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Chapter 82 - Victory Celebration Party 2

Emperor of Steel
     Chapter 82: Victory Celebration Party 2

    After sharing congratulatory gesture over a glass of wine, Luke had rewarded the major role players in the battle over the territory.

    The greatest reward was given to Rogers, the Knight General.

    He had been very diligent in preparing for the battle on the command of Luke and also fought the battle by staying in the front lines.

    And before anyone did, he was the first one to offer the proposal of attacking Lamer.

    "Knight Rogers. We are placing you as the Baron to the newly acquired territory to the east of the Rakan territory. Do your best in the future."

    "Yes, I'll be loyal!"

    Knights apart from Rogers, who had played an active role in the administration and in the battle, were also given corresponding merits.

    Luke even awarded a few nobles and the knights of the Count.

    They were the ones who were opposed to the Count and hence were imprisoned, which meant they hadn't even entered the filed.

    However, the award was given in recognition of their active cooperation in their attempt to control the war.

    The award was enough to shake the hearts of the nobles who supported the Count.

    ‘I need to give it. Rakan's young Lord is surely great!'

    ‘Maybe we can keep our lands.'

    If rumors of these spread around, the nobles who were neutral and haven't decided a side yet would surely change their minds.

    Luke took that into consideration and awarded them.

    If he wasn't going to drive out the nobles of the Count Monarch, he had to embrace them and be sure to motivate them.

    The award, which wasn't sided, had to be given.

    Hopefully, the wrongdoings of the past could be tomorrow's strength. However, the loyalists of today could be tomorrow's enemies too.

    Knowing that from his past mistakes, Luke decided to never make that mistake again.

    "Okay, let's enjoy the banquet to the fullest since we are done with the formalities."

    Luke raised his glass, and the band began to play.

    Those who wanted to participate in the banquet went into the center of the hall and danced to their heart's content.

    "Can I ask you for a song?"

    "Gladly."

    Luke took Reina's hand at her request and led her to the center of the hall.

    Princess Reina was quite acquainted with the social dancing as it was in her culture for being born in a royal family.

    However, Luke had never learned to dance in the past, and the real young Lord was too clumsy to dance, so he dedicated himself to studying and fencing.

    Which led him to unintentionally step on Princess Reina's foot or her dress.

    "Oops! I am so sorry."

    "It is okay. It isn't that hard, you will get it soon."

    Reina took her time and taught it to him step by step.

    Seeing those two get along well, the old retainers of Rakan and Kirillov were smiling happily.

    "They are a very good pair."

    "That is true. Would you like to have a wedding at this point?"

    "No, it is better to not hurry into those things."

    Luke and Reina had been going at it strongly since the first time they met.

    Since then, they had developed a very close relationship which had been strengthened further at the refugee migration.

    And more than anything else, the progress of their relationship took a huge leap with the recent kidnapping that had happened.

    When the dark elves, who were asked by the Volga Republic, kidnapped princess Reina, Luke tracked them alone and rescued the princess.

    That made Reina even more grateful to Luke, making her embrace her feelings to him.

    Luke too had felt deeply inclined to Reina as he saw her and understood her from his days as Saymon. He sympathized with her and her feelings.

    He now considered her to be her incarnation, not just a woman like Katarina.

    As a result, his tone too had turned into a friendly one.

    "What is Sebastian doing now?"

    Reina asked as she was in Luke's arms.

    In the kidnapping that had happened, she came to know that Luke could summon demons.

    And she was much more curious about the demons like they weren't scary but rather cute, faithful and obedient.

    "He is faithfully acting like a cat."

    Reina turned to the place where Luke was looking at.

    She saw a cute baby cat sitting.

    The ladies were there enjoying the cute cat, but they didn't know of the fact that their brooches and pieces of jewelry would soon disappear.

    No one would be expecting a cat demon. They would be watching out for real thieves instead.

    Sebastian was a low-rank demon, but he was able to hide his Magi energy very well.

    "I thought that all demons were scary, but I guess not."

    "That is true. He gave me his soul. But he is a dangerous guy."

