8: To Be a Ruler
Without electricity it was pitch dark in the night. Today is the new moon, making the sky darker than usual. The only light source in this small inconspicuous Lord's Manor was the hearth on the ground floor and the oil lamp scattered on the room.
In this dim-lit room, Indra lied down on the rock bed covered in fluffy hides. He wore his short pant and a white inner shirt.
Although it was supposed to be a cold night, this room was humid and hot. Perhaps because of the season. He felt uncomfortable with the air around here. But he thinks if given enough time, he surely would adapt.
Indra manipulated the interface with his left hand.
[Seed Bag: Corn]
A bag of corn seeds.
Growth: Roughly three months before it ready to harvest.
Durability: 100/100 | Price: 5 G
The building design of Town Hall.
Special: Major increase in Politic, Culture, and Military.
Quill & Ink: Change [Villager <Lv. 5>] into [Clerk <Lv. 1>], the special requirements must be fulfilled
Headband: Change [Villager <Lv.1>] into [Militia <Lv.1>]
Durability: 60/60 | Price: 8,500 G
[Job Change Platform: Shaman]
Can be used to condense a Shaman Platform. Change the Job of a villager into [Shaman]; it can be further specialized into [Darklord] and [Conjurer].
Type: Core Item
Orb: Change [Villager <Lv. 10>] into [Shaman <Lv. 1>]
Cursed Orb: Change [Shaman <Lv. 15>] into [Darklord <Lv. 1>]
Dimensi Orb: Change Shaman <Lv. 20> into [Conjurer <Lv. 1>]
Durability: [Indestructible] | Price: 23,000 G
Beautifully crafted accessories embedded with three precious jewels.
Stats: Physical Strength +16, Agility +12, Intelligence -8
Special: Minor 'refreshing' effect. A major decrease in health regeneration time.
Durability: 200/200 | Price: 1,000 G
Scrolling down and reading the description of the item one by one.
Its window shopping, he was window shopping on the Lord Shop.
He was the type of person who likes to waste his time by surfing through the online shop, put the things he likes into the shopping cart, but then not buy it. He was that kind of person.
It probably a waste of time, but he had a reason for doing this killing time activity. By knowing what he could buy and what he wanted to buy, he could draw a rough sketch of what he would do with his territory.
'Top priority is food, with the addition of about 15 settlers per day, the food supply from the Resource Package will be used up in just a few weeks. Maybe I'll send some Ranger to hunt some wild game, but hunting and foraging aren't good for the long term. I need to make some farmers cultivate the land.'
Besides Food, there were also other resources. And that was the Wood, Stone, and Iron.
He didn't know why Stone is also considered as a crucial resource that it needs to exist in the resource tab. But, maybe the age development right now was still megalithic or the bronze age. Strange that there was also magic in this world.
'As for the other resources, Lumbermill, the Quarry, and Mine ..., Forget about the mine, but the first two are crucial in the initial stage. Let's buy the two building designs, I've still got some money left. While I'm at it, let's buy Carpenter Workshop as well.'
knock ... knock ...
While he was immersed himself in the window shopping and formulating his plan for the future, he subconsciously ignored the door knock.
knock ..., knock ...
"My Lord, are you available?"
After a while with a few other knocks with a call from the outside, Indra then turned his attention to the door.
"What is it?"
"Excuse me ..."
The female orc advisor opened the door and entered the room.
"Forgive for the sudden intrusion my Lord, a group of people just came. It was another batch of immigrants, but their condition ... they are injured."
Indra frowned hearing Raika report.
He sat down on his rock bed, still on his short pants and white inner shirt.
'That's strange, I thought that the new immigrants are spawned daily. Besides, it's in the night. How come the new batch is already here?'
"What time is it?"
"It's still one-third of the night, my Lord."
That's mean between the six to nine PM. It's still early in the night. So how come there is another batch of immigrants? Are the Settlers rewarded from the Tutorial Quest different from these immigrants?
Indra shook his head slightly and said, "alright, let me change my clothes first. Send them to the Throne Room. I'll be there in a while."
"At your order."
"Lord, these are the group of people that arrived this evening."
Raika led a group of people young and old to his throne hall.
Fourteen people in total, six able men, five women, and three young children. They were only wearing rag clothes on their lower body, from the chest if it was female. Came with nothing but their clothes. Barefooted, and all of them were bony.
It looks like someone who has survived from famine. They had a wretched face filled with anxiousness, some even had tearstain on their cheeks.
Indra looked at them and nodded his head. The leader of the group, an old man around 50s kneeled, prostrate on the ground and said.
"O lord of the river delta, I seek for thee protection!"
the other immigrants followed suit.
The others also did the same as him, even the women force their children to prostrate in front of Indra. It was his first time seeing such a display of submission.
