Chapter 844: CLB

Though he did stop over at Spero to check on the Xenos, Vahn spent the majority of the evening celebrating his reunion with Hephaestus, Loki, Hestia, Anubis, and, though they had shown up late in the evening, Eirene and Demeter. He also stopped in the orb to see how Nanu, Risna, and Asfi were doing, spending about six hours catching up with the three hardworking girls before returning back to the real world. At the same time, Vahn explained everything that was happening on the surface to the girls while also informing Finn that he may have to bring some of them out of the Dungeon, depending on the situation.

Currently, though it could be sped up quite a bit if he called Terra down to help, it would take around 35-40 days before the first phase of construction was finished. Since Haven would be an actual ‘City’ in the future, the overall construction efforts would likely continue for several years. The main focus, at least for the time being, was setting up the defensive perimeter where the Tree of Life would be established. They were building a massive circular wall that was nearly 3km in diameter that would cordon off the area to everyone before the rest of Haven would be built after the fact.

Ultimately, Haven would be set up in much the same way as Orario except, instead of eight sections, there would be ten. Around the wall protecting the Tree of Life, there would be five fortresses that would also be linked together by a massive circular corridor so they could reinforce each other. These fortresses would serve as part of one of the largest ritual magic circles that would likely ever exist in the record, powering the teleportation ward that Vahn intended to form within the heart of the Tree of Life. The five fortresses would also serve as the ‘heart’ of Haven, with the majority of the Alliances’ forces and facilities located within. Though he would try to ensure that corruption never rooted itself within the City, Vahn knew that it wasn’t realistic to think he could keep things tightly regulated when considering the types that would make the migration down to the 50th Floor.

Eventually, after enough time had passed, there would undoubtedly be people born within the Dungeon that may even spend the early years of their life without seeing the sun. This meant, unless they deported children and denied permanant residence to people that made it down this far, the population on the 50th Floor would continue to increase with the passage of time. Though it would remain relatively low for several decades, the relative prosperity of Haven would undoubtedly cause a population boom after the base population reached a critical threshold. By the time fifty-to-a-hundred years had passed, there could actually be several hundred thousand people residing on the 50th Floor, with a ‘migrating’ population of several tens of thousands…

In preparation for this inevitability, it was important that the foundation of Haven was unshakeable and that the Alliance had absolute power within the confines of the city walls. After all, especially once the power balance in the world was disrupted through the propagation of Eva’s magic system, there would one day be hundreds of Level 5-7 individuals residing within this frontier City against the monster population. Such individuals could cause massive damage during conflicts and, in order to prevent lawlessness and catastrophic outcomes, the power base of the Alliance needed to be unshakeable. The Academy Vahn intended to build would serve the purpose of nourishing talent and power to keep things in check but there were hundreds of other implementations that would be necessary to keep order…

One important step would be eliminating the current standing held by Nobles and changing legislation within Orario to regulate the kind of people that entered the Dungeon. The Guild had been far too lenient in allowing criminals and freelance Adventurers to essentially do whatever they wanted, so long as they didn’t get caught. This led to things like exploitation, especially in the case of young and impoverished children that would become freelance Supporters. There were so many undocumented cases of ****, murder, and other vile acts that Vahn could not continue to tolerate the system as it was. In the future, those allowed in the Dungeon would need to have their identities verified and, those with any past or present association with criminal Familia would have to take vows agreeing to the same laws that already applied to most Adventurers.

