Emperor of Steel

Chapter 504 - Situation of Devildom 4

“Your Majesty, did the work you go out for turn out well?”

When Hans asked, Luke, shook his head.

“No, things are the same. Did any information regarding Karen’s whereabouts come in?”

“Well, a while back, Hudson, the chief of the department came in and said that it was likely for them to have left the Symphonia Kingdom.”

‘Hmm, where could Saint Nanda be taking her…?’

In addition to Argos and the Baroque Intelligence agencies, Luke sought help from the fairies to find Karen.

‘Did he take her to the Southern Continent?’

With Saint Nanda’s abilities, it was a possible outcome.

The last time, when Luke had to reach Rakan estates, Nanda managed to bring him back to the place in the blink of an eye from the Southern continent.

‘Since the Kirillov is trading the Southern, I’ll have to ask them to take a look around. Also, it might be better to ask Zegal Clan for some help.’

Luke, who decided to expand his search in the Southern Continent, called for a meeting in the throne room.

The main topic for the meeting was the military reforms.

Marquis Rogers, the chief commander for the Royal army was the first to report.

“The organizations and augmentation of the 1st squad as a part of the Royal Army and the 2nd squad centering the Rakan estates are progressing without any problems. And the training for the 5th squad in naval too, are happening very smoothly.”

After being attacked by the Grenada Navy, Luke and the military of the Symphonia Kingdom worked hard in training at the naval base.

While they trained sailors and others by inviting help from the Castia Kingdom and Holy Empire, they handed over Count Salizar to the Grenada Kingdom with the deal of crafting a battleship based on the techniques of the shipbuilding passed by the Grenada men.

And such a process caused a huge amount of money to be spent.

Fortunately, not just with Kirillov, but the huge amount of wealth accumulated by the other foreign trades and donations were used, so they made sure that the royal palace didn’t suffer much.

And the determination of the merchants strengthened with the thought that the Symphonia Navy would protect their businesses in case of any war.

“The problem is the 3rd squad in the North and the 4th squad in the East. Especially the 4th squad. The Lords and knights are resisting the military reforms by excusing themselves from it.”

“That was expected. Since they think of it as us snatching away their bowl of rice.”

The core of the military reforms currently underway according to Luke’s orders was for regular troops.

Except for the Volga Republic, most of the nations on the Rhodesia Continent consisted of Central and provincial troops.

The Central Army, which could be referred to as a regular army, was purely for the King or Emperor’s purposes, but the provincial army consisted of 80 to 90 percent of the men supported from the local regions.

As a result, when the civil war broke out in the Baroque Empire or the Holy Arthenia Empire, the local troops turned into rebels along with their Lords.

Moreover, unlike the Central Army, the local army had great differences in skills and knowledge of the soldiers and knights, and the types and specifics of weapons were different which made it tough for analysis.

Unlike the Central Army which had similar types of Gigant, the provincial army often had the Gigants which were manufactured and made by the local Magic Tower and bought by the local Lords.

So, when a war broke out, it was a waste of time for repair and parts supply for the local Gigants.

The reason why the Volga Republic could face the Baroque Empire which was superior to it was because they didn’t have such forms of army.

“Will that inefficient army be able to fight the war smoothly? It could be difficult in the current times, but the military system has to be reformed for the future!”

Luke, cried out for the military reform since the founding of the Kingdom, emphasized the unity of the centered Gigant troops.

Purchasing the Warrior class or higher Gigants from the lords and relocating them with similar models, and changing the riders by sending them off to talented men.

Most of the local forces were regularized, except for the troops who were in charge of the security.

Naturally, the local lords jumped at that and opposed the reforms.

The nobles from the Rakan clan or those who entered Luke’s side earlier were better off, but the backlash from the former Milton’s nobles who weren’t surrendering to the Symphonia’s new forms was troublesome.

If Milton hadn’t lost the war and they had considerable power, they would have turned into a serious headache for Luke.

Perhaps, a revolt or a civil war would have broke out.

However, the Gigant power was already in Luke’s hands, so they weren’t having an easy time resisting their new king.

So, the Lords were disassembling the Gigants or concealing it, or deceiving about its output or prevented their use, or acted uncooperative to the forces giving out excuses that their soldiers and knights were sick to move.

“We might have to punish a few lords as an example, but it might turn difficult too.”

“So, would you like to give generous compensation to the Lords?”

At the question from Luke, Rogers nodded.

“That could work too, but the rewards are paid for a duration of 10 years, and most Lords have the tendency to gather power rather than their wish to collect wealth.”

Unlike the bureaucratic nobles, the Lords often believed in having power rather than wealth.

And such an idea wasn’t wrong.

Honestly, that was why Luke was mostly spent on trying to weaken the force of such nobles.

“Then we need to change their thoughts.”

“Should we send an inspection officer to the Lord’s land? Certainly, if they are caught up in corruption or heavy taxing, they will lower their tail.”

At Hans’s opinion, Luke spoke with a smile.

“That is a good way. But I think that there is a need for something more intense than that.”

“More intense in the sense…?”

“Recently, we are planning for the new year celebration, we will hold a massive military parade in the square of Brandon. I am going to invite a few lords and let them see how futile it is to try and pull my patience.”

At Luke’s words, the retainers nodded their heads.

The military parade was a major event that showed the public how strong the military power of their continent was and it was accompanied by hunting and fighting competition.

It was to enhance the loyalty and the pride of the nobles and an inspection of some sort for the people to understand their military and see how well-trained their soldiers were, and the other aspect was to restrain any rise of rebels.

“Military parade… it might cost a lot of money to bring Lords and foreign envoys.”

Bentley, who was in charge of the finance, looked worried, and Luke who expected that response nodded his head.

“Just as he said. But this will benefit us according to how much we spend. Moreover, this will cause an uneasy feeling for the people which rose because of the attack on the Royal Palace to settle and break down the thoughts of the nation which would want to attack us. We need to think like that.”

When Luke spoke about Hiros, Bentley and of course, many other retainers changed their thoughts.

It wasn’t a matter of Royal and the local Lords, it was about the unity of the Nation.

The Royal palace was devastated by a man who claimed to be the descendant of the Warrior and almost killed their king.

As a result, there were public opinions that were favorable to the palace, and there was a lot of shame and anxiety which fell over the Symphonia Royal family.

“There are three goals which we need to achieve during the Military Parade for the new year. One, to show how strong the military power is to the local Lords, the second one, to end the anxiety and doubts which rose on us, and finally, a power check in preparation for the war against the Baroque Empire.”

Listening to the third goal of Luke, the expression of the retainers including Hans and Rogers changed.

They were under the process of founding and managing the nation, and due to the busy situations which happened, they weren’t able to punish the Baroque Empire yet.

“The final one, about power check, will we be fighting the Baroque Empire next year?”

“I think that it is necessary for us to strike them once, even if not an all-out one. And Rudolf, whose mind is completely on the Libiya Kingdom wouldn’t even look at us.”

With the war on Libiya Kingdom, the Holy Empire, and the Republic of Volga, the defense of the Baroque Empire and their military power had deteriorated.

The military of Baroque had been accumulated for numerous years, so it wouldn’t collapse so easily, however, if another nation of Symphonia gets added, the situation could change.

“It isn’t necessary to knock down the tree with the axe. There are many woodcutters out there who will make the tree fall, the only thing we will have to do is to scratch the tree in a considerate moderation.”

Of course, it was Luke’s intention to take the neck of Rudolf in the end.

“I understand what you mean. I will make necessary preparations just as Your Majesty asked.”

At the words of Rogers, Luke nodded.

‘Rudolf too, but there is another enemy that I need to deal with at the same time. So it has to be arranged.’

According to Hwang Bo-sung, who had memories from the future, Arsene led the Undead Legion and attacked the continent when the war started.

So, Luke decided to sort out Rudolf before going into a fight with Arsene.