Chapter 11: Steinbeck Suzerain with Disaster-Ridden Future Prospect on the Path of Taking Office Part 1

Ximengsi Continent’s southern part.

On the way to the deserted Steinbeck Fief, the carriage bearing Clyde’s party encountered a bandit group. A man and two women in a carriage were usually easy targets. Clyde’s party had no funds to hire servants and guards, giving others the sense that they were ordinary travelers. If these bandits had known that this was a suzerain’s carriage, they might have restrained themselves, and this matter would not have happened.

After Princess Saras was hidden in the carriage under Lucifer’s protection, Clyde quietly opened the curtain and looked at the bandits around the carriage. There were dozens of bandits, and their weapons resembled that of Owles Kingdom’s guards. It seemed that they had robbed many passing travelers.

“We don’t have money. We have women, but it is impossible for us to give them to you all. This is the carriage of Steinbeck Suzerain. You all definitely don’t want to rob us!”

“Suzerain? Are you stupid? What type of suzerain doesn’t even have a single guard? Steinbeck Fief hasn’t had a suzerain for a long time. You…”

Clyde didn’t feel like exchanging any more superfluous words with these bandits. After getting off the carriage, he lightly stamped his foot, and tens of black tentacles sprang out from the ground, instantly stabbing these bandits to death. They didn’t know the value of life. After the carriage, those corpses were sucked dry by those black tentacles and dissolved into corpse fluid scattered on the road.

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On the way to Steinbeck Fief, Clyde’s party encountered over ten bandit groups. One bandit group even had over a hundred bandits. Alas, their endings were all the same. The black tentacles stabbed them to death, and their corpses were directly dissolved into corpse fluid. Princess Saras in the carriage didn’t see this terrifying scene because Lucifer covered her eyes at the crucial moment. Although she didn’t see these terrifying scene, she could still hear the bandits’ blood-curdling screams, sending a shiver down her spine.

After Clyde sorted out several groups of bandits in a row, they finally reached the outer region of Steinbeck Fief. Since cleaning up bandits was the suzerain’s responsibility, Clyde dealt with it in advance. The only matter that dissatisfied him was that those bandits were all dirt poor. They didn’t even have a single coin on them. He sighed: no wonder they had all entered banditry. Because his tentacles dissolved them, their equipment and armor were destroyed. It was impossible to sell any of the spoils for money.

“What happened to this bridge? Even the bridge is broken.”

“Big Brother Clyde, this bridge seems to have been broken a very long time ago. Since there was no suzerain before, it was left like this.”

Clyde’s party finally reached the last checkpoint to enter Steinbeck Fief, Lawrence River. There, they encountered trouble. The only bridge to cross this river had collapsed, and Lawrence River was far too wide to ford. Even if they wished to look for a boat to cross this river, none could be found. According to Princess Saras’s calculations, not counting labor costs, just the materials to fix this bridge would cost over 500 gold coins.

In other words, the ten gold coins Clyde’s party had spent was not enough to inherit Steinbeck Fief. They still needed to throw in 500 gold coins to build a bridge. In addition, they needed an unknown sum of money to repair the suzerain mansion. Thinking about everything, not to mention the exemption of tribute and military service requirements for a year, even exempting them for five years was not enough to fully recover from this state.

“Lucifer, didn’t you…”

“Big Brother Clyde, the weather is very good today!”

Facing Clyde’s questioning gaze, Lucifer smiled with a guilty conscience. Then jumping into the carriage, she hid, trying to figure a way to muddle through this situation. At this time, Princess Saras came out and examined this wide Lawrence River. Shaking her head, she also showed signs of hesitation. Lawrence River’s length extended into the empires of “Victor Alliance.” If they made a detour, it was unknown how long their journey would take, but if they wanted to build a bridge, well, they had no money to do so.

Now, if Clyde’s party wanted to build a bridge, they would either have to accept commissions to make money or look for other empires to sponsor them. Both of these choices were very embarrassing. Not mentioning a suzerain working for others, even if they worked constantly, they didn’t know how long it would take to scramble together 500 gold coins. As for requesting other empires to sponsor them, with the reputation and strategic value of Steinbeck Fief, absolutely no empire would agree to sponsor this kind of loss transaction.

For the first time, Clyde felt that even with the body of a Great Old One, he couldn’t do whatever he wanted. The Great Old One’s abilities focused on destruction, not creation. His sister Lucifer was also in the same situation; she had no problems in the aspect of destruction but was helpless when faced with building a bridge. Because of her Blood Race lineage, Lucifer couldn’t fly over a flowing river. Clyde also didn’t have any flying magic. Thus, they could only change their path by detouring to a nearby town and thinking of a way there.

Other than Adrian Empire, all other neighbors belonged to empires, kingdoms and principalities of “Clark Alliance,” and the surrounding environment was also very bad. Because no one had set foot on Steinbeck Fief for many years, the situation inside the territory was unclear. After turning around, Clyde’s party finally arrived at a border city of Adelaide Kingdom, Tas City. They intended to look for start-up funds here.

As a member of  “Clark Alliance,” Adelaide Kingdom practiced slavery. While passing through, Clyde could see slaves being sold along the street via the carriage’s window. Those slaves’ clothes were worn-out. There were both men and women. The main sources of these slaves were prisoners of war and bankrupt people. In this place, a slave was one of the hard currencies. A slave could be exchanged for anything of equal value.

The slaves casually sold on the streets were the lowest grade of slaves. High-grade slaves, such as Princess Saras, would be sent to an auction hall. In the member nations of “Clark Alliance,” the volume of capital invested in slave trade far exceeded other pursuits. Other than Human Race, sometimes, slaves of different races would also appear in the slave market. However, these kinds of slaves were treasured merchandise and only appeared rarely, but once they appeared on the market, their price would definitely reach the skies.

Princess Saras was in a complicated mood. If she had not encountered Clyde and Lucifer, she suspected that she would have become a member of this place. Thinking about how they were in a penniless state now, she was somewhat nervous. If by chance, Clyde sold her here, then…

“Big Sister Saras, don’t be nervous. We are not that kind of people.”

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“Lucifer, I… I was over sensitive. Sorry.”

Under the consolation of Lucifer, Princess Saras felt at ease. Although this mysterious Lolita and Clyde were terrifying when attacking, they were very friendly towards her. After taking a few turns, Clyde’s party arrived at the underground black market of Tas City. This was a place where underground missions were released. Unlike the tasks and missions issued by the regular Mercenary Guild, all the missions issued here were dark missions with greater rewards. They were mostly illegal missions that couldn’t be issued in a regular way. It was comparatively more difficult to look for a sponsor empire for Clyde’s party; thus, they could only look for high reward missions.

“Lucifer, stay here with Princess Saras. I will go in and take a look by myself.”

“Mmm, rest assured, Big Brother Clyde. I will protect Big Sister Saras.”

 

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