The next morning Darius spoke with me separately from everyone. Asking me if there was anything he could do to change my mind I shook my head. Telling him that the women, and I were firm on it he acknowledged my choice. Asking me where we intended to go after George took the throne I explained that currently Amber, Almina, and I were going to the next continent, Altimaria. When he asked why the others weren’t going I informed them that they all had things they wanted to do. For example, the Heroines would continue to train here in the capital with the Royal Guard. Dola wanted to rush her studies along so Susan, and Sapphire were going to instruct her. Lucilla, and Strella were staying here to practice their craft. Hesta would remain here to finish magic training that she may or may not have forcibly rushed.
“So then your back to two traveling companions?”, he teased.
“For the forseeable future, yes.”, I said, “I really want us a nice place to call home soon. I hate having them move around every time we can get a temporary home.”
“You think you will live in another continent?”, he asked.
“More than likely. Personally I like the idea of just living on an island, but I am not going to force my dream on them. I already am making them deal with my harem obsession.”, I said feeling bad.
“To me they look happy enough. They were all smiles when you got back last night. Someone who didn’t like your harem taste wouldn’t be smiling like that.”, he said cheering me up, “Knowing your women they’d let you know if they didn’t like it.”
“I understand that…haha…”, I said thinking about it.
Thanking him I asked if he knew any people over there I could meet. I wanted to have as many contacts off the continent as possible. Saying that a relative of his was a nobleman on Altimaria continent he gave me the relative’s name. Writing it down on some paper I tucked into my pocket for safe keeping. Leaving him to greet the rest if the foreign leaders. With the former King dead now they were now hurrying to get crops down in Flamoria. It was fortunate they got started now as summer was a week away.
“Your Majesty Thundaril and Queen Aquina it is a pleasure to see both in good health.”, I said to the ruling family of Everwood.
Their two children were both overseeing Everwood in their absence. Giving the same greeting to King Whitebeard and Queen Wyrm of the Iron Mountains. The last to arrive was King Brandon, and Queen Slvia of Jafirica. With all parties now here the official transfer ceremony began. The royal families of this continent recognized George as the next King of Atlas. With the new King crowned the country had a celebration.
In recognition of my work before, during, and after the conflict in Flamoria I was given one wish that I could use for anything. With that in mind I asked for a place that my women could stay. With a nod he granted us a former nobleman’s house for our residence. In addition, the former King’s waiting staff would take care of them. Apparently they had asked George for this. With a gracious bow we parted ways from the nobles heading to the residence. Before leaving the continent I wanted to renovate the home to suit our needs.
The house, or should I say mansion was enormous. Realizing this I decided to renovate just the kitchen, living room, Master Bedroom, and a few rooms next to the Master Bedroom. These rooms would become the nursery for the waiting staff, and my future wives. Working me to the bones they were eventually happy with my handy work. I was fortunate that it was common place that the wait staff would occasionally make love to their lords. This meant so long as I kept them employed they were happy.
“How many women do you intend to have in your harem?”, every one of them asked me.
With a straight I said as many as I can support comfortably. With a sigh they then asked what comfortably was to me.
“I judge that by you. Right now we aren’t starving, sleeping in the street, nor selling ourselves for money. To me if the children can have a happy childhood worry free, you women can live comfortably, and I can maintain my laid back attitude I would be fine with it.”, I said, “While most of you most likely don’t believe it I like relaxing.”
Amber, and Almina backed me up saying before this whole mess with the former King I relaxed quite a bit. Satisfied I wasn’t trying to make my harem infinite they said to bear in mind that they wanted alone time with me as well. Swearing that everyone would get some alone time with me on dates, and special occasions they said they’d hold me to that.
“Alright…Amber and Almina, are you ready to leave in the morning?”, I asked.
“Yes! We are all packed!”, both of them said with big smiles.
“We have to swing by the castle in the morning. George mentioned having found a letter the former King received a few months back. He discarded the letter without even reading it.”, I said.
After a long night of spending time with everyone the three of us that were leaving said our goodbyes. Having been unable to make a device for teleportation the best Lucilla had made a hand mirror that could at least be used to video chat. Also giving me a special notepad that both groups could use to communicate if the mirror stopped working.
“Make sure you visit as often as possible!!”, the women said with pouting expressions.
