After sending the men on their way with strict orders, the rest of us went to sleep. Had I not planned to take Faeyna the next day, I might have made more of an effort to spend some time with her. However, after being stimulated at the Church, I felt sorry for Terra and decided to give her all the attention she needed.
The next morning, after Faeyna brought me breakfast, I expressed interest in bringing her to my mansion in Chalm. It was about twice the size of this one and the location of my Return skill. So, I would be making more visits there than here. The place was already becoming dusty and messy without anyone to maintain it.
“I thought that is what Master would want. Since I’ve already created an account with the Bank of Aberis, I have arranged to have guards at your gate and a cleaner to arrive once a week.”
It turned out Faeyna had already made preparations for an extended absence a while ago. This was good, as I also sent Carmine and Salicia away. The mansion would be completely abandoned. These services were probably more expensive than just having slaves, but they required less oversight too. I wouldn’t have to worry about a companion suddenly running away, or needing to be cared for. It was probably the best situation for my home away from home.
With that, she brought out a cart that was much larger than the one she had obtained in Dirage. It was also filled with supplies she had deemed valuable for the cost.
The Prince had responded to the letter I sent. Apparently, lords in Aberis could fight each other without the entire country falling into chaos. The royal family could put a stop to this infighting if needed, but they generally looked the other way. He warned me to be careful with Lord Reign, and that he would unofficially take my side if things came to internal struggle. That didn’t mean much on the surface, but if I did wipe Lord Reign out, it would mean he would keep me from experiencing a backlash.
I was a little depressed, having thought he would send Knights and soldiers and such. However, he made it clear that without undeniable proof that he was working for the Imperial Cloud Meadow, the royal family couldn’t make a move. He had enough allies in Aberis that such an action may lead to a civil war. As long as it remained a local conflict between two lords, however, then things could remain small-scale.
In short, the city of Chalm and I would have to resolve this conflict by ourselves. That’s not to say the rewards wouldn’t be good once we succeeded, but that was the way of this world. People didn’t just hand you things for nothing. Things had to be earned. It would be pointless if everything I had accomplished was handed to me by the Prince. Even Tibult understood that he couldn’t depend on his family to make himself a name.
With that thought, we headed to the Traveling Guild, where the Blue Mage was waiting to take us to Kingsport. It was just one more step on my journey. I had a long way to go.
“You again? Hmph…” the old man at the Traveling Guild said as we walked in.
That was actually about as polite as he got. It didn’t really matter to me. Every time I used him, I ended up in a new place, and once I was in a new place, I could take advantage of Portal and return there whenever I wanted. However, today’s journey would be two trips. That’s why the first portal was done so early in the morning. Otherwise, based on this guy’s disposition, it definitely would have been later in the day so he could sleep in.
The first transport would take me to the town of Nyphal. Nyphal was about an hour on foot away from another Great Dungeons, the Mirror Labyrinth. Since I was interested in all of the Great Dungeons, I would have wanted to travel there anyway. So, this got one more place out of the way. From what I understood, there would be a four-hour gap before the next transfer. It was plenty of time to look around. So, once we made it to Nyphal, we planned to purchase any information we could and head to the Great Dungeon.
Nyphal was supposedly on the border of the Ost Republic. I was curious about their culture as well. I heard that there were currently tensions between the Ost Republic and Aberis, but I didn’t know what those were about. It didn’t really have anything to do with me. I was the farthest from the Ost Republic border, so it was unlikely I’d ever be called to protect that border. Doing so would strip Aberis of any protection on the western front of Dioshin. Although there were no wars with Dioshin, the relationship between the two countries has always been tenuous at best.
“Alright, everyone gathered?”
I got into the transport with my girls. It was actually a very full contingent. It looked like a lot of soldiers were traveling along with us. Perhaps the battles with the Ost Republic were escalating since they seemed to be sending nearly fifty troops. Only two of them appeared to officially be Knights. The rest were Swordsmen of varying ability. It was difficult to tell for me, but Lydia said that she could tell a Swordsman’s level with a look now. It must be one of her higher skills or a natural ability of a beastkin, I didn’t know what.
