Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
“Cohen, remember one thing.” Father’s words cut into my thoughts, “You never know your fair share in this world. Think about my words when you site the location of your new city. You don’t have to stick to the books. Find a suitable place and build it big. His Majesty and I are always there for you.”
“Stick to the book, no?”
“Make it both easy to defend and deploy soldiers!” Father lowered his voice, “Consider every aspect of possibilities.”
“We are at the frontmost of two opposing forces; thus came potential danger.” Father said, “I could smell the Minister is onto something, who knows when he’s going to stab us from behind?”
“I see!” I said, “Rest assured, father.”
“You have to realize; being a viceroy is not an easy job. You are a ranked nobility and a reckless young man, so act like one. Should anything to occur…” Father fondled with my hair, “Throw your tantrum, or cheat, you know, typical youngster. No one will blame you for it.”
“Like that?” I was surprised to hear.
“Why do you think so many people want to be a nobleman?”
“Doesn’t it because of the droit de seigneur?” I put on a hippie face like Steven.
“Language” Father scolded, “Try to say that in front of your mother!”
Approximately a month later, after my brothers and I had traveled harshly and restlessly, we’ve found a suitable place.
Now everyone was standing atop of a hill and looking down upon a vast plain field.
“Boss, are you sure it is the place?” Wilder asked.
“Positive.” I answered, “This is it, regardless of the rest.”
“Boss, it’s just another flat land!” Moya turned his face and said, “I don’t see anything special.”
“Okay, you people, let me start from the geo-advantages.” I signed Jack to scroll down a map, “This place is located between Dark Forest and the Ocean of Death, bordering the major trading routes as well as the estuary. With its natural accessible traffic, my city could easily establish connections with other commercial districts.”
“You mean business district?”
“And tons of money!”
“Strategically,” My friends were nodding as if they could understand, I silently sighed and made my mind to give an extra lesson here. “The region’s geo-form is particular flat, hills and mountains can’t be reached within hundreds of miles around; 200 miles ahead is a desert, and behind us, forest and peaks. That is to say; it’s a place both easy to defend and be offensive if we build a city here.”
“But we are not on the border.” Jack asked, “ Why are we preparing to be offensive?”
“Good question!” I praised, “A man without distant care must have near sorrow. We aren’t indeed anywhere near the border. However, those mediocre viceroys in front of us hold no strong armies. I’ve read the war log; the enemy had once breached to as far as DC’s gate.”
“Indeed! Although this is far from the frontier, still, we have the coastal line to defend.” I continued, “Besides, I have to consider that minister cunning fox, I bet he’s not happy with me getting this land. What would he secretly do against us? We have to get prepared.”
“Boss, you mean the minister will… attack us?”
“I’m not saying that for sure, in short, remember.” I said, “If he’s not a friend, then he’s our enemy!”
“Thirdly,” I continued, “if we are to build it big then food is crucial. You see, the land is flat, the soil is fertile, and the water is abundant. With enough farmers, it’ll be much easier to feed a city of half a million people.”
“Half a million? That’s how much?” Moya asked.
“Let me put it this way, DC’s population is about 800, 000 to a million.”
“Boss!” Wilder said, “Where are you gonna find these people?”
“Don’t worry, our alien friends and fugitives in Darkmoon will suffice.” I smiled and look up to the sky, “No matter where we are, when it is, there will be people, like cow’s hair.”
“Boss,” Wilder asked again, “what are you talking about? We don’t get it!”
“Wilder, think this way. You see, how many commoners and slaves do we have on this continent?”
“I… I’m not sure, boss, sure a lot.”
“If we feed them and give them shelter and hope.” I looked at him, “Do you think a city with a size of half a million will be enough for them?”
“I… don’t… know!” Wilder jabbered as he thought desperately.
“We have no time for this, Wilder!”
“Here’s my letter, you and a team of guards will go to the dwarf’s and the elf’s lands. Let Manta and Winslet know what’ll happen here. We need their help. Dwarfs are in charge of stones and rocks; elf timber. Contact the vampires as well.
