Book 10, Baruch – Chapter 32: Joining Forces
The largest magicite mine in the history of the Yulan continent was actually discovered by the Baruch Kingdom which had only been erected for twelve years.
“The Anarchic Lands have been an area of constant warfare and battle. In thousands of years, not a single power has had the chance to do some excavating and mining. I didn’t expect that in this area that I unified, we would immediately find such a large mine.” Linley couldn’t help but sigh with amazement.
But at the same time, Linley felt rather curious.
Magicite deposits were formed from a large amount of elemental essence that was slowly compressed to the point of taking solid gemstone form. To create such a huge magicite mine would require an enormous amount of natural elemental essence. Why was it that there would be so much natural elemental essence here?
But when Linley had scanned the area with his spiritual energy, he hadn’t found anything unique about the ground below.
“Not good.” Wharton’s face changed.
“What is it?” Linley looked at Wharton in surprise, and Bebe did the same as well. “Little Wharton, we just found such a huge magicite mine. Why do you say, ‘not good’?”
Wharton shook his head. In a serious voice, he said, “Big brother, you say this magicite mine is worth hundreds of billions of gold coins. Aside from the financial aspect, the most important aspect of magicite mines is…they can be used in warfare. You should know this, right?”
“You are talking about magicite cannons?” Linley asked.
Magicite cannons were created from a sort of alchemy and metalsmithing. They allowed the usage of magic on a wide scale without requiring top-tier Arch Magi. In the past, the Holy Capital of Fenlai City had magicite cannons, but alas, on Apocalypse Day, even Saint-level magical beasts had descended, as well as a large number of flying beasts…this made it so that there was no time for the magicite cannons to begin firing.
In truth, magicite cannons were a type of extremely effective attack in warfare.
For example, some top-quality magicite cannons could consume a large amount of magicite gems and, with each blast, unleash power equivalent to a spell of the seventh or eighth rank, easily killing hundreds of people. On the battlefield, if one could emplace ten large magicite cannons and release a few blasts…
The enemy forces could instantly be reduced by ten thousand soldiers. This would have a huge impact on the outcome of the battle.
But magicite cannons were a bottomless, money-sucking pit. The amount of magicite gems they consumed was simply terrifying. In the past, when the Baruch Kingdom had unified this area, the enemies didn’t use any magicite cannons, because an impoverished area like this simply couldn’t afford to use them.
With each blast from the magicite cannons, magicite gems would be consumed. And these things were more valuable than gold!
“A small amount of magicite gems can be purchased by gold.” Wharton’s face was solemn. “But a large amount would be restricted and monitored by the Empires. They wouldn’t permit any outsiders to purchase them. Although some people engage in smuggling, how much can that amount to?”
Linley nodded. How could a nation allow an enemy nation to purchase military supplies from them in large scale?
Wharton said seriously, “It is easy to buy magicite cannons, and our in truth, given our kingdom’s strength, if we spend some money, we can make our own. With such a magicite mine combined with magicite cannons…our military power would become truly astonishing.”
There were still very few magi, after all. The testing procedure Linley had gone through in the past was testament to that.
After becoming a magus, to reach the seventh rank or even higher? That was even less likely. In the continent, only the great Empires, the Holy Union, and the Dark Alliance were capable of forming entire magi corps.
Linley’s Baruch Kingdom didn’t have the ability to set up this sort of corps either.
But magicite cannons…ten large magicite cannons, if one had enough magicite gems, wouldn’t be one whit inferior to a magi corps.
“Big brother.” Wharton looked at Linley. “You should know that in the continent, the four Empires and the other kingdoms, in their struggles, will not use Saints unless it becomes a life or death war. If Saints do not get involved…then magicite cannons will have the ability to change the course of a battle. If the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows discovers that we now have the largest magicite mine in the entire Yulan continent, then…”
Linley’s expression turned grave as well.
His long time spent training had caused him to forget about worldly battles.
“You are right. Once the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows finds out, they might even join forces to attack our Kingdom.” Linley sensed the threat as well now. In the past, they had agreed that in normal battles, Saints were not permitted to get involved.
