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Seechwi went around the rundown orc huts and searched for Landony’s tracks.
‘I can’t figure it out. What is Landony’s objective? Some kind of treasure in the hands of the orcs?’
Nothing was intact inside of the orc huts wiped away by the Red Dragon. The grounds were crushed and pummeled, forcing them to scavenge through the dirt for remains.
‘I don’t know what it is searching for. If something was indeed here, wouldn’t it be with Landony already?’
Nothing could be found in the remains.
Adventurer Spenson, who she met in Morata, used his inspection skill, but he shook his head.
“I can’t do it, big sis.”
“Yeah. When this inspection skill reaches advanced level 6 it shows you what happened in the past, but mine is only level 3.”
“Is Chase-nim busy? Sh-sheek!”
“He’s on his way to the Ring of Fire with the other adventurers, and nothing would change if he was here. He could only look at traces of the dragon destroying this place. If we find an object related to the dragon, the inspection skill will discover something… But this place was wiped out completely and nothing is left.”
Tracking the dragon was a failure.
‘It’s not like we can meet the dragon… I’m an orc so it’s a shame that I can’t train my tracking or inspection skills. Are orcs really that unfit for adventures?’
Seechwi was sulking in defeat.
‘I’m such a fool. I think I was underestimating Royal Road.’
She only thought of chasing and finding tracks. For an excellent and reputable adventurer it was viable, but not for her.
‘If we can’t find something from the remains left by the dragon here, shouldn’t I find something from the dragon’s opposing side?’
It seemed probable that she could find some tracks in Landony’s route. At the very front to be precise.
The Plains of Despair had a surface area that equaled three kingdoms of the Central continent put together. Moreover, the reproduction rate of orcs was insane so their kind spread wide over the continent.
‘There would be a tribe that knows about the secret. Orcs with some link to Landony would be extremely rare. What to do in order to find them?’
There definitely would be orcs with a lead in such a vast land.
- Fierce Pigeon: Alright. I will take flight across the Plains of Despair.
She paid the avians and scouted the inhabitants of the orc villages.
- Fierce Pigeon: Most of the orcs are scattering due to Landony’s invasion. There are some hiding into the caves. Nothing unusual as they are just orcs fleeing out of fear. But…
“What is it? Sheek!”
- Fierce Pigeon: Unusual movement sighted. Normally, orcs move altogether as a tribe.
“Shu-ek! What about it?”
- Fierce Pigeon: There was an orc tribe that scattered in all directions, to avoid Landony.
“As if Landony was targeting them? Sh-sheek!”
- Fierce Pigeon: That is correct. They are on the run and it is difficult to close the distance.
Seechwi set out her objective and ran towards the Plains of Despair.
Her muscular orc frame allowed her to reach tremendous speeds!
At last, she found the tribes that were related to Landony.
- Malsa Village was destroyed. We urge for restoration.
- A monster swarm marching towards Levento Village. Request for immediate reinforcements.
- Just received a report that Jun City is undergoing a siege.
Inside the office located inside the Earth Palace, Seoyoon was putting in her best efforts, but could not stop the situation from getting worse.
In the time Weed was carrying out his quest, the fate of the Arpen Empire was sinking.
The newly appointed lords criticised the Empire.
- Ropener: The behavior of the new lords is suspicious. I went out with them for beer, and they were questioning Weed-nim and the Arpen Empire’s abilities.
Ropener secretly transferred from the Hermes Guild in the past!
He was one of the few in the Arpen Empire that could be trusted with the Central continent.
Seoyoon tried grit her teeth and tried to bear it, since resolving the situation with Kaybern was of utmost priority.
- Ropener: but their level of criticism is too much… Some are saying that it was better when they were in the Hermes Guild, and that the empire is not keeping up with all the money it was fed. Shouldn’t I take some measures against that?
It was a tough call for Seoyoon to make.
She did look after the internal affairs, but she was not comfortable trying to contain the lords.
“There is a lot of complaining among the lords. Shouldn’t we calm them down anyway we can?”
Seoyoon delivered the message to Weed with a big expression of concern.
Weed took Bahamorg, Seasoned Crab and Pale for hunting even during his quest.
- Weed: It’s already exhausting dealing with the dragon and Morata, and now the lords…
“We have to calm them down somehow.”
- Weed: I mean, all the bad and annoying things happen all at once. Are the Northern lords complaining too?
“It doesn’t seem that way. We persevered through the tough times together.”
- Weed: Then it must be the newly appointed lords.
- Weed: I’ll be on my way after the hunt, so summon them all to the Earth Palace.
The Arpen Empire administration conference was quickly called for by Weed’s command!
The lords of the Northern, Central continent and the tribal chieftains of the Southern deserts arrived at the Earth Palace.
The South was near its completion with the ‘Birth of the Pallos Empire’ quest, slowly taking the shape of a nation.
The tribal chieftains of the deserts were more aware of reality than anyone else.
‘At this point in time, the Arpen Empire is the leader. Go against Weed and you won’t survive.’
