<Good to have: Passion and talent. Must have: Luck and money.>
-The necessities of success by the legendary merchant
Sian sensed something annoying from the cliff. It was pretty far, and something hindered his senses, making it hard to see what it actually was.
However, if he were to handle the people there, he would need to unlock his power. If Baron Phareon Kulan attacked him to keep his secret and Sian unlocked his power, it meant the land would be decimated.
After pondering over what the Baron would do, Sian came to a conclusion.
<Let’s leave it be.>
The Baron was trying to do things with his own land, and Sian had no right to interfere.
It didn’t seem like he had stolen it, and he could hide it as long as he liked. He was only here to inspect and leave. It was bad to massacre people just for an inspection.
After making up his mind, Sian felt comfortable being freed from his concerns and drifted to sleep.
“Did you finish the escort?”
“Yes, milord. They are resting in their room. But…”
Roina stopped mid-speech with a concerned look, so Phareon asked, “What’s going on?”
“Ra-Kadum warned me never to touch that Sian boy and have him leave the province as soon as possible.”
“Ra-Kadum said that?”
Phareon’s expression turned grim. Dekons knew what humans didn’t. They were able to see things that humans couldn’t. It was Ra-Kadum who recognized the true power harnessed within the <Artifact> that Phareon was about to sell off to the black market, and helped utilize that power of the <Artifact> to help make his people’s lives better.
If he had given such a warning, it was not to be taken lightly.
‘The inspection will not last long. Let’s show them what they need to see and then send them off.’
He had no intention to let them stay long anyway; it would be disastrous if they realized he was hiding something. He did not have enough power to protect the <Artifact> yet as he had only used a portion of it, and his land had grown exponentially.
He needed more time in order to grow stronger to protect what he had.
The best thing about Logadis was that nobody in the capital or the Kingdom paid any attention to it. That gave Phareon time to build up the land.
One year. That was all the time he needed. He would be able to unite all the nearby lands and unlock the next stage of the <Artifact.>
“Viscount Teron, why have you called us here?”
Viscount Raidan, who was in charge of one of the thirteen provinces of Logadis, asked.
“I have called all of you here to discuss our problems with Kulan Province. Their actions have crossed the line. They are pressuring the nearby lands, and I heard some of you are having a hard time because of that.”
A few people awkwardly coughed at those direct words.
The way to survive in Logadis was to avoid any competition as it would starve them. All thirteen nobles kept their boundaries and tried to keep the balance between themselves to survive. But a change started four years ago from Kulan Province.
Everyone figured it wouldn’t continue for long, but Kulan kept growing to the point where the nearby lands were pressured.
“Do you have an idea? I guess you do since you summoned all of us.”
“Not much… other than not having any more choices left.”
Viscount Teron tortured the man named Craine that Naruan had captured the other day, and so he explained to the people that had gathered.
“So they have expanded that much already.”
“Yes, they have sped up in the past year. Their soldiers are heavily armed.”
The reason why they did not conduct a full-scale war was because of one reason.
It would inflict too much damage.
Kulan Province was becoming too powerful, and it would be hard to crush them without any sacrifices. They still had the upper hand as it was not possible to create Bander users in a day, but the balance was slowly tilting.
They had no other choice.
<Crush them before it’s too late.>
They had no choice. If over ten nobles joined forces, it was possible to crush Kulan Province with ease.
‘The first step is done.’
Viscount Teron smiled as he watched the people in front of him.
“The convoy was ambushed? What about survivors? What happened to Captain Craine?”
“No survivors, milord. We sent out scouts to check because they had not returned and…”
“…Did you find out who was behind it?”
“All we have are speculations, but no evidence.”
Phareon gritted his teeth at Rianna’s report. This was a time where he needed to focus, but they kept bothering him. As Phareon wondered what he should do, Roina ran into the office.
“Milord! We have a problem!”
“Huh? What’s the problem this time?”
“The other nobles have declared war against us!”
It had gotten worse.
“I see. Who?”
“Its… the other eleven nobles, except Rottfell.”
Phareon flinched at the report. He had expected the nobles to unite against him; however, it was too early. He thought he had a few more months. He wondered what had caused them to act so rashly but soon realized he did not have the time for that; it was time for war.
Phareon was not afraid. He wished to delay the fight because he wanted to build up more internally, but he was ready. He decided to use this chance to make his forces even stronger.
“Yes. The nobles from our neighboring provinces have declared war against us. I am sorry. Such an unfortunate turn of events have happened while you are within our lands. I suggest you leave before the war begins.”
Phareon ordered Roina to inform Cariman to leave. Along with Ra-Kadum’s warnings, it wasn’t a good idea to show their forces to the Guarran-Tia anyway.
Cariman was troubled by the unexpected turn of events.
Not only was it dangerous, but this meant that he could not fulfill the order from Viscount Talin. But, if all the nobles were involved in the war, there was no way he could continue the inspection; he would have to return. It would mean that Sian would return in less than a month since he had left.
Cariman decided to stay. After inspecting the province, he was sure that Kulan would not lose against one or two other provinces. He did not know Kulan was up against all of Logadis. He was confident that danger would not reach the city.
When the war ended, it would be well past the months that he was ordered to be away, so it seemed like a good idea.
Cariman finished his calculations and spoke.
“No, it’s okay. It seems dangerous to travel right now. We’ll move to the inn and stay there during the war. Our inspection is done, so we won’t bother you. Sian, what do you think?”
“Oh, I’m okay with that. This city is quite fun.”
They had been doing nothing but work. What could be so fun?
Cariman was confused but he just thought that Sian loved his work.
Roina frowned on the inside, but she had no reasonable excuse to refuse so she nodded and returned to Phareon to report.