Lorist returned to The Northlands during the 9th month along with Tigersoar and Charade. However, Tigersoar's acting general, Reidy, didn't follow them back. Instead, he was busy helping Malek and Howard out with the development of their rented dominion.

Malek stayed behind because he was one of the main people in charge as that base was to have heavy significance in the Norton military. He planned to only return after the project was in full swing.

Reidy stayed back for two reasons. The first was for his junior apprentice brother, Howard, who was tasked to become the main supervisor of the project, which meant that they might not be able to meet for the next few years. Reidy decided to stay for two to three months to help Howard continue to polish his swordsmanship. His uncle, Charlando, also wasn't willing to see him return to The Northlands so soon and managed to convince him to stay until the end of the year to return with Els and the sentry legion. That way, the old man wouldn't have to suffer parting with his beloved nephews twice.

Sylvia, Spiel, Kedan and the other officials of the house rushed to Northsea to receive Lorist and held a rather grand welcoming ceremony for him and the soldiers who had fought outside the dominion for years. A grand banquet was hosted in the army camp outside the city for the men of Tigersoar and Lorist.

At first Lorist wondered why a pauper like Spiel was willing to endorse frivolous spending such as that. During the end of last year, Spiel explained to Lorist with a smile on his face that thanks to the restoration of the market in Morante, House Norton's factories were in production nonstop and new factories were constantly being built. The dominion showed a prosperous sign. The increase in production during the past year alone had caused profits to increase by almost three million.

Spiel said that he had no choice but to save back then since the house didn't have much money. He was even more terrified when Lorist spent what little amount they had seemingly thoughtlessly. But now that the house was getting richer. Spiel finally understood the intent behind Lorist's spending and investment. For every gold coin thrown in, more would come back in profit.

That was why he gave his full approval when Sylvia got him to help out with a grand welcoming ceremony. Since they were pretty well off now, the celebration was definitely something they ought to hold as it was something that could affect the house's reputation. Lorist's status as a swordsaint could be upheld that way as well. At the same time, the soldiers that had been fighting abroad on behalf of the house for so many years would be able to feel how much the house cherished them, making them even more loyal to the house.

After the festivities, Lorist noticed that Sylvia and the four concubines seemed to be living in Northsea for the long term. He asked about it and found that the palace that was being built at the east side of Ragebear had been delayed. It would've been completed in another half a year, but Spiel decided that since the house was earning so much in recent days, he wanted to make sure that the palace was the grandest there ever would be for the sake of the house's reputation. So, he added a huge sum to the original budget, causing Ciroba to be even more invested in it and making sure that it would strike awe into the hearts of all in the next millennium about how grand House Norton was. As such, the construction of the palace was halted until the changes were made.

It was then when Lorist just recalled him receiving some documents requesting for additional budget from Spiel last year when he was in Morante. However, his mind was preoccupied with thinking of how to defeat the Trade Union back then that he didn't really bother to read it through. Given his trust for the supervisor, he signed his name on the document casually and sent it back to him.

Sylvia, being someone who obsessed over hygiene, didn't like to live at Ragebear, where construction was taking place all over. Given her liking for the seaside, she brought the whole family to Northsea and moved into the city hall. There was vacancy anyway and leaving the rooms empty would be a waste. And even though Bullhorn Bay was no Platinum Beach, there was a small sandy area that was more than large enough for the women to play with their children at.

At night within the city hall of Northsea within the grandest bedroom was an exceptionally large bed which was exquisitely decorated. Sylvia and the four concubines converted their longing for Lorist into kinetic energy to battle with his rod. Only after he was completely expended did he manage to appease the five ravenous women and survive their relentless attack.

"Why didn't you just bring the children to Platinum Beach for a vacation?" Lorist asked Sylvia, whom he hugged in his embrace, after the strenuous exercise they just had.

The afterglow of climax was still visible on her beautiful visage. She cuddled against Lorist like a little kitten and enjoyed the sense of security his chest gave him. Hearing Lorist's question, she buried herself deeper into his bosom and said, "I didn't feel like it. We went there once two years ago and happened to run into Duke Kenmays returning with his forces from Falik Plains. Only around 13 thousand of his 50 thousand troops returned, and that was a sad affair for the whole of Sidgler.

