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 It was finally over.

Rhode sighed. Right now, his legs felt weak and could no longer stand stably. In the end, all the continuous summoning and darting around consumed a lot of his soul power and stamina which left him extremely drained. He leaned on the wall for a moment before walking over to the remains of the statue which had turned into a pile wrecked marble and cement. Then, he reached out and picked up his sword and an odd rock from the rubble. It was an egg-like oval-shaped rock with a murky grey color. If one didn't observe carefully, it would seem no different than those roadside pebbles. But Rhode knew that this stone was the primary cause of the tragedy here.

Soul Binding Stone. An extremely rare mineral that was found in hell. It had the ability to absorb the soul of the living and influence their mind. Usually, it was utilized by the devils to manipulate humans and was considered to be quite valuable, even to the devils. Under normal circumstances, the chances of discovering this rock was almost zero. Even for a master level mage, finding it was an extremely difficult, arduous task.

To Rhode, this rock still had a significant role - Soul Imprison.

That was the main factor why the stone was sold at an astronomical price back in the game. It could imprison the soul of a creature that had been killed by the player, and return it to its the original state. In other words, this was a treasure that could create a Soul Core.

The Soul Binding Stone was even rarer than the Soul Core, which was the reason why it wasn't as well known as the Soul Core. Only after the invasion of hell event would the players discover the existence of the Soul Binding Stone Soon, this gem became very popular in the continent and became a necessity for mages and summoning swordsmen.

Now, thinking back to the event, Deep Stone City was indeed one of the few frontline bases which were occupied by devil army. At that time, it seemed that there was nothing odd about it, but now, as he held the Soul Binding Stone in his hand, he could not help but muse over this matter. Apparently, this rock that was 'accidentally dug out', ultimately hinted towards the players that the mine in Deep Stone City had some kind of connection to hell.

But now wasn't the time to think of this matter yet. The invasion of hell event was triggered by the destruction of the Dragon Soul Continent. Right now, the continent was still peaceful, and the dragon soul power did not seem to have any problem. Thinking about that world-altering event right now was pointless. Thus, Rhode stopped his train of thoughts and picked the rock up before stuffing it into his bag. Then he went on looking for more loot.

However, it was a pity that Rhode's luck wasn't at its best. As much as he searched, he couldn't locate the Master Sculptor Cyril's dagger, 'Sorrowful Lament.' It was a half-legendary magic weapon. Not only was its attack high, but it had a passive chance of imbuing poison and curse in every attack. For a swordsman or a thief, this magic artifact was a good choice, but unfortunately, even when he overturned the entire mansion, all he could find was a magic necklace.

Rhode sighed and said nothing. He just shrugged his shoulder helplessly and accepted his loss. After all, he was a Summoning Swordsman, and the randomness of spirit fusion or obtaining items were far higher than other classes. That was why he didn't linger on lamenting about his luck this time. He just needed to count his blessings and concern himself about the BOSS attack patterns and mechanics instead. I mean, he still had to continue to 'play' right?

In the forum, there was a saying: "There is no useless spell, only useless mages." From Rhode's point of view, this sentence could be used for other classes as well. There was no useless equipment, only useless players. In the end, the mind itself determined the technique. Even premium players (pay-to-win) had to learn how to play first before they could rise to the top.

Lize, who was standing at the entrance also felt weak and sat on the ground.

It wasn't her first time experiencing a fierce battle, but this battle was really carved deeply into her mind because this was the first time that she won a battle by manipulating the enemy's aggressive nature.

When she was faced with the sea of bones at the last minute, Lize's heartbeat raced astronomically. She kept casting a barrier on herself and attacked the bone arms which shot towards her in all directions with her fastest speed to date. This was the first time she made such a fierce offensive, although did it seem more like an instinctive resistance in the end. Even when the battle ended, her heart kept beating rapidly as she could not recover from this excitement. Never in her life so far did she experience such tension and excitement on the battlefield.

The girl clenched her fists and stared at her own two hands. Right now, her hands were trembling and felt powerless. However, besides fatigue, she felt a trace of satisfaction.

