Continent’s Dreams

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Unicorn.

It may seem like a name of a monster or a mythical beast, but when most people hear the word, they recall Unicorn Corporation.

The sole company who developed and managed Royal Road!

It was not an overstatement to say they were raking in all the money in the world with the new world they created. The company owned enormous industrial clusters based on capsules and mini computers. Even after the operating cost for Royal Road was deducted, their monthly profit was astronomical.

Apart from these, Unicorn’s influence spread to cutting edge communication networks, cartoon character business, image and video culture, tourism, leisure industries and much more.

The company who developed the new world created a rippled effect throughout the world, quickly expanding Unicorn Corporation.

The ever important Royal Road. Royal Road, which almost all of Unicorn’s business were based on, focused mostly on maintenance and getting new players.

There was currently an important meeting between the core leaders in Unicorn’s meeting room.

Jang Yoon-soo, the head of the long-term marketing strategy division, was conducting the meeting.

“Department Head Kim, if you want a smooth meeting, we need you to give us some information. What is the growth rate of our current players?”

Department Head Kim Han-seo flipped through the data, produced a handkerchief, and wiped the sweat off of his forehead. With a sharp gaze, he stared at all of the members of the meeting.

“Yes, I am the director in charge of Goddess Versailles.”

Goddess Versailles, the AI that manages the Versailles Continent.

Kim Han-seo had gathered 17 brilliant scientists who worked together with him to develop it, the AI who handled the creation of the Versailles Continent and everything else in it. The real creator of Royal Road and its absolute ruler! Now it could run fine on its own and it was simply a matter of taking a break and watching the AI run the continent. The player reports by Goddess of Versailles could only be seen via Kim Han-seo’s system management department.

“You probably already know this but… What I am about to reveal to you all is highly confidential company data, and in under no circumstances to be leaked to the general public. Family members included. Therefore you can’t speak of this even to coworkers and subordinates. From this point on, you must keep quiet.”

The members of the meeting had already sworn to to secrecy as they came in. Everyone who was present in the meeting lightly nodded their heads. The topics to be discussed were so important, they could radically change the Versailles Continent. These people were not foolish to be unable to recognize the chaos such information would cause if it were to be leaked.

“Then I will begin. The majority of the top players are slightly below level 430. There are exactly 890 players. It is more or less below our expectations.”

The game, Royal Road, was targeted towards players worldwide, not just Korea. The growth the game was favourable; however, the majority of players were from Korea.

In every game, there were players who played to see the end. Because of the involvement of such players, the history of the Versailles Continent had been altered several times. The Public Relations department and Operations department could not afford to not consider the tendencies of such players.

The deputy of Foreign policy, Soo In-hae, who was in attendance, raised her hand.

“I have a question. What level have players reached in countries outside of Korea, namely Japan, America, and China?”

“They are still relatively low. When Royal Road was in its infant stage, they didn’t have much access to the game, and they are growing around the edges of the islands and in the cities.”

America and China were furious about Royal Road. They just could not believe Unicorn Corporation had managed to create a virtual reality.

Even though Unicorn’s theory was meticulous and they had proven the reality of virtual reality, the American and Chinese press focused only on the negative aspects.

– The First Virtual Reality, Still Too Early

– A Korean Enterprise, Found Technologically Impossible

– National Scientists Appraised It Not Worth Attention

– Science Is Not a Fraud

Anyone in the world could play Royal Road, but players from other countries joined late, giving Koreans a good head start.

There were many players from other countries, but because they joined much later, they were quite far behind. These players were often in smaller countries and islands in the middle of the continent, but because of the automatic translation program, their respective countries were often not revealed.

Everyone spoke the same language in Royal Road, so a player’s country of origin had no real meaning.

The Executive Director of Management, Son Il-gang chuckled.

“That’s a relief. There is not even the slightest chance an Emperor will rise from a player in a foreign country.”

“However you look at it, it seems to be the case.”

A smile played on Jang Yoon-soo’s lips.

Royal Road.

The Emperor of the Versailles continent would receive 10% of a month’s profit as a prize.

It was the ultimate goal of the entire game, and the person who achieve the dream of becoming Emperor would receive incredible privileges.

The press focused solely on this immense prize money.

However, there was another unique reward besides the money.

5% of Unicorn’s shares.

Scientists and researchers worked on the project, along with existing shareholders opposed to the idea. The Systems and Operations strategy department, however, pushed the issue and succeeded in making it the reward.

The one who becomes Emperor was bound to wield incredible power. He would be able to destroy or create anything at will.

Even the company who created an innovative economic system based on Versailles, Unicorn, would not be safe from the Emperor’s hands.

Even the Goddess of Versailles would be unable to lawfully lay hands on the ruler.

The emperor of the virtual reality world in which a multitude of players lived.

It was a secret prize which was immeasurably larger than the reward the public knew of.

* * *

A conference was held in the early morning concerning Royal Road’s new Public Relations strategy, support for new technologies, and business partners.

Nevertheless, the members of the meeting did not discussed Bardray, other high leveled players, or guild leaders. Instead, they focused earnestly on various other important topics.

