335 Qiu Yues Return

    Jin was in the Dungeon Maker continuing to monitor the fights via a large interactive map console that showed what was happening to regions at the border and in Gob Gob Kingdom. His monsters were spread as much as possible with every team being accompanied so that he could obtain a better grasp of the situation. They were his proxies keeping an eye on the cultivators to make sure they did not harbour stupid ideas like looting the area or hitting innocent goblins, while at the same time capable of providing additional firepower for the cultivators.

    Things were looking good at the moment. He noticed the Orcs so far had employed raiding and pillaging tactics where the Orc Lower Command sent in a few orcs to attack the villages and run away with whatever they could carry. It brought fear to the citizens in the village, reducing their morale and resources. Sometimes, the Orcs would even set the towns on fire to increase the property damage. Luckily with Jin officially joining and assigning the cultivators, they could prevent such things from repeating too much.

    Yet, no matter how Jin viewed the current situation, the main concern was the incoming army from the north while most of the others were pockets of orc raiders meant to cause trouble while stocking up on resources for the main army. It was also meant to divert attention away from the main crux of the problem (The army from the north), but it seemed that the Generals and Jin noticed that and had begun preparations for that.

    General Gladios had been pushing their advance goblin army to the hardest to reach the northern valleys and felt relieved and contended that he had Jin and his 'comrades' to handle the Orc Raiders.

    However, Jin's assignments involving the protection of the villages and other missions were expensive in terms of upkeep. Yet, so far it did not manage to match the cost for the black market's remote space satellite. Thankfully the high tech piece had come as a bargain due to the sales of the Gearboxes which allowed them to forge certain connections with other worlds. Peppers had helped calculate the ideal position for the System to place the remote space satellite which provided them with full coverage of the current situation. This, in turn, helped them with the sortie that involved dozens of C130 military planes flying unhindered.

    Well, mostly. There were a couple instances of flying monsters who interfered with the C130s. Fortunately, there had been cultivators able to engage with those flying creatures at the top of the C130s misinterpreting those attacks as part of the 'raid' event. Afterwards, Jin quickly asked the System to remodel the existing C130s and to equip them with M2 Browning machine gun (Not the best for anti air guns available but budget constraints... The Flak guns were too big to be placed on the plane.) Hence, there were new missions created for such cases.

    However, Jin was also at a loss despite the wide net of surveillance that he had running right now. He was able to start and propel the war up but he needed some advice on how to continue. Right now, they could continue defending for some time but the war could not be won this way especially when they had too many enemies on many fronts to outlast them.

    What about the continuation of food production? Jin could do something with the help of the System by buying food from the Interdimensional Market. However, to supply for the whole country, he could sustain that for a week at most. Any more than that and he would be out of budget. What was worse if the Market would suspect shortage and increase its food prices accordingly. He desperately needed competent advice on how to proceed though he already had three people in mind. Ming, Moloch and Qiu Yue.

    Moloch had proven to Jin that he had the expertise in commanding an army during the Ruined Dungeon where they managed to rope Slug Wolte into his team. But had he really gone through a full scale war from the start to the end? Jin remembered that Moloch said he was just Lord and nothing more.

    "I have a suspicion on why you have called me here. Before you ask. No can do. This is way beyond me. Best I can do is help you out if you give me some fortification defence scenarios. That way you can focus on other tasks at hand." Moloch had appeared in the Dungeon Maker upon the System's summoning.

    "You sure you can handle it? The last time I remember I kind of defeated you." Jin kindly reminded him about the Minotaur Fortress in the Dungeon World.

    "What bull**?! I was merely curious about you. That's the only reason. If I really wanted you gone, I would have been more aggressive and revealed my entire hand to you." Moloch looked at the map before he disappeared. "Call me if you have a castle to defend." Jin sighed and reviewed his other candidates. Ming and Qiu Yue.

