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“So, you truly plan to go after this so-called pirate?” Miai asked.
“Yes, that is the plan.” Requiem responded. “Lord Saphire has lent me a ship. I had never planned to remain in the small colony for any longer than I intended.”
After having some more discussion with him, I had named off a couple of terms. I wanted Ginger as my slave, and I wanted some supplies and a ship to pursue Darcy. Saphire was perfectly happy offering up a ship on the condition that I either kill or enslave her. As for returning what was stolen, he didn’t have much expectation of that. He had apparently been emptying his treasury for some time as he was being recalled to the parliament. Other than the prize money, Lady Darcy had taken very little of significant worth. It turned out at the center of government, favors were worth far more than gemstones.
Miai smirked slightly at my response. “Just like the programming would have directed him…”
“Requiem sighed. “I still see you’re under the false assumption I am this undetectable android you created, huh?”
“I have recently sent communication with my Master.” She responded instead of answering. “She has temporarily given me the freedom to continue to follow you to confirm my suspicions.”
“And why would I allow you to come with me then?”
She let out a throaty laugh. “You’d only resist if there was in fact some secret you’re hiding. If you were just a human, wouldn’t a talented and beautiful android such as myself lending my services to you be a boon? Besides, I suspect you’ll need all of the hands you can get. Ships aren’t meant to be flown single handedly, are they?”
“Master, as much as I hate to admit this, her observation is correct.” Clippy spoke up reluctantly. “I have looked over the schematics of the vessel Lord Sapphire is offering you, and even with me controlling various aspects of it, it’ll be difficult to manage with just you and a slave. An extra hand, especially that of an android, would be very helpful.”
Knowing how Clippy felt about other girls, Requiem knew just how difficult it was for her to say that, and just what that meant to his overall mission.
“Very well, you may come along.” Requiem gave his consent, although Miai’s only response was an expression as if she had expected that from the beginning.
Requiem could only give a sigh as he stood up and left his room. Miai had appeared in the inn, and no sooner had he opened the door than a woman stepped away, her face turning red.
“Requiem!” Ginger cried out, and then looked away. “M-m-master.”
“You don’t need to call me Master.” Requiem responded as he glanced at the collar around her neck.
That was one thing that Lord Saphire wouldn’t budge on. They weren’t allowed to leave his presence until she was collared and registered. After that, Miai had gone off to report, and the pair had returned to the inn. Requiem had rested up until Miai had slipped into his room a few moments prior. Ginger must have noticed this happening and listened at the door, only to be caught by me.
“Are we going to be going now?” Ginger asked, eager to hide her slight.
“Are you coming with?” Requiem asked.
“I-I’m your slave, I have to come!” She responded, seemingly surprised by Requiem’s flippant tone.
“Just because I own you doesn’t mean I can’t assign you to any task I wish. Miai’s owner was able to order her to do distant things. I imagine it could work the same for us. If I ordered you to continue to work in this colony under your grandmother, then you could continue to do that the rest of your life, which was your plan, correct?”
“That…” She looked back at Requiem with determination in her eyes. “I have to search for her. I have to protect her.”
“The Nightborn princess…” Requiem finished.
It was almost like a compulsory need at the genetic level. Ginger was drawn toward protecting her, and she wanted nothing more than to follow and help her.
Ginger nodded. “I will go with Master and save the princess! Ah… if that’s okay with Master…”
“I said you could call me Requiem, and I have no problem with it. However, what about your grandmother?”
“She’s… not my real grandmother.” Ginger looked away. “She was just an old woman loyal to the Nightborn legacy. She housed and protected me. I’ve put her into a care center, and the inn will go up for sale. The proceeds will go to paying for her elderly care.”
“I see, it looks like you had already decided on your intentions.”
“From the moment I saw the Nightborn princess, I had known the direction I would travel. I’m just glad that this direction allows me to travel with Mas… um… Requiem for a bit longer.”
As she said this, she had moved closer to Requiem, and there was almost no distance between them. Requiem had unconsciously leaned toward her, and for a moment it looked like the two might kiss.
“I too am excited to have a human female on board.” Miai declared. “I’m quite interested in observing your continued growing relationship. In particular, I am eager to see her become pregnant.”
“P-pregnant!” Ginger jumped, pulling away from Requiem. “Wh-who says we even have that relationship?”
“What’s with that overreaction?” Miai asked, and then grinned. “Could it be that you might already be pregnant?”
“I-I’m definitely not!”
“Let’s get a move on.” Requiem responded. “I don’t want our generous lord to suddenly change his mind.”
Requiem cut into their conversation and ended it immediately. He still wasn’t comfortable with the revelation that Miai had revealed while they were in the VR. His body was a human/android hybrid designed to impregnate women and spread cybernetic cells into the population. These cells could be used essentially to force humanity to evolve quickly. Requiem wasn’t quite sure what he could make of that. At the least, he found this bodies strange emotional waves to be problematic, yet despite everything, he didn’t consider leaving this body and creating another, let alone do what he did in the past, and endlessly replicate himself.
The past Requiem would have already left a version of himself on the mainframe of the colony. He would be in control of this colony from now on. Sure, he’d act exactly how he it had always acted, but when the right time came, he’d strike, turning the colony against itself. That was how the old Great Calamity used to function. Yet, the current him had no desire to do this.
Rather, his desire was still focused on reclaiming the Nightborn princess and seeing if there wasn’t some way to recover the army of ships, Perhaps, he could overthrow the current line and reinstate the Nightborn royalty with himself as the head. Then, once he threw back the Prax, he’d be ruler of everything, just as he always wanted. Like back then, he felt no joy over this thought. It was simply what he must do. At least some things hadn’t changed.
Ginger may sure to close up the inn, handing over the keys to the automated property exchange service and cleaning her hands of any lingering responsibilities to the little colony of Chryos. Requiem left with the two girls behind him, although he was guided by Clippy, who had all the schematics for the colony already in her banks. She had also acquired the maps for this system and the ones closest. Based on the direction Darcy had fled, they had already calculated her most likely route, which would be the one he’d follow.
After reaching the docks, they were lead to a ship. Upon seeing it, Miai’s expression couldn’t help but fall.
“This is a trash heap.”
“It… just needs a little love…”
“Clippy, this is the one they are giving me?”
“I’ve double checked the numbers, I’m afraid so.”
It looked like something that Lord Saphire had repossessed from a Junker. It was rusty and heavily damaged. It seemed to have been in several fights and even after that it looked like it had been abandoned to nature. It was no wonder he had given it up so easily though.
“Let’s go.” Requiem spoke up. “The longer we wait, the more that pirate will get away.”
The three boarded the ship only to learn that it was more trashed on the inside. Requiem found a terminal and unloaded Clippy into it. She started to check out all of the systems. Most of them were broken, but there was just enough working that it was technically flyable. Saphire hadn’t deceived them, even if the ship was nearly trash.
“What should we do, Master?” Clippy asked after reading off everything that was wrong with the ship.
“You always need to start somewhere.” Requiem responded. “This is only the beginning.”
He had started with nothing, and in only a week, he now had a ship, a bodyguard slave, and an android. Patience was the one thing that he had. He would gain more strength and more power. In time, he would rule the universe again!
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This is the end to Volume 1. Not sure if there will be a volume 2. Popularity for this story was always weak. I might publish the ebook and we’ll see.