The biggest change Vahn intended to make was the complete refusal to allow children, especially freelance Supporters, to enter into the Dungeon. Though exceptions could be made for regulated Familia, as many large Familia treated their young Supporters with an adequate level of care, Vahn wouldn’t accept the situation where children were exploited as cheap and expendable labor. If they were not recognized as adults in accordance with the laws of society, they would have to enroll in a Guild or Alliance sponsored ‘Survival Course’. A system needed to be created to allow all children, regardless of if they were orphans or born into wealthy families, the opportunity to receive adequate preparatory lessons before exposing themselves to such dangers. Though this would cost several hundred million Valis a year, on the low end, it was ridiculous from Vahn’s perspective that things had been allowed to get to this point after nearly a thousand years of civil and social development…

To set in motion these legislative changes, Vahn needed to completely break down the corrupt system that was currently put into place by the Nobles. Though they were slowly changing, mainly to avoid a direct confrontation with the Alliance, this change wasn’t nearly fast enough. Since they were also working with the enemies of the Alliance and trying to sabotage efforts that were literally enacted for the good of ALL people, Vahn’s patience had worn out. The moment he saw the bomb carried by the Nobles’ Expedition, they had moved to the very top of his blacklist and now they would be forced to face the consequences.

Currently, Vahn sat across from a very beautiful woman who was flanked by four other members of the Civilian Council. The woman’s name was Freyalise Achene, a woman born and raised in Orario who had once suffered at the handles of the Nobility. Her family business was destroyed after refusing to ‘gift’ expensive materials that had been required by their expedition party that had ventured near the Dragon Valley, one of the ‘Three Great Unexplored Regions’. They managed to harvest a very rare mineral vein known as Dragon’s Jade, used primarily in the production of some of the most expensive and lavish furnishings. When it was discovered that her family had come into possession of a large quantity of the rare mineral, the Nobles moved to seize it and, after refusing to hand it over, Freyalise’ family had been ruined. Now, she served to represent all citizens who had been wronged by the Nobles and acted as the primary representative of the Civilian Council.

The other four members present were all men, the youngest being in his thirties while the oldest was actually 106, being a Half-Elf that had faced persecution in the past. They came from all walks of life but had the common experience of suffering from the Nobles’ tyranny, now committing their lives to making Orario a better place for everyone to live. Like Freyalise, they had all made public vows that ensured they would never fall to things like corruption and, so long as the people continued to support them, they would continue to serve Orario into the far future. Vahn admired what the Civilian Council represented and, in the power vacuum that would be left by the Nobles, he intended to make them the decision makers in Orario as they worked together to build a better system of government.

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Freyalise had a very stoic expression as she listened to Vahn’s admonishment of the Nobles and his proposal that they become the foundation of Orario’s new government. The Guild and the Alliance would obviously keep their power, but the Civilian Council would become the third branch that helped create laws that regulated the common citizens. This would include everything from trade, general taxation, conducting the census, and general policing. Though the City Guards would remain the higher authority during emergency situations, Vahn proposed that the Civilian Council also establish a court system that would also regulate things like criminal slaves in the future.

Though Vahn was intending to abolish slavery in general, the merit of criminal slaves wasn’t something he could simply ignore. Imprisonment wasn’t a real solution and it would require a significant amount of resources to keep people imprisoned for long periods of time with humane conditions. Having people become part of the labor force, so long as the conditions weren’t extreme, ensured that the tasks most people weren’t willing to tend to were taken care of. This was especially important since many of the farmers that were sent to the Plains region of Eden were criminal slaves, most living relatively happy and free lives after their service had ended…

For those who had committed heinous crimes, Vahn believed it was a mercy to pass judgment on and execute them outright, even if it sounded extreme. It was common knowledge that people reincarnated and Vahn’s understanding of this principle was even more developed than the gods of this record. Because of this, though he would prefer to settle things diplomatically, Vahn knew that ‘death’ was more of a reprieve than an actual punishment, especially for those who had strayed too far from the path to correct course…

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After waiting for Vahn to finish outlining his basic intentions, Freyalise looked towards her fellow Council members before lifting up a small wooden totem, saying, “We will put it to a vote. Out of consideration for the support meted out by the Alliance in the past, I am not against elevating the Civilian Council into the Civilian Legislative Branch in the future. All those against, please make your objections now…” As they had long been preparing for this exact event, none of the councilmen offered any objections whatsoever, instead, showing eager and expectant looks as they held their own identity totems. Seeing this, Freyalise smiled and placed her totem forward, saying, “All those for the Sage Aldrnari’s proposal, please offer forward your totem and recite your affirmation…”

