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For a moment I organized my thoughts.
What would be good to say?
Alsefon the Third is sure to not know anything about the exams.
In the name of justice I am trying to stop the evil plans of the high priests!
…. Alsefon the Third wouldn’t believe words like that.
At the end of thinking, I opened my mouth.
“I am merely a traveler. When I befriended the elves I familiarized myself with spirit summons and naturally, the dark magicians became my enemies because they were trying to harm the elves. It is not due to some sense of justice, but I wish to rid this world of those and their weird conspiracy.”
Alsefon the Third looked at me, unmoving.
A moment later he opened his mouth.
“That was the wrong question. What is it you want?”
“There is nothing I want.”
“You go around fighting so hard but there is nothing you want?”
“You must have a situation.”
“But, regardless of what your goal is, it doesn’t seem connected to current politics. So, I will not ask you further about your identity.”
“But there is something I am more curious about. Hearing about your past actions against them, it is obvious that you are definitely an undeniable enemy of the dark magic organization.”
“You are correct.”
“But if you had to make the entirety of the Aman Kingdom your enemy, would you still be able to fight?”
“Excuse me? The entire Aman Kingdom?”
“Yes, the whole of Aman Kingdom. It is just me thinking but if you continue fighting the dark magicians, eventually you will see the Aman Kingdom your enemy as well.”
The inside of my head got complicated.
Within the Aman Kingdom, there are tons of nobles who worked with the pirates and allowed their brutality. It was thanks to them that the pirates couldn’t be stopped.
Taking that into account, the number of nobles connected to the dark magicians in the Aman Kingdom could be innumerable.
But I couldn’t say because of that, I could see the entire Aman Kingdom becoming my enemy.
“You don’t seem to agree with me there.”
Explained Alsefon the Third.
“The Aman Kingdom’s sultan personally maintains the territory. He controls the dispatching of the consuls that the sultan has appointed. Because of that, the Aman Kingdom’s control and solidarity, more so than other countries, far surpasses other societies and it is that dynamic that once conquered the continent.”
“The pirates and the Aman Kingdom’s nobles and the dark magicians, the grand cartel they have created, do you not find it strange that it exists not in some other country but in Aman Kingdom? Would a cartel like that be able to avoid the eyes of the sultan in Aman Kingdom?”
Alsefon the Third shrugged his shoulders and continued to speak.
“Rather, let’s say those bastards were in our Kingdom, here in Arend, it’d be believable. In this country there are tons of places my eyes and ears don’t reach. But in the Aman Kingdom, there is no area beyond the reach of its sultan.”
“Then, my king, do you mean to say that the dark magicians and the sultan are working together?”
“No. I am thinking that the ringleader of the dark magic group is none other than the sultan himself.”
We were surprised.
“There are several reasons I think that.”
Said Alsefon the Third.
“The one that made Aman Kingdom conquer the continent was the Third sultan, Kajad Pun Aman.”
Kajad Pun Aman.
I too read the files on Arena in my notebook and studied which is how I came to know the name.
In terms of Chinese history, he is as great a figure as Qin Shi Huang.
After his death, the Aman Kingdom divided and eventually became multiple other countries, which too was similar to Qin Shi Huang.
But if there is a difference it is that unlike Emperor Qin Shi Huang, who focused on the great wall and Epang Palace, Kajad Pun Aman ruled the Kingdom well.
“I found a record of that Kajad sultan, who set up the greatest achievement in the history of man, who in his last years showed interest in the dark magic.”
“Is that so?”
Alsefon the Third nodded his head as a surprised Odin questioned him.
“The dark magic problem exploded and I had my magicians and scholars investigate. Thanks to that, I got that information not too long ago.”
“What is the reason that the great Kajad sultan would’ve delved into dark magic in his ending years?”
“When someone who has achieved everything and has everything is growing old and the day of death approaches, what would he wish for so desperately?”
I mumbled as I recalled Emperor Qin Shi Huang.
“Correct. That is why he got interested in a field of study that bypasses the laws of nature. Seeing as how he died and is buried I am sure he failed in his endeavor but I surmise that today’s black magic organization had its start there. What say you? Doesn’t that make sense?”
“I too agree with your speculations.”
Cha Ji-hye and I nodded and expressed our agreement.
No matter how far the infrastructure of this society falls short of our world, the happenings that the dark magicians have created is just too large.
If behind that mastermind was the sovereign of a strong nation, everything seemingly fell into place.
“Now let’s return to the main point. Baronet Kim, if need be, are you prepared to fight the Aman Kingdom?”
“The Chinese examinee group probably knew that.”
Cha Ji-hye agreed.
“Lee Chang-wee has interacted with high priest Allan. If he passed on the truth about the exams or our identities, there is bound to be some information he received in exchange for that.”
“It won’t simply be just the Chinese examinee group either.”
I chimed in.
We were currently in the carriage returning to the home of the Count of Wolfenbrooke.
Eventually I received the title of baron and land from Alsefon the Third.
The land I received was from before when we went to war alongside Odin and was the neighboring territory to that Baron Bastian.