“Strategist Yoon Young-sil will elaborate. Recently, NPCs from the Kingdom of the Horde have been popular for their cute appearances. I’ve sent documents about character analysis. Did you get a chance to look at them?”

“Yes. We are rushing the production of popular NPCs.”

“More and more players are utilizing the trochet carriage for their vacations. They’re becoming increasingly renowned and well-regarded because of its price, speed, and safety. What do you all think about installing them on resorts?”

“Transportation in the resorts? Whether for mountain climbing, skiing, or golfing, I think it would work out pretty well. I will consider it.”

It was a meeting with light ideas.

The heads of each department ate sandwiches whilst conversing amongst themselves.

As soon as breakfast ended, the atmosphere around supervisor Jang Yoon-soo changed.

“Well…. the external balance of power on Royal Road needs to be examined.”

Department Head Son Il-gang stood up and turned on the screen in the middle of the room.

The territory of each Guild, castle and town were displayed on the map.

“The power in Versailles is split up something like this: Central has 66%, the East 10%, West 8%, South 13%, and North 3%.”

Jang Yoon-soo pointed at flags on the screen which were placed in various places.

“The East is unexpectedly big. There’s a guild occupying the village whose members are impressively high in level.”

“Based on the new players, the kingdoms beyond the plains of despair are blooming, but the Orcs are responsible for the noticeable growth.”

It was a grand sight—races merging together with the emergence of the Orcs, changing the balance of power.

“From the traditional kingdom in the South, there are those who enjoy adventuring using their own strength; in the West, there are only a few players, but, due to the escalating conflicts stemmed from the scarce resources, strong warriors are being born. At this time, the place needs to be focused is the center of the continent.”

Department Head Son Il-gang gestured toward the center of the Versailles continent.

The Kallamore Kingdom and Haven Kingdom were traditionally the powerhouse nations concentrated in the central continent.

“Based on their political economy, the area was perceived to be capable of development. However, the area accumulated overwhelming growth, incomparable with other regions. We must watch out for approximately 149 players.”

Jang Yoon-soo asked in a light tone.

“Yes, how did you decide on those players needed attention?”
“It was determined by the players’ influence and player levels.”
“Then that group must contain a lot of Guild leaders, Nobles and Lords.”

Even supervisor Jang Yoon-soo did not receive materials prior to the conference. Of course, when leaving the conference room research materials could not be taken out. So materials would be distributed at the meeting upon request.

“That’s how it is. Although there are some players who stand out even while playing solo, but in general, their influence is limited. First, take a look at the players in the most prestigious guilds of the continent.”

The members of the meeting took a look at the data of the 149 aforementioned players. Only the rustling of paper could be heard in the silent meeting room.

This information is different from the info spread by the game network. It’s been gathered by the Strategy and Systems operation departments, so it’s highly reliable.

If one was to take a look at the documents, he would see the diversity in both nationalities and genders.

If one particular guild was notably more powerful than the rest, the 5 or 6 guilds which ranked right below the guild will form an alliance against it. In some cases, 10 or more similar sized guilds fought in a single country.

Because of the large number of players in the Versailles continent, this was only natural.

Whenever the balance gets disrupted, the weaker gets absorbed as the winner becomes a little stronger, but when it happens, the stronger side makes more enemies.

There were great wars which would upset such a tenuous balance, but there has yet to be a war so large, the continent itself would be forever changed.

The chief of the company’s development department, Ha Yun-ji, looked doubtful as she read the file and spoke.

“The power of Bardray and the Hermes guild seems to be far higher than I expected. What are you basing this on?”

“You’ve asked a very good question.”

All eyes slowly concentrated towards Son Il-gang.

The meeting, itself, had to be treated with the utmost secrecy. Until now, comprehensive ranking reports of all of the players’ activities, like brass trading or quest progression, was shared publicly, even with Unicorn Corporation. However, this special report was only available for a few important, special people to review.

In the report, it is a fact the military, financial, and the productive prowess of the Hermes Guild, as well as their territory and skills, were an overwhelming 5 times greater than the other prestigious guilds of the Haven Kingdom was revealed.

“Bardray is an amazing player. Ever since the beginning of the launch of Royal Road, he has been the best, and has established the Hermes Guild. There was a time he fell behind while founding and managing the guild, but he quickly ascended back to the top position. This is probably the first time all of you have been aware of Bardray’s level being 447.”

Everyone in the conference room dejectedly nodded their heads.

Bardray’s level was a matter of course. But they did not know there were this many 400 level players.

The broadcasting stations and players estimated Bardray’s level to be around 410.

However, the truth was he had passed his estimated level, and so had his competitors. While they were not at Bardray’s level, it was a disparity which normal players would anguish.

Even the people in the conference room were currently quite shocked at what they saw in the report.

“The players at the apex are quite amazing. Their individual power, not just their levels, but their usage of skills, actual battle senses and their practical ability were way above the grasp of the average player.

The reason the videos of the so-called rankers gained popularity was because they were special. The reason why, during the Joseon era, the warriors emulated those of the Goryeo era was due to their fast and efficient battle system.

In anticipation of the difference in individual skills, they used a new method of hunting monsters.

The sight of them dungeoning or storming