“Master, we must go to war immediately!” Salicia raced into the room.
I blinked in surprise. When did Salicia learn about our war efforts? I hadn’t even told the Prince yet. When I saw her face, filled with anger and worry, I realized that she was talking about something else.
“What is going on?” I demanded.
“It’s Sister!” she cried out. “The Church came and took her away two days ago!”
“Oh, good…” I let out a breath of relief upon hearing it wasn’t important.
“Ah!” I let out a cough as Salicia glared at me. “I mean, this is really unfortunate. What happened?”
“The Church has sent several strongly worded letters to the manor since you left a few weeks ago,” Faeyna stepped in and explained.
“Did you tell them that I was currently gone?” I asked. “On orders from the Prince.”
She nodded. “We did reply as such, but the Church continued to send letters. Therefore, we wondered if the letters were making it properly. We ended up sending Carmine to deliver the letter personally. However, that was three days ago, and she hasn’t returned from the Church since.”
I scratched my chin as I took in what the two women were telling me. Essentially, it seemed like the Church was causing problems. Up until now, my only confrontation with the Church was with the clockwork dragon they had sent Carmine to capture. However, after the royal family, they were the second greatest power in Aberis.
There were various things about me that could certainly get their notice. The fact that I was from another world could be troublesome. The idea that I colluded with Salicia and destroyed the clockwork dragon. My defeat of the demon lord, and the fact that I was keeping her with me despite the chance she could still be a danger. Never mind the job Dark Priest, and my ability to swap out jobs like a Priest. Simply put, dealings with the Church would be trouble. I wanted to avoid them at all costs.
That was why I fled the last time I was in the city. It was just a delaying tactic, but I was happily continuing to delay it until I had the King owing me his life. Unfortunately, that seemed impossible now that the Church was starting to cause problems with me.
“Master, what will you do?” Salicia demanded, an angry yet hopeful expression on her face.
I reached out and gently grabbed Salicia’s shoulders. “You and Carmine are mine. I own you. I won’t allow anyone else to take what is mine. I will go to the Church, and I will bring back your sister.”
Salicia blushed and looked away, not meeting my eyes. “Th-thank you, Master.”
I left Salicia behind to watch the mansion, and then I grabbed the rest of the girls, Faeyna included and headed out into the Capital.
“Is Master really going to go to the Church and cause trouble?” Shao asked worriedly.
She understood that her presence was one of the biggest divides between the Church and me.
“Hell no!” I responded, causing all the girls to look at me.
“Wh-what?” Faeyna asked, her eyes widening.
“I just wanted to shut Salicia up. We’re going to resolve a few loose ends in the Capital, and then I’m heading to the ocean.”
Carmine will be fine. The slave bond tells me she’s healthy and not dead. Even if the Church was trying to force my hand, they would fail! In my mind, the troublesome sisters were completely expendable!
“Figuro is really out?” My first shock of the day was after I headed to the Slaver’s Market, although I guess the slavers themselves called the building that did the administrative stuff the Slaver’s Pavilion.
“I’m sorry… he took another journey, this time to the Imperial Cloud Meadow.” The Slaver gave a weak smile. “You’re always welcome to look around, though.”
I had already glanced down the rows of slaves. Most of the ones currently on the market were tough, brawny men. That’s not saying I had a preference for beautiful women! I wasn’t that big of a pervert. However, most of these men were former bandits, deserters, mercenaries, or other violent people, and I didn’t feel like they’d be a good fit for Chalm.
What? They would make good fodder for the army? If I filled my army full of disreputable people, it would crumble the moment their lives were put on the line. That’s assuming the freed slaves didn’t flee the second they had a chance. These men were not the type I could trust with my life, and thus they were not the type I’d let the other slaves trust with theirs.
As for finding a Shipwright, there wasn’t a single one. There was a person with Magic Blacksmith, but they were at a price where buying them would wipe out most of the money I had. It was at a level where I wasn’t confident, I’d be able to buy a ship. I also had other financial plans. Before we left completely, I turned to Faeyna. She had been my Slave Pavilion liaison up until this point.
“Faeyna, you were able to pay off the fee for all of the slaves, correct?”
“Ah, yes, Master, they were all sent to Chalm as you ordered. I was able to use the money you left me wisely and pay for everything.”