The noble family that originally took care of that territory was Viscount Heinz.
It is rumored that Viscount Heinz was close enough to Baron Bastian to become in-laws.
But Baron Bastian was ruined. And when the Count of Wolfenbrooke seized their land and increased their influence, Heinz felt threatened.
So eventually he sold the territory to the Kingdom and left as if he was running away.
And Alsefon the Third gave that land to me.
The land to the east and north belonged to Count Wolfenbrooke’s.
To the south was the Brown Mountain.
Location wise, the territory I received was very good for me.
All around me was full of allies so my safety wouldn’t be a problem.
Anyway, right now, the territory isn’t the problem.
“It isn’t just China that has corrupt examinees. The high priests, through Lee Change-wee, will know about the exams, and will probably be trying to recruit other corrupt examinees like Lee Chang-wee.”
“I’m sure they’ve gathered considerable support. If their support comes from a strong country like the Aman Kingdom, the corrupt examinees will be pleased with that too.”
For the corrupt examinees, they get the strong backing of the Aman Kingdom which was good for them.
And the sultan would have given a great offer to strong people like examinees.
“This situation is a mess. Our enemy isn’t some criminal organization that cannot operate out in the open, but is someone with the strongest kingdom’s governmental authority, Aman Kingdom’s royal family.”
“And it might not be just the corrupt examinees working with them.”
Said Cha Ji-hye.
Odin nodded his head.
“No matter what, the fact that the Kingdom has given you, Hyun-ho, a title and territory is in preparation for that. When the Aman Kingdom begins to stir, you have the power to stop them.”
“They’re thinking the elves on Brown Mountain?”
“That is a major point too. Recently, the king has implemented a strong crack down on the elf slaves in Jikprit. Which is related to the current situation.”
It’s not a bad deal.
Because of the exams, I have to fight the black magicians anyway. Even if it was the Aman Kingdom behind them.
From the point of view of the elves of Brown Mountain, they have to counter the dark magicians which were aiming for their Trees of Life.
The implicit offer of collaborative relations from Alsefon the Third was beneficial to all.
“Anyway, expanding the territory will be a problem too. The land you received doesn’t have many people nor does it have a specialty product so the growth factor is quite low.”
“Is that so?”
“There is a reason Viscount Heinz gave up the territory. It isn’t land you get attached to really.”
So that’s why he just sold it for money when the situation changed unfavorably.
Selling and buying territory in Arena isn’t all that special.
We returned to the Count of Wolfenbrooke’s home and changed out of our travel clothes and were resting and I talked with Cha Ji-hye.
“What about farming or ranching?”
“With your skills Hyun-ho, expanding your territory through farming I think is possible.”
Thinking it over, I thought so too.
There was a limit of 10 for the animal taming skill but the skill that expedites their growth doesn’t have a limit besides growing 3 times as big and as fast.
If I started a ranch that could grow superior livestock close to that of beasts or monsters…
…. Hold on?
A strange idea suddenly crossed my mind.
‘Should I take a couple animals to Earth and ranch them?’
Animals from Arena contain majeong.
If I can propagate them somewhere like a remote island I could get majeong without having to deal with other examinees.
In that case, the government and Jinseong group will be happy and will support me in clearing the missions. As long as I can safely provide a stable supply of majeong, there would be no reason to continue these dangerous exams for majeong.
‘I think that would be enough of a motivation to give it a try?’
I told Cha Ji-hye what I think. She agreed with me.
“That’s not a bad idea. It might not just be our country and Jinseong group, but it could be the card that unites the worlds’ capitalists. It could be that through you, Hyun-ho, we might get the powers of a future oil producing country.”
An oil producing country!
Just thinking about it was amazing. Then I’ll really be a billionaire.
Anyway, for now, it’s worth a shot.
“Then we should start by finding an animal with a high reproductive rate and can’t swim.”
Bringing an animal from here to Earth was risky since it might escape and ruin the ecosystem. To stop that, I’ll have to keep it locked up on a remote island and let them grow there.
“Nice, you’re back?”
Today, the baby angel didn’t greet us in a fuss.
The baby angel spoke with a grinning smile.
“You’re attempting something fun.”
He’s referring to the three pairs of male and female animals I had in my virtual space.
“Why, can I not?”
“No. Whatever you do with the skills you’ve acquired is up to you.”
“I’m allowed to do anything?”
Said the baby angel while smiling.
“All this while, examinee Kim Hyun-ho has cleared the exams while thinking we have only made one possible road.”
“Yes, because that’s the truth.”
“Never in a million years. We have given you a choice at every crossroad. Choosing which road is always the examinee’s, no, the human’s right.”
The baby angel flapped his wings and approached me closer and closer. And then added some meaningful last words.
“Understood? What is important is your decision. That is the most important thing in the exams.”
“Not clearing the exams?”
The baby angel didn’t answer.
He just summoned the exam door.
I didn’t hear a further answer and passed through the exam door with Cha Ji-hye.
Like that the 9th exam was finished.
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