Chapter 16. Someone has their eyes on our land (1)

The day’s battle came as a shock to all the people of Laputa.

Their ruler, who had just come from a different territory, had defeated 20 Orcs with 30 soldiers. It was not only a win but also a grand victory.

And that was not all.

A rather exaggerated rumor spread across the lands, in which Kang Chul-In had supposedly courageously run into the center of the Orcs alone and was unmatched by any. With this, Kang Chul-In’s popularity soared.

It was understandable because, for the common folk, it was a surprising thing for Lords, Sovereigns, Kings, emperors, and other people of high rank to lead by example. This went beyond Pangaea to Earth as well and was relatable to all those who were under authority.

It was the same thing as a politician, who was visiting and inspecting military troops, to grab a gun and engage in combat against a North Korean guerilla team. Furthermore, such a politician then contributed and played a key part in winning the battle. Of course, something like this would never happen.

After the battle, him sitting casually on a pile of straw drinking beer with the other soldiers added to his image as an approachable, familiar leader.

Of course, these effects were not at all intentional.

All Kang Chul-In did was battle a group of Orcs that appeared and drank a cold beer after a victory. No prior calculations were made.

What are these people?

Kang Chul-In, who had returned to Laputa as a triumphant general, no, a triumphant Lord, tilted his head in confusion at the loud cheers from the people. In his head, he wondered if this was something to praise to this extent.

It was quite an understandable question coming from Kang Chul-In.

Valhalla, the territory he ruled in his previous life, had very few humans. Most of its inhabitants were vampires, death knights, and other non-human species, so Kang Chul-In could not understand human emotion too well. Why were they making such a big deal and why were they even singing about him?

[Favorability due to leading by example +20] [Free-Spirited Leader image gained, so Charisma -3] [Free-Spirited Leader image gained, so Approachability +30] [Positive response by people of the territory, Lord Points +20]

After he removed all his gear and returned to the Lord’s hall, an information screen appeared in front of him.

Hmm… I don’t like charisma decreasing.

Charisma was an extremely important skill needed for a Lord.

It was key for commanding and ordering subordinates as a Lord. For example, the first thing to think about when purchasing a strong unit through the automated store was charisma. If charisma was low, one could not control a strong unit even after purchasing one. If a Lord with E-Grade charisma purchased an Ogre through the automated store, it was likely that the Ogre would not blink an eye at the orders of the Lord and do whatever it pleased. Also, if charisma was low, disobedience or revolt by subordinates might occur.

I will be more careful from now on.

Kang Chul-In swore that he would not let his charisma fall again. There will be nothing worse than not being able to control his troops at a critical moment.

However, not all was bad.

It was actually very good.

The people’s favor meant that the loyalty levels would also rise, and approachability and friendliness helped in internal affairs. Furthermore, Lord Points, which had the biggest role in determining the Overlord status had risen by 20 points, so it was definitely an achievement.

Lord points were the key to becoming an Overlord.

Lord points rose when one gained the respect of the people, hunted monsters, or won a battle against another Lord. They were given as rewards when the system recognized that one had achieved something.

All Lords were required to participate in an assembly once a year. It was called the “Lords’ Meeting”. In this “Lords’ Meeting”, the 10 Lords who had gained the most points would be elected as Overlords. Although his charisma had decreased a little, if he gained 20 Lord Points in exchange, it was fine.

Hold on, how many points were the cutoff in the first Overlord election?

He could not remember clearly.

The first election would take place about a year after the current time, which was December 25, 2021. The past Kang Chul-In achieved 13th place, just barely not being able to become an Overlord. At that time, he was immersed in dungeon exploration and solely concentrated on increasing his personal strength. However, he had ranked 13th, so he was going to become something in the future.

Well, there is no rush.

The position of Overlord was risky, so there was no reason to obsess over it from the beginning.

Why?

Because they are watched by all the other Lords!

It was especially worse in the first and second years where the skill sets of the Lords were very similar. If they showed a bit of prominence, they would be bitten and ripped apart by many different Lords. For example, during the first Lord Meeting, five of the Overlords elected, including Baroque al Yousef and Scotty Andbury, had not been at the second Lord meeting (they had died or escaped to Earth).

“My Lord.”

As Kang Chul-In was thinking about Lord Points and Overlord appointments, Lucia called to him.

“Rustler and his daughter Lana have sent you tribute.”

“Rustler? Lana?”

Kang Chul-In’s brows furrowed in confusion.

“Are they my people?”

“They are the father and daughter that you rescued from the Orcs. I believe they have sent tribute in thanks for saving their lives.”

“Really?”

“Here.”

Lucia handed Kang Chul-In a basket with a clean cloth covering it. Lucia’s expression as she handed over the basket seemed a bit disapproving.

A tribute.

Kang Chul-In had mixed feelings about receiving his first tribute. In the past, he had never received such things. There weren’t many humans in Valhalla, after all. There weren’t many to send him tribute.

“Bread and ham.”

Kang Chul-In mumbled after opening the basket.

Inside, there were four loaves of rye bread and a large chunk of ham, along with a bit of honey and beer made from pure malt. It was a plain tribute but was filled with the thanks from the poor.

“T-this…!”

Just when Kang Chul-In was feeling pleased, Lucia shivered.

What is wrong with her again?

Kang Chul-In was confused. He could not understand why Lucia started shivering suddenly.

“Is something wrong?”

“How dare…”

Lucia seemed like she was extremely angry.

“Dare?”

Kang Chul-In asked in return.

“My Lord!”

Lucia shouted.

“Speak.”

“You must bring this father and daughter here right away and punish them!”

“What?”

