the-greatest-estate-designer (NOVEL) - chapter 5
[Javier Asrahan’s favorability towards you has increased by +2!]
[Your current relationship with Javier Asrahan: -29]
[A slight improvement in your relationship with a key character earned you 36 RP]
[Current RP: 36]
[You can develop your skills by investing the acquired RP.]
‘What the hell is this?’
A string of messages appeared in the air. Somehow, it wasn’t strange.
‘When I first came here, I already saw these.’
Was it when Javier woke him up for the first time? At that time, I think I heard about RP blah-blah-blah.
‘I thought it was just a silly dream.’
Looking at it now, it didn’t seem to be that. Anyway, this was absurd. What is skill and what is RP?
‘Favorability? Improving relationships with key characters?’
Lloyd’s eyes moved quickly. He repeatedly checked the messages which were floating in the air in front of him. It wasn’t that difficult to understand.
‘Javier’s favorability has gone up and the relationship has improved a bit? That must be why I got something called RP which could be used to develop my skills?’
Lloyd stopped walking. He looked back at Javier.
“What were you thinking?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“By any chance, have you ever badmouthed or judged me inside your heart? Something like, oh, that guy was a total garbage, but now I see he’s not as trashy as I thought.
“I’ve never done any of that.”
“Yes, you have.”
“Really? Didn’t you think of me as the perfect specimen of human garbage before?”
With a serious look on his face, Javier spoke.
“There’s no such thing as pure garbage anywhere in the world. No matter how messed-up a human being is, they will have a very faint sense of humanity somewhere in the corner of their heart. That’s what I think.”
“…. That’s kinda comforting.”
Once again, Javier had seemed to display his peculiar talent of putting every single ounce of painful straightforwardness into his words with great care. Even while he himself was unaware of it.
“Tsk. Come on, let’s go home.”
I resumed my steps. When I arrived at the Baron’s mansion, Javier was sent to his quarters. After I was alone, I locked the bedroom door. Earnestly, I opened the earlier messages related to skills. The way to open it was simple.
I tried it just in case.
[Loading the Skill Window.]
“Wow, it really works.”
I thought something novel-like had happened since I entered the novel. But, the reality here was much more novel-like than I expected. Lloyd gazed at the skill window that came up before him with admiration.
[List of currently available skills.]
[Survey Knowledge to Grasp Terrain and Space detected.]
[…. Soil Mechanics Knowledge detected.]
[…. Mathematical Knowledge detected.]
[The skills above are integrated and can be developed with ‘Basic Survey’ Skill]
[RP required to develop = 15]
Survey. It was literally the foundation of civil engineering. Surveying the terrain and space before designing the structure. That was the beginning of all construction.
‘But you can turn survey into a skill?’
The type of skills that could be cultivated seemed to depend largely on the knowledge or talent he originally possessed. Looking at the ever-coming messages, Lloyd was convinced that was the truth.
[Material Dynamics Knowledge detected. Statics Knowledge to deal with stationary objects detected.]
[…. Structural Mechanics Knowledge detected.]
[…. Water Supply and Sewage Theory Knowledge detected.]
[…. Steel Structure and Concrete Design Knowledge detected.]
[…. Extensive knowledge and experience with CAD1 programs detected.]
[The skills above are integrated and can be developed with ‘Basic Design’ skill.]
[RP required to develop = 20]
Design in addition to survey. Both of them were topics I studied tirelessly at school. Lloyd unconsciously clenched his fists.
‘This is a jackpot.’
Even so, he was about to start the construction business. In order to settle the baron’s debt, to make a lot of money. In the future, he was even considering launching a large-scale civil engineering project. What was needed most were precise measurements and design.
‘However I don’t have that kind of equipment here. I can’t even dream about GPS surveying. And for the design? There were no other options.’
The blueprint of the ondol room had to be drawn by hand. At that moment, I missed CAD which was used conveniently in Korea. All of these steps could be done entirely with the skills I was equipped with. Lloyd boldly decided.
‘Basic Survey and Basic Design, let’s develop them both.’
First, I invested 15 RP into Basic Survey. The reaction was immediate.
[Basic Survey Skill has been upgraded.]
[Skill name: Basic Survey]
[Consumes a small amount of mana. It’s possible to calculate the terrain, area, and height of the land observed by the eye accurately. In addition, you can get a rough idea of the nature of the soil and water that forms the topographic surface.] [Area that can be surveyed at once: 100m^2]
‘Is this for real?’
Lloyd rubbed his eyes. He could measure an area of 10 meters by length and width at a time with a naked eye. Even the nature of the soil and water within range could be identified manually. This was a fraudulent ability.
‘Let’s check it out first.’
I opened the bedroom windows. My bedroom just happened to be on the 2nd floor. I glanced down at the courtyard of the mansion below. While looking around the courtyard, I activated my skill. “Basic Survey.”
A message popped up. At the same time, some of my vision changed like augmented reality. Ten meters in width. Ten meters in length. Numerous numbers and information emerged over the terrain inside the range.
“Oh my God.”
It felt like I had a 3D map device installed inside my head.
By investing 20 RP, the Basic Design skill also got upgraded.
[Basic Design skill has been upgraded]
[Skill name: Basic Design]
[Consumes a small amount of mana. Recall contents of the desired design’s drawing in the form of three-dimensional points, lines, and sides. Automatically detect and correct any physical property errors in the drawing.] [Volume of the structure that can be recalled at once: 1000m^3]
‘I’ll also test this.’
Immediately, I activated the skill. A virtual black space was formed in the air in front of my eyes. The points, lines, and sides were free to manipulate. I could even recall the terrain I’ve just grasped from the Basic Survey skill! This was literally like CAD’s design program but the future 3D hologram version which is devoid of any restrictions.
‘Oh my God. Crazy, this is crazy.’
At this point, I was going to faint from being too excited. This is what it feels like to be a god in architecture.
‘Of course, the size of the area and volume from these two skills is still a little bit small.’
This would naturally be solved when the skills were upgraded later. However, Lloyd felt a little disappointed.
‘It would’ve been better if I had a talent related to heavy equipment and construction equipment.’
If that was the case, producing construction equipment would be possible. But he didn’t have that skill. He was a civil engineer. Not a mechanical engineer.
Lloyd looked around the skill window while smacking his lips regretfully. Then, suddenly his eyes stopped at one place.
‘What is this?’
[Random Summon of Phantom Species]
[Invest your RP to summon your phantom species]
[A powerful and personalized phantom that will offer its absolute loyalty to the master who summoned it and provides a variety of capabilities.]
…. It was written in the instruction panel.
‘Is this some kind of a lucky draw? Like the one in mobile games?’
There were so many different things I wanted to try if it was possible. However, I couldn’t. It was because the remaining RP was insufficient.
[One draw = 50 RP]
‘Geez, I can’t believe it.’
I just spent most of my RP to develop two skills. So, the remaining RP should be only 1.
‘I need to collect more RP.’
The method was already known. To gain favor from important characters around me by improving my relationships with them. Actually, there were quite a few ways to do it. Especially at this time of the year.
‘Now is exactly the time.’
Suddenly I recalled the contents of the novel. The very beginning of Iron-Blooded Knight. The days when Javier still worked at the barony. Baron Frontera was severely troubled by the debtors who visited almost every day. Maybe even today as well. I summoned a servant and inquired quietly. The servant nodded.
“Oh, yes, young master. However, the guests dropped by to visit the Lord a moment ago.”
As expected. You were guests at these times. Lloyd grinned.
‘Look at the timing. Just in time, since I have the perfect present for you.’
Exactly when I happened to need it. A good idea to get more RP occurred to me. Leaving the bedroom, Lloyd headed to the Baron’s office.
“…. -what do you want me to do, the hell!”
As he approached the front door of the office, an uproar echoed down the hallway. Maybe it was because the mansion was old and not soundproofed. Or maybe because the disturbances inside were louder than you think. It wasn’t until Lloyd opened the door that he knew the answer was the latter.
“How long are you going to delay it, Baron? Hasn’t it already been 5 days since the promised date?”
“That’s right. If you keep on stalling like this, we won’t give you any more chance.”
There were two debtors who came. A man with a bulging belly and a thin-skinned man with a sickly complexion. Both of them were standing with their chins raised and hands at their waists. Baron Frontera, on the other hand? He was sitting on the chair in the office while sighing deeply. Somehow, his expression and sagging shoulders were like a man who had sinned. ‘That’s understandable.’
The pot-bellied man and skinny man who came to visit the Baron today were vicious loan sharks. They never gave up the money they could get. Even when the debtor died, they were the kind of people who made money by selling the corpse.
‘Of course, they did it and were decapitated by Javier in the end.’
It was a future yet to come. This would happen a year later, after the baron commits suicide.
‘Tsk. How could you borrow money from people like that?’
Without realizing it, I clicked my tongue. I took a step forward and uttered with a subdued voice.
“No matter what anyone says, Baron Frontera is the owner of this territory. If you came here as guests, where are your proper manners?”
Only then did they realize my existence. The two loan sharks turned to look at me. The baron raised his head, which was bowing deeply.
The Baron’s startled voice was heard. I bowed slightly towards him. The pot-bellied person tilted his head and interjected.
“Who are you?”
“The eldest son of this family.”
“The eldest son?”
“Aha. The eldest son whose conduct was very unique?”
“Thanks to that, I am kind of famous.”
“Is that why you interrupted like this while the adults were talking?”
“It was for the honor of the Baron’s family, the owner of this territory.”
“Then, what’s the big deal?”
“I’m afraid the landowner will change soon.”
“We’ll see if it changes or not.”
“First, let’s see your invitation letter.”
The pot-bellied man’s eyebrows twitched. I said while sneering at him even more.
“Is there no invitation?”
“What kind of invitation are you talking about in this situation….”
“The Royal Family and Nobility Act, Article 3, Clause 6. All nobles of the kingdom, regardless of status and rank, have the right and honor to be the vassal of the king. The nobility can exercise their rights to protect their interests.”
“Strictly speaking, on the basis of The Royal Family and Nobility Act, I am saying that visiting the residence of the nobility without an invitation can be considered as trespassing under the law.”
“Well, so we’re trespassing right now?”
“Oh, do you understand now?”
Clap clap, I clapped my hands.
In reality, who will keep that decree? However, it was a law that actually existed.
I reminisced about the scene from the beginning of ‘Iron-Blooded Knight’ abruptly. Shortly after Baron Frontera and his wife committed suicide, a funeral was held in the Baron’s mansion. The two loan sharks came to the funeral. The baron couple’s bodies were to be sold by them, so they demanded to dig them out. That was when Javier pulled out his sword and recited that law with his mouth. He cut them down with one strike. Later, Javier was put on trial. Fortunately, there was no punishment. It was a fact that the decree existed and the two loan sharks did come without an invitation plus they were acting too much.
‘Of course, that was not the case right now, so I can’t kill them.’
It was good to kick them out instead.
“So you have to get going now. Next time you visit, learn some etiquette.” “You don’t think there’ll be any trouble at this rate?”
“We’ll see about that.”
The two loan sharks growled. I did the same. They left the Baron’s office, trembling furiously. I saw them off with a sneer on their back. Only then did I hear Baron Frontera’s bewildered voice.
“Now… What have you done?”
When I turned around, the Baron’s face was completely frozen. Yeah, It was reasonable.
‘I have provoked and kicked out the debtors who came in a desperate bid while I should’ve appeased them.’
A bitter smile came out. Those guys were like hyenas. Bitter memories when in South Korea also came to mind. Parents who had been tangled in an investment scam. Debtors who had been coming every day. The back of my father became smaller day by day due to suffering from the harassment.
‘Never again. I’ll never be like that ever again.”
The weaker you are, the more you get beaten. Especially against those guys. Nevertheless, at present, the Baron wasn’t in that situation. Being confident in a tight situation is a lot harder than you think. No, in reality, it’s practically almost impossible.
“Answer me. What did you just do?”
Before I knew it, the Baron’s face was distorted. Perhaps his thoughtless son was misled and thought he had done things wrong. In this case, it was better to show him than explain with a dozen words. I pulled my money bag out of my arms and put it on the baron’s desk. There was a heavy clattering sound.
“This should be enough to pay this month’s interest. Take care of it with this. They’ll be quiet for the time being.”
“This…. What is this?”
It was the down payment from the sale of the ondol room today. Even so, he didn’t explain it himself. Because at least, there was someone more trustworthy than this one.
“If you’re curious, call sir Asrahan and listen.”
I bowed my head to the Baron and quickly left the office.
The breath I’d been holding burst out at once. With a shake of my head, I calmed my beating chest.
I didn’t head to the bedroom. I headed to the training ground in the backyard instead. The moonlight enveloped the empty training ground. I lingered there for a moment and waited. About an hour had passed.
‘It’s about time for a reaction to happen.’
It was time I think. Finally, the long-awaited reaction came.
[Baron Arcos Frontera’s favorability towards you has increased by +6]
[Your current relationship with Baron Arcos Frontera: -14]
[Improvement in your relationship with a key character earned you 60 RP.]
[Current RP: 61]
‘There we go.’
I clenched my fists excitedly. As expected, the Baron must have called for Javier. I’m sure you’ve heard of my recent developments through Javier’s explanation.
‘It went according to the plan.’
Explaining what you did well yourself would be less effective. This is especially true if the good deed was revealed by the man who used to behave like a bully.
‘Good job, Javier.’
Javier would have explained it coldly and objectively. Probably, that was why I was confident in his explanation.
‘Thanks to you, I accumulated 61 RP.’
It was worth it to wait at the deserted training ground on purpose. Finally, the time had come to summon the first phantom species.