Chapter 3: Water Park that Will Earn a Fortune
The news of the Arpen Kingdom’s territory expansion and Haven Empire’s sudden tax cut spread across the continent.
“Free from taxes. The struggle is over.”
“Nonsense. For the Hermes Guild to obediently withdraw…”
“It is worrying. Anyway, it is a good thing.”
Thanks to the immediate response, the connection rate to Royal Road rose by four times. All the users in the Central Continent welcomed it.
“It will be really fun from now on.”
“Yes. I’m going to be a merchant. I will definitely sell and get rid of some things. Most of the profits will be my own.”
The cities and stores were bustling with users. Thanks to the tax cuts, the goods were being sold at lower prices.
“Gallikos’ Sword please. It has already been sold out? Then Nerdal’s Crescent Moon Sword!”
“I will order this. Please show me all your useful armour.”
“Horse. I am looking for a horse. For the last few years, I haven’t been riding a good one.”
The stores were packed with users so there was no room to move.
Users wanted to buy the goods at a cheaper price.
“I want to buy more.”
“There isn’t much money left…”
“Earn it. Gain equipment from the hunting grounds. Quickly recover the money.”
“I have no money to go to the hunting grounds in the south.”
“Don’t you know? The dungeons are free.”
The free admissions policy meant that many users turned to hunting.
After the Hermes Guild’s policy of high taxes and limited dungeon admission was changed, the situation dramatically improved.
People waited at the dungeon entrance looking for parties.
“I am a combat priest. I am capable of stage 2 treatments. I will help you properly.”
“We are organizing a party to hunt the boss monster Batoto. Please contact me if you are more than level 400.”
“Looking for someone to hunt until evening. We are a medium size party looking for more than 10 people to sweep the dungeon.”
The cities and hunting grounds were crowded, as well as the roads connecting them.
The depressed Central Continent had turned into a huge, vibrant land.
There was even a change in the rebels.
“I want to go back home. Now I can return to my farm in the Haven Empire.”
“His Majesty has got rid of all past sins… I’m going to quit and return to my occupation. Now I need to feed my family.”
“Giving land to farmers, horse drawn carriages to merchants and jobs to blacksmiths? Then I have to go into the city. Now I can live and eat.”
The resistance degraded and was reduced by at least half.
Following the tax cut, the Hermes Guild implemented various economic measures and development started.
-The Haven Empire will pursue full-scale construction projects in order to promote stability and convenience on the Versailles Continent.
Proclamations about 30 Grand Buildings simultaneously popped up with Emperor Bardray’s name attached.
Of course, skilled architects were needed for Grand Buildings so they needed to actively cooperate with users.
Despite a lot of time needed before it could be implemented, the Grand Buildings were announced in order to increase public sentiment.
The heated response to Hermes Guild’s tax cuts buried the result of the Puhol Fortress battle.
* * *
Lee Hyun felt violent sadness despite winning the battle at Puhol Fortress.
It was because that evening, he watched television while eating rice and kimchi stew with his sister.
“There are large tax cuts in the Haven Empire. The stores and markets in the Central Continent are crowded with people. Jae-ho ssi, hasn’t the atmosphere of the Haven Empire changed?”
“Yes, that’s correct. The number of people wandering the cities have grown and the items in warehouses are selling like they are on fire.
“Then will the cities quickly stabilize?”
“There is still opposition from residents in areas conquered by the Haven Empire, but it is clear that big changes are occurring.”
Every broadcasting station a.s.sociated with Royal Road was relaying news about the tax cuts. Lee Hyun was so surprised that he dropped his spoon filled with pork.
“The Haven Empire lowering taxes is like taking an axe to my feet.”
Considering the military and economic scale of the Haven Empire, there were many actions they couldn’t take.
They could form three or four more northern expeditions but it would still be impossible to devastate the Arpen Kingdom.
Nevertheless, the tax cuts started stabilizing the empire.
The stations also played the Hermes Guild’s official announcement.
-The Hermes Guild has unified the Central Continent after the endless wars and have been seeking to stabilize the continent.
We made many friends and enemies on this path, but there is no room for regret.
This isn’t an excuse, but we knew that someone else would eventually walk along that path.
We wanted to end the war quickly. However, the Hermes Guild has realized the mistakes in the process that made some residents inconvenienced.
