MTY: Chapter 145

After leaving Juire to his devices, I found somewhere quiet to take a call. An alleyway not too far away served the purpose perfectly. Whether or not Juire is moving out, people still consider this the shady part of town, so I’m not likely to have any company hanging out here.

“Faurch, are you there? Juire gave me this stone, and said I could get in touch with you through it.” I say into the com-stone Juire gave me

“…Did he now? Sometimes I give that boy too little credit. He can make interesting decisions here and again it seems.” Faurch responds after a few seconds

There is something strange about his tone. He sounds interested, and yet annoyed. I wonder if Juire giving me this stone had some other meaning behind it.

“I want to discuss a deal.” I say plainly in response

“A deal? Well, why didn’t you say so? That sentence is music to any good merchants’ ears.” He returns in a delighted tone

Somehow, even without seeing his face, I can tell that he said it through a rather sinister smile. This isn’t going to be cheap, is it?

“You are the only person who knows about my little project, and you also seem to have a pretty large network of contacts. I was wondering if you knew any good architects that would be willing to move to the monster village to help them start construction on long-term structures. Possibly even teach the residence how to do it themselves.” I explain

I don’t want to give him the leverage of knowing he is my only option, but I doubt he doesn’t already know that fact. 

“I know dozens of architects that I could convince to move there. I have an even greater number of people that would be willing to just pass on the skill set. The deal-breaker for most of them is the need to stay in the village for a great length of time.” Faurch confidently explains

At his comment, I am taken aback. Dozens of people? No matter how connected he is, that just doesn’t sound right. Considering the massive danger this village is considered, even just passing on your skills to the monsters could get you labeled as a traitor against humanity.

As I ponder silently over his comment for a moment, a realization strikes me.

“How many of them can be trusted?” I ask in an accusing manner

“…Not that I don’t understand the need, but that does make the request a great deal more difficult you understand?” Faurch responds in an annoyed tone

I expected him to at least lie to me if that was really the angle he was going for. Why would he present me options if he knew I wouldn’t want them? Doesn’t he stand to gain from this village as well?

“No human I know of, even in my vast network, fits your criteria.” Faurch says in a slightly defeated tone

sigh “Is that so? I was really hoping you would be able to help me here.” I respond, getting ready to end the call

“I do know of a demon that would probably be willing, however. He is a bit of a pain, but if you can convince him then it would be a favor to us both.” Faurch interjects 

“What do you mean by ‘a bit of a pain’?” I ask in a worried tone

Considering the few things I know about Faurch, someone that stands out as a problem to him that he hasn’t already dealt with is rather worrying. 

“Does it matter? He is your only real option. Without someone with a knowledge of construction that village won’t last.” Faurch says with the kind of conviction that only a merchant has

The kind of conviction that says they’re sure they have backed you into a corner. 

“Fine, give me his location and I’ll track him down,” I say with an irritated tone

I confirm the details of the demon’s location on my map before ending the call. It is somewhat out of the way, but I should be able to handle it on the way to the Maou’s castle. 

I’m not going to invite a disaster into the village. If this demon turns out to be dangerous or troublesome, then I still have a few ideas in mind. As much as Faurch might like for this to be my only option, I’m not that easily cornered. 

With that out of the way, I only have one person left I need to talk to… Thinking about it conjures up a nervous dread in my stomach. I’ve mulled over this conversation a thousand times, but I can’t think of a single way to sway it in my favor. 

As I nervously pace towards my destination, I end up arriving before I even notice. Standing before a door I try to work up the courage to knock. I just about work up the resolve when-

creak “Oh, lass!” Tea says as he opens the door, surprised to see me standing on the other side

Startled as well, I am stunned for a moment, before I manage to put on a fake composure. 

