As the group of us headed home from the conversation with the Tibult siblings, there was someone waiting out in front of the mansion. They were sitting on the curb, kicking their feet. When they saw us, they smiled and stood up, waving excitedly. Immediately, Carmine raced out, holding up her sword defensively.
“What are you doing here?” She demanded.
Salicia stood up, holding her hands out defensively. “S-sister! I took off and abandoned Deedee. If you’re with Lord Deek, then I will be with Lord Deek as well!”
All of the girls looked at me. “She’s still bonded to that woman, not me.”
Carmine took a threatening step forward as Salicia cried out. “That’s not my fault! Mistress and I had grown closer these last few weeks. However, I didn’t say I’m following Deek, I said I’m following my sister. You should know more than anyone where my loyalties have always lay. I will follow her to the ends of the Earth, even if I must abandon mistress!”
“What was that talk about you being a dungeon monster?” Carmine demanded.
She lowered her head. “That… is true. I thought you had died, so seeing you there I came to some inaccurate conclusions. The truth is that when the church took you away, I tried to do all the things I told you I did. I became a bandit and tried to obtain wealth and power. However, it was Calypso who was the bandit queen. I thought I had the power to face her, but she cheated and I died in a dungeon.
“My soul eventually was corrupted, and I became the dungeon boss within that dungeon. Calypso used her abilities to control me, and I ultimately became a pawn controlled by her. She made me the Bandit Queen of that region to watch over it while she was gone.”
“So, you’re just Calypso’s servant?”
“No!” She shook her head tearfully. “The me that has been beside you contains the full soul of your sister. I always have. Although my interest in Terra’s dungeon was influenced by Calypso who sought to increase her power with the rumored guardian, she would have had me take control of you and the clockwork dragon if she had complete control of me. I helped Master destroy it and save you instead. That was because deep down, I am still Salicia. Mistress saved me from Calypso’s control, and now I’m my own woman. All I want is to continue to be on my sister’s side. It’s what I have always wanted.”
I gestured to the girls and we got into a circle in front of Salicia. “What do you guys think?”
“I-It’s possible that she speaks the truth.” Carmine’s cheeks were slightly red.
“She’s a spy,” Lydia said.
“Definitely a spy.” Miki nodded.
“Ah! I mean… I’m not saying she wasn’t sent by Deedee.” Carmine pouted. “but everything else was probably true.”
“I’m not going to decide on her yet.” I sighed. “It’s better the enemy you know than the enemy you don’t. Since Deedee is trying to spy on us so shamelessly, then we can use Salicia to our advantage!”
The group of us broke apart and then turned to Salicia.
“Very well, you may come into the mansion,” Carmine said, causing Salicia’s expression to brighten. “But, we won’t have the same room! In fact, I’ll be in Master’s room.”
“What?” Lydia cried.
“When did this happen?” Miki added.
The girls all turned to me.
“Ah… it just… for you guys its been weeks, but we were gone for months. Although Carmine was captured a lot of that time… it’s still, we ended up growing closer?”
Despite everything that happened recently, the girls were quite noisy as we entered the mansion, discussing who was going to sleep with Master tonight. I missed when that was the only thing we had to worry about if that time ever existed.
“Mistress, they’re not onto me. They have totally accepted me as one of their own!” Salicia said over Slave Communication.
It was the next day and I contacted Salicia to make sure that her infiltration went okay. I didn’t think that this Deek would hurt her. If he did so, he’d lose all credibility with the rest of the girls. It seemed like I had no reason to worry about her since he had fallen for it completely.
“Why are we out here, Master?”
I had gotten Terra and Celeste to join me early this morning. After getting Salicia’s response, I stopped focusing on her report and then turned to the girls and gestured. We were standing in the middle of a field east of Chalm and a bit south of the original Chalm.
“This will be the location of the battle.”
“Deek will bring his army through here, and this is where our two armies will fight.”
“R-really? How do you know?” Celeste asked.
“Because this is where I would direct my army. Since we think alike, then I have to assume he’d make the same choices I’d make.”
“Unless… he knows you’d suspect he’d make the choices you’d make, and then changed his choice in order to catch you off guard!” Celeste declared
“Ah… but you forget, I knew he’d do that! That’s why I made the choice he’d make knowing that I knew what choice he’d make, but I’d also acknowledge!”
“I’m so confused.” Terra shook her head.
“Unless, he knows that you knew that he knows, so he chose a choice that you wouldn’t choose! Perhaps he even trusted in Elaya’s choice!” Celeste declared
“Heh… then I’ve already won!”
“You have?” Terra looked between the pair of us.
“If Bernice is to be believed, then this Deek is a planner. He’s not willing to go outside the plan that he makes. That means I can predict what he’s going to do before he does it. As for me, I just have to change the plan once I see whatever plan he makes. In that way, I’m guaranteed victory.”
“Okay… I guess… but why are we out here?”
“Terra, I know your time is tight, but is there any chance you can get that golem printer working? I’d like you to increase our forces.”
“Even if I printed out the golems, they’d be too weak! That’s been my problem with new golems. They only look impressive, but they don’t have the strength I’ve been aiming for.” Terra sighed.
