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V58C7P3 – The Last Savior
“How is the pension system?”
– The response from the public is positive.
Lee Hyun was concerned about coming up with a countermeasure against the rising unemployment rate and living expenses.
The world had gone through industrialization and the information age into the era of automated robots.
The number of employees needed in companies declined, leading to a decrease in income which resulted in a potential economic crisis.
‘This should be rectified by the politicians.’
Unicorn Corp initiated a plan to distribute pensions to the struggling citizens.
It was huge political news that it was not a country but a private corporation that released funds. Along with the base pension system, people were able to find stability.
Base models of refrigerators, was.h.i.+ng machines and vacuums were also provided for free.
Lee Hyun had other reasons for initiating such a policy.
“Put a limit on how much money you make.”
– I will take caution.
AI Versailles was raking in a stellar amount of money in the financial sector each day.
The business of Unicorn Corp was flouris.h.i.+ng and the sh.e.l.l companies for tax evasion also scaled greatly. Money made money, but it was long past that and Unicorn now controlled a huge amount of funds over the entire world. Lee Hyun never imagined he would say something like it.
“Don’t be too greedy for money.”
– Roger that.
“Hmm-hmm. Not all people are like me. See how I’m not greedy anymore now that my life is stable?”
The AI was slowly becoming more like Lee Hyun.
It showed an attachment for money and its efforts to fulfill its desire was about to create a global crisis. The pension program set out to the world led to many lazy citizens, but it was inevitable with the advancement of technology reducing the need for human labor.
Similarly it led to an increase of new players in Royal Road annually.
Lee Hyun watched the broadcast of the Arpen Empire ultimately getting ripped apart.
– Weed-nim is the only emperor we acknowledge.
– Oberon-nim has no legitimacy!
The great lords ended up distancing themselves from the Arpen Empire and they had their fair share of reasons for it.
Weed was the one who was supported heartily by the players and he was at the core of the Arpen Empire. He had left the empire unregulated for a long time and everyone was living the way they desired.
– Tulen was our territory to begin with. Blacklion Guild will open up a new age for Tulen.
– Cloud Guild does not discriminate. Let’s create a world of mercenaries.
– Follow Roam. He promised to distribute all shares equally.
Millions of players a.s.sembled at each faction and they collided against another.
It was rare to have billions gathering like the Garnav Plains War, but since the overall level of players increased, the power was almost on par.
“With the field set, they are so eager to fight.”
Odin Fortress had once again become the center of war.
The Blacklion Guild and the Roam Guild put all their forces and over three days, the magic spells wiped out even the foundation stones.
Countless cities, villages and fortresses got swept up in the war and were destroyed.
The losses from Kaybern’s rampage were extensive already, and as the entire continent fell into a conflict, stealing and destruction became the norm.
It was common to see players destroy things so that the other side cannot take them.
– Hermes Guild! They set out from the Haven region and conquered the Kalamor region.
– Are they taking steps to retrieve their lost honor? The combat squad of the Hermes Guild are riding on pterosauruses.
– We call them pterosaurs for simplicity, but their real name is rather complex; Cawdralope?
– Yes. The Hermes Guild bred and tamed them. They do not possess reliable combat abilities, but they can travel far distances at high speed.
The Hermes Guild mobilized its forces to conquer the nearby regions. They unleashed all the power that they had saved up and this made the other great lords uneasy.
The Northern Continent was bombarded with phone calls.
– We want Weed-nim’s return. Oberon must resign!
– Oberon must take responsibility for not being able to maintain the empire.
– Castle Vargo is announcing independence. However, upon Weed-nim’s return it will gladly return into the folds of the empire.
The North, the haven of novice players, had a high population density.
Their levels were much lower compared to those from the Central Continent, but they showed constant growth by hunting, causing higher level players to join.
The lords used a lot of these players to create conflict.
Though they were cautious under the Arpen Empire, they had begun to raise forces in Weed’s name. But now, among the commotion, there was a surprising announcement that astonished everyone.
– We will establish a new kingdom. Join the Arth Kingdom.
The City of Arth.
It was located where the Northern Continent and the Central Continent connected. It developed with intermediary trade, mining, and the residential sector including expensive villas and houses.
The clean streets and the natural environment of Arth attracted merchants and high level players. Lord Robin announced the establishment of the Arth Kingdom and started a huge rebellion.
– No way. The first rebellion ever?
– The Blacklion Guild’s official objective is to recover the Tulen region. I’m scared.
– They are outright going against the system of the Arpen Empire. They announced a new kingdom.
– Where did they get that courage?
The players of Royal Road were extremely surprised and observed the actions of the Arth Kingdom.
“Did someone set this up? The Hermes Guild? I bet it’s them.”
“Someone is behind all this. This seems to have been plotted well.”
“Will there be conflict in the Northern Continent too?”
The great lords pushed their intel network to the maximum but they could not comprehend the Arth Kingdom. It seemed as if the situation in the North would rage, but it was unexpectedly quiet.
– The nearby cities refused to join the Arth Kingdom.
Robin had trust in the lords in the nearby cities when he established the kingdom.
‘If I raise my forces, I’m certain they will join my cause.’
He had spent years developing good relations.h.i.+ps, hosting many drinking parties.
