Derrick was really glad he had waited before assigning these titles. Wasting these bonuses would have been a tragedy. Of course, there was a chance of them leaving after a year, but he gambled on the contrary. And even if they did leave, they will have been major contributors in his schemes.

He also wanted to give a Minister title to Jack, but he wanted to see how the man would handle future challenges. Sure, he had two spots to give, but he didn't know when he would meet the requirements for an upgrade, which meant he had to picky and diligent.

"Lacha, we'll be setting a meeting at your house, so go get Jack"

A second later, when she was about to go fetch him, he also asked her to bring Atta, the only surviving chieftain of his conquering campaign. Derrick knew that Eloise would need an inside voice to properly take over the army, and he had liked the smarts of the man.

Ten minutes later, the seven of them were gathered around the small table in her kitchen. It looked really informal and it made Derrick realize that he really needed a proper residence.

"I've called this meeting to discuss the details and timeframes of all the projects. Right now, the construction workers will be working for free because the town mostly functions with barter, but I'll figure out a better system. Just make sure that they eat properly and it'll be fine, at least for now. The first building I want built is the forge. A comfortable hut will be fine because I already have the equipment to make it function"

When the dwarf heard this, his ear twitched. Blacksmiths were maniacs of their craft and some even dedicated their entire lives to forging masterpieces that would etch their names in history. When he sensed the interest, a sinister grin crept on Derrick's face.

"I think you'll be satisfied with what I bought... Don't worry, I'm sure you'll manage to repay me some way or another..."

A chill coursed through Fomamli's body, but he shook it off, thinking that he might have caught a cold.

"How much space would you need to work efficiently?"

The question sent the dwarf into deep reflection because he had never expected for things to go this fast. He then gave his answer.

"Facilities of 400 square meters will be fine. It should give me ample space to work in. Don't forget aeration or I'll die in there"

It was Jack's turn to ponder. Building durable facilities was a challenge in itself, and he didn't want something to go wrong, fearing the wrath of the necromancer.

"It should take us two days to complete as there are no special requirements. The installations will also be built in stone because of the fire hazard"

Satisfied, Derrick continued to the next point.

"Next, I want military quarters where soldiers will be permanently stationed. It'll cause heavy displeasure, but we need a quick response in case of enemy attacks. I don't care how you build them, but make sure there are comfortable. To alleviate the anger of those who'll have to leave their families, we'll free up two days a week when they'll be allowed to visit. As for the salary, it'll be non-existent, but that's where our dwarf friend will come in..."

Fomamli looked clueless, but when he saw Derrick, he saw a face that screamed that he should run away as fast as he can. However, he shrugged it off again... It couldn't be that bad right?

"I enlisted a few more recruits as well, bringing the total of soldiers to 160. I'll leave them in your care, Eloise. Do you think that you can have them in decent shape in two months? Also, I've brought you a helper that'll answer directly to you. His name is Atta"

Atta still felt apprehensive about Derrick and the latter knew it, so he hoped that Eloise could bring him to his side by awing him with her military knowledge. She looked at the chieftain and a smirk appeared on her fiery face. She recognized that Derrick had given her a foothold to gain the trust of the soldiers.

"Give me a month, and they'll be decent"

Derrick suddenly felt pity for the poor bastards...

"As for where the facilities should be built... How about the northern side where we don't have farming lands? We'll clear the land and it'll allow us to add more amenities in the future"

Jack's posture didn't look great. He wanted to please Derrick and accomplish these undertakings as fast as he could but this... was massive. A complex lodging 160 soldiers? Good lord!

Derrick saw Jack's distress, and patted his shoulder.

"Don't give me estimates that you think I want to hear, just give me something realistic. Also, if you need more hands, you can recruit more using my name"

Jack's tension eased a lot. Why had he been putting so much pressure on himself when he had been appointed supervisor of a job he barely qualified for? He just needed to do his best. When he sensed the change in behavior, Derrick was happy.

"After the forge, this will take us two weeks to complete"

"Good. Now, concerning the school... How many students can you take on at once William?"

After seeing his two colleagues being asked questions, the scholar had prepared his answers, and he promptly replied.

"I can teach 50 students in a day. Any more than that and the quality of my teachings will drop drastically"

Jack was sent pondering again. This was, once again, no small task.

"A week to complete"

"Great! This was productive! You're all dismissed except for Lacha"

Everyone got up and bowed, before leaving the small house. Now that they were alone, they could get more intimate, and they did when he took her in his embrace and sat her on his lap. However, what happened next was something she didn't expect...

"Do you know how to write?"

The romance that had built up was immediately quashed, and she lightly hit him in the chest for betraying her expectations. She didn't know how, but she had slowly warmed up to him, even though he refused to do the deed with her, at least for now. This made Derrick laugh and feel warmth. Was that what he really missed in his previous life? Such a pity...

"Yes I can. Do you want me to make the notice? You know that the majority of people can't read right?"

"Yes, but the earlier we expose them to it, the better. That's how people learn overtime, even if they don't go to school"

Memories of his childhood flashed, and he remembered how his foster parents would take him on their lap and read him stories. It was his favorite moment of the day, and he continued reading afterwards, gaining knowledge that now came in handy.

"There won't only be a poster, I'll place someone that announces as well"

When she heard his idea, her respect for Derrick increased. The man wasn't merely strong, he was brilliant too.

She got up and went to get her quill and a giant blank parchment.

"Here's what I want you to write :


- Every job's salary will be forgone for the time being. A new system will be implemented in the near future. In the meantime, food will be distributed and will be free.

- Grand Opening of the Forge in 2 days, headed by Blacksmith Fomamli Trollfall.

- Grand Opening of new Military Quarters in 16 days. Once completed, soldiers will have to stay there. It is mandatory. However, the schedule will free the two last days of the week to allow visits to your loved ones. As compensation for the absence of pay, brand-new equipment will be given out.

- Training with General Eloise and her aid, chieftain Atta, begins tomorrow. Every soldier that doesn't report for duty will be branded as a deserter and will incur heavy punishments.

- Grand Opening of the School in 23 days, headed by Scholar William Enceworth. The education given will be free to all kids.

Now that he had taken care of administrative matters, it was time to focus on his own strength.


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