‘The South has a tiny population… What’s more is that most of the warriors of the region are deeply connected with Weed.’
‘Independence? Cause a revolution? My members will try to kill me before that happens.’
They were the closest allies of Weed, Geomchi and the apprentices that accomplished the ‘Birth of the Pallos Empire’ quest.
Nowadays, the top elite warriors of the continent chosen for hunting Kaybern were training in the South.
It was the means to unite the deserts and though it wasn’t intended primarily as an active display of power, the watchful others succumbed naturally.
‘Other than the Hermes Guild, the skilled users of Royal Road are all following Weed.’
‘In reality, the deserts we live in now… It was really Weed that established them, that there is a connection with the orcs in the east. Where on the continent has Weed not touched?’
‘Weed has public popularity but that is not all. His grudges are long-winded and he always pays them back. I don’t know what he’s going to pick on, so let’s be careful.’
The desert tribal chieftains decided to sit quietly through the conference and took their leave.
Roam, Carlise, Michel, Sherwood, Gunter. The major lords too could have boasted their influence and tried to control the atmosphere, but they kept to their seats instead.
‘Nothing good will come from drawing Weed’s attention.’
‘Stay quiet. The cornered stone meets the chisel.’
People who experienced it firsthand knew very well.
The ones going around chattering were the new lords that knew nothing about the world and also the first time running a city.
“Hahaha, you are the lord of the city in Britton.”
“I still haven’t figured out every corner of the neighborhood, but I will treat you to some spectacular wine when you visit.”
“Sounds great. Royal Road is a prosperous world, ain’t it? Huahaha.”
The new lords were confident and loquacious in the conference room.
The major lords just kept their silence observing the fools.
“Weed-nim is entering the room.”
Finally, the emperor of Arpen Empire Weed’s entrance!
He equipped the most fancy looking items from the loot he gained after the dragon’s lair.
‘Although it’s annoying, a luxurious appearance is needed at times. Like a CEO that exploits the part-time workers.’
Weed’s outfit was a plain traveller’s attire, but he was wearing a sizeable jewelled crown that he brought from the lair. As an emperor, he wanted to give off the right impression.
All lords stood up from their seats and greeted him.
“We are your humble servants, emperor!”
“Please have your seats. Next time, I hope that we can have a more comfortable atmosphere. We will forego the formalities, emperor, your highness and the like. That’s just too burdensome.”
Weed spoke softly with a smile, and the new lords thought he was a generous man.
‘He’s probably a chump with no experience in society. He may be swell with adventures, but politics is a different story. The one who wields his cause will win the pot.’
‘Ruling cannot be done with just the power of youth. Though the Hermes Guild failed, their direction was right.’
The newly lords were appointed by paying for their seats and therefore mainly comprised of the rich or their following generations.
In addition, there were a considerable number of lords that were originally lords in the Hermes Guild.
‘Earth Palace? I may just be able to expand my influences starting here.’
‘My ambition cannot end with just a tiny city. Since my level is low and hunting is a hassle, I just wanted to run a city here and there. But with such temptations before me…’
The eyes of the lords glittered with the greed of ambition.
The lord appointment did not take into factor people’s attitudes or reputation, hence it was an inevitable side effect!
Some turned their eyes to Seoyoon who walked in together with Weed.
‘The Grass Porridge Goddess… The name sounds silly but she is so beautiful that she just captivated me. I’m looking at her right now and I can’t believe it. Maybe I’ll have a shot at her. No woman doesn’t like money and power.’
‘The Arpen Empire is not rooted properly yet. I have to talk a lot and spread my influence. So that people will take note of my suggestions. This is politics.’
The ambitions of these lords were growing rapidly in the conference room.
“The matter to be discussed today is the additional eradication plans of monsters in locations with unstable security and the road construction that will link the cities.”
With a relaxed voice, Weed raised the matter of securing internal transportation routes for the Central and Northern continent.
Road construction was more important the worse the security.
It was highly likely that typical users encountered monsters or bandits while crossing mountains and fields.
If roads were established, users could group together and travel through the same routes, making it safer and much faster.
For merchants, the roads were vital in their large transports with wagons in their trades.
“The first location for road construction is…”
Harold raised his hand.
He was the lord of Castle Sisley, the center of the Free City in Britton.
“There is something we have to address first. The reason we became lords is because of the trust we have in the Arpen Empire. As you know, we spent fortunes. Then, we are taking tremendous losses as the monsters broke out. We are all afraid of when Kaybern might destroy our cities. Bluntly speaking, the governing isn’t anywhere close to our expectations. Shouldn’t you apologize to everyone on this matter?”
Silence overwhelmed the banquet hall of the Earth Palace.
There were many places suffering from Kaybern and the monsters, but for him to publicly criticize Weed right off the bat.
Harold looked around and smirked.
“I know there are many others that think the same but cannot voice themselves. I am merely speaking out for them, so please do not misunderstand. Personally, I am your fan.”
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