"The maidservants at Platinum Beach all seemed really down and many of their family members perished from the conflict. We could hear their cries from time to time and the only guests there were us. It wasn't merry like before at all and all we felt was cold emptiness. We also heard that most of the nobles of the kingdom participated in this war and suffered losses as heavy as House Kenmays's. I'm sure that no noble would go to Platinum Beach for vacation in the coming years, so after that, I went to Morante to find you just as the matter with Queen Cacanne came up. We were worried about you."

Lorist felt touched, so touched that his little member reacted once more. He gently kissed Sylvia on the forehead and said, "It's all fine now. You don't have to worry any longer. We've won and obtained peace. After that, I will stay by your side and spend the rest of my days with you all. I won't go out to war anymore. It's getting late, so we should go to sleep, after we have another quick one of course."

Sylvia smiled and looked reinvigorated. She felt up Lorist's bottom and asked, "You still have energy left? Weren't you half dead just now? Eh? You really got hard. Lie down and don't move, I want to take the top this time."

Lorist's legs felt completely weak the next day. Anyone who screwed with five women and only got three to four hours of sleep only to be screwed twice more during the morning would feel like that, even a swordsaint was no exception. That was a biological limitation. Even if Lorist was a swordsaint, he was still human, ways off from becoming a god. Sigh, even a swordsaint doesn't have any way to improve in that department, thought Lorist seriously.

However, there were indeed benefits of becoming a swordsaint. Duke Fisablen for instance was a rank 3 blademaster and was fit as a fiddle even in his seventies and could lie with two women without issue. Perhaps I should ask Duke Kenmays how. He's only a silver rank, but he must've used all his battleforce on his little junior... Kenmays was a famous playboy in the kingdom and the favorite of the loose noblewomen of the imperial capital.

He ceased his senseless thoughts as Sylvia, the concubines and their children were waiting for Lorist to join them for breakfast. Even though he had already met his children yesterday, he was still quite distant from his older children. Anderbael had long forgotten about the father he hadn't met for a year.

The younger children at ages one or two on the other hand thought of Lorist as a mysterious new toy and crawled all over him before claiming their own territory like dogs and marking Lorist with their urine, causing him to have to bathe and change midway through breakfast.

Since Sylvia and the others weren't willing to go back to Ragebear, Lorist decided to stay at Northsea as well. He happened to need to observe and manage the reorganization of the naval forces at Bullhorn Bay anyway. Some two years after the Battle of Cape Romani with Invincible Fleet, the shipyards at Bullhorn Bay had designed and experimented with more than ten new battleship designs. Lorist had to integrate those new ships into his navy according to their respective forms and functions.

Lorist mainly had to check three of those new designs. The first was the Blitz class warship which made up the main force of Northsea Fleet. Those were the ships that allowed the Nortons' fearsome name to spread throughout by demolishing countless enemy warships. Recently, there had been new developments on the Blitz class at the shipyards which increased their durability, speed, and stability. Lorist decided to order 30 of those new Blitz classes to replace the 14 old ones.

The next one was a Swift middle-class ship dubbed a Pursuer by Lorist. Compared to its Swift class predecessor, all these new ships were fitted with bronze cannons and made to have decks and cabins. Even if each of them were fitted with 18 bronze cannons, they would be stable enough to sustain the recoil from all those cannons firing at once. The streamlined shape of those ships could also weather the strong winds and waves of the northern seas and allowed it to travel double as quickly.

The Pursuers probably wouldn't be deployed in the northern seas since the Blitz class was more than enough for patrolling and securing the waters. Lorist had those ships made to deal with pirate ships in the southern seas instead. Blitz-class warships were large vessels that couldn't match up to the smaller pirate vessels in terms of speed and only stood a chance if the winds allowed for it. However, the pirate ships could rely on their familiarity with the local geography and evade pursuit from the Blitz class warships by sailing between the reefy areas.

Lorist believed that with the Pursuers, he could tackle piracy at a large scale in the southern seas. In terms of maneuverability and speed, no other middle-sized Swift class could compete with the Pursuers. The pirates would definitely be unable to escape the Pursuers that were armed with cannons. Their fate was to either surrender or sink.