“Moya! Go to the sandman’s settlement and winged-man’s clan, the same purpose, ask Steven and Dimmock and get their best craftsmen.
“You two will set out immediately! Finish the job in fifteen days and bring back everything I need!”
“Boss, how about us two?”
“Marfa, I’m going to give you my city draft within three days. You will stay here and prepare for pre-production. Jack, you are with me to DC after three days.”
“Why are we going back, boss?”
During the three days that followed, I’ve designed and redesigned my first city countless times. By utilizing my limited knowledge of architecture and in reference to the city planning models I knew, my design was finalized.
The Dark City on the draft was ten miles in length and ten miles across. It was divided into four sections by two crossing grand boulevards, and each section was divided into districts and blocks. Sewage, hygiene, supply, defense… anything I can think of was shown in this draft.
Compared to which, designing the walls was simple. A mere swung of a pen, then, a one-tall-one-short double-layered four-gate wall appeared.
I spent a whole day explaining this city design to Marfa, to know that my design was not something to be easily understood. I had no choice but once again wrote several pages of manual in addition, which included s set of full detailed instructions. Thus passed one more day, I’ve made my mind to account my advancing knowledge and others’ level of intelligence into the schedule.
Jack and I rode at full speed towards DC, along with the guard’s team following, which was assigned by my father. Some of them were the people who watched me growing up, like Uncle Maiza.
“Boss!” Jack said loudly as he rode, “Why are you in such a hurry?”
“I need to be there before dad’s heading back to Darkmoon!” I didn’t bother to turn to him, replied, “With father’s help, we might get even more money.
No more words, no more stop as we rode day and night. Finally, the Divine City caught our eyes by sunset. Guys were exhausted and covered in dust, no better than the refugees in Darkmoon City.
For myself, the gate of DC was familiar and somehow intimate, seeing it made me delightful, but as of now, I was not in any way near happy, for the gatekeepers had stopped us.
The man they sent to talk to us was an infantry squad leader. I bet he felt fine wearing that suit of shining armor with a hand on the long sword.
He said, “It’s almost time to close the gate! Access denied!”
“Almost, then it’s still open! Let us in.” Maiza was my spokesman all along.
“I said no enter! Besides, you are armed!”
“We are guards of the Dark City Viceroy! The viceroy himself is here! Let’s us in!” Maiza argued.
“I said no enter! Not even the Darkmoon Viceroy’s here!”
Days of long-distance travel had exhausted me, plus my concern on father’s early return, I’ve been a bit heated up all the way along.
Now I’ve got this squad leader jumping off his feet, and he was making me damn irritated.
I urged my horse forward to Maiza and peered this soldier carefully.
“Your Excellency, apologies.” Maiza said, “You’ve seen the DC garrison.”
“No need to apologize, Uncle Maiza.” I said, smiling, “It’s not your fault.”
“I am Cohen Kheda, Viceroy of Dark City and Viscount, I hereby order you to let us pass,” I said to the leader.
“Your Excellency, I’m sorry!” This sucker glanced at me and said, “We take orders only from the Corps and DOD.
“Your Highness,” Maiza leaned and whispered, “DOD and Corps are with the Minister.”
I nodded. Looked like I hit on a hard stone today.
The sound of discord grew ever so louder that even passersby, DC residents, or soldiers up on the wall have noticed our presence. That squad leader sure felt proud of himself stopping a noble viceroy. I bet he’s going to brag about it somehow during dinner. As for me, being held up here at the gate by a plain soldier was not a plus on my reputation.
“You can’t? Are you sure?” I stealthily coded my men to get ready, “We have urgent business.”
“Your Excellency, your work could wait until tomorrow!”
Having heard this, without thinking, my whip left a bloody trace on his face.
“Ahhhhhhhh!” The sucker bent over as he took his face and howled.
“GO!” I urged. Some twenty horses raced through the gate, whipped more guards on the way.
“Get them! Sound general quarters!” A man’s voice resounded!
Sound of alarm meant enemy. I had no choice but to stop.
Someone’s goose was cooked.