It was an elite bar in a rich neighborhood. There was a sky-high price for entry that even a good employee making a comfortable living would find unaffordable.

Varian raised a hand and with Oob's help, a card materialized on his palm. With no delay, Boo hacked into the bar's network and created him a suitable identity.

A simple, refined longue greeted him. There were only a few people here, waiting for their business clients.

The first to third floors were typically used for socializing and finalizing business deals.

Instead of going that way, Varian walked to the lift behind the staircase and opted for the deepest underground floor.

Adventurers gathered in the lower floors, discussing their spoils, path progression and battle tactics.

It was a bit hard to digest for people but even though it had been only a few months, the need for 'Adventurers' experienced a sharp drop.

Today, the profession itself was starting to stare at extinction.

With the army freed up from having to stalemate the abyssals, it easily pummeled the dungeons.

Today, the army controls 90% of all dungeons. The remaining 10% was spared to the general public. But they're also strictly supervised.

As a result, if you want to enjoy the resources of the dungeons and increase your speed of progression, you'd have to join the army.

Unlike before when people could get away being adventurers and improve their strength without having to ever serve in the army, the current situation forced anyone aspiring to be strong to join the army.

If not for a lifetime of service, then at least for one year of training and one year of service.

And even if you want an adventurer certificate to raid the 10% of the available dungeons, you'd still need to qualify for a 3-month army training.

The 3-month army training also counted as community service, project work, and more. Heck, even criminals for non-serious crimes were punished with army service.

With these strong pushes, more than 15% of the adult age population were acquainted with combat to some degree.

If the abyssal invasion of Neptune was to happen again, the population wouldn't be so helpless.

As long as level 7s and above wouldn't intervene, the people could group themselves properly to take on even level 6s.

Varian didn't think it was enough. As of today, the average level was level 3 while the median level was level 2.

According to his plan, they should be pushed to at least level 6 or even better, level 7.

Humanity didn't have huge numbers. They're just 40 billion odd. Even though the pro-population policies resulted in a baby boom, the number of fighting-age adults wasn't going to increase anytime soon.

The only way to fend off and fight against other civilizations would be to become an elite civilization.

Perhaps if there were a hundred million rank 1s, they could form complex formations and fend off against rank 6s?

Varian took a few deep breaths to throw those heavy thoughts to the back of his mind.

He wasn't working every day like Alison but he was always working on the bigger picture. Things that, unfortunately, no one else could work on. Perhaps Sarah and Sia could offer some help.

"—nd that army bitch, he just returned after a few months of service. He couldn't take the heat!"

"Pfft! Hahahahah!"

The floor was decorated like a tavern from the old earth. Wooden bar, wooden chairs, and wooden tables.

The wood gave off a soothing smell. But it had a hidden property—it'd relax a person's mind and lower his mental defense—provoking him to say things he usually wouldn't.

He attracted attention upon his arrival as no one had seen him here before.

Oleg, who currently took on the form of an adventurer he killed a few minutes ago, was chatting with a brawny bald man. They were drinking heavily, laughing, and slapping the table.

No one noticed but Varian appeared, Oleg's gaze scanned him for a moment with a suspicious gaze. His intuition gave mixed signals.

A delicate treasure with him which would activate if someone in the surroundings had been with a powerful individual began to vibrate.

Oleg slightly shifted in his rosewood chair, ready to erupt out with earth-shattering power and fight or flight depending on the necessity.

Even though it was carefully hidden, Varian recognized the hidden danger. He had to dispel Oleg's vigilance somehow.

Varian walked to a table occupied by three women and let out a flirtatious, boisterous laugh. "How are you, lovely ladies?"

The provocatively dressed woman at the center of the group let out a giggle and leaned forward. "Mr. Team Leader, how did your recent raids go? I heard the army was scrambling at the borders?"

"Shhh, lady. Rumors, all rumors." Varian waved his hands.

Oleg, who didn't know better was trying the old-age trick of going to a tavern in a foreign place, getting people drunk, and obtaining information.

As he's a rank 6, he's able to quickly master the language. He also learned many basics of the solar system.

From the brief history he looked up, he concluded that there was no way for this place to be Black Rose's base. Instead, this was the place targeted by abyssals not too long ago!

Oleg didn't know what the abyssals wanted here. But he didn't really care. Abyssals were too weak to get into his eyes.

What he did care about was that for some reason, just a few days ago, right around when their Prince was killed, the solar system began preparations for the arrival of some guests.

Were these guests members of Black Rose? Or clients of Black Rose? Why did they come here?

Oleg wanted to get to the bottom of the issue.

"Come on, boss. You are still trying to hide things from me?" The lady asked in a complaining, coquettish tone.

Varian sighed as if it couldn't be helped and tapped to her com.

'Oh, they want to communicate directly through coms so that others can't notice. But these tricks are useless in front of a celestial ranker like me! Weaklings!'

As someone who was never considered a crown prince candidate, Oleg built up a lot of inferiority complex. So, he felt a lot of ego boost knowing the weaklings' efforts were going to be useless in front of his might.

In the comm channel that now directly connected their minds, Varian said in a rather restrained tone.

"Actually, there are people from the kingdom here."

"K-Kingdom? Pala kingdom?" The lady's voice was full of surprise.

"Who else?"

"B-But nothing was revealed to the public. We were living in isolation not too long—"

"Stupid. A lot of things are hidden from the public. That doesn't mean they never happened. The envoys of the kingdom are currently resting here. Be careful not to spread rumors. I heard they're powerful. Even more powerful than our ruler Varian."

"O-Okay, I was just drunk and all…"

"It's fine this time. But don't repeat it. The high command doesn't want to reveal until it's time. After looking at our emperor's strength, the kingdom might be considering to elevate our level to a duchy." Varian lied with a straight face.


"And how are you doing these days? Are these two your friends? They're not as beautiful as you."

"Heh, men~"

Oleg stopped spying on the conversation and left the bar. He learned everything he wanted to learn.

It was the right call to not attack or disturb the solar system. They came here to find Black Rose.

If they provoke the Pala kingdom, their, no, his mission, his crown prince seat would fail.

'So, leaving the solar system, we just have to search outside.'

As he was preparing to stealthily leave the solar system, one of his subordinates contacted him through the communication crystal.

'B-Boss, we found a few secret spaces!'


His figure blurred and he quickly disappeared.

Varian walked out of the bar shortly after, following behind him was the brawny bald man and the three women.

Unlike their previous demeanor, they were all walking with very calculated and sharp movements.

Varian's disguise was still on, but they looked at him with such respect that some young people passing by joked they were roleplaying for an emperor and warriors drama.

If only they knew...

"Good work, guys." Varian nodded in appreciation.

"Yes, Sir!" The four of them gave a quick salute.

He came here only to help if things went out of control. But Varian gained more confidence in the agents' capabilities. Even if he's not here, they could have pulled this off.

'But it felt good to participate in a spy scene like in the movies.'