Yurtdışı Yatırım

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Chapter 493

We were sitting in a tavern. After I had peeled Lord Tibult off the floor, he had given his troops orders to meet him on the outskirts of town. His previous display should have lost all of their respect, but I realized that they never had it in the first place. These troops were clearly sent to babysit him, not to be served by him. They only followed his orders while rolling their eyes. As for Lord Tibult, he could only wear a tight smile as he sent them away.

Immediately after, he pulled me into a nearby tavern while promising to pay for a meal. I was more curious now than worried, so I let him take me. He assured me that this place had the best food in town. I realized as a former fatty like myself, he probably knew what he was talking about. We all ordered, and as soon as I took a bite, I realized that my guess was correct. It wasn’t at the level of Faeyna or myself, but it was a pretty good meal compared to the slop this world’s commoners often ate.

“Lord Tibult…”

“Call me Otto.”

“Geh… Otto, um… since when did we become friends?”

Otto’s face turned red. “Th-that… well… weren’t we opponents? And then you defeated me. Now… we’re equals.”

“Actually… aren’t you a Baron while I’m a Viscount? I outrank you quite a bit…”

“Isn’t that why you need subordinates? A low level noble with ties to higher nobles?”

“Now, I’m your master?”

“Don’t be ridiculous! I’m of the Tibult family!” he cried out and then lowered his head. “Although… it would be best if we buried the hatchet.”

I scratched my head as a cute waitress came out and brought our dessert. Despite this being a border city, I was very impressed with the quality. You’d think a front line would have bad food. When noticing me enjoying the food, he grinned.

“The Ost Republic… they value Cooks a lot more. The School of Cooking exists in its capital. The one good thing about being sent to fight alongside my brother and father at Fort Detrimix is that the food is very good.”

I crossed my arms and sighed. “Fine, say we’re friends, then what is it that you want? I’m actually busy on a request from the Prince.”

He winced at that and then nodded. “Yes, you’re good friends with the Prince and Princess. I’m envious.”

“You’re about the same age as him…”

“Yeah! But he appreciates a man’s man!” Otto snorted. “How do you think he’d respond to someone… ah… well…”

“Ah… that’s right, you lean towards men… um… then don’t you like being around a bunch of strong men on the border?”

“You’d think…” he sighed. “But my reputation spread quickly, and most of the army look down on me with disdain. Plus, my father put a ban on it. He thinks he can force women on me. Sends a woman to my bedchamber every night. Says if I can’t do anything else of use, I can at least spread the family line.”

“Family is tough…”

“Yes!” He perked up like he just remembered something. “That’s right! I need your help! My life is in your hands!”

Chapter 494

“Why? What’s going on?” I frowned.

I assumed he was being a little melodramatic. Wars here were not fought like wars in my old world. That naturally had to do with one major difference—Resurrection! Since death could be circumvented, wars in this world had more to do with resources. When one side ran out of resources, whether that be money, mana, Priests, or weapons… then they must surrender. One thing about death is that it didn’t bring back equipment.

There might be soldiers who get forgotten or they don’t feel should be resurrected, but for the most part, a noble would never have to fear death on the border. That’s why I was curious about how Lord Tibult had grown such a haunted look.

“I died,” he said. “I promised myself after I died in the Capital that that would be the last time, yet I died again.”

“Ah…”

I had only died once since I had been to this world, but I heard of a condition unique to this world called Death Mania. Essentially, every time someone died, they took a certain degree of damage to their mind and soul. If someone died too many times in close succession, that damage became an integrated part of them. It was like scar tissue repeatedly building up.

For everyone who experienced Death Mania, it manifested in different ways. Some people grew psychotic, not valuing life and becoming brutal murders and rapists. Others simply become suicidal, racing into danger without value for their lives. The third kind was like Lord Tibult here. They grow a haunted look, becoming terrified of their next death. Having seen the nothingness beyond, they become more scared than anyone over a repeat.

This is actually a big concern in the Adventuring Guild. Back when I first came to this world and joined the guild, the Big Sister used to tell me that if I ever died more than twice in a year, that I should find her and she’d take care of me. Adventurers like that were considered at risk. She said if I had any lustful tendencies, she’d take care of them. I hadn’t seen Big Sister in a while.

