Sitting in the shade of an awning, Aemodon Apotis was worried and this made him grumpy.
The call to patriots had finally had an unexpected effect: an agreement had been reached with the Barkers to supply a large volume of materials. The tribe's immense know-how in drilling was recognized throughout the empire : the great city of Pyr itself would probably never have been built without them. But it was usually not easy to get their help.
However, days passed, then weeks, and if Aemodon was happy to receive the building materials brought by the patriots, it was still far from being enough. And the Barkers had still not shown up. What was she going to say to Gramald Xarius when he would ask about the progress of the project?
Someone swore next to her, then another one. Eyes wide open, all present homins were staring at something in the distance, behind him. Turning around, Aemodon Apotis quickly realized what she was seeing. Leaving the nearby dunes, a long procession of mektoubs progressed towards Thesos.
After the first moments of stupor, the guards came to their senses and pulled out their weapons, ready to face the incoming threat.
Aemodon's wrinkled lips turned into a bright smile as he recognized the colours worn by their visitors.
- "Calm down !" she shouted, raising her hand towards the guards. "Looks like the Barkers have finally decided to pay us a visit!"
When the convoy arrived within earshot, Aemodon stepped forward and met the leader, whose face looked familiar to him.
- Oren pyr!
- Oren pyr! Are you Aemodon Apotis?
- That's me.
- I am Euton Krinn. From the Barkers tribe. I bring you the first part of the building materials your friends have asked us for.
Aemodon Apotis looked away for a moment to assess the number of pack animals, rather large.
- The... first part?
- Ney. Wood, oil, sap. 15,000. Of each.
- Good!.... Good! That's great news. I'll send people to help unload.
- Hem. It's been a long ride and my people and I wouldn't mind some refreshments, if you know what I mean.
- Oh! Of course, of course!
After a brief break to cool off, Barkers and Thesos workers were soon on the job to unload the cargo and store it under the main awning, while Aemodon Apotis invited Euton Krinn to sit nearby to discuss in the shade of the sun.
- Do you know when the next delivery is due?
- One week, maybe less, depending on Icala.
- ... Icala?
- Icala Perimenix, one of our overseers. The one your friends freed from the claws of the Lawless. She is organizing the collection of materials for the next delivery as we speak.
- Ha, great news! That's great news! *getting up* I' m going to check that everything is going well !
Aemodon Apotis was reassured. Construction may soon resume. But her work was not finished: she now had to ensure the quality of the materials supplied and make an accurate count.