    Jin initially considered Hou Fei too, but given a choice, between Hou Fei and Ming, Jin would definitely ask his grandfather for advice. He was after all promoted to a General in his time. On the other hand, Hou Fei had experiences in a unit and not as an overseer of every aspect of the military. Nevertheless, his choice leaned more towards Ming but there was no way to contact him unless he entered into a trance with his cultivation. Perhaps, Jin could ask for general overall advice since Ming would not be able to react to any significant changes in real time.

    "Actually, if you need to speak to him, I can assist you with that. In fact, I can lend him my eyes and he can see through them." Kraft offered. "But I can only keep that up for a while since this is rather power consuming. So at most, it can last up to ten minutes per day. No more than that. And that's without mentioning the bad feeling of having to let that geezer occupy my mind." Kraft added and Jin guessed it could prove useful, but more of a 'in a pinch' kind of situation- All that was left was Qiu Yue.

    Qiu Yue was the most brilliant game tactician he had come to know. When he thought back on their time together, she was always seemed to enjoy those 4X strategy games which comprised of running a kingdom. The objectives of creating the kingdom mostly relied on four aspects. Explore, Expand, Exploit and Exterminate' (4X) and she had been a genius in all aspects.

    For Qiu Yue the games proved to be a kind of relaxation as well as a brain teaser. She had fought against not just him but even defeated a lot of top tier players online. At that time she had even garnered a small following and was dubbed as the Princess of 4X in the forums and streamers (Although, there was a star player that she could never beat.). This inadvertently made Jin fall for her even harder especially when he had found out that Qiu Yue had not played any of these kinds of games until she met him. (Guess, that means she's a natural talent for it.)

    Unfortunately after university, her work was far too important and left her with little to no time to play these kinds of games and until recently Jin never met up or heard of her in the forums since then. At the moment Jin very much wished to contact her but he had promised that he would allow her to finish her previous job before coming here. "But it's a Saturday...does she think...Nevermind." Jin thought to himself and hesitated for a bit of time, but it was just a convenient excuse he thought up to try to call her.

    "Even so, this is not a game, its a real war. Calling her in would not help much...I think?" Jin tried to reason to himself logically but then his hands and hearts somehow did not follow what his mind was thinking and began typing in Mechat. Before he knew it, he had already typed a long message and he was contemplating to press the send button. Suddenly, a notification appeared on the dungeon console which made him look up but also caused him to press the send button accidentally.

    "Hmm, so Team Hippo requires some assistance...and this new information... Maybe I should send in the customised M4 Sherman Tank which Hou Fei gave me the blueprints this morning as an experiment." Jin thought to himself and got so engrossed with the current situation at hand that he had forgotten about the message he typed. (Lies! He tried to ignore it as much as possible.)

    Jin pressed a few buttons on the Dungeon Maker control console and a modification screen appeared. He intentionally added a heavy duty thunder resistance inscription, meant to be able to last against anything under Grade 10 Thunder magical attack throughout the whole tank. He then noticed half a million dungeon dollars was reduced from his current electronic wallet.

    "Hope that will be worth it," Jin muttered as he called for the nearest C130 to transport the M4, making it more realistic and impactful than just teleporting it into the battlefield. Out of the blue, his phone was ringing and he was contemplating ignoring it only to realise that the number was none other than Qiu Yue. "Shit did I accidentally press the send button?" Jin panicked but on the other hand, he did not want to miss this opportunity.

    "What's the situation now? Jin, you cannot send me such a bomb and leave things with that! You did not answer any of my messages after you sent that message!" Qiu Yue asked with a hurried voice as if she was panting on the phone.

    "I urgh. Erm. A lot of small skirmishes which seem to be handled... Oh and also the main Orc army is uhh engaging soon I think?" Jin fumbled in his conversation before he took a deep breath and tried to sort his thought, before he asked properly. "Where are you now? Do you have some time to help out? I can simply teleport you to my place as long as there is no one around you." Jin offered bluntly.

    "What?!?! You should have told me sooner! I was running with my heels on!! Hold on, let me go to a more secluded area." Qiu Yue responded while Jin asked if the System could trace where Qiu Yue was.

