Category Archives: Devil’s Evolution Catalog

Chapter 836: Matters of the Territory (9)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

Having considered all the factors, the king’s actions seemed to make so much more sense. Andassis the Seventh could be said to be at the peak of his power right now. A single word from him, and no noble would dare defy his command. What better time than now to invade?

So the invasion is set in stone then?

“Naturally, with a casus belli as strong as his, no other kingdom would dare object should he send his army across. And if he doesn’t respond in kind, that would just make him seem weak to the other kings.”

That is true… even I would do the same in his shoes, else I can’t hold my head up high in the future.

After that quick discussion with Ferti’nier, I was beginning to understand the king’s internal machinations.

Even so, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of aversion to the idea of internal conflict amongst the humans. After all, the devils were on the verge of their invasion with the undead.

But saying all that was pointless now. We had long past the point of a peaceful resolution, and Ertalon’s surprise invasion suited my aims just fine.

Sigh, as if in-fighting ever solved anything… Troops still have to be trained; technologies have to be implemented… so many things to do before the devil invasion. Fighting a devil isn’t the same as fighting a human, so whatever experience these troops gained isn’t even relevant.

But maybe I can find some way to delay him? After all, despite all this talk of war, it is still in the planning phases. It might not happen, not yet, anyway. I can still use this opportunity to have these two kingdoms prepare for war, while delaying the actual fighting till the apocalypse happens. That way, the two of them will be the most prepared of the humans.

A short while before dinner, my young adjutant was back from sending Otto off.

The plan was proceeding accordingly, by his own report. Hearing that, I nodded my head and prepared to finish the last bit of paperwork before dinner. However, he suddenly interrupted me.

“Commander, did you forget to bring up the matter of refugee employment to Otto?”

Crap… I did not… I need to think of an excuse, quick! At the very least, I can’t let a subordinate who worships me so deeply see me falter like this. That would be the end of my image!

“Ahem.” I quickly recovered, to the point where Ansom questioned if that momentary look of shock was nothing but a figment of his imagination.

“That was all on purpose.”

“On purpose? Commander?”

I tapped my finger against the table at that point, attracting young Ansom’s attention for a split second, buying me precious time to spin another tale. And also to make it seem more mysterious.

“Oh! Commander, do you mean to test his loyalty?”

“You could say that, but not entirely.” I stopped tapping the table. “I was testing Otto. To see if he demonstrates any level of initiative. A spy would undoubtedly be very eager about proving his worth and earning my trust. Would they not?”

“So Mr. Otto is a spy sent to infiltrate us?”

“Probably not, but he still requires more observation.”

“I see… Commander. You’ve once again opened my eyes with your wisdom!”

“Enough! Rather than flattery, you should be spending your time on work!” I chided the boy, but honestly, I was just so embarrassed by his praise for my utter nonsense.

“Yes, Commander!”

Phew… at least that crisis is averted. Still. If Otto doesn’t fix that problem, I need to remind him.

Maybe, not today… but definitely the next time we meet.

Also, I hope Ansom doesn’t develop some strange bias against Otto… Whelp, we will have to see when they next meet. Either way, it’s not my fault!

——-The Next Day———–

As luck would have it, Otto proved himself a capable subordinate once more. On the morning of the next day, he came knocking on my door.

When I received him, he handed me a document named, the Refugee Employment Plan. It contained a contract for employing the refugees. On it were terms that I help them with employment, providing housing and food in exchange.

In order to fulfill these pledges, Otto planned on hiring mages who specialized in Earth magicks to construct these buildings.

Those who chose to stay in these accommodations would pay a low, subsidized rate. Plus they would be afforded a job to work in. After a year of working and paying rent, they would be awarded that house automatically.

Honestly, that’s a pretty sweet deal…

In Otto’s own words, this would demonstrate the lord’s generosity.

Generosity aside, a stable life would incentivise them to stay in Kesek permanently, and make these refugees easier to govern. There was nothing a hungry man wouldn’t do to feed his stomach… Although… a fed man often wasn’t a working man… Just terrible. Honestly, these humans. Technically, I’m one of them too…

After sending off Otto, Old Adam came to me with a surprising bit of news.

The Ertalonese had sent a delegation, claiming to be a diplomatic mission. They wished to borrow my teleportation gate to the capital.

I contacted the capital for confirmation and found that they were expected. I let the delegation pass without meeting them.

It wasn’t surprising that the Ertalonese would send a delegation now. Wars were national matters, and if one couldn’t win, then they had to negotiate. Yet it was a different matter whether or not the victor would accept this surrender, however.



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Chapter 835: Matters of the Territory (8)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

“Oh. Nana is still awake, I see. Working is important, but too much work is bad for your health as well -do take some rest.”

Meister Belud raised his log-like arm and waved at me. Overly casual as usual, his mannerisms couldn’t help but elicit a wry smile from me. “Meister, don’t tell me you’re back again for a movie?”

“Yup. This old beard over here was thinking just that… Fine, fine. The main reason is young Amori has something to discuss, the movie is just an afterthought.” Belud pointed at the human meister beside him. “How about you two have your discussion while I watch my movie, split the workload, and all that.”

“Belud, setting up our new base of operations is important, we need your input as well. Don’t go wandering off on your own, especially not for trivial matters…”

“Fine, fine. Work first, play later; I get it. Now, stop nagging, my ears aren’t getting younger.”

Amori practically beamed at the dwarf when he heard that his admonishment actually worked, much to the chagrin of the dwarf, who stamped his feet quietly in frustration. “Well, everyone’s listening now, don’t waste Nana’s time!”

“Ahem. Lady Mo Na, I just contacted His Majesty via a communication crystal…”

Amori quickly recapped the situation before getting into the details.

According to him, in the time that I was meeting with Otto, Amori had explained the lack of facilities in my territory, with regards to our magitek research. Surprisingly enough, the King wasn’t put off by the delay in development of the second generation of magitek knights. Instead, he eagerly offered more investment to develop manufacturing facilities for us.

With that simple explanation out of the way, Amori suggested I pick an empty location for the future research and manufacturing of the magitek knights.

An easy task, really. I simply threw one of my many empty plots of land on the outskirts of the city to Meister Amori. Any further work would be handled by the man himself. His Majesty promised to send the resources needed post haste.

Finally, I sent the two meisters on their way, one significantly happier than the other; it was the short one who was unhappy, clearly. But looking back at the conversation we just had, I couldn’t help but profess my absolute shock at this turn of events

Did His Majesty even understand the implication of what he just did? Has the stress finally gotten to him? By investing so much into my territory, wouldn’t that mean my territory would be the future hub of all magitek-related matters? My territory. Not his. Barring the usual tax collecting, he really has no say over the matters of my territory. If I wanted to, the benefits I could pocket were huge -is the King really all right in his head?

“Of course, he is. He is brilliant, in fact.”

Ferti’nier’s voice suddenly rang in the void of my mind.

