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Chapter 486 – Reward

The Emperor was very satisfied with Zhao Hai's performance. He had seen how other Dark Mages use Dark Magic. Seeing how Zhao Hai was so relaxed showed that Zhao Hai was strong.

Moreover, Zhao Hai or the Buda Clan's Patriarch, was Calci Family's son-in-law. He also heard that Zhao Hai had a good relationship with the Crook Family, he was also someone from Charlie's side.

Because of these, the Emperor became very fond of Zhao Hai. Although he was an Aksu Empire noble, it didn't matter. The Emperor wouldn't care about his background as long as he is strong. It was also impossible for the Emperor to not know about the Buda Clan's resentment towards the Aksu Empire. In his opinion, it was impossible for Zhao Hai to not hold a grudge. If he was able to pull Zhao Hai into the Rosen Empire, it would be good for the empire overall.

The Emperor was clear, Zhao Hai had offended the Radiant Church, he had also offended Aksu Empire's Royal Clan. In this case, if Zhao Hai wanted to find a place to place his foundation, the Rosen Empire was the only choice, it was impossible to do so in other places.

Thinking about this, the Emperor felt assured that he can pull Zhao Hai over to the Empire. This was Rosen Empire's standard of recruiting people. Regardless of their origin, as long as someone has talent, they would bring them to the Empire's fold. This was the method that the Rosen Empire used to become the continent's most powerful nation.

After Zhao Hai found the Engraved Ark member, the Emperor still had the bodies sent over to be turned into advanced undead. The Emperor was afraid of any fish that might slip through the net. Fortunately, there were no other members of Engraved Ark in the Robert Family.

After waiting for Zhao Hai to be done, the Emperor nodded, then he turned his head towards Third Eunuch. Third Eunuch immediately took two steps forward and declared, "Zhao Hai Buda, go forward and receive the decree."

Zhao Hai stared, he immediately complied as he went forward and knelt on one knee. This was also a custom in Ark Continent. When a monarch rewards you, you shall kneel down on one knee upon accepting. This makes it seem like you really valued the reward.

When Zhao Hai knelt down, Third Eunuch immediately said loudly, "Zhao Hai Buda, you are a Noble with outstanding ability and excellent strength. Receive this title of First Class Marquis. The Crown has also bestowed Golden Island to Zhao Hai Buda as his perpetual fief. "

Zhao Hai immediately said, "I thank His Majesty for this reward. Zhao Hai Buda shall fully serve the Rosen Empire!"

Ark Continent's rewarding process was very simple, Zhao Hai liked it very much. But what he didn't expect was how comfortable the Emperor was in giving him the title of Marquis, moreover, he also gave him an island as a fief.

The Ark Continent's ranking goes: Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount, Baron, and then Knight. Knights can only be regarded as a false noble, with the lowest nobility rank being the Baron. The Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount and Baron, these five ranks are the official ranks of nobility. Each titles are divided into three Classes with third class being the lowest and first class being the highest. Above a First Class Duke was the position of Grand Duke. A Grand Duke can establish his own Duchy. Above a Grand Duke were the Princes. Princes generally came from the Imperial Clan. A Prince's power can only be dictated by the Emperor. If the Emperor doesn't give a Prince any power, then they can only be a normal noble, he cannot do anything serious. Although, he technically held a higher status, his influence wasn't as good as a Grand Duke.

Not only did Rosen Empire give Zhao Hai the title of First Class Marquis, he was also bestowed by a perpetual fief. This was a very good thing. Some Noble's fiefs weren't hereditary. If they want to keep their territory, they need to work hard. Only through this way would their lands stay in their hands. However, Zhao Hai's was different, it was equivalent to the Buda Clan owning the territory.

However, Zhao Hai felt strange when he heard that his fief was Golden Island. This was because he hadn't heard of this Golden Island before.

For a place to be called Golden Island, it would surely be a special one. Moreover, since it's an island, it should certainly be at sea. But Zhao Hai had already stayed for quite some time in the seas of Rosen Empire, he had never heard about a Golden Island there, it was quite strange.

