Episode 56. A Leader’s Knowledge (2)

Episode 56. A Leader’s Knowledge (2)

Upon returning to Rheinperle, Seon-Hyeok was greeted by a territory that had changed drastically over the past few months.

“We received help from the 24th Regiment and Mangsk, which made the construction projects much faster.”

From atop a hill overlooking the village, he could see a mansion beginning to take shape. As it was yet incomplete, it was incomparably shabby compared to the castles owned by other lords. However, as Seon-Hyeok had lived in a barracks this entire time, his new residence seemed overly large and imposing.

“It’s a bit shabby and rugged to be considered a noble’s mansion, but it’s functional.”

Julian’s subtle tone as she spoke was that of a child seeking praise.

“Good work. It seems like you were busy while I was away.” Seon-Hyeok complimented as he casually patted Julian's head

“W, what are you doing?!” Julian angrily shouted, her face completely red. His young squire clearly wanted to be treated as a proper adult.

“I... Initial construction for the cavalry garrison is also complete. The stable was built first at the request of the cavalry, and the barracks are currently being used as their accommodations. Construction for their new accommodations will be underway once your estate is finished.”

Julian’s tone was now cold as she continued her explanation. However, Seon-Hyeok didn’t mind. He was too busy looking at his transformed territory.

Although most of the people going in and out of the village were infantrymen from Mangsk or the 24th Regiment, he grew emotional seeing his territory so lively and active.

This is my land…

In his old life, he had barely been able to call a few pyeong [1] his own. But now, he was the owner of a mansion large enough to house dozens of people and the lord of around ten villages and ten thousand people.

He couldn’t imagine a more sudden rise to fame.

Seon-Hyeok remained speechless for a while, moved by and proud of his accomplishments. As though she understood his feelings, Julian stopped her constant reporting and allowed him to collect his emotions.

“Let’s go.”

When he finally opened his mouth, Seon-Hyeok asked Julian to lead him to his home.

“Wahhhh! M, mommy!”

“Heok! What’s that?”

His excitement did not last long. The village was turned upside down at the sight of Goldrake.

“What are you doing? Your lord is passing! Bow your heads and pay your respects!”

Julian shouted out, but her voice was drowned out by the screams and panicked noises of the frightened villagers.

Just then, the soldiers appeared. It seemed they heard the commotion.

“S, soldiers!”

“There’s a monster! A terrifying monster!”

Goldrake remained calm and still, but the villagers treated him like a monster that had just devoured dozens of innocent people. Seon-Hyeok looked down at the soldiers, and they stared back, just as perplexed by the situation.

“Kill it!”

“Drive out the monster!”

Huddled behind the soldiers, the villagers hurled all sorts of harsh words.

“You idiots! What are you saying to your lord?”

“Do you have a death wish? Lower your heads and bow down!”

The soldiers scolded the residents.

“M, Mister soldier. There’s a monster…”

“That’s your lord’s drake, not a monster!”

“Are there idiots unaware that Rheinperle’s new owner is the Drake Knight?”

The villagers looked bewildered when they saw the soldiers shouting viciously at them, and soon, they paled as they realized there was a man riding the giant monster.

“L, lord!”

“The peasants of Rheinperle greet the lord.”

Realizing the error of their ways, the residents prostrated themselves on the ground and shuddered. This was a world in which commoners could lose their hands or feet by disrespecting a passing noble, and they had dared to speak harshly against their own lord. They were not in a situation to complain even if they were put to death.

“What will you do? Those two dared to call you a ‘son of a bitch’, and that one suggested you be put to death. Of course, those words were aimed at the drake and not you directly, but it is nonetheless deserving of punishment. It is customary for anyone insulting my lord to be hung for three days and nights as an example.”

The cold words did not match the young girl’s voice. The residents bowed their heads at Julian’s words and begged for forgiveness.

“Are you being serious?”

Even if they were at odds with each other, Julian’s grandfather, Wittenfeld Royen Mangsk, was the type of easygoing person happy to exchange casual conversations with the lowest ranking of soldiers. It was shocking to see that man’s granddaughter so easily say such harsh words.

“I’m only letting you know what’s customary. The decision, however, is entirely up to the lord.”

The villagers had simply called a monster a monster, and they had uttered such comments out of debilitating fear. It was incomprehensible for him to make a big deal out of the situation.

“Don’t say things like that in the future. I have no intention of following such barbaric customs.”

Seon-Hyeok did not mean to suggest that there was no such social construct as classes, or that all people were equal. Such statements often fell flat even in the other world, where equality was held in high regard. It was even more true in this world, where there were strict social stratifications.

The people in this world were not ignorant beings to enlighten, and he wasn’t a revolutionary with a burning desire to break down the barriers between classes. He was just an ordinary man accidentally thrown into this world. At the same time, he had no intention of treating commoners like horses or oxen as the other nobles did.

“Let’s keep going.”

Instead of feeling proud that countless people were bowing their heads to him, Seon-Hyeok felt even more uncomfortable.

“The lord has shown his grace. Thank and serve the lord for the rest of your days, knowing he showed you mercy instead of executing you for your sins!”

Just as Seon-Hyeok was about to continue on his way, escorted by the soldiers, Julian turned around and threatened the residents one last time. He wasn’t particularly pleased with her actions, but he also did not reprimand her.

By now, he knew very well what kind of world he was living in.

Seon-Hyeok’s excitement had significantly cooled down by the time he reached his new residence. He felt burdened by the extreme courtesy he was shown by the commoners.

“You have to get used to it. If the lord’s authority fails, so do all other moral standards.”

He didn’t accept the entirety of Julian’s words, but he understood what she meant. As such, he did not refute her or take offense.

