Just as Ron had thought, the change in venue for the Midsummer Festival immediately caused a wave of controversies. This reaction was expected, since this historical festival had strangely changed its location without logical reasons. However, not many people felt that this was too weird because they knew that this was Lydia's idea. Lydia was known for her wacky behavior, so it wasn't strange for her to meddle in the preparations of the Midsummer Festival.
And what made the mercenaries most excited was that, this time, the Midsummer Festival competition would actually be held in the Sacred Arena!
This wasn't any ordinary place! In the Munn Kingdom, the Sacred Arena was known for its prestige.
A long time ago, the Sacred Arena was designated as the grounds for the selection of the bravest, strongest, and most loyal guards, in order to form a devoted group under the Light Dragon. Not only were they the biggest pride of the Munn Kingdom, but they were also the spokespersons for the strongest personnel under the Light Dragon.
Now that time had past, along with pressure from the parliament, the Light Dragon had lost its influence and the purpose of the Sacred Arena had also transformed. About a hundred years ago, the parliament 'represented' the Light Dragon to 'reject' this honorable tradition. According to them, true warriors should offer themselves to the land under the Light Dragon and not a specific existence.
However, the Munn Kingdom would never fall into the trap of the parliament because they were clearer than anyone what the real reason was. This was because the parliament was afraid that the Light Dragon Heir would gather forces to resist them. That was why the parliament purposely found an excuse to remove this activity. However, the Munn Kingdom didn't object as they continued to preserve the responsibilities of the Sacred Arena and not remove their traditions. However, the forces had changed, and the winners in the arena would no longer need to swear an oaths to the Light Dragon. Instead, they would swear an oaths as guardians of the Light Dragon. Everyone knew that the Munn Kingdom had always devoted themselves to the Light Dragon. Even though the parliament had always despised them for such 'ignorant devotion for a single person', the Munn Kingdom continued to do so with no remorse. And not only could the conflicts from both sides be seen here, but they could also be seen everywhere. From the perspective of the Country of Light's parliament, they had been dedicated in advocating that this continent belonged to the people under the Light Dragon and not a specific person. Everyone under the Light Dragon could change this world, and they, as representatives for the people, naturally had sufficient reasons to exercise their powers.
However, to the Munn Kingdom, this continent belonged to the Light Dragon and since everyone was its people, then they should follow the Light Dragon and not violate or resist its majesty and glory.
Due to the different stance on this matter, the Munn Kingdom and the Country of Light's parliament had a tense relationship. From the former's perspective, the latter was comprised of disrespectful people who attempted to seize the throne. But, to the latter, the former was stubborn in not accepting advancement in history and civilization in order to protect the nobles. They, as the spokesperson of their people, should resist the rule of the prerogative classes in order for people of Country of Light to enjoy true peace and freedom!
In terms of fame and power, Munn Kingdom had contended against over 30 alliances from the Country of Light and definitely was the underdogs. In fact, other than the Munn Kingdom and some tribes by the border, most people were brainwashed in thinking that the Munn Kingdom was filled with greedy and selfish nobles who only cared for their own well-being and squeezed every cent out of all everyone... See, what a pathetic bunch.
However, many people didn't know that every year, the Munn Kingdom had been contributing a sum of money to the Country of Light, which covered one-third of their entire finance. Besides, they had even announced that these were presents for the Light Dragon. However, was the money for the Country of Light's parliament or for the people of the Country of Light? No one knew.
As long as the Country of Light parliament did their part in serving the Light Dragon as ministers, then it didn't matter where they spent the money on.
According to the Country of Light's parliament, they should gracefully reject this huge sum of money because these were gold coins that were filled with blood and tears of people forced into paying up by the evil nobles in the Munn Kingdom. They couldn't accept such filthy money.
But did they dare reject it?
Every member of the Country of Light's parliament knew clearly in their hearts that as the richest in the country and also the strongest in terms of financial stability, the sum of money was the main source of income that supported Country of Light. If they had the morals to not accept the money, the Country of Light would go bankrupt in a couple years time... This was why even though they disregarded the Country of Light's parliament, the parliament could only admit such.
Now, back to the Sacred Arena.
Although, due to these various reasons and conflicts from the higher-ups that the Light Dragon could no longer influence the arena, this place was still kept in proper. Once every few years, there would be similar tests and training, but the difference was that the winner here could become an honorable guard of the Munn Kingdom, which was also a remarkable achievement.
However, those who had the rights to enter the Sacred Arena to fight were strong personnels who were already famous and held noble statuses. To the mercenaries, although they respected this arena, they knew that this was only a dream. They didn't have the ability or right to enter this most sacred stage.
But now, their dream had come true.
And what excited the mercenaries was not only their chance to step onto this sacred stage, but this also gave them a chance for unimaginable honor. When Lydia changed the location of the Midsummer Festival, she also announced that the winner of the Midsummer Festival would not only would receive the title of Honorable Guard, but also the right to fulfill one wish of his.
The whole kingdom exploded with excitement.
Not only was Lydia only 16 to 17 years old, but she was also a stunning beauty. For such an exceptionally beautiful lady to confess that she could fulfill 'any wish' of the winner, any normal man would let their imagination run wild. There were some mercenaries who even began to daydream that if they became the winner, he would have the chance to get close and personal to this beautiful Royal Highness. Or maybe... If his own wish was to marry her, then wouldn't that be a huge steal?!
Even ordinary mercenaries would think of this point, not to mention the four largest guilds.
Rhode was clear of this himself.
"What do you think, Marlene?"
He placed the letter down and looked at Marlene, who was knitting her brows in unsettlement.
"I don't know what's going on in Her Royal Highness' head."
Marlene said helplessly.
"The only thing I can say is that... Royal Highness Lydia isn't someone who would make rash decisions... Of course, I admit that many times, her methods seem strange at first, she always seems to control of the situation. In fact, only when everything settles down will you then realise that she had actually planned every single step..."
"I know what you mean."
Rhode empathized. It was the same as in the game. Lydia would often come up with strange ideas during the fight against the Country of Dark, appointing missions that the players felt were ridiculous. However, everytime players completed the mission, they realised that they had contributed the most in turning the war to their side. And all it was due to Lydia's out-of-the-box thinking that the Munn Kingdom could resist the Country of Dark for so long...
However, in the end, she still failed.
Rhode knew Lydia well and due to this reason, he had a tingling feeling that there was a scheme lingering behind this announcement. Maybe this sentence sounded like an unintentional mistake, but Rhode was confident that she had everything planned.
You would be wrong to think that Archangels wouldn't resort to crafty plots and machinations...
Besides, there was this [Honorable Peak] mission.
There weren't many details and there was only a single line on the mission board.
"The winner of the Midsummer Festival will return to the path of honor and reproduce the lost glory."
Just a short sentence without any specific goal or reward. But Rhode didn't feel like this was a dispensable mission because the color of this mission indicated that it was an elite mission, and remunerations would be generous.
Not to mention, Lydia's promise...
Rhode folded the letter and stood up.
"Marlene, is everyone ready to move out?"
"We can move out anytime, Mr. Rhode."
Marlene said confidently.
Rhode nodded and opened the huge door.
"Alright then, let's go."