The hammer crashed on the wooden post and drove it finally into the thawing spring soil.
»Finished at last«, Dimitrion moaned and wiped the sweat off his forehead.
The Halfelf leaned the hammer on his right shoulder and checked with a jerk if the post was really firmly seated in the ground. He raised his head with satisfaction and breathed in the fresh morning air. On his lands, the farmers began to drive the first cows and horses into the enclosures. Loud mooing and whinnying could be heard from the fields stretching out in front of Dimitrion. Falcons hunted rabbits and the first of coming butterflies fluttered around the meadows.
Lush green sprouted everywhere and people greeted each other friendly and met here and there for talks and chatter. The valley was not really a valley, but rather a deep sink. There was a village with almost five hundred inhabitants, countless fields and fields framed it and Graanbergen was its name. In the south and west the Graanforest spread, which stretched with birch, oak and lime trees to the Konkoros mountain range. On the peaks in the distant you could still see the snow of winter. This snow would never melt, because Cyrilla, the goddess of water, had made it a gift to her brother Konkoros, the god of the earth. Sirane, the goddess of the air, froze it so that her brother could enjoy the beauty of snow and ice forever.
On the edge of the forest, the women who wanted to collect the first berries and nuts were seen. They were guarded by several men who kept a watchful eye on the edge of the forest. Because in spring the animals and more dangerous things came out of the forest to look for food after a long hibernation. So far there have been no accidents and Dimitrion wanted to keep it that way. He looked at the passing swallows and looked around for Merthan, who was working on another fence.
He waved to him that he was done with the work. The cattle and Strabanbirds were finally able to be driven onto the land. On the way to Merthan, the Halfelf thought about how the villagers had approached the two-meter-long birds at first, but when they had tasted the first meat, they caught six more couples on the edge of the barren land. Two died unfortunately, but the rest of them reproduced quickly and soon they had a herd together. Dimitrion was also thinking about trading with the Straban. Accustomed to the weather in the barren country, they needed little food and possessed a gentle disposition. Their meat is tasty and a bird was able to feed a family of six to eight people for half a month. The birds` plumage is extremely robust, comfortable to carry and easy to handle. Only the smell had to be removed. The Halfelf and the herb lady who lived behind his estate in the Graanforest were still looking for a solution to eliminate the smell.
»I see you` ve finished repairing the fence, sir«, said Merthan.
The Halfelf wanted to say something, instead he sighed. It wouldn´t make any difference. The villagers still called him Lord or Sir.
His elven heritage however, gave him the appearance of an early twenty-year-old. Which led to his surroundings constantly considering him as a youth and underestimating his abilities. He had dark blond, long hair that reached straight over his shoulders. In this way, people did not immediately see that he had pointed ears. Blue-violet eyes gave him a strange appearance, but they radiated softness and strength. For the reason that he also combined human traits in himself, his eyes were round and only when you looked closely someone could see the slightly raised angle. Dimitrion was above average in size and had a wiry body with well developed muscles, which were put to the test from the hard work in the fields.
»Let`s get back to work after lunch, Merthan. I need a break.«
»As you wish, sir«, the marshal replied.
Dimitrion tapped Merthan on the shoulder and went to his estate. His gifted home was built on the highest hill and from there one had a wide view of the valley with its fields and meadows. In the midst of which was the community of Graanbergen, now led by the Halfelf. When he lowered his feet on the gravel road to his estate, he heard his maid, Hildrin, calling for him.
»Lord, you`re just in time. Lunch is ready. After such a strenuous morning, you will surely need a refreshment?«, she asked with a shine in her eyes.
Hildrin and another maid, who listened to the name of Magrun, had been given to him by the Mandarrn as a reward as a sign of his gratitude. Dimitrion and his former brothers-in-arms had saved the life of the daughter of the high land regent just over a year ago.
In addition, the Mandarrn placed Merthan and three hardworking farmers at his side, called Nab, Valt and Therben. Merthan was the oldest and had already served Dimitrions predecessor. At first, the Halfelf was surprised about the honour of taking over a manor and responsibility for a community of fivehundred men, but he was quick to grasp the matter. If he had endured many adventures, fought countless battles, traveled through ice and heat for months and fought countless battles, he would be able to overcome this burden.
But it wasn`t as simple as the Halfelf imagined life as a lord of the manor, and soon he had to take care of everything: farming fields, harvesting crops, taking over the leadership of the local council, enacting laws, chasing and condemning criminals, settling disputes between farmers, approving weddings and much more. Dimitrion had fallen into bed early every evening in the first few weeks, often still completely dressed. His entourage noticed very quickly that he really accepted his responsibility and tried to help the citizens wherever he could. His maids helped him to organize the house and Merthan taught him agriculture. One of the village elders slowly but surely introduced him to the world of politics and laws, and through the birds of the Straban he was able to fill many hungry mouths. This not only earned him the affection of his people, but it was also spoken of in the surrounding countryside.
In a few days he expected a delegation from a neighbouring regent of the land, during which he had made his first courtesy visit to introduce himself as a new lord of the manor in the surrounding districts, as required by tradition.
Dimitrion thanked Hildrin and as always, her meal was delicious. There was roast beef, steaming vegetables, fresh bread and toffles. And as always, the maids had cooked too much. He sighed because of the abundance of meals. In his previous life he often had to forego real food. If you were not lucky enough to hunt, you had to starve or you ate the tough emergency rations of dried meat. Within a year he had gained several pounds despite the hard work he did.
Hildrin loved him the most of all, because she had secretly fallen in love with the halfelf on the first day, and she made him as comfortable as possible with her cooking, her diligence and many other pleasures. She touched him often intentionally on the arms and smiled expectantly at the half elves. She took on more tasks than a maid was supposed to and hoped that one day Dimitrion would finally take her in her arms and kiss her. Her conspicuous behaviour did not go unnoticed, of course, and the servants whispered behind her back about her foolishness to try to catch a lord of the manor, but Hildrin did not mind and continued to take care of Dimitrion.
He was uncomfortable at first, but over time he appreciated the pretty maid more and more. More than once he had caught himself looking at her. Then his mind wandered in ways that distracted him from his work and he had to slap himself back into the here and now.
She touched his arm and gave him a warm-hearted and shy smile. He also smiled and for a long time they looked into each others eyes until Magrun called her from the kitchen.
Soon I will have to ask Hildrin. Now that I have settled down, I can start a family even if i´m not able to have kids, he thought, as he went upstairs to the bedroom …
– TO BE CONTINUED –