Sis, what’s your take on this?

“Little brother, have you forgotten about your identity?”

Identity?

“Other than being the lord of Kesek and the main architect of the magitek knights, you are also the Knight-commander of the kingdom’s magitek knight corps. This knight corp would obviously become a unit under the control of the king once the war is over, and sooner or later, you would have to take up your post back in the capital. That human king mentioned this when he gave you this territory.”

I think you’re right…

“Once you take up your post, the territory would naturally pass onto someone else to govern. At that point, your power over this land would be close to zero.”

So whatever I’m doing now is pointless.

“Not entirely, at least, little brother, you’re leaving behind a good name for yourself. This will be beneficial when you have to rule the humans in the future.”

Wait. What? I never said I wanted that.

“Other than that, having the site of the magitek production in Kesek would allow for a much easier invasion into Ertalon when the time is right. Resources wouldn’t have to be wasted transporting those armors to the frontlines if they were already on the frontlines.”

Couldn’t they just teleport the armors over.

“Please, have you ever considered how much money would be spent trying to accomplish that?”

And moving it physically?

“Would take too long. The chances of discovery would increase significantly.”

I… So what you’re saying is that my territory is basically the bridgehead for his future invasion?

“That’s absolutely right.”

Just based on the fact that he placed the manufacturing here?

“And other factors, like those supplies you received.”

Supplies?

“You’ve been receiving non-stop shipments of rations for these past two days. Even taking into account the rate of refugees coming into your territory, the food should last three months.”

That’s right. My warehouses already have enough food to solve the refugee crisis, but Andassis the Seventh hasn’t stopped sending me more. You would think our entire population has gone without food for days at the rate he’s sending the food.

“Yes. And any sane person would look for an avenue for revenge after being attacked like that.”

Probably. I know I would be mad if someone invaded me for no rhyme or reason. If I don’t get a satisfactory explanation, I would go get one myself.

“As the saying goes, wherever the supplies go, the soldiers are sure to follow. That human king has already laid the groundwork and is merely waiting for an opportunity.”

So soon? Right after the entire north of his kingdom was savaged?

“Little brother, did you think he was merely trying to seek revenge? No. He wishes to invade and conquer the entire Ertalon!”

Invade? Conquer?

“What better time, when he has a sharp spear like you in his arsenal. In fact, he probably made some moves already; why else would those conniving nobles be so willing to offer up compensation and gifts to him? To the outside world, you are the king’s man. With a legitimate reason in hand, and with a powerful weapon like you that can turn the tables in an instant, there are only massive benefits to be gained.”

Huh. I guess I do look like the king’s loyal spear when you put it that way.



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Chapter 834: Matters of the Territory (7)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

Ansom Krayt was silent, or rather, he was at a loss for words, because Werdeness was completely right.

As he said, as long as I maintained my current status, the number of people who would line up to win my favor would only increase by the day.

And everyone knew that, other than buttering a person up, or giving them gifts, the next best method was to take care of someone’s nemesis for him. Even if the person in question had already forgotten about this so-called nemesis.

In fact… people would probably praise me for being magnanimous if I “forgot” about old grudges, despite my obvious position of superiority. The opposite would be true if I chose to pursue such old grudges; I would be seen as petty.

Long story short, if I maintained my current status, I wouldn’t even need to pursue my own grudges, someone would take care of it for me, or my enemies would come groveling for forgiveness on their own. Paradoxically, pursuing these grudges myself would produce the opposite effect.

Obviously, Werdeness was hinting that he could be the one to handle such mundane matters which were beneath me.

“In that case, I’ll leave the noble houses to you. As for those three to be executed… I will leave that up to you as well.”

This was to be a test for him. That was what I had decided after listening to his plans.

Naturally, the man was beside him when he realized I had given him complete autonomy in this matter. He immediately beamed, bowing both as a sign of respect and of gratitude. “You have my utmost gratitude, my lord. Your humble servant won’t let you down.”

“I think so too.” I nodded. “You aren’t like the rest -you are smarter than them.”

“My utmost gratitude, my lord.”

“Moving on… I think you will find this next matter rather familiar to you.”

“My lord?”

“Just like before, there are some fools I need to kill to send a message.” As I said that, my voice was calm. Deathly so.

“I would have expected nothing less from our great lord.” Werdeness almost instinctively replied with flattery. But after a moment of consideration, he asked cautiously, “My lord wishes to punish those who protested the most?”

“I wish to punish those who had made use of these extraordinary times to turn a quick profit.”

At that point, a smart merchant like Werdeness realized who I was referring to and what I was intending.

“My lord, your humble servant has something to confess as well, our house’s pricings have risen, but…”

I raised my hand, cutting him off. “Enough. I know you have your circumstances. I’m sure you had to raise your prices, lest the other merchants turned against you. But your smartest move thus far was not to cross that line in the sand, else I would not have met you at all. Because you did not cross that line, I won’t pursue your role in this. What I truly despise is slavery, and those who would rob the refugees of their freedom for a quick coin.”

“Your humble servant understands.” Werdeness fell silent again. Finally, he cleared his throat, steadied himself, then spoke, “The most egregious of the merchants come from eleven merchant guilds. Each of them has the backing of a noble house. Of those eleven, three of them were groomed by foreign nobles. When my lord gave out the supplies from His Majesty, approximately 130,000 commoners were made slaves of these eleven guilds. Other merchants had partaken in this horrendous act, but these eleven were the worst. And by my investigations, the amount of refugees in the territory has crossed a million. 270,000 of them have been made slaves…”

“Cut straight to the point.” I had no desire to know these numbers and cut him off once more. “If I hand over authority to you, how do you plan on remedying this situation?”

“With my lord’s leave, your humble servant will bankrupt these offenders using the powers of my lord, then buy them up at a low price. Naturally, all these assets are my lord’s. As a gift from your humble servant.,,”

Werdenss laid out his plan for me further. And it actually was a simple plan, but an effective one.

He was planning to use my authority to restrict the daily activities of those guilds, then deal the finishing blow with his own. By absorbing all these guilds, and apparently enriching himself in the process, he would divert all potential blowback to himself while I could just simply sit there and count the coins.

Of course, by distancing myself from this entire process, it would take much longer, allowing for more counterattacks and variables.

“When all is said and done, my lord merely has to claim ignorance of the entire matter. A reason along the lines of being busy with the magitek research should suffice…”

“Interesting… very interesting.”

I had to admit, I had a certain fondness for subordinates who were willing to sacrifice their reputation for me.

“It is your humble servant’s honor.” Otto smiled widely, every bit a loyal henchman.

Ansom, on the other hand, was at a loss for words again.

“Hey. Enough gawking. I have a job for you too.” I waved at Ansom and continued, “Find a bright fellow amongst the magitek knight pilots to help Otto. I want this matter handled well.”

“Yes, Commander.”

“Don’t ruin this opportunity,” I turned to Otto and smiled.

