Chapter 100: Prelude of the Territory Wars (3)
Editor: Hungry Panda
"So… You're telling me it's an NPC?"
Ian quickly nodded his head.
"That, that's what I'm saying! She's a Summoner NPC that I appointed as my Retainer this time."
While Ian made excuses(?), he kept studying Harin.
And with a sullen expression, she opened her mouth again.
"But why of all people did it have to be a young, pretty and cute girl?"
Ian couldn't tell why, but he felt himself breaking out into a cold sweat.
This was because he felt a bizarre atmosphere from Harin's tone that he had never felt before.
"That… Since that NPC's abilities were the best…?"
Ian's voice, which automatically grew faint!
As Harin heard that voice, she felt her heart weaken a little bit.
Harin swallowed down her jealousy and began to hypnotize herself.
'That's right, would a guy that only knows about games and doesn't have any interest in girls purposely choose a pretty NPC? He probably picked her just by her abilities.'
As she finished thinking there, she became a little embarrassed as well.
'To have felt jealousy towards not even a human, but a NPC in a game.'
As she felt that she would actually be seen as a girlfriend with a narrow-minded attitude who even felt jealousy towards a NPC in a game if she pressed him any further, Harin forced a smile.
"That's… That's what it was, right?"
Feeling Harin's voice slightly soften, Ian's expression slightly brightened.
"Yeah, I'm telling you!"
"Alright. Then, I'm only letting you go this time!"
While looking at Harin, who spoke as if she was being incredibly kind-hearted, Ian smiled brightly.
Of course, he had no idea what he was at fault for nor what she was letting him go for.
The place that Ian, who had barely calmed Harin down, was headed for was the Dimensional Tower.
If it was Dimensional Enchanter Gripper, who was at the Dimensional Tower, there was no mistake he would be a NPC with an incredibly high rank, and so he had come with the hope that by chance he could appoint him.
'It probably won't happen… But since it doesn't hurt to try.'
And Ian, who had arrived at the Tower, received a warm welcome from Gripper.
"Oh, Ian. Long time, no see. I heard the news about you, so I know of it."
At Gripper's words, Ian wore a quizzical expression as he asked back.
"Huh? What news?"
"What do you mean what news, it's obviously the news that you had become a respectable Baron."
Ian was taken aback.
"Where, where did you hear that?"
Gripper's wrinkled eyes crinkled as he responded.
"I have an acquaintance in the imperial family of the Luspel Empire."
"Ah… I see."
Ian felt something was weird.
'What is this, how does Gripper have an acquaintance in the imperial family? By any chance…?'
Ian hastily checked Gripper's information.Gripper
Class: Magician (Dimensional Enchanter)
Personality: Full of curiosity
Talent Rank: (Unknown)
Combat Stats (Expand)
Specific Abilities (Expand)
Owned Abilities (Unknown)
A Dimensional Enchanter who succeeds the legends.
And before he realized, he sucked in a breath of air.
'What the hell, for his level to be marked as a ?, how high is it?'
He had seen this kind of case before.
'Hellaim, is he at a similar level to that monster?'
On top of that, his position was an Earl.
It was an aristocrat rank that was higher than Ian's.
There was no way that a Baron could have an Earl as their retainer.
Ian slightly pushed in the seal of the Lord that he was about to pull out.
"Haha, so you were an aristocrat of the Luspel Empire as well, Gripper?"
At Ian's words, Gripper let out a hearty laugh as he nodded his head.
"That's right. It happened a long time ago, but the king of the previous generation had bestowed the title of the Earl upon me. From then onwards, there were cases where I helped the Magicians of the Luspel Empire's imperial palace from time to time."
"As expected… Gripper, you were an amazing person."
Gripper, who was in a good mood from Ian's flattery, laughed, and after conversing with him for some time, Ian ended up unable to say a word about the retainer-part and could only return to the Domain.
Ian decided to rid of some of his greed.
'Later… If I raise my title to a Marquis or Duke title someday, I'll try again.'
While he was thinking of it, Ian checked the requirements that were needed in order to go up to the next title.
The next title after Baron was 'Viscount'.User Title Rank
Current Rank: Baron
Next Rank: Viscount
Fame consumed for promotion: 800 thousand
Authority: 25 NPCs can be appointed as subordinates.
Ian licked his lips.
The amount of Fame that Ian currently had was a little over 900 thousand.