    "According to the call tracing, it appears that Qiu Yue's currently located in the Shenzhen International Airport." The System stated and shortly after Qiu Yue gave the go ahead to get to him. Jin requested the System to teleport her. In mere seconds Qiu Yue appeared flustered with her large luggage beside her.

    "You were going for a business trip?" Jin asked with a bit of embarrassment as she was dressed very formally. Qiu Yue was still catching her breath as she took her coat and placed it over the chair while unbuttoning a few buttons on her sleeves and chest to release the heat from running. Her heels too as she unzipped her luggage to take a pair of sneakers out.

    From her coat, she took out a band to tie her hair while taking her glasses from her handbag. However, while she was doing all these, she was already studying the large map that was in front of Jin. (Meanwhile, Jin was staring at her nonstop since her beauty was unmatched as before.)

    "Tell me the details; everything you know." Qiu Yue did not answer the first question and got to the more pressing topic immediately. Jin told her whatever he knew and since she was a bit of a geek herself, she roughly understood the concept of the Avatars of Shaitan and the whole Orc and Goblin war.

    "Seriously, your thinking and habits did not change. You always do band aid stuff, trying to fix all the small stuff that you forget about the big overall picture. Give me some paper and pen." Qiu Yue requested but instead Jin handed her an electronic pen and interfaces appeared in front of her. She was honestly shocked but continued to do what was necessary.

    "Is it possible to enlarge the map? If so how much can we zoom in?" Jin then briefly explained to her how to use it. Within minutes she got the hang of it and she even started to post notes, only to realise that there was an AI in the background assisting her, which Jin referred to it as the System. Something she almost forgot after Jin confessed to her about the truth of this place.

    Surprisingly, the System was willing to aid her, despite the fact that she had yet to endure the initiation ceremony which both Lynn and Jin had gone through. But then again most of the requests she had made were for information sake and nothing too special.

    "So era wise, they are still using swords and shields with some magical creatures and some magic users too...but you introduced certain modern technology into the world too right?" Qiu Yue asked for affirmation.

    "Yeah, just a few basic stuff because it costs money to build them. The C130s were already taking up much of my budget but I am able to recuperate by selling certain products I have at hand. Luckily, their world has something which they call 'lost technology', think of it as remnants of the usual highly advanced race which has perished. So they think of our stuff as just that. I'd appreciate it, if we don't reveal that we come from another World yet." Jin told her and asked the System to list his current budget and other assets.

    "Oh my god. This is so exciting and frustrating!" Qiu Yue thought to herself as Jin was coaching her, telling her what kind of expertise he had on hand. However, Jin kept iterating that this was the real world. They might have access to powers as if they were gods, but ultimately lives were at stake.

    "Hmph! Don't worry we should be able to win this though I might not be able to achieve a flawless victory. Do you mind sending me to see the King? I have a few things I want to discuss with him." Qiu Yue asked and Jin reluctantly agreed. He understood that she needed information about the diplomatic status around his kingdom, the current production of his food, his conscription and the total number of goblins. Without sufficient information, she could not proceed to assist the Goblin Kingdom efficiently.

    "I can but I am a bit occupied here. I cannot leave this place here to see the- " Kraft suddenly appeared right beside him which made Qiu Yue panic for a bit. "Woah woah, calm down there cutie. I am one of Jin's hmm...you could say, agents." Kraft extended his hand and introduced himself.

    "Master, go ahead and meet the King, I can handle things here. Despite how I look, I too can handle 'band aid' situations here since I did some commanding before when I was...younger. So go with Lady Qiu Yue. A familiar face would bring confidence and trust for King Sol, which both should come in handy if you wish to collect information." Kraft said while sending a telepathic message to Pei on Jin's wrist.

    "If needed, take the information from the nobles forcefully. We do not have time to waste on a stupid long war." Kraft ordered but even without eyes he could feel that Pei gave him annoyed look.

    "I know what to do. You don't have to tell me." Pei surprisingly agreed to it. She might despise Kraft but considering the fact she had been through enough wars in her lifetime, Pei knew it was vital to get sufficient information to make proper judgements.