“Rest assured, my lord, your humble servant swears on his life to handle this well.”

“I don’t need your life, I just need it done. Ansom, show Otto out, and find him an assistant.”

“Yes, Commander.”

“Yes, my lord.”

Not long after I was done with those two, the meisters came knocking on my door once more.



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References

Chapter 833: Matters of the Territory (6)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

Interesting. Definitely an interesting fellow.

“You may raise.”

I silently glanced at Ansom Krayt, signaling for him to receive the black crystalline card from Werdeness.

Naturally, the experienced grand merchant understood the significance of that action, and smiled as he rose.

Seated on my chair, I gently tapped on the tabletop before me, increasing to a near rhythmic pace as the seconds ticked by in silence. Suddenly, I asked, “There’s been a matter that has been troubling me recently, Mr. Werdeness. Would you be so kind as to offer me some advice on it?”

“My lord, Otto is fine.” He answered, head lowered, chest brimming with confidence. “Are you perhaps referring to those 14 nobles who were found to be embezzling?”

“You could say that, yes.”

He smiled deviously upon hearing that, “So there were others who had incurred your wrath as well.”

“…”

I was thinking that, but my main issue is with those profiteering merchants, not really the nobles -I already have a solution for that problem. But Werdeness does seem to have something to say on this matter, perhaps I should let him finish.

I nodded my head approvingly. “Very astute of you. How about you tell me your views on this matter?”

“They should be executed,” he answered firmly, but immediately pivoted, “but not all of them.”

Just what I wanted to hear -that was exactly what I had in mind as well.

Having said that, Otto sneaked a glance at me. I was just as impassive as before, but for the briefest of moments, he spotted a flicker in my eyes; he knew his answer was right.

“My lord was generous enough to give these people a chance to bring glory to their families -a most magnanimous act. Yet those ungrateful curs dared to bite the hand that fed them. Even a thousand deaths wouldn’t be enough!”

Maybe not a thousand… just one. Just one is enough.
“However… that is only on a personal level…”

Embezzlement, at its root, wasn’t a serious crime, at least not one which would require mass executions. To the nobles, this was just me making a molehill out of a small problem. Yet to me, this was a matter of them stepping on my goodwill, throwing shade at my extended hand, spoiling my base.

Our views were different on this matter, as such matters tended to be. Yet the difference in our strengths had already decided who was in the right.

My own power could easily overwhelm those fourteen noble houses combined, but this wasn’t a simple matter of punishment. This was a dispute between nobles. Even if I wanted to make an example out of them, I couldn’t go overboard, not without future consequences.

Hence, I decided to kill some, and let some off the hook, or at least spare them the executioner’s block. Before that however, they had to be taught a painful lesson.

“My lord,” he continued, “Have you perhaps heard of the tale of a noble man and his dog versus a commoner? A nobleman’s dog bit a commoner to death. As recompense, the nobleman tossed the commoner’s elder brother a gold coin, and left. In retaliation, the deceased’s elder brother slew the dog in secret. Upon learning of that fact, the nobleman wasted no small amount of gold to have that commoner punished and ultimately arrested.”

Otto had a reason for telling me that story, what he was trying to tell me was that even if those noble houses were to be punished, they would not reflect on what they did wrong, only what they had to pay.

If the punishment was the equivalent of a gold coin, they would just toss it my way. But if the punishment crossed a line… anything could happen.

Naturally, they couldn’t get me arrested, they couldn’t even harm me. But they could stir up trouble, and that would be a pain.

“Just state what you’re thinking.”

I waved my hands in a standoffish manner, giving him the go-ahead.

“I can see my lord does not wish to waste time, so your humble servant will keep it concise.” Seeing my growing lack of interest in his little cautionary tale, he quickly moved on, “In your humble servant’s view, the three most egregious offenders should be fined the amount they stole, and executed. The remaining eleven would be fined, but at a rate ten times of what they stole.”

I nodded my head placidly. His ideas mirrored my own, except I would pick the top five instead. Though, my fines would probably be half of what he requested.

“Isn’t ten times a little too much?” Silent up till now, Ansom finally chimed in with a shake of his head.

“Hm. Then what does Sir Ansom feel is a reasonable amount?”

Ansom turned to look my way, and upon seeing that I wasn’t objecting, lowered his head in thought. “What I mean to say is, the amount isn’t the problem, but what if their houses are unable to pay? Or what if they just give up on their family member?”

“Those are definitely possibilities. But a fallen house is still a noble house. Even in their state, as long as one was willing to wring extra hard, it is possible to squeeze those extra coins out of them. And if they dare to not pay, killing them isn’t hard either. And even if my lord forgives them, they’ve already committed the grave sin of offending my lord. Perhaps my lord might one day remember their transgression? And as followers of my lord, would they not want to avenge him?”

A grand merchant through and through – his skill with the tongue was more than earned. And wasn’t squeezing every bit of profit right up his alley? Looking at the eagerness on his face, I could tell he was absolutely planning to take on this task, as a means of showing his worth.



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References

Chapter 832: Matters of the Territory (5)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

“Commander, images of your visage are already being sold throughout the province. They say you’re the reincarnation of a goddess, beautiful and kind. I’ve not heard of a single commoner’s home who does not boast a portrait of your heavenly beauty hanging on their walls. With how fervently you are worshipped, perhaps a cult might even spring up within the next few years…” Seeing how confused I was, Ansom took the opportunity to explain the situation to me. And as if to hammer the nail into the coffin, he added, “You are really popular.”

Why do I feel a strange sense of embarrassment… No. I need to find out exactly what’s going on before something strange happens.

“What do you mean ‘portrait’?”

“That was your humble servant’s idea, nothing worth mentioning. Just a greeting gift.” Werdeness smiled a little, still kneeling on one knee. “I hope my lord won’t mind.”

“Huh? What gift?”

So he’s responsible for this mess?

Speaking of which, are portrait rights even a thing in the Western Human Realms? I guess it doesn’t matter. As the lord of this land, I have a million ways to make a person disappear.

Well-prepared, Werdeness pulled forth an ornately framed oil painting from his dimensional ring. Within was a white-dressed girl, a saintly smile gracing her lips, purple hair flowing down her back like the finest silks. Around her were a bunch of refugees, arms extended in reverence. Behind the girl was a conspicuously placed basket of bread.

More importantly, the girl in the portrait had a chest! Not very ample ones, but prominent enough that they resembled little bread buns…

In other words, that can’t be me! She might look the same, but that’s clearly not me! I don’t have a chest…

“My lord, here are the proceeds of the first wave of sales. Ever since we started selling this portrait, aptly named “The Benevolence of the Goddess”, we’ve collected roughly 120,000 gold coins. Your humble servant dares not pocket a single coin. Other than the cost of the materials and paying the salaries of those involved, including your humble servant’s own, every single coin has been handed over. Please have a look, my lord.”

Having said that, Werdeness pulled a crystalline black card from his dimensional ring. On it were the numbers 100,000, meaning this card was worth 100,000 gold coins.

Seeing that, even a member of the royal family, Ansom, was stunned.

100,000 gold coins was no small amount, and from what he implied, this was just the beginning…

However…

“Such fine artistry, I doubt the common folk can afford it.”

“My lord is wise. The ones sold to the commoners are poorer replicas. The one you see before you now is the handiwork of a master. Only the original copy is worthy of being a gift.”

“So you’ve printed more copies. That can’t be cheap.” A printing press equivalent did exist in the Western Human Realms. Unlike the machinery of Earth or Gaia, however, such a feat was achieved through magical tools. The results were also less precise.

Deducting away the 100,000 coins he handed over to him, Werdeness was most likely running a deficit even with the remaining 20,000 gold coins.

Still… for him to fleece a whopping 120,000 gold coins from the commoners, barely two months into my arrival… that’s truly a feat worthy of a grand merchant.

“I’ve long heard of Mr. Werdeness’s prowess in commerce, I see those rumors were not unfounded.”

I did not immediately accept the card in his hands. To begin with, the concept of money wasn’t strong with me, and accepting the card would be akin to accepting his loyalty.

I wasn’t bragging or anything -but if I really needed money, I could just withdraw more from the ATM known as His Majesty’s Royal Wallet. Redleaf would stand on my side, yup.

I was more concerned whether this grand merchant over here had any ulterior motives.

Yet Werdeness seemed unperturbed by my refusal to accept his card. In fact, his smile grew ever brighter.

Half-kneeling, black card still silently lying on the palms of his outstretched hands, he stated, “My talents are nothing but parlor tricks, only strength has the power to drive this world.”

From his steady tone, I could tell he had fully prepared himself for our meeting. He had more cards to play. Ones that he was sure would please me. Plus, he had already shown his sincerity, whether it was an offering of money, or the crucial information that a cult could be created.

While Ansom might have been the one to tell me that, our grand merchant over here clearly had a major role in driving this idea amongst the populace.

In the first place, cults weren’t all that uncommon in the Western Human Realms. After all, a Demigod was already able to absorb power from faith, paving the way for future deification. However, the ones that truly made it to a long-lasting religion were those that worshipped a true deity, whether good or evil.

In short, his words were concise, as I had asked, but every word was meaningful and beneficial to me. Such as offering money for my territory’s development. Paving the road for a cult for my deification. He was clearly trying to show his worth to me.

“I can see you wish to follow me, but I have to ask, why did you not approach me when I first came to this land?”

A straightforward but by no means simple question. One wrong step and all his work would be done for.

He fell silent in thought. Finally, he said to my surprise, “Because your humble servant wishes to see for himself the capabilities of my future lord. Sometimes, news passed through word of mouth may not always be true.”

Seeing is believing, huh…

He wasn’t wrong in wanting to do so. Rumors often contained embellishments, sometimes purposeful. But what surprised me was his candor.

“I’m surprised.”

“That your humble servant is being so truthful?” he said with a smile.

I simply shrugged at his smile.

“Your humble servant has spent countless years since childhood, mingling with the nobles. With the burden of the restoration of my house on my shoulders, I have labored tirelessly amongst the merchants. With my years of experience and countless hours sifting through reports of my lord, I have come to the conclusion that my lord does not enjoy wasting time on strangers. That is why I have chosen to be direct, and forthwith.”

‘Does not enjoy wasting time on strangers’, huh… It does sound a lot nicer than ‘laziness’…



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References

Chapter 831: Matters of the Territory (4)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

Andassis the Seventh knew my temper very well; that was probably why he hesitated to send the decree to have me leave the territory. But that also meant that this new generation of magitek knights would have to be researched and developed here.

Even with the schematics for the new defense system, the two meisters dared not claim absolute success in upgrading the armors. If possible, the main architect, me, should be present to advise. They could question me on-site that way.

For the King, the magitek knight research was a kingdom-level secret, of the highest priority.

“Hmm. It just isn’t possible with what Kesek has available now… Perhaps I will take the schematics with me first, I still have some details that need working out on my end. Belud, let’s go.”

Amori thought to himself for a second before suddenly expressing his desire to leave. After bidding a hasty farewell, he left. Belud, on the other hand, was planning to ask for a movie before leaving, but upon seeing how busy I was, decided against this.

With the two meisters gone, I got back down to work.

Half an hour passed in this manner, before I heard a knock on my door. It was my young adjutant, Ansom Krayt, accompanied by an affable looking middle-aged man with red hair.

I took the initiative in greeting him. “Look who we have here, it’s my adjutant. Do you know how hard I’ve had it while you were gone.”

“Commander, I’ve returned.” Ansom bowed towards me then turned towards the noble looking man beside him. “Let me introduce you to the grand merchant, Otto Werdeness.”

Grand merchant? Otto Werdeness?

Isn’t that the name of one of the ten most famous merchants in my territory? I heard he was a scion of a fallen noble house, and he was the one responsible for its rise once more. He’s a highly influential merchant in the territory.

What was worth mentioning was that, while this grand merchant over here had also raised the prices of his food, he hadn’t done the unconscionable of forcing people into slavery by taking advantage of the starving.

That was precisely why I still had a favorable view of this man. In comparison to the other merchants, anyway- he at least knew some limits.

“Greetings, my lord.” Werdeness bowed towards me and smiled. “My apologies for not sending my regards at the first opportunity.”

“Mr. Werdeness. For my adjutant to bring you before me must mean that you have something of great importance to share.” I started with slight gravitas. I eyed the man from top to toe as he maintained a neutral smile.

With no useful information to be gleaned off him, I continued, “Let’s cut straight to the point, I hate theatrics. Why are you here?”

“Since my lord does not wish to waste time, then your humble subject will be brief with his choice of words.” He paused at that point. Then with the gravest of expressions, he fell to one knee. “Your humble subject wishes to pledge his undying allegiance, please allow me to be your follower, my lord.”

Eh?

Ansom seemed just as shocked, as if this wasn’t the script they had rehearsed before.

Ferti’nier did you use your magicks on him while I wasn’t looking?

“Nope. He was probably enamored by your beauty when he made that declaration.”

Beauty, huh… How infuriating.

Our stunned silence lasted for a few seconds. I couldn’t find the words to answer the man. I wasn’t even sure what game he was playing at.

“May I know why, exactly?”

“For my house.”

Well, that really was brief…

“As far as I know, Mr. Werdeness, that has already been accomplished.”

“Surely, my lord, you do not consider such a decrepit state greatness?”

“…”

I guess everyone has a definition of what can be considered greatness. Just like how some would consider a million dollars a fortune while some would consider that poverty…

As I stared at the kneeling merchant, I frowned, “Then what does Mr. Werdeness consider greatness?”