But since it was the Emperor's reward, he had no other choice but to accept it and ask Randolph later.

Since Zhao Hai had accepted the reward, naturally he was now a noble of the Rosen Empire. Later on, when meets the Emperor, he wouldn't need to bow so low.

After Zhao Hai received his reward, the Emperor looked at him and said, "Zhao Hai, you're now a person of the Rosen Empire. I won't interfere with your matter with Aksu Empire, but you must remember, no matter what you do, you cannot lose the face of Rosen Empire in Aksu Empire."

When Zhao Hai heard this, he couldn't help but stare. This was because the Emperor basically just told him that he was supporting him. This was something that was out of his expectations.

Zhao hai immediately bowed and said, "I thank His Majesty. This one will certainly not lose the face of Rosen Empire. His Majesty can feel relieved."

The Emperor was satisfied, then he nodded and said, "Good, it's good that you understand. Alright, today's affairs are finished, everybody can go back." The others immediately stood up and gave a salute to the Emperor before they asked to be excused.

Outside the hall, Randolph and Charlie approached Zhao Hai. After seeing the two of them, Zhao Hai gave a salute. Charlie smiled at him and said, "Good, you've now become a Marquis. Hahaha. If you have free time, go visit my mansion." Zhao Hai nodded, then Charlie gave a nod before leaving.

Randolph looked at Charlie before he turned his head to Zhao Hai and said, "It looks like Charlie highly thinks of you. Also, it's good that your title has now risen."

Zhao Hai nodded, and then he looked around before he whispered, "Grandfather, this Golden Island, where is it? How come I never heard of it?"

Randolph looked around as well and then whispered, "Let's talk about this back at the fort." Looking at Randolph's conduct, Zhao Hai understood that there may have been some secrets that he wasn't allowed to ask publicly. He nodded and then headed back to the fort with Randolph.

When they arrived outside the Imperial Palace, Randolph and Zhao Hai rode their carriage and drove towards Dark Soldier Fort without saying a word. Before long, the two of them arrived at the fort.

Upon reaching their destination, Randolph immediately brought Zhao Hai to the lobby. Then he sent someone to call Smith and the others over. Zhao Hai looked at Randolph, he didn't ask anything and just waited in the room for Smith and the others.

Before long, Smith and the others arrived, Zhao Hai sood up and gave them a salute. After the group sat down, Randolph opened his mouth and said, "Earlier, His Majesty just asked Little Hai to turn all of the Robert Family members into undead, then he asked them about Engraved Ark. Although we didn't manage to get a lot of information, what we got wasn't few either. His Majesty was happy with Zhao Hai's performance that he gave him the title of First Class Marquis. He also bestowed Zhao Hai with Golden Island as his perpetual territory."

Upon hearing Randolph's words, everybody stared. Then they started whispering to each other in discussion. Zhao Hai was confused, being a First Class Marquis wasn't something to be surprised about, was it because of Golden Island?

Seeing Zhao Hai's confused expression, he seriously said, "Little Hai doesn't know about Golden Island. Second, go tell Little Hai."

Smith nodded and said, "Alright, Golden Island was once rich in gold. But even before the Rosen Empire has been established, all of its gold was mined up. Right now, the island doesn't have any special products left, only the mining tunnels remained. Such an island isn't very noteworthy. However, its position was extremely coveted. The island was placed in between Rosen Empire and Aksu Empire's marine border. Because of this island, the two Empires often had frictions between them. Now, there was nobody who owned it. But since the island still had some freshwater, it became a Haven for pirates. Although it was like this currently, its importance to both empires didn't decrease. If Rosen Empire obtains that island, they can construct a naval base there and threaten the Aksu Empire's marine region. The opposite case was the same. Also, because this place previously produced gold, it had very good piers, it wouldn't be a problem if a thousand huge boats were to dock there. The strategic value of this island is very big."

Zhao Hai answered, "Is this the case? Does this mean that even if I got the fief from the Rosen Empire, the Aksu Empire can still declare it as theirs?"

Smith nodded and said, "Yes, like that. I think His Majesty gave you this land possibly because he wanted you to thoroughly break off your relations with the Aksu Empire."