She succeeded.

A new day dawned upon the world.

When the sun rose, rays of light permeated through the windows and shone into the house. The formerly gloomy and dark house lost its eerie atmosphere from before. Even the weeds outside no longer looked sinister and seemed more energized.

While they were both exhausted, things still had to be done. Rhode gathered whatever strength he had left to send Lize back to the Mercenary Association to get rest and handle the procedures at the same time. Lize naturally had no objections to that.

After she left, Rhode was relieved, and he opened the mercenary group system while leaning against the wall.

After confirming that he had acquired the house, the mercenary group system finally revealed the complete map of the old house with the exception of the basement. This house had three floors, and the whole building was T-shaped if reversed. The main building had a hall, guest rooms, study, bedroom and many others. At the back, there were even servant quarters.

Rhode certainly did not intend to use this design. After all, the current model resembled a noble's house rather than a mercenary group stronghold. Moreover, typically, mercenaries came from the lower castes and had a bad relationship with the upper nobility. If the stronghold was made as luxurious as a noble's house, then it would certainly give a sense of exclusion, which was unfavorable for development. Thus, Rhode made his own construction program.

But before that, he still needed to experiment the difference between the mercenary group system in reality, and in the game.

After last night's chaos, 35% of the stronghold had been destroyed. The map before him revealed a yellow highlight, and a part of the collapsed floor was shown in a red color. This meant that the system suggested repairing this segment first.

Rhode selected the 'repair' option. Then, another system prompt immediately appeared,

[Repair Stronghold?]

Yes.

[Completely repairing stronghold will need 15000 gold coins. Repair?]

Seeing this line, Rhode furrowed his brows and did not hesitate to choose 'no'. Soon, another system prompt once again appeared.

[Please choose the repair type --- repair the house, repair the

furniture

,

or complete repair. ]

Repair the house.

[Repairing housing will consume 500 gold coins, continue?]

Continue.

Rhode's heart dropped, then the system prompt before him immediately disappeared.

A golden light flashed before him, then it quickly expanded into a grid and encompassed the ground, walls, and ceilings. After that, everything changed.

Worn and damaged walls were repaired in an instant, and the decaying furniture also disappeared. In a blink of an eye, the hall that was previously full of garbage, was wholly renovated. There were no more holes in the floor. The decorations and furniture had also disappeared, leaving only a sword and shield decoration on the wall that gave off a clean look.

In less than five minutes, the old, dilapidated house had changed entirely. Cracks in the wall could no longer be seen, weeds were all plucked clean, and the wooden staircase was brand new. Looking at this drastic change, the whole stronghold had a different feel from before. The previous shabby, decadent look was replaced with a glorious sensation.

On the wall, a dark flag hung down. There was a cross-shaped star symbol on it. It was the mercenary group's flag.

Very nice!

Rhode nodded in satisfaction, It seems that at least the system here worked the same as the game. For him, this was enough. But the only pity was that he spent a lot of money just to repair the housing. Rhode's fat wallet has begun to slim down.

But Rhode did not care much about the money. After he understood the construction system functions and rules, he repaired the hall, study room, and bedroom. Although the mercenary group size was still too small, and he could only build level 1 rooms, Rhode still spent about 700 to 800 gold coins. When Rhode finally repaired the whole house, just 370 gold coins remained from the initial 2500 gold coins.

As the saying goes, spend money like water. This saying was totally relevant right now.

But looking at the new information before him, he was delighted.

Name: Starlight

Size: small

Leader: Rhode Alander

Members: 1

Stronghold: 1 (Medium)

Level: 1

Reputation: Obscure

Facilities: Hall (LV: 1 mood increased by 5%), Study room (LV: 1, can investigate the information from mercenary group members), bedroom (LV: 1 physical recovery increased by 5%).

Done.

After looking at all the information, Rhode sighed in relief. He closed his eyes and slumped onto a wooden chair next to him, his index finger gently knocking against the handrails. After a few minutes, he opened his eyes, and a determined expression appeared on his face.

Good. Things are going as planned.

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