“My house would once count its name amongst the twenty greatest noble houses in Andassis a mere hundred years ago. However, our ancestors made a wrong choice, forcing them to flee the capital and seek refuge in this province…” Otto Werdeness summarized the history of his household in the past hundred years. Finally, he lowered his head and asked, “My lord, would you consider the state of our house great?”

“When you put it that way, you have the right of it.” Yet I was still a little confused. “I roughly understand your situation, but why would you seek me out? With your resources, I’m sure you can find a better patron, can you not?”

“My lord, you are too harsh on yourself. By your humble servant’s estimates, there is no other who can push our noble house to its former glory.”

“Thank you for your confidence, but perhaps you’re exaggerating a little there…”

“Defeating three overlords alone, of which one was even the Thunder Emperor. With such an illustrious battle record, and the lofty title as the creator of magitek, there is no other who has shaken the realms as such. There are countless who would gladly come under your wing, alas, they do not possess that fortune.”

“…” Wait, what exactly is going on out there? When did my name become so famous, and why did no one tell me about this?



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References

Chapter 830: Matters of the Territory (3)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

After learning of the magitek armor’s weakness in the last battle, it was only natural to try and patch it. However, mesmers were a rare breed of mages to begin with, so any defenses against their magicks were hard to come by as well. Adding on the matters of my territory, I did not have much time at all to research this topic with the meisters.

Actually… Ferti’nier told me that she was going to have some trouble finding a solution as well, so I ended up having to delay this problem till now.

And while we were on the topic of being honest, I couldn’t help but wonder if Ferti’nier had purposely left out psychic defenses in her initial design. After all, it was such a glaring hole for the main architect of these schematics to miss out.

Just as I handed over the plans for the psychic defense arrays to the two meisters, that all-too-familiar teasing voice of Ferti’nier rang in my head.

“You can bet your big sis did it on purpose, mhm.”

Why, though?

“Because such designs need to go through an iterative process. Improving with each cycle of production.”

And?

“The situation demanded some degree of urgency back then. There was a threat of invasion, and we needed the shortest amount of time possible to produce a finished product. As long as the armors were able to turn the tide, such a glaring weakness was forgivable.”

I guess that’s true. Even games have bugs on their initial release, let alone weapons. And we didn’t have that much time to dry run these machines either. Everything checks out, but it all seems too convenient…

“When you give them the designs, you will understand why I did so.”

Oh? Is that so?

“I expected nothing less from Lady Mo Na, such intricacy in the carvings of the arrays!”

In the time that I conversed with Ferti’nier, Meister Amori had finished looking through the schematics I handed him. With how excited I was, I was surprised he hadn’t banged his head against the ceiling when he leapt to his feet.

“Haha… As long as it works…” I laughed dryly at his extravagant praise.

Yup, definitely my work… After all, who else could it be, am I right? Hahaha…

The designs were definitely Ferti’nier’s, but I couldn’t very well admit to that either.

“You’re too modest, Lady Mo Na.” Amori laughed along with me. “Ever since the battle, His Majesty had been most concerned about the magitek armors falling under another psychic spell. He even brought it up to me several times, but alas, Lady Mo Na was too busy with her territory administration. I had even given up hope that a solution would be forthcoming soon… but lo and behold!”

“What happened to Lord Mo Na?” Meister Belud couldn’t help but poke at his companion then. “And someone was going on about how Lady Mo Na was no longer the same Lady Mo Na…”

“Ahem…”

Finally unable to take the withering barrage of jibes, Amori coughed awkwardly, hoping to stop the dwarf. Naturally, Belud knew what his compatriot was saying, and knew when not to push a joke too far.

Still, it seemed like the two of them weren’t too excited about me burying myself in administrative work.

It was a normal reaction for the people of the palace. After all, what could be more important than the palace?

It didn’t help at all that I even asked the King for help with those supplies, after having put off the matter of the psychic weakness. That was why Amori had taken to calling me Lord Mo Na.

“Matters of the land had been wearing me out recently, it was only when I had a small window of time that I was able to research these arrays. In any case, I’ll leave the matter to your capable hands, Meisters…”

I cordially ended our conversation. Or so I had hoped.

“Lady Mo Na, these arrays are meant for the internals of the magitek armor, are they not?”

“Err.. Yes, they are.” I replied as noncommittally as I could, knowing that I wasn’t actually the designer of these arrays. That was all Ferti’nier’s handiwork, and she did not explain the theories to me either.

Hopefully, they wouldn’t suspect anything. Not that it mattered; Ferti’nier and I were technically the same person.

“But if that’s the case, I’m afraid the current generation of magitek armors aren’t able to benefit from this new design. The arrays take up too much surface area to be used. We would have to redesign the entire machine… In other words, a new generation of magitek knights…”

Amori frowned as he turned to the dwarf, “Old friend, with the current resources in this territory, do you think you can craft the required components?”

“Absolutely not. Even with the necessary materials, the facilities here are lacking. The furnaces aren’t hot enough, the anvils aren’t sturdy enough. It would be impossible to replicate the alloy we used.”

The alloy Belud was referring to was the special composite material he developed, known as Beludite, version 1.0. It had great mana conductivity, and was the main material for the outer armor of the magitek knights.

As such, very exacting standards were required for the materials and tools. Naturally, my wasteland of a fiefdom wouldn’t meet those standards. And without that material, the entire project would have to go on indefinite hiatus; it wasn’t like I could just abandon my job as the lord of the land. Not even with a royal decree.



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References

Chapter 829: Matters of the Territory (2)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

On the topic of settling the refugees into Kesek, the first matter at hand should be to find work for them. In other words, finding a job for them.

Being without a means of livelihood for long would leave the refugees feeling alienated and long for “home”.

In light of that, my constant handouts to the refugees at the expense of the merchant class was basically just… a stupid bleeding heart at work. Other than farming some goodwill for myself, the refugees did not gain any sustainable benefit, and might have even made things worse in the long term.

As a remedy of sorts, I decided to hold an employment drive amongst the refugees. Those who were suitable would become conscripts, and even if they weren’t, the rest of them could still work in the province.

But that last point was inseparable from the merchants…

My young adjutant, the ever-helpful Ansom Krayt, might have just been of a high schooler’s age, but due to his noble upbringing, he was a capable kid. Thus I sent him off to negotiate with the merchants.

Actually, this whole negotiation affair was brought up by the merchants first, not me. Had it not been for the mountain of documents darkening my skies of late, plus some unimportant matters, I would have marched right in and taught them a lesson myself. I had already prepared a list of merchants I was planning to target. In fact, I was counting the days to the new year when I would finally act.

Their offer for a negotiation gave me a different path to take, however. For one, it made me realize that they weren’t even a single entity, and some had different ideas on how to proceed.

Else why would they even approach me?

A merchant sought ever-increasing profits. If they were seeking me out, it meant they had something to gain in this.