Randolph nodded and said, "Right, I also think that this is His Majesty's intention. Still, I think that this would be a good opportunity for you. Golden Island's location is extremely important. As long as you eliminate the pirate's nest, you can slowly allow passing ships entry. You can also establish a market there, carrying out trades. I believe that it will be a goose that lays golden eggs."

Zhao Hai excitedly nodded. Golden Island's position was indeed good. For Zhao Hiai, this was fantastic. As long as he held this place, he was sure that he would profit a lot off of it. He can also take the things in the Space to there and sell them.

Then Smith looked at Zhao Hai and sighed, "Little Hai, don't be celebrate prematurely. Occupying Golden Island wouldn't be simple. There were pirate groups controlled by Great Nobles stationed there. The Imperial Clan's looting fleet has a stronghold there as well. If you really want to take control of Golden Island, I'm afraid it wouldn't be very easy."

Zhao Hai smiled faintly and said, "It's fine. I wouldn't be offending them much. There are a lot of islands in the surroundings, they can just move. If they really want to go head on head with me, then let's see if they have the capability."

Randolph nodded and said, "Little Hai's words are justified. Little Hai can even deal with millenium-old clans. Those who wanted to move against Little Hai need to have good courage. What I'm currently worried about was the Radiant Church."

Smith and the others turned silent, they understood what Randolph was thinking. Zhao Hai has a grudge with the Radiant Church. With Golden Island being in the edge of Rosen Empire's territory, an in addition to it being overseas, it would be difficult for the Rosen Empire to give him help.

Moreover, with this domain, Zhao Hai would build upon it, making it one of his foundations. The Radiant Church cannot cope with Zhao Hai in the past because they couldn't find his location. This time, the Radiant Church naturally wouldn't let him off.

Zhao Hai sneered and said, "I don't worry about the Radiant Church. They couldn't deal with me before, they couldn't deal with me this time either. What I'm worried about is Engraved Ark. Me eliminating the Robert Family this time meant that their organization just lost a Great Family. Not only did I destroy their Great Clan, I've also exposed them to the continent. I'm quite worried about them since we have close to no understanding of their operations."

Randolph nodded and said, "That's true, we now have a good amount of understanding with regards to the Radiant Church. But this Engraved Ark, we had almost to know information about them."

Zhao Hai nodded, then he turned to Randolph and said, "Grandfather, I think that the Calci Family would also need to be more careful. The Engraved Ark would surely take the clan into account this time. People from Engraved Ark are different from the Radiant Church. When the Radiant Church copes with us, they would need to find an excuse to act in the open. But the Engraved Ark can do almost about anything. This time, they used Antimagic Powder, who know what cards they will use the next time. Moreover, since they can research Antimagic Powder, they surely have other types of concoctions in their hands. We should all be careful from now on."

Randolph agreed, "This matter is surely thorny. Our Clan is a Mage Clan, just by using Antimagic Powder, they managed to place us in a difficult position." At this time, Smith and the others were frowning.

Zhao Hai opened his mouth, "Grandfather, I think we should take extreme care for the important figures in the family. It is also better for the family to invest more into Warriors. In the meantime, I'll head back and see whether my side can develop an antidote against the Antimagic Powder. If we can produce one, our days would become easier. If it's impossible to make it, then the family can only increase their security even more."

Randolph stared when he heard Zhao Hai. With an elated face he said, "Little Hai, is that true? Do you have a Potion Master?"

Zhao Hai nodded and said, "Two Potion Masters, they're very good, but we really lack medicinal plants at this moment. I'll need to ask Grandpa for help, I need a lot plants, the more advanced, the better. I can accept seeds as well, I can slowly grow them."

Chapter 487 – Appearing Aggressive

Smith smiled when he heard Zhao Hai, he turned to Randolph and said, "Father, Little Hai used to tell me this, but since it was winter, there weren't really good plants available. However, it seems like we need to go all out in helping Little Hai to acquire various plants. If Little Hai develops the antidote, then it would really be very good for us."

