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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
New Aerym, Minas Elenion.
It had been a long time since Hao Ren last visited this planet. During this period, the Aerymian Elves had established their foothold on this planet. Helcrown, the city of the demons, had successfully begun their new life with the help of their new neighbor, the Aerymian Elves. With the patron of the inspector, this planet, still under the ‘New Civilization Protection Period,’ did not have to worry about any external threats. Everything was on the right track, and Hao Ren did not have to worry about it.
The Petrachelys steadily landed in the royal spaceport of Aerym. This new city had undergone dramatic changes since Hao Ren’s last visit. New facilities had replaced the old modular factories and houses, which the Aerymians brought from their former homeworld. They recycled the old stuff by melting them in the furnace and turning them into materials for new construction. The Aerymians had discovered two mines with an abundant supply of raw materials, making it possible to reproduce the ancient things that only existed in the blueprint.
The earlier move to bring their original industrial equipment and recommission them in the new planet had been a wise decision.
Development was booming, but traces of the old city were still apparent everywhere. Production of basic necessities and primary industry were the priority. Any spare production capacity was diverted to build residential houses and improve the living condition. The Aerymian Elves had no extra time for entertainment, luxury, and renovation of the city. Many of the less critical facilities in the city came from the old Aerym; they were old and surrounded by newly constructed factories, houses, and new construction sites. The contrasting scenes seemed to symbolize the end of the past era and the arrival of a promising new period.
There was still a long way to go to achieve affluence, but the Aerymian Elves were content with their life. At least now there were real fruits, which were fresh and nutritious, instead of the meager synthetic foods, and new spacious houses, unlike the crowded cages of the old. From Hao Ren’s perspective, the fact that the Aerymian royal family could provide such a relatively decent life for the people in less than three years, and that there had been no problems in adapting to the food and living environment were remarkable achievements.
The Aerymian Elves were experts of survival.
The Aerymian royalty was leading a group of ministers to welcome Hao Ren and his entourage. The ceremony was solemn but in no way grand—as just Hao Ren had requested because he knew that the Elves had no spare resources to waste in such an extravagant way.
The welcoming ceremony only lasted for a short while before the ministers left to attend to their never-ending duties. These ministers were no nobility of the age of abundance. Their received allocation of resources was not much more than what the ordinary people got. They worked long hours, and it was not easy for them to participate in the welcoming ceremony.
After the ministers excused themselves, Hilda, her attendants, and two foreign-affair officials were the only ones accompanying the guests. The Elf Queen had retired from her position after two years. Now, she served as a royal advisor and played the role of a spiritual leader of the people she loved. Since Hilda had become a Holy Spirit, a life form that sat between the living and the dead, she appeared like a sacred creature that continuously glowed in soft light. Hilda looked into the distance at the deepest part of the forest where a city with several towering spires stuck out of the forest canopy, her voice filled with gratitude. “Vimm could now take charge of everything with a few veteran officials by his side. I am more like the mascot and the idlest person in the city.”
“But without you as the mascot, I am afraid that the elves have not such high cohesiveness and enthusiasm for work.” Hao Ren looked at the transport airships shuttling around in low-altitude. “Vimm is young. The people are supportive of him, but they trust their queen more,” Hao Ren said with a smile.
Hilda smiled. She did not want to delve in the topic any further. “Recently we have discovered a few new mines. The mining department has been busy, but they are inexperienced—we have only established this department after coming to the planet. The scholars have been studying the drawings and handbooks day and night, and yet no problem has cropped out yet; they are doing a good job.”
“We are experimenting with the plant samples and seed bank, which we keep in the original eco-dome. Our School of Natural Magic Spells works well on this planet. Half of the plants have sprouted and adapted to the natural environment here. We are going to adopt the Golden Flame flower as the symbol of Aerym. It is a plant originally from our homeworld and has been extinct for thousands of years. Negligence of the preservation work has left us only a dozen seeds. We are surprised that all these remaining seeds have survived in this world. They are multiplying with a 100% survival rate. Their vitality and adaptability are so incredible. Vimm says they are like Aerymian Elves.
“Some of our cities at the fringe have already established trade with the Demon Empire. A vast expanse of jungles is standing between us, but a closer relationship is inevitable. Considering that both Aerym and the Demon Empire are still in the early stages of development and having our shortcomings respectively, it is better for both sides to keep in contact and cooperate from the early stage. We have built a few roads in the jungle and set up a trading town in a place called Nightsong Forest. The elves have agricultural produce and medicines while the Demon Empire has many incredible technologies, mining, and survival know-how; both sides could obtain what they need from each other.”
Hao Ren listened attentively. He then turned to look at Y’zaks. “Why not you give your kingdom a proper name? Helcrown or Demon Empire sounds so mean and evil.”
Lily nodded in agreement. “I am all for it. On such a magical planet, who knows maybe a few hundred years later a brave elven guy may cause an international dispute. By then, Y’lisabet will have to deal with the mess you have left behind.”
Y’lisabet was dumbfounded.
Y’zaks scratched his head. “You are too imaginative. Things in the real world will not happen that way. What is more, don’t you think the Aerym-Demon Empire combo makes perfect sense against this magical background?”
Lily looked at Y’zaks and was stunned. “Big Guy, when did you become so naughty?”
Y’zaks smiled. “I don’t think it is bad. Mr. Landlord, I have not been back to Helcrown for quite a while. I am thinking to stay in Helcrown for a couple of days. After all, I will not be of help when you guys fiddle with the Crimson Moon.”
“No problem, no problem.” Hao Ren waved his hand. “Both of you should go back. It is irresponsible of you to leave only your sugar daughter and a dying butler to run the kingdom.”
Hao Ren was talking about the succubus Lanina and the court advisor Zadamor. After Y’zaks left Helcrown for a long vacation on Earth with his daughter, the two loyal subordinates had been running the show on his behalf all this while.
Y’zaks was a little embarrassed hearing what Hao Ren said. “We are not that irresponsible. Y’lisabet and I have been in contact with Helcrown all this while and constantly monitoring things remotely. There has not been a problem so far.”
Hao Ren’s mouth twitched. He felt especially sorry for the loyal regents. The emperor had been immersing himself in tea and newspaper in the sanatorium. The young Empress was addicted to used home appliances and would not take care of the affair of the kingdom before attaining the age of six hundred years old. Had this happened in the ordinary world, there would have been revolts.
But Hao Ren figured that he should not be worried about them. Y’zaks was the most genius demon king in history, and his daughter used to run the entire kingdom all my herself during his half a year of absence. They surely knew what they were doing. So, Hao Ren turned to Hilda and said, “I guess you already know that I am going to conduct a test on this planet.”
“Of course, we have already made the arrangement for you,” Hilda said. “All the patrol vessels in space will be grounded for the next two days, and we have notified the public; there will be no panic. There will be many people curious to watch the spectacular vision in the sky.”
Hao Ren’s mouth twitched. “The appearance of Crimson Moon has always been a sign of calamity on Earth. While the demon hunters and otherworldlings avoid it like the plague, you guys are treating it as something fun to watch.”
“Have you not made sure that it is a safe experiment?” Hilda smiled and looked at Hao Ren. “Aerymians trust their Sun King unconditionally. When you say it is safe, then it is safe.”
Hao Ren was moved. He again sought confirmation with Vivian to ensure the summoning of Crimson Moon was safe.
He needed to ensure the experiment was absolutely safe. The planet Aerym might be sparsely populated, but it was the Crimson Moon that they were talking about. It was not a joke if things got out of hand.
The summoning ceremony was scheduled to take place at the top of the Magic Tower in the Royal District of Minas Elenion the following evening.
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