Uhm, I wish this world’s [me] had been more interested in the world outside the palace. As I walk around the town, it is honestly embarrassing to feel like a countryside bumpkin in my hometown. Though I guess that is sort of normal for royalty anyway?
But well, talking about the palace itself. It is quite wide and spacious, and rather than a [Castle] built for defense, it is a proper [Palace], showing the power and wealth of the [Demon King]’s realm. A magnificent building of nothing but white stone and marble, with elegant furniture of rare woods, and glass in its tall windows. Its main hall is an ample space with mirror-like floors and crystal candelabra that shines with its own glow, able to accommodate hundreds of guests at a time.
Having said that, I am full of mixed feelings about its construction. I want to say I am amazed about how most of its walls are made up by a single, gigantic slab of white rock, but the fact is that I know the stone was conjured, grown and shaped through magic. As a matter of fact, because stone has a natural brittleness as a material, you end up running into problems of load and pressure as you go past a certain height (remember these are walls, so they’re not that thick), and this limits the height of the building, its main body being three floors tall, with the second and third levels’ flooring being made from wood in order to reduce the load on the walls.
Ah, but if I get the chance, the thing I’d do with the ability to grow rocks in the shape and size needed for any project. Firstly, extremely solid foundations made by dozens of granite slabs with just the right shape for support beams, around which I’d….
“Your highness, is something the problem?” – The captain snaps me out of my daydreaming as she speaks on behalf of her men.
Well, I had been mumbling to myself and looking at the walls and roofs for a good while, so I guess it couldn’t be helped.
By the way, with [my] memories from 15 years in this world, I can say with absolute confidence that Kalkah is generously endowed, and beautifully shapely. Stella, the guard captain next to me right now on the other hand, is a member of the sexy tomboy faction, you know? She’s just barely an inch or so smaller than me (in her high heel uniform boots), and her clothes do nothing to hide her firm-yet-amazing curves. Furthermore, while Kalka is gifted with the mythical torpedo breasts, Stella has a couple of ICBMs…
I’ll tell you right now, I’m an enthusiastic member of the Big Guns fan club, you know? Furthermore, the captain’s coal black, short and fluffy hair frames a beautiful, round baby face with bright blue eyes and lips that look so soft and delicious you can feel yourself growing stiff from imagining having your way with them.
Anyway, she’s what you’d call my [childhood friend], being the daughter of one of my father’s generals, and having grown up around me on an everyday basis. How wonderful, isn’t it? No, no, there’s a huge problem. You see… the former [me] actually abused his position and pushed her down, taking advantage of her naiveté and duty to protect me so she couldn’t fight back.
Naturally, you would be completely right to say that I’m in the doghouse at the moment, as far as our relationship goes. By the way, she’s a [Werewolf], so she has the most adorable pointy ears and fluffy tail.
Gorgeous, fit tomboy childhood friend with dark, short fluffy hair, puppy ears and tail, with to-die-for curves and dreadnought-sized guns, bright blue eyes, caramel dark skin, round baby-face and exceedingly kissable lips. Isn’t she the typical heroine as foretold in revelations?
I seriously want to punch the old [me] for fucking up our relationship this bad. Actually I think I will.
“Y-your highness, what are yo-!?” – She hurries up towards me as I punch myself with demonic strength.
Ah, she’s calling out to me with a genuinely worried look. That’s nice, it looks like she doesn’t hates me as much as I thought…
By the time I come back into the realm of the conscious, I am lying on my bed while Kalkah wipes the sweat off my forehead with a wet cloth.
“Young Master, are you feeling alright?” – She asks while sitting straight next to the bed.-
“No. I did something I can’t take back, you see? I am, truly regretful about it.”
“T-that’s true!” – Shouts Stella from the corner of the room – “I got shouted at, you know!?”
Ah, she was just outside my field of view.
“Nn. Well, if you want to hurt yourself, please don’t do so under my watch, alright? I’m responsible for your wellbeing, after all.”
“I’m not sorry about that.” – I reply – “Well, I am a little sorry I didn’t put more force in the punch, though. Hitting yourself is surprisingly difficult to do.”
“Should I call the healers again? It looks like his highness head went bad after that blow.” – says our former childhood friend as she moves from her spot and heads towards the door with forceful yet feminine strides.
“I am sorry for taking advantage of you. I can do without yet another captain of the guard, but my childhood friend was irreplaceable, you know? When I realized that, I just had to punch the old me in the face,”
“Y-yeah, I’m calling the healers. He’s got something loose after the blow!” – she replies in a rush, and leaves the room.
After a few moments of silence.
“Eeeh… she was wagging her tail when she left.”
“Was she? Well, I guess that’s a start.”
“You should let her punch you instead, next time.”
“With her strength? You want me to die, or something!?”
“I’m sure she’d cry on your grave.” – replies Kalkah with a perfectly serious face
This [Dark Elf Maid] is scary! Super scary!
“Anyway, I’m feeling alright now, so help me sit up.”
“If you were feeling alright, you wouldn’t need help sitting up.” – she replies – “Unexpectedly, it may have been good that she went to call for the healers.”
