Derrick walked forward, with Julio and Moira still dumbstruck. Did this guy have no remorse at all? None whatsoever? And why were they spared? Their brains couldn't process what was unfolding right now.

After walking past the gates, he turned his head towards them again.

"Lead the way please"

Julio snapped out and got up from his kneeling stance. To protect his daughter, he would do everything, even if it meant being the dog of someone else.

"Yes... Sir Derrick right?"

Derrick didn't really bother with honorifics. All he was interested in was how he would be received by the population of Yamato. These were people that had already lost everything and that had barely survived on scraps. They had found the strength to live again, and he was confident that what he would offer would give them a new path.

"Please gather everyone in the village. I'll be waiting"

With a wave of his hand, Derrick left. He hadn't even bothered looking at Moira, who was still trembling in her position. She had been the strongest warrior in the village ever since it had been founded. But in one bout... She had been crushed and transformed into a trophy for the winner.

She didn't care about what he said. Who would believe a mass murderer anyway? Her trembling, that was once caused by fear, was now one of rage. She didn't want to admit it, but she had been as complacent as the soldiers that had perished. Now, she collected what she sowed... The feeling of being miserable and powerless.

In a loud thump, she crumbled on the ground and started sobbing.

"I'm sorry Mother... I've failed you... But I promise I'll not give up... Watch me from up there... If I'm forced on a track, I'll brazenly destroy it and make it my own..."

After a few minutes on the ground, she eventually stood up and marched inside the village, her fists clenched and her green eyes burning with passion.


"Sir Derrick, they are all gathered"

"Good, let me do the rest. Thanks for your cooperation"

While dismissing the now ex-chief, Derrick appeared in front of the large gathering. He had removed his cloak and exposed his armor.

When the villagers saw him appear on the small stage, everyone was shocked. Wasn't this the person who had spoken earlier? Why was he suddenly here? Murmurs erupted throughout the crowd on what announcement would occur.

"Citizens of Yamato... You've already heard me before, but you most-likely dismissed me as a lunatic, a rogue that didn't know his place. Well, your chief, Julio, thought so as well and sent the soldiers to deal with me. As such, before they could take my life, I killed them all"

Unrest and panic ensued. Everyone present quickly realized that this meant that they were now defenseless and that they couldn't resist. The rare ones that still had families tried fleeing, hoping to live another day. Derrick rapidly followed up to quell the movement of fear.

"You don't have to worry. I do not have any intentions of harming you, if you follow me"

He threw the crowd a sharp gaze filled with killing intent that made everyone lower their heads. He was the predator and they were the preys. Derrick didn't have the luxury of winning their hearts slowly, so the only thing he could do right now was ruling with fear. Of course, he didn't plan on killing anyone anymore since he needed workforce for his future mining plans. This was all a massive bluff to quickly subdue the population. After achieving the effect he wanted, he continued.

"And before dissenters reject my plea, I already have a town under me, located 8 kilometers south of here. There are currently 1500 inhabitants there. It's a haven that we are currently developing and will be the new beacon of hope on these dangerous lands"

The majority of the panic-stricken folks calmed down when they heard this, but what if it was a ploy, what if they were enslaved and couldn't even eat properly? Their minds imagined every worst-case scenarios possible, and they couldn't help but feel even more motivated to flee. In their eyes, even if they had a tiny chance of survival, it was better than being enslaved.

Seeing all the fear he had generated spectacularly backfire, Derrick decided to change strategies.

"I see some of you are still full of doubts, and I can't say I blame you. You've been betrayed by an Empire once, so why should I be any different? Why should I be someone better when I just routed all of your defenses? Well, right now it's impossible to know. But what if I could promise you that I'll eliminate the Krakow Empire?"

Everyone's eyes almost popped out of their sockets, including Moira. What the hell? The man supposedly had a small town of 1500 people, and he wanted to take over an Empire? These delusions of grandeur were completely baseless and considered cheap talk by everybody attending.

"Io, Drako and Cernunnos, show yourselves"


Derrick's shadow expanded violently and three terrifying beasts came out, facing the now petrified populace. In front of them were a bat-eagle monster that had a wingspan of 10 meters and glowing red-eyes, a gigantic dragon-like monster with black scales and ruby eyes and a half-deer, half-bear monster that was 18 meters tall and had shining green eyes. Their aura of darkness were so stifling that everyone fell to the ground, trying to not soil themselves. Even Moira and Julio couldn't resist and were thrown to the ground, unable to control their actions. How could someone wield such power?

"As you can see, my shameless boasting isn't completely unfounded. The reason why I want you to follow and help me is because I believe we can create something better, an environment where persecution and injustice are absent. I know you've all been exiled from the Empire, and I know you all lost immeasurable things, be it your reputation, jobs and families. You were forced to survive and you all regrouped, hoping to finally resume a life free of those shackles... But what if they come for you again? What if they covet the land you're currently living on? What would happen then? Will you lose everything and try to survive once more? OR DO YOU WANT TO FIGHT FOR MORE?! FOR A CHANCE TO CHANGE YOUR DESTINY?! I WAS ONCE WEAK, SO WEAK THAT I HAD TO LEAVE BEHIND MY ENTIRE LIFE... I'M GIVING YOU A CHANCE, A CHANCE TO RISE AND TO BECOME SOMETHING MORE, TO YEARN FOR MORE!"

His voice resonated with every broken soul in the audience. They had indeed been treated as livestock, with no other value than generating profits and taxes. They were accused of crimes they never committed and punished with the things they held dear. All of them could see the faces of the people they had lost, and the rage that was once deeply buried in their hearts resurfaced violently. They had been running away for most of their lives, without a chance to strike back... Yet here was a man that said that he could, and he gave them proof that maybe, just maybe, he could make a difference. Some people touched their faces, surprised to see tears rapidly running down their cheeks. Their previously locked emotions were running amok in their bodies, finally allowing them to grieve what they had lost...

Moira had her fists clenched throughout the speech. She had witnessed the power of Derrick, but she still didn't want to acknowledge him. He was a murderer. He was absolute scum that didn't feel anything. And yet... What he had just said resonated with her very core. She had never told her father that she had sworn to take revenge, and now, in front of her, was such an opportunity.

"I'm not a perfect man, neither are my methods. But I swear to protect all your lives, no matter the cost. I also have grievances to settle in this world and until they are solved. I will not rest. We will change our faiths, and we will be the victors!"

Every person that had been oppressed by the eerie pressure suddenly felt a surge of energy and rose, roaring to the sky. It was time finally time for a revolution!

[You have conquered the village of Yamato! You have gained 720 new residents]


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