“I see you haven’t left yet.” I say nervously as I notice the gear is he carrying

“I was just about to actually! After everything you have done for me, I can’t believe your coming to see me off too! Kiel has made such good friends.” Tea says as he begins to carry the gear in hand towards a nearby carriage

“About that actually… How attached are you to that village?” I ask in a small voice as I trail behind him

Tea seems the kind of person to be happy no matter where he is, and that village certainly didn’t seem to appreciate him. Maybe because of that supposedly famous smithy woman, he hardly seemed to get any business. 

“Hmm, well, not too attached I guess. I mostly settled down there because there was a cheap store for sale and a lot of nearby materials that seemed fun to play with. Ah! If you found me a job here in the capital I’m going to have to turn you down. I like the freedom that comes from having your own shop, and the materials are a good deal more expensive here.” Tea says with a pained look

Something tells me that isn’t the whole story, but I won’t dig deeper. 

“Well, it’s not a job in the capital, but I was hoping to make you an offer. It comes with a shop of your own, clientele that will be happy to buy whatever you make, and materials that are nearly free.” I say, trying to channel my inner saleswoman

“That is certainly a tempting offer lass! How much would it cost me though? It might take me a while to build up the funds for something like that since I just got out of debt.” Tea says with an apologetic tone

“That’s actually the thing about it, it’s more of a job than a offer. In return for one condition I’m willing to give you a shop, a house of your own, all the materials you could want, and even a decent wage.” I say as I plead to him with my eyes

“Lass… You sound desperate. My mentor once told me “If someone offers you the world beyond their means, one of two things are at stake. The world, or the person making the offer.”. Lass, if you are in some kind of trouble, you know that you don’t need to buy my help right?” Tea explains with a troubled expression

sigh “Yes, I do. That is the root of the problem actually. Tea… no matter what, you can never discuss what I am about to tell you with anybody. I need you to promise me.” I plead to him

If anybody else where to betray me, I would have little trouble ending them before they could make things worse. I can’t say the same about Tea. Ever since the very first day I came to this world, Tea has never been anything but kind to me. If Tea were to decide to expose me to the world, I doubt I could bring myself to stop him. 

After studying my face for what feels like forever, Tea finally answered. 

“I promise, that whatever you are about to tell me will never pass my lips. Whatever trouble a good girl like you is in, I’m sure their is a good explanation.” Tea answers resolutely

sigh I suppose that will have to do. 

“I’ve not been entirely honest with you. I’m not the princess of some distant country. I am the Maou, and I was born on the day we met.” 

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Work Break

Due to the events currently going on in the world my work has entered a sort of crunch time that is leaving me very little time to write. I’m putting some plans in place to make sure I can write soon at least, but I figured I would go ahead and let you all know why there has been a delay and that it might last a little while longer. I should have some time this Friday to write so I will do my best to finish up the chapter I am currently working on then so I can have something to post. I feel like over the years I’ve taken so many breaks, so I really hate taking another one now, but writing at the moment is simply unrealistic for me.

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Neoread Kickstarter

As I have mentioned before, Neoread is a website/app that is being developed in hopes of making it more viable for authors to self-publish their own works. Their payment model is quite generous towards the authors, and could potentially support popular authors entirely. They also have protections built in to make sure that the authors remain the sole owner of their own works.

Today they launched a Kickstarter, and I hope many of you will consider supporting it and/or sharing it around. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thibaud-okroglic/neovel-your-daily-novels I really want to see this website kick-off, as I think that having a platform like this will give a lot of people that currently don’t think of being an author as a viable career a platform.

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The Forgotten Journey Ch. 3

https://neoread.neovel.io/read/6303/EN/23543540 The third chapter is live on Neoread.

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MTY: Chapter 144

Anata left without saying much after the ceremony ended. Even Juire seemed to have some of the wind taken from his sails as he accepted his prize. I don’t know what is hitting them harder, the fact that it’s simply no fun when the king doesn’t have any fight left in him or the fact that it is a testament to how bad things are that such an arrogant man is acting so broken.