As if it were a race to see who could put their piece out first, all four men practically slammed their totems down and agreed to the proposal while Vahn observed them with mild intrigue in his eyes. These people would become the de facto rulers of Orario in the future and it was somewhat amusing to see them so motivated. When Freyalise finished looking to her left and right, her light brown eyes turned to match his as she smiled and said, “It seems we have a unanimous agreement. Though we don’t have any forces to dedicate to the dissolvement of the Nobility, the Civilian Council will immediately begin maneuvering to replace the current government facilities with our own. We may need to rely on the support of the Alliance during this transition…”

Vahn held up his hand, causing Freyalise’s words to trail off before he explained, “The Alliance has already completed negotiations with the Guild and we will be dedicating the same forces that have been patrolling the City to keeping order. The Eirene Familia has already stationed members near the current government offices and, to facilitate a quicker transition, the Civilian Council is advised to seize these facilities for their own use. The Nobles may have built those facilities, but their intended purpose had been to support the citizenry. We would have forced them to yield them anyway but this will ensure there are fewer issues that would undoubtedly arise when the Nobles try to burn and dispose of official documents…”

The man to the left of Freyalise, named Jackson Thune, released an excited laugh as he exclaimed, “This is great! We’ll perform an audit on all the documents kept within and uncover even more of the Nobles’ schemes! It’s about time those bastards were exposed for the snakes they are…!” This remark caused the Half-Elf, named Aiden Cinderswill, to humorously add, “More like leeches…” Now, almost every member of the Civilian Council, now the Civilian Legislative Branch, began to chuckle. Freyalise also had a slight smile on her face, even as she lightly reprimanded them, saying, “We should not engage in such petty antics and immediately set about following through on our own part of the transition. The more time we waste here, the more time the Nobles have to dispose of the evidence of their crimes…”

Nodding his head in agreement, Vahn rose to his feet and said, “I have already scheduled a meeting with the heads of each Noble Family…I don’t imagine they are happy to have been waiting for the last hour and a half…hahahaha~.” Vahn scheduled his meeting with the Civilian Legislative Branch and the Noble Faction at the same time, placing far more emphasis on the first group over the later. After all, he would be issuing an ultimatum and it would be ‘beneficial’ if they were already annoyed by the time he arrived. The Deval Family, especially, was at the very top of Vahn’s list and he was hoping they tried to oppose his ultimatum…

Realizing his own rather ‘tyrannical’ thoughts, Vahn wondered if it was events like this that had slowly pushed him towards the path of an ‘Emperor’ in the Divination. Now, even if he ended up on a similar path, things were very different and Vahn didn’t mind deposing some corrupt Nobles. As a physician, he knew that the sooner people were liberated from such a cancerous system, the faster the healing process could begin. This time, a lot of the power in the world would undoubtedly be consolidated by the Alliance but, considering the changes brought about by the record’s tier being increased, Vahn knew this was necessary. It was also better that the power balance established was enforced by beings that could essentially live forever, as the chance of corruption could be marginalized through proper regulation…

Knowing he would be one of those eternal entities, Vahn parted ways with the Civilian Legislative Branch and began to fly rather leisurely towards the rendezvous point where he would meet the ex-Nobles of Orario. To give them a false sense of security, Vahn had requested they meet him at McKenneth Family’s main residence. Marcus Vale McKenneth was the most influential man within the Noble Faction and Vahn knew it would give them a feeling of ’empowerment’ and ‘unity’ if they were gathered together under his roof. Though this seemed like a detriment, Vahn wanted them to harbor such delusions since it would make his following actions more impactful. He had promised a reckoning and, unless their answer was satisfactory, there may very well be fewer influential families remaining in the City by the day’s end…

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