Randolph nodded and said, "Alright, go send the orders. Have the entire clan seek for strange plants, the more the better. Right Little Hai, do you need Magic Beasts as well?"

Zhao Hai nodded and said, "I do. Magic Beasts can also be used for making medicine. The more the better."

Randolph gave a nod, then he looked at the people in the room and said, "Did you listen carefully? Fully coordinate with Little Hai." Those present didn't dare to oppose it, they immediately agreed. All of them knew that this matter shouldn't be neglected, it was very important for the family.

Zhao Hai looked at the others and sighed in relief. Then he turned his hand and retrieved a large bottle from the Space. This bottle had enough volume to contain ten jins of water. It was made of glass and was gotten from one of the Robert Family's stores.

Naturally this bottle wasn't special, its contents were. Randolph and the others looked at Zhao Hai, they don't know why Zhao Hai retrieved such a big bottle.

Zhao Hai carefully placed the bottle beside Randolph and said, "Grandfather, the family should distribute this water to everyone. If they encounter any accidents or get poisoned, drinking this water will be very useful."

Randolph looked confused at Zhao Hai, "What is inside this bottle? Is it potion?"

Zhao Hai shook his head and said, "The liquid in this bottle isn't a potion. It is much more effective compared to a potion, this is Life Liquid!"[1]

Life Liquid! When they heard Zhao Hai say this, all of the people present breathed a cold air. Life Liquid was something very useful, no matter how rich you are, you might not be able to get it.

Randolph stared at the bottle for quite some time, then he turned his head to Zhao Hai and said, "Little Hai, this, is this really Life Liquid?"

Zhao Hai nodded and said, "Yes, I've obtained this from a 9th rank expert of the Radiant Church. At the time, the 9th rank was cooperating with the Fighting Bulls to deal with the Herculean Bulls. When he was killed by me, I obtained this Life Liquid. I asked the person where he got it, he said that it was given to him."

Randolph nodded, he also got something from Zhao Hai's words. He frowned and said, "The Radiant Church are meddling with the Beastmen?"

Zhao Hai nodded, then he told Randolph about what happened the last time he was in the Prairie. He also introduced his status as a Prince of the Cow-headed race.

Randolph was surprised at Zhao Hai. He didn't think that Zhao Hai would have such a status. Beastmen don't trust humans, it was surprising to know that Zhao Hai was actually a Beastman Prince.

But then he immediately thought about the Radiant Church, he hesitated for a moment before he turned to Zhao Hai and said, "Little Hai, since you now have some sort of status in the Beastman Prairie, you should play attention to the the movements of the Radiant Church in the Prairie. Know what they are planning to do. And if you can make the Beastmen turn on them, then that would be fantastic."

ZHao Hai smiled faintly and said, "Grandfather can feel relieved, I've already figured out the temperament of the Beastmen. It would be easy for the Beastmen to deal with the Radiant Church. There aren't any radiant Church believers in the Prairie, as long as they are members of the Radiant Church, the Beastmen wouldn't be able to trust them."

Randolph nodded and said, "I'll accept your Life Liquid, it's very useful for the current situation. Right, since you've given this to the family, the family wouldn't be ungrateful. Now that you have the Golden Island as a territory, the family can provide you with a fleet to help manage it."

Zhao Hai declined and said "Grandfather, doesn't need to trouble himself. I really don't need to deal with the pirates in Golden Island. Making the family move would be very troublesome. This Life Liquid isn't very important to me, I also have some left on me."

Randolph nodded, then he looked at Zhao Hai in appreciation. At this moment, he felt that Zhao Hai looked more pleasing to the eyes. He was a decent human being, a good leader, willing to help the Calci Family, even giving them Life Liquid. At this point, Zhao Hai was much better than the other members of the Calci Family.

Randolph looked at the other members of the family and said, "Alright, we have a lot of things to do. All of you know your assignments, go back and deal with the. Remember to not make any mistakes."

