Chapter 984: Audience

Not allowing her slight mishap to set her back, it took significantly less time than Vahn expected for Brynhildr to gather the majority of the dignitaries that he would be granting an audience. She had them all file up outside in an orderly fashion as a small squad of Valkyries kept everyone from acting out. Regardless of if they were Kings, Governors, Mayors, or Clan Chieftains, their status was not important as, in the present moment, the only titles that mattered were those that Vahn allowed others to keep. If they decided to come under the influence of his Empire, Vahn intended to treat those worthy of trust with the respect they were due, allowing them to manage their own affairs. So long as they implemented the changes he required of them, it didn’t matter who was in charge of any given territory. For those who decided to either rebel or take a stand against his budding Empire, Vahn intended to expose all of their crimes publically before either eliminating or imprisoning them. He had long grown tired of the type of people who thought they had a ‘right’ to rule over others by virtue of nothing more than the situation they were born into…

In the span of a ten minute period, Brynhildr had gathered everyone together before giving them a very stern lecture on how they should behave in the presence of the Emperor. Though some didn’t seem satisfied with the treatment they had received, there were none amongst those that had been gathered who were unable to understand the situation. Most of the truly troublesome individuals had forgone accepting Vahn’s summons, making them easy to deal with at a later date. It was the calculating, moderately intelligent individuals, and cowards who had gathered together at Vahn’s behest. Since he had already met with many of them during the months prior to the meeting, backed by the information that had been provided to him by his own network of informants, Vahn already had a relatively decent understanding of each person’s true nature.

After her explanation had concluded, Vahn could sense Brynhildr press her palm against a small magical ward, causing a small hum to resonate through the throne room. With this signal, he fixed his slightly lax posture before hardening his face and commanding in a low rumble, “Enter.” This caused the two doors at the far end of the throne room to open soundlessly, creating a tense atmosphere as the Valkyrie began to direct each person to their assigned position. Vahn had those he had evaluated as trustworthy placed closer to him while those he had already marked as incompetent were placed at the periphery. This was noticed almost immediately, causing those at the front to restrain exuberant smiles while those forced to the outside had ghastly and solemn visages…

Without allowing his gaze to wander, Vahn waited patiently while exuding a subtle pressure that, with the passage of time, seemed to increase in intensity. This wasn’t the result of any action on Vahn’s part but, from the perspective of those that were forced to stand before him, it felt as if they were standing at the base of a mountain that was even taller than the Tower of Babel. He may not be outwardly dangerous, as Vahn’s reputation painted him as a rather benevolent and amiable personage, but there was the lingering ‘promise’ of a swift demise if you somehow managed to offend him. As a result, amidst a series of shuffling noises and some particularly audible heartbeats, there were absolutely no other sounds as everyone obediently took their assigned positions…

Seeing that the strongest person present was only Level 3, belonging to the Chieftain of the largest Kyrie Tribe on the Continent, Beldum, Vahn couldn’t help but internally shake his head at the blatant audacity of those gathered to believe themselves above others. As for Beldum himself, he was a massive individual who stood at 264cm tall, towering over everyone else that had been gathered. His position within the group was near the center but, just to keep things from looking grossly imbalanced, Vahn had him dividing the group by standing directly parallel to his throne. Beldum seemed to take pride in this fact as his rather fierce visage had softened slightly while a small smile was adorned on his lips. Vahn had a relatively good impression of the man so, even though it was somewhat rude to smile before the Emperor in such a fashion, he didn’t particularly mind such a small sleight.

Once everyone had assumed their positions, it was time for Vahn, as an Emperor, to speak his first words to those that would either become his vassals, allies, or enemies. Lifting his hand to prevent Brynhildr from trying to force everyone to kneel, Vahn waited for the Valkyrie to give a polite bow before she commanded everyone else to their own positions. As a result, the foreign dignitaries were flanked on both sides by a total of twenty-four Valkyries, even though a single one of them would have been enough to completely devastate the entire group. This was something everyone gathered was very aware of and, feeling the pressure of the steely womens’ gaze, even proud warriors like Beldum had the hairs on the back of his neck standing straight.

