Tyranny of Steel - Chapter 868
Berengar was currently sitting in a VIP booth within the grand concert hall of Kufstein. The seats within the venue had been filled to the brim with members of every level of society. Though it was not a concert that would be entertaining the German public tonight, but rather a brand new type of media.
Within the large VIP booth was every member of Berengar's family, who sat with excited smiles on their faces, along with buckets of buttery popcorn, on their laps. A treat that Berengar had specifically invented for the complete cinema experience.
That's right, today was the day that the world's first movie premiered. Soon, cinemas would be constructed around the Reich, where this masterpiece of propaganda would be displayed for all of Germany to witness.
The story was written and directed by a team beneath Adela's command. In fact, she had been instrumental in ensuring everything was just right. This caused Berengar to lean over and kiss the woman on the cheeks before whispering something in her ear.
"Thank you for this. I know it must not have been easy, opening up old wounds..."
Adela merely smiled and nodded her head, before shooshing Berengar with a finger. She left behind a final remark before the movie begin.
"Shh, it's starting! We'll talk after the movie is over!"
Berengar merely smiled and nodded his head as the lights darkened and the crowds fell silent. Within the next few moments, the movie was projected onto the large screen where the title appeared in black and white:
The Mines of Wildschönau
Immediately after the title screen passed, the movie opened, with the sight of peasants advancing in ranks within a field outside the old castle of Kufstein. All the while, a middle-aged man yelled out his orders to them.
"Prime! Load! Fire!"
After firing their shot into straw dummies a mere one hundred meters away, the front line knelt down and began to reload their muskets. Once more, the haggard voice of the middle-aged man could be overheard in the distance.
The line behind them moves forward between the gaps of kneeling soldiers, and the older officer repeated his commands. As this is happening and the rank of soldiers advance closer to the targets, the scene cuts to a tall handsome blonde man no older than 20. He continues to silently watch until the soldiers get close to the targets, at which point, after firing their shots, they pull out bayonets and equip them to their muskets. Where the officer gives one last order.
The soldiers break ranks and do an organised bayonet charge into the dummies. Skewering their triangular blades through the straw torsos. Once the drill is over, the young man approaches the troops and says the following.
"Good work, gentlemen. Go clean up and get some food. You have more than earned it."
The militia all had excited smiles on their faces when they heard this. They would gladly train how to fight in return for an extra meal a day. After all, this was the feudal era, and peasants rarely ate their fill. Before they departed, they saluted the Lord with a fist to the heart, then dispersed. Immediately following their departure, the officer approached the young man and asked the following.
"Well, my lord, what do you think?"
The handsome young man gazed around the training grounds, and witnessed the destruction wrought by the muskets. Straw littered the field, and dummies, or what remained of them, were knocked to the ground. Upon observing all of this, He nodded his head eagerly with a smile on his face before informing the officer of his opinion.
"Well done Eckhard, you've turned this peasant rabble into an effective fighting force. The battalion will be more than capable of defending Kufstein against our neighbours should they turn on us."
The old officer smiled and nodded his head in agreement with the young Lord's assessment.
"In truth, I did not do much. I was only following your instructions, Sir. What should be commended is your invention. Though it lacks the range of a longbow, it takes a fraction of the time to train an able-bodied man in its use. It is truly a revolutionary instrument of war. But enough about that, I wanted to ask you something. I heard you will be heading out tomorrow. Is this true?"
Berengar nodded his head and began to walk in the castle's direction. As Eckhard followed by his side, he explained in detail his plans for the next day.
"Yes, it is. My little fiancee has returned with payment for the steel ingots which I sold to her father. After careful consideration, I have decided to use the money to expand our mining sector. Tomorrow morning, I will be heading to the mines near Wildschonau to oversee the work.
I should be gone for no more than a fortnight. In the mean time you should continue your work with the militia. After witnessing today's events, I can confidently say that I trust in your abilities. The men are in good hands."
Despite the compliment, Eckhard had a hint of worry in his eyes as he heard that his Lord and Master would be gone for so long. Even though the man would not be travelling far, Eckhard still felt the need to propose an escort, which he did not hesitate to ask.
"Do you want me to arrange an escort?"
Berengar immediately brushed off this idea with a smile on his face. It was clear by the expression he made that he was still filled with youthful wonder, and trust towards others that only an inexperienced man could have in his heart.
"No need for concern. The lord of the territory is a vassal of my father. He would never harm me. Besides, I feel like it would be inappropriate to take away from the men's training. They belong here with you. I'll be fine."
Though Berengar said this with utmost certainty, the old man had clearly seen his fair share of betrayal in life and looked concerned for the Lord's safety. Despite this, he sighed in defeat, knowing that his insistence would get him nowhere. Instead, he parted ways with a last bit of fair advice.
"Hmm, just be careful."
Berengar smiled and nodded his head as he walked into the castle with Eckhard by his side. Just before they enter its gates, he leaves behind his final remark.
""I will do that, my friend."
Immediately after this, the movie transitions to the next scene where Berengar walks into his family's Dining Hall. Seated at the table are his entire family, and a few guests. Including a 12-year-old blonde girl who seems excited to see him.
He pecks the girl on the cheek and sits down next to her. Immediately after this, the camera transitions to a beautiful young redhead sitting across from Berengar, who seems incredibly agitated at the sight of the man kissing his fiancee on the cheek.
Berengar notices this and silently shakes his head, causing Linde to control herself where she immediately lowers her head and bites her lower lip. As this is going on, Lambert is sitting by her side, glaring at his elder brother with a hint of hate in his ocean blue eyes. Adela is completely unaware of the tension in the room and breaks out into excitement when she sees the servants bring out the food.
"You wouldn't believe how much I missed the food of Kufstein while I was back home. Perhaps even more than I missed you!"
Berengar chuckles at this remark while dinner continues as the camera zooms out. We next see him walk into his room with a tall candle and sit down at his desk, where he begins to spread out some paper. A time-lapse follows, showing the young Lord working as the candle melts.
He scribbles his signature on the last blueprint of a flintlock musket, then blows out the candle, which has melted, indicating it's been hours since he started. In the next scene, we see Berengar rise early in the morning and leave the castle at dawn.
In the courtyard below, there is a carriage waiting outside for Berengar. As he steps into the carriage, he looks up and sees the redhead from dinner looking out the window at him. The girl smiles and waves at him. Implying that there is a certain relationship between the two of them. Upon seeing this, the young Lord smiles back before blowing a kiss in her direction. This causes the girl to panic and scurry out of sight.
With this brief interaction out of the way, Berengar merely chuckles before entering the carriage as it drives away. The carriage then joins up with more from the town, forming a convoy which makes its way down through the muddy path toward Wildschönau.