Chapter 133: Lost Grea - Julia
"Hahahaha." The sound of laughter resounded throughout the palace.
The king of the Lost Android Kingdom sat on the white throne and was surrounded by several android generals. In front of him were Sila and his teammates.
"Unexpectedly, it was my miscalculation by not thinking of an AI. You found fault in my words and realised that I couldn't detect AI, so you brought your friend as a bait and ordered the AI to secretly stamp the seal on the throne, right?"
The system had set the AI's presence to be undetectable by Independent NPCs and players. It was for the privacy of the AI's owner. The NPCs that can detect AI's presence are only System NPCs who manage the facility services used by players. They are bound to keep a player's personal secret and have no way to interfere with a player.
"If Mister Orpheus got serious, I would lose from the start."
"Don't be too modest. The important factor in the war is strategy. I misjudged you so I also misjudged your strategy. It seems I still have a lot to learn."
Orpheus had detected Sila and his friends' presences from the moment they entered the kingdom. He noticed that only a few players had come but their plan was quite decent, so he planned to play with them for a while.
The fact that Sila headed his way indicated that he wasn't the one who came up with the plan as his action was reckless and suicidal. Thus, Orpheus became careless and decided to lecture this promising youngster on the Art of War.
As a result, he lost strategically.
"Well, it's beyond my expectations that someone risked bringing an AI outside. This was the main reason why I miscalculated."
"Eh? Is there a risk?" Sila wondered.
"Don't you know? Really?" Orpheus looked into Sila's eyes and discerned that Sila was really clueless. "Wahahaha. I see... I see."
Everybody fell silent, waiting for Orpheus to reveal what he knew.
"There is a certain risk when you bring a facility AI to outside dimensions. It is a risk that no one would take; if the owner of the AI dies when the AI is outside, that player will lose the AI. Since an AI is not a pet nor a monster, it will be permanently deleted from the system and there would be no way to bring it back."
"What did you just say?!" Sila exclaimed.
"Hahaha. It's satisfying to see your shocked expression... Well, that's strange. It is usually written in an AI manual. Moreover, your AI should have warned you when you were about to let it exit the facility it maintains."
Sila turned his head to face Julia, asking, "Is that true?"
She nodded, "Certainly, sir, but I believe in Master."
Sila shook his head as he said, "This time is a given, but next time, if there is a matter similar to this, please inform me first, okay?"
"As you wish, Master." Julia bowed her head.
The Android King interrupted, "Back to the main topic. I'm starting to get annoyed by the constant nagging of the system that keeps telling me to give you the rewards. Now, let me show you what they are."
He tapped his hand on the armrest of the throne and the system window popped in front of him. At the same time, Sila's system window also automatically opened.
"First, free upgrade to your system window. Oh? Your system window is already at grade, which is the maximum."
"You can pass that privilege to me, my dear friend. Mine is just B-grade," meddled in Bluebird as he didn't want his friend to lose a benefit.
The king waved his hand, "No can do. This privilege only belongs to the quest holder. Don't worry, though, there are rewards for you, the companion, as well. However, there will be no reward for the pets, as the system interprets that the pet owner has received it in their stead."
Bluebird grinned. The reward for completing this kind of major quest shouldn't be underestimated.
"In that case, you can skip this one, sir. Actually, I only planned to finish my business; getting rewards is not my intention. I don't think in-game materials are all that important anyway," said Sila.
"Hahaha, you talk like Independent NPCs. However, that won't do. This reward is yours to take. I will try to upgrade it nonetheless. Just leave your system window with me and I will come up with something."
"Leave my system window?" Sila wondered if he had heard wrong. System window wasn't clothing. How could he leave it with someone else?
"Yeah. Wait a sec." Orpheus took a hand-sized metal plate out and handed it to Sila. "Place your hand on it and all of your data will be transferred into it."
Sila hesitantly looked at the silver plate but he still placed his hand on it. His body glowed for a while and he felt his body become slightly lighter. He tried opening his system window, but there was no response.
"Don't worry. All of your items have been transferred to my storage. You won't be able to check your status though. You should take a walk around the city for the time being and I will send the system back to you when it's done upgrading. I guarantee that it won't take longer than a week."
Sila felt strange but he didn't complain. Limiting the player's rights once in a while might give him a new gaming experience. As for Orpheus, he opened Sila's system to check the contents and was surprised for a second, but no one caught the slight change in expression.
"Secondly, about the alliance. Now that the android race is allied with the slime race, the dragon race has become our nemesis as a result."
"Am I causing trouble for you, sir?" Sila asked with concern.
"Nah. It's just that, long ago, there was someone who completed a quest similar to the one you did. That one belonged to the dragon race so we became allies. However, since you have completed a quest with a higher difficulty, his alliance with me has been overwritten by yours."
