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14 Expansion

    Derrick was floored by all these upgrades. They were transforming him into the overseer of his domain.

    His heart couldn't help but crazily accelerate. This would kick start his plans and wouldn't allow him another second of rest.

    "Yes, show me the stats!"

    [Akata Village]

    [Level : 1]

    [Population : 200]

    [Soldiers : 0]

    [Funds : 10 gold]

    [Tax : 0%]

    [Institutions : None (Note : This section includes everything related to civil or military facilities (forges, schools, hospitals...))]

    [Mood : 75/25 (Note : If the mood is equal or over the threshold of 80/20, the population will never rebel against its ruler and will instead worship him. If it's equal or lower than 50/50, rebellions and dissidents will appear to oppose the regime in place)]

    After reading through everything, Derrick started pondering. First, he realized he crippled its defenses badly when he killed every soldier present. His personal army didn't count towards the number of soldiers stationed because they couldn't remain if he was not there to command them.

    Second, the amount of funds present was truly pitiful. He would need to find commercial avenues to replenish his coffers and convince merchants to establish themselves here. He needed their connections to lay a solid economic foundation that would last far in the future.

    As for taxes, there was no need to impose them now. The current population was poor and didn't have any valuables. Their expertise was also really basic. Their only "specialty" was in construction and farming, and that was still debatable.

    Derrick would have to convince professionals like blacksmiths, masons and lumberjacks to open businesses here and hope to god they could train these folks. He needed these industries. He could grant two blacksmith titles upon people he already had, but he would rather wait for talented individuals. The remaining point concerning institutions could be delayed.

    What he needed right now was the resource that granted power : people. Without enough population, all his dreams would come crashing down like a castle of cards. It was time to start expanding and centralizing.

    He freed himself from Lacha and asked her to gather everyone. It was time to make them work and earn his good graces.

    An hour later, a small assembly had taken place in front of the small house. Everyone seemed worried and looks of dread could be seen on their faces. Derrick ordered Io to remain by his side, so they wouldn't dare turn away from him.

    The creature caught the crowd's eyes, but as country bumpkins, they couldn't figure out its origins.

    "You must all be wondering why I ordered you to gather when it hasn't even been a day since you last saw me. Well, it's because my plan is starting now!"

    Everyone present started murmuring to each other. They knew the person in front of them was a monster, and they couldn't help but feel a tinge of excitement. After all, if he wanted them dead, they would already be six feet under, so it wasn't anything that would harm them.

    When he saw them interested in what he had to say, a flash of madness passed through Derrick.

    "I'm going to expand this village and make it the beacon of this inhospitable region! I'll make you all see what life's about. Hunger? Gone! Poverty? Gone! You'll be living lives worth living! Survival has always been the motto of this village, but no more! We will take what's ours and shove it in the face of these so-called superpowers!"

    Derrick had absolutely no insight in these Empires, but he needed a rallying cry to mobilize everyone, and it worked.

    Everyone gasped. What the hell was he trying to say?! They were located between two super Empires that could crush them by sneezing. They didn't doubt the fact that Derrick was strong, but he was only one man. The people wanted to believe, but they were scared of being deceived.

    Hope was a strong driving force, but it was also the strongest catalyst of despair.

    After seeing their doubtful expressions, Derrick couldn't help but snicker. He then took a large breath and made his thunderous voice heard.

    "IS THAT ALL MY PEOPLE AMOUNT TO?! A BUNCH OF SPINELESS COWARDS THAT LIVE IN FEAR?! A BUNCH OF SHEEP THAT WAIT FOR THE WOLF TO COME?! RISE YOU FOOLS!!! YOU HAVE THE HONOR OF BEING MY SUBJECTS NOW!!! ENOUGH OF THIS COWARDICE!!!"

    A chill ran through everyone's spines. What he said was what they all thought deep in their hearts. They were sick of being oppressed and ostracized. They wanted better. They wanted something that the person in front of them could, perhaps, give them.

    After a few seconds, a lone voice was suddenly heard from the back of the crowd.

    "My Ruler, what do you need from us?"

    A large smile grew on the necromancer's face. This is what he wanted. He had to change their way of thinking, or they would be useless puppets that would only do what they were told. He needed them to evolve into exemplary citizens that would devote themselves to their new home.

    "I want you all to start building houses. Triple the number we currently have. We also need to develop more lands to farm"

    Everybody present almost chocked to death. This was an absurd demand that couldn't be met unless they dropped everything and solely focused on the task. After the shock subsided, the voice sounded again.

    "My Ruler, this demand... It's going to force everyone into construction... Are you sure this is wise?"

    Derrick was tired of not seeing the person he was conversing with.

    "Would you mind stepping forward and presenting yourself?"

    "I'm deeply sorry! My name is Jack and I'm part of the workers building and maintaining houses"

    After the person stepped forward, Derrick's interest was piqued. Jack was an old man that had a decent build. His short gray hair and his round brown eyes made him look like an old fox. He was clearly an intelligent fellow.

    "You raise a good point Jack, but I'm sure of this decision. I'll handle the other matters. All you need to concern yourselves with is farming and building new houses."

    After a brief pause, he continued.

    "Also, the one in charge when I'm not present will be Lacha. If anyone dares disobeying her, he or she will be executed right away. Also, Jack will be responsible for the construction teams. I expect progress when I return"

    Jack was quite surprised when he heard he had been made supervisor, but he soon felt a headache dawn on him. He had a huge task in front of him and asked Derrick to excuse himself as he wanted to start planning right away, to which he agreed.

    Lacha was also taken aback, but she remembered her promise. This was the best way to protect everyone from doing anything foolish. It would also give her time to mend relationships and explain what happened. She didn't want to be seen as an evil wench who used her body to gain power.

    "This assembly is over. Now rise my subjects! I'll be back in a few days with a surprise"

    An evil grin appeared on Derrick's face. He jumped on Io's back and opened the map Lacha had given him. He had 4 villages in his sight and none of them would be spared.
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