Within the main hall, Lorist was listening to the reports of Supervisor Spiel. "This year's wheat seem to be growing rather well. After collecting the harvest during the seventh month, we will have our men plant some asparagus which can be harvested during the tenth month. Right after that, we can plant winter wheat after the harvest at that time. It was fortunate that milord had brought back the carriages you borrowed. Otherwise, the harvest will prove to be quite troublesome."
Feeling bored, Lorist resisted the urge to yawn. He wasn't too interested in the details about the farms.
"Milord, the warehouse has an abundance of food, fine and rough textiles as well as furs..."
As Spiel's voice echoed throughout the room while he read out the whole ledger, Lorist sighed inwardly and thought that it would probably be lunch time by the time he finished hearing all of Spiel's reports. Looking to his side, he saw Patt letting out a huge yawn and thought, that darned fellow...
At another corner, Pajik could be seen toying with the tea cup within his hand and seemed as if he wasn't focused on what Spiel had to say. Supervisor Kedan on the other hand was looking at the wall opposite them as if there were a blooming flower growing out of it. What about Reidy? Huh? Where did that kid disappear to? Gosh it sure is easy to get away when you're sitting by the door... Whatever. Out of everyone present, only Shadekampf seemed to be paying attention and even mumbled as his fingers flicked nonstop like he was taking into account what Spiel had reported.
After Lorist finished his third cup of tea, just as he was about to go to the lavatory to relieve himself and slack off for a bit, Supervisor Spiel finally finished reporting everything he needed to from the thick pile of beastskin documents. Letting out a relieved breath, Lorist was disappointed to see Spiel take out another pile of beastskin documents out of nowhere.
Ugh, will this ever end? Lorist finally stopped the supervisor and said, "Ahem, Supervisor Spiel, as the dominion lord, I am very satisfied and appreciative of your efforts. After that, you can report the rest of the inventory to Shadekampf and only give me a summary of that when you're done.
"Knight Pajik, tell me about the status of the defense units."
Regaining his focus and sitting straight, Pajik said excitedly, "Milord, the basic Battle Force technique that you taught is far too convenient for helping others awaken their Battle Force, so much more so than the Krissen Empire's military Battle Force technique. During the past three months, aside from the men who followed you out of the bastide to serve as coachmen, 173 out of the 300-odd men who remained have successfully awakened their Battle Force. However, the way to practice the technique you taught is a little different from that of the military Battle Force, so I hope you can show us what to do next to progress forward."
"I understand, I will personally go and teach them the rest every afternoon starting three days later. Even though the basic Battle Force technique is simple, it can only be trained to the peak of the Iron rank. They must train in the military Battle Force if they want to progress further. After all, the Krissen Empire's military Battle Force allows one to train up to the Silver rank. Knight Pajik, I need you to pick out some men from those who have awakened their Battle Force to form a unit for longbow and crossbow training. The local defense company must have at least one ranged attacking squad. We will use the crossbows we have within the bastide for them to start some preliminary training before we send them off to Knight Josk at Firmrock Castle for some further instruction," Lorist said.
"Yes, milord. I will do as you instruct," acknowledged Pajik.
Turning to Supervisor Kedan, Lorist asked, "what's the current situation at Poplar Coast?"
During his stay at Firmrock Castle for a little more than a month, Lorist received some news about the coast from a messenger. According to the man, Wildnorth Town had already sent out somebody to the bastide to prompt Lorist to begin the construction of the new town as soon as possible and mentioned that the people of the town had prepared lots of resources and manpower to contribute to that undertaking. Supervisor Spiel told the people of the town that the lord was overseeing the construction of the fortifications at Morgan Hills to resist the Kenmays Family and said that it would take some more time before a decision could be made.
As a result of that, half a month later, a messenger from Wildnorth Town visited Lorist at Firmrock Castle to request the construction of the new town to begin. Lorist thus sent Supervisor Kedan to start gathering construction materials at the site of the new town in preparation for the construction.