    In fact, Sebastian was the biggest player in the battle.

    Not only did he adequately poison the Monarch's army making it impossible for them to fight, but he had also removed the backbone (core) of their Gigants, which contributed a lot to the surprise attack of the Rakan.

    However, he was excluded from the rewarding ceremony as his presence couldn't be announced in front of the people.

    Neither did Sebastian have any complaints about that.

    No, he couldn't even bear to be a part of it.

    Because Luke had a hold of him till the day he died.

    "Well, while I am in control of his soul, he won't do anything bad to me and to those around me, so there is no need to worry."

    Luke then changed the topic of their conversation.

    "Well, how is your preparation for the city of Lamer?"

    "Ah, as you have stated, we have expanded our business and influence in Lamer."

    Luke had normally planned to leave the city of Lamer to the merchants.

    It was because the administrating force of Rakan was insufficient to directly take control of a city with a population of 200,000.

    However, he couldn't just place the city into the wrong hands.

    So he decided to create a Merchant Union by trying to center a few trades around the Kirillov.

    The rulers of the Merchant Union saw that the rule of the city was not much different from their own rule.

    It was indirect governance, not direct governance.

    The Merchant Union, of course, wasn't doing its business at the city for free.

    The city had to be developed with a certain amount of investment every month, and the land rent was supposed to be paid to the Rakan Viscount.

    And as a trader, they could develop a base where they want to operate, and Rakan was sure to get good profits from it.

    The wealth obtained from these would go into developing the estates of other numerous cities and towns.

    In order for Kirillov co. to become the largest shareholder and lead the Merchant Union, their power and capital had to be strong.

    To get such an end, Luke financed some of the funds seized from Monarch while entrusting her with a number of businesses, including the Gigants, the Arena and the Southern Trade Fair.

    These were what the baron, Goth, had been managing on behalf of the Count.

    Goth had been secretly stealing funds from them and accumulated a lot of money for himself.

    They got all of that information after Victor tortured him in the chambers with a club.

    Luke had left all the slush funds with Reina. Dixon, the finance officer, also wasn't able to manage them.

    However, it was different for Reina because of her old men.

    As they were the ones who had managed the household in the past, they didn't seem to have any trouble with the increase in business.

    Making good use of the money funded by Luke, they changed the employees of each business and hired new talents. They also opened branches of shops in various cities.

    Thanks to that, Kirillov co. was growing into a huge thing in a short time.

    "The Volga people who wandered around the territory were beginning to come back after hearing the good rumors. More people may come in the future."

    "Do not worry and just take them in. Instead, you need to pay attention to them. At the time of Count Monarch, they were refugees who were being treated as outcasts, but now, they will have a different position in society."

    "As a result of what happened to them in the past, do you think there could be riots? We don't have to worry about that. Whether Volga refugees or a resident of Lamer, everyone will be treated equally in the Rakan estate."

    ‘Huhu, she is definitely a smart woman.'

    At first, he thought that she was just a good na├»ve girl who looked like Katarina.

    Reina, however, descended from a royal family and had considerable knowledge about administration and political knowledge.

    Previously, they had no power and money to perform their duties properly.

    Her talents were intriguing, and Luke trusted that she would build trust between them and help in overthrowing the Baroque Imperial family and clear out the Veritas Magic Tower.

    Luke didn't like Reina just because he was able to share his past with her. He liked her because she would always help him in every task he took.

    "I'm definitely lucky to have met someone like you."

    "Huhuhu, I should be the one saying that."

    While they were having a good time with lively conversations, the song they requested had ended.

    Hans approached them with a serious look.

    "What is it?"

    "Ambassadors from the high nobles have come. I was told that they had to tell you something."

    "Is it urgent?"

    "It looks like it."

    Luke briefly arranged his thought and then decided to be the nobles' envoy.

    "Where are the ambassadors?"

    "They are waiting in the lobby room."

    Luke decided to move away from Reina and headed toward the lobby.

    As he left the hall as naturally as possible, no one in the banquet hall even knew that the protagonist was missing.