There was a flaw in Renwalt’s system, however. If there was an important message to be delivered, it was Renwalt’s personal servants who traveled to other lands to make sure the message was received, and they saw what things were truly like. They saw the happy subjects and benevolent lords of the other parts of the kingdom, and although Renwalt never witnessed it himself, he knew that they all told each other about what they had seen on their journeys. This was why he was so careful with his handling of them: he couldn't allow them to spread word of what the other lands were like, or especially of his own greed and endless appetite for money and power, and so he was ever so careful about punishment with them. This is why, even though Renwalt was a hypocrite and was extremely impatient about being late, he did not punish Sean but sent him on his way. A spiteful servant gone spreading rumors (however true) was not something Renwalt wanted to have to deal with.
"Good," the lord approved. "You may leave now. Return before evening with something for the chef to cook."
"Yes, Master," Sean replied, secretly exited to go to town that day. Yesterday, he had stolen a large, extravagant seashell from the sand at the bottom of the bay while diving for mussels from his fishing boat. It wasn't his boat, truth be told; an old fisherman named Rick let him come along whenever he went out fishing. Anyway, he assumed that the shell, smoothed out by the currents and sand of the ocean over hundreds of years yet still retaining its beautiful bright orange and red color, was worth a few valdurans* to trade for something small at the market. After he caught a fish for the master, he would see what it was worth.
*main currency, equivalent of about 50 cents
Sean marveled once again as he walked out of the mansion the massive courtyard, which as always was filled with military activity. One-fourth of the entire region's military was stationed in this stronghold. It contrasted tremendously with the mansion it surrounded, as polar opposite as clean is to dirty. Encircling the entire courtyard, which was about an eighth of a mile in diameter, was a dark gray stone wall, over forty feet tall and ten feet thick. The courtyard itself was a mud pit of tents, training areas, and weapons storage. Sean shuddered as he looked at the downcast eyes of the beaten-up soldiers who had probably been laboring through the night, knowing that the only reason he had avoided being enlisted in the military at age seven when he was caught outside after curfew was agreeing to be the lord's "servant," even though he worked like a slave.