It was a stretch to say that the Missia Hall of Knights was the sole factor that propelled them to success since no one could deny that the Sanctum too had played a huge role. However, it was irrefutable that knights were the ones that’d dominated two-thirds of the plane under Odis’ leadership. Therefore, it was only natural for the knights to demand a handsome reward for the effort.
Knights were stereotyped as more brawns than brains, yet veteran elites like Borlon were almost as meticulous about finer details as the calculative Magisters. Botania was a goldmine filled with precious Botanian essence, unique plants and rich minerals. Everyone thirsted for a piece of it but a satisfactory distribution of spoils would only arrive after a lengthy argument between the parties. Fortunately, all discussions had been civilised.
Magister Mist had been aloof throughout the meeting, staying silent after sealing a deal that was proportional to the Sanctum’s effort. Azzel, on the other hand, barely made a sound. His party had only joined towards the tail end of the conquest. It was true that they’d achieved good results but there was no way they’d be handed the best cut. Even so, he wasn’t concerned about worthy compensations. Centauria was a low-rank plane that had more value than Botania, which had landed their branch with sizeable riches.
Despite that, nothing could calm Azzel’s fury. He couldn’t believe he’d be greatly injured by a native's self-destruction right at the end of the battle! The sunflower high priest’s detonation had packed overwhelming power, boosted by the plane’s will since it was a protector. The resultant force was similarly devastating as a demigod. While Azzel had managed to escape the worst, the aftershocks were still violent enough to injure him. There was no way Azzel could regain his peak without depleting a large number of resources paired with a long recuperation period.
Despite that, Azzel was in better shape than his companions. Two out of the three Himmelritters who’d arrived with him were severely injured while the other had perished. They’d helped secure victory at the price of an eternal scar.
It was only reasonable for the Missia Hall of Knights to receive the largest cut; they’d done and sacrificed the most in this conquest. The only level-four lifeform that remained on Three Western Isles had offered to lead the spatial fortress personally, leading millions of subordinates under his campaign to expand the Three Western Isles’ influence. Odis had even mobilised three demigod Ritters with one of them being his blood and flesh. Most level-three Himmelritters on Missia were sent to Botania even, hence it wasn’t a lie to say that he’d bet everything on this war.
The Hall of Knights had suffered heavy losses and Odis was even forced to make a move at some point. Things would’ve turned ugly if they hadn’t received the largest piece of cake.
The topic of spoils had lingered on the meeting table for almost a week before the collective verdict to separate the three Botanian continents into ten zones for fair allocation. This was a meeting that the general public knew nothing about and Locke was out of the question.
The faceless masked Magister Charles had been an attendee so it was his role to provide the contingent with necessary context. Yet, it seemed as though the disinterested Magister had no plans to reveal much to the lowly Lehrlings. He’d merely announced, “You’ll be returning home in six months,” before turning to leave.
It’d left more to be desired but was enough to have Locke and the others daydream about the comfort of home. Sure, Botania was wealthy but nothing could compare to their homes. Everything they cherished was back on the Three Western Isles, after all.
While the higher circle oversaw the allotment of resources from their height, Locke began a frenzied collection of spoils before the true end to this madness. It was the human tendency to be opportunists and the Three Western Isles could only turn a blind eye to such actions. Plus, Locke wasn’t the only one guilty here. Many knights and casters alike were curating their own secret stash of wealth too.
The surviving knights and casters were the future pillars of the Sanctum and Hall of Knights; there was no point punishing them over such a small matter. The lowly knights and casters could fit their spatial rings to their limits but what they could take away was barely a tenth of the overall revenue.
They’d enjoy a substantial harvest of resources from a well-developed plane in the absence of overexploitation. Both the Sanctum and the Hall of Knights were major organisations that’d thrived for more than thousands of years so there was no way they had yet to realise such an important philosophy.
Locke’s spatial ring was full of random assortments of materials. He’d bought them from the neighbouring knight contingent and was on the way back to camp with the promise of a good pile of energy crystals. He entertained his mind with rough estimations. The energy crystals received would then be used to buy more materials from the knights, creating a profitable cycle that’d snowball his wealth! He pondered a little. It appeared that there was enough time to collect sufficient resources for his breakthrough with plenty to spare before boarding the spatial fortress for Zauberia.
His growth was constant and improvements were inevitable. Locke would have resorted to mindless slaughterings of Botanians for their nucleus cores like the other knights if he hadn’t known better. Now a changed man, he preferred to utilise his network and knowledge to spin the most out of his investments.
His time with Magister Ashar and Angelina had equipped him with adequate information on magical materials. While he wasn’t all that well versed yet, he could at least identify a good portion of it, which proved to be an advantage. There was rarely any interest among knights to learn about precious materials and it certainly didn’t help that the war had spanned over five strenuous years, which deprived them of time to hone new skills. Knights would merely regard anything that possessed a certain extent of power and prominent vigour as something useable. The concept was laughably simple but shockingly, undeniably useful.
Locke needed to sort the pile into their respective elements to properly name a price to his knightly customers. There was no need to worry about prospective consumers since his contingent alone consisted of hundreds of Lehrlings; a size promising enough to fatten their pockets.
Many sharp-witted Lehrlings with brighter minds were doing the same thing too. Treasured materials were their niche and their familiarity with the subject was something Locke couldn’t compete with. Though so, the knights were more inclined to trust a fellow knight rather than engage an unfamiliar Lehrling, which was why Locke wasn’t concerned about the competition. There was still plenty of room in the market, after all.