Chapter 785 - First Princess: Ellis Di Gales
"Hey, what are you looking at for a while now?"
"Mm?" Bai Zemin raised his head and his black eyes met the emerald eyes of the second princess of the Gales Kingdom.
She was scowling at him as if she was annoyed but Bai Zemin was already starting to get used to her peculiar way of hiding her true thoughts and feelings, more so after knowing what she did for him while he was out of combat.
"Oh, I was just trying to understand these runes." Bai Zemin replied, pointing to the complicated union of several magic circles.
They were both sitting in a luxurious chariot that was being pulled by two mutant bears, one white and the other black; it seemed that the flag that represented the Gales Kingdom had two bear heads with two crossed axes.
"Do you have any skills that allow you to understand runes?" Seraphina asked raising both eyebrows with surprise shining in her eyes.
Bai Zemin scratched his head and said in a calm voice, "No?"
"... Really, you can't expect too much from an orc." Seraphina rolled her eyes and pointed out in a tired voice, "If it were that easy to understand runes everyone would study them and rune encryptors wouldn't be so appreciated by everyone. Even if they are basic runes like these it's not something we can learn just because we want to learn them!"
"Well, it's still better than doing nothing." Bai Zemin gave a shrug.
This luxurious chariot was as big as a small motor home as it even had two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room with kitchen and dining room attached, as well as a small living room which was where the two of them were currently sitting. However, the most amazing thing was that the chariot levitated approximately 80-90 centimeters off the ground, and although the temperature outside was warm the inside was pleasantly cool.
If Meng Qi could learn these runes, wouldn't that mean that in the future Bai Zemin's faction would also be able to have chariots like this one? He was even planning to ask Seraphina to show him how to tame mutant beasts like the two bears pulling the chariot.
"Instead, let me tell you a bit about the competition of kingdoms so you'll understand better." Seraphina snorted and without waiting for Bai Zemin's answer she began to speak without impotence whether he agreed or not.
"Eventide World is composed of a total of 49 realms, out of those 49 realms there are 3 powerful realms which are the parent kingdoms. The parent kingdoms are the most powerful kingdoms of all, they are so strong that if the three of them went to war they would cause a lot of destruction, therefore, 300 years ago and after years of bloodying the land they finally decided to use the other 46 kingdoms to decide which one of the three would take 30% of the resources produced by all the other kingdoms over the 15 years of cooling down the competition of kingdoms while the second place winner will take 15% and the last place winner will take only 5%."
"We, the Gales Kingdom, find ourselves in the territory of the Builux Kingdom, one of the three parent kingdoms. The Builux Kingdom is the one who has jurisdiction over Gales, therefore, Gales always fights for them in the competition of kingdoms."
"Seraphina, wait a moment." Bai Zemin interrupted.
"What?" She looked at him in dissatisfaction.
Bai Zemin didn't mind her tone of voice as he knew she was only acting this way on purpose but it wasn't her true self. After a moment of silence, he asked, "These three parent kingdoms you are talking about get a lot of resources... but what do the other kingdoms get?"
It was impossible for someone to fight for the good of another just out of pure kindness. As long as something involved intelligent beings with free will, even if the other party was tremendously powerful, rebellions would always occur if the smaller ones did not receive a payoff or benefit for their work.
For example, Bai Zemin was very powerful and his subordinates had repeatedly witnessed what he was capable of on a battlefield. However, if he did not give them positions, pay, and benefits commensurate with their strength and the contribution they made to the faction, eventually riots would occur or they would begin to desert regardless of the difference in power.
Seraphina nodded and said in a clear, pleasant voice to the ears: "All the parent kingdoms grant resources and troops to the affiliated kingdoms to gradually expand the human territory. If the Builux Kingdom wins in the competition of the kingdoms, all kingdoms affiliated to the Builux Kingdom as is the case with our Gales Kingdom will get a 15% increase in resources received every year and will also send at least one Third Order warrior to support in the war against the other races for 18 months. However, if the Builux Kingdom loses then all affiliated kingdoms will receive 20% fewer resources every year for 10 of the 15 years in which the next competition is expected to take place."
Bai Zemin nodded silently. Originally he had thought that this competition of kingdoms was a stupidity organized by people who were too bored, after all, the kingdoms of this world were already established and not in constant war; completely different from the mankind of Earth who was in constant war against other races such as zombies, goblins, etc.
