165 Happy New Year!
In Sunrise Empire, the title of Archduke is just below that of the Emperor and above that of princes and princesses. The Archdukes are considered the very first founding families that first followed the very first emperor of the empire. They are so powerful that they can literally ignore the members of the imperial family except for the Emperor.
And the Empire currently have three families of Archdukes. One of them is the Lionett Household which Garona belongs to, then there's the Everton Household and lastly, the Tudor Household. The three families are called the Empire's Spear, Sword and Shield respectively.
Lionnet Household are called the Shield because they are the one that guards the empire's border against the monsters from Forest of Despair, and on the other hand, the Everton Household and Tudor Household are the swords and spears of the empire towards the surrounding nations.
This is the reason why the three families are so powerful that they control seventy percent of the Empire's military, with the remaining thirty percent in the direct control of the Emperor.
But even with that, entry to the army isn't easy, much less getting a promotion through using your connections. It was because the military has a strict rule towards contributions and meritorious achievements.
What the army only sees are your contributions to the empire, it won't matter even if your father is the emperor himself as you won't receive any backdoor promotions even with that.
This is the reason why the Empire is so powerful that even commoners has the chance to become a general as long as they have performed meritorious achievements like General Ouki.
And at the same time, the generals who were born commoners are the ones who's keeping the balance in the army, as they were the ones who keeps the nobles in check. That's the reason why that even though the three Archdukes families have an almost control over to the entire imperial army, the emperor wasn't even in the least bit worried that they would rebel.
After all, most soldiers who are born commoners in the army occupies the entire ninety five percent of the whole army, while the remaining five percent are of noble birth.
But the nobles make up for it with having the most officers in the army.
This kind of military structure isn't easily implemented, as every arrogant nobles would not be dumb enough to let commoners threaten their positions.
That's the reason why apart from Sunrise Empire in the Eastern Continent, there was also the medium size human Kingdom of Blaize who also had the same military structure like the former in the Western Continent.
"Then you should work hard on it my dear daughter. After all, that young lad certainly isn't someone easy to sway, and with Sage Laura behind him…" General Brigham just shook his head and didn't elaborate further.
Garona already knew what her father means by that, so she just smiled and said, "Don't worry father, I'll certainly use my charms to make him fall over heads towards me"
After that, Garona left and quickly went to look for Michael, who's currently still at the military barracks waiting for Emma and the others to finish their selection of quest.
"Did you guys finish selecting your next quest?" Michael asked Emma and the others when they came over to his side.
"Yes, what about you? Are you really not coming with us?" Tina said.
"No, I have important matters to attend to," Michael said, and then he suddenly started having a headache when he spotted Garona walking towards them from a distance.
"I'll be going first, see you guys later!" Michael said as he immediately dashed away and made his way towards the gate of the army barracks.
"Stop right there!" Garona yelled in anger as she ran forward and stopped beside Emma and the rest when she realized that she won't be able to catch up to Michael.
Her yell quickly attracted the attention of imperial soldiers and users alike, but when the soldiers saw her, they quickly turned their heads away while the users just curiously looked at Garona.
Emma looked intently at the woman in front of her, and Garona felt that someone's eyes are on her, so she turned towards where the feeling is coming from and saw a blonde busty woman looking at her intently.
Their intuition as women immediately told them that the woman in front of them is a rival. The two women just stared at each other as sparks flew between them.
Tina and the others had stiff smile on their faces looking at the scene in front of them.
Tina thought to herself, 'Michael really have become a ladies man even if he did it without him knowing a thing about it. Emma and the others would always say that he's very attractive, but I don't really get what's so attractive about that nerd though?'
"Who are you?" Garona asked, and her eyes flashed as she suddenly saw something but it quickly returned to normal.
"Azure Flower, the heck are you?" Emma snorted, as she crossed her arms and showcasing her pair of mounds.
The corner of Garona's eyes twitch and she had the urge to kill this woman in front of her, but she held her urges and spoke with gritted teeth, "Garona...Garona Lionett, remember that woman!"
After that, Garona walked away. In fact, she wanted to suppress the woman using her identity, but her acute eyesight quickly noticed the faint mark of a single dragon wing on one of Tina's earlobes.
'That woman, she's related to Hermit Kos of the Combat Arena' Garona thought while walking, as she took one last glance towards Tina before heading inside the main building.
Michael managed to arrive two hours later at Calderock Village. He took out the silver ring from his Inventory and wore it.
The first thing he noticed was that there was a string of green mana attached on the ring that seems to lead to somewhere around the village. Michael followed that string of mana and arrived in front of a rock wall on a mountain.
"This thing ends here" Michael mumbled, as he reached out towards the rock wall.
Michael was suddenly sucked inside the moment his finger touched the rock wall.