A Wall
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*****MASAMUNE POV*****
To whomever came up with the idea to learn directly from contract beasts to use their magical powers.

Please kindly go an fuck yourself!

*Sigh* Sadly that person is me. I wish I had someone else to blame, but this suffering is on me. Marriot has lead an awful life of danger and pain! That is the only legitmate reason for me to suffer like this! What kind of mom just pushes her baby off cliff?! You tell me Buddha!

It's hard to place my finger on how long this has been going on. The days and nights all run together, sleep a thing of the distant past.

There is only one thing on my path, and that is victory. Burn my body and soul to the ground, but I will fly! Nothing between heaven and earth exists that can stop me. My tenacity is eternal!

Panting softly I try and collect myself again. Marriots training has just ended for the evening, and this is one of a few brief moments that I actually have to myself anymore. Thankfully Gazin got my message, those merchants were a huge help. Thanks to them the local suffering has gone down tremendously.

With people around to actually use it, the money that the commoners have can finally be used to start the great engine of commerce once more. The Caravan that came from Gazin was well out of expectations. They even had some of the more fine goods that can be found around the kingdom. Things that seem like silk, and other shiny bits of jewelry. There was even a few simple machines.

I was able to pick up a few interesting items specifically for myself. Namely a flintlock pistol. Honestly, I'll probably never use the stupid thing given how inaccurate it is, but I just couldn't deny myself this cool looking weapon.

That aside, they were also quite happy at all the magical stones we sold to them. Thankfully that was able to introduce a significant amount of capital to our area. That money I used to start work on a wall. Only 1 Meter in height, with a 6 meter width. Most thought I was crazy to make it that way, but I have a plan.

I breathe in deeply and begin the slow walk out of my forest. Back to tariffs and plans, seems like all I do any more is paper work.

*****Arith POV*****

"Maya....we can't let this continue anymore." Breaking the silence of the study, I couldn't contain my concerns anymore. As touching as it is to watch my husband break his back for us, this is going a touch too far.

Maya turns to me, a baleful glare in her eyes, "You think I don't know that! I've been trying to get that man to slow down for the last week, but he just won't! You saw him when that Caravan arrived, he didn't even try to goof off, he just sat down and did his work." Maya shakes her head angry.

I can't blame her, we had been trying desperately to get Masamune to lighten up, but to no avail. No matter how we entice him, Masamune doesn't seem to be interested at all. It's heart breaking to just sit and watch him struggle like that.

"Do you have any idea...why?" I ask Maya, but I get no response from her. Instead the answer comes from outside the door. The weird little demon that has been following Masa around the last few weeks. Asmodeus I think his name was.

"My ladies, please!" Asmodeus calls out at us. Sharing a look I can almost hear Maya shouting at me to kick him out.

"I know he seems in a bad way right now, but Masamune promised that he'd play with us soon. He's just worried about the king sending assassins for him, so he's gotta get stronger."

My heart goes cold in my chest. "How can Masamune even think that! Our intelligence network..." Asmodeus cuts me off holding up a single hand.

"That's not how fear works my lady."

I can say nothing to that statement. Our intelligence network SHOULD be good enough to give us ample warning, but it hasn't been tested. Our walls SHOULD be thick enough, and our weapons SHOULD be sharp enough. The problem is that we aren't sure, and without that assurance...

"Maya, do you think your dad could lend us some soldiers?" I finally break and ask her. I could probably mobilize about three thousand troops, which is decent. If I could add that Mayas force then we could make a difference!

"Sorry Arith, but daddy said no. He seems to think that Masa has this under control for some reason." Maya says that sulking slightly.

The a bright idea suddenly lights up my despair. "What if... What if we raised his banner?"

Maya looks slightly confused so I hurry to explain, "Well that weird demon calls him the druid king right?" Maya nods, "Then why don't we make him one?"

The idea is simple, and quite effective. If the king is trying to kill Masamune, then why don't we put each other on the same footing. That way, if nothing else, a blade in the dark could do more harm than good.

As long as they made him into a king candidate, his sudden death would cause the people under him to fight.

I turn to Maya, only to find her bent over a desk writing furiously. "Um...May what are you..."

"I'm writing his speech." Those are the only terse words she says before returning to her work. I walk over to her desk to see it already littered in sheets of poetic phrase, and even a campaign route!

I can't help but smile at the hard work she's doing. "You better be prepared honey! They say behind every great man is a great woman, how lucky you are to have so many women working behind you."

My heart feels calm and strong. Together with my sister and husband, we can weather any storm. Together we will fight and behead a dragon.

"I'm so lucky to have you." I can't help but tear up at the happy thought. Stupid hormones! I can't wait until this whole thing is all over!

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