Atal Ramanujan pondered. 30,000 was not a big number for him. He had over 150,000 soldiers (although they weren’t really well-trained) under his command, hence he could just give Lee Ji-Tae the benefit of doubt. Even if he did lose the 30,000 soldiers, all he had to do was to gather another 50,000. However, it was also true that he was hesitant to give a total stranger 30,000 soldiers.
Lee Ji-Tae, having noticed Atal Ramanujan’s hesitation, spoke in a staunch tone.
“The answer to your ambition is the Northern Expedition. Only the Northern Expedition!”
“If you continue to hole up in this southern region, only doom awaits!”
“Doom, you say...”
“Both Kang Chul-In and Vilhelm have huge ambition. If they conquer central Pangaea while your Majesty hesitates, then...”
“Do you think they will acknowledge your sovereignty? Do you think Kang Chul-In, now crowned an emperor, will grant you the title of ‘The King of the South’?”
The consequence was obvious. Atal Ramanujan would be conquered without a doubt.
“I will open up your path, your Majesty.”
“Yes, your Majesty!”
Atal Ramanujan pondered one last time and,
He finally accepted Lee Ji-Tae’s request.
“Northern Expedition... that’s right, I have to accomplish it sooner or later. I just didn’t have the right talent to bring it to fruition. What a serendipity it is for you to appear in front of me at this timing. Lee Ji-Tae, I will give you my trust!”
“I’m eternally grateful, your Majesty!”
Lee Ji-Tae bowed.
However, there was a fact that Atal Ramanujan was unaware of. In Ancient Korea, there was a sovereign named Gungye who met someone called Ah Ji-Tae. He became overly obsessed over the idea of the Northern Expedition and met his end as the result!
Cho Nak-Sam, the principal of Ongok elementary school, collapsed onto the floor.
“How dare you?”
Kang Chul-In glared coldly at the principal.
“How dare you mess with my daughter?”
“If you lurk around my daughter one more time...”
“I will give you a tour around the Aoji mine.”
“In other words, I will make you an eternal slave in the other world.”
Cho Nak-Sam squealed. It wasn’t just out of fear and shock. His teeth were scattered all over the office floor. He couldn’t pronounce his words due to air leaking through the holes.
“This is my first and final warning. You hear me?”
“Well then, rest well.”
Kang Chul-In brushed his hands off and left the principal's room.
I will destroy whoever dares to mess with my daughter. Yup, definitely.
Kang Chul-In was being a ‘good’ father as usual.
That evening, the whole family had gathered around the dining table. Kang Chul-In had an important announcement to make as the head of the family.
“14 nights and 15 days.”
Kang Chul-In smiled faintly.
“I’m thinking of going on a family trip, mother.”
The opinions of Ninetails, Lee Chae-Rin, Skadi and Arshelly did not matter at all. Was it because Kang Chul-In was patriarchal? Or was it because he was macho? If not, was he a mama’s boy?
Of course not!
There was no way that his lovely wives and daughter would have conflicting opinions. Moreover, the incredibly busy Kang Chul-In had made leeway to go for a family trip… who would be so undignified to reject that?
Park Sun-Ja was surprised.
Kang Chul-In nodded.
“I didn’t even go for a honeymoon trip because I was busy. But this time, I plan to bring you along this trip and have a good rest.”
“No… you have your wives… this old mother doesn’t belong there...”
“This is a consensus from your daughters-in-law.”
“Your second daughter-in-law suggested it first.”
Kang Chul-In pointed at Lee Chae-Rin.
Lee Chae-Rin replied delightfully.
“And the first and third daughters-in-law also persuaded me to bring you along on this trip.”
“Yes. I was also thinking the same thing.”
What a heartwarming sight.
Kang Chul-In and his three wives were all on the same page.
As a result, Park Sun-Ja began to tear up.
“M-My dear daughters-in-law… t-thank you... I’m already grateful for you loving my son… now you even care about this old woman… sob sob, I really… have nothing else to wish for...”
Some would have criticized her for being so emotional, but it was understandable for Park Sun-Ja to react this way. Kang Chul-In, her only son, had grown into a fine man who saved the country and became a national hero. In addition, he brought in three daughters-in-law, who were all kind and caring.
That wasn’t all.
“G-Grandma~! Don’t cry~!”
She even had Arshelly, her beloved granddaughter.
Nothing else to wish for? Park Sun-Ja was being 100% genuine.
“Please don’t cry!”
“Mother-in-law, it’s an occasion to celebrate, so why are you crying!?”
The three ladies began to comfort Park Sun-Ja.
Kang Chul-In, who was watching this scene quietly, was immensely satisfied.
What a beautiful scene!
He was really a lucky man.
Kang Chul-In held Park Sun-Ja’s hands tightly.
“Let me be a good son.”
That was another way of saying, ‘I love you’.
“I love you too, son!”
Park Sun-Ja understood Kang Chul-In inside and out.
She was his mother after all!
“W-We won, we won!”
“We just conquered Itaracia!”
“How did we cross the Chamonix mountains… my god...”
Atal Ramanujan’s soldiers cheered. Their victory was truly incredible. The Chamonix mountains! This huge barrier located between the north and central region of Baldur was a heavenly fortress that Atal Ramanujan’s poorly trained soldiers had never dared to conquer.
A staggering 3,500 meters above sea level!
But they did it. They had actually managed to conquer the Itaracia territory. It was a marvelous victory that would go down in the history books of Shatyameba.
“Long live His Majesty Ramanujan!”
“Long live Shatyameba!”
The soldiers cheered.
“Long live the commander-in-chief, Lee Ji-Tae!”
At the heart of it all stood Lee Ji-Tae.
A trivial victory.
However, he was far from being satisfied despite this accomplishment. How could he be? His goal was to bring down Valhalla and kill its king, Kang Chul-In. Conquering Itaracia was just a stepping stone.
He had to encourage the soldiers, though.
“You are the protagonists in today’s marvelous victory!”
“Look! You can do it, can’t you!?”
“Yes, we can!”
Lee Ji-Tae’s motivational speech led to a thundering roar from the soldiers.
“This is only the beginning!”
Lee Ji-Tae looked around with a staunch expression.
“As long as we have Itaracia, there is nothing that can stop us! We will advance to Baldur’s central region and claim its fertile lands! When we do so, our people will no longer have to starve, and there won’t be children in the streets who cannot go to school!”
That was quite a speech. In addition, it carried a sharp insight into Shatyameba’s reality. Due to the hot weather and relentless rain, it was extremely difficult to farm in Shatyameba. Coupled with an exponential increase in population, there was thus a constant battle for resources.
Lee Ji-Tae was clearly aware of this. What Shatyameba’s people wanted was none other than food, enough to avoid starvation.
Lee Ji-Tae pointed towards the north.
“Whatever we desperately desire lies in the north!”
“Fertile lands, clean water, and cooling weather!”
Lee Ji-Tae bellowed.
“Let’s conquer the north! We have already conquered Itaracia! What’s there to fear!?”
The soldiers cheered loudly in response.
“We also want to go!”
“Long live commander-in-chief, Lee Ji-Tae!”
The motivational speech had its effect.
Atal Ramanujan’s soldiers now had a clear goal in mind to pursue.
“Our next destination is there!”
Lee Ji-Tae pointed at the map.
“If we conquer this land, then our immediate circumstances will be better!”
That territory was called Zolushka. It was ruled by Lily Sephardi, the rank 14 girl Lord.
On an island in Southeast Asia…
“Kya! Mother, that’s ticklish!”
“Then here’s more!”
Arshelly was having fun with Ninetails on the beach.
“Ah~! So refreshing~!”
Park Sun-Ja was receiving a massage from a native masseur under a gigantic parasol.
“Honey, isn’t this place good?”
“Hmm… yes, it’s definitely good.”
“Hehe~! I bought this place as a present for you.”
Kang Chul-In was flabbergasted.
“This whole place?”
“Of course! Look around, aren’t we the only ones here?”
“Don’t tell me...”
“Yup, I chased everyone away!”
Lee Chae-Rin’s spending was on another level.
She owned a marvelous resort like this… Kang Chul-In, the niggard, could never even imagine such a situation.
“Nah, it’s nothing much. This is all yours now.”
“Is that so?”
“Of course. I’m yours after all.”
“I love you.”
Lee Chae-Rin glanced quickly around at her surroundings to make sure nobody was around. She then suddenly kissed Kang Chul-In without notice. She was getting bolder by the day.
“Ah, and also...”
Lee Chae-Rin added.
“What is it?”
“Please give more attention to my little sister...”
“You know what I’m talking about...”
Kang Chul-In nodded.
She was once a powerful, rank 3 magician Overlord, but she had to forfeit her position due to Vilhelm and Rothschild’s threat.
“Actually, I was thinking of talking to her this evening.”
“To be honest, our relationship is strictly transactional.”
“That is true...”
“That’s why I’m going to ask.”
“Whether she will continue to live with me, or...”
“Whether she will leave me the moment I conquer Esmeralda.”
“It’s time for some real talking.”
Kang Chul-In was right.
Thanks to Kwak Jung who had already conquered Venedig the port city, it was almost time for a battle to brew over the ownership of Esmeralda. In the near future, the Valhalla Kingdom and the Gullveig Alliance will have another bloody battle again.
If Kang Chul-In emerged victorious… then Skadi Andevari was no longer useful to him.
It was because she was the rightful owner of Esmeralda in the first place.
Moreover, Skadi wished for the people of Esmeralda to become Kang Chul-In’s people and thus live a happy life.
At that moment, Kang Chul-In’s phone rang.
Kwak Jung was the caller.
-Are you free to talk…?
“Didn’t I tell you that I’m on a vacation?”
Kang Chul-In replied in an irritated tone.
It was his first vacation in 13 years.
Kwak Jung’s call was surely about a work-related affair.
“I will listen to your report later.”
“It wasn’t easy to find time for this vacation. Unless Laputa is engulfed in flames, don’t report to me.”
Laputa in flames?
That would never happen. Kang Chul-In was indirectly telling Kwak Jung to screw off.
-Hmm… you sure you won’t regret this?
“I’m having a family vacation. What’s there to regret?”
-Keh… what a family-oriented person. You are truly the number 1 husband material!
“Let’s end the call since you know that.”
-Alright, then I will tell that girl that you are uncontactable…
Kang Chul-In replied to Kwak Jung as a reflex.
-Did you… make some sort of deal with a girl by any chance?
“Who? Speak clearly.”
“God damn it!”
Kang Chul-In frowned.
“You can request help if you need it. I promise to help you. In return… I shall take the talisman.”
Vacation was over.
The Amplifier Talisman – one of the three items in the Trinity Impact – was calling for him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter