When he looked at that Great Devil Head, the strange singing voice from that hidden path echoed behind his ear!
The Great Devil’s three eyes stared at Marvin, the expression on his face like a smile, yet not a smile.
Then there was the extremely shabby map, with some words that Marvin was unable to make sense of when looking at it.
This code was an ancient Anzed language that had been changed through some kind of encryption.
‘It’s really related to the Anzed…’
‘Great Devil Head… Devil…’
Marvin started pondering.
As everyone knew, Anzeds were Wizards’ ancestors. It was said that they had a very close relation with Devils. They used each other and occasionally formed an alliance, but in times of need, they would unhesitantly betray the other side.
Anzeds’ relation with Devils wasn’t something people were very clear about, but Marvin knew that Hell’s language and the ancient Anzed language were very similar.
Someone had once said that Anzeds were Devils’ descendants.
Opinions differed and as for the true circumstances, even Marvin couldn’t know.
He could only deduce from the map that the location of this so called hidden treasure was really under his castle.
As for the words on it, Marvin was unsure about them.
Thus, he asked Toshiroya, "What do those words mean?"
Toshiroya shook his head, "I don’t know."
"Then how did you know it was a treasure map and not just a simple drawing?" Marvin sneered, not believing Toshiroya’s words.
"It’s true," Toshiroya hurriedly swore, "I truly don’t know."
"This treasure map was given to me by an old man because I saved his life, he said it was to repay me. This is definitely a treasure map, I had a professional appraiser look at it, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find someone to decipher the words. Thus I decided to first find the treasure."
Toshiroya’s expression didn’t seem like he was lying.
He originally thought everything would become clear after grabbing Toshiroya. He hadn’t expected things to become more and more complicated.
"What’s your relation to Miller?" Marvin coldly asked.
"Miller? That merchant?" Toshiroya frankly answered, "We met by chance. He said that White River Valley was his territory and he wanted to take back what was his. Thus I helped him, gave him some information and a way of contacting the Gnolls."
Marvin pondered in silence.
Miller was a follower of the Twin Snake Cult and clearly knew about the matter of the stone in the hidden path. But he seemed to have hidden it from Toshiroya.
And Toshiroya had his eyes on White River Valley because an old man gifted him a treasure map.
Both looked coincidental, but Marvin wouldn’t believe his luck was this bad.
Old man… Old man...
Suddenly, Marvin grabbed Toshiroya’s shoulders, "What did this old man look like?"
Toshiroya was startled by Marvin, but he thought about it and said, "I’m not too sure, he was dressed like any normal old man."
"I met him when I was touring Desert’s Virtues. He said he was dying of thirst and asked if I could give him some water."
"I normally wouldn’t care about that, but I had a noble girl at my side at the time. In order to show off in front of her, I very generously escorted that old man out of the desert and gave him some water to drink."
"Later on, he gifted me a treasure map in order to repay me. I didn’t care much about it at first, but later, I whimsically looked for an appraiser and found out that the map’s paper was more than 300 years old!"
Marvin took a deep breath.
White River Valley wasn’t there 300 years ago!
At that time, even River Shore City was only wild ruins, and the Three Ring Towers had only just begun taking form. The young Leymann had built this power alone. A Legend Wizard would have a very long lifespan after
all. The treasure map was from that time?
Marvin suddenly recalled that his own grandfather was also a high level Wizard.
According to his father’s memories, even though his grandfather wasn’t a Legend, he was an advanced 4th rank Archmage. He was apparently level 16.
At that time, he had trailblazed through many wild territories for the South Wizard Alliance, integrating these lands into the Wizard Alliance’s territory. He was rewarded with the Ninth Month Medal as a result.
Logically speaking, with his contribution he could have obtained a territory on par with River Shore City.
But he chose a small territory like White River Valley instead. What for?!
Marvin’s mind was full of questions.
‘Looks like it’s time to go back and search through my grandfather’s stuff.’
He made a decision.
Marvin then kept interrogating Toshiroya for a while. This guy truly cherished his life. Whenever Marvin asked something, he would answer, and he didn’t seem to be lying.
He kept saying that as long as Marvin kept him alive, he would pay him however much he wanted.
But Marvin never had any intention to let him off.
It wasn’t because Marvin was vicious and merciless.
But Toshiroya had already crossed his bottom line!
Anyone coveting his territory would die!