The last new warship was dubbed the Patrollers. They were super large class warships that were partly based on the sea castle Sabnims used by Invincible Fleet. Each ship was fitted with 72 bronze cannons across two different storeys. The front and rear of the ships were also mounted with four cannons each. It was a complete monster that could carry a crew of 500 corsairs. It would dominate the oceans in both ranged and close combat.

There were three other new ships, with one of the being an improved whaling ship. Lorist had mobilized all the whaling ships in the grand battle with Invincible Fleet and all 16 of them had to be retired after the Battle of Cape Romani. They were used to fill up the reef area there and became the foundation on which Fort Howard was built.

The new whaling ship was larger and hardier, making it more suitable for whaling further out at sea. To Lorist, this was Grindia, not earth, and he wasn't some champion for nature and the environment. The sea of that world seemed endlessly wide and whales were loaded with treasure from head to tail. Whaling brought in more than 100 thousand gold Fordes in profits for the house and each whale could be harvested for more than a thousand. It was a thriving industry that House Norton wouldn't give up on easily.

One of the two remaining new ships were primarily guest vessels that were more or less the size of the Patrollers, but faster and more agile. Currently, a ferry line was established from Northsea to Morante with stops at Platinum Beach, Silowas, Jillin Harbor and Armatrin Harbor. Four of those guest vessels would be constructed and one of them would start sailing from Northsea every month while the other started sailing back from Hidegold Bay. Each voyage would take around 28 days and the passengers could get on or off at any given stop.

That was the ferry line through the northern seas. The one for the southern seas hadn't been decided on yet. Lorist felt that letting the private ship owners handle the ferry business in the southern seas would be better. House Norton could produce the ferry ships which the private ship owners could use to run such a business. They could work together, and form a relationship with the noble backers of those ship owners in the south. That could possibly be a goose that laid golden eggs.

The last new ship was an improved version of the LLDAM-class vessel. The capacity of good it could carry was doubled and it could sail quicker with more stability. It could also be used as a logistics vessel and sustain a supply chain effectively for Northsea Fleet. It was decided that 24 of those ships would be constructed and they would usually be used to ship goods to and from Morante.

What troubled Lorist was that they couldn't outsource the construction of those ships to other parties in the interest of confidentiality. All construction had to be done in Bullhorn Bay. House Norton's land and naval forces were already famous throughout the continent and everybody wanted to steal a piece of what made them so good. Only within the territory of the house could they effectively catch spies sent by other powers.

The shipyards in Bullhorn Bay occupied nearly half the area of the bay and had more than ten thousand skilled workers and laborers. That was where the largest industry of the house was located. However, as building ships was something that required skill and expertise, the production couldn't be increased with just an increase in personnel. Producing 20 new ships each year was the limit.

Given that there were up to 120 ships waiting to be constructed, Bullhorn Bay's shipyards were fully booked for the next six to seven years. After much consideration, Lorist decided to build some shipyards in Silowas and let them deal with the construction of the ferry and whaling ships. That way, they would be able to realize their plans within four years.

Apart from arranging for the construction of the ships, Lorist had to consult Spiel for the costs. In Morante, it cost around seven thousand gold Fordes for the construction of a LLDAM-class vessel. But House Norton required more than double that amount for one middle-class Pursuer to be constructed. Other things aside, the main body of the double-story warship cost 15 thousand gold Fordes to make. The bronze cannons and training of new cannoneers would bump up the costs of each Pursuer to around 50 thousand.

Fortunately, the house now had Fort Howard at Cape Romani and they would be able to legally collect toll from passing ships which amounted to no less than a million gold Fordes each year. That was enough to sustain fleet after the expansion and there might even be some left over for the house. Additionally, around 200 of the ships that were obtained after Invincible Fleet was defeated were auctioned off at Morante, bringing in another million plus gold Fordes for the house. That way, the house only had to pay another five million or so out of their pockets for the construction of those new ships. which was spread out across five years, lessening the burden on the house.

After more than a month of hard work, Lorist finally finished planning the whole expansion of the household fleet and the construction for the ships. The next big thing was the year-end celebration held by the house, during which a large number of vassal nobles would have their titles reissued by the house. There was also a large number of soldiers who earned noble titles and lands.