a newbie here. I know nothing.]
"Of course! Please come!" Berg said.
Berg proceeded to show the tiny village.
"This is Five Caves Village. It was named after the five caves we use as shelter." Berg looked at the nearby caves and sighed. "We have no need for a real name as we won't stay long anyway."
"Humanity lost the war 2 years ago. Our armies were defeated, our cities were razed and our king was..." Berg hesitated at this part and sneaked a peak at Chris.
"Killed" said Chris.
"Indeed. Any attempt to rebuild a country or even a decent szie city was met with force... So now we live in small tribes."
As he said this, Berg pulled out a small map of the area. It was clearly incomplete and in bad shape. The map : https://ibb.co/c9AR2S
"This is the Riverhorn Valley. It was named after a lake in the form of a horn. The lake is long gone but the rivers it was connected to remain. If you follow the river north you will eventually reach the old capital, now completely destroyed. The river coming from the west leads to a mountain range, the home of the dwarves, as far as I know they are not in conflict with anyone right now. Both rivers merge and continue south east where you will reach the sea and the kingdom of the Razor Hide."
"Razor Hide?" Asked Chris.
"It's a very aggressive race, a mix of reptilian and humanoide and one of the few races we can not communicate with. They are still very intelligent and tricky. They rarely leave their kingdom, and they prefer sneak attacks over frontal ones. They are not in any major conflict as far as I know. They will attack any intruders, but they almost never leave their territory."
"East, beyond the valley lies the Kunalls, a very strong and aggressive race, their bodies are thick and go over 3 meters in height" Chris noticed Berg's tension rising when mention the Kunalls. "They destroyed our kingdom! They used their huge bodies to bring down our defences. Wooden walls mean nothing to them, rock and mud walls only last for a little while. Our swords barely hurt them!"
[They are using mud as mortar so they must not have anything better. As for swords... Is he talking about those copper ones the sentries are using? No wonder they are not able to hurt those Kunalls]
"I am curious about one thing Berg"
"Please ask Sun King !"
"This is the old kingdom's territory right?"
"Yes my liege!"
"I noticed things were tough, but you are still able to move around freely. How come?"
Berg's eyes shined when he answered.
"This is only hearsay, my liege. But even with their superior bodies, the Kunalls still had to use a big army to attack us. This weakened their other borders. They were attacked by another force during the middle stages of their invasion. Apparently they didn't want to withdraw so they made a mad dash for the capital. They ignored everything and destroyed anything on their way. In just a few days the capital was destroyed."
"Only a few days?!" said Chris.
"Yes... This is very humiliating." Said Berg. "They destroyed cities, defences, armies, but as long as people ran away before they got there, they ignored them. They wanted to finish us and get back to their country. And they did. But not without leaving behind a small patrolling force."
"And it's those troops that are hunting humans down, making sure we never settle down and create real villages." Guessed Chris.
"Exactly." Answered Berg.
"Any guess on the other forces?" Assked Chris.
"We are not sure. During the last days of our kingdom, some people said it might be the elves... But I just don't know."
Chris finally understood the situation. There was good and bad news.
First the good news. They only had one ennemy: The Kunalls. Even better their numbers were likely very small. The Kunalls were engaged in another conflict so this allowed the humans some breathing room. The last good news, and perhaps the most important one, was that most humans managed to survive and are in hiding right now.
But this was all... He had no foundation to start his kingdom. He had to rebuild it all. No armies, no cities, no fortresses, he had nothing but a small village of a few hundreds.
To survive, he needed an army. An army required people and food. To get people he had to "advertise." But how to advertise without alerting the Kunalls? To get food he needed fields, but this would make them bigger targets.
[What a headache...]
As they walked, they reached one of the five caves, there Berg turned to Chris and said: "My Liege, this will be you quarters for now. I am ashamed to say we have nothing better... For now."
[Listen to you. Already looking forward to the future huh?.]
"We have no buildings outside. This helps us avoid detection from the Kunalls. Even if they spot the small fields outside, we should be fine. They dislike caves because of their big bodies and poor night vision."
As he said that, two people returned from the forest and kneeled in front of them.
Berg introduced them as his subordinates from the war two years ago. They stayed together after the war to protect as many people as possible from the Kunalls.
Ferlin was the chief hunter and he had a bit more than 200 ex-soldiers acting as hunters. He was in charge of the biggest troop of the Five Cave Village. Chris found him rather out going. He was tall and muscular. He had on him a bow and an axe.
Titus was in charge of threat detection and was in charge of two dozen scouts. He was smaller and thinner than Ferlin. He had black hairs and a calm expression. He wore only dark green clothes and had a dagger on his waist. Chris felt he would make a better assassin than scout.
There was a third lieutenant, he was in charge of defense and of the soldiers currently patrolling around the five caves. But he was currently injured from a previous skirmish and could not join them.
There was not much to see, but the tour, introductions and the explanations took most of the afternoon, the sun was setting and it was not a good time to stay outside. Chris finally settled down in his first "castle." The cave was shared with others but his space was separate and afforded him some privacy. His bed was made of leaves piled up on the ground, and his pillow was a rock covered in a thin fabric.
[Sigh... This is ridiculous.]
Now that things calmed down he finally felt the weight of the situation.
[I... Died. Now I am lost in a world full of monsters. From engineer to "majestic" Sun King... I don't even know where to begin. And worse, I won't ever get to see the neighbour lady again... I probably should have learned her name huh. Should I ask Berg if there are cute elves? Sigh, I have so many King-like worries.]
"I am now leaving Sun King! Please ask if you need anything!"
Chris snapped out of his thoughts and said :
"Right, I need you to do something. This is very important Berg."
"Please say Sun King!"
"Prepare a list of everyone in the village and their talents. I also need a list of our weapons, the amount of food we have, the different resources available around here. I am also interested in the numbers of Kunalls in the region. And tomorrow we'll talk about increasing our numbers."
"Very well Sun King!" Answered Berg.
"Hey Berg..." Chris had a longing look as he raised his head to look at the ceiling.
"Yes sire?" [Is his majesty missing his home?]
"Are the Elves cute?"
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