“I promise to come back as often as possible. If Lucilla can make a teleportation device I will come back to get it as soon as I can.”, I said giving each of them a kiss on the lips.
“You make sure you come back alive!!”, Strella, Sapphire, and Lucilla said, “We have children that want their father to come home in one piece!!”
Holding each of them separately I swore to make it home for everyone. With a final kiss for everyone Amber, Almina, and I headed to the castle before making our way to the docks in the next town. Waiting for George in his sitting room we sipped on some coffee while we watched the sunrise. A short time later George arrived.
“Alright, this shit is going to put a damper on your plans…”, he said with a sigh, “The Envoy that brought the letter was killed by the former King. No fucking idea why, but he did anyways.”
“So how does that put a damper on things?”, I asked.
“Unlike our continent it seems like the one your headed to is in a strange never-ending winter. I know it sounds stupid, but apparently they haven’t had good temperatures for growing crops in quite some years.”, he said, “The Envoy came here seeking aid only to be executed.”
“So your saying take plenty of supplies?”, I said.
“No, they have found means for making ends meet, but only for so long. I am asking you to find out the cause of this winter they are having. The other royal families are concerned it may be something to do with the Decay. If that is the case this will be a shitstorm.”, he said.
“Anything strange other than its continuous?”, I asked.
“None at all. It just continually snows non-stop year round. Thankfully they have found ways of keeping it off their roads.”, he said, “According to the letter the coast line is frozen almost three miles off the coast. Obviously the boat I arranged for you isn’t built to handle such forces. Your van will have to take you onto land.”
“Yeah…drive a five ton vehicle across ice of unknown thickness…great…”, I said with a hint of sarcasm.
Thanking him for the heads up we were leaving the continent by 1pm as the tide was going out. According to the captain it would roughly be a three-week trip if we had good weather the whole way. Deploying my experimental anti-monster capsules around the boat we all hoped that it would work correctly. The next few weeks went by quickly thanks to the three of us sleeping most of it.
Getting regular updates from the women back home about life, how the babies were coming along, and about other random things I felt like I was already married to them. Strella was especially chatty about her father’s shop that had recently opened up a week after we left. She was so giddy about our child becoming a blacksmith like her father. Saying she could feel that he would be a strong boy all I could do was smile, and laugh. Sapphire, and Lucilla weren’t to far behind on bragging about our children either. Rubbing their large bellies they smiled saying that they couldn’t wait to see me again in person.
At the beginning of the fourth week the watchmen called out, “Ice ahead!!”
Slowly creeping up on the edge of the ice the captain managed to find us a place to dock. Bearly making out the continent through a white out they lowered a ramp for me to drive down. Informing the captain that I was going to floor it once we hit the ice he said he would be ready, and wished us luck. Sealing all the windows, and doors I made sure the three of us were buckled up.
“Okay, this may get a bit hairy so please try not to throw up.”, I said.
With smug nods they boasted that they wouldn’t have an issue. Laughing it off I slowly went down the ramp. The moment the front tires were on the ice I felt the ice start to give. Putting the pedal to the floor we shot off like a bullet. With minimum traction the only thing I could do was pray, and keep us as straight as possible. Two minutes later we reached the shore slamming on the brakes as we hit the beach. Popping our heads out the window we watched the ice collapse where we had driven. With a sigh the three of us almost pissed ourselves seeing how close we had come to sleeping with the fishes. Leaving the two of them to inform the others we had reached dry land I drove on into the darkness looking for a village.
With the headlights beaming into the dark we encountered our first village a few miles inland. Putting our winter coats on the tree of us left the van running, and went to meet the villagers. Walking in through the gate it became apparent either everyone was asleep…or worse. Finding one of the homes with a half-open door we poked our heads inside only to have our hearts shatter. Laying huddled together near what had been a small fire was a family of five. They had frozen to death together with the youngest being almost newborn. Seeing the frozen baby the two women choked up, and a tear came to my eye.
“This is horrible…”, Amber said, “It this isn’t the Decay the person responsible is the worst form of scum to ever walk this world!!”
“I agree!! What could that baby have done to upset them!!”, Almina said.
Telling the two of them to wait in the van I checked the rest of the houses. In the end the entire village was dead. One hundred, and seventy five people in all were lost here. Taking the small village sign off the gate we decided to take it with us to inform the proper people. Heading on through the night we didn’t run into anyone for another twelve hours when we found a village under attack.