Once I was finished naming all of them, I said,
“Alright. I look forward to getting to know you. Ash…ton. Haines. You two will keep the other kobolds organized.
Ash became Ashton and Haine became Haines… Yes, it was practically the same.
“Aye! Lord Heal, we of the Tibris tribe will serve you with wholehearted devotion!!”
The other kobolds did the same.
And then Baris opened his mouth as he stood next to me.
“Lord Heal. There is a lot I wish to ask Ashton, regarding their battle with the orcs… But perhaps it would be best to eat first. Also, we will have to explain to them about the island and how we provide food. I asked the Princess to show them the kitchen.”
“I see. Thank you, Rienna.”
Rienna said ‘Yes!’ cheerfully.
And then she told Ashton and the others to follow her.
Shiel, Taran, and the other slimes and Cave Spiders all touched parts of each others’ bodies as if to praise them for their good work. Apparently, they weren’t going to return to work but were going to eat together.
The only ones who were left were me and Baris…and Mappa…
I let out a deep sigh.
Being the lord of this place was hard…
I had often heard that lords and their representatives that lived near country borders would drink a lot due to the stress of official business.
But we didn’t have any drink here. And I was too young anyway…
From inside my shirt, the kobold baby looked up at me with a worried expression.
“Ah, sorry-sorry! I’m just a little tired.”
I said as I petted him soothingly.
Then he wriggled around happily.
Yes, he was so cute.
Mappa started to hit me on the back with a smile. Perhaps he was also telling me that I had done a good job.
And while it made me happy…it also hurt.
Then Baris addressed me as if to show his appreciation.
“You must be exhausted, Lord Heal. You have my sympathies…”
“Thanks, Baris… But, I suppose you must hate this?”
“That you welcomed in the kobolds? Indeed… I have many thoughts on that. However, I also believed that what you said was true.”
Baris said as he watched the kobolds who were now settling down to eat.
“In the first place, the kobolds are not the only tribe that we’ve fought against. …It pains me to say this in front of you, Lord Heal, but the humans were our enemies as well. In fact, humans took more Berdan lives than anyone else.”
“That’s… I’m sure you’re right.”
In the kingdom of Sanfaris, people were taught to kill goblins on sight.
And so any goblins who appeared near human settlements were ‘exterminated’ by the army or by mercenaries.
Furthermore, this was apparently not an unusual sight in any of the other human countries.
So it was no wonder that the goblins hated the humans in return.
In other words, obeying me would have also been a very difficult thing for the goblins to accept.
It was the orcs that burned down the Berdan tribe’s homelands, but the humans persecuted them as well.
“However, we Berdans were also rejected by other goblin tribes. And yet, Lord Heal…in spite of being a human, you saved us. And it is because you helped us, that we cannot choose to not save someone just because of their race.”
I hadn’t been thinking of such noble thoughts when I made my decision.
However, I was glad to see that Baris agreed with me.
“…But Erevan lost his son to the Tibris tribe…”
“The General is a warrior. Even if he is sad that his son died in battle, he would be solemnly aware that he’s killed the sons of others as well. There were times when we were the ones to attack the Tibris tribe… But the last battle was only a year ago. I think it will take time for them to come to terms with everything.”
“One year ago… I suppose there are many others here who lost family members, as Erevan did.”
“Indeed… The Tibris tribe lived quite close to us, so the gulf between us is deep. However, part of that is that we never had an opportunity to talk. Perhaps through interacting here, we will begin to understand each other.”
I nodded and Baris continued.
“I have a few ideas on how to make them work together. You can leave that to me. However, there will likely be times when I cannot control them… When that happens, you must lead them, Lord Heal.”
“I guess you’re right…”
“Yes. Unfortunately, there are some things that only you can do.”
So the king has to come out and make them obey…
That was my father’s way of doing things.
It wasn’t how I wanted things to be here…
However, it was the duty of the lord. And so if it came down to it, I would have to be ready.
Besides, Baris was offering to cooperate to this degree. I couldn’t just act like it had nothing to do with me.
“Alright. I promise…”
“Thank you, Lord Heal. I was able to speak with Ashton a moment ago and found him to be a flexible thinker. So I am sure he will help me. Furthermore, the Princess and the others will do what they can. We will do our best to avoid troubling you.”
“…Thanks. You’re a great help, Baris.”
“No, no. As I told you before, I have a worthless crest. I am powerless.”
“No, you’re not powerless, Baris.”
Even if he couldn’t use magic, he had far more knowledge than me.
Perhaps living for so long allowed him to experience and learn so much.
Besides, Baris said it was because of his devotion to studying that he was able to become a Shaman. So he had always been quick-witted.
On the other hand…I felt like I still had a long way to go.
If only there was a stone I could mine that would make me smarter…
Oh, right. Speaking of mining…
“By the way, I found this while digging this morning. Do you know what it is?”
I took out the Seed of the World Tree from my Inventory.
It was about the size of a potato. Baris looked at it with deep interest.
“Hmm? It is some kind of seed then. But it’s so big…”
“Apparently, it’s called the ‘Seed of the World Tree,’ but I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
“The World Tree… Hmm. I’ve never…no… I have heard of it once.”
“Yes. The previous, previous Shaman would sometimes talk of the distant past. Of course, I do not know how much truth there was to it, and I do not know the details… But it is supposed to be a very large tree whose leaves offer a blessing to all creatures.”
“Huh. Well, it’s a good tree then.”
“That is certain. It is said that countries and tribes have been wiped out because their tree was burned down.”
“That powerful… Well, I might as well plant it then.”
It sounded kind of amazing…
At that time, it was with such a light heart that I decided to plant the World Tree.