Jekier couldn’t believe what he was seeing. The head of the Green Men, more powerful than any human in the world, who never showed his face to the people, was sitting in front of him. Jekier began to sink into a kneeling bow, but was quickly stopped. He looked around to see who held him up, but nobody had touched him. Then he remembered that he was in a room full of magic users, and that they had probably used their magic on him with ease, which did not help him feel more confident.
“Hello, urm, Jekier.” the Head Green Man said, “Welcome to my city.”
“Hello, my lord.” Jekier said, with only a slight tremor in his voice, “I was brought here by Nime, but I do not know why.”
“You will learn... in time. However, I must first know everything that happened on your journey.”
Jekier told The King about every happening, small and large, which occurred on the journey. However, he did not tell of the dreams of the girl. “That,” he thought, “isn’t important to him.” He also did not tell of the look in the wolf’s eyes. However, he over-explained everything else.
“Interesting,” the king said, looking concerned, “so the No-Faces have returned. The Ekie and Oj will likely be soon to follow. I wonder why.”
“I have no idea.” Jekier said, though he had no clue what Ekie or Oj were. His father had never told him many stories about the age of the two empires, which he guessed was the time they were from, “So, I’m sorry for asking again, but what am I here for? I expect you have a reason for risking a Green Man to take me so far away from my home.”
“Our reason for bringing you here is that...” the king explained soothingly, though slowly, as if he were repeating lines for a play “we need to... train you.”
“What?” Jekier said, surprised, “I have no magical skill.”
“We are having a conscription.” the king said, “we require that every able bodied man join our military.”
Jekier was confused, “Why aren’t there more with me then? Also, why didn’t I see any posters on the streets saying that there is a conscription? Wait, why would you even need one? We are in a time of peace and your military is booming! There's no need for a draft!”
“Do not question me!” Yelled the king, standing up from his chair to emphasise his anger, “I do not need to explain myself to you!”
“Yes... my lord.” Jekier said reluctantly, “...I am yours to command.”
“Good.” the king said, sitting down “Now, Rodger, lead Jekier to his quarters.”
A stout man with dark hair and light skin walked to Jekier and motioned for him to follow. Jekier then took one last glance at the king before following the man, and leaving the throne room.
“You know he needs to know before he will help us.” Nime said quietly, looking at Jekier as he exited the room.
“I know.” said Jaje, the king of the green men, “However, he can’t know yet. He is not trained well enough yet. I doubt he can do so much as hold a sword, let alone fight.”
“He held off eight No-Faces for thirty seconds! That it more than most of our finest soldiers can claim.” Nime said defensively
“Eight No-Faces! How?” Jaje responded
“I don’t know. But I also bring multiple pieces of bad news which he did not mention.” Nine stated, preparing for the inevitable.
“What is it?”
“Owen Mihar...” Nime said quietly, “is dead. He was killed by a No-Face. But there is worse news.”
“Owen Mihar, the most successful general of our military, dead? What could be worse?” Jaje said, exasperation powerful in his voice.
“Those eight No-Faces I spoke of earlier were chasing... Ida.” Nime whispered.
“So she returns.... I fear that we may have to start a real conscription soon.” The King said gravley, an ominous tone dripping in his every word.
Jekier knew that there was no conscription. The Green Men would not send one of their own just to gain two soldiers. Something more was going on. However, he would not find out anything if he went against the King of the Green Men. So he went along with it.
“First off you will probably have to shave your head clean.” Rodger said, smirking, “Then they will give you your uniform and your training will begin”
Jekier was not surprised, and went along with what he was told by Rodger. He did not care much for his hair, and understood that it could get in his eyes. When he went to his quarters, he was happy to see a that no one was sharing the room with him. However, he couldn't tell how anyone would, seeing that it was the size of a small broom closet. Jekier looked for somewhere to store his meager amount of belongings, but found nothing. He asked Rodger about it, and was told that there was a brick in each quarter that could come out of the wall. Jekier took his out, and found about that it had just enough space to fit his gold. He asked where to keep his clothes, and was told that he would have to sell them. Luckily, there was a nail on the wall to hang his sword on. Jekier found a shelf where his armor and civilian uniform were, and changed into his civilian uniform. He hid the stone necklace in a little pocket in the armor, then sold his old clothes to Rodger, who sold them to a tailor.
Jekier then went to his sergeant to report in. When he got in, he said in his most soldierly voice, “Reporting in sir.”
The sergeant looked up, then jumped a little when he looked at Jekier’s face. He looked like he was about to say something, then changed his mind, and said, “Welcome to the legion, recruit. You are in squad 24.”
“Yes sir.” Jekier said, then began to leave the room
“Wait, soldier.” the sergeant said
“Yes?” Jekier said as he turned to face the sergeant
“I am required to ask why you joined our ranks.”
“The conscription, sir.” Jekier said
“Urm, ok then, to your quarters.” the sergeant said, looking slightly confused
Jekier walked out, and after he left the room, he heard the sergeant quietly say, “What conscription?”