The Overgeared Guild won the battle against Belial and laid the foundation to establish a kingdom. Every member of the guild was faithful to their role. It was thanks to them that Overgeared was able to establish a kingdom. Grid knew this, so he wanted to reward all the members of Overgeared with magic battle items.
But it was impossible in terms of both time and capital. In particular, Lauel’s objections were severe.
“Don’t you know the meaning of meritorious retainers? It’s a word that refers to a subordinates who built up a lot of merits when establis.h.i.+ng a country. Since we worked hard, we are all meritorious retainers? That’s ridiculous. Unless you select and reward those who sacrificed more, you will lose the meaning of meritorious retainers.”
“It’s a shame.”
But Lauel was right. Giving the same reward to both those who were active and who weren’t active? The people who were more active might feel a sense of deprivation.
‘Indeed, this isn’t a communist country. What is equal compensation?’
As a simple example, people received different rewards in raids. Grid was convinced and broke down the contributions of the Overgeared members. He excluded personal friends.h.i.+p and thought objectively.
‘The first person on the list of meritorious retainers is Katz.’
At first, Katz was a disagreeable guy. He was a typical right-wing j.a.panese who disparaged Koreans. It was difficult for Grid to accept him. But Katz withdrew all his comments in the past and sincerely apologized. Not only did he apologize, he abandoned all of the narrow perceptions he had about South Korea. He attempted to atone by creating new jobs for Koreans living in j.a.pan. After joining Overgeared, his activities were dazzling. Take a look at this war. He defended Borneo with only 1,000 troops. Katz alone defeated the Gauss Kingdom.
‘Thanks to him, we were able to fully concentrate on the war and raid.’
It would’ve been terrible if Borneo was taken back by the Gauss Kingdom. The Eternal Kingdom would’ve worked with the Gauss Kingdom and Overgeared would’ve been completely isolated and destroyed.
‘Therefore, Katz must definitely be placed on the list of meritorious retainers.’
The second was Jishuka. She defended Patrian until Grid’s arrival and completely flew once she received the Red Phoenix Bow. She completely destroyed Eternal and played a great role in reversing the situation by healing her dying allies in the Belial raid.
‘I shouldn’t forget about Piaro.’
Without Piaro, they wouldn’t have been able to raid Belial.
‘Asmophel’s work was also great.’
Grid now knew for certain the role that Asmophel played during the battle of 1 against 100,000. He watched the war videos playing on TV and confirmed Asmophel’s actions.
‘If Asmophel hadn’t a.s.sa.s.sinated the enemy leaders, I might’ve died during the battle.’
What if he had died?
‘I wouldn’t have arrived at the Belial raid on time. Eventually, Piaro and all of Overgeared would’ve been destroyed.’
That wasn’t all Asmophel did. During the war, he penetrated the enemy forces, secured all types of information, disturbed the enemy forces, etc. But.
‘Let’s pretend not to know.’
Grid felt sorry for Asmophel, but Asmophel’s pa.s.sive skill called Determination of the Number Two exerted itself when he needed to prove himself.
‘As soon as I acknowledge Asmophel, Determination of the Number Two will weaken and his growth rate will slow down.’
This didn’t meant that he would be excluded from the list of meritorious retainers. Asmophel was a pillar supporting the kingdom and he needed to be placed in the appropriate position.
He had to give a t.i.tle, but Asmophel’s value would decrease the moment he was given a t.i.tle. What should he do? Grid worried about how to handle Asmophel for a long time.
‘I should consult with Lauel.’
If he couldn’t think about it alone, then he should discuss it with Lauel. As always.
It had already become a habit to thank Lauel. Grid completed the list of meritorious retainers and went to visit them one by one.
“What item do you want to have?”
Of course, every person needed different items. Some wanted a weapon that would maximize their cla.s.s characteristics, some wanted armor to boost their survivability, while others wanted farming equipment that would improve the efficiency of farming. There was one point they all had in common.
“If I can obtain Grid’s magic items, I can grow faster than ever.”
It was a gratifying response. Grid was motivated to work. After securing the necessary materials to produce the items, he asked Sticks to move him to Reidan. Along with Khan and the Reidan blacksmiths, he lit up all the Reidan furnaces. He generously used the white phosphorous wood as fuel.
“The intermediate blacksmiths should ensure the fires in the furnaces aren’t turned off and the advanced blacksmiths should refine iron ore. Khan will help me.”
“I understand. Do you have anything for the beginner blacksmiths to do?
“Tell them to focus on observing my techniques.”
The Reidan blacksmiths fell into confusion. A beginner blacksmith could do the work of one person in a smithy while an intermediate blacksmith could work as a private blacksmith. Furthermore, an advanced blacksmith was talented enough to work at a palace. But the beginner blacksmiths weren’t given any jobs, while the intermediate blacksmiths had to maintain the furnace and the advanced blacksmiths needed to smelt iron ore?
Even Khan, a craftsman grade blacksmith skilled enough to work in the empire, was acting as an a.s.sistant? The blacksmiths confident in their skills couldn’t understand Grid’s role a.s.signment. But none of them disobeyed Grid’s command. They witnessed Grid’s work after a long time and once again realized that even Khan wasn’t a match.
‘I will soon become an intermediate blacksmith thanks to Grid’s help.’
‘It’s the best honor to do odd jobs for him.’
The Reidan blacksmiths understood the topic and no longer questioned Grid’s orders.
Lord held Irene’s hand and came to the smithy. He spoke the cheer he learned from Aunt Ruby and pulled out a small hammer. Then he watched his father’s movements.
The sight of the father and son next to each other was peaceful and joyful. There was a happy smile on Irene’s beautiful face.
“I want to see Grid look bewildered and scared.”
Baron Kons was excited as the carriage moved. He wondered how surprised and frustrated Grid would be when he heard that he had to offer a tribute to 15 kingdoms, including Gauss.
“It isn’t that simple to build up a kingdom.”
If it was that easy to set up and maintain a kingdom, there would be hundreds of kingdoms on the continent by now. Baron Kons laughed as he imagined the look on Grid’s face.
Baron Kon’s carriage stopped in front of Reinhardt Palace.
Baron Kons was surprised as he got out of the carriage. Unlike what he expected, there were no traces of war anywhere in Reinhardt.
‘The damage from the war was repaired so soon? Did he work the people as slaves?’
That b.a.s.t.a.r.d called Grid was stupid. It was only a matter of time before the people’s hostility would grow and the Overgeared Kingdom would self-destruct much faster than expected.
“Tsk tsk, abusing the people when you aren’t fully established yet. As expected, not just anyone can become a king.”
A knight approached Baron Kons. The knights were wearing st.u.r.dy black armor.
“Are you Baron Kons of the Gauss Kingdom?”
It was hard to imagine that these excellent knights had just gone through a war. Baron Kons gulped nervously while the knights scratched their heads.
“You don’t need to be polite to soldiers like us.”
“Relax your manner of speaking.”
Baron Kons was stunned. It was absurd that they were calling themselves soldiers when they were wearing such excellent armor.
‘Who are they trying to fool?’
Why were these knights pretending to be soldiers and tricking him? Baron Kons soon became angry.
‘That’s right. Overgeared is trying to tell me not to look down on then because their soldiers are as well trained as the knights.’
Yes, it was acting.
‘Who would be deceived by this?’
Baron Kons shook his head as he was entering the palace garden.
‘There will be no well-known person.’
Which famous person would attend the founding ceremony of a kingdom established by a traitor? Baron Kons predicted that it would be filled with random people or the event site would be empty. However…
“Oh, Your Holiness. Look at that wonderful statue. Brother Grid’s appearance is really reproduced well.”
“Wouldn’t it be nice to put a statue of G.o.ddess Rebecca next to it?”
“Grid wouldn’t want to pay for it.”
“Huhu, Your Holiness is too much. Brother Grid has contributed so much to the Rebecca Church. How can he oppose the creation of a statue of G.o.ddess Rebecca? A statue will be built at all costs.”
Baron Kons became breathless as he walked through the garden. 15 middle-aged men dressed in the clothing of the elders of the Rebecca Church were calling a young man the ‘pope?’
‘This is ridiculous!’
The pope and elders of the Rebecca Church. They didn’t even come when the emperor of the empire called, yet they were attending the founding of the Overgeared Kingdom? Baron Kons had to deny it.
‘It’s a scam. It can’t be true! It’s obvious that Grid dressed up his own men as the Rebecca Church’s pope and elders!’
The pope was so dominant that no one dared judge him, but the Rebecca elders were famous for their heavy hips. In order to meet them, the great King Cactus himself had to visit the Vatican. Yet they were attending the founding of the Overgeared Kingdom?
A group brushed past Baron Kons as he was denying it.
Baron Kon blocked his nose and frowned, then he looked at the group pa.s.sing by. He recoiled like he had seen a ghost.
‘T-The water clan!’
Water clan. A species that lived in Siren deep below the sea. They were famous for their excellent magic. Many kingdoms, including the Gauss Kingdom, wanted to ally with them. But they didn’t like humans. Humans were turned away, even during their most difficult times. Yet they were attending the Overgeared’s founding ceremony!
‘No, this is impossible.’
The water clan were here for the Overgeared Kingdom’s founding ceremony? He wasn’t convinced. They must’ve come for other reasons.
‘Maybe Grid needs to repay the water clan somehow?’
Baron Kons constantly tried to deny reality, but it became hard to deny it anymore.
“King Maxong of the water clan is entering!”
The water clan’s king? Baron Kons’ eyes widened as he turned towards the entrance of the garden. The existence who entered was much larger than the water clan people he saw earlier and give off a majestic and overwhelming presence.
‘R-Really. It really is the king!’
While Baron Kons was feeling shocked, King Maxong approached the group pretending to be the Rebecca Church’s pope and elders.
“h.e.l.lo King Maxong.”
“Oh, Your Holiness. It has been a while. Have you met Grid yet?”
“I couldn’t see him yet.”
In this atmosphere, the pope and elders seemed to be the real deal. Baron Kons’ eyes trembled.
‘Is it true that a great demon descended to Reinhardt and that Grid and the pope united their strength to defeat it?’
Rumors had spread throughout the continent that Grid had destroyed a great demon. But hardly anyone believed this rumor. The great demons existed to annihilate the human race. It didn’t make sense, even if Grid was a legend. The people in the world thought Grid had spread false rumors to increase his reputation.
Now Baron Kons thought the rumor might not be false after all.
‘King Cactus… I… I can’t…’
In an event where the greatest figures such as the pope and water clan king were attending, he needed to demand that Grid give them a tribute? It was too much for Baron Kons to do such a crazy thing.