Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Moldavian Liege Residence.
Senior maid Solin was cleaning seriously as always.
March in the North remained wintry. Be it the chilling frost, dry gales, or the obscure sparse white clouds, there was no sign of the weather getting warmer. Even so, Solin was only wearing an ordinary maid uniform as she labored diligently in the Liege’s Residence, sweeping off every dust from every seam.
Even so, it was unusual—there were no heaters inside the Liege’s Residence, the hearths were unlit and it the temperature in the residence averages at five degrees below. How is the maid able to work with such ease under such an environment?
The answer was simple: every person employed in the Moldavian Liege Residence, including coachmen and gardeners were Silver-tier. They would be able to work unimpededly without feeling any coldness even if it was twenty-five degrees below, much less just five below like it was now.
Maid Solin the Silver-advanced barbarian maid warrior was masterfully sweeping away every dust in the guest hall with a cloth and a giant broom that was comparable to a giant axe. She was weaving in and out between dragon skulls and demon heads, fearless despite the presence that could scare ordinary Gold-tiers, even gazing affectionately at the Liege’s spoils of war.
” Sigh. It’s such a long time since he added anything here,” she murmured emotionally as she dusted one of the decorative skulls. “Maybe there’s no space anymore.”
Her voice indicated that she was no older than twenty. As a Silver-tier, she would have been considered an accomplished person anywhere else, even billed as a promising talent.
Here in the Moldavian Liege’s Residence, however, she was but one or the most ordinary of servants. Indeed, Solin was rather dwarfish, her body having clearly stagnated in growth due to malnutrition during her childhood and pubescent years, which certainly did not help her in her present abilities.
All thanks to the Liege.
Every time Solin recalled her painful—even hopeless past, she would not be able to resist muttering that line quietly.
Solin used to live in a normal town. Though it was known as a town, it was in fact a chain of crude wooden buildings and barely a settlement. There were fifty families and around two to three hundred people living there, making a living by hunting and gathering.
The Northern weather was unsuitable for farming, although the reaping from the fertile soil could sustain a most despite it being one season per year—but only that and not much else. It was the richer families who have the strength to hunt and the tools, but even that was a gamble for them: it would be fortunate if they catch nothing, but if they run into monsters and a few of them died, the family which had been sustainable would completely crumble.
Such was life in reality for Northerners a dozen years ago. Dangerous hunts, lacking farms and threatened by waves of beasts every year. Although the presence of Dark Forest Fortresses would reduce the devastation to the domain, various lieges tend to increase the yearly taxes during each beast tide to recruit new soldiers and reimburse families.
There used to be seven members in Solin’s family, herself being the eldest child with three brothers and one sister. She had helped her parents on the farm since she was ten, the labor during an early age making her appear thinner than her peers. Still, that did not improve her family’s situation—soon, after another beast tide, her family, no longer sustainable was forced to sell her to the Main City so that they did not all die in hunger.
Solin did not despise her parents from doing what they did. It was a desperate choice: the year’s harvest had been not worth mentioning and half of their winter wheat had been destroyed by rampaging beasts. In this world of supernatural powers, normal individuals were simply helpless against the beasts that possess a natural resistance to spells. Apart from praying that the knights passing by would slay those creatures, most villagers could only hide, shuddering and praying that the monsters did not take an interest in their skinny bodies.
It was a dark and helpless time, and therefore fortunate that the Liege came by.
Humming a tune, Solin focused on polishing the metal armors placed on both sides on a corner. The armors appeared to be alive as the Liege’s power emanated, with other maidservants having seen them patrolling the corridors at night firsthand.
Meanwhile, as Solin polished away, she could not help narrowing her eyes and remembering that winter day when she was incidentally sold to the Liege’s Residence.
It was a cold day that left one’s heart thumping in fear. The old Liege who was considered kind and never collected any shady taxes had suddenly passed away, just as a legion of knights of unknown origins charged into the city. Before everyone even knew what was happening, the incumbent Liege had returned and briskly chased away the knights, destroying the old Liege’s Residence as he recruited a whole new batch of servants.
Her luck was considerable then—her fine appearance, upright posture and sonorous voice in replies, not to mention her meager age that left her a pitiable mannerism quickly allowed her to be hired as a new maidservant, a noble’s retainer.
In that age, it was the only chance for a peasant to change one’s own fate apart from war and the church.
Even so, now it appears that the particular change in fate was too significant—whenever he was idle, the Liege would actually instruct them, the maidservants.
In the first particular case, Solin and several other young maid and manservant had been dragged by him to a huge chamber beneath the ground. She had believed that the Liege was about to expose his noble instincts and exact cruelty upon them, she realized in shock that half of those being brought downstairs were male—and it was when she imagined if the Liege’s appetite was slightly tasteful that the Liege was not about do anything untoward, but teach them a brand new Aura cultivation.
According to the Liege, it was a cultivation that he thought of, a low-level training that had no significant advantage apart from being easily learned. Even so, could the maids ask for more? The fact that they could learn cultivation set them apart from ninety-nine percent of the world’s population—no one had anything to say apart from weeping in gratitude.
Naturally, the later updated editions such as ‘Basic Training 0.8 beta’, ‘Basic Training 0.9 beta’, ‘Official Basic Training’ and ‘Improved Ascension Training’ were even less noteworthy.
And yet, that was simply a little part of the upheaval that the Liege had brought about.
The Enchanted Armors, Winter Fort Academy, the large-scale infrastructure, the gathering of village peasants for focused laboring… Being a normal Northern maid of the Liege’s Residence, Solin certainly did not understand what meaning there was in those inventions and policies, but she did know that the life of Northerners was improving.
The appearance of the enchanted armors and rental profession allowed even peasants to easy finish farming work that would have not been finished even after an entire month. Apart from farming armors, there was also armors for excavation, hunting, and construction that greatly reduces the labor required of normal individuals, while Winter Fort Academy tapped into the talent of many peasants, granting them formal education for adepts.
The large-scale construction of infrastructure had connected the sparse towns and villages, assimilating the citizens into the Main City. The Liege’s Residence also arranged for a concentration of the crop farms by the banks of the Unfrozen River, and while Solin was unsure if there was a more profound meaning in that policy, she no longer heard about the news of any family having to sell their own children to endure winter.
Then, as magical factories and magical cores debuted, there was even greater change. Living aside systems of industrialized merchandise and production line, who could have thought that heaters exist in this world? The Liege be praised, it was amongst the greatest inventions of the North!
And that change even spread to the rest of the world.
Moldavia appeared to have become a weird prototype. Other imperial cities tended to imitate them at once whenever there were any reformations, and even if they could not, His Imperial Majesty himself would act to learn and implement it. As the Empire changed extensively from the inside,
It was not as if the various factions had no technology and did not favor the new, they simply did not do it because it was unnecessary.
Since those benefiting were neither nobles nor hierarchs, why should they bother assuming the burden for the bottom feeders? For the high-and-mighty nobles who were also Extraordinary individuals, dying peasants were simply no different from walking crops dying. Though present-day Extraordinary individuals of Mycroft appeared to have entered the bowels of Mycroft that even a farming village could see a middling adept, Solin would not forget how the lofty gazes the Extraordinary individual of dozen years past looked down upon everyone else as if they were ants.
If not for the Liege’s unimaginably powerful ability in leading the implementation of policies that was fully supported by His Imperial Majesty who in turn simply killed dissidents after dissidents, it would have been impossible for the peasants to attain Extraordinary power.
Wiping away a pinch of nonexistent sweat, Solin gave her dustless assigned area a look and nodded in satisfaction.
Of course, even as an ordinary Northerner maid, Solin was clearly aware that there was no free dinner in this world, just as there was no kindness without reason—even if it was the sage.
Those important figures must need more adepts to fulfil their plans, and therefore popularized Extraordinary powers at such a great scale… Could it be because of a war that was like no other, an enemy so unthinkably powerful that they were needed as cannon fodders? Though it was arrogant to think that, the little maid who was not that learned could not imagine any reason beyond that.
But Solin did not find anything unacceptable about becoming cannon fodder or sent to die.
Now, she was happy.
She has friends, was respected and have the power for a blissful life. Furthermore, according to the contract by the Liege’s Residence, she only had to work until she was twenty to fulfill the deed in her parents signed when they sold them and be a free person. With her deft standard, the young lady certainly would be able to find respectable employment or become a guard someplace else even if she stopped working as a maid.
Present-day Moldavia was rising by the day alongside the entire Empire and the rest of the world. Old estates were dying even as new flourished, and through the Liege’s Residence connections Solin learned about a job in otherworld factories—the reward there was five times more than it was in Mycroft.
Praise the Liege, it was five times the pay.
In the first place, humans were an unusual creature that would put their lives on the line for intangible glory, hope, ideals and happiness in the future. Solin herself was not so noble to know glory or ideals, she was simply clearly aware that all happiness she had now was gifted to her by the House of Radcliffe, the Lieges of Moldavia.
Humans should repay grace, or at least learn to feel gratitude.
And nothing else.
“Solin, stop blanking out! Miss Black has fainted in the pool again from excessive training, but everyone else has things to do, so hurry and fish her out—the pool will be dried into a crisp if you wait any longer!”
“Alright!” Solin suddenly heard another maid calling, and replied at once, picking up her broom and following the shards towards the courtyard.
Sigh. I probably won’t get to be cannon fodder , the ordinary Silver-advanced barbarian maid warrior thought.
After all I’m weak, helpless, and short.
In the skies high above the Main City of Moldavia, a black-haired man was conversing softly with an elderly white-haired man.
“Solin’s type simply requires normal living conditions and the basic training to rise from tier-less to Silver-advanced ‘normal person’ in a brief seven to eight years.”
“There are eight thousand people like her in Moldavia.”
Watching the maidservant who was one point four meters tall and certainly rather short jogging and pull Black—who was sleeping after excessive training—out of the pool with one hand, Joshua said calmly, “If they have sufficient nutrition and scientific training, I’m confident that the eight thousand could reach Gold-tier before their forties. Thirties, if they have better talent.”
“And amongst those eight thousand, there would be dozens who could ascend to Supreme, and perhaps a single Legendary champion.”