How could the Baruch Kingdom, with a population of just a hundred million, possibly outfight the combined forces of the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows, which controlled a far greater population?
The two sides dominated a larger territory than Linley as well, and those were richer areas with higher populations. The total population which the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows controlled was definitely in the four to five hundred million range.
“Big brother, what should we do?” Wharton looked at Linley.
Linley’s eyes shone with a cold light. “No need to overthink it. Right now, we need to come up with ways to buy magicite cannons. I’ll have the Dawson Conglomerate help out! And then, we need to, in strict confidence, begin mining. If the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows truly comes, then we’ll rely on magicite cannons to support our smaller army.”
“Alright, big brother.” Wharton’s eyes lit up as well.
Linley had already made the decision that no matter what, they could not hide or cower.
Soon, a large number of people were dispatched to this area to begin mining magicite. At the same time, a large number of soldiers remained on guard here. When mining, the miners were not permitted to engage in any outside activities. Naturally, their salaries were extremely high as well.
To outsiders, all they announced was that they had discovered a fairly valuable mineral deposit.
The Baruch Kingdom’s code of silence was quite effective. A full month went past without this information being leaked. However, the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows had quite a few spies planted in the Baruch Kingdom. Occasionally, some news would leak out. In the end, the Radiant Church found out the truth of the news from the family members of the miners.
Within a graceful, noble manor.
“The largest magicite mine in the Yulan continent? At least ten kilometers in size?” A silver-haired youth was reading the letter in his hands. His expression immediately changed, and the more he read, the more serious his face became.
This silver-haired youth seemed to be quite young, but in reality, not even Heidens and Osenno were older than him.
This was because…he was a Saint-level Angel of the Radiant Church. Three thousand years ago, he had descended to the Yulan continent. Although his power as an Angel had not increased, and his potential couldn’t compare to humans, the long time he had spent here resulted in his intelligence and wisdom being as high as any human’s.
Arfan [A’fang], a Four-Winged Angel, the current leader of the Radiant Church’s forces in the Anarchic Lands.
“Good news.” Arfan’s face revealed a hint of a smile, then he immediately instructed the person who had delivered the message, “Immediately go and leak this news to the Cult of Shadows. See what their response is.”
“Yes, milord.” The middle-aged man said respectfully.
Arfan nodded slightly.
If the Cult of Shadows was interested in attacking the Baruch Kingdom, that would naturally be a wonderful affair. Even if they didn’t attack, informing them wouldn’t be of detriment to the Radiant Church.
“Deliver this news to the Sacred Isle immediately. Let the Sacred Isle give us orders as to what we should do next!” Arfan ordered. He knew…the decision on such an important matter in the Anarchic Lands had to come from the Sacred Isle.
The order from the Sacred Isle arrived.
Arfan read the missive. It was exactly as he had anticipated.
“Join forces with the Cult of Shadows and attack the Baruch Kingdom. We have to get at least a third of the magicite mine’s output. That’s our bottom line.” The order was very simple. After all, many things didn’t have to be said openly. As the manager for this area, Arfan naturally was no fool. For example, he would do his best to let the Cult of Shadows expend more energy and power.
Arfan smiled. He thought to himself, “It seems that it is time to reply to the Cult of Shadows.”
A while ago, when he had sent someone to leak this news to the Cult of Shadows, the Cult of Shadows had responded quite quickly…they had immediately invited Arfan to go and discuss this matter. Arfan hadn’t immediately answered them, instead asking them to wait. And now, he had the Sacred Isle’s orders.
Everything could begin now.
An ordinary, unremarkable little city. An ordinary little courtyard. The Saint-level Four-Winged Angel, Arfan, and the Senior Judge of the Cult of Shadows, O’Casey. The two were seated opposite from each other, drinking wine.
“Not bad. The taste and the texture are exquisite. It should be from the Yulan Empire’s Blueflow Winery, right?” O’Casey laughed.
“Mr. O’Casey truly knows his wine.” Arfan laughed calmly. “Let’s not beat around the bush. Today, you have invited me here, Mr. O’Casey, to discuss the issue of the Baruch Kingdom’s magicite mine. What do you wish to say, Mr. O’Casey?”
