It was noon when Rhode stepped out of the underground prison.
Everything was going on normally in the fortress and just as he had predicted, the Undead Army feared to expose themselves in the glaring day, which was why the Dark Dragon attacked the Light Dragon before announcing the start of the war.
The clash between light and dark didn't only bring about changes to the environment, and this was the difference between Dragons and battles between nations. Both sides didn't only want to dominate each other's land, but they also wanted to conquer the skies. In the beginning, the Dark Dragon attacked the Light Mainland, which caused the Light Dragon Soul protection to crumble entirely. But the shattered Light Dragon Soul slowly restored over time and resisted the Dark Dragon's attack. And this way, if they wished to attack and completely dominate each other's territory, not only did they need to defeat the army, but they also need to search and destroy the core which was used to awaken and support the Dragon Soul Powers. This was the only way to banish the Light Dragon Soul protection from this continent and allow darkness to invade forever.
In the mid stages of the game, this was one of the main reasons why the Country of Light and Country of Darkness got into a stalemate. Even though the players and NPCs lost their territory and army, they gathered around the Light Dragon Soul's core to execute guerrilla warfare and defend against the Undead Army until the Light Parliament offered the Light Dragon to the Dark Dragon. That was when the Light Dragon Soul protection crumbled, eternal darkness enveloped the entire Light Mainland, and the hard work of players and NPCs were shattered.
This was also when the Light Parliament paid their price for this naive mistake. Rhode led his guild and launched a ferocious assault on them from the rear. In the process, many players who were born in the Country of Light were infuriated that their hard work went down the drain due to the Light Parliament's foolish actions and they joined Rhode to take them down. In the end, tens of thousands of players infiltrated and massacred the merchants and nobles Casabianca. Not only that, but Rhode also led a group of elites into the Light Parliament hall and slaughtered every parliament member.
Thereafter, they launched their final, successful attack on the Undead Army and even eliminated the Dark Dragon. But after the Dark Dragon and Light Dragon died, their Dragon Soul protection over this entire continent crumbled completely and that was the beginning of chaos, where demons and devils came to the surface. This was the start of the second chapter: 'Chaos and Order'.
'Chaos and Order' was a strangely magnificent chapter to the players. Even though the continent became a terrifying world to the natives, where cities, towns, and villages were threatened by demons and devils and massacres happened everywhere, they were the best conditions for the players to arise. Territories without the Dragon Soul protection ultimately needed a stable environment. Thereafter, many formidable guilds received the title of 'Knights of Order' from the Country of Law as they raised their flags proudly and demolished Chaos.
According to the game settings, after they eliminated all Chaos and reawakened the Dragon Soul protection, they would become the rightful and legal rulers. This way, they received countless benefits such as the support from natives, legendary artifacts, missions, territories, and recruitment of unique NPCs. This second chapter could also be considered to be the generation for players. Apart from some NPC nations that survived the war, most of the player guilds or empires were rampant and Rhode's Starlight who activated this new chapter was highly thought of and respected. Of course, it went without saying that Starlight benefited the most. As the strongest guild in the game, they dominated a huge territory which included the Munn Kingdom and one-third of the Country of Light and Country of Darkness. This became one of the reasons why more players joined his Starlight later on.
Rhode looked at the azure sky and white, fluffy clouds. The holy ritual circle made up of Rule Threads were clearly enveloping the entire sky. Rhode shrugged and his eyes glinted with a trace of a smile. Then, he turned to Nell behind him. Upon sensing the glaring sun, she pulled her hood down hurriedly.
At this moment, she had put on her usual equipment: a pitch-black leather armor and two curved blades around her waist which clearly marked her as an assassin. Rhode judged from her aura that she was around level 57 at the Peak Master Stage, which was decent for an assassin. But judging from his experiences in the game, he was aware that she would enter the Legendary Stage in the future. If not, she couldn't have murdered the matriarch who was in the Legendary Stage.
But her behavior didn't look as though she was an experienced assassin. She limped, held her waist from time to time, and refused to speak. But Rhode knew that this was too stimulating for her first experience...
After the event in the underground prison, Rhode successfully altered Nell's curse with Celestina's help by engraving his spiritual energy into her soul. Nell would forever obey and serve as his loyal servant. Even though Rhode controlled Nell's and Sara's souls, both were entirely different cases.
Rhode activated his system interface.
After gaining the rights to Nell and Sara, the system reflected them as his subordinates. However, their relationship statuses were unlike the mercenaries. Sara's relationship status was marked at a fixed peak, gray in color, and described as [Obey]. On the other hand, Nell's relationship status presented a faint green and hovered around [Indifferent].
This wasn't too surprising since Corpse Slaves weren't living creatures, strictly speaking. Sara was more like a robot with self-conscious. Perhaps she had self-judgment, but she definitely couldn't defy the owner who held her controller. Therefore, there basically weren't changes to her feelings toward Rhode just like when Rhode received her soul from Cullen and she immediately revealed everything about Cullen even though she spent more than a decade serving him. This was because the word 'loyalty' didn't exist in her dictionary. As a Corpse Slave, she could only become the slave of her spirit holder, just like how robots couldn't choose their owners.
To the contrary, Nell was different, where she, as a sacrificial soul, was more like under a type of curse that restricted her entirely. She would be punished as long as she broke the rules. But as long as she obeyed the content of the curse, she would be relatively free-at least more than Sara.
Just in case, Rhode added the command of 'Without any permission and under no circumstances shall she harm or kill anyone' when he altered the curse. This was a broad request, but Rhode knew how cunning the Dark Elves were. The society that they lived in wasn't any kinder than the Country of Darkness. It could also be said that if he released Nell and Sara and made them battle alongside others, the others who grew up with morals and conscience of the Light Mainland would surely be traumatized. If there was a need to kill a crying baby, Nell and Sara would do it without any hesitation. But if it were Marlene and Lize, perhaps they could never do it.
This was not only the difference between characters, but also the difference between social values. In order for his team to remain united, it was essential to prevent unstable factors from disrupting them.
Nell followed Rhode in silence and turned a deaf ear to everything happening around her. She had been behaving this way ever since she woke up from her traumatic experience, but it seemed that she accepted Rhode as her master. Moreover, Rhode felt some extent of respect in her actions and tone. It was apparent that she was completely convinced after their intimate interactions.
That was just how the Dark Elves were-strength, status supremacy, so-called dignity, and determination weren't essential to them. But deep down, she actually disagreed with Rhode, which was why [Indifferent] was shown in the system. However, Rhode knew that it could be improved in the future.
After Rhode and Celestina ended their affectionate moments, the latter left in satisfaction. But, Rhode had more work to do as he needed to ask Nell about crucial matters. Even though women usually dislike men who talked about business right after their intimate moments were over, Rhode didn't care at all. He had no feelings for Nell and their sexual intercourse was purely due to his desire. If it wasn't for the troublesome curse, he wouldn't have done it with her and would resolve the problem later. After all, it was more important to resolve the problem. As for the next one... Since she was already in his hand, why would he need to be afraid that she escaped?
Although Nell didn't approve of him, her soul was engraved with his spiritual energy, after all. Therefore, she narrated everything in full details to him.
Rhode finally received the information that he needed.