    The System then created a portal for the ex couple to meet King Sol who coincidentally was in a meeting with his advisers. Qiu Yue reached out to her face only to notice that there was some mask over her spectacles and asked Jin what it was. Instead of telling her, he got his phone out and took a photo for her to see. She inadvertently was unable to contain her liking for the Red Pandas on her mask and was astounded by the high details. Unfortunately, the two of them were interrupted by a short abrupt cough and remembered what they were here to do.

    "Sorry for the poor display of etiquette, King Sol. This here is my trusted second-in-command, Qiu. She is here today to assist and win the war with the utmost confidence. I have already done my part in dispatching various mercenaries aiding your villages and towns. Now I will need something in return. Information and of course the talk of payment." Jin said and suddenly there was an uproar in the whole meeting room.

    "Your Majesty! Are you really intend on sharing vital privy information with this humanoid?! How could you let him dispatch his mercenaries all over Gob Gob Kingdom?! Where is the pride of our race? Have you considered how these humanoids might be in cahoots against us? Wasn't he the one who asked you to increase food production and taxes? Our people are suffering because of that! " Various advisors expressed their disagreements vehemently. Yet, King Sol kept quiet until all of them who were behaving so rowdy settled down enough to realise that he was not interested in working with a disorganised group of advisors.

    "Done complaining?" King Sol asked with much authority in his voice as he emitted a strong aura presence of both warmth and power. His body was in much a better condition after Jin provided him with a specialised treatment from Que Er, the Magpie Queen. Her blue magpies assisted him in recovering the magic lines he had previously lost. That coupled with a generous supplement of high quality chi potions and King Sol felt that he owed his remaining life to Jin. The rest of the advisors were surprised by the sudden change in King Sol's attitude and kept their silence.

    "By your sacred oath to me. You are to cooperate with...Qiu the half masked girl with whatever information she requires. And by the vested powers in me, I hereby assign Master Jin the post of Special Royal Advisor. With Qiu as his second in charge, she is to be treated as the Assistant Special Royal Advisor. So in terms of rank, they are both above each and every one of you. Hence, it should even be an honor for you to listen to them, no matter their race!" King Sol commanded with a stern voice and no one dared to defy him. After all, most of the current advisers had been appointed by him not too long ago. Most of their superiors or predecessors had died from the ambush attack and it was obvious that the humanoid had a hand in saving the king.

    "However, if you lot have any severe disagreement with them. Do not hesitate to approach me. Now, Qiu. Ask away." King Sol gave the stage to Qiu Yue and Jin. Qiu Yue took centre stage and immediately demanded many answers from the board of advisors.

    "How much gold are you producing at the moment? What is our food stockpile like? How are the citizens coping with the news of war? Are there any state or erm kingdom controlled movements of the food supply? Where are the troops stationed presently? Is there any research being done currently to improve the lives of the citizens or the troops? How's the trading market look like after the war has started? Any levies imposed?..." Qiu Yue shot out her questions like bullets from a heavy machine gun and each answer begot either silence from the new advisors due to lack of knowledge or more questions.

    The board of advisors were being slaughtered left and right by Qiu Yue which even made King Sol embarrassed that he was not doing a good enough job. The secretaries of each advisor at the side of them were panicking as they wrote down all their shortcoming, whereas the goblin advisors got more afraid of this lady. In the end, they all realised that their entire economy was hanging on to a fine thin string.

    "This is worse than I thought." Qiu Yue who had national building knowledge was shaking her head badly and the advisors were thoroughly spent. Even the secretaries were panting from writing. This was the most intense 'bout' of Qiu Yue, which Jin had witnessed. A lot of stuff went somewhat over his head, and he was glad that she was on his side.

    "Jin, can I have a word with you?" Qiu Yue excused herself out of the meeting room, with the advisors being more than happy to let this woman go. Their workload had increased for the foreseeable future.

