56 Preparation 1
In the other room, where Lenia was supposed to be sleeping, she was in fact awake. She couldn't sleep and kept pacing back and forth. Uncomfortable thoughts kept popping up in her head as she recalled her master's words earlier and she hadn't been able to sleep even though hours had passed. She desperately wanted to check in on her master but knew it wouldn't be appropriate. Certainly if he wanted to do 'that thing' with her then she had no room to complain. They both belonged to him and if he wanted them, he had only need ask. Without a question she would be willing to give her all for him, but instead he had seemed to have chosen Nelay.
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\"Is it because of my hair? Does he like a darker color? No, maybe it is her personality. Does he like someone who is cold and aloof? Have I been too clingy? I have been trying to keep a proper distance without going too far, but he still doesn't notice me at all. I was his first, why is it her?!\"
Lenia kept mumbling to herself almost as if she were in a trance and still had not recovered properly since that moment. She knew it wasn't proper to act the way she was acting, but she couldn't control her emotions at this time. It had been too great a shock for her.
\"I have to go check! I can make an excuse.. Maybe he needs something? Yes, let me go see if he is okay.\"
She convinced herself and gathered her courage before walking quietly over to Aleks's room. She put her ear to the door but didn't hear anything and wondered if they were already sleeping. Had they finished and gone to bed? Because she was too afraid to open the door, she loitered about outside of it until she finally heard a voice from within.
\"Come in Lenia, stop standing around outside the door.\"
Lenia jumped in shock, not realizing that he was aware of her presence.
Even though she was hesitant, she slowly opened the door and as she walked in, her eyes darted left and right but she couldn't see Nelay anywhere.
\"Is there are some reason you are standing outside my door?\"
Lenia closed the door behind her gently without looking at Aleks. She was somewhat nervous to face him and needed a moment to collect herself. When facing an enemy she was fearless, but at this moment she couldn't stop the fierce beating of her heart and even Aleks's words sent chills down her spine.
\"Master, did Nelay sleep in here with you? I don't see her.\" She said, almost a whisper.
Aleks looked at her strangely in the dark for a moment before thinking of something, \"Lenia, I see.\" He chuckled and stood up from the bed, walking over to her.
\"Is there something you are concerned about?\" Aleks asked in a teasing tone as he drew nearer to her.
Lenia grew even more nervous the closer he got to her and she still couldn't bear to look him in the eye.
\"I.. no.. just..\"
Aleks stood right in front of her and lifted her head up gently by her chin.
\"I made you and I know you best. You were my first creation, the only one I specifically molded and shaped with these hands. Are you worried that someone else will replace you in my heart?\" Aleks spoke gently calming her down as she looked into his eyes with a dreamy look.
She was mesmerized by his eyes and everything she had felt a moment ago disappeared. As she was drawn further into his gaze, she suddenly heard a 'thump' which startled her out of her daydreaming.
She quickly pushed Aleks behind her and was already in a battle stance.
\"Master, I have completed the mission and have returned.\"
Lenia glared at Nelay who was crouched by the window. With her ability, there was no way Lenia could have detected any motion or sound from Nelay but she had very clearly heard a 'thump'. She quickly understood that her master had needed Nelay to complete a task and not that he had wanted her to warm his bed. With that realization and the fact that Nelay must have intentionally made a sound to disturb what she considered to be their special moment, Lenia gave Nelay a bewitching smile of satisfaction.
That was at least until she noticed the daggers that Nelay held in her hand, looked very similar to the daggers that Aleks had once given to her.
After clearing up the misunderstandings of the previous night and calming Lenia down, Aleks slept peacefully without any more interruptions. Well, at least without any more external interruptions. Lenia refused to leave his room after she heard that he had been attacked by an assassin even if nothing had happened to him. Which of course meant, Nelay would not leave the room either. The two glared at each other for a while until Aleks ignored them and fell asleep without knowing the conclusion to their stare off.
When he awoke the next day, the two were splayed out across the floor asleep.
\"Does this have something to do with their connection with me? Or is it some kind of instinctual competition? Perhaps the fact that they bear my mark on their soul, and are so close to me, it is somehow affecting their behavior..\" Aleks contemplated before leaving the room.
Aleks decided to chalk it up to their youth and lack of experience mingled with the confusion of their past memories and the jarring reality of their new identity plus the effects of their soul connection. Or perhaps he just didn't understand women very well as he had been quite antisocial in his original life. In some of the wisps of memories he hadn't lost yet from the lives he reincarnated into, he had relationships with women, but they all ended badly so he didn't know how reliable those memories were. In the end, he chose to ignore it as he didn't have the time to bother with such nonsense.
Brock was already awake as usual and was of course aware of the fact that the two women had slept in Aleks's room, but he didn't mention anything about it and just questioned Aleks on the days itinerary. He was used to taking care of Aleks and had been trained in the skills required of a butler despite his martial past. Ever since Aleks was young, Brock had to shoulder the responsibility of not just protecting him, but also taking care of needs along with everything that entailed.
He was his closest confidant, a father figure, his bodyguard, his friend, his servant and everything in between. He had given his life to serve the boy who had become a man. Originally, it was to repay his friend, Aleks's father, but after everything that happened it became much more than that. Brock was wise and had tact, but that didn't mean he wouldn't point out Aleks's flaws or what he felt were mistakes. He was also a moral compass for Aleks, which is a reason why Aleks didn't tell him everything. Like what happened last night, he had no intention of telling him at all.
'Better that he doesn't know, he has enough worries.' Were Aleks's thoughts on the matter.
\"So, on the agenda today is the recruitment of a slave army, the procuring of supplies and equipment. We will need to purchase horses which is going to be costly, we can probably afford two hundred at most with all of the other expenses of recruiting an army. I also need to settle the contract with the adventurer's guild and meet the team we will be working with. Then there is the training and organization of our forces, we will also need to settle them in a camp outside the city which will take some managing. Is there anything else?\"
Aleks, who was seated, listened to Brock reiterate the day's agenda before responding, \"Right, I know this is a lot of work to place on your shoulders. I apologize for that Brock, but I will have Nelay accompany you. She can help with the logistics. Lenia will help with training the army, also don't forget the Orc battle slaves. I need at least one hundred of them. These will be placed under Grobak's command, he will be responsible for them.\"
Brock made note of Aleks's instructions on parchment and nodded his head, but a look of concern flashed across his eyes.
\"Are you certain about this young master? The savage lands are a dangerous place. I know we have been planning for this for some time, but I can't help feeling anxious. There may be no turning back once we set out.\"
Aleks looked at Brock with determination, there was no doubt in his expression or words, \"I am certain. I know you don't agree with this, but this is necessary. You will understand in time, I promise.\"
Brock sighed, something he seemed to do a lot these days.