Michael had been focused on extracting resources all day.

He didn't go hunting because he was also organizing his War Rune's storage space, and getting familiar to his subjects, hoping that they would learn to trust him. After all, he had to make sure that his subjects knew that he would return to the Origin Expanse once he returned home.

The biggest issue at hand was the Gogi Lord and his military force. If the gorilla-like humans Blaire was talking about were actually Gogis it was highly likely that they would attack his territory once they found it. Because of that, Michael felt obliged to tell his subjects that he would leave the Origin Expanse to purchase everything needed.

There shouldn't be any issues with him leaving because the protection barrier would continue to protect his territory from invaders and predators.

"Of course, you must leave, Master. Blaire will die without a healer or some medicine, so please don't worry about us," Williams Hearts, the Apprentice Architect said while clenching his fist, "We will be fine!"

It was the evening of Michael's third day inside the Origin Expanse and everyone had gathered to have dinner. Michael joined them at the dinner table to tell everyone what he planned to do. That way, nobody would panic and think that their Lord had abandoned them when the Gogis would attack them, and their Lord disappeared.

Williams was right; however, nobody could smile upon recalling what happened to Blaire only a few hours ago. The Tracker had returned from her exploration mission only a few hours ago. She got severely injured, and her wound had to be tended to. But since they lacked the necessary means to tend her normally, Tiara heated up the blade of the silver spear to burn her wound and disinfect it until she stopped bleeding.

Blaire's screams rang through the entire territory for several minutes until she could not take it anymore and fainted due to the pain.

It was horrifying.

Everyone felt sorry for Blaire, and they wanted to help her recuperate fast. However, nobody was well versed in the plants inside the rainforest. This made it impossible to find herbs and plants with healing properties.

Thus, Michael would have to take care of it by leaving the territory for a while.

"The eggs are fertilized, and it won't take long before the Bilrox chicken will hatch. No more than three days, if my appraisal is correct," Heran, the Lesser Tamer, said, trying to change the topic.

Blaire's screams had been unbearable to listen to, and he didn't want to be kept reminded about it.

"That's great. Fortunately, we don't have to pay too much attention to their diet since they're omnivores," Michael responded absent-mindedly.

He was still a little bothered that Blaire had ensured that he would never be able to befriend the Gogis near their territory. The chance would have been low, knowing that the Gogis were not an easy race to deal with, but Blaire had simply sealed off the minor opportunity even before it appeared, in the first place.

'Even their weakest is Tier-1, and their numbers are higher as well, while I'm just a new Lord in the territory. Sounds pleasant…like seriously…' He grumbled to himself before his focus reverted to the campfire and his company.

Michael knew that he wouldn't be able to sleep tonight, so he might as well prepare a few plans for tomorrow while continuing to talk with his subjects.

Hours passed in the blink of an eye, and it was already pitch-black outside. The familiar sounds of the rainforest such as the rustling of leaves and wild beast noises reached everyone, but no one paid them any attention. Tiara and the others stared at Michael's War Rune. The War Rune flickered a few times and Michael got up from his place instinctively.

"I think I can leave now," He said with a faint smile on his lips before he willed the Runic Gate to open.

The space to Michael's left distorted, creating a bright light, and a white, unblemished Gate materialized no sooner.

'They will be fine, right?' He hesitated a moment but reaffirmed his determination by locking eyes with Tiara. Her eyes glimmered in determination, so why was he the one who hesitated? He was their Lord, the man who was supposed to give his subjects a better, more fulfilling, and prosperous life!

"I will be back soon!" Michael declared, clenching his fists before he stepped through the Gate.

He disappeared a moment later, and the Runic Gate followed suit. It dispersed as if it never existed.

Tiara's ears drooped the next moment. She stared at the disappearing Runic Gate then at her own War Rune before she mumbled in a muffled voice.

"I hope he won't face any problems."

Michael's mind was so focused on the execution of the plans he had come up with beforehand that he didn't even notice when he reappeared at home.

He emerged back in the kitchen where he manifested the Runic Gate before himself.

"Everything looks the same…" Michael mumbled, "...but why does it feel so different?"

He felt a bit odd while returning to the concrete jungle, but it was not exactly a bad feeling. Michael was excited and looking forward to spending his time in the Origin Expanse and back in mankind's territory. It made him feel as if he lived two separate lives that were as contrasting as possible.

'I understand you know, Danny,' Michael thought as he opened the holographic screen of his crystal watch.

The crystal watch disappeared when he entered the Origin Expanse but it reappeared as if it had never left his wrist the moment he stepped out of the gate. Michael didn't bother paying any attention to it either.

"It's Wednesday 13:15 pm, and I entered the Origin Expanse…Tuesday at 3 am," He mumbled, "So, only 34 hours passed since I entered the Origin Expanse. The time ratio is really 2:1, nice. I have no time to waste!"

Michael had a lot to do and every minute at home was equivalent to two minutes in the Origin Expanse, so he rushed into the bathroom while booking a shuttle. He jumped in the shower, scrubbed himself nicely, and threw his old clothes away. They were torn in several spots and smudged with dried monster blood, dirt, and sweat.

Once he was done, Michael put on a basic combat suit and a second layer of comfortable clothes on top. Afterward, he left the apartment in a rush. The shuttle was already waiting for him and Michael entered it.

"To the Central Trading Hall, please!" Michael said before pressing the crystal watch against the screen that popped up in front of him. The emotionless voice of the shuttle's AI resounded a moment later.

[Of course, Sir!]

The shuttle set off and flew through the airspace of the capital for the next 20 minutes.

In the meantime, Michael spent his time focusing on the crystal watch's messenger. His brother wasn't at home, so Michael sent him a simple message.

[Michael: Hey Danny, I'm doing fine. I am not injured and just wanted to tell you that there is no need for you to worry about me. My territory is much better than yours! :P]

Michael was pretty sure that there was no need for him to tell his brother that this territory was a big mess. It would worry Danny needlessly when his brother was already busy with his own territory.

"Oh?" He noticed that a new chat had popped up on the messenger and opened the chat without thinking too much about it.

[Alice Zenovia(fierce beauty): If you're alive, send me a message.]

[Alice Zenovia(fierce beauty): The Saphirelake Military Academy's aptitude examination will be held on the 20th. I applied on your behalf, but you don't have to come if you don't want to. But just so you know – This year is the first time that applications across mankind's territory will be accepted. Before, the Military Academy handpicked their students, but this is the first time they are inviting a larger pool and graduates can apply on their own as well. That means you could be the first student from an ordinary background to reap the Military academy's benefits.]

These two messages were followed up with an attached file containing the exact time and place of the test, in addition to derailed notes about the range of tests, and the score one needed to get accepted.

However, Michael put the file aside after he downloaded it. He was a little bit interested in the Military Academy, but there were other things he had to deal with first.

"So talkative…"

After he finished reading Alice's chat, he didn't answer immediately. He looked up the prices of items and which clerk he should visit in the Central Trading Hall to make the most use of the resources he had collected within his first three days inside the Origin Expanse.

Meanwhile, the shuttle reached its destination.

[Thank you for using Golden Lion's shuttle service!]

Michael was pulled out of his train of thought upon hearing the emotionless voice. He got up and left the shuttle with a last glance at his chat with Alice Zenovia. Without thinking too much, he typed something before he closed the chat.

His message was simple enough to tell her that he was still alive.

'That should be enough.'

[Michael: –]

Chapter 25: Return
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