Supervisor Kedan laughed and said, "Milord, it was just as you had expected. Poplar Coast is currently as chaotic as it can be and the four great families of Wildnorth Town have started antagonizing the smaller families to the point that diplomacy and negotiation would no longer help. That is especially so with the garrison force members who have been kicked out. Most of them feel strongly that they have been cheated by the four great families and hate them with a passion. Just as you had instructed, I didn't bother to settle any of the conflict as I managed the preparation work so that the four great families can handle it themselves. There was even a small riot two days ago which ended with a couple of people getting injured..."
"What of the mercenaries?" Lorist asked.
"The mercenaries are doing quite well themselves. Apart from defending the spot they are stationed at, they didn't mingle much with the people of Wildnorth Town. Aside from some trouble from flirting with the town's womenfolk, there isn't anything to worry about. After Jim and the rest returned, they started scouting the area to familiarize themselves with the terrain," Kedan reported.
"After a few more days, I will also head to Poplar Coast. Supervisor Kedan, you can put the issue of WIldnorth Town aside for now and tell the mercenaries to finish scouting the terrain as soon as possible to pick out a suitable place to build the military base. Only after we finish constructing the base can we further divide and conquer the smaller families of Wildnorth Town to be able to use them in our favor," Lorist said while stroking his chin.
"Yes milord. I understand what I have to do," Kedan nodded and said.
"That settles it. Let us have lunch before we adjourn the meeting."
"Reidy, where were you all this time? Help me carry that box on the carriage into my room," Lorist instructed when he saw Reidy walking into the yard of the building.
When Lorist reached his room upstairs, he noticed that Irina had awoken and was currently scrubbing the floor. Upon seeing him, she hurriedly got up and lowered her head to greet him. "Milord... How are you..."
"I'm fine, Irina. But you don't look too good yourself..." Lorist said as he took the cleaning cloth from Irina's hand and tossed it into the wooden bucket nearby.
"Mi-milord... Did... Did I... Do something wrong again?" asked the girl as she started shaking in fear.
Using the bridal carry to hoist the young maidservant up, Lorist got to the chair beside the windowsill and sat down. "Irina, I don't think that you did anything wrong. In fact, I like how you always try so hard, and that's fine. But remember, you're my woman, so you should leave rough chores like these to other servants. It'll be enough for you to dust off the study table and make the bed. If you have nothing better to do, you can take a nap or try doing some makeup. Or if you're bored, you can even learn to make some desserts..."
"But mi-milord..." stammered the young maidservant who was still in Lorist's embrace. "I... I'm just a maidservant... and doing these i-is perfectly normal... The things you s-said just now are things no-noblewomen do..."
"Even though you're my personal maidservant, to others, you're not that much different from a noblewoman, understand? I will find another two maidservants who will do what you tell them to."
"But mi-milord... We ca-can't house two more pe-people within this room... And... The bed is a little too s-small for three people..."
"Hehe..." Lorist started to chuckle out loud before he flicked Irina's nose and said, "I wonder what goes on in that head of yours. Do you think that I'm some kind of sex demon? I won't go to bed with just any maidservant. I lay with you only because I like you and you're special. The two maidservants I will find can sleep in the guest room. I think there are two empty guests rooms on the second floor, so we can use one of them for their lodging. In the future, let them handle the cleaning work. You only have to supervise them."
After seeing the girl's ears turn red from his laughter, Lorist playfully gave one of them a little bite, causing the maidservant to stiffen completely within his embrace before she started to shiver again.
Irina's meek state caused Lorist's urge to rise, but after recalling how rough he treated her the day before, he tried his best to suppress it and said, "Irina, I'm really sorry about yesterday. You must have had it rough. In the future, please tell me if you're at your limits and don't endure it silently. I feel like a beast every time I see the tears on your face. Once again, I apologize."
The maidservant stared at Lorist frozen at that sudden, unexpected apology. "N-no... It's my bad for being so useless... There's no need for milord to apologize..."
"It's only right for me to apologize for my mistakes. Irina, I will no longer treat you that roughly. I really don't want to see you cry anymore..."
The young girl didn't say anything more and only snuggled herself tight against Lorist's chest...
"Ahem, milord. I've brought the box upstairs."
