Chapter 466: An Audience
The messenger had looked frantically for Seth, who was not in the room designated for him. Originally, he was simply supposed to bring Seth to his interview, the one Hardwig announced to them.
However, when he did not find the blacksmith in his room, things became more complicated as the time ticked away. After asking around, he came to the guest mansion of Urth, where he had waited for Seth as the servant would not tell him where he went.
A little perplexed by how urgent the messenger made it seem, he was pulled out of his pondering and followed the man back to the main palace.
He soon understood the urgency when he found out who was going to “interview” him. This wasnt an interview at all! It was an audience. In a cozy room, surrounded by guards, Seth found himself sitting on a couch opposite the big boss of the Chrona Empire. The head honcho, Emperor Leander Cornelius Chrona, wanted to speak to him.
“No need to be so tense, this is not an interrogation,” he said in a tone that would have been amicable if he wasnt the lynchpin of a multi-dimensional powerhouse.
Despite the disturbance with the evaluation, the emperor had not changed one bit during the time since the start of the evaluation. He looked like one would expect and ruler in his prime to look like. He carried himself with absolute confidence and spoke in a calm and controlled manner.
“Todays interview is about what happened in Keväti Kuinen during the time the recorder signal was blocked.” the emperor continued.
“Excuse me… but are all participants personally interviewed by the emperor?” the blacksmith couldnt help but ask. Just how much time did Leander have at hand, to interview a small bard personally?
The emperor answered with a praising smile.
“No, you are the only one who has this honor.” the emperor admitted.
“You originally participated as a bard, but you are actually a blacksmith, correct?” he asked. His clear eyes did not wander to the papers in front of him and rested on Seth. Leander already knew everything he needed about the blacksmiths background.
Seth was trying to guess what this was about. For the emperor to suddenly call him, it couldnt be that they knew about the dragon scales, right? Or maybe someone spilled the beans about Python.
“You are probably wondering what this is about. Dont worry, nobody talked about what happened after the recorders stopped the second time.” the ruler guesses his thoughts.
“You worry too much. Whatever secrets you have, I wont pry into them. However, the reason I wanted to talk to you is this.”
Emperor Leander turned his hand and in his palm was one of the recorders that were left as a spatial beacon. The eyeball made of brass unfolded its golden wings and directly turned to Seth, awaiting orders.
“Isnt he quite loyal to you, despite being the state property of Chrona?”
The blacksmith could barely keep a straight face when he realized that they found one of the many loose ends. He had used on the recorders to take control of them.
“I could fix them if that is what bothers you…?” Seth probed to see if they could just burrow this secret.
“No worries. These little things are not that important. What I wanted to talk about were some ancient items in our vault.” the emperor revealed to him.
“Ancient Items?” Seth asked a little confused. This wasnt about him?
“Dont get me wrong, I would have wanted to have chat with you regardless, but this gave me the chance to talk about something that might be of interest to you,” Leander explained.
There were a few epic and relic-rated ego items that were unearthed during the history of the empire. Although their description said that they possessed an ego, the items were unresponsive to any of their approaches.
The reason he told Seth about these, was because many of these items had a similar aura to the Golems the blacksmith had manipulated. It was something the researchers noticed when checking on the golems.
The also checked with Albert and found that the mask Seth had left with him, also fit the characteristics of some of these items.
“But why are you telling me this? Its not like I could have made them. Im a genuine 24-year-old.”
The blacksmith could guess that these might be items his predecessor had made and it wasnt like he was not interested in that dwarven master he had once met after his first and only death in the dungeon. There might have been a possibility to meet him again, but he was not desperate enough to get himself killed, just to meet an old dwarf.
Seth knew that kind of story from novels. Meeting an old master or his predecessor might have given him a chance for a quick advancement, but he had already chosen his own way at the time. Which was a fancy way to say that he didnt feel like deliberately dying for it.
“I know that it wasnt you who made them. Most of them were made by a master by the name of Forgebrand. By my guess, you must have inherited a quite powerful unique class and Forgebrand might have been the founder of this class.
The results of the Evaluation will soon be announced, and I wanted to advise you to have a look at them when you enter the treasury to choose your reward. You may not yet understand why Im telling you this, but it may have greater importance than you think in the future.” the emperor hinted mysteriously.
Although Seth never liked people that spoke in riddles, he could feel that the emperor advised him with genuine goodwill. He was inclined to give it at least a chance and look for those items when he really got to enter the treasury.
“But why are you giving me such advice?” Seth couldnt help his doubt.
“Oh, that is quite simple. Citizen retention. A talented blacksmith is a great asset and I hope that you come to like our empire and keep working with us in the future.” Leander said half-joking and half-serious.
This was the approach of the Chrona Empire to grow and retain players across worlds. Competent rulers, happy citizens, and general goodwill to a certain degree were their recipe for success. Up to now, Seth had thought it was propaganda and he knew that not everywhere was like that but… The emperor convinced him that at least he meant no harm.
They only talked a little more briefly about roughly what happened in the fog before Seth was allowed to leave. Once the blacksmith was gone
“Your Majesty, do you think he has the potential?” the Leader of the imperial Knight Order stepped out from the shadows from where he listened, dressed as a “simple guard”
Leander mused for a moment. As the emperor, he obviously had the which grew with the might of ones territory and allowed him to see the skills, stats, and potential of subjects.
Despite his power and skill, roughly half of Seths skills had been obscured even by his probing eyes. Less powerful skills might not even register the existence of half of the blacksmiths skills.
That even Leander could only see that they were there, but not know what they did, meant it had to be skills bestowed by a god. The skills of chosen ones often came with a divine aura that would hide or censor them from the effects of appraisal skills.
“I cant tell for sure, but the chances are high.” the emperor answered deep in thought.
“Then should we allocate some support?” the leader asked.
“No. Leave it to Leana, if she chooses to stay in Delta. Otherwise, let him go his own way. It will be better like that.”
The emperor was convinced that Seth would reach greater heights if he did so without their help.
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