If someone reached five deaths in a year or ten deaths in five years, Adventuring Guilds stop giving you missions. It is kind of like the concussion epidemic in sports in my old world. Except rather than damage to your brain, it was damage to your soul. Even Resurrection had its limits. I was glad I had died only once. Regrettably, Miki had already passed away twice. Yet, she was a Spiritualist and thus was able to mitigate the damage a lot better than most. Either way, I did worry about her dying again.

Of course, there was only one problem with what Lord Tibult was saying. He had only died twice, so how could he be suffering from anything?

“I died three times,” Otto continued.

“It’s only been a few weeks!” I cried out and then blushed. “Ah… sorry.”

Otto’s fist tightened. “The last time, I made a mistake. I got captured and wasn’t able to commit suicide. My brother stormed the enemy line and managed to kill me.”

“R-really…” My face twitched.

Some family they were. His brother didn’t save him but killed him.

“I may be a low-ranked officer, but under torture, I could give away information,” Otto explained bitterly. “That’s why he did it. However, he failed to kill himself and was thus captured in turn. I was resurrected, but my brother Octius took my place. Father was furious.”

“He’s a high-rank officer, right?”

Otto nodded. “If he breaks, the intel he reveals would be many times more dangerous than the intel I could have revealed. It may even be enough… for the Ost Republic to invade Aberis!”

Chapter 495

“So, what is your father going to do about it?” I asked.

Otto made a bitter face. “The Ost Republic must have known our relationship. He’s currently two weeks north and his forces are being held up by a sudden incursion. They’re trying to buy time to finish the interrogation.”

“So, they’re sending another high-ranked official?”

“I’m the highest-ranked official in the area…”

“You’re kidding me…”

“Dad officially runs the army on the border. His official orders are for me to mount a rescue. He says that since I had already failed so many times, he’s giving me one last chance.”

“You’d think, given the importance, he’d pick someone competent…”

“That’s what I said!” Otto slammed his fist.

“You actually admitted it…”

“I wrote the Prince implicitly, and he responded that he trusts Father’s decisions and won’t undo them. However, he did send me fifty of his best recruits currently in the Capital for additional support. Those were the men you traveled with. But, they’re new soldiers unprepared for war. Other than the two Knights, they might as well just be fodder.”

“That damn Prince… he didn’t even send me a single soldier.”

“What? Why does the Wilderness need soldiers?”

“Ah… nevermind.”

In truth, this was probably another reason why he didn’t send me any help. Even though he didn’t want to be implicated, he could have given me a few troops. It wouldn’t be weird for a kingdom to send troops to a border city. He had already promised help to be sent to Ost Republic to prevent the skirmishes from becoming an outright war. Comparatively, a war between two lords internally was unimportant.

This led to another thought. If I did choose to help Otto, then perhaps I could get some support for when I dealt with Lord Reign. Even if Otto was useless, he was the son of a high lord. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to get on their good side. I could save his heir, and then they’d owe me one.

“There is one more thing…” Otto looked like he was about to cry. “Father said if I don’t succeed in this mission and die, he won’t bother to resurrect me! In fact, he explicitly ordered I’m not to be resurrected!”

“…” That explained why Otto was so desperate as to come begging to me.

“So, will you help me?” he asked pleadingly.

I scratched my chin as I considered my options. On the one hand, I had a boat to acquire and a king to save. If I were to help him now, that would definitely be another delay. My Dungeon Life was feeling more and more like a video game. Well, technically it was a video game, wasn’t it? I had always treated this as another world, but I had only ever managed to get here through a video game, right? Side quests led to more side quests, and suddenly I’m so far removed from the main objective that I have to keep reminding myself what was important. I decided to stop thinking about such things. If I kept treating this as a game, then I’d at one point have to decide whether the people in it are real or NPCs. I refused to believe the women I loved weren’t as real as I was, so that ended that debate.

Otto still waited for a response, a permanent crease on his forehead.

“Very well…” I responded. “But we’re doing it tonight.”

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