After several Demigods left the imperial palace, those who remained made way for the men of Minos' forces as they stood aside in the imperial throne hall.

Minos settled into his throne as his men from the local government and army stood before him, ready to update him.

He looked at Sarah, standing next to Gloria, and asked. "How was your time ruling Dry City?"

"Difficult, at times." Sarah was honest. "Most of the time, it was smooth sailing with the help of everyone here. But the situation with the Gorgons made things a bit difficult... We had to move to secure enough protection before anything else happened."

"About that, you can rest assured. The Gorgons won't cause us any more trouble." Minos removed the level 97 Gorgon's head from his spatial ring as he said this.

Seeing that head, Forrest narrowed his eyes, surprised at the level of influence Minos had achieved in such a short time.

Those in the local forces who still didn't know the Pantheon of Honor had punished the Gorgons in such a way were also shocked, not expecting Minos to have the head of the leader of the Gorgon tribe with him.

Even Danyxa's eyes widened as she looked at the head of the former leader of her tribe, seeing it for the first time since Minos had told her what had happened.

This woman had been the strongest in all of Gorgon's history!

Yet she had fallen because she had 'chosen' her opponents wrongly.

'I'll never forget that lesson.' She thought, realizing sometimes one had to give up on revenge and justice, or else the worst could happen.

"In any case, our agreements won't lose their validity because of this," Sarah commented to her father.

Her state had practically left its 'neutral' position in the war and was now a supporter of the Evergreen Empire. That couldn't be changed, so even if the Gorgons were no longer threatening them, they still had to keep their recent promises to Maximilian's men.

"I know. Anyway, the victory of the Evergreen Empire is the least of our worries." Minos said, thinking it wouldn't change much for him.

Vico hated Minos so much that he wanted to kill him even before these new agreements. It wouldn't change anything for Emperor Stuart.

What might change was his relationship with Sista, that state that had never been hostile to him, even after the start of the war in the south of the continent, which he had basically started.

"We'll deal with the consequences of that later. But for now, I wanted to know how our reserves are doing. Have you begun to follow my orders?" Minos asked, looking at Dillian.

"Yes, we have, Your Majesty. We've increased investment in the agricultural fields, begun to reduce business with forces not allied with the state, and instituted food rationing rules.

Our actions on the continent have gone as expected, and we are already increasing our reserves.

However, things are going even better in our undersea territories. Since Your Majesty's order, we have doubled our underwater food production."

Currently, more than 30 million inhabitants of the Black Plain Empire live in the underwater part of the state northeast of the Ancestral Sea.

However, the empire's marine population was multiplying, and before the ice age began, the government expected at least 100 million people to live in that area.

If their expectations were met, the food production of this undersea area would exceed many of the Minos government's anticipations for food production in the coming years.

That would be crucial for the state at the beginning of the ice age!

"This is great. We must invest as much as possible in the development of underwater agriculture." Minos said, knowing that underwater areas suffered the least during the ice ages.

Having said that, Minos asked about the state of the army, which had already reached the impressive figure of 60 million soldiers, with an average cultivation of level 60.

With over 10,000 Sages and a few Demigods, the group was much stronger than when he left the state to go to the Ancient Dragon Spatial Kingdom.

Minos was curious to see the strength of his men in action, and he soon told his cabinet members to plan extensive military exercises and even competitions to be held in Dry City.

Competitions were a great way to encourage cultivators to become stronger, and not just for the prizes. Even the spectators could get excited about such events, which could increase the entire strength of a state if used wisely.

Minos promised he would fight in a few public fights and even attract the interest of the Demigods in the area, as this was the kind of power level that was unlikely to be seen.

Normally, only other Demigods had the chance to see people with 10th-stage powers fight!

However, the people of the Black Plain Empire would be different. In the coming years, anyone who had the crystals to pay to enter arenas would have the chance to see someone that strong fight.

With that decided, Minos would soon hear some information about his city, migrations, changes in his empire, and, in short, the basics that a ruler like him would need to know after returning from a long journey.

After more than two hours of conversation with his men in the imperial palace, Minos would finish getting up to date, having given several orders to be carried out immediately or over the next few months.

With that settled, Titus would approach him to ask when they could begin their experiments and studies.

Minos would ask him to wait a little longer as he had to get stronger to start the experiments. However, they could already begin to discuss their theories in more detail and agree on how to proceed with their subjects over the next few months.

After talking with Titus, Minos would sign some agreements with some newcomers to the empire to join his group, guaranteeing them support but also secrecy about things relevant to the state.

With all this done, Minos reunited with his family and returned to the Spatial Kingdom.

Now it was time to bring the children of the Stuart family back to Dry City, as well as the people who had spent the last few years in the cultivation sanctuary caring for the little ones.

Emlyn, Kyla, and Bella would go to the Spatial Kingdom together to stay there, while Minos would soon return to Dry City with a group of 9th-stage women.