“No, I don’t want the golems to be fighters, I need them to be workers!”
“Wo-workers? All they’d be good for is digging holes and piling dirt.”
“You don’t have time to make that moat, but what about a hundred golems?”
“M-master… that’s brilliant!”
“Well, it’s not just the moat I want. I want this entire battlefield built in our favor. When Deek arrives, we’ll be ready for him!”
“And the Lord Reign too, right?”
“Ah… yeah, sure, him too.”
“Wonderful! Celeste, I’ll need your fairy dust to run the machine.”
“Now… if I just had someone who could help control them.” Terra sighed.
“That I’m working on.” I grinned before returning to the Slave Communication. “Salicia, you still there?”
“Your target is Rub… ah, Garnet. You need to convert her to our side, and then send her to me. She shouldn’t be that loyal to him.”
“Yes, I will see her over by any means possible!”
“Well, it’s best if she comes willingly, but do what you need to do.”
I ended the conversation and smiled. They’d never see it coming!
“So, Salicia is totally going to try to convince you to join Deedee…” I explained to Garnet.
“Eh? How do you know?”
“Because, that’s what I would do, and if Deedee is anything like me, then you’d be her target.”
“Why would I be her target?” Garnet asked.
“Is it because Master secretly likes lolis after all?” Miki asked, smirking.
“S-so… it’s true… Master likes little girls.” Elaya sighed.
“Master… if you wanted me so much, you just had to ask.” Garnet looked up at me with pink cheeks.
“It’s not! You’re a blacksmith! Chalm’s biggest weakness to date is the lack of someone skilled in making armor and weapons. Don’t forget we have a warehouse full of orichalcum that has just been gathering dust!”
“Shouldn’t this side be making use of it?” Lydia asked worriedly. “It wouldn’t be too difficult to take it if we wanted.”
“No, we’re not recruiting and training people. We’re getting help from foreign sources. Those sources already have their own weapons and armor. I’m not going to hand other nobles our orichalcum armor or something like that. It’s our own underequipped forces that would be advantaged the most by Garnet’s help.”
“Then, I won’t go or help!”
“You’re going to agree to go with Salicia. You’ll go to Chalm, and you’ll do blacksmithing for Deedee… except, you’ll be working for me!”
“Ah! Really? I mean… even if I’m a spy… Deedee probably won’t trust me enough to explain any of her plans.”
“That won’t be a problem. Although it’d be nice if you could glean a few of her plans, I’ve been told that she isn’t much of a planner anyway. She just makes things up as she goes along. Therefore, I’ve already won!”
“Mm, a good plan accounts for any variability. In this case, when you make armor for her army, I’m going to have you infuse it with my own karmic control.”
“You don’t mean…”
I nodded. “That’s right. She’ll be creating an army that I can disarm with the snap of my finger. That’s why I’m not worried about her army getting orichalcum weapons from you. You just need to make her fangs, and then I’ll choose the time to defang them.”
“That will really work?” Lydia asked.
“It will. So, just leave it to me.”
“Then, where are we going today?” Miki asked.
“You’re going to stay here. I’ll be bringing Elaya, Faeyna, Carmine, and Astria for my next mission.”
“Hmm? Why them?” Lydia asked.
“Ah… it’s just, they’re the best equipped for my next mission.” I scratched my cheek.
“What do they have that I don’t have?” Miki demanded, however, then her eyes slowly fell to their chests. “Hey… wait a minute!”
“Are we going to the church?” Carmine brightened.
“That’s right. I’m going to see Mary. With the Demon Lord Aberis involved, I’m hoping that she’ll be willing to offer more aid.”
“You’re going to see Mary?” Garnet blinked. “I’d like to go!”
I knew that Garnet and Mary had some kind of relationship and Mary asked me to rescue her, and I intended to use that to get her help, but her body didn’t meet the type. If I was going to flatter and ask for their permission, it wasn’t just Mary whom I needed to impress.
“You need to stay here so that Salicia can proposition you.” I came up with such an excuse.
“Why does that make me feel scummy?” Garnet cried.
“Isn’t he just bringing big-chested girls to try to smooth things out with the big-titted church?”
“Why is my chest not big enough?” Lydia demanded.
“Just accept it, Master wants women with appropriately sized assets.” Elaya shoved her chest into the conversation.
“Exactly! Master needs us!” Faeyna’s chest pushed in from the other side, nearly burying me.
“If you don’t like it, how about you join Deedee, she doesn’t like her women with chests bigger than her.”
“Is that true?” Lydia’s face went white.
“Huh? I thought everyone knew?” Elaya responded thoughtfully.
“So, that’s why you’re sending me away.” Garnet grew tearful, “That’s another aspect of your personality. I must go to the flat-chested Deek where I belong like Bernice… no wonder you took Elaya and Astria…”
“It all makes so much sense!” Miki cried. “I guess I’m fated to leave as well.”
“What! No! That’s not true!” I cried out. “I like all tits! None of you are leaving! Stop it!”
It took some time to convince all the girls that I liked their boobs. This day was getting off to a bad start.