In order to stabilize the Versailles Continent, the Haven Empire will cut tax rates for users living in this land and will engage in economic development.
These changes aren’t just in words and we will show you directly.
Stay tuned for future developments on the continent.
A series of complaints burst from Lee Hyun’s mouth.
“The Hermes Guild doesn’t have the spirit of a collaborator.”
In order to conquer the continent, they would continue to attack the Arpen Kingdom.
In the long run, the Haven Empire would use the Arpen Kingdom as an excuse to increase the taxes.
“I can no longer raise my taxes in the future…”
His grief was so large that he was almost moved to tears.
His kingdom was high in integrity but it was poor. He wasn’t interested in such things.
After taking care of the Haven Empire and developing the economy, he had a plan to raise the taxes of the Arpen Kingdom.
His goal was to rule the Arpen Kingdom as a dictator and to exploit the residents.
“A man should have that much ambition.”
Yet the Hermes Guild had changed their policy because of the crisis.
“It really is tough to become a dictator.”
Lee Hyun and Lee Hye-yeon watched the television together.
Users were wandering the stores in the Central Continent with happy expressions.
Lee Hye-yeon and Lee Hyun each said something.
“What a waste. They should be brought to the Arpen Kingdom to be exploited…”
The attractions on the Central Continent that had been booked full for one month also appeared.
“Wah! A pretty place.”
“They are just an opportunity to rip people off.”
The economic development measures and Grand Buildings construction in the Haven Empire were also announced.
“I would like to live in the Central Continent too, Oppa.”
“The housing prices will rise.”
Despite a similar growth process, the siblings had different thoughts.
* * *
Lee Hyun took two seconds to pick clothes from his closet for a date with Seo-yoon.
Despite the rest from university and playing Royal Road every day, he still went on outings with her around the neighbourhood.
“Jeans… I will wear this t-s.h.i.+rt.”
It was a simple fas.h.i.+on for going out.
Jeans could be worn all year round and a jumper could be placed over the t-s.h.i.+rt if it was cold. Of course, he wore thick, corduroy pants when it was winter mornings. It was a similar fas.h.i.+on to the middle aged men who worked at the fish market.
His simple fas.h.i.+on didn’t change for his dates with Seo-yoon.
“They are comfortable clothes to wear.”
Sometimes he also wanted to be fas.h.i.+onable.
It was because Seo-yoon was so beautiful. He wanted other people to say they were a well-suited couple just once.
“Yes, let’s wear this new t-s.h.i.+rt that I had been saving.”
Lee Hyun pulled out a t-s.h.i.+rt he bought a few months ago for a discounted price of 12,000 won.
The fabric was soft, it was fitting and comfortable and there was meticulous st.i.tching.
“Indeed… Clothing from a market is different.”
Lee Hyun was satisfied as he looked in the mirror.
He left his house with clothes that had a chicken sewn on his chest.
Seo-yoon was playing with Dogmeat and she was also dressed in jeans and a white t-s.h.i.+rt. She shone despite the simple clothes. Not to mention the face and perfect body ratio.
If Seo-yoon was born hundreds of years ago, that beauty would be enough to cause wars between countries.
Of course, artists would have tried to paint or make sculptures of her.
“Have you waited long?”
“Nope. I’ve been playing awhile.”
Seo-yoon was gently brus.h.i.+ng Dogmeat.
Dogmeat growled as soon as she saw Lee Hyun. The five puppies Dogmeat gave birth to also had stiff tails.
Animals weren’t stupid. Their new owners, Lee Hyun and Seo-yoon had a good relations.h.i.+p!
‘Something is suspicious. He is a wicked, old master.’
The dogs distrusted Lee Hyun.
After giving Seo-yoon Dogmeat, the second Dogmeat also fled to her home every day. Despite being right next door, Dogmeat 2 didn’t even bother urinating at Lee Hyun’s house.
Lee Hyun’s eyes shone fiercely.
The fear imprinted in her mouth made Dogmeat instinctively obey.
She feared Lee Hyun opening the lid of a pot only for it to contain one of her puppies.
The wise Dogmeat and her puppies obeyed.
“Now that is more desirable.”
After steamrolling over the dogs, he started his neighbourhood outing with Seo-yoon.
