Chapter 538. Friday the 13th

Mocomoco Island was about a 30 minute boat ride away from the eastern port city of Citin. This is where Sword Duke Sven lived. He was the one who'd taught Kang Oh Mad Wind's Sword.

Following Soo Ah's departure and him assuming full responsibility for Rudy, Kang Oh frequently visited the island to learn under Sven. 

Since he couldn't take a boat every time he wanted to visit, Kang Oh bought an old house, and asked Karin and Soren to create a transfer magic circle for him. 

Thus, he was able to travel there immediately.

Whir.

Kang Oh appeared above the magic circle.

'This is the best place to learn Divide the Sea!'

It was an island, so it was surrounded on all sides by water.

Moreover...

'I should ask Sven for his help.'

Sword Duke Sven was a great swordsman. Although he wasn't a Grandmaster, his swordsmanship had reached the pinnacle of the Master rank.

He would definitely be a huge help to him.

Kang Oh immediately headed towards his beach house. 

"Grandpa, I'm here."

"It's open, so you can come in."

Once he opened the door, he could smell the faint scent of tea wafting through the air. Sven's house always smelled of tea.

"Good timing. I'm brewing my second pot of tea." Sven touched the tea cup and smiled.

It was a gentle, kind smile. The kind that'd make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Sven passed him a steaming cup of tea. 

"Thank you." Kang Oh blew on the tea and carefully drank it. 

"Have you eaten?"

"I have."

"Good. You should always eat and keep up your strength."

"Yes, Grandpa."

Kang Oh and Sven spoke comfortably, as if they were truly grandson and grandfather. However, Kang Oh naturally transitioned the topic of conversation to why he was here.

"Alright, so why have you come today? Do you want me to teach you some more?"

"That would be nice. However, I have something I need to do first."

"Which is?"

"I need to learn Divide the Sea."

"Divide the Sea, huh... The technique that child taught himself."

Kang Oh had learned that Sven was Valan's teacher during their time together. 

"Yes."

"It's for your own good. If you learn the technique by yourself, then your swordsmanship is sure to improve."

"Valan said the exact same thing."

"Hmm, but I don't think there's anything I can help you with."

"Why is that?"

"I've never learned the technique before, so I'm not familiar with it. I may lead you astray, so you should just learn it on your own. Isn't that right?" Sven grinned.

"Still..."

"Just do it by yourself this time." Sven patted Kang Oh's shoulder.

Sven actually had in-depth knowledge of Divide the Sea. However, he planned on not helping Kang Oh this time around.

'I imagine that's what that mischievous child is hoping for.'

If Valan hadn't immediately passed down the technique, then there must be a good reason for that. He may be ill-tempered, but he didn't mess around when it came to the sword.

"I'll go at it alone then," Kang Oh said firmly.

'Yeah, let's try the crude method.'

He immediately walked over to the beach.

The Emerald Light Sea's waves crashed against the beach, emitting a refreshing sound.

Kang Oh placed Rudy on the ground, and pulled out Ubist. He had wielded this sword ever since he was level 1. Thus, he was most familiar with this blade.

Kang Oh walked into the water one step at a time.

Swoosh!

The water foamed, and a wave came rushing at him.

"Hoo." Kang Oh took a deep breath, and vertically swung his sword.

Slash!

Whoosh!

The wave was cleaved in two!

However, the wave instantly reformed itself, and swept through Kang Oh.

Bam!

"Hoo, hoo." Kang Oh kept swinging his sword while taking deep breaths. 

Sven watched him from afar and muttered, "Do your best."

It was a warm gaze akin to a grandfather watching his beloved grandson.

* * *

The Empire Guild sent the networks and reporters an invitation.

- Time: The 13th (Friday), 2:00 P.M.

- Place: The Arabas Palace's Ballroom.

- Purpose: Press Conference.

"The Empire Guild is finally breaking their silence."

"You're telling me. What do you think they'll say?"