O’Casey winked at Arfan, then took a sip of wine in satisfaction. “Mr. Arfan, would you mind if I took some of this wine with me when I leave? I think I…have fallen for it.”
Arfan frowned. He felt a hint of frustration.
But since this was a negotiation, he had to endure it.
“Mr. O’Casey, could it be that you wish to discuss wine with me until nightfall?” Arfan said seriously.
O’Casey looked at Arfan and began to laugh loudly. “Mr. Arfan, I was just jesting with you. Right. The Cult of Shadows does indeed have some thoughts regarding the Baruch Kingdom’s magicite mine. However…we don’t wish to engage in warfare against the Baruch Kingdom.”
“You don’t?” Arfan looked carefully at O’Casey.
What was this O’Casey planning? He didn’t want to engage in battle with the Baruch Kingdom? Then what was the point of this meeting?
“Mr. O’Casey, what do you mean?” Arfan’s face sank.
O’Casey smiled. “Actually, Arfan, you should understand. All we have to do is send some people to the Baruch Kingdom and say…‘the Radiant Church is preparing to attack the Baruch Kingdom, and has invited the Cult of Shadows to come along with them. As long as the Baruch Kingdom is willing to give up some of the gems, then the Cult of Shadows is prepared to stay out of the game and help neither side. If you are willing to give up a bit more, we can even help you deal with the Radiant Church.’”
O’Casey looked at Arfan, who now had an ugly expression on his face. “Arfan, tell me. What would Linley and Wharton choose?”
Arfan was silent.
“The enmity which Linley has with the Radiant Church isn’t a small one.” O’Casey said freely.
Indeed. O’Casey’s words were correct. Linley’s side probably truly would be willing to give some magicite gems to the Cult of Shadows, or perhaps even a large amount to have the Cult of Shadows help them deal with the Radiant Church together.
The Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows were opposed to each other, after all.
Arfan knew that right now, the situation was very unfavorable for them.
“Mr. O’Casey.” Arfan looked seriously at O’Casey. “Do you know how much that magicite mine truly contains?”
“I don’t know, but it should be several times larger than the former top magicite mine.” O’Casey said. Very few people knew the exact size of the mine. After all, it hadn’t been fully excavated yet. Only someone like Linley who could scan the area with his spiritual energy could clearly understand the size of it.
But how would the Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows dare to send a Saint-level expert and risk irritating Linley?
Perhaps Linley would immediately kill that Saint.
After all, in their previous agreement, they only said that Saints could not participate in battles. But Linley was still permitted to kill other Saints.
Arfan nodded. “Since you don’t know the size of the magicite mines, then even if Linley gives your Cult of Shadows a seemingly-large quantity of magicite gems, you won’t actually know what percentage of the total mine it is.”
“True.” O’Casey admitted to it.
Linley might only declare the size of the mine as being a fraction and worth only a few hundred billion gold coins, with the actual mine being ten times larger. After all, no one knew exactly how large it was…it would be easy for Linley to lie to them.
“As long as we join forces against the Baruch Kingdom, later on, we’ll split the magicite mine fifty-fifty, no matter how large it is.” Arfan said.
“Half?” O’Casey shook his head. “Seventy-thirty. Us seventy, you thirty.”
Arfan said coldly “O’Casey, don’t go too far. If we split it in half, we’ll be able to work and coordinate better in the future.” O’Casey winked at him, then laughed, “Since that’s the case…then I’ll go help Linley’s side. We won’t have to risk a thing, and we’ll get a large amount of magicite gems.”
“Sixty for you. Forty for us. One word: Yes, or no?” Arfan’s face was very grave.
O’Casey looked at Arfan, then raised his wineglass. Smiling, he said, “Mr. Arfan, come. Let us toast our joining forces!”
Arfan’s face revealed a smile.
“Cheers.” He raised his wineglass as well.
The Radiant Church and the Cult of Shadows, for the sake of the enormous riches within that magicite mine, had joined forces. This was proof that there was no such thing as ‘eternal allies’ or ‘perpetual enemies’; only eternal and perpetual interests. And these interests could sometimes be money, sometimes be power, and sometimes be affection.