To the New Territory
The next day, we departed from Straheim for my new territory in the north via carriage.
This was the first time I’d be visiting. I needed to avoid them looking down on me as a ruler at all costs, so I brought several executives from my company as some of my own forces.
Though, we were endlessly short on hands, so my own forces were really the members of the Scarlet Phoenix. They were also busy with guarding the company and training the members of the Revise family, and there was also that giant hole in front of Thermax. I couldn’t just take them all, so I brought 20 of them with me.
Satella was adamant that she come as well, so naturally Shiina and Drahachi followed after.
The problem lay with Aria. She’s currently being targeted by Laguna and leaving her behind just to have her get captured would be pretty annoying, so I ended up bringing her along too. Well, that was just until we arrived at the territory.
Incidentally, I figured Waste Co. start harassing all the stores in Reise’s Lower City Association again, so I left Sylphy to guard them.
I still didn’t know why I couldn’t analyze her status via Analyze Environment, but Judo and Carla couldn’t hold a candle to her in her undead dragon form. No matter how weakened, she would be able to at least guard the stores.
I thought she’d be hesitant to take on this position when I asked her to do so, but she happily agreed with a grin on her face. Sieg was in the city, too, so I could only think that they were planning something. Well, she probably just wants to drink alcohol.
And just to make sure, I used 【Gu】on one of the three monsters I had captured and put the human spider, Spy to work over there. I mean, once Sylphy gets to drinking, she’s out like a log so I need someone to take care of her.
In any case, Spy was a dependable guy, and you couldn’t tell his transformed self apart from a human. He should be good enough for the job.
Hachi the bee and Kama the praying mantis were also in their human forms and guarding for Sagami Co. as well. They had always been obedient to my orders and weren’t boastful of their strength, so they were better than the other employees.
“C’mon now, it’s time for the kids to go to bed,” Judo said as he clapped. “Now, it’s time for our nightly training.”
“I agree,” said Satella, urging Shiina and Aria back inside the tent.
After what happened with Zem, I completely stopped holding back around them. I’d train my family to the strongest they could be. Shiina was the same, too. I taught her magic every day, albeit only a little, and had her drain her magic power.
“Are you all fine?” I asked Roche, who was sipping on an orange juice box that we had recently developed.
“We’ll be training with the leader later so we’re fine.”
Roche and Lyase had recently been learning from Aquido how to expend their magic power and were getting stronger by the day.
“So? What do you want to know?”
“Start from where you left off yesterday!”
They both grabbed a chair by the table and grabbed a pen and parchment as the other members began to gather around.
Ever since we had begun travelling, every day Roche would ask me various questions and I’d answer them in return. These past few days were about the rampant poverty and disease.
“And that’s how a vaccine works. You understand?”
“Hmm, I still can’t wrap my head around bacteria and viruses.”
“Well, it’s not like you can see it after all. Just remember what I’ve said.”
The hand on the wristwatch already pointed to 10. It was about time to put the kids to sleep. I glanced over at Aquido, who nodded back while downing a bottle of alcohol.
“It’s getting late. Let’s go, Roche, Lyase,” he stood up and said, pointing his thumb back at the tent.
“Yeah, you’re right. Tell me the rest tomorrow, Grey.”
Roche and Lyase nodded and followed after Aquido.
“Yeah, good night.”
After watching them enter the tent, I noticed a stare on me.
“What’s up?” I asked.
“You’re a strange guy,” said a woman behind me.
The woman, Rita, had black skin, long black hair down to her waist and was cradling a sleeping baby in her arms. She was a Radol under our protection who had safely birthed a healthy baby a few weeks after that incident.
After explaining her circumstances, she begged to go back to her homeland, so I allowed her to accompany us back.
“Is that so?”
“Yes. It’s the first time I’ve met someone like you, regardless of race or age.”
“Of course you haven’t. How many weirdos do you think are out there?” said a Scarlet Phoenix member who had been listening to the side as he slapped my back.
“He runs a prominent company in the empire and can freely wield magic,” one member said.
“The Commerce Guild’s placed an eye on him, he’s deeply familiar with many subjects, and the emperor has even granted him an audience,” another added.
“Now that I think about it, it really is mysterious. I mean—”
“He’s a monster!” they said in perfect harmony.
God, they’re so rude. I feel like they’re turning more and more merciless by the day. Well, that might be my fault in the end.
“We’ll be back to your homeland soon,” Aquido began. “We’re not completely unrelated to the Radols, so we might be branded as traitors. We still have enough time, so what do you say you turn back?”
He had already explained to her his past surrounding the Scarlet Phoenix and the Radols. I planned to make the new territory a giant commercial district, and it shouldn’t be too late to return to the empire afterwards.
“That may be true, but I’d like for my baby to have a taste of our homeland.”
Rita had dreamed of managing a small restaurant and had fled Sutherland in the middle of the night. She was a traitor to the other Radols. Even a child could tell that they’d only look at her with scorn if she came back in tow with a bunch of citizens from the empire.
“So you’re determined?”
“Then I won’t say any more.”
Rita quietly chuckled as she lovingly stroked her baby’s head and resolutely stated, “Still, you’re all different from normal Archivians, so I believe the path ahead is surely a good one.”