“Ah… I see…” I gather all the girls around me. “No hablo español.”
I suddenly appeared in front of a large mansion. Actually, it was still being constructed. There were large scaffoldings in front of it as construction was still ongoing. It was actually the first time I had returned to Chalm in a while. A few people who were working on the mansion came to notice me and the group behind me. Someone ran off, likely to go tell the relevant people.”
“Ah? We’re back in Chalm?” Lydia said.
“This is Master’s home?” Terra asked, looking around with interest.
“Fufu… as expected of my Master. The way you coldly spurned the Church, it brings me great happiness,” Shao chuckled. “Your skills are suiting for the man who defeated me.”
“I didn’t really defeat you, though?”
“You defeated my heart.”
“Can you really just do that, though?” Carmine asked nervously. “If the Church wanted to speak to you, doing this may anger them.”
“It’s probably fine,” I shrugged. “It’d be inconvenient to meet with them now anyway. We need to prepare for the dungeon, not talk to some priest. Besides, Shao is a demon lord and Carmine was kicked out of the church. Do I really want to be answering a string of uncomfortable questions?”
‘What about Faeyna and Salicia?”
“They should be fine for a few hours? All they can say is that I’m not home. Faeyna worked for a noble. I’m sure she’ll figure something out. Either way, we’ll return there later today and you can join your sister while the rest of us set off straight to Alerith.”
“I won’t be joining you on the dungeon subjugation?” Carmine asked in surprise.
“Well, it’s best if you two guard the mansion. Ah, you can deal with the Church if they come, since you’re used to it.”
Her face stiffened for a moment, but then she nodded. It was probably fine to leave it to the two sisters. At worst, Faeyna would keep them in line.
“Deek! You’ve returned! Oh, thank the gods, the girls are alright.” A balding man came running up to us.
The Mayor had certainly lost weight these last few months. I guess reconstructing Old Chalm took a lot of work.
“Yeah, we all managed to make it through somehow.” I pulled out a packet and handed it to him. “I managed to get everything settled it seems.”
The Mayor took the form and read through it, and then his eyes widened and he suddenly bowed. “M-my apologies, my lord!”
“Haha… please, just Deek is fine. I haven’t changed much.”
“How is that possible?” The Mayor twitched. “We may not have gotten much information, but we’ve been hearing about your exploits. You wiped out an evil dungeon watched by a malicious guardian.”
“Ah… about that…”
Terra frowned, looking away.
“You defeated a crazed lunatic who was possessed by a monstrous mechanical dragon!”
“…” Carmine looked awkward.
“… and that’s not even to mention how you defeated a demon lord, a monster so foul and…”
“Okay… let’s not get into it!” I shouted louder than I intended and then gave an awkward cough.
The Mayor didn’t get what he said wrong, but he was good at reading the mood. He could see a melancholy feeling forming across the women in my group, especially the ones he didn’t recognize. He quickly invited us to sit down in a nearby tavern. I accepted graciously.
“So, as you can see, we really just stopped by for supplies and to check on progress,” I explained as we ate some tavern food.
The Mayor had wanted to throw a giant party to celebrate me becoming a lord. I had to explain to him that we weren’t going to be in town very long. He had me write down the stuff we needed, and then he sent someone out to go get the supplies for us. It was nice to be a lord.
When I mentioned money, the Mayor said that the city’s money was my money and that at the moment our coffers were actually pretty good. Most of the rebuilding was done by volunteers. Since so much of the city was unsettled, if someone worked hard enough, they could be given a property practically free of charge. That meant most people would bring in coin to spend as they planned to live here permanently. It was currently that kind of monetary system.
It also turned out that a lot of people that fled when Salicia invaded the village ended up coming down to Chalm. It was a safer journey than trying to make it north through the Bandit-infested forest. Well, it turned out that the problem was one the Prince was going to handle personally, but with the King missing, he’s been stuck in the city. Subsequently, he had no one that he could trust to send in his place, so that was why they’ve become an increasing problem. It was pure chance that Salicia was caught by the Church, and that didn’t seem to make things any better.
After speaking a bit, Celeste asked to leave to go play with her mother. Lydia and Miki also left with the rest of the girls to go back to our Chalm property, where they had a few outfits still left that hadn’t been in their storage rings. My request list had also included armor and clothing for all of the girls. That included Shao. I actually didn’t want to bring her, but I was more scared of leaving her to her own devices, so that was why she was with us. I let the other girls know they needed to watch over her, and they all agreed to treat her as a sister. Well, they didn’t need to go that far, but if it made things easier, that was fine.
