Chapter 22 - The calm before the storm
Hot and steamy water continued to stream down from a showerhead. I don’t exactly remember, but I think I have been taking a shower for over two hours now in this custom-made bathroom that I specifically asked someone to build. Since it gives me peace of mind whenever I am here. Even though I can just use magic to clean myself.
Ba-dump... Ba-dump... Ba-dump...
But for some reason, my heart remained to beat in a fast and abnormal way since meeting the princess earlier. My mind can’t focus, and my chest tightened from excitement. This world didn’t even have sophisticated soaps or perfumes, yet, a soft feminine scent went through my nose every time the spring wind hovered when I was carrying her.
I even forgot to appreciate the beautiful scenery that was below us. The mountains that looked cute and small when looking from high above, the rivers, rock, and trees that painted the ground, birds that flew from one place to another, and the sun that has a jewel-like light that covered the sky.
“Sleep! I only need to sleep and this will be gone by tomorrow.” That is what I thought. So I quickly left the bathroom, dried myself with magic, wore my sleepwear, pulled the blanket, and wrapped myself tightly, like some kind of a spring, burrito, or sushi rolls. Forcing myself to sleep.
3 hours ago.
“Welcome back, Your Majesty.” I came back to the mansion and the servants greeted me with respect equivalent to royalty. But of course, it’s because I’m their King. To be exact, I am the King of Xan Kingdom, more likely to be known as the Kingdom of Slaves.
A nation that is formed with ninety-nine percent population of slaves. From the day we fought the dragons in the mountain that we thought was the Drakon Mountain is now called Crown Mountain, since it looked like one. Three large mountains and smaller ones are circled together, forming a King’s Crown. There in the middle, our castle was built. It is a very good location since the mountain protects us from any type of unwanted intrusions. Thankfully, we don’t need to surround ourselves with walls.
We used five years of nonstop development to make ourselves self-sufficient. So we wouldn’t be dependent on another country. Our improvement is not yet at the best, but someday, it will.
First, we placed the foundation of the castle in the middle, my previous life knowledge gave me the idea of how or where we should place individual structures for the most beneficial result. I also instructed the castle to have multiple towers that can house archers and magicians for monitoring and defense.
Second, we formed our own government for everything to be in order. We assigned different leaders to handle and improve their group. For example, Kaori was promoted to be the Royal General of our Xan Royal Army, she will train those who have the potential to be great leaders until they are good enough to have their own units. Then those leaders will be promoted and have the responsibility of creating their next successors. We did the same thing with aspiring scholars and other professions. This will continue as long as the Xan Kingdom exists.
Not only that, but we also established our kingdom’s palace officials. But instead of one person working in one position, we created different departments like human resources, finance, communications, training, legal, research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and more to manage our kingdom’s affairs. It is said that two heads are better than one, but for me, a group of heads is better than two. So it’s decided.
Third, with the help of magic devices, we secured our source of water by creating a few self-cleaning and self-purifying dams and irrigation. This would be impossible without the help of the old man, the one who secretly lent me the Advance Magic Book and taught me further in magic. Now, not only we do have enough water for our needs, but we also have enough water for future generations.
Fourth, we created different types of farmlands for food and production, and meat farms as our main source of food. We placed this at the innermost back of the kingdom so that when a siege befell and we are forced to be isolated from the outside, we wouldn’t have trouble surviving. The food source will be the last to get destroy when it happens. I learned this from the history in my previous life. But still hoping for that day not to come.
Lastly, we invented things by combining both the knowledge of this world and the knowledge from my previous life. Other kingdoms might look down on us because our country consists mostly of slaves. But from education, technology, and training, I can assure everyone that we are a hundred times better than them, and will continue to get better. Not to mention that the Shadow Intelligence Group is now big enough to be considered as a Guild and is continuing to grow bigger throughout the world, without anyone knowing that they are from the Xan Kingdom. Who would dare to mess with us in the future?
Going back to the scene, I arrived at the mansion with lots of thoughts. Then I eyed one servant. I walked towards her and grabbed her hand, she said, “Y-Y-Your Majesty?”
“This is not it,” I murmured, trying to reproduce the feeling I had when I held the princess. “My heartbeat didn’t change.”
“I’m sorry about this.” To gather more experiment results, I hastily went to the next person and grabbed another pair of hands.
“I’m sorry...” To the next person.
“Sorry again...” To another one.
