29 Chapter 8.1 Barrowdock

Wolfgang Dustin was already fourteen years old, and the increase in his age was noticeable. His figure was no longer that of a boy, but closer to being a man, with eyes as cold as winter.

Amon stood before him on his knees, with well-groomed dark hair falling to one side, and handsome features. Objectively he looked more attractive than Wolfgang himself, but there was something about the young Dustin, an aura befitting a ruler, that ended up making him more attractive at the end of the day.

"No one suspects, my lord. In everyone's eyes they were bandits."

"All right," Wolfgang replied in a whisper, and glanced to the left of his desk, where Qyburn was watching the duo with a smile.

"No letter has arrived from Eddard Stark yet, or he hasn't heard of the death of Hellman Tallhart or his brother Leobald, or they simply haven't sent the ravens yet."

"Should I murder his two sons as well?" asked Amon, but Wolfgang shook his head.

"It is not necessary. With this the few that were left will finish migrating to Barrowton."

There were already 400,000 people living in Barrowton, with 900,000 people living in the rest of House Dustin's territory, surpassing the level of House Manderly in terms of population, but in the last year people had already stopped migrating, those that remained were simply not willing to part with their homes. They were thinking not with their reason but with their hearts.

"How has Hubert done his job?" asked Wolfgang.

"Quite well, my lord. All of Barrowton's new migrants have already been registered at this so-called Registry Office, and currently the entire population of the town and its environs are being paid for their labors at these work points. It is quite efficient if I have to say so."

"It is."

"However, as you will understand, it is really difficult to register those who do not live in some city and simply choose to live lost in the countryside."

"The benefits of living in the city will slowly become too essential, besides they don't have to live in Barrowton, it won't be the only city in our territory" Wolfgang commented, and turned his gaze back to Amon. "How's it going with the spies?".

"We've had to work hard, but we've been able to get a few, mainly from two groups. Not so much through our own merit, but through the population themselves who have seen strange things. Their indoctrination center called the Public School is doing quite well, all the young men are fiercely loyal to House Dustin, and they know the greatness of the First Men."

"Two groups you said?" asked Wolfgang with confusion, staying on the first subject Amon had spoken of. "Is it the Manderly's?".

"No My Lord, besides the spies sent by the Boltons, the rest of the spies are from the south. They are Andals" Amon commented, his tone containing a hint of contempt as he said that word.

"The ones with their tongues cut out?".

"Yes, almost all of them are children and have missing tongues, between the ages of 6 and 14, but there is always an adult directing them. But it's hard to find the adult, because even if the torture gives them the will to speak, they literally can't do it. They also don't know how to write."

"Do we at least know who commands them - the Lannisters?".

"No, a man named Varys, from Kingslanding."

"Oh, I know who he is. I should have guessed. From Littlefinger's correspondence he seems a dangerous man, foils many of their plans."

"But we've already captured nearly all the children of those characteristics, with their tongues cut out, what are your orders?"

"Those under 12 put them in the Public Schools, give them double the Good Northerner Training Classes, let them catch up with the rest of the children. The ones over 12 I'm afraid it's too late, they won't stop being spies in the service of the spider."

"Shall I execute them then?"

"Discreetly."

"My lord," Wolfgang heard someone say, and turned to Qyburn.

"Tell me."

"I heard there was a pair of twins among the children, or so I was told by some members of the Gestapo."

"Was it Reek?" commented Amon in annoyance.

"Simyo, but I must confess I pushed him pretty hard to get him to talk" replied Qyburn with a chuckle.

"Do you want them?" asked Wolfgang, and Qyburn nodded. "That's all right. You've shown enough results in fields I haven't mastered, you deserve them. Amon, also give him the rest of the executed ones, let him experiment with them."

"I am most grateful as always, Milord" replied the Maester, and there was a knock at the door, and immediately Ander, another of Wolfgang's subordinates, entered.

"My Lord" said the man, as he knelt respectfully.

"Ander, I hope you bring me good news."

"I do, Milord. The first batch of Manderly man-trained sailors is ready. That's enough to crew those three monsters you're building."

"And how long until they're ready? The engineers have all the plans, so it shouldn't be too difficult."

"I'm afraid that discretion with the use of those plans, to avoid leaks, has slowed the work down. Also, the harbor was given more priority in recent years, a harbor big enough to store those vessels. Barrowdock is a pretty good name."

"Not to mention the road to the port," Qyburn added. "Plus it's a pretty strong settlement already, 80,000 people live in it, and the Record Office already set up a branch office there, to sort it all out."

"It's not too long, considering how far south the city has spread. Worse would be to have to build in Saltspear. Fortunately the river through Barrowton is quite deep, and we didn't have to go too far south."

"He's probably the only Lord of House Dustin in history to have said that."

"The Iron Sons have not been a threat since their failed rebellion, although I don't rule out that in a few years they will be trouble again already. We'll be ready by that point."

"We will be."

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