Well, in the end, I was told to lie down and rest for a while. With Stella’s seriousness, there was no way I could slip past her so I just obeyed and stayed as I was for a while.
“Hm. Have you ever wanted to build something?”
“Are you asking me?” – replies the wolf-eared guard captain.
Ah, perhaps I should think of her as the old [me]’s [childhood friend] from now on? There’s a lot of guard captains in the palace, after all.
“There’s no one else in the room.”
“You seem to have hit yourself hard enough to turn dumber than before, so I was worried you may have been talking to an imaginary friend or something like that.”
Eh, she’s a little happy to be talking with me, though. Her ears are flicking back and forth despite her not moving from her spot next to the door. Her tail is hanging limp, though.
“No. I was just thinking about the roman legions… ah, it’s an extinct country, so you won’t find anything about them anyway, let’s ignore where they’re from, okay?”
“So what about them? Were they strong?”
“Yes, they were a professional army.”
We use a conscription system, though our officers are appointed by the king and you could think of them as professional warriors. The result is that they’re closer to [knights], while the average soldier is just a conscripted peasant that has to be pulled from the fields for however long a campaign lasts.
Well, we’re the [Demon Country] though, so even if that’s so, our average peasant is still much stronger than other countries average [knight]. The problem is that they’re still peasants, meaning, the fields go unattended and entire harvests can be lost simply because no one is there to collect them.
That’s why, we can’t campaign during the autumn. Furthermore, this region is under the effect of seasonal monsoons during [winter] and [spring], so we have a very small window of time to work on the fields, which reduces the kinds of plants we can farm, further shrinking our harvests.
Anyway, the reason I’m bringing it up, is because the roman legions were a professional army, meaning that they did not work the fields, were ready to fight year-round, and were vastly superior to the average conscript-soldier of other nations.
I explain as much to Stella, and wait for her reaction.
“…I see. That does indeed sound convenient, but what does that have to do with building work?” – she asks after thinking about it for a bit
“Just because you ‘could,’ it doesn’t means you ‘should,’ right?”
“…right. So?” – ah, she looks a little angry. Yeah, I dug that hole myself, sorry, sorry.
“In order to justify their year-round existence, or perhaps simply as a way to properly utilize available resources, each roman legion’s soldier was also a proficient construction worker. They built things such as roads, bridges and forts while they were neither training nor campaigning. That way, it was easy to justify their salary, you see?”
“Ah! Alright, so?”
“I want to turn our army into a professional one.”
Honestly, that’s not so much an [objective] as it is the means to an end. Honestly, I want to try and build. I want to lay down roads, build bridges, fortresses, docks and all manners of infrastructure.
I’m an architect, after all. And I really, really want to see what I can do with the help of actual [Magic], you know? I am fully aware that this is nothing but my selfish desire, but I see no way in which having better roads, better bridges, better forts, a professional army, and all around a better infrastructure would hurt the country, you know?
Well, the teleportation gates make country-spanning roads pointless, but there’s only five of them, meaning that there’s plenty of need for roads for the transport of goods and services between the larger cities and their satellite towns, you see. Furthermore, in this fantasy world, protecting a construction crew as they work would be a serious issue.
Animals, beasts, and monsters pose quite the risk for a typical work crew, but what if each worker is also a well-trained warrior? Every single architect has to study the architecture of the classical greek and romans, after all. How to build a road that will last two thousand years, and aqueduct capable of pulling water uphill and/or over a cliff, low-tech purification systems, and of course, the building of the beautiful buildings that attract millions of tourists a year back on Earth, and are still admired the world over.
I really want to build stuff like that. Furthermore, by tradition, I will soon receive a territory of my own to manage. Well, honestly, it will probably be a fetid swamp near the borders with the human kingdoms, which means unusable lands and plenty of invading [heroes]. If I do manage to make it for a decade or two, I will be recalled to the capital and given a ‘real’ job in the [Demon King]’s army.
Well, the [me] from the past was planning on taking along some troops, attacking the humans and enslaving them to build himself a castle or a fort. I am sure that is what the [Demon King] expected to happen as well, and thus he was really sending me out to build yet another fortress to use as a watch post against [heroes].
But since the [me] right now is different, let’s see… first, I need to investigate which plants would produce crops in such terrain. The easy answer is almost certainly rice or a similar plant. Also, which plant is good at holding terrain together, since I plan to reclaim terrain from the swamp.
As for construction… well, some simple houses on stilts should do for the beginning.. anyway, I should get started right away.
“Yes, my lord?”
“Go to the library and fetch for me anything you can find on plants. If its too little, we’ll need to go into town and inquire about marsh-viable crops from the merchants there.”
“Yes. Oh, and tell Stella I won’t be going out today anymore, but I’d welcome her help on reading whatever you find.”
“…yes, my lord.”
And so, I sat up and sent Kalkah off on her merry way while I began cleaning my desk in preparation.
Once outside the room, Kalkah closed the door, then looked at Stella and said:
“I fear the prince may have some lingering damage. He wants to read about plants.”
“Indeed. He’s sent me to fetch any reading material on plants that happen to be available within the palace. He even wants you to help him read though them.”
And so, my [Childhood Friend] frowns slightly, actually somewhat worried for my health.