Chapter 762 The Sea Route 1 Today was a busy day in the Feroria Empire. This was the key location where most of Umbra's major ports had been set up after Draco and Eva had cleared out a portion of the sea, thereby introducing the ever lucrative sea route, which had caused Umbra's wealth to skyrocket to the point even Empires were getting jealous.
The Feroria Empire itself had upgraded from a basic empire to a Divine Empire, the highest tier possible in Boundless. The same held true for the Huhan Empire, as it was the connecting one on the other side of the sea, with the Vareas Peninsula.
The emperor of Feroria, Jusen the Great, was destined to be recorded down as the most respected emperor in Feroria's history - which was how he even got the fancy title - due to the sheer amount of wealth the empire had accrued just from being an intermediary from the trade.
He was now so rich that he was decked in jewelry from head to toe. If Cla '10 Chainz' Rent were to meet him, he would bow to this ancestor for his amount of bling was enough to kill an enemy with one hit.
Jusen would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, laughing uproariously enough that his palace servants would question the presence of ghosts. However, how could he not be happy when this pie had fallen on to his lap?
Jusen understood the truth more than anyone. He hadn't done anything remarkable or deserving of this boon. He and his empire just happened to be at the right place, at the right time, that was it.
The emperor was proud that his clever sucking up to Draco had yielded him a good opinion towards the fellow. Kutu, the emperor of Huhan, had not known anything about Draco, but upon seeing Jusen acting like a pet, he had immediately copied him.
That was now Kutu's crowning life decision, as he and Jusen had become the best of friends. If Jusen was the king of chains and bling, Kutu was decked in the finest silks to the point that even his undergarments were made exclusively from Epic materials!
Just cutting off a piece of his cloth would be enough to allow a peasant to rival a Duke!
Jusen couldn't help but laugh. He then thought of the Cario Continental Council, who were also greatly benefiting from this. As they had a great relationship with Vita Kingdom, even more than Jusen and Kutu, their share of the pie was the second largest.
Vita's councilor in the Continental Council was an Immortal Adventurer called Noble Writer. That bloke had used his prowess and Vita's dominance over the entire continents' military and financial sectors to push many legislations that gave Immortal Adventurers of Vita more benefits.
Of course, this would normally make many other nations unhappy, but in this case, they weren't. Vita received hundreds of petitions per day for them to come and clear the sea near these places so that they could add a new route.
Fuck, those kingdoms and empires near the sea had already built ports and hundreds of trade ships, just begging Vita to do the rest.
The funny thing was that even by doing this, Jusen wouldn't lose profits. His profits would be stable for eternity. No, the only problem the emperor foresaw was that if Vita cleared other routes, other contenders for the most blinged out emperor may arise since those fellows would become as rich as him!
Of course, there was a small pocket of resistance, namely the Rank 7 factions. They did not need Vita's money, and they had beef with Draco in some way or the other.
They had often sabotaged the sea route, but stopped when Draco's Avatar had started to patrol the area. Now that he was gone, they had begun their ugly acts and Jusen was feeling troubled seeing the numbers go down slightly.
Suddenly, a servant barged into the throne room with a hurried look. Jusen was initially going to berate the fellow, but his words stopped him.
"Your Majesty, the new controller of the Sea Route has arrived from Umbra!"
Jusen almost shat his pants in a mixture of fear and excitement.
"Quick! Take me to him!" he screeched as he ran forward like a girl about to meet her lover, rather than a dignified emperor meeting an envoy.
Krona frowned as he surveyed the details of the sea route. It looked perfect, but it was actually super clumsy, unoptimized and inefficient. This should be unsurprising, because the White-Haired Duo had pretty much just bombed the place and left it to mere serfs.
Not to mention the amount of embezzlement going on at all levels, even the dog serfs were pocketing many goods and items using 'customs' as an excuse.
The system had become stale like this after so many months, and its corruptive nature had already taken root. It was like a modern government, so rotten that to clean it, you'd probably have to resort to violence on a grand scale to get anything done.
Krona noticed that a group were approaching him, and pout down the documents. In the lead was the smiling Emperor Jusen, whose blinged out nature made him feel confident.
"Greetings, Esteemed Sir. I am Emperor Jusen of Feroria. How may I be of service?"
Krona's eyes narrowed as a hint of disgust rose within him. He didn't care that this fellow was a bootlicker, but that he dared to dress so flamboyantly when so much theft was going on. Was he trying to send a message to Krona that he couldn't ever cleanse the corruption here?"
Very good, Krona liked a challenge.
If Emperor Jusen knew that his beloved bling had caused him to practically fall out with Krona, just how would he feel?
"Establish a new governmental agency called the Umbra Marine Force. I will lead this force and pick out special warriors as well as managers who will be appointed to handle all matters relating to the sea route on this side." Krona commanded coldly.
