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The Innkeeper – Chapter 122: Fodder Bahasa Indonesia

By being so direct, Ragnar took control of the flow of the conversation. The Earthlings had not planned on being so direct, as it was not the way of things. At least, it was not the way of things on Earth. First they had planned on conversing a little, and establishing the basis for a relationship.

Now, with the conversation moving directly to the topics of benefits, they had lesser room to manoeuvre the conversation. This was not mentioning the fact that, if what Slag said was true, there was hardly anything Earth could provide that the empire didn’t already have access to.

Unlike when the Morrisons had negotiated with Chen and Lily, who did not have access to unlimited resources and were in great need of support, the empire probably did not need them to provide spirit stones or ores, or even weapons. So then the question came, what exactly could Earth do for such a giant?

Whatever the case may be, the first rule of negotiation was to never let the other know the cards you were holding. Brandon may not have been a good negotiator, but he was definitely shameless enough to lie with a straight face.

“Indeed, I imagine you would want everyone’s full cooperation during the Midnight Games to ensure that the nodes are destroyed. I’m sure I can convince everyone to send an elite force to the Games to assure success if the Empire is willing to concede victory of the games to us,” Brandon said in a very serious tone, as if he were doing Ragnar a favor.

Fateh, or rather the fat man as Brandon had titled him because he would always pretend to mispronounce the name, suddenly felt a great deal of sympathy for Ragnar. Brandons shamelessness was astronomical. If he were pretending to mispronounce the name he should at least say fatty so that it would at least sound remotely similar to his name. Not that he particularly minded being fat. He was secretly quite pleased with his girth.

Ragnar, though, did not seem phased by Brandon’s remark. He pondered for a moment, as if truly considering the proposal, and then said, “The Innkeeper has not stated an upper limit for the number of cultivators per game but I’m sure there is a limit. The Empire will have no problem bringing out and equipping tens of thousands of cultivators at each realm, all armed with the latest spirit tech. Yet with a number limit, only the elitist of the elite will have to be selected. If your forces prove to be stronger or more effective than ours, I do not mind working together. It is true, to the empire successfully destroying the formation is worth more than a prize. If the situation permits, working together is a good option.”

“It’s a pity then that the Innkeeper has shut down the combat arena during the games otherwise we could have our forces compete to settle the matter before the games. After all, if our forces clash during the games, it would be a shame if too many ‘elites’ go out of commission before the battle with the zombies even begins.”

Brandon completely ignored the not so hidden boast about huge armies with trained elites that were probably better equipped than anyone from Earth, and completely pretended as if Earth were the superior force.

“I’m sure we can hash out the details. Please, have a seat. We have much to discuss, it seems.”

They had all still been standing to greet Ragnar when he entered. By telling everyone to be seated, Ragnar once again put himself in a position of power during the meeting. Such subtle nuances, when constantly reinforced, had tremendous ramifications on the subconscious mind. This was a truth even cultivators could not ignore, and was a tactic Marlo often used when purchasing businesses. It was unfortunate, then, that the recipient of Ragnar’s mind games put everyone other than his wife beneath him. His shameless antics had somewhat been an inspiration for Marlo’s own personality, a small detail no one knew.

“Indeed, with a constant battle against zombies and the added pressure of these Devils, I’m sure there are many areas in which Vegus Minima needs Earth’s help.” The difference between saying Vegus Minima needs help rather than the empire was a bit of mental manipulation of Brandon’s own. It put the planet in a weak position of needing help without directly calling the empire weak.

Ragnar smiled. He did not mind Brandon’s aggressive manipulation of the conversation at all. In his eyes, Brandon was a junior nurturing whom would ultimately benefit the empire.

“Vegus Minima has been surviving for hundreds of years even before the empire came to help. It is not in as weak a position as it seems. I’m more curious about Earth. From what I understand, you have just started terraforming the other planets in your solar system. Starting your expansion outwards, you should be careful. Most foreign forces are quite hostile towards others. I’m sure in such a situation, you’re in desperate need of information about the universe.”

“Indeed,” Brandon replied without skipping a beat. “We Earthlings need to be careful not to offend any other forces and attract unwanted attention. Especially those Devils, they seem especially dangerous, not to mention all those zombies. Perhaps we need to also consider if it’s worth antagonizing such forces just to win an award in the games.”

Ragnar grinned internally. This Brandon had successfully attracted his attention. If his performance in other areas continued to be stellar, he would definitely mark the man as someone to be nurtured.

Yet before Ragnar could respond Audery reached out and gently helped Brandon’s hand, before speaking in the gentlest of voices. “Darling, put your ego away. We’re in a meeting, not a cock fight. And General, a little birdie told me that we do not need to be concerned as the Empire would be a friendly force towards us. With that in mind, why don’t we inaugurate the first ever meeting between Earth and the empire with a little bit of sincerity instead of politics?”

Once she said her piece, Audery casually leaned back into her chair as if she did not care about the outcome one way or another. She had changed the flow of conversation once again, and in an ingenious way. Bringing up ‘sincerity’, she made it so that if Ragnar once again tried to elevate his position in the conversation, or threaten Earth with the unknown, he would immediately mar the relationship between the two. That did not mean that they could not work together, but that any future cooperation would be reserved as everyone protected their own interests.

The truth was, Audery’s intentions in speaking up weren’t so pure. She was just impatient and didn’t want to wait around for the ‘men’ to stroke their egos before getting to the important stuff.

Slag and Anthony frowned, as they did not like the way she spoke to the General, but the man himself let out a visible smile.

“Indeed, helping out one another will build a stronger relationship. Let me then begin by briefly introducing you all to the forces of the universe. Since you have already been introduced to Demons and Devils, let me start from there.

“You all cultivate spiritual energy, as do most beings in the universe. That automatically makes you an enemy of the Demons, whether you want it or not. There is no noble cause there, no greater purpose to eliminate evil in the universe. It is simply a matter of survival. Let me elaborate.

“Demons do not have a specific species or race. Simply put, anyone or anything that cultivates demonic energy is classified as a demon. As for why all demons are your enemies? That’s even simpler. Demons grow stronger by feeding on those who cultivate spiritual energy, while those who cultivate spiritual energy grow stronger by feeding on demons. You have already seen the zombies. By absorbing the energy found in the zombies’ cores, you can elevate your body cultivation faster than by using most other treasures or medicine you can find. Similarly, as zombies feed on spiritual beings, not only do they grow stronger, they grow smarter as well. The presence of Demons in the universe is not weak, and despite being enemies with almost every other force, their threat is very real.

“Then comes the matter of Devils. Things there are more troublesome. As Devils do not cultivate demonic energy, the universe is not united against them. Yet somehow, Demons treat themselves as the Devil’s subordinates. Any demon that encounters a Devil of the same level or higher will unequivocally obey their orders. Because of this, the Devils are able to raise and farm demons in a manner so efficient they are one of the strongest forces in the universe. If the Empire were on its own, there is no doubt at all that it would be eradicated by the Devils.” At this point Ragnar paused, his smile vanished, and he looked at the representatives with utter seriousness.

“Unfortunately for you, you once again do not have a say in garnering their hostility. Humans happen to be one of the races the Devils love to use as the demons fodder. Should your planet ever be discovered by a Devil, there is no doubt at all that you will undergo the same fate as Minima Vegus – to be brought to the brink of extinction, yet allowed just enough room so that you can survive for centuries, becoming a renewable source for the demons to feed on.”


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