Derrick had delayed his growth to prioritize his expansion plans because he knew that going alone against an Empire consisting of billions of individuals was beyond stupid. However, his new adventures would have to wait until tomorrow. The meeting had stretched into the evening, and he was tired. He immediately felt asleep the moment he touched his bed.


After having a sumptuous breakfast prepared by Lacha, he left the house to see the reactions to his announcement.

It blew out his expectations.

Everywhere he went, people bowed and profusely thanked him, saying that he was their savior and that they would be willing to follow him for the rest of their lives. It was the point where he got confused, so he asked the busy Jack for some insight.

"Your Highness, even though people were unhappy about the salaries and soldier mobilization, it was nullified by the access to education. In big cities, nobility are the only ones with access to teachers, and the fact that you're giving it for free improved your image by a big amount. The forge is also a major point, as it'll improve their quality of life. Overall, you're hailed as a hero and almost venerated like a God. Their trust in you is now sky-high. Congratulations! I'll be taking my leave now."

Jack slightly bowed and left, leaving behind a stunned Derrick. He had... succeeded?

He started laughing like a mad man. This was too good!

"System, show me the empire tab and my stats"

[Akata Village]

[Level : 2]

[Population : 1497]

[Soldiers : 160]

[Funds : 0 gold]

[Tax : 0%]

[Institutions : Forge (In progress), Military Quarters (In progress), School (In progress)]

[Mood : 90/10]

[Derrick Tarlin, 16 years old (Body), 37 years old (Mind)]

[Class : Necromancer]

[Strength : 10.2]

[Agility : 8.5]

[Endurance : 10.8]

[Vitality : 7.2]

[Magic Power : 15.5]

[Spells : Banshee's Cry, Reaper's Blade, Veil of Darkness] (NEW!)

[Enslaved Subordinates : Eloise Tornomi (General - Human), William Enceworth (Scholar - Human), Fomamli Trollfall (Blacksmith - Dwarf)] (NEW!)

[Traits : Enhanced Body, Enhanced Vision, Death's Valet, Gluttony, Aphrodite's Blessing, Language Guru (Language Database)]

[Skills : Superior Appraisal, Potentus, Contract (3/3), Summoning (2/2), Master Craftsman, Submission, Death Warrior (42/100), Empire Professionals (3/10) *Concerns the Scholars (1/2), Blacksmiths (1/2), Researchers (0/2), Generals (1/2) and Ministers (0/2)*]

As expected, everything had changed, and tons of ground had been made. His funds made him wince in pain, and he had to remedy the situation quickly. Otherwise, everything else trended in the right direction!

With a light step, Derrick headed to the quarters of William and knocked on his door. With a haggard expression, William answered and was stunned to find his master waiting. The sun had barely peeked over the horizon.

"Master, what brings you here today?"

"I need a history lesson on the state of affairs of the entire continent"

William was startled by the request of his Master. Wasn't he supposed to be someone aware of everything?

Seeing the visible surprise in his subordinate's face, Derrick could only scratch his nose in shame. He had been an avid reader his entire life, but he hated politics and couldn't bother with history books, unless it was told by an Elder. Vivid memories and recollections always entertained him to no end.

After getting over his amazement, the groggy William invited him in. He then led him to his living room where a roughly made table stood as the center piece. Its quality was shabby because all the houses were built quickly to accommodate the flow of immigrants that Derrick had brought in.

"What would you like to know, Master?"

"Everything, from past to present"

"Then I hope you're ready for a long session. It'll most likely take the entire day"

"I'm in no hurry"

"I'll make us a cup of tea then"

After a few moments, William came back from the kitchen with a two small cups and placed them on the table. After a long sip that seemed to soothe his throat, he started.

"Let's start at the very beginning. The continent we live on is an island that's hundreds of millions square kilometers big. I know, it's incredible to hear, but it's the truth. It has been verified by explorers that scowered the coasts to find new lands to claim. No one knows how everyone got here in the first place, but it wasn't worth looking into. Anyway, the sea surrounding our land was named the Boundless Sea, as we couldn't and still can't see anything beyond its blue horizon. Many ships have tried to cross, but none ever came back. Expeditions were then mostly abandoned, except for the few desperate souls that have nothing else to lose. When Empires learned that there was no more land to expand to, they turned their ravenous eyes towards each other and launched an era of war and conflict. It started a thousand years ago and it still rages on to this day. There are four major Empires. The first one is to our right, which is the Krakow Empire. Its official race is Human and it doesn't recognize other ones as their equals, which is why you'll only see them sold as slaves. Its Emperor, although brilliant, is a despot that loves committing atrocities and use underhanded schemes to achieve his goals. His name is Garo Krakow The Fifth. He is fair to his subjects, but to anyone else, he is the devil incarnate. In its last known census, Krakow counted 5.2 billion subjects and boasted an army of 700 million soldiers. To our left, there is the second Empire, called Serichi. It has been waging war against Krakow since its inception and there exists a rift of deep hatred between them that cannot be mended. Its official race is Mixed, which means it accepts everyone that's willing to lend them their aid. Its Emperor is a female High-Elf. As they welcome every race, their Emperor isn't decided by succession, but by elections held every ten years. The current one has been in power for five years, which leaves her five more to complete her term. Also, she is known has the two-faced Moon. A bright side that is calm and gentle, and a dark side that is ruthless and cruel. It is said that even the other three Emperors dread her mood swings. Her name is Bellaluna Ballynn. In its last known census, Serichi counted 7 billion subjects and touted an army of 800 million soldiers"