“This rude father and daughter are harassing you, milord! How could they send such a plain thing as tribute! Even a hundred whippings would not even be enough! My Lord, if you order me now, I will go to their home right away and cut their necks.”

Kang Chul-In then understood why Lucia was so enraged.

“Lucia.”

“Yes, my Lord. I will go right away.”

“I am satisfied.”

“Huh? What do you mean, sire?”

Lucia seemed confused, and her eyes went wide.

“Is it right to be angry because what they sent isn’t much?”

“Yes, milord. How can they send you bread and ham, something eaten by commoners? And rye bread! Of all the bread in the world, how is it that they send rye bread? It is a bad-tasting bread, my Lord! Not sweet at all!”

Lucia seemed really angry. It seemed personal to a certain extent, but Kang Chul-In, instead of pointing that out, gently scolded her.

“Lucia.”

“Yes, Lord.”

“I will say it again. I am satisfied.”

“But.”

“Of course, if premium-quality wine, gold, or jewels were given as tribute, I would have been happier. It is not that I do not like material things. In fact, I love money.”

That was Kang Chul-In’s honest thoughts.

Money?

The more, the better.

In order to have a strong, powerful army, it was common sense that a strong, powerful economy was needed. To gain control of Pangaea, money was a critical element. Also, to maintain his dignity and status on Earth, he needed more money.

“However.”

Kang Chul-In spoke.

“They also have their position. How would a farmer who tends to the land send me gold? They might have skipped a meal or two so they could send me these.”

“If a poor man sent tribute with the little he had, it is right to see the heart behind the gift and not the gift itself. Isn’t the man quite loyal?”

“Ah!”

Lucia exclaimed.

“Sure, if there is to be tribute, it would be good to have a bunch of gold and jewels, but this kind of gift is not bad either.”

“You are a fair ruler! How you love your people so, my Lord!”

“Perhaps.”

Kang Chul-In did not agree with what Lucia had called him.

His goal, primarily, was unification! It was to be the emperor.

War was inextricably tied with that goal, and that tie could not be severed. For him to fulfill his desire, a throne of bones had to be built, and countless corpses would pile on top of one another.

It isn’t even true.

What common farmer would like war? What could match the horrors of war? Kang Chul-In was ultimately just a war-crazed animal and could never be a benevolent king.

“Milord?”

“What are you thinking so intently about?”

Kang Chul-In shook his head slightly at Lucia’s question and spoke.

“I will punish them.”

“Milord?”

Lucia seemed confused at Kang Chul-In, who had praised the father and daughter but was now saying that he would punish them.

“What you said is also true. I am pleased, but they would need to be punished at least a little for gifting a Lord such plain things. Appoint the farmer called Rustler to oversee farming and give him heavy responsibility. There is no heavier punishment than being responsible for something.”

Lucia was in awe of Kang Chul-In’s consideration.

What Kang Chul-In had ordered wasn’t just a punishment but also a reward. Within this order, there was not only Kang Chul-In’s intention to listen to Lucia’s advice to punish the father and daughter but also his acknowledgment of their hearts in sending him gifts. He had killed two birds with one stone.

Ah, the Lord is not just anyone!

Lucia was once again was in awe of Kang Chul-In, thinking how extraordinary and competent he was as a leader. That moment, Lucia’s loyalty and respect for Kang Chul-In grew deeper. However, Kang Chul-In did not understand why Lucia made such a big deal and shivered so often.

Even after this, Kang Chul-In spent many days on his quest to subjugate monsters.

The monster subjugation, which was originally supposed to last 3-4 days, kept going and going until ten days had passed.

This was not because Kang Chul-In was incompetent.

Actually, Kang Chul-In and the Royal Guard under his leadership had outstanding victories in every battle they fought, defeating all the monsters. They were straight victories with no losses at all.

However, despite Kang Chul-In’s efforts, the reason why the monster subjugation took a long time was because of a monster called the “mole looter.”

The “mole looter” was a mole about the size of a midsize dog, and it would attack humans, crippling them by ripping out chunks of ankles or heels.

The problem was that these annoying moles were all over the northern plains.

[Tutorial 2] Monster Subjugation

Description: Subjugate the monsters within the territory

Reward: Experience +250 / 20 Gold

Status: 421/500

He was already at level 8.

If he were to destroy 79 monsters, he would naturally be at level 9 and also simultaneously clear the Tutorial 1 Quest as well, which was linked, putting him at level 10.

But these moles kept ambushing Kang Chul-In and his Royal Guard, and the troops dug tunnels every single day, trying to destroy them at their source. Ironically, a low-level monster was hindering Kang Chul-In.

“Sigh.”

Kang Chul-In, who was hunting the moles with his Royal Guard in the northern plains, looked up at the blue sky during a quick break.

It’s already been ten days. I need to return to Earth in two days at the latest.

It was postponed over and over again because there were many things to take care of, but returning to Earth was unavoidable. He needed to pay back the money that he had borrowed and also needed to hear reports about Kwak Jung from Park Doo-Sik. Also…

Mother.

He needed to visit his mother, who was alone.

Unfilially, Kang Chul-In had never gone to see his mother after being reborn.

It was not intentional, but for Kang Chul-In who had been indifferent about his family for 10 years, he had not even thought about visiting. However, now that he had remembered, he felt a lot of guilt.

I should visit her more often.

For various reasons, Kang Chul-In swore that he would take care of his mother.

And it was then.

“Milord!”

A soldier who was on the lookout during the break shouted while pointing up to the sky. In the air, something that had been created with magic, radiating blue light, was circling above the troops.

Kang Chul-In’s face hardened.

What the heck?

It was a scouting unit sent by another Lord, something called a “scout hawk”.

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