Several days later, within the northern part of the city.
Joshua wore formal attire while riding his warhorse. He was later assisted by a group of servants after dismounting from his horse who greeted him respectfully. Later on, he entered through the main entrance of the lively mansion.
"It eats meat and drinks liquor. Don't feed it grass or beans."
When the stableman led the warhorse away, the young warrior advised, "If it still doesn't enjoy the food provided, add two eggs. Be really careful not to get kicked, its temper is pretty bad."
"Yes, my liege."
After replying respectfully, the stableman comforted the horse which appeared rather annoyed when Joshua left. The stableman then carefully led the warhorse to the stable located right behind them as the black warhorse was still throwing a tantrum.
The horse was special to Joshua as it was the same warhorse that accompanied Joshua during his journey from the northwestern plains all the way to the north. They travelled together for seventeen days and were thus considered close companions.
When Joshua planned to enter the city back then, he tried to release the warhorse back to the wilderness to survive on its own. Joshua's initial plan was to release the beast and not look for it. Who would have thought that this warhorse which inherited the bloodline of a drake could identify his scent and forcefully enter the city looking for him.
With such loyalty shown by the warhorse, there was no reason for Joshua to insist on releasing it to the wilderness. As it was not slow as well, Joshua could actually use it as his dedicated warhorse.
"The banquet has already begun. All the guests await your presence, my liege."
While leading Joshua towards their destination, the butler felt very nervous. He had seen numerous major characters and nobles during his lifetime, but he never felt such tension while facing Joshua. Nervously, he said to Joshua, "Today, you are the main attraction of this banquet."
"Is that so..."
Joshua did not think that the banquet was of any importance. He noticed that the butler beside him was flustered. Ignoring the butler's demeanor Joshua said, "You don't really have to be so nervous. Tell me about the guests of this banquet."
Truth be told, the butler did a good job for being able to speak. With Joshua's current personal image having both [Merciless Killer] and [Destructor], there would not be a lot of people who were able to face Joshua calmly, much less maintaining their composure.
[Personal Image Merciless Killer : Charm -2, Intimidation +3, Affinity with Nature -2, Intimidation towards Nature +2, Cold Attitude of a Savior]
[Both of your hands are soaked with blood, countless of lives were lost because of you. People will feel terrified and automatically stay away from you. Even if a hungry beast was to meet with you, it will definitely choose to avoid confronting you directly.]
[Personal Image- Destructor: Charm -1, Intimidation +2 Affinity with Nature -1, Intimidation towards Nature +1, Cold Attitude of a Creator]
[The path you've passed, would only leave behind ruins, death, and bones as a sign of your presence.]
A person's first impression, that is, charm and affinity were deduced by the looks of a person. For example, if the person was an elf with a maximum value in terms of looks, her natural charm would be a maximum of 20, affinity with nature would also be 20. With this level of charm, even the hungriest wolf on earth would not take this person as a target, it might even start praying for food from this person meekly. As for a dwarf with maximum value on their looks, they could easily tame a metal mole by saying "come here" or "follow me". It would have a similar effect for those of other races as well.
Joshua was actually not that hideous. With the value 20 being the maximum for looks or appearance, Joshua could score around 14 to 15. He could be regarded as a handsome and confident man. His initial value for charm was also 14, which was not a low number. However, due to him constant living the life of a military personnel, his whole image was later shaped into being more 'majestic' rather than 'sociable'. His charm value dropped drastically while his intimidation increases as time progressed.
Joshua only possessed a pitiful amount of '4' charm until today. With the additional buffs from two different personalities (Creator and Savior) recently, his intimidation sky-rocketed to 18. Ordinary people with weak wills could only shiver in fright once they stared into his eyes. In simpler words, it was as if Joshua has an aura of intimidation.
"There are not many guests at this banquet. Most of the guests here are influential members of the merchant's guild, such as the leader of Gray Drakes, the vice-leader of Limestone, and lastly the leader of the Winter Wolves. They are all here to meet my master."
After a short while, the butler finally managed to regain his composure a bit while facing Joshua all thanks to his vast experience. He led Joshua to the reception area while explaining, "My master is also the leader of the Northern Frost merchant group. He was very eager to meet you, my liege. Your presence at this banquet has given quite an amount of support to my master."
"This was convenient for me as well. Rather than having each and every one of you visiting me randomly, I would prefer to meet up with all of you and have fun at a banquet," replied Joshua while nodding.
Just thinking about all the letters he had already received made him feel nauseated.
"Judging from your behavior, breathing and blood circulation, is there anything else you have not informed me? There's no need for you to be hesitant. You can just tell me the truth, there's no need to feel restrained here. This is the north, not the Empire. Etiquette and protocols are unnecessary."
"Very well, then I shall heed your advice, my liege."
The butler paused for a moment and surveyed his surroundings, then quietly said, "I hope that my liege could meet up with my master alone before the banquet starts, if possible."
Joshua then looked at this nervous butler, with his dark red eyes he gazed directly at the butler. After some consideration, Joshua replied with interest, "Interesting... Very well. Lead the way."
After receiving Joshua's answer, the butler sighed in relief. Immediately, he led Joshua to a different direction and brought Joshua to a well-decorated guest room. After Joshua had been seated, the butler stood in front of the entrance and bowed.
"Please wait for a moment, my liege. I will inform my master in a short while."
"You may proceed."
Joshua shook his hands, indicating that it was okay for the butler to proceed. Since the person in charge of the banquet was not in a hurry to present himself, Joshua did not feel the need to be bothered by it. After all, it was not a big problem for him to sit and wait for this person to come.
About two to three minutes later, very fast paced footsteps could be heard from the entrance. After a moment, it stopped at the entrance and the door opened.
The person that came in was dressed in formal attire. The special trait of this man was there was a blade mark on his throat. When he entered the room, he immediately bowed towards Joshua. His mannerism was spot on. After that, this middle-aged man raised his head. Joshua noticed the look of the man.
"Oh, it is you?"
Joshua was surprised when he saw the face of the man despite having thoughts of multiple scenarios. The man flinched involuntarily and said, "Being able to meet you is such an honor, Count Joshua."
Judging from his age and the mark on his throat, this was the leader of the Northern Frost merchant group. Joshua had an encounter with him during the time he rushed back to Moldavia. During that event, Joshua was advised by this middle-aged man of the merchant group to be careful. Nobody would have thought that the guy who looked frail during their encounter was actually one of the leaders of the most prominent merchant groups in Moldavia.
Despite Joshua belonging to the upper class of society, his act of advising a total stranger within the freezing fields had touched the heart of this merchant group leader.
Joshua stood up and did not say much in reply. Since both of them knew each other, there was no need for unnecessary greetings.
"See? I told you that you would see great changes within a few days. That you might even obtain unexpected benefits out of it."
"Count Joshua, your capabilities have far exceeded my expectations. Being able to know you beforehand was definitely a blessing for me," replied the middle-aged man respectfully and calmly. My name is Alphonso Carlos. As you may see, I am the leader of the Northern Frost merchant group. The reason I invited you today is for a personal request."
"Speak your mind."
Joshua liked straightforward conversations. He did not mind people requesting help. He knew that with great power, came the great responsibility of being dependable.
"Moldavia is my territory. If it is not anything out of the ordinary, I may be able to help you with it."