When they came out of the forest, Derrick looked refreshed. Training in the wilderness for two weeks was easy and way more forgiving than the cave he had been in. However, one could not say the same for Thomas. His clothes were in tatters and his face was dulled by wariness. He looked like someone that had come back from the dead. Nevertheless, these two weeks had fundamentally changed him, and he couldn't wait to show his might on a battlefield.

It had been very fruitful for Derrick as well. All the monsters they hunted gave materials that could be used, and he hadn't wasted his time. There was a lot of equipment stashed in his magical pouch, and he couldn't wait to show them to Brigand. They would gain a lot if his reputation soared.

There was something else that really excited him. Today, his three institutions would be completed! The Forge, the Military Quarters and the School would all be opened, marking a new milestone for the town. Next would be the roads to the mine, which would occupy a major part of his schedule, so he planned to leave for Terra tonight. With that in mind, he took out his communication token.

"Sir Brigand?"


That old geezer was really terrible with magical equipment!


"AHHHH! Who's this?!"

"I'm going to make you retire if you don't remember in the next three seconds.."

After a second, a raucous laughter resounded from the trinket.

"Hahaha Sir Derrick! It has been a moment since we last spoke. I guess you're calling about our agreement?"

"Indeed. I have weapons ready to be auctioned"

"Great! I was waiting for you to hold another one"

"Excellent. I will be arriving tonight, and I was hoping that it could be held tomorrow. I have some shopping to do afterwards"

With the major influx of funds, Derrick wanted to purchase a large amount of weapons from Brigand and re-visit the Slave Market to see if he could buy an Enchanter.

During the previous two weeks, he had really thought about the priorities he should pursue, and military strength was definitely at the top. He couldn't be caught with his pants down, and enchanted weapons would solidify the foundations of his army.

"Arrangements will be taken"

The two men ended on that note, and he put the small token back in his pouch.

Derrick and Thomas kept walking and arrived in the town, which had considerably changed. The outskirts had developed and no longer looked like slums. People recognized Derrick and bowed whenever he walked past them. They gave looks of reverence so deep that one could mistake Derrick for some kind of divinity. In contrast, Thomas only received looks of pity when people noted his wretched appearance, and he found no reason to fault them. Just thinking about what he had gone through sent shivers down his spine.

The more they progressed towards the center, the more beautiful the town looked. The once neglected roads had been replaced by neatly arranged stones and the shabby houses had been thorn down, replaced by suitable lodging amenities. It seemed that Jack had work overtime and took initiative, which greatly pleased Derrick. It seemed that he didn't have to hold out on a Minister title anymore.

"System, assign the role of Minister to Jack"

[Role assigned successfully! Bonus of 10% to the speed of managerial duties]

Jack wouldn't know that he had received the acknowledgment of Derrick, but it didn't matter as long as he kept doing his job well.

The news that the duo came back had spread and Lacha soon appeared on the horizon, with Jack, Eloise, Fomamli and William. Derrick had left without giving them much of a heads up, but nothing major had occurred, so they could all now sigh in relief. The first one to speak was naturally Lacha.

"You've been gone for a while Your Highness. Please properly tell us beforehand next time.."

There was a hint of frustration in her voice that was instantly picked up by the necromancer, which awkwardly apologized. He was used to doing what he wanted when he wanted, which would happen less and less the more the town grew. He couldn't flee his responsibilities any longer.

Next to him was Thomas who eyed Eloise from head to toe, and when he noticed her sharp gaze land on him, he immediately got down on both knees with his head to the ground, begging for forgiveness. Eloise could barely control her surging laughter and instantly dismissed Thomas, who left right away to go take a much-needed bath. His mind had been troubled from time to time, but now that he confirmed the well-being of his General, he could finally be at peace.

"Jack, I hope everything is built? Also, congratulations on the modernization of the installations"

Jack puffed his old chest in pride. He knew that his Lord would notice his hard work.

"Your Highness, everything is ready to be inaugurated. We were simply awaiting your arrival"

"Very well. Don't forget, now's the time to start the roads. William, your classes will begin tomorrow. As for you, Fomamli, are the armors complete?"

It was the dwarf's turn to lift his chin up in the air, proud of what he had accomplished! It was now time for him to forge a weapon that would engrave his name in history. Of course, it was in the plans of Derrick when he would shop in Terra.

"Eloise, I assume that Atta has completed the tournament and that the divisions are formed?"

"Yes Master. You'll be quite proud of what they have become. You should have seen the faces of the winners when we told them that they could be challenged at the end of every month. It was a sight to behold, and it roused the spirits of the losers as well"

She giggled a bit. This woman truly enjoyed tormenting her fellow soldiers.

"I'm glad everything worked out! We will inaugurate their new living space and I'll let you distribute the prizes. I think they'll be quite excited by the craft of our Blacksmith"

By the end of their conversation, they had arrived at the new Military Quarters, and Derrick had to say they exceeded his expectations. The barrack's walls were made out of stones and their roofs, out of wood. They had rows of equally separated windows that gave them a charming look. Once he entered, he saw the abundance of space and the lined up bunk beds. His inspection lasted a few more minutes before he left the site with the group in tow. The vast plains now resembled proper training grounds, and he hoped to add new facilities soon.

The School was a similar success, and he had no complaints whatsoever. The new life of his people could finally begin.


He was once again flying with Io under the cover of the night. The inaugurations had been a smashing success, and even Moira and Julio attended. They no longer looked as wary as before, which Derrick considered as massive progress. Before leaving, he had properly told Lacha that he would be departing, recalling the episode where he had been scolded. His face blushed a little. Little did he know that the woman already held a cherished place in his heart.

With his coffer soon replenished, it would be time to go on another spending thrift!


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