After their captains skyrocketed in the ranks, people wondered what had happened.

The networks and the press shared their opinion.

However, the Empire Guild kept parroting "We'll tell you later". At long last, the Empire Guild had sent them an invitation for a press conference.

TGN, VG, GBS, and other TV networks sent their reporters.

"Wow!"

"This is a palace in the desert!?"

The Arabas Palace was kept secret from outsiders, but the invitees were the sole exception.

Of course, only the ballroom and select locations were revealed to them, and they could only enter the palace, not explore it.

In any case, the palace's ballroom was huge, and it was set up spectacularly like a party.

Musicians sat at the corner, continuously playing beautiful music, while the attendees kept eating and drinking.

"Hoh, it looks like a party."

"As expected of the Empire Guild. Their press conferences are different too."

The reporters enjoyed the food and drinks, and members of the Empire Guild began to trickle in.

How much time had passed?

"The lord of the large desert city, Kula, has arrived."

"The Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ymir, is here!"

"Defense Researcher, Violent Spear Sewol has arrived!"

The Arabas Kingdom's key people, as well as the Empire Guild's executives began to come in one or two at a time.

However, their captains, Jegal, and Dukeram were still nowhere to be found.

"When are they coming out?"

"Seriously. They should hurry up already."

They were the true power behind the kingdom, after all. The ones who ruled the Empire Guild and the Arabas Kingdom!

Then...

"His Imperial Majesty has graced us with his presence!"

Thud!

The doors opened, accompanied by a resonant voice.

"What?"

"Arabas the Third? Why is he here..."

The networks' interested parties and reporters were confused at the sudden turn of events.

"His imperial majesty? Not his majesty?"

Although the combined territory of the three eastern kingdoms was the size of an empire, they hadn't yet proclaimed the formation of an empire yet. Thus, they assumed that the ruler of the Arabas Kingdom should be called 'his majesty', not 'his imperial majesty', which was reserved for emperors, not kings.

However, they had definitely said 'his imperial majesty' in this formal event.

A short while later...

A man walked through the giant door.

The man wore a white cape, which dragged against the floor, gold and silver thread, glamorous clothes made of precious fennec fox fur, and a crown with eight jewels on his head.

He held a gold staff adorned with a lion, and an ornate, ceremonial scimitar hung at his waist.

It was indeed the clothes an 'emperor' would wear.

"His Imperial Majesty has graced us with his presence!" A resonant voice rang out once more. 

They referred to him as 'his imperial majesty' again!

"Arabas the Third..."

He was definitely the 2nd prince, Tehiyon, whose face had been revealed during the Arabas Civil War. Now, he was known as Arabas the Third.

"Oh, dear!"

"Keep your head down!"

The attendees bowed their heads one or two at a time.

Arabas the Third slowly strode into the room, and eventually sat down on the most ornate seat.

Powerful bodyguards stood behind him. It seemed like they'd cut down anyone who got too close.

"Raise your heads!"

The attendees did as they were told. 

However...

"He looks really sick."

"Yeah."

At one time, Arabas the Third had been so renowned for his bravery that he was called the Desert Wolf.

However, he looked so sickly now!

His face was emaciated, his eyes reflected exhaustion, his lips were pale, and his wrists and his fingers, which weren't covered by his robes, were gaunt and thin.

It was clear that he was sick.

"Bring in the Arabas Empire's treasures!" Arabas the Third yelled.

He had definitely called it the Arabas Empire. The quickest of the reporters narrowed their eyes.

'Something's going on!'

Something weird was going on. They held their breath and watched the situation unfold.

Twelve people came through the door Arabas the Third had entered through.

Emperor Dukeram stood at the front. Arabas's Guardian God, Dalton, as well as the God Spear, Kantos, were accompanying him.

The Empire Guild's eight captains stood firmly behind them. Jegal stood at the end of the line, as the guild's mastermind.