They stumbled across some high school thugs wandering the side of the road.
These days, the students greeted them with a polite att.i.tude. There was a legend about them in the alleys.
“Lee Hyun… Be careful around him. And don’t touch his younger sister.”
“Do you know Chan-hwi hyung?”
“Yes. That hyung doesn’t like people he doesn’t know wandering into his area.”
“A little while ago, he discovered Lee Hyun loitering in front of his home.”
“Was there a fight? Chan-hwi hyung wouldn’t tolerate that.”
“He decided to beat the other person up. So that evening, he headed out with an iron pipe. He dragged a bunch of other people with him.”
“So? Was the police called?”
“I would be glad if that was the case. That Lee Hyun came out of the gate holding a scythe.”
“He was also holding a chicken with blood dripping down. Thirty people came to fight him… n.o.body entered. Anyway, since that day Chan-hwi hyung hasn’t entered this neighbourhood.”
It was rare for neighbourhood thugs to have not heard that legend.
Rumours about Lee Hyun and Ahn Hyun-do circulated and were greatly inflated.
“He trained with a real sword.”
“That dojang… Have you seen their skill with the sword? It isn’t surprising that the hand of someone who tried to touch his little sister was hacked off. He had sufficient skills for it.”
“More strange people have entered the area because of him.”
“Did you see the people who attend the dojang? Even the hyung-nims don’t dare touch them.”
Lee Hyun and his family were a presence that couldn’t be touched in this area.
Seo-yoon was so beautiful that even the gangsters and bad men were eyeing her. But they were blocked by highly trained bodyguards.
Now it didn’t matter if she was escorted on walks because she had guards.
Yoo Byung-jin had discovered Seo-yoon’s presence while watching Lee Hyun.
“She is Lee Hyun’s girlfriend. Beautiful. So pretty that she might become the target of a crime…”
-The likelihood of a crime is 94.7282%.
“Isn’t the security in South Korea good enough? It is much better than other countries.”
-With her looks, it would be a 98% chance of a crime in other countries.
Even the police and the country’s security force would be drawn in by her looks.
When she walked around, the people and traffic were paralyzed because they were staring at her.
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that her beauty would cause a country to collapse in the past.
“It isn’t good to leave this situation unchecked. I don’t want to watch that child be sad.
Even Yoo Byung-jin didn’t want to see Seo-yoon cry.
While watching Weed’s adventures in Royal Road, he had seen Seo-yoon crying as her heart was melted.
The clear tears flowing down Seo-yoon’s face was an incredibly beautiful moment.
If Yoo Byung-jin was younger then he might have devoted everything to her. Royal Road or the wealth that could shake the world didn’t matter.
As he watched Seo-yoon for a while, he realized that her insides were beautiful as well.
“Lee Hyun might be ugly but he is blessed with a woman like that. I would like to watch their children.”
-Do you want to hire some bodyguards?
“Grade A or above guards.”
As well as grade A guards, the satellites and surveillance systems were used to prevent anything dangerous from happening.
Of course, there were more than 10 androids mobilized in that area to improve security.
-All evidence for criminals within a 50km radius has been secured. It will take approximately a week for the police to sweep up all of them.
After the area was cleaned, Yoo Byung-jin ordered the androids to secretly monitor it.
Lee Hyun reached the side of the road and asked.
“Where do you want to go? The cinema or the mall? Do you want winter clothes?”
“I don’t want to see a movie. Or buy clothes… I want to go to the market.”
“Is there anything you would like to eat?”
“Um. Crab is a little expensive… The price of seafood doesn’t matter. No, these days I am receiving a lot of money from the broadcasting stations.”
Seo-yoon and Lee Hyun couldn’t spend much time together like this because important events were occurring in Royal Road.
For today’s date, they agreed to buy crab at the market and then make a stew at home.
Lee Hyun went to a seafood store he had been going to for 5 years and the middle aged employee said to Seo-yoon.
“A precious girl like you doesn’t match him… Young lady, there are many men in this wide world.”
“No. It is okay.”
“I am just worried… If he has grabbed onto a weakness then I will report it to the police.”
This was the 297th time Seo-yoon had received this offer.
Most of the people in the neighbourhood encouraged her to report at least once.
