192 Chapter 189 Sometime We Need A Happy Place
Joseph and Stella stood in front of the town of mixed gnomish people, and watched as the guards scrambled back away from them, sending a runner to notify their mayor of their arrival.
"You are such a momma's boy, you know that?" teased Stella, smirking at him.
"What do you mean?" he asked, looking at her perplexed.
"Big powerful, scary mage, capable of taking out an entire army, rules over a kingdom of millions of people, and has the fear and awe of gods under his belt, but bends to his mom when she thinks he might be naughty."
Joseph's eyes creased as he thought about her comment seriously, instead of just shoving it to the side and joking about it. He had thought about the fact that his mom hadn't turned into a Wizar very seriously, ever since he found out. She was the only person he might be able to bounce ideas off of, that wouldn't be motivated by the Wizar template. Though, at the moment, she wouldn't live very long in comparison to his own life span, so any benefit he might get from her, wouldn't last.
"I was teasing," Stella muttered, realizing he was taking her comment seriously.
"I know you were, but I think there may be some truth to that. I take my parents' opinions very seriously. Probably as seriously as yours, and we both know that I take yours very seriously."
She turned to look at him, ignoring the gathering crowd of people, who were strangely, mostly guards.
"Joseph, you have parents that care about you. I'm not saying that what they say or do is wrong, but you aren't a child anymore. I know that you respect them, but you need to act an adult around them, too. If you act like a child that may have misbehaved every time, they say they don't like something, you will lose the respect and awe you have from your people."
He nodded. "I know that, but at the same time, I want them proud of me, and not upset when I do something that is necessary. Could I have saved some more of those people, instead of killing them all? Sure. But my time is very limited on what I'm willing to do, because of everything I still need to do."
Stella tilted her head, looking at him with her ruby red eyes. "Are you trying to convince me?" she asked.
"No, maybe myself. I don't like how I immediately feel as if I need to defend myself every time they bring up something I've had to do."
"Then don't. The next time they say something, walk away, or teleport. They'll stop saying anything."
"I can't do that! I care about them!"
"But your relationship with them hasn't grown up, while you have. If you can't act the king, I know you are, around them, then distance yourself from them until you can. You could still send your mom gifts to let her know you care, and you're going to see your dad during the meetings, but the relationship needs to grow up."
Behind Stella, the crowd had swelled to almost the entire village, and he could tell that they were very scared and cautious of him.
"Great one, we thank you for the generosity you have shown our people," said the mayor, holding out a leather packet, with his head bowed as if in fear.
Joseph tilted his head, and blinked a couple of times, before he realized everyone was afraid of him. The parents were holding their children tight, and the few people he recognized as those he had rescued, were terrified to make eye contact with him. It had begun.
Taking the packet with a nod of thanks, he didn't acknowledge the mayor's scramble back into the crowd, behind the guards that now were obviously putting themselves between him and the townspeople. They had formed a line two deep, and the looks in their eyes told him that they knew they didn't have a chance if he chose to actually attack, but were willing to give their lives to try.
Turning his back on them, he walked away from them all, and Stella moved to follow him, curious about his actions. Taking her hand, Joseph teleported them to the north, to her orchard of fruit trees that could withstand the cold. She gave a squeal of delight, and moved among the trees gathering a few from here and there. He watched her for a moment, a small smile playing along his lips, before he opened the satchel. There were several rolled parchments in the bottom of it, and he pulled them out.
They were crudely drawn maps. Joseph sighed as he used mana to hold the maps up around him so he could see them all at the same time. None of them were very accurate, but he decided he had a rough idea of where this gnomish city should be.
'System, tell me about this Brago guy. How did he get the system?'
(HIS GRANDFATHER WAS THE ONE WHO GAVE HIM THE SYSTEM. IT WAS SUPPOSED TO GO TO HIS FATHER, BUT HIS FATHER SQUANDERED THE FAMILY FORTUNE IN ORDER TO REBUILD THE FAMILY NAME. HIS FATHER IS ALSO THE ONE WHO GAVE ME TO YOUR FATHER. HE WOULD BET HIS MOST VALUABLE POSSESSIONS IN DICE GAMES, THEN FORCE ME TO RIG THE GAMES SO THAT HE WOULDN'T DIE. I GOT TICKED AND LET HIM LOSE, WHICH COST HIM HIS LIFE. IN CONSOLATION TO THE GRANDFATHER, WHO WAS AN AWESOME GUY BY THE WAY, I ALLOWED HIM TO SHARE ME WITH BRAGO.)
'He was intending to have a coup and overthrow the central king?'
(YES, HE WAS DEVELOPING GUNS AND CANNONS.)
"That's so inefficient,' thought Joseph with a shake of his head.
Joseph was under so much pressure to prepare for NURKONG, that he felt overwhelmed. He knew that he wasn't invincible against this god and he was the only one who could protect his people. At least his own subjects still felt in awe of him, instead of just afraid of him. He knew that while he was powerful, he wasn't omnipotent. He needed to keep working on preparing for whatever shavist this god had planned for next.