Regardless, there was no need for me to appear in person. After all, if some merchants wanted to meet the lord of the land, and I had to just meet them, what kind of a lord would I be?

Anyway, Ansom should be back with news soon.

With that in mind, I dug into the pile of documents, hoping to finish off as much as possible before his return.

However, I barely got to pick up a document before I heard a flurry of footsteps outside my door, followed by some light arguing.

“Belud, don’t you think we are being too presumptuous here?”

“That’s the problem with you, Amori, you’re such a stick in the mud. Look how close we are with Nana, we act more relaxed instead.”

“Excuse me, Meister Stonehammer, but I suggest you be more respectful in front of the lord of this land.”

“Fine, fine. Let’s go in, Lady Mo Na won’t mind anyway.”

“It’s not about whether or not she minds. As guests, we should…”

The meister never got to finish his words as his counterpart had already pushed open the door to my office. Then under the human’s shocked gaze, he smirked and puffed out his chest while smoothing out his beard. “Greetings, my lovely Mo Na, we’re here to see you…”

As always, his words betrayed his true intentions easily. He was an interesting fellow, for sure, but only if you were a spectator in this whole ordeal.

“You can cut out the lovely part,” I rolled my eyes at the short dwarf. “So you’re here about that matter, but didn’t I say tomorrow?”

“We’re terribly sorry about this, Lord Mo Na, we were too presumptuous…”

“What do you mean presumptuous? Our casualness is proof of how close we are. If it was someone else, this old beard over here wouldn’t have budged an inch.” He winked at me then.

I swear… this old shortie…

“It’s fine, Meister Amori, since Meister Belud feels that way, we needn’t be so formal either.” I chose not to reply to that open book of a dwarf, instead smiling at the ruffled Amori.

“Have a seat, we’ve been working together for some time now, so I’m sure you’re aware of how I work. Let’s not waste time and begin.”

“Exactly, that’s what I like about you little Mo Na.” Having said that, the dwarven meister pulled up a chair for himself. However, the chair was made for a human, so his feet couldn’t even reach the ground…

Looking at him, I was suddenly reminded of an elementary school kid sitting at the adult’s table. Assuming that kid could grow a beard and age prematurely, of course.

The reason why these two meisters were so eager to find me was about that message I had Old Adam send out. Honestly, it wasn’t some grand conspiracy, but rather a technical subject. The psychic resistance of the magitek knight armors.

Thus far, the armors had been undefeated, but that was merely because their enemies weren’t strong enough.

Right now, the bulk of the armies were made up of one-stars who had just learnt to sense Fighter’s Aura. Two-stars were squad captains in the army. This first generation of armors was the equivalent of foot soldiers in a magitek armor army. Their well-built nature meant that any decent enough pilot could output the firepower of a five-star. However, the magitek armors were particularly weak to psychic attacks. Though that was only because the pilots were humans, and all humans were weak to psychic attacks.

Even so, what was the point of these armors if they couldn’t protect their pilots from every sort of attack? The goal was to have a machine that would allow the weak to triumph over the strong!



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References

Chapter 828: Matters of the Territory (1)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

“Regarding my judgment on the corruption cases of Aishad, Domodir, Kasheek, and the other interim officials, do you have anything else to add, Adam?”

Seated in the main office of the estate, I stared through the mountains of documents on my table right at a downcast-looking Old Adam.

“My lord, you are wise in your decision, but…”

He left it hanging there.

In truth, even if he had continued, it wouldn’t have mattered. There were lines that shouldn’t be crossed, and this was one of them. In my most difficult of times, an official whom I had personally raised actually dared to defy my orders and attempt to pocket my funds -unforgivable.

I treated my subordinates fairly and well most of the time, but it seemed that human greed knew no bounds, and some people just loved to poke at the sleeping tiger. Did they think I was a Hello Kitten” or something?

Thus I threw those foolhardy officials into the slammer. And if I could have my way, it was off with their heads.

I was dead serious on that; this would be the perfect chance to set an example of them as well. Old Adam, with his years of experience as the majordomo of the ruling nobility, could tell my intentions even without me saying.

In the end, they were locked up but spared. The side effect of that was they were now under my supervision, and if the families behind them wanted them back, they had better come crawling…

Because there was no way they could ever hope to beat me in a show of force…

While their corruption was a serious matter, it still wasn’t to the extent where all fourteen of them should be executed; that would just make me seem inhuman.

After all, each of them stole varying degrees of supplies and gold. I couldn’t very well have someone beheaded simply because he stole one gold coin. I would be a terrible despot.

That and the fact that I would instantly push away all the nobles in the region, given that they were all shady in some way. No one wanted to live with a figurative Sword of Damocles above their throats. And a pond that was overly clean was also barren of fish. But I still hated when someone tried to fleece me. For the time being, I had them locked up to see how their families would offer recompense.

Money, apologies, whatever. Perhaps even a display of willful stubbornness. It mattered not, because I was planning to turn this into a huge scandal.

Looking at the faint smile on my lips, the old steward shook a little. In all likelihood, he had guessed some of what I was planning. Even so, he still had to try. “Perhaps we should at least listen to what they have to say?”

“Adam, be frank with me, how much money did they give you?”

“My lord… I …”

Spoken with only the gentlest of tones, my words fell upon him like a hammer on an anvil. He immediately fell to his knees, quaking as he stuttered.

“It’s fine, you may rise for now. We might not have known each for long, but I am not an inflexible person. I do not expect everyone under me to be a perfect human, without a single speck of dirt on them, but… With times being so hard, a person whom I had personally picked had the audacity to steal my own money… Did they think I wouldn’t punish them for this insolence?”

Old Adam was quiet at my words. He knew this whole situation wasn’t my fault to begin with, and he knew how much I valued the common men from my actions.

In this day and age, I was probably the only fool of a lord who would do such a thing.

“Just ignore them for a few days, tell them I’m busy with official business.” I smirked before continuing, “It’s not like I’ve officially declared an execution date, we can discuss the matter of those fools later.”

“Understood.” Old Adam nodded. At least he had something to tell his patrons now.

“All right, you may leave as well. I’m sure you have many duties to attend to as the steward.”

“With your leave, my lord, I will be off.”

“Oh right…”

His old back stiffened and immediately lowered. “Yes, my lord?”

“I need you to send a message to Meister Amori and Belud. Just tell them I have some new insights regarding that little problem, find some time tomorrow and we may discuss this in detail.”

“Yes, my lord.” He replied respectfully before whipping around and rushing out the door.

Hmm… That won’t do at all. Old Adam is a decent steward of my estate. He does good work and even helps me with some official matters; I wouldn’t want him to be living in fear all day.

But am I even that scary?

I mean… Look how handsome I am, why would people be scared?

With the old steward gone, I buried myself in those documents again. Menial as they might be, Kesek was in dire need of administration right now. The food problem was solved, but the masses needed work as well, else they might just get up to no good again. Even those refugees were no exception. Especially if I wanted them to settle in my territory.

