Sian and Stiel glanced around as they walked closer to the tree trunk. The roots became thicker closer to the trunk and more powerful people lived further in.
"Oh… so they divide where they live by rank."
Sian spoke as he remembered his Guarran-Tia days when he patrolled the streets of El-Lua. The roots getting thicker meant that it was hard to dig through if one wasn't a Grand Bander or stronger.
It also looked more pleasant to live up here than below. It had more amount of energy that allowed for better training.
"I guess humans are all alike. These people are more primitive I think," Stiel commented. They were primitive not because they valued power. It was because they did not care about art or literature. The obvious outcome of humans that followed after acquiring prosperity did not apply here because these people only constantly aimed to become stronger.
As they walked further up, there were no more homes and only a road. At the end of the road was a big gate by the tree trunk. It was the place where the nobles lived.
"Hmm… should I knock?"
Sian didn't know the culture here so he hesitated. But before he could do anything, the giant door opened up smoothly without any sound. There was a kind-looking man behind the door. Sian felt his power was similar to Lagaope's. He then remembered Lagaope mentioning he was a Baron, so this man seemed to be a Baron.
"Good day, sir. I am Geshtal."
"Hello. I'm Sian."
"The Viscount is waiting inside. Please come in."
Sian didn't expect such a formal welcome so he was confused, but he followed anyway. The inside was very wide. Various wood carvings and furniture decorated the area. It was clean, but one couldn't say it had the artistic creativity that could be expected from the noble houses of the Ra-Sian Continent.
After passing by, they arrived at a huge room where three men and one woman were standing.
'Three of them are Barons… and that man in the middle is the Viscount.'
Superhumans hid their powers, but it was not possible to hide themselves against much stronger beings. Sian managed to see through their powers easily. He then realized what would Stiel be considered here.
'Stiel would be about a Count then.'
Stiel was much more powerful than the Viscount and by comparing the Viscount to the Baron, he was able to draw a conclusion. As Sian thought about the rank, they opened up first.
"Good day, I am Locke. I am in charge of this town."
Locke was more confused. The woman was surely much stronger than himself. But that man that followed the noble was very mysterious. However, he didn't want to cause trouble by discriminating against the man so he concentrated on talking.
"So, why are you here? Have you come here to settle down?"
He was worried about that, but it had the highest possibility. There was a chance that the woman had come here to gather Akra after learning about the existence of Akra. It seemed she had a small amount of Akra growing within her.
The estate he cared for had been well-taken care of and a lot of people lived here. That was what drew these four Barons to come under him. But it wasn't enough for a Count, especially when shared. If this Count decided to settle in, there would be not much Akra left for them to receive.
'Dammit… do I have to hand it over to her and leave?'
He had put in too much work for that. As Locke became nervous, the woman spoke.
"Hm… I didn't think about doing that, but it is a good idea."
Locke regretted speaking up, but the man spoke next.
"Stiel, don't tease him. We're here to ask a few things. We thought only people with some rank would know."
"Oh… I see."
"I was serious!"
"…what is the question?"
Locke pretended he did not hear the woman ranting and turned to the man. It was better to talk with the man who seemed much weaker.
"Hmm… we are looking for someone."
Sian began to explain about the man he was looking for. The name, appearance, and other simple traits. Locke listened to the end asked back, "Is that all? Say, where he was staying when he was a Baron… or his special power…"
"This land is too vast to search with only that information. And there are too many Barons here. There are at least tens of Barons that appear and disappear within a year. A new Baron doesn't mean much news."
A Baron was the easiest to become as it was the lowest rank, and by far had largest death count due to inexperience. This Lagaope seemed to be a Baron, so the information was lacking.
"But… have you heard of these names then? Liviath, Robanotton, Karakal, Groyn…"
Sian began describing twelve superhuman names that he knew. As he spoke those names, there was one name that the Viscount recognized.
"Do you know him?"
"Hm… I'm not sure if that Con-Rad is the same Conrad I know, but I do know a Duke Conrad."
Viscount began to explain about Duke Conrad.
A new noble who appeared suddenly five years ago. He was one of the two most famous names.
Unlike Barons, a Duke was a very rare being to be found in this vast land. One that barely appeared in tens of years. They were the one who came at the end of the human race's limit. There was a way to gain more strength as humans hit the limit so all Dukes differed in power, but they were still very powerful compared to other nobles.
Conrad was such a man. After appearing five years ago, he was now one of the fastest that was growing in power. He was in the eastern lands, very far from the west where the Viscount was at, but his name was known even at this place because of his speed and power.
However, there was nothing surprising about Conrad coming into power as it was obvious for powerful beings to create large forces easily. It allowed him to just invade any Marquis' territory and rule over them under his thumb.
Also, Dukes were beings that had been blocked by the limit; they could not grow stronger using Akra and sought other ways to become strong, meaning all nobles under them benefited from acquiring Akra with ease. Due to that, no Dukes other than Lorvall created their own force.
What surprised the world was that Conrad had appeared out of nowhere.
There was no way for a Duke to just appear all of a sudden. Nobles who had the potential to become a Duke usually had a large estate with a countless number of commoners to collect Akra. In fact, most Marquis estates had a Ciculus Tree that was tall as the sky and large as a mountain.
Yet Conrad did not go through that. He was a Duke when he appeared and he created his forces with his strength.
That was why the nobles were paying attention to him. No Duke did that. A normal Duke would have finished doing that even before becoming one.
The Viscount was surprised to hear that name from the man who seemed to not know anything. But Sian was excited. He didn't expect much, but this was a big lead.
"Oh! Can you explain more about him?"
Sian was disappointed after hearing from Locke that there weren't many who knew the exact whereabouts of Conrad.
"It looks like he travels from estate to estate. Nobody knows where he is until he appears. He was last seen at Count Levathan's estate. Would you want to go that way?"
Sian was going to ask where is nearest Count's estate was, but someone came into their room calling for the Viscount.
It was Baron Gerahim, who was absent from the room. The other man was someone whom Locke had seen before.
'Raul… was he?'
Baron Gerahim was out scouting, so Locke felt something was up.
"What is it?" he asked Gerahim, but Raul answered instead.
"We are in trouble."
"Baron Raul, right? What do you mean?"
"An Alpha appeared."
"…Alpha? What race?"
Locke turned pale at the word. Sian and Stiel forgot what they were asking and was looking at Locke with intrigued expressions.
"It's… it's the <Graan> race from the western forest."
"Alpha from the Graans? What in the world…"