Perhaps there is more to this than just the monster raid, and the Yuusha disappearing? The King doesn’t seem the type to get so upset just because his people are suffering, and with the better part of a year left to go before the Maou is set to show up, I would think he would be hunting down the Yuusha angrily rather than sulking. This must be hitting him personally somehow. I wonder if Anata and Juire would cheer up if I told them that?

knock knock knock

“All set? Kera is back with the supplies, so the rest of us are ready to head out whenever.” Kiel says through the door to my room at the Inn

We waited until the day after the ceremony to depart. I had a few affairs I needed to make sure we’re in order before I actually left. Juire ripped up Tea’s contract right in front of me, and I’ve confirmed that the booze for the deal with the dragon has been delivered. Strangely though, no human parties have approached the village yet. The booze has already been paid to the dragon to make a show, but until there is someone to see it there is little point. Perhaps the situation with the undead slowed their reaction?

Regardless, having such a powerful backer for the village at the ready is quite comforting. That being the case, I do hope to see a return on this village. I’ve put my neck on the line to get it up and going, and so far that has largely been out of goodwill. If that is ever going to happen though, it will likely be after the village is finished in its construction. I managed to get them some labor, but they are still working with almost 0 knowledge of architecture. I doubt their housing is all that much more sophisticated than the tents I slept in while I was at their camp.

I really wish I could go and visit it, and see how things are going myself, but we really do need to hurry with this Maou’s castle mission. Maybe before I leave I should see if I can’t find someone with some engineering knowledge to help them with their development.

Thinking this, I exit the room. Outside Kiel is standing there waiting for me. The look on his face is that of sheer excitement as he seems to almost bounce on his heels as he waits.

“What has you so worked up?” I ask with a smile

“We are finally leaving the capital again! Ever since you stopped our training sessions, Bik and I have hardly had anything to do here. I’ve been raring to test out my new strength for ages.” He complains

“Your right… sorry about that. Honestly, I didn’t really expect to stick around here for so long myself either. After this escapade to the previous Maou’s castle is taken care of, I hope to get some distance from this city.” I say, feeling sympathy towards the sentiment

I initially only came to take care of Tea’s contract, and register with the adventurer’s guild. Neither really seem to be holding me here anymore. I would rather adventure freely than do so by request at that shady guild. Sure I would probably receive a greater reward, but in turn, a much larger portion of my actions would be on record and I would likely receive far more mandatory summons now that I’ve established myself as the strongest fighter around.

“Wait by the gate with everybody else. I have one more thing I need to take care of before we leave.” I say as I begin to leave

Wracking my brain there is only one person I can think to ask, after all, it’s hard to gauge whether someone would willingly move to a master village or not. Having made my decision I make my way to Juire’s.

“Get the lead out! I intend to leave by sundown, you fools better not hold us up!” I hear Juire’s voice barking as I draw close

Much to my surprise, his entire operation is frantically scrambling about trying to move everything important from his building.

“Heading out already? I figured you would stick around to gloat for a little while before heading out.” I say as I walk up to him

“Are you kidding? As soon as that incompetent fool gets his second wind I am going to have a huge target on my back. Better to get out before he has a chance to turn his attention towards me.” Juire says with a sly smile

“Ara? It sounds like you are running away to me.” I tease as I jab his side with my elbow

“Didn’t I tell you already? I’m a massive coward.” He says as he jabs back

“Well, I’m glad I caught you before you left. You have a way of getting in touch with Faurch right? I need to discuss a deal with him, but I don’t even know if he is still in the city.” I ask as I watch his crew frantically move about

“Ah, should have known you didn’t come for pleasantries. Maybe I’m not the person to learn this from, but you should really work on your manners you know?” He says as he pulls two com-stones out of his pocket

“Two?” I ask as I accept them

“One for the geezer, and one for me. I have a feeling you will want to get in touch with me before long. After all us ‘villains’ have to stick together, right?” he says with a mockingly serious face

I jab him extra hard before going silent for a second.