    "This is bad. Very bad. Look, I know that you asked me for my expertise because you think I can handle this just like a video game. But this is nothing like a game at all. After all games don't usually have you deal with all the stuff surrounding a war, at most only on a surface level, but here we not only have to win a war, we also need to help a Kingdom sustain through it. And to be frank, the goblins are going to crash hard if the war is prolonged for too long. Even I myself have trouble calculating just how long we can last if we stretched the provisions out but it does not look too good at all. This is real life, there will be unforeseen disruptions and my plans can still go awry. Shame you cannot just input a chea-...wait." Qiu Yue just remembered something very important.

    This might be real life but the person in front of her was like a Video Game Developer. All the tools and solutions to everything could be created with the person right in front of her. Jin kind of figured where this was going to head and placed his hands on her shoulders.

    "Are you sure you are ready for this? I thought you said that you needed to complete some things as part of your responsibility before you officially joined me here? After coming here I am sure you understand the gravity of the situation, and I do not wish to push you into it. That being said, I'd love for you to join of course..." Jin questioned and Qiu Yue bitterly laughed as soon as she returned to reality. She asked if there was a private place to talk and so Jin informed the King that they would need a short break first to discuss some details. The King immediately obliged and told the advisors to convene in half an hour time. Meanwhile, Jin and Qiu Yue went into one of the guest rooms and they started to talk.

    "Well I planned to join, but some complications arose. You see...long story short. I was tricked by my boss. I told him that I wanted to quit, but he does not accept no for an answer. He even somehow managed to suppress my letter of resignation. Worst of all he kept advancing on me like a lecherous man and I've been refusing him RATHER politely. This time round, he forced me to go on a business trip to sign some papers for a new project. The thing is if I do that, I am obligated to see through the new project which I'll be unable to leave without many national repercussions. Not only that he is also forcing me emotionally because this project's earnings will directly affect my colleagues' bonus and that was his way to ensure that I'll stay." Qiu Yue explained with some frustration.

    "Also I am pretty sure that he is plotting his own devious plans to continue his lecherous advances. But no worries I have been training really hard with my cultivation! In fact, I turned grade 3 after that fight in your dungeon instance. The spirit power in me was swelling so much, I got a brand new red panda silhouette! I did not have too much time to study that cultivation manual which you send me, but from briefly taking a look I can tell that whoever designed it, was a genius!" She smiled very gently at Jin when she said that and proudly showed her cultivation off.

    "So I was really hesitant to head for the business trip especially when my colleagues' bonus was at risk. But when I was at the airport dragging my feet for the flight, you messaged asking for help. I do not know why but it felt like an olive branch to me which I desperately wanted to hold on to." Qiu Yue confessed as she took out her red panda half mask and fiddled with it but Jin immediately went forward and hugged her tightly.

    Qiu Yue could not help but feel relieved and the unexplainable void that she had been experiencing for the past few weeks was filled with warmth. She could never think logically after the Arena Battle where they both challenged themselves against overwhelming odds. (Well, Jin did suppress his cultivation.)

    Her heart raced without any reserve as Jin reassured her with that hug. "I am sorry for being slow at things. For not appreciating you. I am sorry for not being there when you feel so helpless. I had been thinking about you all this while but circumstances as a System User had provided me with enough excuses to keep you off my mind." Jin released his hug and talked straight to her.

    "But I do hope that everything gets better once you team up this with hot manly Panda right in front of you." Jin let go of her and looked her in the eye while grinning widely. Qiu Yue stared at him blankly. After which she laughed and laughed.

    Qiu Yue found it so ridiculous and did not know whether she deserved this brand new Jin that was in front of her. Sure, it was her wish that after their mutual break up for him to focus on their individual lives. Somehow, it came true as if somebody (or something) else entered his body and made him so honest and forward looking. So hardworking and somewhat dependent. The previous Jin would not even be able to say such things to her nor provide her with this sense of security she was experiencing right now. She did not expect him to change this much and yet here she was being the same old her. Now she laughed so hard that she began to tear up.