With Kesek’s lack of production, boosting our population would only be a boon for development.



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References

Chapter 827: Aftermath (3)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

Now. It wasn’t like I thought all nobles treated their subjects as less than human, but those that didn’t were few and far between.

Maybe I really am a saintess… I mean saint.

The officials we sent out to administer the lands were reporting on a daily basis. However, I hadn’t the faintest clue about running a government, thus I dumped the mountain load of paperwork on my young adjutant, Ansom Krayt.

At the same time, I sent out Tallin to patrol the province on my behalf. His job was to beat any scoundrel foolish enough to stir trouble in my lands, and check up on those officials I sent out.

Even though I did vet those officials, it was also a fact that the entire province was severely understaffed. Thus I did not filter too many out either. As long as there wasn’t anything too egregious, I basically sent them on their way. Hopefully, obtaining power wouldn’t suddenly change their personality.

As it stood, the biggest problem facing the region was an acute lack of food. Time and time again, Ansom’s reports made mention of how this shortage had driven many to crime and robbery. This wasn’t a new problem, unfortunately. The province had always been the definition of the poverty line for food production. Barely hanging on was the best they could achieve.

In fact, the Ertalonese army had raided their food stocks a few times while traveling through this region during the initial invasion. Thanks to that traitorous new lord that murdered his brother, the current situation was balancing on a knife’s edge.

With hundreds of thousands of refugees expected to cross the borders…

By the time I was done reading through the reports, I shuddered at the mere thought of the human tragedy facing us. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, would starve to death at this rate. Not to mention the whole host of problems, like the desperate turning to crime, war profiteering… Then the truly desperate who would have to sell themselves or their own to make ends meet.

As a last resort, some even tried to revolt, but those were swiftly dealt with.

I hated those merchants who spiked their prices, but I had no food right now to spare. Using violence against those profiteering merchants wasn’t a solution either, that would just turn my province into a pariah amongst the merchant community, starving the area further, and hampering any future development.

A better solution had to exist.

Naturally, the best solution would be to import food into the province. Without such an acute shortage, the merchants couldn’t raise their prices either.

But the estate coffers were empty… Which was only to be expected, given that the entire manor was empty, staff and all, unless those people had nowhere else to go when the traitors fled.

I had my own wealth, but I couldn’t very well buy from those merchants directly, that would just peg me as being desperate, giving them even more leeway to fleece me. And I wouldn’t want them giving me a good price, only to allow them some favor or control over me.

A strong front was needed. And I had exactly such an idea in mind… though, not the best one ever. I could get my subordinates to disguise themselves as refugees, and find an opportunity to kill off the dishonest ones amongst the merchants. But there could be casualties, and outside merchants might see this as my province being unable to protect their safety. At that point, attracting more business would be difficult.

A lose-lose situation – definitely not the best idea ever- and one that shouldn’t be used except as a last resort.

Old Adam knew of my conundrum, thus he managed to loan some resources from the smaller nobles left in the region. However, the amount wasn’t much, whether food or gold. After all, if there were any nobles left at this point, that meant they were fallen nobles, ones that could not even participate in the mutiny.

Also, I couldn’t very well empty their treasuries. I only had some small benefits to give, not to the extent where they would give up everything willingly.

The other regions in the north couldn’t be counted on for help; they had their own problems as well. Thus, the King was my next option.

That last idea struck me when Redleaf came to pay me a leisurely visit through the teleportation gate she set up. After our usual movie, I suddenly remembered how much influence this lady elf had with the King. I still didn’t know why she had so much power in this kingdom, but that didn’t stop me from asking for her help.

When she heard of my request, she immediately patted her chest, and raced off, figuratively, back to the palace.

A mere hour later, someone claiming to be Andassis the Seventh’s messenger came out of the teleportation gate…

And the following day… a huge supply of food came through the same gate…

With the King’s help, our crisis had been averted. I decided to distribute all the food to the refugees for free, shocking the entire world…

The refugees naturally worshiped me, but the merchants were miffed, as if the food was stolen from their warehouses. The King gave them to me, I’ll have you know!

Unfortunately, they couldn’t do a thing against me. After all, I was the Crimson Dragon Lady. Whatever they threw at me had better be stronger than those overlords, or else. In terms of influence, I was the lord of the land, if they wouldn’t listen, then off with their heads!

Now that the food crisis was over, another popped up.

When it rained, it poured…

Unlike a game, there was no loyalty stat I could refer to. And there was now talk of corruption in the ranks…



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References

Chapter 826: Aftermath (2)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

My first entry into Kesek was by horse and carriage. And through the curtains of those carriage windows, I spied a sea of gazes all focused my way. Hope. Gratitude. Worship. Every one of them, genuinely happy to see me. It warmed my heart, but at the same time, it weighed heavily on me.

What I was about to do was tantamount to treason – to fight against the devils as a devil…

Even so, while these corrupted nobles were deserving of the doom that awaited them, what about these innocent people?

Saving all the innocents was most likely impossible. I did not have that kind of power. But I could at least save the race I used to belong to.

The province of Kesek used to be the property of the noble family of Abbott. It was said that this family was a staunch supporter of the Andassean royal family, or at least the previous head was.

Unfortunately, the previous head was murdered by his own younger brother, aided by the Ertalonese kingdom. Then by purging the entire estate, he successfully took control of the family.

The bloody massacre only took a scant two hours. Those close to the previous head were murdered before they even knew what was happening.

All that was information I learnt from the old majordomo of the estates, Adam.

It all clicked at that moment. An entire uprising in a region was rare. A monarch had to be immeasurably cruel in order to spur such drastic action. But if the heads were secretly replaced with traitors, it all made sense.

There was no shortage of such craven traitors. Ones lacking in competence, but brimming with ambition and dissatisfaction for their current state.

Old Adam was a man closing in on his fifties. In the estate, he wasn’t a power player, but with decades of running the estate well, he was a talent in his own right. Thus the traitors kept him around as well.

Upon learning of what befell the previous head, I next set my attention towards the location of the traitors. Old Adam told me respectfully that they had fled upon learning of the failed invasion, along with most of their kin. In all likelihood, they sought shelter in Ertalon.

So that’s why the estate looks like a dog’s bowl after the dog was done licking it…

I asked Old Adam why he did not leave with them, to which he simply replied that this was his hometown. However, I could see the guilt in his eyes, most likely towards the previous head. But I understood he had no choice in this matter. At his age, he had a family to look after, and if he did not surrender, all of them would have been in trouble.

Regardless, I was a permanent resident of the manor, and Old Adam was still the majordomo.

After countless upheaval, the government of the province was in complete paralysis. Without a leader, the masses were no better than blind mice; chaos was only inevitable. Thus I knew that restoring order was imperative in ensuring that this province could function.

