Jo Won-gyun, who arrived at the Emperor’s throne room, announced his arrival.
“A guest has arrived.”
When Jo Won-gyun went inside the room, the man who was sitting near the throne greeted him after standing up.
It was his uncle, Hwang Bo-kwang.
“Where are you coming from, Majesty?”
Hwang Bo-kwang had recently risen to the post of being the advisor to the prince.
No one had opposed his ascendance to the position as he had already brainwashed the minsters in the court.
When asked by Hwang Bo-kwang, Jo Wong-gyun frowned.
“I met with the opium freak a while back.”
“Is that so? How did you feel after seeing that trash?”
“Kukuku, he was the trash I created, but he was too pitiful to watch.”
Actually, it was because of Jo Won-gyun that Jo Won-ki had begun to touch opium.
After receiving treatment from Saint Nanda, he hadn’t touched opium for a while.
The Emperor felt extremely glad, and there was some willingness in him to mend their relationship.
However, Jo Won-gyun secretly embraced the court lady in charge of the food and poisoned the food and alcohol consumed by Jo Won-ki.
As a result, the prince who failed to overcome his addiction was hated once again.
“Now, he is even willing to commit murder. I think I can pull him down from the prince’s seat.”
Although they had the family and court officials under their control, the Song Empire still had many officials and officers, who were loyal to the Emperor.
They were mainly the local officials.
Though those individuals were weak, they would turn troublesome if they formed a group.
That was why they were pretending to follow the rules to avoid any suspicions.
“By the way, did the work in Yemaek go well?”
Hwang Bo-kwang had gone to Yemaek, a neighboring nation, a few days back.
It was to request the 3rd crown prince, Jo Won-rak, to be exiled from there.
“The king of Yemaek, Biryu, refused.”
“Huh, just as expected, that man is too pretentious.”
“Right. We need to hurry up and raise our troops to punish that arrogant man.”
Hwang Bok-kwang had gone there to meet. However, the two people knew that the Yemaek King wouldn’t hand over Jo Won-rak.
Although they were interacting with each other, Yemeak didn’t hold a good relationship with the Song Empire.
After such long wars, even those sinners, who fled from the Song, even the current Jo Won-rak, were never returned.
The Emperor, however, engaged three princes with the princesses of Yemaek to improve their relationship.
And that was bad news for the Jo Won-gyun side.
Jo Won-rak had run away over there.
Despite knowing that their request would be rejected, Hwang Bo-kwang went there to create a cause for war.
“Before we invade Yemaek, we need to clean the military. There is no way Lee Yong-mu would follow our orders.”
At the words of Hwang Bo-kwang, Jo Won-gyun nodded.
“Don’t worry about that. What about those troops who were created to serve as the vanguard units? Are they usable?”
After seeing the undead made by Arsene, Hwang Bo-kwang secretly cooperated with Earner and turned a few men into Kangshi (frozen corpse).
Undead and Kangshi.
It was almost the same, using the dead body, but the difference between them was the magic and techniques used to make them.
Moreover, the making time of Kangshi was much shorter.
“We tried them against the Namgung clan, but they don’t seem that great as the Undead.”
According to the subordinates, the Undead warrior called as Death Knight was said to have the power of the Absolute Powerholders.
Compared to that, Kangshi was surely good and balanced.
They were good, but not comparable to those master pieces.
“Which is why I am asking Earner to improve them, but I don’t think that the results will be coming out anytime soon.”
“Tch, we have nothing to do. Instead, let’s make a lot of them.”
“Huhuhu. You don’t have to worry so much, even while we are talking in here, the Kangshi are being produced.”
If the quality was so poor, we they can just use them in huge numbers.
The Song Empire had long boasted its strength for having the largest population in the Southern Continent.
And such large groups would be used to create strategies for different Moorim styles.
In the same way, the number of various martial arts prevailing were large in number.
Hwang Bo-kwang was randomly grabbing not just the people but also went after the men who opposed him and turned them into Kangshi.
‘Arsene was said to have made 700 Undead? Then I will make 1,000… No, I am going to make 10,000.’
With that amount of Kangshi under him, he wouldn’t be able to not just control the Southern Continent but also the Northern Continent!
When Hwang Bo-kwang was in deep thought, Jo Won-gyun asked with a frown.
“But uncle, can you really put your trust in them?”
The ones Jo Won-gyun asked were the warlocks of Arsene and Veritas Magic Tower.
Although their support made it possible for them to control the Moorim styles and the Emperor of Song, they weren’t honestly sure if they could be trusted.
They were scared of being used and then thrown away.
Hwang Bo-kwang placed his finger on his lips and spoke to Jo Won-gyun, “Shh! Someone might be overhearing our conversation right now.”
Currently, there were several warlocks, who were secretly supporting them in the palace.
Considering their mysterious magic, they thought that the warlocks would eavesdrop on their conversations and relay it to Arsene.
Hwang Bo-kwang brought out a small paper from his sleeve.
A soft light began to form around the paper and soon spread inside the room.
“This was something Earner gave to me. It has the effect of cutting off the surrounding energy, which the Northerners refer to as mana. Now you can speak freely.”
With an expression of reassurance, Jo Won-gyun asked Hwang Bo-kwang, “Can we really trust Arsene?”
“Of course we can’t believe him.”
Hwang Bo-kwang’s answer was firm.
Power was known to be a law that could never divide parents and children.
However, Arsene wouldn’t be helping them in the Song Empire if he had no reason.
“Then, what are you planning to do in the future?”
When asked by Jo Won-gyun, Hwang Bo-kwang thought for a moment and answered.
“For now, we need to cultivate and increase our strength by pretending to follow his words. In addition to the Moorim clans, we need to start grabbing the power of the Song Empire and the kingdoms nearby. With that, we can deal with that monster.”
Hwang Bo-kwang knew how strong Arsene was.
To fight such a monster, he would need more than one or two Absolute Power holders, maybe the power of one or two nations.
He thought that he would be able to win over Arsene if the greatest fighter, Yeon Gu-ram, who was known to be the greatest at martial arts, would come back alive.
‘But what if Heechang comes back?’
God’s man, Heechang.
The ancestor of the legendary Zhou Kingdom. He was known to be the hero who had destroyed the mighty kingdom of evil spirits like goblins and liberated humans from their sufferings.
He was famous for his act and a person who was considered even greater after his death. People praised the man and called him the ‘Heaven’s Light’.
For such a man to return?
Of course, it didn’t mean that Heechang would really be brought back.
What they wanted was to nurture a new one who held the abilities of Heechang.
‘Huhuhu, I already started my research on him.’
Shortly after being promoted as the advisor, Hwang Bo-kwang had investigated the reports in the Imperial Palace with the permission of Jo Won-gyun.
In the Imperial Palace’s treasury, the ancient heritages possessed by other dynasties and the land under them were all mentioned.
Among them, there was a book that held records of Heechang.
The book was referred to as the “Heaven’s Light’s Record”. However, as it was written in the ancient characters of goblins, no one was able to interpret it.
As the interactions with the northerners turned active, they came to know that the letters in the records were very similar to the characters used in the Abaron Empire, which ruled the Northern Continent during the Mado era.
And with the scholars and wizards brought in from the North, Hwang Bo-kwang was secretly providing shelter in the Imperial Palace for making them interpret the records.
Those records might have information about Heechang’s legendary skills.
‘Honestly, I don’t know how long it will take to understand the report and create someone who implements his teachings. But thinking about the future, I need to be prepared for everything.’
The future… The future in which he planned on turning into the ruler of the world.
Although it was still far away, Hwang Bo-kwang, who thought of it, smiled earnestly.