However, it seemed to be that the reason was way deeper. Even if Seraphina had only given him a quick and casual summary of the competition of kingdoms, it was clear that it was very important to everyone, which was why they were fighting hard.
"Say, Seraphina." Bai Zemin raised his head and asked in a curious voice, "How does this competition work in particular?"
Bai Zemin aspired to rule the Earth someday, but it was impossible for him to be everywhere at all times, which meant that he would have to leave leaders in different establishments that would have huge amounts of manpower and power to rule. The structure of this competition of kingdoms would surely be of great help for the future of Earth and for Bai Zemin as it would help to avoid possible rebellions. Therefore, he was interested in knowing the structure in order to in the future be able to apply it if necessary.
"The competition of kingdoms lasts for a total of 5 days unless some mishaps occur. During those 5 days, the affiliated kingdoms will face each other in different arenas using their best fighters under the age of 25. There will be team competitions first, the winner of the team competition will be assured the second place in the overall competition even if they lose in the individual matches. Of course, if the winner of the team matches also happens to be the overall winner then the second place winner of the team competition gets second place overall unless they came last in the individual matches, if that turns out to be the case then there will be a final match to decide the overall second place winner."
"I see." Bai Zemin nodded and couldn't help but feel that the organization up until now sounded quite decent.
Even the age limit had been thought out so that each combatant would only have one chance in their lifetime unless the competitor had their first competition of kingdoms at the age of 10. This served to prevent kingdoms with powerful warriors from abusing others, instead, victory would depend purely on the talent of each individual and the efforts of each kingdom in nurturing the next generation.
As Bai Zemin was thinking in defects to improve from this competition to apply in the distant future, Seraphina's confident and proud voice brought him out of his inner world.
"However, no matter who comes this time, no one will be able to take the victory! This time, our Gales Kingdom will be the overall victor and for the first time since the creation of the competition of kingdoms we will become the first kingdom to take first place in both team matches and individual matches!"
Despite being seated, Seraphina brought both hands to her waist so that her upper body resembled a cup. She even stuck out her chest and lifted her chin proudly while looking at Bai Zemin as if she expected to be praised for something.
Unfortunately, even though she did indeed look radiant under the glare of the sun coming through the chariot window and even though he knew what she wanted to hear, Bai Zemin was unwilling to indulge the girl's small vanity.
"Oh? I wonder who is so talented and powerful from the Gales Kingdom this time? Even you are so sure. Why don't you tell me?" Bai Zemin asked feigning innocence.
"You!" Seraphina's posture broke and she looked at Bai Zemin as if she wanted to devour his existence with her teeth.
Surprisingly, however, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a few seconds. By the time she opened them again, she looked very relaxed as she said softly, "For this year's competition, our kingdom has three Second Order talents. Although the other kingdoms surely have at least one as well, three Second Order existences of the younger generation belonging to the same kingdom is something that has never happened in the history of the kingdom competitions."
Three? Bai Zemin was truly surprised this time. This was not the first world Bai Zemin had traveled to, in the past he had been in the world of the asura race, against whom he fought. Therefore, he knew that Second Order existences were considered decent powers on fairly evolved worlds like Oblon World was.
Although Eventide World was more advanced than Earth, Bai Zemin estimated based on the mana and gravity of the surroundings that it was at most at the peak of the second stage or at the beginning of the third stage. This meant that in this world, Second Order powerhouses represented the true foundation of each realm, and thus having three soul evolvers under the age of 25 who had already broken through to the Second Order meant that in the future that realm would most likely enjoy three Third Order powerhouses as long as they did not fall or find advancement too difficult to complete.
In a way of rewarding the second princess who had behaved like a young lady instead of screaming like a brat, Bai Zemin casually hid some praise in his next words.
"I see... That's really impressive, no wonder you're so confident... But, Seraphina, apart from you are there two other such great talents in Gales?"
Indeed, the eyes of the second princess of the Gales Kingdom shone upon hearing Bai Zemin's words and she wriggled in her seat like a little puppy happy to be patted by its master.
"You're taming her?"
Bai Zemin cleared his throat at the sound of Lilith's mocking voice. It was hard for him not to roll his eyes and retort to her words.