He could immediately be promoted to a Viscount title, but the only considerable advantage he would be gaining would be that the number of NPCs he could appoint as subordinates would increase just by about 5.
If his Fame dropped, the Affinity of the Domain NPCs dropped, and as several different benefits from Fame, such as item discounts, would be reduced as well, there was absolutely no reason for him to be promoted right now.
'After Viscount is Earl, and after that, it's Marquis, and then after that, it's Duke, so I've still got a long way to go.'
Ian checked his retainer list, which was practically empty, and let out a deep sigh.
'That's right, even though they aren't as good as I'm hoping for, let's just appoint about four or five more guys between the Human Resource Centre or the NPCs in the Domain that look good enough.'
As he still had enough space left until the retainer appointing limit anyways, and he also checked that the limit also increased once his title went up.
Ian now headed towards the Human Resource Centre.
The Lotus Domain, the conference room of the manor.
It had been a while since the individuals that could be considered the leading members of the guild were all gathered in the conference room.
As the members of the Lotus Guild had increased quite a bit, the guild had about 150 total guild members.
Amongst them, over 100 of them were made up of users that were over lv 100, so they could be considered to have quite a strong fighting power.
Fiolan, who still maintained having the highest level within the guild, was a whopping lv 118, and several, including Herz, were hot on her tail at lv 115.
Even Ian, who leveled up at a monstrous speed, was already at lv 114.
"As expected, a territory war request came in as soon as the protection was released."
At Fiolan's words, Herz nodded his head.
"Well, it can't be helped. Since our guild is definitely holding onto a good Domain in comparison to our guild rank, there will be a lot of guilds that want it."
Kroban, who was next to him, also opened his mouth.
"Well, however, it's something we were all expecting, and our guild just hasn't done a guild war recently, but we've grown much stronger, no? On top of that, we're defending, so we shouldn't have to worry too much. Our opponent is the Polaris Guild and there's not much of a rank difference between us either."
"Kroban is right. In reality, amongst the territory wars that have taken place up until now, about 70% of them ended with the defending side winning."
The minute the Lotus Guild's base protection was released, the Polaris guild were the ones that asked for a territory war.
The current meeting was to plan out the tactic of the territory war.
"By any chance, is there anybody that knows anything about the Polaris Guild's fighting power?"
At Herz's question, Carwin responded.
"Hmm, there was an acquaintance of mine that had went into the Polaris Guild for a bit before, but, how to put it… Over there, it seemed like they changed their guild members frequently, different from us."
"Yeah. Aside from the Guild Master and the Sub-Guild Master, the leading members apparently change a lot as well. The number of guild members there is close to 200 members, but I heard that only about ten members have been there since the beginning."
Fiolan, who was listening next to them, asked.
"What help is that to find out about that side's fighting power?"
This time, Ian, who was just silently listening, responded.
"The fact that their members keep on changing means that their party-playing proficiency can't help but be incredibly low."
"I see. That is true."
Carwin agreed as he continued his explanation.
"Ian hyung is right. That's also true, and there, the structure is that a couple of them, including the Guild Master, are strong, while the rest of the guild members are nobodies. I heard that there are also a lot of members that donated gold and entered in order to wear the halo of a giant guild on their back."
Herz's expression slightly brightened.
"Then that means we could win a lot easier than I thought."
At those words, Ian shook his head as he spoke.
"No, we can't just take them lightly because of that. Since they still are a guild that ranks in the Diamond-class. If the other guild members are a motley crew, then the fighting power of the main members is probably higher than the average fighting power of a Diamond-class guild."
Ian was working hard and planning a strategy inside his head.
Rather than a guild with bland fighting power, it looked like it was instead easier to plan a strategy when facing a guild with a fighting power that had characteristics like this.
Ian's words continued.
"If you look through all the territory wars that took place recently, most of the defending guilds used the battles at the Valiant Battleground as cards they were throwing away, and in order to bring back a solid victory at the Battleground of Protection, they focused all their fighting power then, right?"
At those words, most of the people in the conference room nodded their head.
This was because they also watched the important territory wars without missing one.
Herz grabbed Ian's words.
"They did. Since it's a typical strategy, and definitely a strategy where the risk is low. The defending side just needs to win three matches including the defending matches anyways, so they don't need to waste their strength at the Valiant Battleground."
Just like Herz said, there were also cases where in some territory wars, the side of the defending guild practically tossed the first three matches as withdrawals.
They were up front about going all-out in the Battleground of Protection.
