Michael could tell that his surroundings were full of life the moment he emerged from the Gate. The sound of birds chirping, and monsters roaring reached his ears, making him feel excited.
'Compared to Danny's territory in the desert region, this is a treasure trove. Amazing!'
Michael felt that he was quite lucky. However, his attention was forcefully pulled over to the figure standing not too far away from him.
A young woman with long silver hair and large eyes of the same color approached him with a subtle smile on her face.
She was wearing a black dress with a white collar and cuffs. A white apron was tied around her waist. It was a practical and comfortable uniform to work in, and it looked great as well.
Not only was she wearing a maid uniform, but the young woman was also drop-dead gorgeous, and she had…fluffy ears!
'She has a tail as well?!?' Michael shouted in his mind when he saw the black-silver striped tail wagging behind her.
The maid's cheeks were a tinge red but Michael didn't even notice that. He was too baffled about the appearance of a Demi-Human right after he arrived at the Origin Expanse.
'To think that I would have the chance of meeting a member of another race so soon…who the hell says that our family is unlucky? This is definitely a blessing!'
It was commonly known that the Origin Expanse was a mythical place with boundless treasures and countless races, but that didn't mean it was easy to encounter other intelligent races. Usually, intelligent races stayed with their own people.
'What did Danny say last time? If I cannot handle it, I should just give up my territory and become an Adventurer? He can forget about that. I have a lovely Feline Demi-Human Maid!'
Michael could tell that his mind was going wild, but he was relieved. He had been dreading being besieged by monster hordes the moment he entered the Origin Expanse.
After all, Michael was told to expect the worst.
'Why did you have to make me feel so worried me so much, brother?!'
"My Lord, I have been waiting for you!" The silver-haired maid greeted him with a deep bow, "I am your Maid and the first resident of your territory. My name is Tiara and it is my mission to serve you until death, my lord!"
Tiara politely introduced herself. She didn't dare to look into his eyes and kept her head lowered.
Michael never had subjects and he was always the one who was considered less worthy than his classmates. Thus, he was a little baffled by his maid's obedience.
'It's good to have a maid, but it would be better if she was a little bit more relaxed. The tension she radiates is frightening…' He thought before he shook his head.
Tiara looked to be around his age. It shouldn't be too difficult to break the ice between them.
"My name is Michael, but you can call me whatever you're the most comfortable with," Michael introduced himself, before he asked, "If it's not too rude to ask, which Clan of Demi-Humans do you belong to?"
His curiosity had been piqued upon seeing her silver hair and silver cat-like eyes. He was not yet sure how to treat Tiara since he was not accustomed to the mindset of a ruler, but it was not as if he could throw commands at someone he met a minute ago, not yet at least.
'I have lots of things to learn if I want to become a proper Lord. I wonder how long Danny took to adjust to his status as a Lord!'
Being a Lord was not easy, but it came with great benefits. Their status was exceptional in society but that was given. They had their own territory, possessed military might, had more resources at their disposal, and could use their influence to control the natives of the Origin Expanse to a certain extent.
To add on top of that, a Lord's Soultrait was much stronger than that of an Adventurer's.
But even then, many Lords were forced to give up their lands and be stripped of their title, becoming mere Adventurers. They paved their way through the Origin Expanse with the power they had accumulated, whether it was alone, as a team, or even in a guild. Some chose to become subordinates of other Lords as well.
"My C-Clan?? W-Why does my Lord want to know about t-this?" Tiara asked while stuttering a lot. She gripped her apron so tightly that her knuckles turned white.
'Was my question inappropriate?' Michael wondered.
"If you don't want to answer, that's fine. I was just curious about what kind of Feline Demi-Human you are. I've heard about the Catfolk, but you seem different from them. Your appearance doesn't fit the description I've read either. You have a more noble presence and you're much prettier," He explained calmly.
Michael didn't want Tiara to revolt against him right after he entered the Origin Expanse. He had yet to start building his territory!
"P-Pretty…" Tiara mumbled, her cheeks turning beet red. 'Am I?!'
Michael was not someone who hid his true thoughts. Most of the time, he spoke them aloud without thinking too much about it.
Tiara might be his maid but it was still a little confusing that she had such a noble presence. The first thought he had when he saw her was that she belonged to royalty. She was very beautiful, with long eyelashes, fair skin, and long, silky hair.
Her maid uniform did a poor job of concealing her slender figure, the fact that she was well-trained and that her body was well-proportioned, curvaceous where it had to be. It didn't make sense that someone like her would become his servant.
Michael was quite interested in Tiara since she was his first subject and the first member of a foreign race he encountered. He had many questions but he chose to ignore them for the time being. Other things were of more importance.
'Let's see what we got here.'
lightsΝοvelHe turned around to take a good look at his territory.
The protection barrier was not difficult to see. it was a huge semi-transparent barrier that surrounded his territory perfectly.
Nobody could enter his territory without his permission, probably not even deities. Michael didn't want to test the limit of the protection barrier, but he had heard and read enough about it to feel safe and sound.
'A thousand meters in each direction. That should be more than enough space for the next ten days,' Michael thought as he tried to measure the size of the protection barrier.
The protection barrier was standardized but Michael still wanted to make sure that everything was as it was supposed to be. After being satisfied with the barrier, his gaze moved forward.
'An ordinary Summoning Gate, a Wooden Manor for the Lord, a Maid, the Protection Barrier, and a humongous, densely packed rainforest that surrounds the clearing. Looks like my territory is in an acceptable position, and I'm not missing anything. Nice!'
Michael found himself in the center of a small clearing. The clearing was located in the middle of a densely grown rainforest. It was a rare and precious spot.
The open space was surrounded by tall trees and thick vegetation. It was illuminated by rays of sunlight that had been filtered through the canopy. It created a warm and inviting atmosphere.
This was one of the best places for lodging, hunting, and agriculture.
'I won't have any problems with water scarcity either. Food should be quite easy to find in the rainforest, and I can cut down the trees to build more lodgings once the number of subjects increases. Nice!'
The more Michael looked at his surroundings, the happier he became. It was a great decision to enter the Origin Expanse as early as possible. He gave himself a pat on the back for his decision as his gaze returned to the center of the clearing.
The Summoning Gate stood there grandly, with its simple yet imposing appearance. It was a large metal ring with various symbols inscribed on its surface. The center of the Summoning Gate contained a shimmering pool of energy, elevating its appearance even further.
Michael's eyes stared blankly at the highly technologically advanced Summoning Gate.
'I want to test it out!' His eyes seemed to scream but he forced himself to calm down.
First work, then enjoyment!
With that in mind, he turned his attention to the wooden manor.
It was a large and steady residence made primarily of wood. It had a grand entrance with a verandah supported by tall pillars. Inside, the manor had a high ceiling, large windows, and spacious rooms that were mostly empty save for the bare minimum. There were enough beds and furniture to accommodate over a dozen people in the manor. That was good enough to start with.
Other Lords may think of the wooden manor as a means to show off their prestige in front of their subjects, but Michael was more concerned about the safety and living conditions of his subjects.
Happy subjects were hard-working subjects!
It would take a while before he could construct more residences. Thus, the wooden manor would turn into a temporary shelter for all of his subjects.
Once he was done with his inspection of the manor, Michael returned outside. Tiara was already waiting for him at the entrance of the wooden manor, clutching her maid uniform tightly. She took a few deep breaths when Michael returned.
"Are you still interested?" She asked shyly while studying the ground.
'What is she talking about? Interested…in what?'
"If…you're still interested in getting to know my clan…" She added quietly.
Tiara kept looking to the ground, nibbling at her lower lip. 'I knew it. It was a mista–...'
"Of course, I still want to know more about your clan. This is very important to me!" Michael said without hesitation.
A Lord's territory was his heart and soul, and his people were a precious asset almost like a family! The more he knew about his people, their wishes and desires, the easier it would be to lead them in the future.
New information was always welcome as well!
Tiara blushed when she heard Michael's words. She gathered her courage once again and revealed her origin for the first time in a while.
"I belong to the Silverfang Tigerfolk."
"Silverfang Tigerfolk? I've never heard of them…" Michael was quite surprised.
Even if Demi-Humans were not common encounters for humans, most of them had been recorded in the Index of Races. Michael had read all known volumes of the Index of Races in school, yet, he hadn't heard of Tiara's clan before.
However, while it was quite surprising, it was not impossible to encounter unknown races. After all, the universe was filled with countless races!
"What a wonderful name. My family's name is Fang, while your people are the Silverfang Tigerfolk. Isn't that nice?" Michael pointed out with a radiant smile on his face.
Even if he was not sure what was going on with Tiara, or why she was so shy and hesitant, Michael decided that he would listen to her once she was ready. Making her comfortable around himself was more important right now. That would make it easier to talk to her about his position in the vast lands of the Origin Expanse, and other important information he had to find out.
Michael was still excited about his new territory. He had expected the worst and was positively surprised about the territory he had been given. How could he not be happy right now?
Was it a crime to be happy? Most certainly not!
Tiara had been nervous all day. She found out that her Lord would arrive and expected the worst, just like Michael. But upon understanding that he was genuinely curious about her, and that he wouldn't force her to tell him about herself, she loosened up a little.
Subconsciously, the corners of her lips curled up and she lifted her head to look at Michael's face for the first time since he arrived.
Seeing the overwhelming happiness radiating from her Lord, Tiara's heart skipped a beat.
'My lord is wonderful…'
Flooded with excitement and hope, Michael completely forgot to do something extremely important.
He forgot to continue researching his ancestors' book, and the reason why he could see a snippet of the past.
But there was also something else he nearly forgot out of excitement.
'Oh my, how stupid can I be?'
He mentally chided himself and gasped in shock.
"My Fortune Summoning Scroll and the Soultrait Awakening Crystal!"