Chapter 72:

Chapter LXX – The fight begins once more.

His Soul is Marching On to Another World; or, the John Brown Isekai (Fall of the Slave Harem)

52nd Summer, 5859
Azdavay, County of Casamonu

Sir Doruk, the mayor of Azdavay had a simple job: keep the peace, keep communicating with the count and keep anyone from capturing the city. The first one had been easy enough after he had turned a blind eye to the populace lynching some slaves, and the third one was more than easy enough considering that Gemeinplatz was at peace.

The second one seemed to be a hard ask during these times however.

Doruk was having issues with tax records and other reports which needed to be filed and sent to the count a week or two ago (thankfully submission times were a bit flexible to account for the fact that communication wasn’t instantaneous). None of his couriers had come back, neither had any follow-up messengers he had sent to ask the count what was up. Now his desk was swamped with unsent records, taxes, messages… The high-society ladies and gentleman who had elected Doruk wanted answers, and they wanted answers now.

It was as if Azdavay had a magical barrier erected around it, isolating it from the rest of the empire. The only major road connecting them to the rest of the empire was the Imperial Highway, and one arm of it went directly to Casamonu. The other arm went directly to Zon’guldac. Neither arm had any blood flowing through it. No visitors came in to visit, which of course made anyone anxious to leave lest they encounter whatever has been eating up everyone outside Azdavay. Thankfully there were farms nearby Azdavay, otherwise Doruk would be facing starvation along with a stagnating economy.

Maybe he needed a fresh breath of air. That was it. No need for worrying about anything else as long as he could get a whiff of air and feel himself refreshed. Doruk opened his curtains and opened his windows to take a look at the city which he controlled?


The mayor saw a whole lot of people outside.

Most of these people had dangerously high levels of melanin.

Old Brown had come a long way. From Connecticut, to Kansas and to Virginia, and finally to this strange land called Gemeinplatz. The last one was the most alien out of all, with an unfamiliar land filled with unfamiliar people practicing an unfamiliar culture. Yet, despite their unfamiliarity, the downtrodden of Gemeinplatz demanded one thing:

“Freedom or death!”

They had gotten death for a bit too long, so the time had come for a pinch of freedom. Entering the town itself hadn’t been a hard task. In fact, it had been so easy that the narration hadn’t gotten the time to catch up.

Azdavay was a minor town without a defense against any organized army. Protecting against more than a hundred armed men was way above the pay grade of the city’s guards, so they had fired off a bolt or two before turning tail and disappearing. Such had also been true for the adventurers, who wouldn’t take one swing without one shilling paid to them.

The freemen, now soldiers, couldn’t believe their eyes. The Empire, the Leviathan which towered above them all, had retreated without much resistance. One could see much jubilee in the eyes of the freemen who were now marching on the streets and towards the center where the (soon-to-be former) mayor’s mansion stood.

In contrast to the victorious and jubilant freemen, the people of the town were locked up in their homes. Those without homes had retreated into the backstreets, and there was a general confusion going on. Who were these strange men breaking into their city? Had some sort of apocalypse befallen them? Were they all experiencing some mass hysteria?

Unfortunately, for the nerves of the town people, what they were seeing was very much true. It was morning, the sun was rising, and Brown’s men had made it to the town square. The mayor’s mansion was quickly besieged, the guards in the mansion surrendered, and it was only a matter of time before somebody got the mayor.

Warfare, as quick as lightning, had been conducted without a casualty suffered. Despite that however, Brown and Tubman looked quite nervous. They had finished the easy part, the one which is (supposed to be) violent. The hard part had been softening the local authorities until such an operation was possible, by raiding their economy and weakening their unity.

The hardest times were yet to come, though that part hadn’t been realized by most of the freemen who were drunk on victory. Soon, they’d have to begin reconstructing something out of the mess that they had caused in Azdavay.

To turn from a bunch of unknown fugitives in the mountains to some sort of legitimate government, without having the local populace overthrowing them the moment they left…

One of the freemen ran up to Brown. “Captain, we found the mayor in his office. They’re bringing him over now.”

…It’d be quite the hard task, to say the least.

Sir Doruk, the mayor of Azdavay had a simple job: keep the peace, keep communicating with the count and keep anyone from capturing the city. This story isn’t about him however, for Doruk was no longer acting as mayor after having failed at all three of his assignments. Now somebody else occupied his seat: former maid café worker turned abolitionist catgirl wizard turned Captain Ayomide. She only physically occupied his former seat however, no one person had gotten the responsibilities of the mayor just yet. Brown and Tubman were also amongst those who occupied the former mayor’s office, though they were sitting at the corner of the desk and discussing deep matters that didn’t interest Ayomide at that moment. She didn’t get why they were so worked up after having achieved victory. Hers was quite the cushiony seat, and Ayomide intended to sit there as long as she could without a worry in her head. Plus, the sweet irony of sitting where the head honcho of the town she had once been enslaved in made it all the better.

“Salutations, Her Imperial Majesty Lady-Mayor Orange!” Shinasi entered the room and saluted Ayomide. He immediately broke his salute as he broke out into laughter. Maybe it was the joy of victory, maybe it was because he had raided the mayor’s cellar and done extensive taste-testing, but the young man seemed a whole lot giddier than usual. He found a seat on the mayor’s desk, almost knocking over a huge stack of papers that sat on it.

Brown immediately withdrew the papers from Shinasi’s general area, shooting an angry glance at his chemically inconvenienced comrade-in-arms. “Young man! These are the most important items in this here room, for the love of the Almighty, please do take care not to damage them!”

“These?” Shinasi didn’t exactly find much excitement in papers, unless they were banknotes or cheques.

“Yes, these!” Brown shuffled the papers back into order and made a grand “thuck thuck!” while he straightened them on the table “These are what we need to achieve victory.”

“Excuse me, but haven’t we achieved victory already?” asked Ayomide. Occupying the mayor’s soft seat sure felt like victory to her.

“’course not! Think bigger, Miss Ayomide!” interjected Tubman. She was as restless, if even more, than old Brown. “We’re not here to grab a bunch of our brothers and sisters before making an escape like we usually do. With God by our side, we’re here to stay, and for that we need to cut off the head of the snake. What better way to start than by checking the records of the mayor?”

“The records of the mayor? What was he recording?” Having never participated in the governing process, Ayomide was left in the dark.

“The people in this town. Number of adults in households, who is working and who is not, who owns what and who owns who for the sake of taxation… or so I assume, none of us can read these.” The last part caused Tubman’s mood to turn sour. “Our plan is to learn who owns slaves in this town, and strike them down before they have a chance to organize against us. Along with many other surprises that I and Brown have in store.”

Brown nodded. “We need to act quick, however. I already ordered some men to block the gates of the town and forbid anyone from leaving, but that cannot last forever. Nobody yet knows why we are here and what we want from them, so it’s better to get the gentlemen out of the way before they realize that we’re coming for their heads. After that is a long process of getting the populace here to accept us…” The old man felt his head ache while thinking of that. “No matter, our focus now is to stabilize what we can immediately stabilize. With our Heavenly Father above, we’ll deal with other issues as their turn comes. Anyone here have any suggestions for where we can find some literate people willing to read these for us?”

“Oh, I do! I do!” Shinasi screamed like an excited schoolchild. “Some of the bigger parties in the Adventurer’s Guild have those smart literates to do their accounting and whatnot. If you pay them enough money they’d probably accept to read whatever for you.

“That… That is a good idea. I’m glad to see that your brain is still functional, young man.” Brown clapped his hands and stood up. “Prepare to have a long night, ladies and gentlemen.”