After that, we got down to business and went through the paperwork I had handed him. When he saw how much territory we were handed, he looked a bit dizzy. Since Chalm was the first city in the wilderness if the area did become developed, wouldn’t this make Chalm the hub of western Aberis? His thoughts were something like that.
“My salary of 100 gold should arrive in a few weeks as well. If I’m not here, well, invest it into Chalm’s defense, that should be fine.”
To be honest, the bandit situation sounded pretty bad. I wished I had brought Salicia with me so I could have spoken to her about it. She should have been able to provide me some insight.
“Did you decide who your knights will be? In general, once a Lord leaves, it’s the responsibility of a Knight to handle the affairs of his territory.”
“Is that so? I thought Knights were like bodyguards or something.” I said.
The Mayor shook his head wryly. “Not at all. They’re your right-hand men. They have a noble status. They train and lead troops, act as treasurers, handle spy networks, and many more administrative tasks.”
It looked like in Aberis, Knights were like department heads or supervisors. As my territory grew, I’d need more knights to take on more and more of the activities as I become unable to handle them myself. I now felt glad I didn’t act on impulse and just make people in my party Knights. Still, I wondered what kind of skills the job had to be so multifaceted.
The boy who the Mayor had sent for supplies came back. He had a helpless look on his face. Behind him, three familiar faces stormed in. It was the blacksmith, the seamstress, and the enchanter. They all looked somewhat lost. What now?
It turned out that they simply wanted clarification on the orders. “Yeah, it’d be nice if you could make the most protective parts out of mithril. Well, I might be able to get some orichalcum for you. I actually don’t know what is stronger. What do you think?”
I looked over to see the three shaking. Even the Mayor was giving me a dubious look.
“Th-this might be stuff that can be done in the Capital… no, I’d say even that was impossible!” the blacksmith cried out.
“These enchantments you want… they are completely outside my capabilities!”
“Even with the enchanter’s help, your clothing desires are too complex!” The seamstress declared.
“Ah… really… I thought the problem was money or supplies though… I can probably get you the mithril…”
“It’s not!” all three yelled at the same time.
The blacksmith took a breath. “I’m sorry, my lord, but other than accidentally in dungeons, most of the things you want can only be forged by Magic Blacksmiths. These are genius Masters. As far as how many exist in Aberis, I’ve only heard the name of two. Even the royal family has to beg them to make something!
“As for enchanting stuff, I can only manage basic enchantments. Charms really. You’d need a top-tier enchanter for the stuff you want to make.
“Even with a top-tier enchanter, unless they are also a seamstress, the clothing you imagine is impossible. I can’t simply make it and then have it be enchanted. The person who makes it must also be a skilled seamstress in their own right to be able to properly embed the enchantment into the fibers.”
“I thought after you made that shadow cloak…”
“Heh… well, that’s a bit different since the material itself already contained the essence of the enchantment. Still, that was my pride and joy! It was an article of clothing I only expect to be able to make once in my entire life!”
“Ah… really?” I scratched my head awkwardly.
“So, please continue to look after it, okay?”
That shadow cloak was one I gave to Lydia. It was obliterated by Shao during their fight. Should I tell her that? No, I probably shouldn’t tell her that.
“I won’t let Lydia use it anymore,” I assured her, wiping the sweat from my brow.
“Well, since you understand, I can only provide simple clothing. I have Lydia, Miki, and Celeste’s measurements. In fact, I have more things made for them. I will need to get the other girls if you wish for them to also have proper garbs.” Thankfully, she moved on.
“Same. I can make armor, but anything beyond steel is impossible for me. If you do find an expert, well, I’m too old to learn from them, but perhaps you can put in a good word for my apprentice? They may still be able to become one in the future. As for me, Chalm has had me making arms for the militia. I’ve already had my plate full with swords, arrowheads, and armor to last a lifetime, so don’t feel like they’d be redundant. If I just worked on horseshoes the rest of my life, It’d be an honor to work in the same town as a master.
Why are they talking like I’ve already found a magic blacksmith and an enchanter? Well, I’ll keep those things in mind. We spoke a little more and then they all rushed back to their shops to get as much of what I requested as possible.
As for me, I needed a Magic Blacksmith, an Enchanter, and two Knights to help take care of Chalm. Should I give Figuro another call? Well, maybe later.
We really didn’t have a lot of time. The sun was only halfway to the horizon when we collected everything we could. Everyone had backpacks again. Although I still had my storage ring, for a group of six, it lacked a little. We didn’t want to be deficient for anything. Fortunately, the backpacks were all enchanted with weight decreasing spells.
I created a Portal and we returned to the mansion in the Capital. It was time to head to the Widow’s Dungeon to find a king.