Chapter 20 – Headquarters acquired!
It was the next morning after making Yuuri and the others my Servants.
“Ooh, welcome, Prince Alec!”
As we arrived at the harbor of Lobrion, a cheerful looking old man── Count Lobria approached me.
Count Lobria kneeled down and bowed deeply in front of me.
“To think that Your Highness would see through the enemy’s plot! I’m in awe of your keen insight!”
“I’m happy to be of assistance. By the way, what happened to the demons?”
“We haven’t managed to locate them just yet, but they must’ve been washed ashore somewhere by now.”
“I see. So I let them get away.”
“Please, don’t mind minor things like that! After all Your Highness has already saved Lobrion.”
I already saved it, huh.
Even without the defensive chains, it seems he’s confident that they could weather an assault if they are not caught off guard with it.
There are indeed a lot of soldiers standing by in the harbor.
Even in the bay, a row of anchored military ships serve as a replacement for the defensive chains.
“No movements from the Monster Kingdom?”
“Nothing. Even if the chains are broken, without the element of surprise on their side the enemy won’t force a confrontation. Though that means we need to keep the soldiers mobilized in the meantime….”
Not all soldiers here are part of the standing army.
Many of them are farmers and the like who work nearby.
It takes a lot of money to keep such a number on standby.
“We need to repair those chains as soon as possible, but….even Count Ios to the north of here would have trouble with chains that large.”
“You would need to either get it from the capital, or find some craftsmen or demons that can make it for you.”
“Indeed…. However, we can’t trust demons anymore. Even if it takes more time that way, it will have to be done by human hands.”
Count Lobria couldn’t hide his irritation at that.
It seems he’s prepared to have to pay a lot of money for it.
“I see….Count Lobria, to tell you the truth, I have around thirty craftsmen in my employ in preparation for reclaiming Tialus.”
“T-to reclaim that territory….? Oh, sorry. Craftsmen you say?”
“Indeed. In fact, they are already close by, coming from the north of Lobrion. They are all very skilled, so much so that they will be able to make those huge chains as well.”
When I said that, Count Lobrion’s expression changed all of a sudden.
“Really!? C-could you have them create those chains in that case!? I will pay whatever is necessary for it!”
Count Lobrion grasped my hand with both of his.
As expected, he jumped at the chance….. Very convenient for me.
“In that case, as long as you provide the materials, we will do it for a reasonable fee. However, I would like you to prepare a house and workshop for them to stay at for a while. Also, I would like food to be provided and…..permission to conduct business as well.”
“If that’s all you require, then I will make sure to have them prepared at once! Let me provide you with an excellent place on the main street as a token of my gratitude! No need to return it either! Hey! You there! Prepare the place immediately!”
Count Lobria told one of his aides standing nearby.
“Thank you, Count Lobria. Then I will call my people here right away.”
“We are very thankful as well! Thank goodness, Lobrion will be safe now!”
Count Lobrion looked relieved from the bottom of his heart. He even started laughing out loud.
Rather than the city being safe, he must be happy about being able to curb his expenses this way….
The craftsmen I was talking about were Yuuri and the others of course. Their appearance changed into that of a human, so they won’t be found out either.
Anyhow, we gained a shop-slash-residence on the main road, along with the land it’s built on as well.
I called Yuuri and the others to come to that house.
It was a four story tall residential building with a courtyard.
The first and second floor was perfect for a shop and workshop, while the courtyard would be best for blacksmithing. The upper floors will be the residential floors.
“Good good, it seems they already brought in the furniture and the smithing tools.”
“A-amazing….an impressive place like this….”
A girl with bluish black hair── Yuuri spoke while looking over the workshop.
The other demons…..let’s call them the blue hair group, were amazed by the beds and bath. They must’ve slept in a seriously rough place until now.
“It would be best if all of you live here together for a while. I made sure that you are provided food every day as well. I also got you permission to open a shop downstairs.”
Yuuri deeply bowed towards me.
“You saved our lives and even gave us a place to live…..Alec-sama, thank you, truly.”
“Just think of this as the reward for your hard work until now….. However, the chains you will make for Count Lobria should be done properly.”
“Of course! We would never betray you, Alec-sama.”
“I will trust those words.”
Yuuri nodded vigorously to my reply.
“But, Yuuri. I want to ask something else from you.”
“Please, ask me anything you wish.”
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but……I would like you to come with us to Tialus.”
“Me? Of course, if you’ll have me, then I will gladly accompany you!”
“Thank you. I wanted to bring someone that’s knowledgeable about ores and minerals.”
I don’t intend her to be a hostage; I just wanted a way to check if there are any valuable deposits in Tialus.
However, we can’t go gallivanting around Tialus with thirty people in tow.
First I want to explore Tialus with a small group and check if there are any natural resources or safe areas within the territory.
“If that’s the case, then there is even more reason to leave it to me! I’ve spent three years working in a mine in the past. I would call myself fairly well-versed in the subject!”
Yuuri answered with total confidence.
“I see. That’s reassuring. Then work with Elysia to prepare equipment for yourself. Elysia, I’m counting on you……Elysia?”
When I turned to check, I saw Elysia with a disappointed expression on her face.
“Eh, ah, yes. Indeed, I don’t know anything about minerals…..so our two-person trip ends now!”
Elysia sounded disappointed for some reason.
There must be something bothering her, but…..
I turned towards Yuuri, but she just tilted her head in confusion.
In any case, we were able to get a headquarters in Lobria.
The blue hair group’s appearance has turned to that of a human’s, but their skills with blacksmithing have not deteriorated. Rather, they were happy that they could work on more delicate things now.
And just like Elysia, their strength doesn’t seem to have decreased at all.
Even children that look to be the same age as me can still lift a barrel with one hand…..
It would be kind of suspicious of course if they were seen doing something like that by humans, so I told them to be careful and avoid that.
I spent some time watching them work, but they were able to easily make even those giant chains. They were also able to make good quality weapons and armor, so those will be sold in the first floor shop.
It looks like this might bring in a good profit at this rate….
The next day I set out for Tialus.
There is also a commentated version of this chapter here for a more social reading experience.