Chapter 7 – Territory (1)
Brendel’s mind was working furiously.
“Four sawmills and two rock quarries near Firburh and there are not even enough materials to repair a gate? No, that’s not the full extent, there are seven sawmills in Trentheim! Let’s see, getting four to work overtime and we should be able to fix and strengthen the walls…..”
[A sawmill provides 1 unit of lumber every week, and working overtime increases the unit production by 1 as well. At least, in theory, there should be enough….. Shit, but I can’t guarantee that’s going to be the same here.]
“My lord knows about the resources here?” Falaern asked as she looked up from the book, her voice even.
“Of course I do,” Brendel pushed down his questions and replied: “so tell me exactly why the resources cannot be procured.”
“Two reasons,” the Elven girl pursed her lips, “the first reason: The workers in the sawmill are Graudin’s private property, and they are not willing to work for us.”
“Because they fear retribution. In their eyes, my lord is one who’s destined to lose. After all, your enemy is Count Randner, and you, my lord, is a weak noble who has no support or power.”
“That’s reasonable,” Brendel nodded, “then vacate them without causing any trouble. The natives won’t follow us if they don’t feel safe. They are as practical as they come, no one will believe promises without proof behind them. That’s fine; we can stabilize our forces if we passed this first hurdle. Overturning this problem will be fast.”
“I see, then who shall work in the sawmills?”
“Do we not have the Senia’s citizens?”
“I see. But we still can’t use the sawmills.”
“Because my lord needs to conquer them.”
“What?” Brendel was almost laughing out of his nose when he heard the robot-like answers from the Elven girl, “Are the Sawmill not within our control?”
[I’m sure the nearest sawmill was just a few miles away, did the remnants of Graudin’s army gather outside the city and took over the resources? But I don’t recall these mercenaries to have such discipline.]
“That’s the second reason. I have checked with the citizens. Three out of the four sawmills are occupied by Subterrane Dwellers. The remaining sawmill was abandoned five years ago.”
“Subterrane Dwellers, the lowest demi-races living in the Jurgen Underworld? Aren’t they fighting amongst their own tribes and the Demon Lords at the same time, when did they have the time to come up to the surface?”
“It seems there’s a crack in the Dark Forest that leads the underworld to the surface,” Falaern paused for a moment, “our captain believes that it’s a tribe which escaped from their wars and came to this place.”
“And Graudin did nothing about it?” Brendel tapped the table with his fingers gloomily, “But his fondness for treasure……”
Falaern’s eyes were looking at him in an accusing way, almost as if to tell him that all nobles are incomprehensible, and caused him to flinch unhappily.
[…… It’s not that Graudin did nothing, it’s because he couldn’t do anything about it. I led a squadron of mercenaries and killed off his private men with ease. Even though they easily bullied Firburh’s citizens, the Subterrane Dwellers are a force to be reckoned with. They could easily rival the riders or pikemen of the empire Kirrlutz, known for its military strength. They are even a match for Aouine’s core army in the capital. Graudin must have his hands full from defending their attacks, not to mention attacking them.]
Brendel silently cursed their incompetence.
[I’m looking at the world with level 130 eyes. Even though all these wars right now are basically children fighting with each other, a low tier army like the Subterrane Dwellers is causing me trouble…… But I should be happy that the second chapter hasn’t started yet. Otherwise single ‘hero’ anti-army units like Tamar and Incirsta are going to start appearing everywhere.]
Brendel pondered on events of the second chapter, ‘Separation and War’. The battles in that chapter were many times more intense than how Incirsta fought against Bucce and the nearby cities.
[If I rate the strongest units right now in the various kingdoms, they would be Tier 5. The Dwellers are Tier 1. The mercenaries under me, well, Tier 0? Since Aouine isn’t like the military empire Kirrlutz, even a Tier 0 unit is considered to be the main component of a battalion.]
Brendel started pacing throughout the room. Falaern watched him for a few minutes with an expressionless face, but she finally called out to him with a hint of curiosity.
“My lord?” She asked.
“Let’s go,” Brendel said.
“I want to find someone.”
“Who exactly?” Falaern asked, her thoughts a little slow, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing. Although I feel like I’m being rushed for time.” Brendel shook his head while he walked over to the table and retrieved the Sage Slate, placing it back to his bag around his belt.
He then moved to an ornate sword hanging from the wall and removed it entirely. It was one of Graudin’s prized object. The bloodthirsty baron was not a brave swordsman, but his desire to boast was obvious.
When the youth drew the blade, he discovered it was an Iron-ranked longsword enhanced with simple magic. He sighed. There was not much of a difference with a normal longsword because it similarly could not withstand his full strength.
[I miss the Thorn of Light. Ever since I lost that weapon, I can’t find anything that suits me. There’s no time to get any of the swords I want too.]
The two of them left the room and walked silently in the empty north hallway. Brendel noticed Falaern’s creased brows after a while and asked:
“It’s just that Kabias’s relics are still with me, my lord.”
“Right, I forgot all about it. I remembered you wanted to ask me something the previous time?”
Falaern rummaged in her bag around her waist and took something out. Her outstretched palm revealed a four-sided triangular golden brooch, the shape almost like a compass needle. Brendel took the weighty artifact and stared at it.
“So it’s this, Kabias really is lucky— I mean, I’m really lucky.” He blurted.
Falaern was looking curiously at him and waited for an explanation.
“The Gemstone of Law. It’s a wonderful artifact that expands the territory.”
“I don’t understand.”
Brendel withdrew his gaze and looked out to the garden, his head shaking lightly. “I’m not quite sure how to explain it to you. It’s a rare artifact, and I don’t know how that bastard Kabias got it. This level of cheese— he probably stole from the southern nobles near the borders. Damn, these people must be rich.”
[Maybe I should just rob the nobles?]
The Gemstones of Law provided a unique bonus in the game. If it were used in a forest, then it would be ‘Quick Growth’ (+1 to lumber production), or if was used in a workshop it would be ‘Professional’ (increase in output). He did not know how to explain it to her.
Falaern frowned when she heard him speak incomprehensible things again. She took another ring. “My lord, this is also something that Kabias left behind.”
Brendel’s footsteps stopped, causing her to overtake him. He stared at the ring; it was a sword and shield on the ring’s settings.
“The Warrior Ring,” Brendel’s eyes were gleaming as he called out the artifact’s name with great effort, “this is also what Kabias had?”
Falaern nodded and asked curiously: “Is it something important?”
The name sounded like it was something that could be found anywhere in the streets.
“Beyond imagination.” Brendel took in a deep breath. If one were not familiar with the abilities it gave out, they would be misled by the name. It was truly a priceless artifact in the game.
[A Fantasy grade artifact….. Open Stats— Indeed, it’s just like the game.]
The description was just as simple as the name sounded.
– The Warrior Ring (Fantasy grade artifact)
– Description: All Warrior Skills +1