"Two Starless Summons were promoted to 1-Star Blessed Squires three days after you started to train them…is that correct?" Michael asked the Immortal Knight, still not quite believing what he was seeing.

The Basic Level of the Sacred Knight temple hadn't even been constructed, yet Siegfried's teaching and guidance had already allowed two Summons to become Blessed Squires. The Summons received an influx of information that revolved around their new occupation. This influx of information included knowledge about Holy Power and basic-level mastery of the longsword. Even if they'd been unable to wield a longsword before, the two Blessed Squires were now able to perform some tricks with the longsword.

The influx of information about a promotion to 1-Star was usually worth 1-2 years of training. That was something Michael had been taught in school. It was also why many Lords were so focused on promoting Starless Summons to Warriors, Archers and so on. Even if they were talentless, being promoted meant that they obtained knowledge and experience equal to two years of experience as Warriors or Archers.

Using promotions as a means to build an army from scratch was a commonly seen tactic for veteran Lords to make up for their casualties in previous wars.

"Actually, becoming a Blessed Squire is not that difficult. It would be easier with the Basic Level of the Sacred Knight Temple completed, but it is not impossible to become a Blessed Squire without the Sacred Knight Temple either. All you need to do is open your Holy Sea and hoard 10 droplets of Holy Power in your Holy Sea. Once the Summon meets the requirement they can decide whether they want to be promoted to Blessed Squires or if they want to hoard more Holy Power before accepting their first promotion," Siegfried Dracoon explained in simple terms.

"That's it?" Michael asked, not quite convinced.

"That's it. The requirements to become a Blessed Squire are not that harsh. But, of course, not everyone can achieve that. These two students of mine are exceptional. They opened their Holy Sea within six hours, whereas others would need a few weeks without the aid of the Sacred Knight Temple," Siegfried chuckled lightly.

If it would have been that easy to open your Holy Sea and collect 10 droplets of Holy Power, Michael would have an army of tens of thousands of Blessed Squires within weeks. Of course, it was far from easy.

Michael realized his foolishness, and also understood how important Instructors were. The Immortal Knight was on a whole different level than Archer Instructors, or Warrior Instructors, but that didn't change the fact that Instructors were extremely valuable. In fact, given that Michael had a book that could be used by Summons to potentially become Archers, and the Warrior Enlightenment Potions, he should be getting hold of a bunch of Archer Instructors and Warrior Instructors. But that was easier said than done.

Named Scrolls such as Archer Instructor Summoning Scrolls were not easy to procure. Most Lords would never sell them, in the first place. They would either use them to strengthen their own territory, or they would trade them for favors. Their value was only a tad lower than Mythic Summoning Scrolls even though these Instructors from Named Scrolls were usually only 1-Star Summons.

Compared to 1-Star Instructors, the Immortal Knight was hundreds of times better as a 6-Star Instructor. He had his own temple and the unique ability to accelerate his students' progress. That was extraordinary. It was amazing!

'Should I trade a few Mythic Scrolls for Instructor Summoning Scrolls? It would be a good long-term investment.'

Others might have difficulties procuring Mythic Summoning Scrolls, but not Michael. Their true value was not that high for someone like him. Instructor Scrolls seemed far more valuable to him in comparison.

'Even without other Instructors, I should be able to make up my losses against the Kitsun Lord once the Sacred Knight Temple's Basic Level has been constructed,' Michael concluded, 'I wonder how long Lilica and the others will need before they return. Hopefully, they got all the materials in their storages!'

Michael hoped that the EmeraldLeaf Adventurer team would return soon. It would be even better if they decided to become permanent residents of his territory, and were willing to sign a Soul Pact to grow stronger alongside him. Michael also hoped that the Forest Elven Tribe was willing to pay a huge sum of money in exchange for the Soultrait Symbols and SoulStar Fragments he handed over to them.

Of course, Michael wanted to strengthen the Forest Elves in his territory, but that didn't mean he would hand over all of his Soultrait Symbols and SoulStar Fragments. Instead, they would receive a proper contract and a specific amount of SoulStar Fragments every month. There would be a special bonus for participation in warfares and other extracurricular activities, but those additional expenses were something Michael had to look through at a later time.

For now, Michael was in need of funds and materials to construct all levels of the Sacred Knight Temple, build several Beast Ranches, fill them with the livestock he needed, provide enough resources for the Bilrox Queen and her kind, nourish the Greater Eagles to make sure the offspring would return once they found their mate and much more.

Basically, everyone Michael had visited in the last few days requested more funds and resources. The only ones with enough work and tools were the leather workers and the butcher. Even the Craftsmen requested more unique materials to construct, and new tools to work more efficiently.

Thus, Michael had to make use of the 43 Soultrait Symbols in his possession. Even the lowest-ranked Soultrait could be sold for a fortune as long as Michael got hold of the perfect customer. This was even more true given that Michael had detailed notes about all types of Soultraits and their powers. He had a huge advantage and a headstart to bring his plans to fruition.