“Even if it was for a deal, you really helped me out here… Thanks,” I say, a bit embarrassed

I’m not sure why exactly I’m getting so mushy about it, but with his crew picking apart every ounce of personality from his base this really does feel like a farewell. I guess I’m not used to those yet.

“This taurch farm is all the thanks I need, but if you really want to thank me you can drum up some business for me in your travels.” Juire says with a straight face

sigh “Yeah, I’ll do that.” I say as I start to walk away

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MTY: Chapter 144

https://neoread.neovel.io/read/5941/EN/23187309 Chapter 144 is up on Neoread, and will be posted here a few days from now. Apologies again for how long it took. The world is all but burning down around me where I live, so along with lack of time, it’s been hard to get into a good headspace to write comedy.

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Protest

I honestly don’t know how many people I will reach with this, or how far my voice goes, but any amount that I can help I want to. For those of you that reside in the US, beware. The national guard is being deployed in several cities (Boston and Philidelphia have been specifically named), and they have been cleared to use live ammunition. The police have already been inciting conflicts by being the first to begin firing, attacking, arresting, etc of peaceful protest, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1YmZeSxpz52qT-10tkCjWOwOGkQqle7Wd1P7ZM1wMW0E/htmlview?pru=AAABcqCdYGU*obHsRJxMNv_yYfsxB7oyJw#gid=0 

Please, whatever you do, if you are joining protest tonight or going forward, please be careful. Lives are on the line, and because of that I won’t ask any of you join the protest (though you should show your support in any way that you can). Because lives are on the line however I will be joining the protest in my city from tonight onward. I cannot sit idly by while the people meant to be protecting us completely ignore constitutional, civil, and basic human rights in an attempt to silence us by force. Things have escalated past the point where I am capable of doing so any longer.

If you do decide to join the protest, please come as protected as you can. I’m personally going in a full set of motorcycle gear as well as a full helmet, bringing as much water as I can both to keep people hydrated and help wash peoples eyes in the event of teargas, and bringing along additional battery-packs so I can make sure if anything goes down I can keep it documented. Many people have composed guides on what to bring, what to do, and what to study up on before you join the protest. I urge you to read them. My personal advice is: do not assume safety. In several situations, police have begun opening fire on people attempting to give medical care to those that have been shot or injured.

Let me close by saying again, please be careful out there. There is still a pandemic on the loose, so do what you can to remain healthy as well. Oh! And please, whatever you do, keep the protest peaceful.

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The Forgotten Journey CH.2

https://neoread.neovel.io/read/6303/EN/23008265 The second chapter of my new series just went live on neoread.neovel.io.

This release slot was supposed to be for Maou the Yuusha, but things got a bit chaotic around here and it’s prevented me from being able to write. Thankfully I had the second chapter for this already lined up and ready, so I figured I would go ahead and give you guys this instead of making you wait.

Here is hoping you are all staying safe out there, especially with everything going on in the US lately.

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The Forgotten Journey CH.1

The first chapter of my new fantasy Sci-fi series is now live on Neoread at  https://neoread.neovel.io/#/read/6303/EN/22286495. Please go read it, and give me feedback both on Neoread and here. I have put a lot of effort into it, and tried to utilize all that I’ve learnt since starting Maou the Yuusha to make something hopefully quite fresh and polished.

 

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MTY: Chapter 143

Reluctantly following the summons of the King, I arrive at the specified time. As I walk through the door to the court that I met the King in last time, I am surprised to see some familiar faces.

“What in the world are you doing here?” I ask Juire, who is standing close to a quivering guard with a smug look

“Why else would I be here, but to accept the winnings of my little wager.” He says as he notices me enter and walks away from the guard

The look on the guard’s face is conflicted. He seems to be grateful for what I did, but he clearly doesn’t want to show it.

“I didn’t think he would schedule it for the same day. My understanding is that this ceremony is a public showing. I figured him giving you your prize would be a lot more under the table.” I explain as I scan the room

Several well-dressed people are sitting in various chairs lined up to view the center of the court. From the position we are standing in it is easy to feel as though their gazes are judging us, though I imagine that was the intent of the design. The illusion is somewhat broken however since half of the seats, dotted randomly amongst the crowd, remain empty. I guess calling the entire court during this situation isn’t all that easy.