“Sigh.”

Instead, he kept sighing. Reality was much different from what he expected.

“The hired servants are waiting to greet you. However, since you seem tired, how about going straight to your chambers?”

“Yes. I’m sorry for the servants, but I’ll speak with them tomorrow. I would like to rest today.”

He chose sleep, thinking he’d feel more refreshed once he woke up.

“I expected you would, so I had a bath prepared. Please use it to recover from the fatigue of travel.”

“Oh.”

It was the best thing he had heard all day. Seon-Hyeok inwardly celebrated as he followed her to the bathhouse within the mansion.

“What are you doing?”

Excited by the prospect of having his first bath in a long time, he was hurriedly removing his clothes when he suddenly stopped. Julian was holding a towel and a small basket in one hand and showed no signs of excusing herself.

“I’m the lord’s squire. My duty is to wait on you at all times.”

“Can you please leave? I feel uncomfortable. It’s not like I can’t wash myself.”

“In that case, I’ll excuse myself.”

After kicking Julian out, Seon-Hyeok excitedly lowered himself into the bathtub.

“Ahhhh. It’s so nice!”

He let out a satisfied moan, able to enjoy soaking himself in warm water for the first time in a long while. The warmth was so nice that he forgot about his earlier worries about nobles and commoners.

How long had he enjoyed his bath? The door rattled open, and someone entered the bathroom. Seon-Hyeok reflexively lowered himself deeper into the bathtub and shouted.

“What did I tell you…”

“It’s nice to meet you, my lord. My name is Marie, and I’m responsible for managing your bath.”

He had shouted out, naturally thinking that it would be Julian, but froze when he heard a woman’s voice. When he looked to the side, he saw a nearly naked woman kneeling by the bathtub and checking the temperature of the water.

“It looks like the bath’s cooled down. Are you cold? Would you like some more hot water?”

After shaking her hand in the water a few times, Marie stood up. The little clothing she wore clung to her as a result of the rising water vapor, and her back was completely exposed. Seon-Hyeok unknowingly gulped at the sight.

Seon-Hyeok had no idea how the bath ended. When he came to his senses, he had already gotten dressed with Marie’s help.

“Did you enjoy your bath?”

Julian approached him with impeccable timing and asked. However, the question felt quite ambiguous, and Seon-Hyeok felt embarrassed.

“Then I’ll show you to your quarters. You are excused now.”

“Then have a good night.”

Instead of waiting for his answer, Julian dismissed Marie and led the way.

“Are you disappointed? Do you need someone waiting on you in the bathroom as well?”

“Is there anything you won’t say?”

Seon-Hyeok frowned, thinking it was inappropriate for a 14-year-old girl to say such things. Julian responded calmly.

“I know everything I should know. But unfortunately, she’s a professional servant, not a maid to use as you please.”

In this world, there was a clear difference between the servant classes. Some were practically slaves, while others were professionals who had received a strict education. Having been made aware of this before, Seon-Hyeok broke out in a cold sweat.

He was a man, and his mind couldn’t help but wander as he watched Marie attending to him during the bath. Was it so strange for him to have imagined the relationship between a noble and a servant? Fortunately for him, however, he didn’t attempt to act on his delusions.

If he had, he would have been humiliated.

“Have a good night.”

Contrary to expectations, and despite his excitement, Seon-Hyeok fell asleep as soon as he lay down. The warm bath from earlier must have been effective.

As a result, he felt lighter than ever when he awoke the next day.

“I’ll do it.”

“No. I’ll go alone today. It’s a personal matter.”

He shrugged off Julian and jumped on Goldrake at the break of dawn. With that, he headed straight to the place where he felt earth energy the previous day.

- You have discovered an earth vein.

- The rich earth energy contained within the earth vein is an excellent source of nutrients for the drake.

- Goldrake is eating.

- Attribute control (Earth) has increased by 1.

It was Goldrake who found the exact location. Just like before, Seon-Hyeok sat and watched as Goldrake forgot about his owner and hurriedly devoured the earth energy.

- Attribute control (Earth) has increased by 1.

“It’s a bit slower than before. Is it the site, or maybe because my attribute control is higher now?”

His attribute control increased ever so gradually, but did not stop. After staying there the whole day, his earth attribute control had risen from 40 to 50.

- Attribute control (Earth) has increased from 40 to 50.

- Special effects of the earth attribute have increased slightly. Your bones have become stronger and your skin more resilient.

As always, changes occurred in his body once his attribute control reached a predetermined level. Seeing the message, he pinched his forearm. However, the changes did not seem particularly significant.

That said, it wasn’t as though he was going to break his bones to test his increased strength.

Given that his attribute control stopped rising, it seemed as though the drake had finished consuming the local earth vein. Seon-Hyeok cleared the area and stood up, but he didn’t feel any disappointment. He had a strange expression on his face.

- There is another earth vein nearby.

The place was littered with earth veins to fuel his drake.

On his way back to his residence, Seon-Hyeok took care to avoid the local residents. At first, he thought about releasing Goldrake in the surrounding area, but he worried the drake would undergo another change and took him to a designated area within the mansion.

As expected, Goldrake seemed satisfied and fell asleep. He didn’t react to attempts to wake him up. Seon-Hyeok wasn’t sure whether Goldrake was preparing to shed once again or was just sleeping, but it was clear that his scales looked better than before.

If his drake grew once again, it would be an indication that drakes had unlimited growth potential. They were certainly worthwhile mounts to raise.


1. Pyeong is a Korean unit for area, often used for land or floor space in a home. 1 pyeong = 3.3m2 or 35.6ft2.

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