    "Wha wait, Don't cry please. I erm -" Jin flustered, trying to find tissue paper around and later he tried to search his storage watch only to find a camouflage scarf for her to use. Qiu Yue chuckled and laughed even more at his silliness before she wiped her tears away.

    "In my opinion...I suggest you still quit. Sure your colleagues will badmouth for spoiling their bonus... But, right now. I need you more than ever. I can go with you to the HR to settle your termination of the contract, I can even pay them severance money. For that lecherous boss.., tell me his name, let me see if I can do any magic to make him disappear -ow!" Jin was hit by Qiu Yue hard on the head with her mask.

    "Baka Jin!" Qiu Yue blushed for a moment and Jin could clearly see her face was all red. "Didn't I already miss that business trip for you? That is equivalent to ditching my job for you."

    "Oh yea, that's true... Ahaha. I think I was too caught up with. -Ow! Why did you hit me again?" Jin asked and Qiu Yue pouted and looked to the side with her face smiling from cheek to cheek.

    Suddenly, there was a knock on the door when a goblin guard asked if there was anything they wished to eat for refreshments. Jin stood up hiding Qiu Yue who had her mask off and answered that they did not require anything.

    "Guess we should get back to topic. I remember you saying that the System can trade with some sort of Interworld Market and you have C130 cargo planes for transport. I think with that we should be able to help sort this economy out." Qiu Yue placed her mask back and took her phone out which she had written the important points down.

    "User, do you wish to grant the prepared Sub System to Candidate Qiu Yue so that she might be able to help you achieve more?" the System asked directly.

    "What can exactly can the Sub System do?" Jin asked in turn while seeing Qiu Yue busy browsing her notes.

    "Her Sub System will specialise in what she does best. Empire Building." The System stated and Jin brows furrowed.

    "I do not understand. What does that even mean? Can you be more specific?" Jin was really confused.

    "She has a natural ability in regards to empire building. She will be able to directly influence and control economy markets, research and construction. For example, you were previously a buyer in the Black Market and in recent days, you are a supplier. However, in Candidate Qiu Yue's case, she can be an investor in the black market even without much of an accounting background because the Sub System will flag it out in case she goes wrong. Her abilities will help you not only accumulate funds, but also allocate them in the required places, so that User can go back and concentrate on his own strong points.  While User is also capable of doing things similar to Candidate Qiu Yue, the System for User is more catered towards Monster caring, summoning and frontline business." The System explained.

    "Hence, if User purchases any stocks in the future as such, it would be handled by her. However, her main ability would be an Empire Builder. She could influence hypothetical rat demons or orcs to work day and night without losing sleep nor destroying their health to build. Higher tier materials could be purchased in bulk and Research could be done quicker with a dedicated team of (captured) researchers under the aid of the Sub System instead of just the System analysing it. At the moment, all the System can do is to note the possible flaws. The System cannot innovate unless prompted to. However, for Candidate Qiu Yue, even without the right people at the start, the Sub System would propose possible ideas allowing her to innovate. Something similar to what User has done with the M4 Sherman tank." The System added.

    "So....you are saying you are taking some of my secondary work away and she will have access to the more advanced features? because she has the knack for it?" Jin summed it up and the System replied positively.

    "Yes, hence a Sub System. Not a separate system. Similar to Sub System User Lynn, the System always had the cooking features but User did not utilise them at all. While User was and is still able to make use of it, without the necessary aptitude the results will always be inferior to someone who is granted a Sub System." The System elaborated.

    "Also, the System noticed that User's shop had slowed down in terms of development after User was overloaded with secondary work. System is not suggesting User to stop all secondary work, but it is advisable for the workload to be shared. User can then concentrate on catching more monsters and build more interesting instances." The System explained which made Jin rather surprised for the System's concern.

    "Alright, I will ask her about it," Jin said as he got up after a guard came to inform them that it was about time to convene again. The System however had something it withheld from Jin when it proposed the idea of granting the Sub System to Qiu Yue since there was no such thing as free lunch in the world after all.
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