As soon as Brynhildr had taken her position near the base of his throne, Vahn inhaled a silent yet deep breath before his voice echoed through the chamber, sending ripples through the void in much the same fashion as Ouranos as he stated, “When I asked for your presence within the City, I was but the Supreme Commander of the Alliance. Many of you came here seeking power, opportunity, or, fearing an end to your line, absolution…now, as you are all undoubtedly aware, things have changed quite drastically. You are all aware of what I wish to achieve thus, without footing around the issue, I will ask you now…will you join me in uniting our peoples and creating a better future for everyone…?” Vahn didn’t bother asking the second part of his question, which related to whether or not they would ‘rebel’ against him, as there was none present who were unaware of the consequences of such action.

Almost as soon as his words had fallen upon them, those closest to Vahn took the opportunity to kneel in a respectful manner, regardless of their status and assumed Nobility. There were even some at the back of the group who had taken a knee, grasping at what little hope remained to them. Vahn found this strangely amusing, something he hadn’t quite expected to feel while witnessing those he had already judged as incompetent trying to preserve themselves. He momentarily wondered if his nature was changing slightly with his rise to prominence but, having already made the decision, Vahn wasn’t going to change his mind just because they had taken the knee. He would, however, show them some small amount of leniency by granting a reprieve to their children by having them attend the School to be evaluated for their candidacy as a ruler…

Without waiting for the indecisive within the group to make up their mind, Vahn gave a curt and appreciative nod while passing his gaze over everyone that had taken a knee. This was immediately followed by his voice, once against echoing throughout the throne room, as he said, “The Empire, while having great power and wealth, will only truly prosper if there is unity between everyone within its borders. I have in mind a great many changes that must be implemented to ensure that, unlike the past, all those who reign over others will be highly qualified to take up the task. Each of you that have decided to pledge your loyalty to the Empire will be granted a grace period after taking your vows. I will allow you to bring forth your chosen descendants who, after graduating from the Academy on the 50th Floor, will be granted the title they have earned for themselves. If you truly believe your lineage to be unique, you must continue to put forth the effort to improve, all while holding yourselves to a higher standard than you would your own people. It is only through earning the right to rule that, in the future, such rights will be granted…”

Though few understood the full meaning behind Vahn’s words, everyone that had taken a knee still lowered their heads in a respectful manner. The one thing they were all aware of was the fact that, if they intended to continue ruling over their own countries, they would be required to take even stricter vows than the members of the Civilian Legislative Branch. They knew their new Emperor wasn’t the type to simply take people for their word as, in this world, where even Gods were bound by vows and Laws, talk was cheap. One of the reasons that corruption had become so deeply rooted in many cultures is that, instead of treating their position with the seriousness it deserved, many took advantage of the power they had inherited to simply act as they please without repercussions. This would no longer be the case in the world that Vahn wished to create, as only those who had earned the right to rule would be afforded the opportunity to even consider themselves Noble.

Immediately shifting his focus to those still standing, Vahn’s gaze briefly passed over the mountain-like Beldum before a small smile appeared on his face as he stated, “I am not the type of person who is unable to understand the significance of cultural values, especially to an organized group that has persisted through the generations without causing great strife across the lands. Just because you have not pledged your loyalty to me, you need not fear that I will arbitrarily seize your ancestral lands and subjugate your people. I truly desire a world where everyone is afforded the opportunity to prosper without fear that they would be looked down upon as a result of their origin. So long as you continue to govern your people justly, the Empire will always recognize such capable individuals as allies. I will, however, require that you make a simple vow before you leave this throne room today. Not everyone born into a particular tribe is able to prosper in the conditions that have been provided to them. There are always outliers who, for no other reason than because they are slightly different, will be ostracised by their community and looked down upon for no justifiable reason. Do not misconstrue what I’m saying as a request as, from henceforth, if anyone wishes to migrate from their homeland to seek a better life within the Empire, I will not allow even the King of a nation to oppose such a decision. Though there will be obvious exceptions in regards to criminals, they must have been found guilty in an established court of law, not declared guilty at the behest of people who think themselves above the law…”

In a world where individuals could gain enough power to even topple small mountains, Vahn knew that there would always be a few who rose to prominence that would try to repress others. It would take an even stronger power to keep such people in line which was why making it so that the Empire showed no tolerance towards such actions was very important. So long as he reigned, even the most arrogant individuals on the Continent would need to take measured action, lest they risk being outright eliminated as a result. After all, it wasn’t necessarily ‘power’ that made someone a good ruler, at least within a peaceful society. Vahn knew he couldn’t eliminate ‘evil’, as there was always a need for a certain balance within the world, but he could at least make it very difficult for anyone with oppressive personalities to rise to prominence…