William took a breather before adding another tidbit of information.

"If Master wasn't aware, you are very lucky to have located Akata in this place, as it is the buffer zone between the two Empires. They do not dare encroach it, as it would lead to conflict of grand scale, leaving their flanks vulnerable"

Derrick was dumbstruck when he heard the numbers of people his two neighbors controlled. The map had given him a sense of scale, but he hadn't realized how massive they really were. Also, an island? That was crazy in and of itself. When he had heard of the buffer zone, a huge grin had come on his face. That meant that he wouldn't have to face direct interference from the two Empires until he became a threat. However, he wasn't naive to the point where he thought that they would leave him completely alone, especially the Krakow Emperor. The fellow seemed like a formidable opponent and when Derrick's existence would come to his attention, he would have to have enough strength to resist him.

"These two Empires occupy the South-East and South-West quadrants respectively. To the north of the Krakow Empire is the Argok Empire. Its official race is Dwarf, but it welcomes everyone, although they are often subject oppressive behavior. Their relations with the Krakow Empire are also very strained, but they are still salvageable. Its Emperor is a dwarf hailed as a genius inventor that contributed immensely to the advancement of his race. His name is Reizod Argok, and he is loved by his people. In its last known census, Argok counted 5.3 billion subjects and 400 million soldiers. The reason why no one dared invading them is that their technology is the most advanced out of the four Empires. As for the last located north of Serichi, it's the Uzul Empire. Its official race is Orc, and it doesn't allow anyone else in. It is the most secluded and mysterious Empire. They barely have any relations with its neighbors, and the ones they do have are purely business. Its Emperor is lauded as the strongest fighter and a legend says that he went alone against an army of 10 000 and won. His name is Dubok Uzul. In its last known, and frankly unreliable, census, Uzul counted 4 billion subjects and boasted an army of 600 million soldiers. Everybody knows that they are a warrior race, so nobody messes with them"

Taking another sip of his tea, William observed Derrick to see if he was correctly assimilating the massive amount of data. To his surprise, he saw Derrick smiling like a dumb kid that had just received a big bag of sweets.

"You can continue, I'm all ears"

There's no glory if it's too easy. That's all Derrick could think about. If anyone could see his mind, they would lock him up in his home because they would think that he is clearly mentally ill. After getting back his composure, the scholar continued.

"Now that you know the generalities, I'll be diving more in-depth in their inner-workings. Let's begin with the size of their territories. The Krakow Empire controls 20% of the island and specializes in innovation and army formations. After all, the human mind and its creativity are wonderful things. Next is the Serichi Empire. It controls 30% and its specialty lies in the magical domain. Every elf on the continent basically lives there, and they are known for their magical prowess. Their army also excels in magic strategies. As for the Argok and Uzul Empires, they split the remaining territory evenly, getting 25% each. The former is known for its legendary weapons and the latter for its base strength. The Argok armies excel in logistics and the Uzul armies excel in war tactics. All the lands, except perhaps those in the Uzul Empire, are divided in the following way. From top to bottom, it goes like this : State, divided in 10 Provinces, which are subdivided in 100 Counties, which are then finally subdivided into 100 City Territories. Let's take the Krakow Empire as an example. It has 5 States, which means it contains 50 provinces, 5000 counties and 500 000 city territories. All these territories need a governing body, which follows a certain hierarchy. At the top is the Empire Capital, followed by the State Capitals, Province Capitals, County Capitals and City Capitals. There is only one true official in each city to avoid clogging the entire system. The city where you bought us, Terra, is a City Capital. That's the extent of my knowledge, Master. I hope I could enlighten you"

Derrick nodded and thanked William. Had marveled at the sight of Terra, but how beautiful would the higher capitals be? It would probably shake his very core. He promised to gather a large collection of books, so the scholar could continue learning.

When Derrick left the house, it was already night. But he wasn't going to sleep. Now that he knew that Akata had a relatively long period of development ahead, it was time to focus on getting stronger rapidly. The Uzul Emperor's legend had lit a fire of determination under Derrick...


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