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Chapter 10: I’ll Pick My 3-Stars (5)
I’m creating an order of the bunny girl knights…
Is what I’ve been telling people, but I’ve just been saying what came to mind.
The true purpose is…
There are so many good costumes besides the bunny suit…
This is a medieval fantasy world.
There must be maid outfits, sultry knight armor, a pirate outfit, a formal academy uniform, swimsuits, regular clothes, succubus dresses…
I’m not having a stroke.
I’m just listing out the limited edition 3-star character types.
[Maid], [Knight], [Marine], [Academy], [Pool Party], [Succubus], [Teacher], [Geisha], [Catgirl], [Night Festival], etc…
They were all released as a ‘Limited Pickup’ or a ‘Character Skin.’
All I’m doing is listing the names of the limited edition characters.
This is definitely not me wanting to see my characters in maid costumes.
Or looking up the skirts of the tight-fitting academy uniforms.
I’m definitely not that sort of degenerate.
I just want to survive.
I want to survive this hell of being a Permarten.
The order of the Bunny Girl Knights is for the public, which needs to treat this as another Louie antic.
The bunny girl isn’t the end goal here.
“On that note, I’ll need your cooperation, Guildmaster Bernhardt.”
I’m currently alone with the guildmaster.
Even if it’s a knight order founded by a joke, creating an order under the Permarten's control attracts attention.
“Are you serious about the bunny girls?”
“I’ve been thinking about swimsuits, maid outfits, or even succubus costumes, but nothing is as good as the bunny girl.”
“...Is it for you to look at, or is it to fool others?”
As expected from the guildmaster.
As the leader of the adventurer organization, he figured out my intent instantly.
“Lowering your self-image to build a knight order… It’s possible if you use your notoriety, Sir Scion.”
“How did you come to that conclusion?”
“I can tell just by looking at your eyes… That you’re no longer the same Louie from before.”
Realize that I’m a different person?
“Haha. Many men have moments of self-realization. Your hair, for one… I’m sure you’ve had much to consider before cutting most of it off. I applaud your new start.”
“Thank you, Bernhardt.”
Maybe I overestimated him.
“But starting your own knight order is another thing. Once Permarten begins assembling its own military force, the Kingdom and the Empire will act. If that happens…”
“The Adventurer’s Guild will have a harder time with the Kingdom, the Empire, and Permarten all competing for the monopoly of the labyrinth.”
The labyrinth has enough resources to supply every faction within the continent but can only exist because of the Permartens.
“I know what you’re worried about as the guildmaster, and I intend to use the adventures and guild to my full advantage. I don’t have any plans to get in the way of adventurers. Even if the Permartens monopolize the city and the labyrinth, I wish to remain on good terms with adventurers.”
You can use money with individual adventurers.
But you cannot with the Kingdom and the Empire.
“Greed is a dangerous beast. If this were a gold mine, we could mine until it’s empty, but as you know, the labyrinth is infinite.”
“It would have been the same if the gold mine was also infinite.”
Even if it were a place that didn’t have as many resources as Permarten, if there were infinite resources anywhere, someone would try to control and monopolize the area.
Just by simply existing, you’d be able to accumulate wealth.
Then you’d have to worry about safeguarding what you have, and true to that theory, the Permartens have faced adversity for generations.
The only reason the Permartens haven’t been able to create its military force is…
“Sir Bernhardt, I won’t ask you to return to service under the house. I just need help creating a force to ensure the survival of the Permartens.”
“You worked for our house before, didn’t you?”
Because people constantly leave.
Bernhardt was also one of them. As someone who received his training and knighthood under the Permartens, various circumstances warranted his transition into an adventurer.
“Isn’t your shift to an adventurer to protect Permarten as the guildmaster of the Adventurer’s Guild?”
“Sir Scion, I…”
“I understand. The Empire must have pressured you for years. I know their ways, how they must have threatened those around you, especially your family.
As soon as the Permartens move to gather power, the Kingdom and Empire intervene.
By threatening family.
By offering greater wages and rewards.
By giving them money in exchange for information on the household.
In reality, practically no people currently work for the households whose loyalties lie with the Permartens.
So, I’ll need to hire more people.
People who work for me and me only.
A loyal Knight Order that’s willing to do everything I command.
People… who are willing to jump into the labyrinth wearing nothing but bunny suits!
“I know you’ll have a hard time, Guildmaster. Many adventurers might complain, and the Kingdom and Empire will use shady ways to get to you too… Half a year. Can you give me half a year to make this happen?”
Half a year.
That’s enough time to raise a 1-star character to a maxed-out 5-star without spending money.
In other games, maxing out a character would take a month, but PAO took way too long to level your characters without spending money.
As far as leveling is concerned, the existence of the Permarten estate is akin to spending money in real life.
Half a year is a fairly relaxed schedule.
“In that time, I’ll gather a small, elite group of adventurers into my order. And by the end of that time, you determine whether my knight order is strong enough to survive under external pressures. I’ll make sure you’ll be able to live a comfortable life as the guildmaster for as long as you wish.”
“...It won’t be easy.”
“If I wanted an easy way out, I would’ve sold out to the Kingdom or the Empire.”
I’ll walk on my path.
“Permartens will walk the path of the Permartens, which I will dictate.”
And at the end of the path lies an independent Permarten.
“The knight order will see through the end of the labyrinth. But I intend to ‘see’ the end, not end the labyrinth in its entirety.”
“I’ll fully harness the entirety of the labyrinth to extract resources from all 100 floors.”
I must farm efficiently, after all.
And the magic stones we gather on the way will add to the power and wealth of the Permartens.
“I want to keep the relationship between us and the guild favorable. I intend to recruit other adventurers besides Miss Laura into the order.”
“The guild won’t take sides in any conflict.”
“And that’s all that I ask of you, Guildmaster.”
Unlike the Kingdom and the Empire that constantly seek my demise or subjugation, the Adventurer’s Guild needs only to perpetuate the status quo.
As long as I don’t persecute or target the guild in any specific way, it will remain neutral.
I won’t be recruiting him into my order, but…
A cool-ass middle-aged man on my side is always a plus.
As long as he isn’t my enemy.
“The Permartens will walk its path, and once you deem we are strong enough to do so without outside help, I hope you’ll join us.”
I’ve said everything abstractly thus far, but the underlying meaning isn’t lost.
“So, what do you think?”
“...I had left Permarten of my own volition before you were born, so I cannot call myself a knight. However, if there is a way to help the Permartens in the future, even from the shadows, I will do my best.”
Bernhardt furrowed his eyebrows and stared right at me.
“The Order of the Bunny Girl Knights… won’t do.”
“...No bunny girls?”
“No, that’s not what I’m trying to say.”
The corners of his mouth twitched up.
“If you’re going to fool everyone, having other costumes besides bunny girls might be good…”
“Clothes that you wear into hot springs…”
“Isn’t that… just a towel?”
“And isn’t that technically an attire as well?”
“With this, I declare the dismissal of the Order of the Bunny Girl Knights.”
Goodbye, my bunny girls.
Hello, my Order of the Cosplay Knights.
…No, my Order of Permarten.
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