Lorist had actually long noticed the sounds of Reidy coming upstairs, but he was too lazy to move and thought that hugging Irina felt rather nice. The girl on the other hand was like a frightened rabbit who squeezed out of Lorist's arms and stood beside him, not knowing what to do in that awkward situation.
"Put the box onto the table. Irina, give that kid the chain mail I removed yesterday. Reidy, go downstairs and polish the mail for me before bringing it back up and accompany me to check on the defense unit later," Lorist said.
"Hehe, milord... How long do you want me to polish it? I'm afraid that I'll be too quick and bother you two once again..." Reidy teased.
Lorist gave him a stare and said, "You've interrupted us already. We'll be leaving as soon as possible. Go do your thing and mind your own business, sheesh..."
Opening the box and bringing out an intricate jewelry case, Lorist said, "Irina, this is a gift for you. Put it on and let me have a look."
That was one of the spoils they looted from the Redriver Valley Bastide. There were quite a number of chests filled with women's clothes and jewelry that seemed to be erroneously delivered to the bastide. It was meant to be used as gifts for some of Viscount Kenmays's noblewomen guests during his parties to win their affection, but it had been accidentally shipped to the Redriver Valley Bastide by the Feathersoar Mercenary Crew. WIth the viscount being so busy obtaining permission from Duke Loggins for his army to enter the Northlands for the past couple of months, he didn't have time to host any parties or banquets and left the items at the bastide, causing them to be shipped back by Shadekampf after the bastide's occupation.
Lorist opened the box and took out a necklace and motioned for Irina to take it.
With her glazing eyes filled with yearning transfixed at the sapphire necklace in Lorist's hands, Irina still said unwillingly, "Mi-milord... That... that is far too precious for me to own... I... I can't take it..."
"Something like this is nothing precious. Remember, you're my woman, so it's just natural for you to dress up to impress. The clothes within the larger box over there mostly contain clothes that I've picked according to your figure. Try them out. You can give them away if they don't fit you. Also, these jewelry are yours as well so take care of them," Lorist said as he smiled.
"O-okay... Thank you.... Milord..."
"Then I'll be leaving now. Oh, don't forget to look for two other maidservants to help you out. If you don't know who to pick, you can ask Supervisor Spiel to do it." As Lorist headed downstairs, he could hear the maidservant's surprised cheers of joy that she tried her best not to let out in his presence.
Irina seemed in a pretty good mood for the whole day and it was still evident from her expression after Lorist returned that night.
After helping out Lorist with his bath, the girl wrapped herself up in a towel before she snuggled into Lorist's chest on her own accord.
A little surprised, Lorist asked, "What's going on? Aren't you usually pretty hesitant about this? Why so proactive all of a sudden?"
Still snuggled against Lorist's chest, the maidservant muffled, "Thank you... milord..."
Taking the towel off her with a smile, Lorist gently put his member into her body and moved slowly as he teased her little ear...
The girl gradually let out soft moans of pleasure...
And their joyful cries resounded throughout the whole room...
Awakening from the chirps of the birds from outside the window during dawn the next day, Lorist noticed a weird feeling on his lower body. Opening his eyes slightly, he saw Irina inspecting his erected member and lightly poking it with her finger once in a while as if she was wondering how something like that managed to send her to heaven and back the night before. Probably reminded of how the whole thing could enter her body, she measured the length with her fingers and placed it against her crotch only to widen her eyes in surprise and disbelief that something that huge could fit wholly into her body.
Unable to hold it in, Lorist exploded with laughter.
Noticing that Lorist was awake, the maidservant blushed and tried to leave the bed only to be stopped by Lorist. "Don't go, let me teach you how to make me happy..."
"Open your mouth and go closer... Yes, wrap your tongue around it like you would a sausage... Move up and down...
"Ouch, don't bite it with your teeth, idiot... It hurts... Do it like before, yes, that's good. go on...
"Tired? Alright, let me continue..."
Lorist put the girl on the bed and once again entered her...
Bringing his two swords with him downstairs as he head to the yard, he saw Patt and Reidy busy training the guards.
"Alright, time for my second morning exercise..." Lorist said in a good mood before he looked at the sky and thought, the weather's great today...