That was the other reason the slave market was lacking picks. Faeyna had been buying up anyone who had the right credentials, and they were being sent to Chalm. Supposedly, there were another hundred or so slaves still in transit to Chalm that haven’t arrived yet. I actually would have preferred not sending them down by carriage as the bandit threat on the path was dangerous. Since Salicia had been captured, the groups of bandits had become increasingly bolder.
However, by nature, bandits avoided slaves. Slaves could be traced. They were already owned, and that ownership was supported by the Slaver’s Guild. These men might very well end up as slaves one day, so the last thing they wanted to do was piss off the Slaver’s Guild. If the Church and the royalty could be said to have about equal footing in this country, then the Slaver’s Guild was even more powerful. Its connections spread through the Imperial Cloud Meadow and the other nations as well. Only Dioshin and Shie Gescar refused to tolerate the presence of the Slaver’s Guild. Fortunately, the Slaver’s Guild only followed money and had no interest in power or politics.
“How are finances?” I asked.
Faeyna blushed. “Weak, my lord. I’m afraid there is very little left. As is, I have put enough away to keep the mansion afloat for a single year, but that is all.”
That was actually an impressive nest egg. Faeyna was good with money considering the expectations I put on her.
“Then, let’s get the carriage and load up supplies you can sell. Let’s try to maximize our profits again.”
“Where will Master be heading this time?” Faeyna shot to the point immediately.
“That’s a good question. We need a place that we can reach by Portal. Somewhere on the ocean of Aberis. Preferably a city with a port.”
“You would most likely be interested in King’s Port. It’s the largest port in Aberis.” Faeyna seemed to have already familiarized herself with a map of Aberis. “However, only a powerful mage like Master can open a portal that distance. You’d need two transfers to get there with a standard travel magician. Fortunately, such a route was devised by the Traveling Guild for those who wish to visit the beach on vacation from the Capital.”
Never underestimate the value of rich people wanting their comforts. It looked like such a route existed and I wouldn’t have to do any lengthy travel. King’s Port sounded like just what we were looking for.
“When does it leave?” I asked, fearing the trip would still take ten days.
“The Traveling Guild opens the route tomorrow! Ah… but the complete trip is 10 gold per person. Very expensive.”
Most tourist traps were, but 10 gold was nothing for the current me. I pulled out a bag filled with money. I didn’t even bother to count it before I just handed the whole thing to Faeyna.
“In that case, Faeyna, purchase supplies you believe will sell well in King’s Port. We’ll stay the night in the mansion. I just have one more errand to run.”
“Yes… Master… so, I will be attending you tonight?”
“Of course,” I responded.
I mean, since I’d be in the mansion, she would probably prepare my bed, clean my clothing, and cook dinner. She was my maid after all. However, her cheeks suddenly turned bright red and she started looking flustered.
“Good job, Master!” Lydia gave me a thumbs up and whispered encouragingly. “Be assertive as you push her down!”
“Ah!” I realized then that by attending, she meant in bed! “No, rather… that…”
“I’ll take my leave first, Master!” Her voice was high as she covered her face with embarrassment and fled.
I was stuck with a finger up and my mouth open, unable to correct the mistake. I must have seriously shamed her by telling her to have sex. She was an elf and couldn’t do it with me, so by making her think she had to, she must have been quite hurt by thinking her Master was going to be cruel to her. I wanted to go apologize, but I also still had things I needed to get done. The group of us went to one last location that I had forgotten to visit before.
“Aberis Life Insurance!” A woman greeted me in the front of the store.
“Yes, I’d like to register with you,” I explained.
In the end, I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork that assessed my risks. It asked what I had done and what I will be doing. Once I was done, I handed it back to the girl. She read the document, a small frown forming on her lips. Then she slapped a stamp on it.
“What do you mean, high risk!” I cried as I saw the stamp on the paper.
“It just means you’ll have to pay twice as much, as there is a high likelihood, you’ll need it.” The woman responded shortly.
I felt like crying, but I ended up paying the fee anyway. They took a drop of blood and placed it in a crystal. I paid enough for them to check on the crystal for the next twelve months. It felt really strange doing all this, but I told myself it was for safety. With the chores done, I patted off my pants and headed out with the girls.
However, when I walked out the door, there were twelve Paladins surrounding us. They all had their weapons lowered. Before I could say anything, the ground under our feet exploded with light, and I realized we were standing on some kind of magical glyph they had prepared while I was in the shop.
“Deek Deekson, you’re a hard man to find.” A snobbish priest came forward. “However, now that we have you, I’d like you to accompany me.”