This was the place he would protect with his life. This was his hometown.
However, since Toshiroya was so cooperative, saving him a lot of time, Marvin decided to be straightforward.
A cold light flashed, a man’s head fell.
As for the hidden treasure map, Marvin would naturally kindly accept it.
‘Madeline’s attack on the Crimson Monastery is in two weeks. I have to put the territory in order in these two weeks.’
‘The most crucial thing right now is to calm the people. As long as I come back, the people won’t have too many issues.’
‘And the key is the food issue…’
Marvin quickly left the forest while thinking about it, he returned to the castle.
The food issue!
This was a very serious problem.
If it was during peacetime, White River Valley’s inhabitants would have surplus food at home, and it would usually not be needed. But the Gnoll invasion injured White River Valley’s strength, and then the granary was burnt. The food was certainly not enough to get through the winter.
In fact, Anna had given Marvin some details. According to the current consumption rate, White River Valley’s food would be depleted in a week.
Every morning, Anna would carry food from the granary under the protection of the garrison to go to the market under the hill and give citizens a ration based on their registration.
These rations weren’t enough. Farmers were still working hard to cultivate the land, but the fall harvest was still two months later.
White River Valley was originally quite barren. The amount of wheat and okra that would grow couldn’t match that of other fertile territories.
As for raising livestock, there were a few courageous families who started implementing it, but their efforts didn’t show much results.
In short, even if Marvin’s return temporarily stabilized people’s feelings, the current territory was simply in a complete mess!
Although Marvin hadn’t been an Overlord in the past, he had played some management games.
The situation of Feinan’s commoners was more or less similar to Europe’s Middle Ages. Even if it was a world with magic, the commoner’s life was, in the end, very ordinary.
Food, house, wife, child, simple hobbies.
These were most of their life’s activities.
And in White River Valley, because there was no slavery, the farmers were at the bottom. Although they were free, they needed to cultivate the land and pay taxes.
Craftsmen’s treatment was a lot better. Many farmers’ families would think of ways to let their own child be accepted as a craftsman’s apprentice. If they could learn a craft, they might be able to find a place in the small town under the hill. Regardless if it was masons or carpenters, they would all have a better life than farmers.
Up above was the Overlord’s people, the garrison, Anna, and others.
Because Marvin’s grandfather didn’t have any follower or retainers, the castle was in fact very cold and deserted.
White River Valley’s structure was basically this simple.
Such a territory might be instantly destroyed under the waves of attacks of the Great Calamity.
No wonder Marvin had never heard of White River Valley in the past.
But it was different now.
Marvin’s arrival would change everything.
He had already thought of a series of plans!
The first was the food issue. He could buy food now. After killing Black Jack, he had fortunately gained enough money for one or two years of the territory’s expenses.
"Tell Lola to come here," Marvin told Anna in the study.
Anna hesitated for a moment and said, "Young Master, she is a swindler."
"I know," Marvin calmly said, "So I’ll personally go to Jewel Bay."
Anna frowned, "You just returned to the territory…"
"It’s all right. I’ll return very fast," Marvin reassured.
"The round trip from here to Jewel Bay takes at least 2 weeks, doesn’t it?" Anna doubtfully asked.
Marvin shook his head, "Five days at most."
"Trust me, five days later I’ll bring a convoy of food back to the territory. Spread this news out."
"Say it’s Lord Marvin’s own promise."
Even if Anna was a bit doubtful after listening, she still did as she was told.
Marvin had already created too many miracles in the recent days. She already had unconditional faith in Marvin.
"Wait!" Marvin suddenly shouted at Anna who was leaving.
He thought for a bit before finally saying, "Never mind, tell Lola to make preparation for a long trip and to wait for me at the city gates tonight."
After Anna left, only Marvin was left in the study.
He hesitated for a bit, and then opened a drawer. There was a secret compartment in it.
There was a key hidden in that secret compartment.
No one else knew that there was a hidden door in the castle study. This was something Marvin’s father had told him at death’s door.
He told Marvin to never open the door. Because that wasn’t something ordinary people could come in contact with.
His grandfather’s secret was hidden behind that door.
‘But the current me isn’t ordinary.’
He picked up the key and pushed aside a bookcase, revealing a keyhole. He inserted the key and slowly turned it.
‘I really want to see what kind of secret my grandfather was hiding…’
Then the hidden door opened.
With just a simple glance, Marvin was shocked!