"Wouldn't it be right for us to use a strategy like this in the end as well?"
"That's right. Wouldn't it be much wiser to focus our fighting power during the advantageous defending matches?"
It was an atmosphere where it looked like most agreed, but Ian thought differently.
After Ian thought for a moment, he grinned as he opened his mouth.
"How about we use this inversely?"
"Are we really… going with this?"
While looking at Ian, who was registering the troops in the territory wars, Herz asked with a worried voice.
"Yeah. I've continuously explained up until now. Trust me."
Ian grinned, but Herz's worry didn't disappear.
This was because, once the participants were registered for the battle that would immediately happen as well as the next battle, it was impossible to change it in the middle.
"No, your strategy definitely has a point and it's all good…"
"Despite that, isn't it a bit irrational to have just you as the only user participating in the first two matches?"
"We're putting in all our NPC troops. It's alright."
"Even though, it's not like there are a lot of them, and they're levels are all around 60."
However, Ian wasn't fazed, and he deployed the fighting power without hesitation.
Herz, who saw that, let out a deep sigh.
"I don't even know now. I need to pray that the war situation will move as you think."
"Don't worry. I will bring back 2 wins."
Ian's prediction was this.
If thought of from the perspective of the attacking guild, since the chances that the defending guild would use the Valiant Battleground as cards they were throwing out were high, they would try to pick up the trashed cards with the least number of troops.
After conserving most of their troops until the siege warfare, they would most likely try to take victory by going all-out.
If that was the case, then they just needed to counterplot that.
Ian was planning on participating in the first and second match with just him, the strongest fighting power of the Lotus Guild currently, leading just all of the NPCs.
It was a tactic with a counter method that planned on wrecking the opponent guild, whom entered with a half-assed military force to pick up wins.
In the case that this plan succeeded, there was an effect that was higher than bringing back the two matches.
Once they inversely picked up the first two matches like that, the opponent attacking guild, now pressed by the situation, would have no choice but to deploy quite a lot of troops starting from the 3rd match.
'Then starting from the 3rd match, we'll give the matches to our opponent instead.'
Because from the perspective of the attacking guild, if they were defeated once more now, the would lose the territory war, so even though they know the tactic of their opponents, they wouldn't be able to send out a half-assed military force.
And after that, once their opponents deployed all their troops in the first siege warfare, they would be able to easily block the attack of the opponent guild, who wouldn't have many troops left.
The other guild members were astonished at the detail of Ian's strategy after hearing it, but it looked as if their worries still couldn't be helped.
Since they couldn't ignore the risk if they were to fail as well.
"Anyways, fighting, Ian. If it goes just as you said, it looks like we'll be able to defend really easily."
"Yep. Believe me, Fiolan."
Shortly after, a couple system messages popped up in front of Ian's eyes.'Ian' has been set up as a participant in the first match of the territory war between the 'Lotus' Guild and the 'Polaris' Guild. Exactly 20 minutes from now, you will be teleported to the Valiant Battleground, so please have all preparations done before then.
One corner of Ian's mouth slightly rolled upwards.
'This… It's been a while since I felt such a thrill.'
Along with it being a battle with a scale so big that it was incomparable to the arena, it was an important fight that had a lot of things at risk.
And the biggest weight was on Ian's own shoulders.
After inspecting the state of his Familiars, Ian lastly checked the state of his 'Retainers' that he appointed.
There was a total of five retainers that Ian appointed.Celia
Level: 110 / Class: Summoner / Rank: HeroicMallaim
Level: 107 / Class: Warrior / Rank: RareTenpus
Level: 114 / Class: Priest / Rank: CommonCerius
Level: 109 / Class: Magician / Rank: UniqueLoreuten
Level: 110 / Class: Warrior / Rank: Rare
Luckily, he was able to gain another talented individual with a Unique-rank named Cerius, but the abilities of the other retainers were so-so.
Still, as they were all quite a high level, they would be a big help.
'Now I need to control not just my Familiars, but my retainers, as well as all of the troops, so the control difficulty level will be really high.'
However, he wasn't nervous.
Ian was confident.
As he finished inspecting even all of the equipment of the retainers, a system message popped up again.1 minute from now, you will be teleported to the Valiant Battleground.
And shortly after, Ian's form disappeared in front of everybody's eyes, which were full of worry.
The first territory war of the Lotus Guild had begun.
 fighting = commonly used word of encouragement, as well as a cheer.