It was not yet 4 pm when Michael entered the shuttle to get back home.

His expression was still dazed and filled with disbelief, and it took a while before he regained his composure.

'Why did I ever believe that 50,000$ is a lot?'

He had only been shopping for a short while, but Michael wanted to cry after looking at his now-empty bank account. Most of his savings had been exhausted as well. He had used up his hard-earned money in a fraction of the time it took him to earn it.

'A bunch of potions, arrows, two mass-produced basic techniques used by soldiers, and a low-quality enchantment array is all I can afford…that's ridiculous…I couldn't even buy the Low Elite Arrow Artifact with the Return enchantment…'

He bought a bunch of miscellaneous items such as bandages, mattresses, and other necessities to improve his subjects' lifestyle quickly, but these goods were cheap compared to the other things he purchased.

The most expensive purchases were the Sun Soldier Breathing technique, the Sun Soldier's Weaponry technique, and the preservation enchantment array of low quality. Other than that, the potions were also not that cheap. However, their use was exceptional, so his expenditure didn't sting that much.

'To think that a mass-produced basic technique cost 10,000$. They're not even amazing techniques…' He grumbled even though he knew that he was already very lucky with the items in stock. Few shops were able to get their hands on the techniques he purchased.

The Sun Soldier's Breathing technique improved the user's stamina, while simultaneously improving the absorption rate of the Origin Expanse's dormant energy. It was one of the techniques that required lots of practice to be mastered rather than high talent.

The same could be said about the Sun Soldier's Weaponry technique. It taught the most fundamental points about various weapons, which made it easier for a starless summon to learn how to fight.

Instead of purchasing Combat Summoning Scrolls for a hefty price to summon a random combat unit, Michael chose the two basic techniques to train his subjects. He didn't want to force them to fight, instead, Michael wanted to give his subjects the opportunity to become stronger and fend for themselves if necessary.

Most of his subjects were starless and they would probably never be able to receive enlightenment and be able to break through the limit of their potential. Nonetheless, Michael wanted to give them a chance to change their fate.

This was something few Lords did because they deemed it useless, but Michael was different. He had a huge advantage compared to them.

His Soultrait made it easier to obtain summoning scrolls. He received summoning scroll fragments from every monster killed by him or his subjects. Extraction increased his drop rate for other loot as well.

For someone like Michael, purchasing summoning scrolls was a waste of money. Instead, he should exploit the utility of his Soultrait as much as possible. Training his subjects was one way to achieve this.

As long as one out of a hundred starless summons was able to be promoted to a 1-Star Soldier through the techniques he purchased, it would already be worth it for Michael. With enough time and effort, a small but capable army would form. That was something Michael believed firmly!

'If 50,000$ is not enough to purchase everything, I can just work harder and earn more!'

Michael's internal conflict died down slowly and he was filled with determination again.

After he overcame the initial shock, he finally understood why most Lords said that they could never have enough money. There were always expenses that had to be covered, draining the money one earned over a long period rapidly.

'Just give your best and focus!' He told himself as the shuttle descended to land in front of the apartment complex.

[Thank you for using Golden Lion's shuttle service!]

He got out, entered the apartment complex, and returned home with a glint in his eyes.

His mind had been dazzled by the tremendous amount of money a Lord required to properly build and grow his territory. Fortunately, he didn't require too much time to get back to his old self, and the tiredness that was about to engulf him dispersed as he regained his composure.

Michael was back in his apartment and ready to return to the Origin Expanse to strive even harder than before!

"Do I have everything?" He mumbled before checking his War Rune three more times.

Only when he was certain that he had bought everything necessary did he will the War Rune to open the Runic Gate once again.

The space in front of him distorted and the white Gate manifested. Michael didn't waste a second and stepped through the Gate immediately.

A few seconds later, the Runic Gate manifested in the clearing of his territory and Michael stepped outside.

The first thing he did was to check his Links of Loyalty. None of them had been cut nor had they grown weaker.

'Everyone is still alive, good.'

Once he was reassured about that, he looked into the sky and noticed that rays of sunlight were shining through the canopy of ginormous trees.

It meant he had arrived in the Origin Expanse shortly after sunrise, just like Michael guessed.

'Where is Tiara?' Michael wondered as he looked out for the Battle Maid. She shouldn't be too far away, but Michael couldn't find her.

'Well, whatever. I can search for her once I rescue our idiotic Tracker.'

Michael walked over to the wooden manor and entered Blaire Tracer's room. She was lying in the bed, looking deathly pale and sweating profusely.

He took in a breath of the cold air and rushed to her bed. With a flick of his wrist, a vial with viscous red liquid appeared in his hand. Michael removed the lid quickly and lifted Blaire's head gently before he held the bottle near her mouth. The viscous content of the bottle trickled into her mouth, but there was no reaction from Blaire's side.

Michael waited patiently; however, Blaire was unmoving. In fact, if not for her weak breathing, Michael wouldn't be able to tell that she was still alive.

That was a bad sign.

'Should I give her another potion?' He pondered a bit but shook his head at last. Healing potions were infused with lifeforce to aid the injured's healing process. Providing a severely injured patient with too much lifeforce without processing it in specific ways might be counter-productive and cause unwanted results.

'I didn't expect her condition to deteriorate that quickly…I should have purchased other potions for her…' Michael could take the risk, but he knew that the unrefined healing potions in his possession were not the best. They were cost-efficient, but not able to resurrect someone who was on his or her death's bed. Even selling his entire territory wouldn't be enough to afford such a potion.

Thus, all he could do was hope that Blaire's body would react to the potions he purchased and accept them.

Michael sighed deeply in regret and put Blaire back down in bed. He called one of his subjects over and handed her a few potions, clean bandages and ethanol to disinfect her wound.

"Take care of her. Give her another potion if her condition doesn't improve in the next 30 minutes. If she stays like this until lunch, give her another healing potion" Michael ordered, "Report to me when her condition gets worse."

"I understand, my Lord!" The woman said immediately. She opened her mouth afterward but shut it a moment later. Michael noticed that and halted in his tracks.

"If you have a problem, just tell me," He said, sensing that something was amiss.

The woman hesitated, unsure if she was eligible to report to their lord. Only when she saw the impatience and concern in Michael's eyes did her lips part subconsciously and words tumbled out.

"My lord, I am not sure if you've already received the report but…the beings you called Gogis have started to attack the protection barrier with the rise of the sun…"


Chapter 32: Attack
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