* * *
Lee Hyun connected to Royal Road where the festival at Puhol Fortress was still ongoing.
“Hahahat! Drink, drink. Drink it all.”
“Uhhh, take it. I love gra.s.s porridge thickened with alcohol. My stomach can’t eat anymore. Perhaps I should let the gra.s.s porridge settle?”
“You don’t have to seriously worry about the dungeons. It is a dark and lonely place but… It also has a cozy feeling. You should go at least once.”
Even though it was daytime, the northern users were still celebrating.
In Royal Road time, it had been 3 days since the battle ended but people still remained in the area.
The walls were broken and the ground cracked.
There was an eating and drinking atmosphere everywhere.
Weed had a rotten smile on his face.
A tough battle had ended with victory so the northern users deserved to play.
Some users who died in battle came back and shared the mood of others. A two day festival was scheduled after they revived.
“I will earn quite a bit of money.”
Of course, the alcohol and food for the festival were sold by merchants so Mapan made quite a profit.
Merchants were the busiest before and after a war.
Weed relied on Mapan but he still had a slight relations.h.i.+p with other merchants. The Money Mine Company, King Crab s.h.i.+pping Company, Turtle Trading Company, etc.
Weed knew how to make more money because of his life experience.
He maintained a low tax rate but he found merchants where he could rake in some profit.
The so-called G.o.dfather of the underground economy!
However, not all the users at Puhol Fortress were playing.
“Looking for a priest eager to save people. Let’s go hunting together!”
“I am a s.h.i.+eld warrior, please take me. Level 256. I have focused on raising the resilience of my body.”
The high level or diligent users left for hunting and adventuring in the area.
“Now, an underground exploration. We’re off!”
10~20 users could be see playing in the tunnels that Squashy Wriggler made.
“Push as hard as possible.”
Some users were getting into mischief by rolling stones along the walls.
A lot of money and effort would be required to restore the broken walls, defense towers and inner roads of Puhol Fortress.
Weed lacked experience as an architect but he could still guess the status of Puhol Fortress.
“It will take millions of gold to restore this place. Of course, there is no reason to spend money on a fortress if there is no war.”
A military fortress would increase the training of soldiers and boost their morale. Maintaining large military facilities were essential to stopping enemy invasions.
Weed shook his head.
“Restoration is too costly. And it isn’t possible to defend the Arpen Kingdom from here.”
Even if Puhol Fortress was kept, the Haven Empire could use different routes to destroy the kingdom.
“Repairs aren’t possible so I need to change the direction… Should I keep it as ruins and sell souvenirs?”
Weed wanted to change the use of the fortress.
A war memorial would only receive petty cash. A pile of stones was just tacky unless the battle took place decades or hundreds of years ago.
Making flimsy tourist attractions would just result in a steady loss.
Weed thought that it was the wrong investment.
“If the facilities are left untouched… It might turn into a den of monsters.”
Monsters lived in ruins or abandoned buildings.
The scale of Puhol Fortress meant there would be hundreds of monsters.
A good hunting ground would be created but that could also be a poison. The monsters released in Puhol Fortress wouldn’t just stay in one place. The boss level monsters among them would wander the kingdom, worsening security.
“The cost of demolition will be enormous. I also can’t charge the Hermes Guild.”
Weed was in the midst of watching users dropping stones or breaking buildings.
‘Fixing everything will take money. Homeowners also wouldn’t want messy houses like these.’
Then he suddenly had an idea.
“Can I take advantage of sculpting here? I can use them as raw materials in sculpting and sell the pieces at an expensive price.”
A deep rooted bias against sculpting!
Carving a few wooden blocks would only give him a few gold.
‘The money disappears once it leaves my hand. But there will definitely be a way to earn money from the fortress. Concentrate, think. There were a number of tricks that could be used. Success and failure in life need to be found on its own.’
He looked at Puhol Fortress again from the viewpoint of a sculptor.
He had 1% left before becoming the long-awaited sculpting master. It was at the last step but it really wasn’t easy to raise it through half-hearted works.
After mastering swordsmans.h.i.+p in the desert, Weed’s base damage had increased by 500%. The power of the attack skills improved and the range increased. The effect of swordsmans.h.i.+p as well as his defense increased when he mastered it.
The Cla.s.s Master Quests took a long time so there should be substantial compensation.