After letting his words settle for a few seconds, Vahn turned his attention to a few within the group that he knew would have to be ‘removed’ from their positions. This included several people kneeling at the back who, after feeling Vahn’s gaze upon them, began trembling with a mixture of complex emotions. Some knew the futility of trying to resist, holding onto the hope that they would be shown leniency, while others were shaking as a result of the incredulity and rage they were experiencing. Amongst this second group, even before Vahn could speak out, a woman with violet hair raised her lowered head to suddenly shout, “What right do you have to make such decisions!? You are nothing more than a commoner that has been promoted to their position after becoming the pawn of Gods…!”

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com

Without Vahn needing to say or do anything, the woman’s outburst was punctuated by a white light enveloping her body. Before she could even scream out in pain, her body was broken down into fine motes of light as a Valkyrie named Myst lowered her hand. There weren’t even ashes left in the wake of the powerful Light Elemental magic, causing those that had thought to make complaints of their own to fall silent. The woman had been the Queen of a small country to the North-East, called the Rosemary Kingdom…

Three generations prior, her family had been nothing more than wine merchants who, after finding a small territory that was highly suited to growing their precious strain of grapes, founded a small kingdom as a result. She had been someone who had been given everything she had wanted from a young age, causing her to become spoiled to the point that many within her own country hated her vehemently. Even so, as a result of being the only child to a sickly King, she had been crowned as the reigning Queen after his death and a small power struggle between herself and the former Queen…

The only reason she had been able to gain the throne, however, was due to the support of a rising faction within the Kingdom that had intended to use her as a puppet, pacifying her wants and needs while controlling the direction of the Kingdom to fill their coffers. After sending her to the meeting, these same individuals had outright disappeared from the Rosemary Kingdom after completely emptying the treasury. Vahn had been aware of all of this, as the Shadow Corps had already captured most of the traitorous Nobles, so he held no pity towards the misguided woman who, upon their first meeting, thought she could seduce him to secure a position for herself…

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

After sending a small prayer, hoping the woman would live a better life in her future incarnation, Vahn passed his gaze over the now silent gathering before saying, “There are those amongst you who have looked down upon others your entire lives, treating those you should have been dedicating your lives to as nothing more than a source of income. Now that I am Emperor, you will be held accountable for your actions, regardless of if you had manipulated the laws of your country to make your actions justifiable. If you have any real sense, you will face justice with the dignity of a genuine Noble and, so long as your progeny haven’t been corrupted by your influence, there is still a chance for your lineage to continue. Know that I am not a cruel person by any means and, if not for the acts you had perpetrated before this moment, you would have never been required to face my ire and scorn. I would encourage you to take the necessary time to reflect upon the life you have lived before preparing yourself for what is to come…!”

Though he had been restraining his aura for much of the audience, Vahn chose this moment to allow his domain to weigh down with full force. With the ‘upgrade’ he had received after becoming a genuine Emperor, even people like Beldum were immediately brought to their knees as a result of the irresistible power radiating from Vahn’s body. It wasn’t just them, either, as the surrounding Valkyries and the very foundation of Babel Tower seemed to tremble in response to Vahn unleashing the full power of his domain. If not for the fact he was trying to uniformly spread it outwards, combined with the sheer durability of the Tower of Babel, there was a very real chance that Vahn could have collapsed the 50th floor in its entirety.

Surprised by the power of his own domain, Vahn began to reign it back a bit since those he had directed his intent toward had all passed out. Only the Valkyries around him and those that had already taken a knee were spared any serious consequences, causing Vahn to gulp slightly in response to his own power. He hadn’t noticed it much during the fight against the One-Eyed Black Dragon, as her existence wasn’t so easily suppressed by simple pressure, but Vahn now realized that his [Will of the Emperor] had experienced a qualitative increase after officially gaining the title. He had certainly been feeling much stronger than in the past but, up until this very moment, Vahn hadn’t realized just how powerful he had become…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘New Emperor, who dis…?’,’You had your chance; now we do things my way…’,’Bruh…’)

https://bit.ly/2XBzAYu <-(p.atreon link)

paypal.me/Einlion

Discord Invite: https://discord.gg/mn5xMbE

You may also like: