Chapter 290: Conductor (3)

Teaser: Wonder Girls' Nobody plays in the background.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1nf1kXGRLA

The Cat Knight, Sir Rex, did not know much about administration or politics.

“…A land for magic and alchemy-”

That was why he could only imagine a vague idea of that rather than pinning down the details.

“What do you mean by that?”
“It's simple.”

Of course, it was not a simple issue. However, Cale was thinking about it in simple terms.

“Magic and alchemy have a lot of similarities. The small city will have a way to protect itself if we can gather people and provide a strong foundation for them.

He could hear the invisible Raon's voice.

  • Human! Will Rosalyn get a new home? Let’s build one for Goldie gramps too!

Cale simply ignored Raon. What he didn’t know was that he would end up regretting this in the future.
Raon was being serious.

“Young master-nim, why is that beneficial for the Empire and the Roan Kingdom?”
“For the first twenty years, the Roan Kingdom's palace and the Mogoru side’s leaders will work together to select the mayor.”

The mayor. It was the person with the most power in a city.

“Doesn't that just mean that the Roan Kingdom wants to recommend a mayor for twenty years in order to control the city?”

Sir Rex was certain that, although it was called a partnership, that there would be no recommendations that were from the Mogoru side. Cale nodded his head and added on.

“You're right. A Roan Kingdom's person will be the mayor for twenty years.”

It meant that the land belonged to the Roan Kingdom for twenty years.

"After that, we guarantee that we will help support the city to become a truly free city where the citizens will have a say on the leadership. This will all be announced to the Western continent.”

Rex's expression turned odd as if he could not believe Cale.

“Just tell me flat out that you want me to give you some land.”

His voice sounded sharp and critical.

“Although it is called an offer, aren’t you basically telling me to give you land for making me the Emperor?”
“Well…”

Cale crossed his legs and leaned back into the chair.

“Roan has the strength to do that.”

Cale followed that up by shaking his head.

“However, if we do that, the Empire would disappear.”
“…Just what?”
“The Jungle, Whipper Kingdom, and Caro Kingdom. Do you think these three places would leave the Empire’s land alone? They will try to make deals to steal land just like the Roan Kingdom is doing, or they would start wars in order to steal the land.”

Sir Rex was at a loss for words.
The other three kingdoms had more negative feelings toward the Empire than the Roan kingdom did, preventing Rex from antagonizing the Roan Kingdom as well.
The crazy priestess Cage had already explained everything the Empire had done in the Western continent to Rex.

“…Then do you truly mean that you want to turn it into a free city after controlling it for twenty years?”
“Yes.”

He answered without any hesitation.

“That's the only way for the other kingdoms to accept it.”

That was also the only way to get the Magic Tower and Alchemists’ Bell Tower to be created in the city.

“Our Roan Kingdom plans to provide all of the foundational necessities and spend as much as necessary for magic and alchemy to develop in this city.”

Who would have something to say against it if the Roan Kingdom says they will help out until the new free city is settled and were willing to spend a ton of money on it?

“They’ll probably just call us stupid for spending all that money and then taking our hands away from it in twenty years.”
“…Who would believe that you would really take your hands off after that time?”
“I'm sure that the other kingdoms will probably ask us to make a Vow of Death.”
“Are you planning on doing that?”
“Yes.”

Rex was completely at a loss for words.
However, Cale was not done talking just yet.

“Furthermore, we will be on friendly terms with the Mogoru as we will be creating this free city together. That is why we will work hard to control the issues that the new Mogoru has with other kingdoms.”

Rex wondered if he was hearing correctly that the current rising star of the Western continent was willing to be the sturdy shield for the Mogoru that was the setting sun.

“We will also provide the funds for the Empire’s Alchemists’ Bell Tower and for alchemy itself to stand back up.”

“Ha!”

Rex was shocked.
He subconsciously said exactly what was on his mind.

“What is left for the Roan Kingdom? Aren’t you just giving and giving without receiving anything back?"

Cale heard Raon's voice in his mind at that moment.

  • That's not true! You're wrong little Cat Knight! The human and crown prince will not just be giving! I saw the two of them laughing!

Cale naturally ignored Raon's voice.

“Why do we get nothing back?”
“Well, to build a city and bring in both magic and alchemy, both of which are expensive to maintain, would cost a lot of money. Would there be anything left?”

Cale leisurely shook his head and answered back.

“It's fine. We have a lot of money.”

Rex didn't even have the capacity to be shocked anymore.

However, the Roan Kingdom really did have a lot of money.
They received money for helping the Caro Kingdom. They were also going to receive a lot of money from the defeated three northern kingdoms. In addition, the Roan Kingdom was going to trade food to the Norland Kingdom up north.
They had more money than ever and also had a lot of money that should be coming in.

“…I can’t understand at all. Why would the Roan Kingdom make such an offer?”