“The problem is there is a chance Bardray will also become a master swordsman. He is probably further ahead in the cla.s.s skills.”
Weed had watched Bardray’s battles in the Hall of Fame as well as news about him on the broadcasting stations.
Bardray led the army to sweep up the rebels in the Haven Empire. Of course, he also didn’t miss dungeon hunting and pioneering new places.
Other users admired his efficiency but Weed had a rough idea of his skills.
“His level is certainly in the mid-500s. And his swordsmans.h.i.+p is a little lower than I thought. He has an outstanding ability to use several skills at the same time to great effect.”
Sword Awakening, Power of Birth, Black Knight’s Strike and Summon Another Sword. Bardray’s skills were wonderful but it was weaker than when Weed was ruler of the desert.
“On average, it should be around advanced level 4.”
Bardray’s skill proficiency was relatively low but that wasn’t a critical problem for him.
His skill proficiencies would continue to grow and he could receive rewards and acc.u.mulate stats from hunting and completing quests.
“I need to become a sculpting master. This sculpture will help me earn money as well as master it.”
He needed to break through the last step.
The final secret technique Time Sculpting had managed to reach intermediate level. He could create a Museum of Time just once.
He also had the helium from the dragon quest. It wasn’t good to use in a sculpture but it would be a waste to leave it unused.
If Weed mastered his cla.s.s then there would be many benefits as well as improvements in the related skills.
“I should invest everything.”
Weed’s eyes once again looked at Puhol Fortress.
Right now, Puhol Fortress was just a ruin that ate a lot of money.
However, there was no reason to restore it to normal.
“It might not work as a military fortress but it is a place with convenient traffic and many people know about it… Should I go into the culture and commerce area?”
He decided to make Puhol Fortress into a sculpture. This s.p.a.ce would be changed after getting rid of the people.
“The problem with a sculpture made of ruins is that the value will drop if a piece of stone falls. How can I throw away money?”
Weed recalled the big money making opportunity he missed.
“Before the battle at Puhol Fortress… I was trying to develop luxury villas near the river. Time was too short so I had to sadly give up on that plan. If I drag water through here then I can sell villas.”
He had planned to half submerge Puhol Fortress in water and then sell luxury villas in the area.
The unique scenery of Puhol Fortress would attract tourists and generate revenue.
A scene came to Weed’s mind.
Magnificent natural sculptures that acted as large rides. If he changed Puhol Fortress into a lake then he could create many facilities for users.
It was possible to go swimming on land!
“A-a water theme park of my dreams!”
In the Korean summers, many people went to beaches and water parks.
Families or lovers moved as units and it was a place that ripped off people.
“It is possible to have expensive admission fees, sale of goods and parking fees.”
There would be an entry fee per person as well as parking for carriages and other means of transportation.
Food and accommodation would also be provided. Fancy, overpriced facilities!
In the north of the Versailles Continent, there were few popular tourist destinations. The users invested in equipment or a house.
If he made a water park here, millions of people would come flooding.
“The whole area will be submerged in water and hundreds of thousands of people can enter!”
A water park redevelopment project that surpa.s.sed the limits!
If 200,000 people came daily and paid 10 gold then it would be a profit of millions.
Puhol Fortress would be turned into a natural water park so the maintenance costs wouldn’t be that high.
“Once it is created, the commercial facilities will be crazy. Clothes, food, souvenirs… They will be sold out.”
Weed thought that he was stupid.
In today’s world, he never made money like a rich person.
“I concentrated on the old-fas.h.i.+oned way of raising taxes. I just recklessly spent the money collected.”
He needed something that steadily made money.
The northern users could make him money by eating, playing and dressing up.
The Arpen Kingdom was receiving 20~30 million gold in tax revenue. If this water park business went well, it could increase by a few times.
There was the overpriced admission fee, villas and taxes on commercial facilities.
A fantastic revenue set!
“I can’t slow down. I have to start right away. This is more important than the war with the Haven Empire.”
Excitement flowed through Weed’s body.
The redevelopment plan to turn Puhol Fortress into a commercial property had now begun.
He immediately summoned his sculptural lifeforms.
They were creatures who could exert their strength on the land like Yellowy, King Hydra and Cerberus!
A bright light shone as they were forcibly summoned.
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