"You all may rise."
Indra had seen this subservient gesture yesterday, so he didn't feel surprised. He still felt a bit uncomfortable though. Kindly, he asked.
"Tell me, what happened?"
"Our village is located northwest behind that hill. Just yesterday night, we were attacked by the horde of gardala! We were helpless and unable to defend our homes, in the end, we could only run away without any gold and goods! Our family ..., they ..., they ... O ye lord of this land, I beg you! Please, let us the survivor of Tarka Village to join your settlement! We will be your slave or anything, however, please protect our lives!"
Indra dismissed the new villagers and noting this new information.
"Alright, I'll do something about it. You may join with the other villagers down below to get a rest. Tomorrow, we'll build some houses to shelter you from the rain and cold night."
He turned at the capable orc advisor and asked.
"What do you think, Raika? Do you think that I need to help them?"
"I advise for Lord to not do things rashly. I have heard about your exploit in the hunt this noon from Gordrak, and I am not doubting Lord's ability. But even though Lord managed to hunt a ferocious monster, a hunt and conquest are two different concepts. Lord needs to make adequate preparation and create a concrete plan before charging into the enemy's territory."
Indra went silent and listened to her reasoning. He also didn't feel like just charged to the enemy territory without knowing what are they and how strong they are.
As a person who was well-versed in RTS, he learned something about the Art of War in the passing time. 'Know thyself and know thy enemies,' or something like that was his basic principles. Though, he didn't use it in the RTS-game because he was someone who charged recklessly after accumulating a certain amount of troops. He won in the end, so it was not as bad as a result.
However, it was a different case here. He didn't have anyone besides Gordrak, Raika, and himself as a military power. And to raise an army, it would be a long time before they were battle-ready. This world wasn't a game where he could click the fast forward button to make time run faster.
"This Gardala they talked about ..., what are they?"
"They are the cousin of the well-known mischievous small devil, the Goblin. Small stature, green-skin, they love to eat insect and small critters. Ah, they also have long sharp nails unlike goblin. I've read that they love to polish those nails."
"... do you have experience battling against them?"
"No, I never fight them myself, Lord. But, as a night creature they must be weakened if exposed in daylight."
'Nocturnal ...? So these creatures get stats to boost when they are in the night?'
Indra went silent for a bit.
"Then what're the other traits you know about them? What's their specialty? And how to overcome it?"
"Hmmm ... putting aside their number, there aren't any troubling part. A horde of gardala or goblin or any other cousins of their kind, it composed at least three hundred. If it still around that number, perhaps Lord can annihilate their nest with a group of elites."
"Group of elites? How many members of it?"
"Fifteen to twenty units of around level 10 suffices."
"Then ..., isn't this gardala horde that easy? I can just kill it with just twenty levels-10 people?"
"Not at all, as I have said before, gardala is only a threat when in the night. If Lord attacked it on midday, it won't pose any problem. But if Lord dares to provoke them in the night, ..." Raika went silent cut her word from continuing. The suspense was killing him, but he knows what she wanted to convey.
"Got it, let's talk about it tomorrow. I'm tired and want to rest. The next morning, summon Gordrak to see me."
"At your will, my Lord." Raika bowed her head seeing Indra walked back to his room.
He summoned Gordrak and sent him to scout the area near the northwest hills.
After sending off the pale rider, Indra helped the villagers to build their basic housing. Though, the real reason for him to do this was that there was not much to do in the manor. Since the village was just on its initial stage and there were only thirty or so people.
With twenty men work together, a wooden longhouse with two separate rooms for male, female, and children began took its shape. The design had the same style as the Lord's Manor, Indra built this house near the ghastly empty shipyard.
When the sun almost at its peak, there was another group of people came into the village. Seven men with three women. It seems that the number of people that came in vary.
Indra accepted them and instantly told them to dig a burrow as a foundation of another building. Because they had no right to object him, they just do it according to his word.
At noon, the housewives already prepared lunch. It was rice porridge with some vegetables on it. It was not as tasty as his soup last night, but Indra still ate the meal heartily.
Before the farmers could begin cultivating the land and produce some grains, he must provide the foods for them.
One non-combat class needs 1 or 2 units of food/day, as for the combat class they need 3 to 5 units of food/day.
This was an approximation after yesterday's observation. The only combat unit was Gordrak and Raika, and sure they were able to eat more than the rest. Or maybe it was because of the two of them from the orc race.
Before the sunset, they were able to see one complete house, along with the wooden-tile roof. It was an emergency housing for them, but they were already content with this. Indra also satisfied with this.
Gordrak arrived just right after that. Indra then opened the pantry and share his monster meat to the villager. The villagers lit up a fire in some spot and roasted the big ostrich-like monster meat.