“Sorry!” When I noticed that my heartbeat didn’t change at all, I moved to the last person. But instead of a female servant, I quickly grabbed a man’s hand, which was Felix’s.
“May I know what are you doing, Your Majesty?” Felix said.
“Felix, something might be wrong with me.”
“Can you please elaborate?”
“Earlier, when I was holding the princess, my heart suddenly pumped faster, and my chest tightens. I think I am sick...”
“Y... You think you’re sick?” Felix said, putting his hand on his mouth for an unknown reason. He even turned around for a second. Not only that, I think everyone is doing the same. He continued, “I think you are not sick, Your Majesty.”
“How can you be so sure? You can’t even feel how my chest hurts.”
“...Nevermind, Your Majesty. Maybe you just need some sleep.”
“Right? I think so too. I haven’t been able to sleep enough for this month.”
“Ugh! Where... Am I?” I mumbled, asking myself.
Is this the Royal Academy? The place is kind of dark. Why are there no other people?
A voice suddenly came out of nowhere, it said, “Your Majesty.”
“Your Majesty,” the voice repeated.
“This voice... Yume?”
“Yes, Your Majesty, look here... Behind you...”
“Behind? Is that where you are—Prince Shin?! W-What are you two doing together?!”
“Isn’t it obvious, Your Majesty? I married the Crown Prince... I am now the Crown Princess.”
“No! This is not true! Yume, how can you marry someone who doesn’t love you?!”
“What are you talking about Ryu? Of course, I love Yume. I am just playing hard to get. But everyone knows that she is my fiancee from the start. So she will always be with me... Forever!”
“No! This can’t be!”
“I’m sorry Your Majesty, but the truth is I also love him, my fiance.”
“Enough! W-Why are you hugging each other?!”
“Why are you such a loser Ryu? Can’t you just be happy with us?”
“W-What are you guys doing?! Why are your faces getting closer with each other?!” I shouted, reaching out my hand to grab them. “STOP!”
“Huff! Huff! Huff! A... A dream? Phew!” I sighed, waking up from my sleep. I pondered how these thoughts suddenly came into me while sleeping. I, for 16 years from being reincarnated, until now, never have this problem in my dream. Something is certainly wrong with me.
I got up from the bed and changed my current outfit to the academy uniform. Looking at the mirror, I saw dark circles in my eyes. “Afiste ton eafto mou an anakampsei.” Restoration Magic.
“It looks good,” I said.
After fixing my appearance, I went down to the dining area to eat breakfast.
“We are now serving you breakfast, Your Majesty,” the butler said. Five servers in maid uniform came out while pulling and pushing the service carts.
The three maids set up the table and the fourth maid brought down the soup, she said, “Your Majesty, this is a soup we called ‘Have a nice morning soup’.”
“Pffft,” I said, laughing out loud. “What the heck is this naming convention...? But it did make my morning nicer. Thank you.”
The maids smiled, bowed their heads, and returned to the side. I am so blessed to have these people around. Who said that slaves don’t have hearts?!
“Slurp... Sluuuuuuurp...! This is amazing!” The soup tasted so good that my bad manners are showing. “Please pardon my behavior guys, and oh, please tell the chef that the soup is to my liking.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. This soup contained different kinds of seafood such as scallops, sea cucumber, abalone, three different types of mushrooms, and rare herbs.”
“Our chefs are improving, it just took 4 years and we already have good cooks.”
“It’s just the appetizer, Your Majesty,” the butler said, clapping his hand excitedly as they serve the main dish. “This is the Charbroiled Steak, specially prepared for your well-being.”
“Wow!” — sniff — “You don’t even need to describe this. The smell is already telling me how exactly this is prepared.” I held my knife and when it just barely touched the meat, it was cut cleaned without effort. “How tender.”
“The chefs have taken notes of the things you have taught, Your Majesty, and now they created and improved their own methods for tenderizing the meat. They will be glad to hear of your praises.”
“Yes, let’s not talk about this anymore and let me” — chomp — “Oh! This is sooooooo gooooooooooooooooood! D-Did it just melted in my mouth? And the juice inside burst when I chewed on it. Then... Then the sauce, let me dip it in the sauce...” — chomp — “Delicious!”
If only I knew that the next time I would be able to eat these kinds of delicious food will be in the far future. Then I would surely, absolutely, certainly, and definitely have asked for another serving.