"Actually, if it weren't for my class I might not be a big deal compared to the other two." Said the ever-proud Seraphina with respect and admiration, making Bai Zemin's curiosity really start to itch to know who could make this second princess hold them in high esteem.
"The first of them is the person who is estimated to be the future hero of Gales, Liam Anworth, he is only 18 years old. Liam Anworth is a giant sword wielder and his talent is truly insane. Despite being in the Second Order he once single-handedly killed a Third Order mutant Scorpion Lizard!"
Bai Zemin noticed the admiration and gleam in Seraphina's eyes when she mentioned this young man. However, it was completely natural to feel admiration and even something more for a young and talented person with a seemingly boundless future.
What surprised him most was the fact that this person, Liam Anworth was actually a greatsword wielder just like him. Bai Zemin had met wielders of hammers, axes, spears, swords, daggers, and all sorts of weapons both melee and ranged. However, this would be the first time he would encounter a greatsword user other than himself.
"What about the second person?" Bai Zemin asked even though he had a hunch regarding this person's identity.
"The other person is my big sister, the first princess of the Gales Kingdom." Seraphina's expression turned competitive as she talked about her older sister. "My big sister is a magic guardian with a special class just like me. Not only does she possess a very powerful defense but her attacks encased by layers of mana are really potent and she is already at level 82 despite being only 20 years old. Many people secretly want to pair her up with the future hero of Gales as they say that the two of them would make a very good couple and their progeny would have superb talent that would enlighten Gales into a golden era."
"Mmmm..." Bai Zemin looked at Seraphina and a faint smile peeked at the corner of his mouth. "I see. Now I understand."
Seraphina, however, frowned as she saw the slight smile on Bai Zemin's face and said in a somewhat angry voice, "Why are you smiling? For some reason I feel like you are getting some wrong ideas."
"Your imagination, your imagination." Bai Zemin dismissed it by waving his hand and went on to ignore whatever the princess with the ponytails said, looking out the window and appreciating the sights that the capital of the Gales Kingdom had to offer.
"Do you think this girl has any romantic interest in that guy?" Lilith asked in a curious voice beside him.
Bai Zemin simply shrugged his shoulders in response to indicate that he did not know and at the same time did not care.
The capital of Gales also known as Bearcrest City was a very large city, millions lived there. Some were lower class citizens, most were middle class, and a minority were high class; however, all of them were soul evolvers. Of course, considering the evolutionary stage of Eventide World, the level of most of the citizens was too low and insignificant to fight monsters so they were not much different from most of the survivors on Earth.
Bai Zemin didn't know how crowded Bearcrest City usually was, but he had to admit that the city at the moment was as crowded as an anthill. Had it not been for the distinctive royal Gales family insignia on the chariot and the fact that a VIP road had been prepared in advance, it would have been absolutely impossible to reach the competition site.
Approximately 20 minutes later, the two mutant bears pulling the chariot began to gradually slow down before coming to a complete stop.
Bai Zemin followed Seraphina towards the door leading to the outside world and the noise and high temperatures immediately assaulted him, causing him to subconsciously frown at the sudden change of environment.
A person dressed in a black robe with golden borders approached and bowed respectfully. Seraphina said something to him and that person took the chariot somewhere. Bai Zemin estimated that it was some sort of coachman or something similar.
"All the other entrances are a mess right now. The crowd always gathers around the arena even if they know there's no room for them inside. Fortunately for you, orc, you're in the company of this cool and noble princess so you can skip a lot of trouble. Be thankful!" Seraphina said as she led Bai Zemin towards a huge double door constructed of some kind of opaque wood and where there were two guards in plate armor and swords standing guard.
"Of course I do, oh your highness princess ponytails." Bai Zemin muttered under his breath, gaining a glare from Seraphina and a flap of her hair.
It was just as the two were halfway across the bridge and about 50 meters from the arena doors that the doors opened wide. The soldiers standing guard immediately knelt down when they saw the person who stepped out with delicate but firm and confident steps.
Seraphina's footsteps stopped automatically, and in response, Bai Zemin's footsteps stopped as well. He narrowed his eyes slightly, and upon seeing the appearance of the other side, he immediately identified the person even before the girl next to him had time to say anything.
Seraphina looked at Bai Zemin over her shoulder and said in a low voice: "She is my big sister and the second most battle-talented person after the future hero of Gales.... First Princess of this kingdom, Ellis Di Gales."
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