Indra tried to blend in with them, however, unlike when he was having diner with them yesterday. They were more reserved this time and converse awkwardly with him, especially the newly arrived settlers.
Not that long before he noticed this peculiar atmosphere. Indra then bade farewell to them and ate inside the manor.
Indra looked outside the windows watching the villagers laughing merrily. Chatting happily without him. His chest felt stuffy with this.
It was not him who looked down on them, but they were reserved to him and unknowingly ostracized him from the rest of them. It felt the same though. Being left out from the group, it was still hurtful no matter what reason it was.
"Lord, as the lord of this land, you must keep your distance with the low-class citizens such as them. Murky water does not mix well with the spring water. Please be mindful of your image as their Lord. Today matter and yesterday, having a feast as their Lord is fine, howev-"
"Is your tribe also differentiate people based on their status like this?"
Indra asked, without changing his line of sight.
Raika tried to advise him about his position but suddenly stopped by Indra's question. Raika then answered with a shook of her head.
"No, but I live in the orc tribe. It's a whole different community. I have studied human society before, and it indeed works just like that."
Indra didn't say a word after that. He just nibbled on his roasted meat skewer. This matter was not something light.
What is Lord supposed to behave when he is around his people?
To look down on them, treat them as his subject, or to put a nice guy face and be their friend?
Indra was a youth who was overflowing with thoughts and ideals. Though, most of it was limited to his understanding pertaining to the world.
He dreamed about the utopia, that never existed in the real world. Living in a poor family makes him dreaming out loud and pondered this matter deep inside his heart.
He knows that the democracy of his country was not that perfect. Although the notation of the ruler was chosen by its citizens was a good way to manipulate the populace. The truth was, the citizens were forced to choose between the two people they don't know to be their ruler.
Money politics, bribery, even manipulating the votes count result, everything could happen just to 'buy' this so-called citizen voice. Well, Indra didn't dare to not accept when someone gives him money. 50k means another week of playtime in the net cafe, why would he reject it?
But, as a prick as he was, he didn't choose the figure or the party that gave him the money.
Yes, he accepted the money. But to elect? He needs to think about it again.
The history of his country was not that deep. It hasn't yet 100 years since the Independent Day. The history course in his school also teaches so little about the kingdoms and monarchy of the olden age.
His understanding of the true politic and lordship was like a blank slate. He was and still a high school student, it was understandable to not know about this matter.
He played the RTS game, and perhaps some king simulation game. But that was a game, the degree of complexity in the real world and this Primary World was something that those games could not be compared with.
'I don't know anything about being a lord, yet I feel like doing things like this is false in any way.'
Indra finished his skewer and put down the bamboo stick.
He turned to Raika who was standing behind him and said.
"..., Raika, you are my advisor..."
"Yes, my Lord."
the female orc bowed her head.
Indra nodded his head but then shook it after, "I don't know anything about being a lord..., to be honest, I think I'm unbefitting with this position. I am a self-centered man, who dreams about getting rich and live a life with extravagant luxury and enormous spending. Yet, here I am. Suddenly transported into another world and become a lord of a land. This is too much for me who still in a school ..."
Raika didn't understand the intention he wants to convey. She creased her brows thinking, trying to make his word understandable.
Indra didn't wait for her and continued, "it's true that I have no idea how to become a lord. So please guide me, Raika. I need you to guide me, to become the Lord that you deem fits me the most. Not the kind of human lord based on your understanding, or looking at the already dead man who sat on a throne and turns me into the like of them."
"My Lord, that's ..."
Raika tried to say something but stopped by Indra who raised his right hand. He gazed up to the tall Raika and interlocked his gaze. With newfound determination, he stated.
"I am no perfect being, nor I am someone who never made a mistake. I am someone who does things as my heart decides. However, sometimes what I did and the decision I took is not on the right path. I know that the most, I am someone with unfulfilled dreams and regrets. I don't care what other people thought about me, nor do I need to know what they are thinking. I am not a genius, and I am not the strongest. But ..., at least I know how to strive and survive!"
Indra stopped for a moment, what he just said was something that even him didn't understand it fully. It was what his heart wanted to say.
"I will listen to your advice this time. But please ..., don't turn me into someone who isn't me." Indra walked away after saying that, leaving the still standing Raika who crumpled her forehead.
Sometime later, he summoned Gordrak to the Throne Room. He almost forgot about the pale rider this whole day. He then asked him about the situation in the northwest.
Gordrak found out the ruin of a village behind the hills. When he went further to the northwest, he found a cave at the rocky valley. Which was heavily protected by the small green people with a bulging belly, big head, pointed ear, and sharp teeth creatures.
After discussing the details with Gordrak, Indra made his decision.
"We'll depart tomorrow to take care of them after I select a few people to change their job."