"Err… yes? Of course, sir!" Jusen agreed with surprise, wondering what Krona was up to. So far, Umbra had already been managing the route anyway, and how they did was their internal business.
But by making his new force governmental, he would be taking both Feroria's power and Umbra's power into his own hands, centralizing both. The Feroria side was average, but he knew the Umbra side was super decentralized, which was how a lot of embezzlement had occurred.
However, did Jusen dare to point fingers at his benefactors? He could only close one eye and pretend to be stupid. It seemed that this new controller was not as lax as the old one, coming with an iron fist.
Jusen felt some excitement from this. If the thefts could be curbed, obviously his income would go up! What he wanted was nothing more than someone like Krona, so he immediately set everything up and handed all his power over the sea route over.
Krona was startled by this efficiency, and his disgust towards Jusen reduced slightly. It seemed that in the face of authority, he knew when to be honest. In Krona's mind, Jusen was simply the mouse that had been playing around when the cat had been out of the house.
Now that the cat was here, the mouse was naturally well-behaved.
Now, for the Umbra part.
Krona simply sent an order through the guild channel for all serfs to stop work and appear before him. It should be known that for every serf not at the place, the sea route and all those tied to it were losing hundreds of thousands of platinum per hour.
However, Krona didn't care because Umbra didn't care. With the Rank 7 bank, they had stored enough money to buy four continents. Otherwise, how could they be paying for Divine Class Ups for those God Serpents like it was water?
When the serfs appeared before Krona, they were terrified and worried. Draco's Avatar had never even deigned to look at them, but this new core member seemed to be different.
To them, a core member was no less than a peasant to a god. None of them had any thoughts of resisting, not after watching the Inter Player Competition. They had squarely seen the gap between both parties in terms of wealth, talent and power.
When they saw the handsome and well-built Krona standing above them with his sharp goatee and aqua armor, they felt their breaths freeze. The coldness radiating off Krona was so oppressive that it felt like their chest were clamped.
Faintly, they could see the mirage of a huge sea beast behind Krona, one so large it occupied the entirety of their mind's eye. Just as the AI was about to eject the fellows before they suffered brain damage in the real world, Krona stopped.
Finally, the serfs could breathe, and they would never forget this experience for the rest of their lives.
"You are Umbra's workers. Before today, the upper echelon couldn't be bothered to deal with you, and from what I've seen most if not all of you have taken advantage of that fact. No problem, that's just human nature."
"You have eaten your fill and every banquet must come to an end. Henceforth, you will do your work, honestly and with transparency. Your pay will be increased in lieu of better management and efficiency."
Krona leaned forward. "In case this sounded too complicated, let me simply it. Stop stealing, and I'll give you more money legally."
"If you choose not to stop, addicted to the benefits, that's fine too. I will find, you, kill you and ruin your account in the game. Then I will find you in reality and make sure you pay the price."
Krona gazed at the scared serfs with such malice that they were shocked. "You can opt to record this threat and post it or report me to any authorities. Not only will nothing come out of it, but I will hone on you and prove to the world that I can do anything to you, and you can do nothing back. This is a direct threat."
Krona passed his eyes over the group once more. Since he didn't have control or any psychic powers, he could not tell what they were thinking, but he was satisfied enough with their body language, which showed pure terror.
"You may leave." Krona said as he casually dismissed them, watching the group of hundreds scurry away back to their duties.
Just this wasn't enough, though. He sent a message to Sublime for her to send the best managerial talents the guild had over. The entire hierarchy would have to be restructured from the ground up.
On the Empire's side, things were already done, but on Umbra's side, it would take more work since they were so entrenched in the process.
It took Krona and his new aides over three weeks to restructure everything and implement it. The changes were met out instantly, and failure to comply meant death.
Krona also built a force from the NPCs of Feroria, who were between Rank 4 to Rank 6. This would curb the talented managers from Umbra who were players from developing any funny ideas like the serfs had done.
By the time Feroria's side was cleaned up, the entire industry had lost hundreds of billions of platinum. Sublime never questioned Krona on it because Draco never did.
He seemed to have full confidence in the fellow. This paid off in the week after Krona finalized the changes, when the Feroria side of the exchange's profits increased by 1,240%.
The number shocked Sublime and Jusen so much that Sublime was depressed about not knowing where to spend all this money, while Jusen frothed at the mouth and almost passed away.
Even if he gave birth to 200 wastrel sons who could only squander money, they wouldn't be able to squander it all!
Krona settled everything and made sure the increased productivity, efficiency and profits ratio was stable before stepping on the sea. Then, in an act which stunned all nearby onlookers, he blasted forward like a jet, skidding along the surface of the water with his hands behind his back.
At his current speed, he was nothing but a blur to all those who looked on, making many legends of the aqua riders pop up in unlikely places.
After cleaning up the Feroria and Cario Continent side, Krona was obviously moving over to the other side of the equation, the Huhan Empire/Vareas Peninsula side!