And that was where Old Adam, with his decades of experience, came in handy once more. Upon learning of my concerns, he quickly introduced some talents in the field of governance. Which in a medieval world like this, basically meant the gentry. Education was something only reserved for those with power. For the common folk with talent, magic and aura were their go-to. And even amongst the noble, only those without a talent for either of those disciplines would specialize in governance. Maybe the odd scholar or two.

As the majordomo of the ruling family, it was no surprise at all that he would know so many nobles. And I couldn’t care less what the old butler had in mind when he recommended them either; I accepted those who were willing to be interviewed. After verifying their character, with the help of Ferti’nier, I sent them to work officially.

Before my arrival, panic amongst the populace was a looming crisis. With every passing day, the problem only grew worse, as news of the defeated army closed in on them like vice. Along with rumors of nobles organizing raids of their own, posing as those defeated soldiers.

It did not help that the same populace had just gone through two regime changes in a short time; from Andassean to Ertalonese, then back to Andassean. All within a month.

But all that changed with my arrival. Unlike the nobles, I had protected the common men multiple times by slaughtering those corrupted scum. To the nobles, I might be a callous harlot, but to the common men, I was a savior. Thus did they come out in droves to welcome me with open arms and hopeful tears in their eyes.

Looking at them, I couldn’t help but remember my parents in this world, Morran and Rhona; they were killed by soldiers hired by those self-same nobles. At least back then, they had the common decency to dress up as bandits. Now they just killed everyone.

But unlike the small village I grew up in, Kesek was massive, coming in at 180,000 square kilometers. It was a medium-sized fiefdom, closing in on a large one.

Yet, even with all that land, the population of Kesek was merely three million plus. How many citizens did a random metropolis on Gaia have? Probably more. And in a space that was just 18,000 square kilometers.

Perhaps they just couldn’t produce enough to support a larger population in Kesek, or perhaps their death rate was just too high.

I was once a commoner like them, so I knew how the nobles viewed them. Dogs, if they were being kind. No less than dogs, in all likelihood.



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References

Chapter 825: Aftermath (1)

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Author: The Sole Survivor Original Source: SFACG
Translator: CatatoPatch English Source: Re:Library

Ever since I defeated those three overlords, I was awarded the title of “Crimson Dragon Lady” by Andassis the Seventh.

Titles were a privilege afforded only to those who were as powerful as an overlord. Meaning… Regardless of what my actual star level was, I was now a member of that elite club, a person that could take on three overlords alone.

Not long after the three Ertalonese overlords were slain, General Cleoz announced the news. Without much fanfare, I might add. Not that it was needed, the Ertalonese army immediately fell apart when they learnt of that fact.

Of the five overlords that came to invade, there were only two left. One was the general leading the entire army, while the other was the hierophant who used that forbidden spell on the fort. That same spell was the very reason he was now out of action, seeing as the spell itself was woven with his own Territory.

All in all, the Ertalonese army had no way of resisting our forces any longer.

With no other options left to him, the enemy general, General Moniz, started planning for a full retreat.

Being a veteran general himself, Cleoz knew what his counterpart was planning even without checking. On the night of the victory itself, he invited me for a little discussion. He wanted me to join the pursuit and deal the enemy a decisive blow with my magitek knights.

I did not like the man. That much was certain from my first meeting with him. But for the greater good, I dutifully accepted the order to lead the Magitek Knight Corp.

This time, Cleoz took the lead himself. And in one fell swoop, crushed the coalition army of Ertalon and those rebellious northern nobles who joined the enemy. It was surreal for an Earthling like me… that was 400,000 soldiers!

Next up was to reclaim our lost territory.

Honestly, such a rousing victory wasn’t even imaginable for the soldiers just days ago. They had their backs against the literal fort walls, with only a bunch of new knights to aid them. How ridiculous the situation must have sounded to them, and probably to the history books in the future…

Apparently, the King himself held a banquet that night to celebrate our victory.

And those despicable nobles who were clamoring for their kids to be returned… They immediately jumped on the news like ravenous sharks, vying for rewards that they truly had no part in.

However, those were all small details. Andassis the Seventh gave his tacit agreement to their behavior as well. To begin with, if the entire north rebelled, that meant there were huge swathes of land to be given out. Naturally, he could have just consolidated it all into the royal family’s estate, but in a feudal system like his, he had to divvy up the spoils to his subjects.

But… all that wasn’t my problem. This kingdom did not even belong to me, and I had no intention of caring either.

The final battle of our pursuit ended in a one-on-one battle between the two generals. General Moniz was heavily wounded and had to be evacuated by his troops. Even now, we did not know if he survived with those injuries.

The other overlord, the hierophant, had fled long ago. The remaining troops were crushed by our army…

It was a rousing victory, but for the peasantry of the north, this was a nightmare. The scattered enemy troops were easy targets for our soldiers, but not for the peasants. However, these defeated soldiers weren’t the only plague upon the north. Some devious nobles even had the gall to fake bandit attacks in order to claim credit for themselves.

Once more, the pure evil of these people astonished me.

By putting an end to some of these attacks, I now had the dubious honor of simultaneously being the most welcome person and the least welcome person amongst the nobles.

In order to placate some of these furious nobles, Andassis the Seventh finally had to step in himself, issuing a transfer order, politely sending me off to the territory he gave me. In other words, the northern region of Kesek.

At this point, the defeated army hadn’t extended its tendrils into Kesek yet. Given how close Kesek was to the borders, even these soldiers weren’t able to progress that far. Another three to five days were needed.

But that did not mean the Kesek peasantry were living free of worry either. Every day was spent in fear of the inevitable – that a bunch of ragtag soldiers, dressed in ragged armor and wielding broken swords, would just turn up on their doorsteps to pillage their village. Days felt like years for them. When we first arrived, the despair hanging in the air was palpable for all to see. But only for a while longer…

On the night of my arrival, along with the Magitek Knight Corp, a wave of hope washed over the ailing populace, like the break of dawn on the cold, dark winter night.

In the first place, the traitors were the lords of these regions, not the peasantry. They were merely trying to live their daily lives unbothered. Now, in just the span of a few days, their communities had been upended by the arrival of nearly 200,000 refugees from the neighboring lands who had been pillaged, with no signs of abatement.

Naturally, Kesek wasn’t the only region affected by refugees. When the defeated soldiers came knocking on your doorstep, there wasn’t time to be picking and choosing your safe haven. You just threw on your shoes and ran…

To where? God knows.

The rest were either killed by the pillaging soldiers of the defeated army, or killed by the pillaging soldiers of the army pretending to be the defeated army… Not that those who fled were any better. All that awaited them was a life of hardship, and scraps to show for it.

Truly, the definition of a rock and a hard place.

Thus did my arrival seem like a turning point for the region. The fame of my knight order had spread far and wide, even to this remote region. Realizing that my arrival was brought forward, there was no short of fanfare at the news…

The scene of thousands queuing up just to welcome us was a truly sight to behold…



LINK HERE

References

Volume 17