“Oh, he lost his chance for that already. I waited patiently for quite a while already for him to hand me my bounty behind closed doors. Since he has waited this long he clearly must want to present us our rewards together, wouldn’t you agree?” Juire says with a wicked smile

“You weren’t invited were you?” I ask with a snicker

This really shouldn’t be cheering me up, but something about Juire’s attitude is a bit refreshing.

“What an accusation! Clearly, my invitation simply got lost in the post, after all when I arrived the guards were all too ready to make way for me to enter.” He responded with a chuckle of his own

“Um, Mano-san? Who is your friend here?” Anata says as she slowly approaches us

I’m somewhat surprised to see her here. Both she and the mage from the Yuusha’s party were requested, but she seems to dread interaction with her father even more than I do. With Juire here I can’t tell if that is going to make matters better or worse.

“I guess he’s my plus one? He and your father were betting on who would win the tournament. I don’t think I need to tell you who your father was voting on.” I say jokingly and with a bit of unease

Bringing up the Yuusha around Anata is always a mixed bag, but considering the circumstance, it’s probably unavoidable. Starting things off a bit more lighthearted might soften the blow when her dad inevitably approaches the subject with zero tact.

“So… does that mean your friend here bet on you?” She asks while giving him an odd look

“What can I say? I’ve always been a good gambler.” Juire says with obvious discomfort

Anata seems entirely unaffected by Juire. Even if she shares her father’s skills, she should still seem a bit nervous around him. Does she possess a unique skill?

“Clearly you have a good eye for people! Not only did you see the potential in Mano-san, but you also managed to beat my father in the process!” She says with sparkling eyes

Is it really that rare that someone manages to win over her father? He’s not exactly a genius. I guess he must use the throne as a means to keep people away. You can’t exactly lose a battle you never took part in.

“You, uh, certainly have some interesting friends don’t you?” Juire says as he backs away from her a bit

“Oh, you don’t know the half of it,” I say slightly exasperated as I look around the room

I’m almost glad my party wasn’t invited, even if it was just a petty show of favoritism. I think I have my hands full with just these few loons.

As I am thinking such fanfare begins to play. Does he seriously do that every time he enters the room? I’ve only been here twice and it’s already gotten old.

“Humble champion of the tour- You! What are you doing here?!” The king yells out as he walks into the room and stands in front of his throne

“I’m just here to accept my prize my liege,” Juire says with a smile from ear to ear as he gives a small bow

I wonder if he is going to be lonely once he leaves the capital. I’ve never seen him happier than when he torments the king.

The king seems even more on edge than usual, as this slight provocation already has him turning a deeper shade of red. He makes a visible effort to collect himself before continuing.

sigh “Fine, then we will handle the paperwork for your prize today as well. I suppose the more I can get off my plate the better.” He says as he lowers himself onto his throne

I would commend him on his patience, but the look on his face betrays him. Rather than calming down, he simply looks too tired to remain angry. This entire disaster must have really hit him hard.

“In this time of crisis, we need now more than ever to retrieve the items from the previous Maou’s castle. I had hoped to save much of its spoils to help the Yuusha on his journey, but it seems he has… other priorities to attend to. As the winner of the tournament, you have proven yourself to be able to handle the perils of that dastardly place.” He continues

When I received this summons, I really thought that I would be the most miserable person here, but it seems I was wrong by a long shot.  If you weren’t looking closely you would think that he was being honorable, and living up to his promise. The dead look in his eyes, too tired to fight, but clearly dreading the words coming out of his mouth… I almost pity him.

Confused myself on how to feel about the sight in front of me, I look to Anata. She is frozen. Looking at her father with a look of pure surprise. I would think this would be the best-case scenario for her, but in her confusion I see no joy shining through.

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