When the feast was over, we were guided to a certain location.
It was a residence that looked exactly like the village chief’s own home.
…if my memory serves though, I don’t think there was anything at all here when we were shown around the village earlier…
It was likely thanks to Luke-sama’s Gift. Still, for a building as splendid as this to be built in such a short amount of time, it was nothing short of unbelievable.
“Feel free to stay at this place. I think it’s big enough to comfortably accommodate your guards as well.”
“Thank you very much, Luke-sama.”
We entered nervously.
Just like the outside, the interior was built well too. Not only that, there were even furniture and other furnishings placed already.
There were other unbelievable things too, like proper indoor bathrooms and lavatories. His Gift was just incredible.
“…Be frank with me, what do you think about this village?”
While sitting in a couch in the living room, I asked so to Bazara who was sitting across me.
“It’s abnormal, to say the very least.”
I completely agreed.
But then again, everybody in whole world would probably agree as well.
“…Dant-sama, I’d like to apologize to you.”
“Before we entered the village, I promised you that as long as we were near, no harm will ever come to you in this place. I would like to retract those words.”
Bazara was a skilled and seasoned soldier, yet he still told me so.
“…we just don’t stand a chance. If they decide to attack us, all of our elites here won’t be able to hold them off for long. Retaliating with the rest of the troops back home is not only ill advised, I’d say it’s suicidal.”
I vaguely suspected it already, but it was undeniable now: this village really did have more war potential than any place called a village could possibly have.
“I can’t believe that they have so many people with combat-type and magic-type Gifts. Especially if what they said is true: that most of the people here were refugees from the west and from our own territory.”
“Maybe they can bless all of them without restriction?”
When I thought about it, there was a building that looked like a church. For some reason, they didn’t talk about that building. Naturally, it seemed odd to me, but I didn’t think much of it. I was overwhelmed as it was after all.
“But then, where can they have gotten a priest who will perform the rite?”
Without exception, all priests who had the Gift called [Oracle] were all managed by the church. After all, to receive the Gift of [Oracle], the church had to perform a blessing on them first.
I couldn’t imagine the church agreeing to bless all of these villagers.
However, if for some reason an exception was indeed here in this village…
“…but supposing ordinary villagers can get blessed, will this many of them receive Gifts?”
“I’m not sure. The church has always claimed that even if commoners are given the rite of blessing, less than 1 percent of them will receive a Gift…if that’s not true though…”
If, or rather when, the church learns of this village, they wouldn’t remain silent.
And unfortunately for this village, the church still had some level of influence even in this age of constant warring.
“So then, what do you plan to do with this village, Dant-sama? After reporting it to Lord Albert, of course.”
“No, I won’t even make a report.”
Bazara stared at me with his eyes wide open.
“Lord Albert is currently busy preparing for his next war, so domestic affairs like this will likely be entrusted to Raul-sama.”
And in the event that Albert house wins against the Schneger house, it was highly likely for Lord Albert to stay in his newly acquired land and govern it at least for some time. If so, Raul-sama would then likely be put in charge of all affairs in the present-day Albert territory.
“In other words, my report will almost certainly go through Raul-sama first. I’ve heard Raul-sama is quite antagonistic of his step-brother. So, I suspect he doesn’t want Lord Albert to know of Luke-sama’s success here.”
Thanks to having inherited [Sword Master Techniques], Raul-sama was set to become the next lord of the Albert territory. However, it still wasn’t impossible for Luke-sama to steal that away.
“Raul-sama’s going to try to crush this village before Lord Albert has any idea that it exists.”
While the church was a threat for this village, Raul-sama undoubtably posed a much more significant one.
“But Dant-sama, if it gets discovered that you tried to conceal the existence of this village…”
I was a servant of the Albert House.
If it becomes known that I acted on my own in this matter, my life would be over.
“Even so, I’m choosing to take a chance on this village…on Luke-sama.”
As governor, I had always managed this land exactly as how the Albert house wanted me to.
When I was told to impose heavy taxes on my people, I did so, sometimes through force. I had convinced myself that I had to, that I had no other choice.
Yet, cowardly as I was, I was willing to take a chance on this village in the wastelands.
“Instead of Raul-sama, I think it is Luke-sama who should become the next head of the Albert house. I think Luke-sama will be a greatest lord the land has and will ever have.”
◇ ◇ ◇
Unbeknownst to Dant and Bazara, there was someone lurking beneath the floor of the living room that they were in.
Depending on their conversation, this lurker might make it so that the two would never be able to return to this village in this wasteland.
In other words, thanks to Dant’s declaration, he unwittingly escaped death.
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