The wasteland near the lordship.
A white Gigant made of steel was training on a seven-meter wide field.
Watching the scene from up close was Philip, who screamed every time the Gigant’s movement was either awkward or disturbing.
“That was wrong! Are you incapable of balancing? Pay more attention to balance! Your legs are stiff. Use its joints to move, it will move more smoothly and naturally that way!”
Luke was the one listening to that nagging and moving the white Gigant.
The Gigant was the protagonist of modern-day warfare.
That was why Luke had been spending two hours a day into learning how to pilot even as he was busy laying the groundwork.
He had to learn how to control a Gigant so that he could fight on his own and improve his skills holistically in the future.
‘This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.’
In the beginning, he didn’t think that it would be that difficult.
The Gigant was like a golem, one that moved according to the marionette magic.
And unlike the basic movements of a lever and the hands and feet, the mana control was the most important when performing complex movements.
From the perspective of Luke, a wizard, mana control was as easy as eating cold soup.
But controlling a Gigant was way harder.
It was easy to imitate a golem’s movements, but what was tough was to perform necessary fencing movements. Movements that had to be very closely similar to that of a human body.
Luke tried to use Marionette magic without telling Philip. However, there wasn’t much difference.
“Ahh, that isn’t it! Don’t just try to do it! Adjust your balance properly and move your arms like balancing efficient power.”
“Balance, balance is the most important thing.”
Luke continued to train despite the constant nagging from Philip.
After a while, he finished with his Gigant training.
He had a hard time with the Gigant. His whole body was soaked in sweat.
“You have done well.”
“Dammit, such a tricky thing…”
“But you are doing well for a beginner.”
The knights who trained for the first time with a Gigant would always fall.
The Gigant didn’t feel like a body. It was more like adjusting a puppet with hands.
So, using Gigants properly meant being able to walk using them.
The novice riders were referred to as ‘Baby’ because they need to learn everything from the beginning, even walking.
But Luke didn’t have to be called a baby despite it being his first attempt.
He was a natural rider. He was able to move the Gigant pretty well and in five days, he was able to move to the intermediate course.
The reason why Philip kept nagging him was because Luke was doing well.
In addition, he had to give such attention because Luke would be going to the military service soon.
“After a while, let’s do some fine-tuning.”
“The wine glass in the hand of a Gigant? The attendants have stated that there aren’t many wine glasses left in the residence…”
“Then I guess the young Lord has to keep them from breaking.”
“Tch, easier said than done.”
“Then do you want me to show it to you?”
“No, just let it be.”
While they were talking. From the other side, a knight on a horse approached them and told a quick report about the envoy.
“The emperor’s envoy is coming?”
“Yes, they just crossed the territory.”
“Then hurry up and get ready.”
It sure was a pity that the Gigant training had been interrupted, but Luke couldn’t just set aside political affairs, so he hurriedly went to the manor.
After half a day since Luke went back, the emperor’s envoy arrived at Rakan.
In the meantime, the envoy looked tired.
Yet the moment he saw Luke and his retainers, he spoke loudly.
“Luke de Rakan, the young Lord of Rakan, please accept this!”
At the announcement, Luke and his retainers looked rather irritable.
In the past, no matter the position, there was no custom as to who had to accept the king’s letter.
They just didn’t have to neglect the envoy which were sent, and the military relations were just arrangements. The higher lords and lower lords just had to faithfully fulfill their responsibilities and obligations.
However, the culture took a change after the interaction with the Southern Continent.
The Southern Continent propagates that the Emperor had to be seen as a heavenly being, and not just a ruler. He would be treated as the son of God. In the continent of Rhodesia, ‘The King’s word is law’ theory had emerged.
There was a change in military relations, and everything related to the Emperor was considered sacred.
For that very reason, Luke and his retainers were forced to hold their anger and act obediently in front of the envoy which brought ‘Evil writings’.
‘Oh my, I’ll let you act for now. But once I get my forces strengthened, I’ll make you people bow your head till my bones feel your sincerity.’
Not knowing what was on Luke’s mind, the envoy felt proud of his rank and read the letter.
“Listen well Luke de Rakan. You are the descendant of the great warrior Rakan, in spite of the poor power you hold…”
The content wasn’t much different from what Marquis Mayers had told him earlier.
In a formal celebration of his victory in the war, Luke had been formally appointed to the Rakan Viscount, and the Emperor has admitted him to be the Lord of the Viscount.
Then came the story about enlistment.
“Unfortunately, the other ruler was unhappy and couldn’t hold onto the good neighbor around him. The vengeful Volga Republic and the overly confident Holy Arthenian Empire are invading these days, which is why we hope that you will help the empire.”
‘Hu, you are disrespectful.’
Luke thought to himself.
Luke was busy developing his estates and preparing for the war with Count Monarch, but he wasn’t very busy to not know the situation of the continent.
Although there was a constant confrontation between the empires and the nobility, the Baroque Empire was the strongest one in the continent.
The reason why the Volga Republic caused conflict in the border wasn’t for a full-scale invasion, but for the purpose of diminishing the Baroque Emperor’s thoughts to advance into their own Empire.
And was it said that the best defense was to attack?
And the border dispute with the Arthenian Empire was a battle of pride between the two empires.
There hadn’t been a single retreat called by either empire, and it wasn’t just once or twice that the border battle almost turned into a war.
Of course, there was no reason to be fooled by the things that the envoy was saying, so Luke decided to stay silent.
“It has already been a lot of time. Visit the Emperor quickly and apologize for reporting late to your duty.”
‘Crazy bastard! Why did he send you so late and then ask me to take responsibility for his mistake?’
In his heart, Luke wanted to beat up the envoy to a pulp and throw them into a cage.
But he decided to use that time and maintain his estate. He decided to skip over those guys.
And even after being done, the envoy, specifically the pig-like man reading the letter made Luke burn with anger.
“But the descendant of warriors doesn’t seem to have good manners in treating his guests.”
“The other lords gave everything they could think about for the envoy and the health of the envoy who came from a long way.”
The retainers frowned upon the words of the envoy who asked for bribes and entertainment.
What did the Emperor or the Empire even do for the Rakan family?
For the cause of expanding the region, they changed loyalties, and now they hope to be entertained and treated with hospitality after cutting off their ties with Rakan!
Unlike his retainers who could just frown, Luke thought for a moment.
After a while, he brought a high-quality looking box and handed it to the head of the envoy.
“When I went over to the war, I brought these back with me. This is a special gift to the envoy who is probably tired of their job where they are just always seated.”
“What is this?”
Inside the box was a small glass jar of black powder.
“It is a weight loss medicine.”
“A weight-loss medicine?”
“A recent medical book stated that more than half of the senior nobles suffer from obesity and diabetes. Shouldn’t the envoy live a long and prosperous life with your wife? This drug has a certain effect on the energy of…”
The envoy’s head was a greedy man.
He was someone who couldn’t resist and had eaten everything he could see, and his lust for life would be vigorous too.
Therefore, he couldn’t help but feel a little compelled when he heard that the medicine would not just protect his health but also gain popularity among women.
“The effect, are there definite effects?”
“Of course. Sebastian has done several clinical trials and verified its effectiveness.”
Luke couldn’t say that he had conducted the trials on the army of Count Monarch who were trying to enter their territory during the war.
Nor did he mention the fact that the medicine he passed now was ten times much better than the medicine which was used against the army.
And one more, he didn’t say that the drug had been made by a non-human, a demon.
“A warning in advance, the drug should be taken with proper dosage. It can be poisonous if you take too much of it.”
“Huhu, understood. I’ll make sure to not forget to tell your kindness and consideration toward us to the Emperor.”
They were never treated like that, but the envoy was satisfied with the medicine and left the land of Rakan immediately.
They took the medicine that Luke had given and left, but everyone around Luke was puzzled.
“Young Lord. That medicine…?”
“Forget about it. I got it from a guy I know. Our most troublesome guest is now gone, so let’s get back to work.”
Luke could feel the anxiety in him about what he had to face in the future and moved to his office with a smile on his face.