69 Chapter 69 Perver
"The killing fog travels slowly. All those who touch it, die. If even a small part of their body comes in contact with the fog, it becomes ice that spreads over the entire body if the small part is not amputated. There is magic to it, but it is not a spell known to the men of the north."
Joseph nodded at Stella's words. She had been speaking with some of the barbarians for the past day while he traded and handed out gifts. He had acquired bones, ivory, furs, and a small amount of medicinal plants. There had also been two magical stones that gave off heat. They were a great treasure to them and they normally don't trade them.
The shaman who gave them to him, in exchange for food for some of her people, had told him that the magical stones came from sacred locations they kept hidden, that if allowed enough time, the rocks would spread their warmth to the other rocks around them, and made them magical as well. But should all the rocks be removed from the area, the magic would fade, and none would ever grow again. They had protected the areas for many generations. Joseph was hoping to learn how to enchant things from studying them.
"Do you have any knowledge of such a thing in any of your memories?"
"No. There are magical creatures that might cause it, but no spell that I can think of."
"I wish I could share your memories. I'm sure you would have some extraordinary things I would love to know."
"They are mine and I have no intention of sharing them," said Stella, giving him a weird look.
Sighing, he nodded. He figured she would say that.
"Master Joseph, Chug is approaching," said Sam, leaning into the tent they were calling home for the moment.
"Thank you, Sam," said Joseph, putting the rocks away in a bag. He wasn't sure what Chug would say if he saw them, if they were so special to them.
"Joseph," said Chug, when he arrived, stepping into the tent at Joseph's beckon. "The shamans will listen. They wait to see what you say on your magic paper."
"Alright, Chug!" Joseph said, smiling in anticipation. "Don't worry! I'll make it very fair!"
He followed him to the meeting tent where the shamans were waiting, with Stella following.
"We await your terms," said the main shaman. "We would never agree to this, but our people are in great danger."
Clearing his throat, Joseph held up the contract and began to recite upon it as he had seen his father do with the king. The rune showed up, hanging in the air for only those who could see magic.
-I, Chug, Great Chief of the North, agree to serve Joseph Aurum, for a year along with all of my people. I, Joseph Aurum, do accept the pledge of the northern people for one year of service in order to execute the will of the King in building the northern wall. After one year from date of signing, all of the northern people, be they man, woman, child, or babe, will be free from service and granted citizenship in the Oxalum Empire. Duties for the term of service shall not be grievous and within the abilities of the people. Food, housing and protection is the responsibility of the Oxalum Empire, and I, Joseph Aurum, the delegate of the king of the north. This contract may be terminated at no fault to either party by mutual agreement of Chug and Joseph.
People serving William Aurum, or his son, Joseph Aurum, will act as trade agents for the people of the north. The price offered for all good of the northern people, shall be 66% of the estimated market value to allow for expenses in shipping and profit for the assigned merchants. Should this price not be acceptable to the northern people, they are not under obligation to trade, or may establish their own merchant caravan.
The northern people are not required to pay taxes to the kingdom after they are freed as long as they continue to protect the north form breaches of monsters past the wall. They are allowed to live in and move between the settlements established in the north for the purpose of building, protecting, or manning the wall.-
Chug nodded, and the shamans all looked very impressed.
"You are a good leader, you know how to make good allies. You must have a good father, who teaches you to be a good leader."
Joseph only laughed and nodded in agreement at Chug's words. The man may be brighter than the other fighters, but he spoke just like them.
"You shall grow to be a great man. You do not have the mind of a child," said the shaman, to the agreement of the others.
They all moved together, to watch as Joseph and Chug signed the contract, making it final, when drums began to sound in the distance. Everyone immediately became alert.
"There is a large group arriving. We should wait to sign until after we see who it is." Chug nodded in agreement to the shamans words, and Joseph nodded hesitantly. What if there were a leader battle and Chug lost? He would have to start over again, trying to convince someone new, who may not be as understanding and willing to work with him.
They waited for almost an hour, standing outside in a formal circle, to greet whoever had arrived. It turned out to be the Great Shaman, the most revered in the north. When she finally arrived, surrounded by her people, Joseph was stunned.
A 16 year old girl, wearing a fur bikini, stepped out from around her followers and took a pose, almost as if she were a model in one of his last worlds.
"Seriously?" whispered Joseph to Stella. She shrugged. Turning back to her, he saw her give Chug a polite hug, then she turned to him. The magic in her aura was the strongest he had ever seen, next to Selena in the flame world. It appeared to be a rare bloodline.
As he looked harder, he could make out a fuzzy outline of something that seemed to be wrapped around her.
"Seriously?" whispered Stella, causing Joseph to look at her in confusion. Was she mocking him?
"You're staring so hard at her chest, your eyes are glowing."
Joseph blinked a few times, then blushed a bright pink. That was not his intentions at all, and glanced back at the shaman to see her smirking. She had heard Stella!