The Empire would need to give up some land. This would be very painful to do. However, the things that they would get back in return were worth quite a bit.

They would also not need to fight a bloody war nor have to sign a humiliating agreement.
It was a deal where you gave something to get something back.
That was why Sir Rex could not understand the Roan Kingdom and Cale.

However, Cale recalled the conversation he had with the crown prince at the Gorge of Death.
It was one of the conversations they had inside Alberu’s tent.

‘I wish for a larger Roan Kingdom.’

Cale started to speak.
He could not tell someone else the complete truth.

“First, we will gain strength.”

He recalled what Rosalyn had said right after the battle at Maple Castle.

‘Young master Cale, my former teacher told me this. The Empire is a place where everything is above average.’

This was something that Cale, crown prince Alberu, and the Roan Kingdom all knew about. Alberu’s voice was going off in Cale’s mind.

‘Cale Henituse, I want to make alchemy ours.’

The first thing that they would earn was alchemy.

"Second, we will gain people.”

There should be a large number of people flocking to the free city, its new Magic Tower, and its new Alchemists’ Bell Tower.

Although Cale didn't tell Rex about this, the Roan Kingdom was planning on creating a bank as one of the foundational services in the free city.
They would provide funds for anybody in the Western continent who wanted to learn but did not have the means to do so.
They could later choose to remain in the free city, return home, or come to the Roan Kingdom.

Although they had the freedom to choose what they wanted to do, they would not forget about the Roan Kingdom.
The mages and alchemists who would learn and grow in the free city for twenty years would remember the Roan Kingdom. They would be the only kingdom that offered them a home and financial support.

“Third is control.”
“Ah.”

Sir Rex quickly understood this part.

‘The Roan Kingdom would control the Magic Tower and the Alchemists’ Bell Tower for twenty years.’

The original Magic Tower in the Whipper Kingdom and the Mogoru Empire's Alchemists’ Bell Tower.
Both of these places had done a lot of evil deeds. The Roan Kingdom would try to control these two towers by using their past as justification, even if they were not the mayor of the city.

This third reason was the biggest reason that Cale was moving forward with this free city.

There was a low chance of Rosalyn’s Magic Tower or the new Alchemists’ Bell Tower committing evil deeds. However, both of them would be organizations with technology and power. Nobody knew what they would be like in twenty years.
They needed someone to keep them in check to maintain the peace.

Sir Rex started to think about the two powers that would take shelter within the free city.
He knew a Roan Kingdom’s person would take charge of the new Magic Tower while it seemed reasonable that the alcoholic Alchemist Rei Stecker would lead the Alchemists’ Bell Tower.

‘In the end, Mr. Rei Stecker is one of young master Cale’s, no, one of the Roan Kingdom’s people.’

Rex’s pupils started to shake

“…The Roan Kingdom’s influence will be strong even after removing your hands from the city twenty years later.”

Cale started to smile. He then calmly started to explain.

“Conquering territory is not the only way to expand your territory.”

The Roan Kingdom's territory would become a bit larger for twenty years.
There were three things the Roan Kingdom wanted during that time.

Strength, people, and control.

“The Northern Kingdoms and the Jungle have a lot of territory.”

The three Northern Kingdoms and the Jungle had significantly larger territories compared to the other kingdoms. The Jungle especially had land that was multiple times the size of the Empire’s territories.

“But nobody fears or respects them. However, the Empire was different.”

There were many places around the Western continent that feared and respected the Empire.

“That is because the Empire had a lot of strength, lots of people connected to them, and worked as the control tower.”

That was how the Empire had been until now.
That was the Empire of the past.

Sir Rex started to think about the future.
A new place came to mind to replace the Empire.

The Roan Kingdom.
Those two words kept popping up in his mind.

Their goal was not to expand their territory for twenty years.
They were aiming for what the Roan Kingdom would achieve in twenty years.

Cale had no issues saying it out loud.

“Our influence will become greater.”

The power to influence the Western continent.
Influence was a different name for politics.
It was a very strong power that was not visible, but definitely existed.

“The Roan Kingdom will have access to a lot of power, there will be people connected to the Roan Kingdom throughout the continent, and we would have the power to control two strong organizations.”

In twenty years, there would be people talking about the Roan Kingdom as Rosalyn's teacher had spoken about the Empire.

“That is the larger Roan Kingdom we desire.”

If that happens, then the Roan Kingdom that was located on the eastern side of the continent would become the Roan Empire.
The Land of Boulders would have power that rivals their sturdy and long history.
The Roan Kingdom's name would spread in the hearts of the people throughout the continent.

People who fear and respect the Roan Empire would exist everywhere.
That was the way to expand the Roan Kingdom's territory.

‘The benefits from the free city are not just external either.’

