Void Evolution System

Chapter 1634 Corruption [2]
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Chapter 1634 Corruption [2]

?In societies like these, street thugs never just existed on their own. It was stupid to think that nobody in the outskirts had the power to deal with them, especially since most of them were just 2nd class dragons.

If Melania wanted to, she alone could clear up the streets and let people walk freely.

However, she couldn't. Not because of them, but because of those they followed.

Sometimes, small gangs would act recklessly because they were young and ignorant, but for the most part, these thugs submitted themselves to stronger powers for the sake of survival.

They got themselves backing, so that when the situation came where they needed it, they could escape unscathed.

There were two main gangs in Arragon. They opposed each other but banded together against anyone trying to encroach on their territory.

It was impossible for a common thug to know the true strength of the leaders of those gangs, but they were estimated to be high 3rd class or even 4th class.

Their closest associates were of a similar level. These people monopolized most of the income of the two gangs, and they controlled everyone who wanted to commit crimes in Arragon.

People couldn't even stand up for themselves anymore.

A few thugs wouldn't alert the higher-ups of their authority being challenged, but if it happened three or four times…? Somebody would be sent to take care of whoever was so bold.

The people who lived in the outskirts had families and livelihoods. They couldn't risk standing against the gangs, so they just did their best to stay out of their sight.

'And if they see a stranger, they'll avoid them at all costs.'

Strangers meant danger here more than anywhere else. Danger meant that their families could be seriously injured or killed while nobody batted an eye. It meant they could lose everything in a single night.

After grilling a nearby thug for information and giving him a small tip to show appreciation, August mostly understood why Melania acted the way she did.

She also wanted those young dragons to explore and enjoy the benefits of their youth. She absolutely wanted to be kind and trusting.

However, she didn't live in an environment where kindness was rewarded.

She lived in a place where even children could die if she slipped up.

That was why she reacted so fiercely. If August wanted to do something to those young dragons in the time before she arrived, she wouldn't have been able to do anything to stop it.

That sort of helplessness could drive one mad.

'It's already impressive that she's still willing to try.'

Melania was a good person with an extremely strong mind. If not, how could she have passed the qualification exam's mental test?

She only froze because she was suddenly introduced to chaos. What mattered was the fact that she managed to pull herself out of her confusion within the test's time limit.

'She'd be a good ally, but that's only if she's willing.

August didn't think she'd appreciate him approaching her now. He figured he'd wait until the elimination round came.

'Until then, I'm back on the case.'

Two days had passed in a flash, and five suddenly sounded like a much smaller number than seven.

There wasn't much time left. There definitely wasn't enough for August to do anything about the problems he discovered.

Gangs weren't exclusive to Arragon. In fact, the two in this city were quite high profile and likely had connections to even higher forces.

In places that weren't so close to the holy region, the absolute center of Arulion, gangs were everywhere, even having control over the entirety of a few districts.

Even if he managed to somehow unearth the massive gangs' entire schemes within five days and destroy them, chaos would ensue because of the power vacuum and the situation would just worsen.

He was just taking note of things.

If he wanted to change this kingdom, he had to know what needed to change.

That was, from the start, the purpose he established for his six remaining days in Arragon.

Damien had told him there was corruption, but he was intentional in glazing over the details.

Now that August was going out into the world, things were different.

His son would not be someone whose entire success was attributed to him.

August was going to be someone who could stand proud, knowing that he was the reason for his own rise.

If he wanted to rule, he needed to have the attributes of a ruler. Some of those were inborn, but even more needed to be learned through experience.

Damien had faith in his son, and August felt that faith strongly.

He used the intellect that he was gifted with to its maximum potential. He unearthed the problems of the people and used them to infer what kind of issues existed in the higher tiers of society.

He was going to be an Emperor in the future, one that could make his father and ancestor proud.

Nothing would be able to stop him.

***

Really, August spent the next five days looking for information.

Regular thugs didn't bother him anymore, and since he didn't go looking for them, he didn't attract trouble from those stronger powers.

He kept his head down and explored, and as his presence disappeared from most people's minds, the amount of information he got a hold of became greater and greater.

However, because he was using the perception-blocking artifact for most of the day, he failed to find a certain encounter that was waiting for him.

Melania eventually went home that night. She had just gone out to train, so she wasn't gone for long in the first place. August just managed to find the most coincidental timing to miss her.

Nevertheless, the moment she opened the door, she was greeted with strangeness. Her siblings were nowhere to be seen, so they must've been upstairs somewhere.

It looked quiet on the ground floor, except for one little detail.

'What is that?'

There was a small ring on the floor. It wasn't ornate at all and seemed to be made of the most common silver, but Melania was sure that it didn't belong to anyone in the house.

She was, of course, suspicious, but that was exactly why she picked it up. After examining it, she couldn't find anything notable in its structure, which left only one thing to do.

Melania moved outside into the street and created a barrier around the ring before injecting mana into it.

She was expecting an explosive or something similarly malicious, but what she found was her mind being pulled into a separate space.

She was still conscious of reality. It was like she could see two different planes with her eyes and her mind.

And in the one that was opened by the ring…

"I appreciate the hospitality. Here's a little something I brought to express my gratitude."

A simple note with only two sentences on it to indicate the identity of the person who left the ring.

And, several piles of gold.

Melania tripped over herself by accident as she took the barrier down and grabbed the ring, looking around to see if anyone saw her.

After confirming that she was alone, she rushed back into the house.

'There's no way, right?'

There really was no way.

That amount of gold, at first glance, was already enough to move her family to a better neighborhood.

And the fact that it was inside of an unbound spatial ring…

wasn't that already insanity?

People of her stature couldn't get anywhere near spatial artifacts, yet, an amazing one had just dropped at her feet.

She ran upstairs and opened the door to the second level of the house. It was just one bedroom, the place where Melania and her siblings stayed.

Along with a woman who was currently unconscious on one of two beds in the room.

She was frail and sickly, seemingly on the edge of death.

"Mom…"

Melania collapsed at the bedside, tears streaming down her face.

"A miracle happened."

She carefully cupped her mother's bony hand and brought it to her face.

"With this…with this, we can save you!"

At last, her kindness had paid off.

At last, her most daunting worries could be dealt with.

August had just grabbed a large amount of money and stuffed it in the spatial ring without thinking. He didn't know just what his gratitude meant to the ones receiving it.

But to Melania, the things he'd given were gifts from the gods.

And she was never one to forget a favor.

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