The others nodded, then Randolph made them disperse. Smith went with Zhao Hai to Rustling Tree Courtyard. The two sat on the living room, then Smith turned to Zhao Hai and said, "Little Hai, how do you plan to handle Golden Island's situation? I think you should be careful about this. Otherwise, it wouldn't be only the Aksu Empire that would come after you, all of the noble controlled pirates would be going after you as well. You may even aggravate the situation even more."

Zhao Hai nodded, he understood what Smith meant. But now that he knew the location of Golden Island as well as knowing about how lawless the place was. It would be a pity if he doesn't make use of the pirates.

Of these pirates, it would be impossible for all of them to be affiliated to a Great Clan. Those who had connections could just sell their loot over to those Great Clans. However, for those who didn't have any connections, they can only find a middleman and sell their loot at a much lower price.

There was a huge business opportunity here. Zhao Hai's idea was to turn Golden Island into a free port. Pirates can trade on the island, but they have to pay a certain amount of tax. Merchants can trade here as well, and naturally, they would also be taxed.

Zhao Hai wanted Golden Island to be a place for Merchants, Pirates, and other influences to trade, like some sort of black market. He will place the tax here at a very low level. Pirates can also take refuge in the island. If he manages to achieve this goal, the island wouldn't only be a goose that laid golden eggs, it would in itself turn into a golden goose.

When Smith asked him this question, Zhao Hai didn't immediately tell him of his plans to make the island a free port, he just said, "It's not difficult to subdue the island. Although its location was very special, it wasn't irreplaceable for the pirates. In addition to the reputation that I have gained, those who would dare to attack me shouldn't be true pirates. In the end, if anyone really wishes to challenge me, then I won't be polite to them."

Smith knit his brows, he really didn't want Zhao Hai to have any conflicts with Great Nobles. If the situation goes to south, things wouldn't be good for Zhao Hai.

Looking at Smith's expression, Zhao Hai smiled faintly and said, "Uncle, rest assured, the solution for Golden Island is nothing more than a two-step process. First step is to not attack them, make it known to them that we mean well while at the same time making them respect us. Second step is to then offer them benefits. This point is actually something that I needed uncle's help with. I'm preparing to turn the island into a free trading harbor. No matter pirate or merchant, all of them can come to the island and trade. What does uncle think?"

Smith stared for a moment before his eyes lit up. He was a Merchant and he naturally understood what Zhao Hai was planning to do. If Zhao Hai really managed to accomplish this, then the yearly income of Golden Island would be comparable to Sky Water City, if not more.

However, he soon recovered from his thoughts as he frowned, "This is a really good idea. But if we really do as you said, then would Merchants really dare to go to Golden Island? Wouldn’t they be afraid to get robbed?"

Zhao Hao smiled faintly and said, "This is simple, I can just issue a rule disallowing violence inside Golden Island. I shall also make sure that the rule would get applied at a thousand li radius around the island's waters. Those who dared violate this rule would get eliminated. With this, nobody should act unreasonably. What does uncle think about this?"

When Smith heard Zhao Hai, he couldn't help but look into Zhao Hai's eyes. Zhao Hai was appearing very aggressive these past few days. Hearing him say that he would eliminate those who would dare violate his rule in a thousand li radius of the island seemed like he was also expressing his aggression at this time.

In the past, only Great Clans dared to speak such words, but now, Zhao Hai was also speaking it. This was undoubtedly due to the change in Zhao Hai's status.

Moreover, Smith was certain that if Zhao Hai completes this matter, his Golden Island would surely become another Sky Water City, another huge trading harbor.

At this point, Smith was admiring Zhao Hai. He knew about the Buda Clan vanishing, but in just one year, they were able to reach this height. They can now appear on the continent, this was all because of their current strength, it was also because of Zhao Hai.

For a clan to survive, strength was an indispensable resource. However, strength alone was not enough, the clan also needed a smart leader and good direction. Zhao Hai's leadership was already well proven. Having such a head, the Buda Clan would be able to overturn their past situation and became one of the powerful Clans of the Continent, the only thing that they require was time.

When Smith knew about Zhao Hai's plan for Golden Island, he understood that the island would have a lot of work needed to be done. There were things that needed help, and Smith wanted to provide it.

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