The Roan Kingdom's technology and culture would develop at an explosive rate by being near the free city.
That would serve as the foundation to better the quality of life for the Roan Kingdom's citizens and change their ways of thinking.
There was nothing in the Roan Kingdom to prevent that from happening.

‘It’s not like they have a national religion like the Empire.’

The Roan Kingdom had freedom of religion. Furthermore, it was a kingdom where all sorts or races from Tigers to Dark Elves were gathered together.
Many different things would work together in order to help the kingdom grow.

‘All of that is possible when there is no war.’

They needed at least twenty years of peace.

Cale could see Sir Rex slowly opening his mouth to speak. The Cat Knight slowly started to speak after seeing the look of certainty in Cale's eyes.

“I’m envious.”

He could see how the Roan Kingdom would sparkle in the future.

“Why? Do you think it is impossible for the new Mogoru?”

Sir Rex slowly nodded his head. He looked down at his scarred hands and started to speak.

“…All of the corruption starting with the Church of the Sun God's terror incident and the terrible truth about the Alchemists’ Bell Tower and the royal family will soon be revealed. The Alchemists’ Bell Tower will be destroyed and the Empire will lose strength.”

Rex slowly reached his hand out and picked up the document that Cale had handed over.

“Of course, we will gain a, ‘new Church of the Sun God,’ and a, ‘new alchemy,’ if we accept the Roan Kingdom’s proposal.”

The citizens’ hearts would be at peace through the new Church of the Sun God.
The Roan Kingdom would help them maintain alchemy and prevent any foreign kingdoms from trying to invade the new Mogoru.

However, that was not the issue.
Rex started to frown as he asked.

“Do you think the citizens can still love their nation after the evil deeds of the Alchemists’ Bell Tower and the Empire are revealed? Could they be proud of the place they call home?”

Would the Empire remain the same in the citizens’ minds once the royal family, alchemy, and their religion were gone?

“They’ll feel like their home has disappeared.”

Rex believed that a, ‘home,’ wasn’t just a piece of land with a name.

My nation.
My hometown.
The land that I am proud to call the place I was born and raised.
That was what he considered to be a home.

Would the emptiness in their hearts allow them to see their home recover?

Rex had no way of knowing.
Cale had a profound expression on his face as he looked toward Rex who had his head down. He was surprised at Rex right now.

‘He’s better than I expected.’

He was someone who knew what was important.
Cale was thinking that he made the right decision by making Rex study those books and that maybe Rex was able to do everything he had done until now because he had such thoughts.

That was why Cale started to speak to the knight who still had his head down.

“There’s the real one in front of me.”
“…Excuse me?”

Sir Rex slowly raised his head. He could see a face that was not smiling, but still had a look of certainty.

“The real one.”
“Real…?”
“Yes.”

Cale casually added on.

“The real pride of the Empire.”

Rex subconsciously gasped. He heard Cale's voice at that moment.

“All of you have put your lives on the line.”

While revenge was partially responsible for their gathering, they had started everything in order to fix the things that were wrong.
They were trying to let people know about the truth.

“Isn’t that the true Mogoru?”

Rex felt as if he could not breathe.
Cale started to smile while looking at Rex’s reaction. He had dragged Sir Rex into this operation so that he could let the citizens of the Empire know about what was going on.

Screeeech-
Cale stood up from the chair that he was sitting on. Sir Rex looked toward him with a complicated expression as Cale pointed to the document in Rex’s hand.

“You can reject the offer. It is an offer because that is possible.”

Bang, bang, bang!
Loud noises suddenly filled the room.
Cale looked toward the entrance of the second floor.

Bang, bang, bang!

Someone was banging on the door.

“W, what is it?”

Sir Rex jumped up in shock. A voice responded from the other side of the door.

“Young master-nim! It’s me, Billos!”

It was the Flynn Merchant Guild's Billos.
He seemed to be gasping for air outside the door. There was a sense of urgency in his voice.

‘What is going on?’

Cale walked up to the door and grabbed the doorknob.
It was at that moment.

  • Human, human! We have a message from the crown prince!

A message was left on the video communication device.
Cale flinched after hearing that it was from crown prince Alberu and stopped turning the doorknob.

“Young master-nim!”

However, Cale ended up opening the door in the end.
Billos, who seemed to have rushed over, couldn't even catch his breath as he started to speak.

“Young master-nim, the Imperial Prince and the Vice Tower Master of the Alchemists’ Bell Tower are supposedly heading to the western border!”

Cale’s face brightened up.
However, it immediately turned to a frown as if he was a wet tissue that was crumpled up.

  • Human, the message says that, ‘the Imperial Prince asked for reinforcements!’

Raon's voice could be heard in Cale's mind.

  • He also said, ‘Cale Henituse, the Imperial Prince is looking for you!’ Human, why is the Imperial Prince looking for you?

‘Damn it.’

“Now what the hell is going on?”

Cale’s frown became even deeper.

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