"Who was it that completed the quest?" As expected of a newshawk. Bluebird quickly threw a question despite already having a feeling he knew who that player might be.
The Android King waved his hand. "It's a secret. I can't tell you that."
"Let me guess. It's a player with the name Montra," said flatly Sila.
Orpheus didn't answer. "I can neither confirm nor deny that."
Bluebird wrote something down in his notebook while Sebastian's eyes flashed a mysterious light. As for Sila, he was starting to get used to the fact that he was always one step behind Montra no matter what he did.
"Another reward. Do you know the meaning of conquering a kingdom?"
"I don't know, sir," honestly replied Sila. He turned his head to Bluebird who was more knowledgeable, only to be surprised when Bluebird also shook his head to express that he didn't know about it either.
"It isn't weird for you to not know about that. In Monster Soul, only a handful of races have their own kingdom. Most of them only have small territories.
"The relationship between the races in Monster Soul is either nemesis, neutral, friendly, or dependency. The fact that you conquered the Lost Android Kingdom means it has become your dependency. It is still me who is managing the kingdom, but you will have some rights depending on our agreement."
"It sounds... so great." Listening to it, Sila felt like it was a farfetched matter.
"It is. No player has ever gained this right before. You are the first one."
"What are the benefits for Sila?" Bluebird quickly asked.
"For Lost Grea City, I will grant you four rights. First, within this kingdom, everyone who is your enemy will be classified as our enemy. Second, the right to access this kingdom whenever you wish; I have already placed the Invitation Card within your system window. Third, five percent of the net profit that Lost Grea City makes. You will receive a tribute every week. Lastly, the right to use our forces for war."
Sila just blankly listened. Aside from five percent of the profit, he couldn't see how he could make use of the other three rights.
"Aren't you glad? A normal player would have already jumped in joy... Are you still unsatisfied?"
"That's not it, sir. I'm honored. But, I just can't see how special they are."
"You can't see how special they are?! Are you nuts?! They are very special! Listen. You now have an entire android army under your belt. It's like a dream come true for every world-class villain. Aren't you interested in conquering the world? Conquering Monster Soul?"
"Why would I take over Monster Soul, sir?" replied Sila with an uninterested tone. However, Sebastian's eyes were sparkling.
"There is no specific reason for obtaining power, you know? You can think about it when you have already conquered the world. I believe every villain must think so too."
"I think we should stop talking about this, sir. I have my own goals and 'conquering Monster Soul' surely isn't included in my list. Is that all for the rewards, sir?"
"Ah. You are no fun. No, not yet. There is still the last one: the right to learn three of any skills that our android race possesses. It's also your reward, kid," Orpheus pointed at Bluebird.
Bluebird grinned, "What kind of skills are they, sir?"
"Too many to count, I'd say. Each unit of the android race has different sets of skills depending on its manufactured version. Try to ask them yourself," Orpheus shrugged. "Now, let's talk about your business with us. Let me guess. A weapon, right? Nine out of ten people ask for a weapon when they come to Lost Grea City."
Sila shook his head and unwrapped the bandages around his right arm. "I'm here to fix this, the Right Arm of the Sealed One, sir. And if it's possible, I would like to ask you about the whereabouts of the Sealed One as well."
The Android King looked at the arm. "Ah, I guessed incorrectly again. And here I thought you must be intending to acquire a weapon as I have noticed that you possess two Gems of Catastrophe and two pieces of Orichalcum."
"In the end, can you repair it, sir?"
Sila didn't bother caring about Orpheus' mumbling, but Julia who was responsible for Sila's items didn't let what the Android King just said pass by.
"Your Majesty, why did you say that Master has two Gems of Catastrophe and two pieces of Orichalcum? Based on my information, Master has only one of each."
"Mn. An AI can only think like an AI, it seems. You can only look at the obvious information." The Android King pointed at the ring on Sila's finger. "That's the Dark Age Sealing Ring. I'm the one who forged it from the Eternal Onyx, one of the Gems of Catastrophe, several years ago. I don't know how it ended up in Sila's possession though."
Sila lifted his left hand up for everyone in the room to have a clear look at his black, mysterious ring.
"The reason why you can't inspect its detailed information is because it was sealed by someone with Transcendent Ranked Seal. As for the Orichalcum, this is the kingdom hailed as the Kingdom of Creation. Don't you think I should have some myself?"
"Eh? But, doesn't it belong to Mister Orpheus?"
"It's useless for me. I even had two more in the past, but I have already given them to people I took a liking to. This one is the last. I plan to give it to you."
"I guess that you gave one of them to Varee. What about the other one? Who did you give it to, sir?" asked Bluebird.
It was a fact that Montra had gotten Orichalcum as a reward for being the victor of last year's war event. If what the Android King said was the truth, that meant that, aside from Varee who had inspired many rumors about the source of hers, there was someone else with Orichalcum who had yet to reveal it to the world.