As for the wagon and the supplies, I put that in my largest storage ring, which just had enough room to fit it all. If that didn’t work, I would have just created a portal once we got back and brought it through, but I’d rather not waste portals if I didn’t have to. You never knew when you might need another one, and shuffling around my dungeon points was annoying and always ran the risk of me accidentally forgetting to reselect Reset and thus becoming stuck with my layout until I earned more points.
I had managed to reequip all of the girls with storage rings again so that they could store their stuff. I hadn’t done this for Faeyna, Salicia, or Carmine because they didn’t travel around as much. However, for the girls I brought with me, I felt it important that they are able to bring along all of their stuff. They all had rooms at the Mansion and in the Capital, but they opted to carry most of their stuff with them when possible. They were a bit more reserved in what they stored after their rings were destroyed last time, but they still liked to bring a lot along. The cost per ring was about 100 gold, but two rings I had found in the dungeon as treasures, so I had only needed to buy three more.
The portal erupted and the group of us were teleported away to a new location. Like always, the new Traveling Guild wasn’t much different than the last one, so the transfer wasn’t that dizzying. The people sitting around and behind the counters were different, but that was about it.
“So, this is Nyphal, huh?”
The soldiers all moved out of the Traveling Guild at once, and my group traveled behind them. However, we didn’t get far as the entire group of fifty had suddenly lined up and stood at attention. Celeste, who wasn’t looking, plowed into one of the guys and knocked him down. This caused a disturbance and Lydia went to help the soldier out and I went to admonish Celeste.
“Wha- It’s you!” A shocked voice suddenly shouted out.
I looked up to see the man the fifty troops had all lined up in front of. At first, I didn’t recognize him because he seemed to have lost a bit of weight. He was glaring specifically at me and Lydia. It was at that moment that the expression on his face became recognizable.
Lord Tibult’s face twisted with indescribable emotions. He was the first noble I had met in this world, and he had been a bad example over all. He had upset the Mina Dungeon and nearly led to me and Lydia’s death. He had tried to cause trouble for me in the Capital. After his actions had inadvertently released a Demon Lord on the city, he was exiled to the border to be involved in some kind of conflict with the Ost Republic…
Ah… that was right, they were at a border town of the Ost Republic. What were the chances that these soldiers being sent from the Capital were going to be met by Lord Tibult himself? Actually, they probably would send a lower rank officer to check. If I recalled correctly, Lord Tibult’s entire family was tasked with protecting this border. He had actually been the black sheep wanting to live the lavish noble lifestyle rather than being an officer like his father and brothers.
In other words, had I been thinking about it, running into Lord Tibult here was a very real possibility. Unfortunately, not only had I not thought about it, but I had rolled the dice badly and ended up running right into him as soon as I got here. Worst of all, these soldiers were under his command. They might not be as strong as the Imperial Cloud Knights, but they were literally all around us. There were another fifteen soldiers behind Lord Tibult himself, making a total of sixty-five. We may need to run, and if that was the case, I wasn’t sure when or how we’d be able to make it to Kingsport to find a Shipwright.
Lord Tibult began to walk up to me, his eyes narrowed as he stroked his blade menacingly. His time on the border was only a few weeks, but he looked like a completely different man. He had lost a lot of weight over that time. His eyes also had an overshadowed look. It was clear that this man had seen war and experienced life and death. The only other person I could have said changed so quickly in such a short period of time was myself.
Yet, old grudges were hard to kill. In a way, I was the one who ended up sending him to this place. He had every reason to hate me to his core. The girls behind me began to get ready. If they had to fight their way out, they wouldn’t hesitate to do it. It would hurt me if any one of them died though. We weren’t in a dungeon, so it wasn’t at the level of a life and death situation, but I couldn’t allow him to capture us either. We either escaped, or we died. If I died, I could resurrect back at the Capital using my Life Insurance, and then I could bring the girls back.
All of those thoughts occurred only within a few moments as the man approached me. The tension was so thick in the air that one could cut it with a blade if they wanted to.
At the moment he reached me, Lord Tibult suddenly fell to the ground. I thought he had tripped, but a moment later I realized he was kowtowing.
“Lord Deekson! My only friend! Please! Save me!” he cried out in a wailing and childish voice unbecoming of an officer.