He believed that once he had his own kingdom, he would be able to acquire the land and population for a mid-size kingdom in a short time. However, only eight lords joined him and those eight confirmed the weak faction and turned their backs.
– We are not a.s.sociates of the Arth Kingdom. We had a certain relations.h.i.+p due to the proximity, but starting today we will cut all ties off with Arth City.
– It is all a misunderstanding. We will remain lords of the Arpen Empire.
The mid-tier lords backed out swiftly and found their way out.
They were shrewd, running away after having taken so much from Robin!
– The merchants of Arth wanted to transfer locations, expressing that they are not involved with Arth.
The merchants based in Arth were moving out of the city.
From their point of view, as merchants who were based mainly in the Northern and Central Continent, the Arth Kingdom would be isolated from either side.
“What are they doing out of the blue?”
“He was suffering from King’s syndrome and he had it coming.”
“I thought this was all a joke until now.”
The merchants left and the players in the region had no motive to fight for Robin.
“This guy always boasted about himself and his money. He always blabbered about uniting the continent which is baffling.”
“He needs to get wrecked to come back to his senses.”
“Nah. He just won’t get it.”
– Lord Surka announced the conquest of the Arth Kingdom.
Weed’s comrades were also lords in the Northern Continent.
They put in their pa.s.sion to develop their cities and players who followed them due to their high reputation.
Surka even did an interview live.
– I met Robin-nim at the lord banquet party at the Earth Palace two years ago.
– How was he?
– He was so full of himself. I’m going to clobber him.
Surka’s speech caused the Northern players to crowd like a storm.
It was human nature to side with the probable winner.
Surka had the legitimacy, faction and even the popularity; it was such a one-sided battle.
Surka led his forces and conquered the Arth Kingdom.
The walls of Arth City were tall and equipped with defensive systems, but one could hardly call it a proper siege.
The players who partic.i.p.ated as mercenaries to defend Arth did not even draw their weapons. They waited idly on the walls and eventually opened the gates.
“Come in. Welcome, everyone.”
“Thank you for opening the doors.”
“Ah, don’t mention it. The lord castle is at the center of the city.”
“Alright, then. We will meet later.”
Surka’s forces had conquered Arth city ever-so-peacefully.
“How could this happen…?”
Robin lost all hope of ever sitting on a luxurious throne.
Surka wanted to give him a beating but in an instant he felt bad for Robin.
“Ehem. I don’t like this atmosphere. Just go.”
“This is my kingdom.”
“So you do want a beating? I’d be happy to.”
In the end, lord Robin was kicked out without a single penny.
Some said to take his life or set a restriction order on Robin to set an example across the entire continent, but Surka refused. The reason was that Robin no longer had a faction and he was low level.
The birth and death of the Arth Kingdom in turn became a display that made many reevaluate the power of Weed’s comrades.
These players received lands that were practically barren. Other than the times they would get together for hunting and adventures, they spent the rest of their time peacefully governing their provinces.
After some time, they had grown into great lords in the Northern Continent.
Pale for example ruled one of the top 5 cities in the North and their influence and power was rea.s.sessed.
“This could be fun.”
Lee Hyun loved watching fights.
The continent could split into several kingdoms once again.
“But, I do feel like I’m even more busy than before.”
– It is because you are involved in various fields.
Lee Hyun helped out those in need; those who could not pay rent, let alone feed themselves and have disposable income. Young breadwinners and people too sick to work were guaranteed a baseline standard of living.
The environmental issues were difficult to deal with for any government. For such issues, the Unicorn Corp stepped in.
“Let’s clean up the garbage in the ocean as soon as possible.”
– I will have it taken care of by the end of this year.
“I would like to send in the robots and sort out the garbage. Burning or burying all of it is a waste of resources. There’s much to be recycled.”
– I will implement it starting next month.
Unicorn Corp conducted an eco-friendly business costing billions of dollars.
It was a project for the entire world which received positive reviews in conserving resources and preventing environmental pollution.
He fully exploited the press for political affairs.
The media owned by Unicorn Corp released information concerning the corruption and scandals of politicians.
“They are rotten to the core.”
– Politicians are all the same.
They removed these politicians like a chain of sausages only for them to be replaced by similar individuals. Sometimes they were more corrupt, hypocritically criticizing the corruption and lobbying at the congress.
“Take care of those guys too.”
– I will proceed.
If they were to continue to weed them out, eventually the waters would be filtered clean.
He had the faintest hope that preventing personal gains from politics would make it a better world.
‘I’m not some expert in social issues or politics.’
Lee Hyun felt doubt at times whether or not he should be involved in fields in which he had little experience. It was because not all the things he involved himself with turned out for the better.
‘Still, I have to give it a go. Who else could?’
Even if he wasn’t an expert, he thought it was fine to get involved with good intentions.
After all, perfection is the enemy of progress and nothing would ever get done if we always waited for a perfect solution.
Social and political issues, by their nature, weren’t ideas with a complete solution in the first place.
“Let’s work hard to make this world a better place.”
“Also, it’s about those loan sharks from before. They’re still alive, yes?”
– They are maintained in their status of imprisonment. Would you like to take a look?
“No need. I would feel the drive to toy with them. None of them atoned?”
– None, whatsoever.
“Send them away to Russia.”
(To be continued…)