When Rhode brought his subordinates to leave High Cliff Village, there was another scene in the Deep Stone City castle.
The Administrative Officer of Paphield Area and Lord of Deep Stone City, Klautz, lowered his head, his face green while looking at the ground. The holy power around him into a gentle breeze similar to a spring wind, but gave off a completely different feeling to Klautz.
"I haven't been in Deep Stone City for such a long time," Lydia said softly. She was enveloped in light, looking outside the window to see Deep Stone City's scenery. "It's still as beautiful as before, nature's masterpiece combined with human wisdom and hard work. Such a perfect combination. Nothing can be compared with this, don't you think so? Sir Klautz?"
"Just as you said, Your Highness." While answering her question, Klautz rubbed the sweat on his forehead.
Right now, his heart wasn't as calm as his appearance. It was no wonder that the moment Her Highness and the Grand Mage suddenly appeared in his residence, his heart almost stopped. If it weren't for the many hardships he had experienced and the fact he was considered as an important person, he would have been scared to death already.
Klautz couldn't be blamed for being too overly sensitive, because Lydia rarely left the Golden City. She usually would send her subordinates to handle sensitive regions. From this point, it could be seen that the trust Lydia had in her subordinates could be considered an unusual indulgence. To the contrary, for her subordinates, her trust wasn't only motivation, but also pressure. They could fail or made a mistake, but Lydia wouldn't allow them to fall into despair or change their own aesthetic value. Before, Lydia had sent a brave warrior to govern the Western area, but in the end, that brave warrior fell due to the Merchant Association's sugar-coated bullet. The rumor said that Lydia was very disappointed about this matter and very clearly expressed it.
Even if this matter had already passed for many years, whenever Klautz remembered that incident, he couldn't help but feet a chill down to his spine. He hoped that he would never receive encounter such a situation again.
As an Administrative Officer, Klautz believed that he had never done anything to violate her aesthetics value. But he could not be sure that he had never done anything so serious to make her come here herself. No matter how he thought, he couldn't think of the reason behind why she came to Paphield area. Is it because the sudden increase in price caused by the Merchant Association? But this kind of small thing wasn't enough to make Her Highness Lydia to come here personally, right?
Even though he was curious, he wasn't as stupid as to ask this question. He only welcomed Lydia while speculating the reason she had came here.
"Humans are a miracle of this world. Among them, there will be some who glitter and even their existence will attract my attention."
Lydia smiled and turned around, walking away from the window to sit on the sofa. She wore a luxurious and elegant long robe. The quality was top notch and even accentuated her body line. Her six wings kept fluttering and turned the entire living room into a fairy tale.
Grand Mage Amund silently sat beside her and wryly smile. He didn't say anything and also didn't have to say anything. Originally, he didn't agree with Lydia going to Paphield area at this kind of time. Although they did it in secret and no one know about it, Her Highness had always been high profile since she was young, and it seemed that no matter couldn't be hidden for too long... Anyway, let just see what'll happen.
"Ah, yes! May I help you, Your Highness?"
"I heard that some interesting thing started to happen in Paphield area."
She lazily leaned into the sofa while crossing her hands. She smiled and looked like a child that couldn't wait to hear an interesting story.
"Although I have received the report, a stiff rigid record like that can't represent anything. How about you report it to me once again?"
Hearing until here, Klautz wryly smiled. He almost understood the reason Lydia came here. "I understand, Your Highness. But please don't be angry because my proficiency in story-telling isn't too good."
"If the story itself is wonderful enough, I don't care about the storyteller proficiency; I only care about the level of wonderfulness." As for Klautz's answer, Lydia only smiled. "If it's really an interesting story, then no matter who tells it, it will still be wonderful."
Hearing Lydia's answer, Klautz no longer thought over this and lightly coughed. After that he straightened his posture and looked at her with serious expression. "This story started from two months ago..."
Klautz began to talk.
Two days had passed since Rhode brought his subordinates back to Deep Stone City.
Because of the addition of Christie in their group, Rhode didn't lead his group like usual. Although the mercenaries had no problem in following him, Christie's body couldn't withstand walking for such a long time. According to Lize's examination, Christie's body was very weak. Living in such an icy cold cellar had affected her body, and she also often received beatings from the villagers, making her body grow even weaker. Not only was her right hand fractured, but it seemed that it had never been healed properly. It was already a miracle that she could continue to move her right hand, but it was impossible for her to carry heavy things.
This made the other mercenaries even angrier. Anne was so mad that she lifted up her shield and planned to go back to destroy that ghostly place. Even Marlene, who didn't express her anger intensely, also began to regret. Why hadn't she casted a massive destruction spell in the village that night, in the name of annihilating the undead creature... but now it's already too late.
On the other hand, Rhode was calm. When he received Lize's report, he only asked some questions about Christie and asked her to rest properly. Luckily, even though the injury was difficult to heal, to a Cleric it was nothing. As long as she could find some people who were good at healing to help Lize, then these injury wouldn't be a trouble.
However, Lize was powerless about Christie's body condition. Although a healing spell could heal injuries and wounds, it didn't have the ability to turn a weak body strong. Else us Cleric also wouldn't be that weak too...
But despite this matter, all of the mercenaries seemed to be happy since Rhode divided the money that he had "cheated" from the High Cliff villagers to them. It's extremely surprising for them to get this unexpected fortune and Rhode also fulfilled their contract very strictly. Those who exerted more power got about 50 to 60 gold coins, and those who did less work only got about 20 to 30. Right, no less than twenty or thirty.
Now they alone could get the reward of an entire mercenary group, and it was only as their extra bonus. When they got back to Deep Stone City and turned over their mission, they could get more rewards. This made them feel that they made a correct choice, and they also cherished this kind of opportunity. They were very clear that this mercenary group was unlike other groups, which they could stay forever. If they didn't work hard enough, they might be unable to stay in here anymore. They didn't want that to happen, and hoped that they could stay here forever.
After finishing this mission, many mercenaries swore that they needed to try harder in their hearts. Because they could already see the reward they got from working hard. It wasn't just 10 gold coins. If they continued to stay in the Starlight mercenary group, not only that they could beat the enemy easily, but they would also get treatment unimaginable by other mercenaries. Just think over it! Magic potions! That kind of thing was considered as treasure, but every person here had about 5 to 6 bottles. Did any of other mercenaries have this kind of opportunity?
None of these things could be bought by money!
Rhode had also noticed their mood. After he entered Deep Stone City, he ordered them to leave and rest. This made them even happier and they shouted "long live." They held onto a bag full of money and entered the tavern. However, Lize and others didn't go to rest, as they were worried about Christie's condition and wanted to talk about other things after she had settled.
Rhode also agreed to their decision.
But when they arrived at the stronghold, there were someone blocking on their way.
"Hey, kid, you're finally back." Old Walker, who was responsible for protecting the stronghold, immediately rushed to Rhode and blocked their way.
"I've waited for such a long time; how come you guys took so long? Hm? Who's that girl?"
"I'll tell you afterwards." Rhode waved his hand and blocked Old Walker's sight of Christie.
"I also don't know about the entire story, but yesterday Sereck was looking for you and said that he had something to talk to you about... you see..."
"I'll go now." Hearing until here, Rhode nodded his head. He didn't care about why was Sereck looking for him. The reason he quickly agreed was because he remember the Cleric in the Mercenary Association. If Rhode could get her help, then it would be good for treating Christie's injuries.
Thinking until here, Rhode said nothing and quickly agreed.