"Um... Varee is Sila's lover so it's not weird for you to deduce that. As for the other, I can't tell you since it's their personal secret."
"At the very least, can you tell us what weapon they use?" Bluebird asked again.
"I don't know. The only weapon that I produced from Orichalcum is the Shadow Moon Sword. As for the others, the one who produced them must be Zeref, the legendary weaponsmith in Zhongsuyuan City."
"Well, Sila, what kind of weapon do you intend to use?" Bluebird asked.
"Eh? I don't plan to use any. No one has ever taught me how to use one so I'm more comfortable with using my hands."
"Before your expectations grow, let me inform you first that your right arm is very broken, so I need to use one Orichalcum for fixing it. Since this right arm is classified as a weapon and your flesh at the same time, I think you will gain some minor ability from this. However, it won't be able to accumulate experience points like other weapons made from Orichalcum."
"I always thought that it could be repaired as soon as I arrived at Lost Grea City, no?"
"It should be the case. But, your right arm is dysfunctional. Qi and psychic power are clogging it up, so I need to use a material that can endure your power to fix it. If you subtract one then add one, you get zero. Your broken arm plus the power of Orichalcum will net you a normal, useable arm."
"Will it take long?" Sila asked with concern as he only had two days left to stay online.
"It's already done."
Sila's right arm shone a faint glow for a moment.
"Is that it?" Sila had expected it to be a grander scene.
"That's it. It's not like I have to create something new. I just sent the power of the mineral into your right arm, then it resonated and fixed itself. You haven't heard anything because you don't have a system window. Actually, the system informed you that your right arm has reached the third stage and you can unlock it after a week has passed." said the Android King, to which Sila wasn't surprised since the content was all the same.
"Each part of the Sealed One has five stages and starts at the first level. Searching for the lost kingdom of its corresponding energy-type can level it up and there are hidden quests to upgrade it more if you complete them, which you have already done one of (taking magical damage of every element). As for the last stage, only the Sealed One can upgrade it for you."
"Where is he though?"
"I can't tell you about that. He is a unique existence from the other Independent NPCs. Plus, you already have a clue about him with you even though you haven't realised. This is the most I can tell you. More than this and I will break the NPC's codes of conduct."
Sila didn't want to put a burden on Orpheus so he dropped the question. It seemed he had to use his free time to think about the clue the Android King was mentioned.
"Now, it's my turn to ask for a favor from you. Honestly speaking, I'm very interested in your maid. Can you lend her to me?" The Android King pointed his finger at Julia.
A deadly silence filled the room. No one had ever expected the Android King to ask for something like this.
Julia was the first to respond. She bowed her head, "My deepest apologies, sir. I'm not interested in you."
"Huh? What do you mean?" The Android King examined the various expressions on the faces of everyone in the room, especially the ones on Bluebird, who was showing sympathy and pity, yet also looked like he was looking at someone pathetic while shaking his head.
The Android King gritted his teeth and snapped his fingers. Suddenly, all the legs of the chair that Bluebird was sitting on it cracked and he fell to the floor.
"That's not my intention!! What I am trying to say is, this maid is an AI and you coincidentally own the Ocean Heart Aquamarine, which has the property of granting life. Let me finetune both of them for a while and I can create a physical body for her. There is no other meaning!!"
"Is that so, sir? Please accept my apologies for misunderstanding your intention," said Julia while bowing her head.
"No problem. How about it, Sila? Let me tell you firsthand that it will be the first time genuine life is granted to an AI, so I'm not sure about the result."
"Will it be dangerous, sir?"
The Android King shook his head. "In the worst case, she will just have a weak body that can't participate in battles. That's all. However, the Ocean Heart Aquamarine is one of the Gems of Catastrophe. I'm sure we can avoid the worst possible result."
"I don't know what to do with the Gem anyway. I will let Julia make her decision. How about it, Julia?"
It was a bizarre experience for Julia, being given the right to choose. After a brief pause, she asked,
"What benefits will having a physical body grant me, sir?"
"Um... At the very least, you will have the ability to travel outside. You will no longer be stuck in the dimension."
After being silent for a long time, Bow expressed her opinion, "That's good! Bow will take Big Sister Julia sightseeing. Bow used to be stuck in the Slime Kingdom, so I know that being locked at home is very boring~"
"In that case, I will humbly comply with your suggestion, sir," said Julia with a gentle smile on her face.
The Android King complimented how wise that decision was and was glad that he had a chance to compete against Zeref. Prior to this, one hundred out of one hundred people would choose to visit Zhongsuyuan City if they want their ultimate weapon. Now that he had good materials in his hands, he was confident that he could produce the most dangerous weapon in Monster Soul.
If he could do just that, everyone would rush to Lost Grea City for weapons, regardless of how absurd the quests they had to complete were.