"Greetings, your imperial majesty!" Dukeram knelt down and yelled. Then, the others followed suit. 

"You can stand."

Dukeram, Jegal, Dalton, Kantos, and the captains stood up. The attendees' eyes were completely fixed upon these twelve.

Thud.

Arabas the Third tapped the ground with his gold staff, drawing all attention onto him.

"I have a dream."

"What is that?" Dukeram asked politely.

"To bring the desert together as one. This is just a small dream, and it has already been achieved."

"A small dream... Then what is your larger dream, your imperial majesty?"

"To unite the entire continent."

Dun-dun.

Arabas the Third's statement was like the strike of lightning; a lightning bolt that would spread chaos across the continent!

Of course, this had all been planned. After all, Arabas the Third was nothing more than a puppet king under the Empire Guild's control.

"The Altein Empire, which united the entire continent, was destroyed by fools 54 years ago. And then, the continent was ripped into pieces and countless battles took place."

That was the irrefutable truth. Following the people's revolution, the Altein Empire crumbled, and battles took place all across the continent.

"So long as the continent remains divided, these battles will continue to take place. That is reflected in our own history, as well as in the western grasslands, the Great Forest in the south, and the free cities in the central region."

The eastern kingdoms were originally made up of several smaller nations. However, they had been united under the banner of the three desert kingdoms of Arabas, Baiyan, and Dellas. And now, the desert had been fully unified under the Arabas Empire.

Even now, the western grasslands were plagued with conflict and strife amongst the disparate non-humans.

There was also evidence in the Great Forest's history that the different tribes fought against each other.

Meanwhile, the free cities fought for their own rights and interests even to this day.

"I will unite the continent under one banner, and create a peaceful continent without war. I will follow in the footsteps of the great Altein Empire!"

Thud!

Arabas the Third tapped the ground with his staff.

"From this day forward, the Arabas Kingdom no longer exists. Now, only the Arabas Empire remains; that which will unify the entire continent!"

With this, the Arabas Empire was formed.

"But unfortunately... I am too sick to take part in the battle myself. So, my most loyal and precious servant, Dukeram."

"Yes, your imperial majesty."

"You will be supreme commander of this expedition, and will be given the authority to use the empire's full power as you wish. And I will also grant you my blade, which represents my authority."

Arabas the Third pulled the ornate scimitar from his waist, and passed it to Dukeram. Dukeram politely accepted the sword with two hands.

"As you command!" Dukeram said.

"Don't come back until you conquer the continent!"

"Yes, your imperial majesty!"

"I'll leave it to you."

Arabas the Third gently looked at him, and then stood up and left the ballroom.

"Hoo! Ha!"

Only then did the attendees breathe again. It felt as though a storm had just passed.

However, the storm, no, the typhoon had only just begun; a typhoon that would sweep through the entire continent.

* * *

The Empire Guild's intention to conquer the entire continent was finally revealed. People were no longer curious why their captains had skyrocketed in the ranks, nor did it really matter anymore.

The party's attendees quickly revealed the Empire Guild's plan.


[The Birth of the Arabas Empire!]

[Empire Shows its True Colors!]

[Breaking News: The Empire has declared war on the continent!]


However...!

The Arabas Empire moved before the news could spread.

Dukeram marched west with the 1st Corps of 300,000 troops on the day of Arabas the Third's declaration.

Saw Rock Fortress was a strategic point that lay in between the eastern and central regions. This impregnable fortress, which lay atop Saw Rock Cliff, was conquered in just one day!

With this, they had gained the fastest route to conquering the continent.

At the same time...

Dalton's 2nd Corps, which consisted of 200,000 troops, headed east and passed through the Phamas Mountains.

He headed for the mining cities, and signed a nonaggression treaty with the dwarves.

Three days later, the port cities fell like dominos.

Ghost Spear Kantos and his 3rd Corps went south, and subjugated the desert tribes.

The entire eastern region had fallen into the Arabas Empire's hands. 

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