The only issue was that Michael had no idea how much to ask for. It was obvious but the demand for Soultrait Symbols was enormous. Everyone would want to obtain more Soultraits if possible. The only problem was that nobody could 'produce' them just like Michael. At least, Michael never heard about anyone being able to extract Soultraits as he could.

'If I sell the Soultrait Symbols to the EmeraldLeaf Adventurer team, they can grow stronger and become the pillars of the Forest Elven Tribe in the future while simultaneously protecting my territory. I don't know how many enemies they have to face outside the Origin Expanse, but the Forest Elven Tribe would definitely pay a lot as long as any of them obtains more Soultraits. Therefore I should deal with the EmeraldLeaf Adventurer team first.'

'Should I auction one Soultrait Symbol to the Tritan Alliance? I can auction it anonymously, or just say that I entered a dungeon and received it as a reward. Everyone knows that I have more than enough Soultraits already, so they might become suspicious, but they would also be consumed by greed and think more about purchasing the Soultrait Symbol that is up for sale rather than asking me too many questions… That is dangerous though… If I make a single mistake, I could end up kidnapped, confined, and turned into a guinea pig – exposed to countless experiments to figure out how I managed to get hold of so many Soultraits…'

The Forest Elven Tribe seemed like the safest option for the time being. Maybe, he could trust the Tritan Alliance and mankind enough in the future to provide them with Soultrait Symbols and SoulStar Fragments. But that was not the case for the time being. He didn't feel secure enough with his current strength. He still had loads to improve.

To solve that issue, Michael abandoned his useless thoughts. His focus switched to the Immortal Knight's teachings, and to Sacred Rectification, Caesurium Menta, and the refinement of his War Rune.

Ten days passed in the blink of an eye, and Michael's War Rune finally reached the mid-rank after digesting all Energy Influx and Energy Shares he had obtained since his first encounter with Kitsun. The feeling of vigor and energy surging through his body was addicting. His physical strength increased, his control of origin energy improved, and his senses heightened, reaching an entirely new level of sensitivity.

In the meantime, Michael did not only focus on the refinement of his body, mind, and War Rune. He also focused on testing a wide variety of weapons. Michael didn't use his Soultraits all this time, spending his first ten days without using any of his Soultraits – not even once. It felt weird at first, but Michael got accustomed to it, to a certain degree, at least.

The result of using various weapons was also a little bit confusing. Michael had several sparring sessions with others using sabers, katanas, battle axes, broadswords, daggers, longswords, shortswords, glaives, bows, lances, harpoons, crossbows, and more exotic weapons. Yet, it only increased his confusion to find out what weapon he was the most compatible with because Michael felt that his familiarity with all weapons was more or less the same.

Michael was unable to tell if that was because he was actually compatible with all weapons, or if that was an effect of consuming a hundred Memory Orbs. The memories of various weapon masteries were etched on his mind, after all. That might affect his compatibility with them considerably.

When he told the Immortal Knight about his worries, Siegfried Dracoon didn't seem too bothered.

"It doesn't matter where your compatibility stems from. The fact is that you are quite talented with every weapon you wield. It doesn't matter if this talent stems from the experience and memories of others, or if it is the talent you were born with," The Immortal Knight tried to calm him down with some basic facts, though he did not paint a rosy picture in front of his Lord. "The only slightly disadvantageous point is that we are not in possession of some Aether. Aether would solve all of our issues. Or a Soultrait similar to Aether. A Soultrait might be even better in your case."

"Aether?" Michael asked.

"Aether is basically a material that is said to be as old as the Primordials. It exists in a limited amount. But that is of no importance right now. All you have to know about Aether is that you can bind it to your War Rune like a Soultrait. You can nurture it with energy and precious resources to upgrade its quality gradually. Its' Tier will increase alongside your War Rune's refinement degree. Though the downside of possessing Aether is that your progress will be slower due to the high energy cost of upgrading it as it is an extraordinary material," The Immortal Knight revealed, his expression filled with melancholy.

"Aether can change its form according to your will, turning into any Armament you can think of in an instant. As long as you have enough Aether it can even morph into a mount or coat your mount to protect it. There are near-infinite ways to use Aether. Even better is that you can give it specific forms with unique enchantments. Enchantments can be slotted to Aether. Though the slots are numbered, increasing the Aether's quality can increase the number of slots. I…used to possess some Aether. It was not much, but it was amazing.

Unfortunately, Aether is also the reason I died. Every powerhouse wants Aether. Even the true powerhouses of the Universe turned me into their target when they heard that I possessed some Aether…thus, I died…"

Michael didn't expect the Immortal Knight to talk about the past all of a sudden. He listened with great interest, but Siegfried didn't say much else. He just smiled at Michael knowingly.

"The old days were truly unique," He took a pause and looked at Michael before adding,

"But I think the future will be even more interesting."