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 After the Undead Army was annihilated entirely, the folks in the fortress were finally relieved of the tension that lasted for a month. However, the soldiers were the only ones who were relaxed as Rhode delegated the sentry duties to the Battle Angels and let the soldiers off on an extended holiday. The exhausted soldiers cheered with both arms raised, but this didn't mean that Rhode had it easy. He was still responsible for the post-war losses and personnel replenishment.

In terms of war damage, there was nothing particularly worthy of his attention. As the Undead Creatures failed to breakthrough the city walls, the fortress didn't suffer any damages internally apart from the destruction the Skeletal Trolls and Vampires left on the city walls. However, these issues were minor and one could easily repair it or Rhode could simply tap on the system interface and spend some money to fix them.

On the contrary, the situation with the number of casualties wasn't as simple.

He had lost nearly a thousand soldiers, which was an acceptable number. No matter what, he used up to 10,000 troops to defend against an army of 150,000 troops. On the other hand, the regional army that Bayer led suffered grave losses, especially at the start of the battle when they were inexperienced in facing the Undead Army. Even though the number of casualties slowly decreased as the days passed, two-thirds of their forces were gravely injured post-war, which was a huge number. Although they successfully repelled the enemies and defended the fortress, Bayer displayed a rather gloomy complexion. However, this was a war and no matter how prepared one was, unexpected situations were bound to happen. If they were to speak about anything fortunate, they could be thankful that the Battle Angel Army was around to heal their injuries and only a few number of them died during the war.

In addition, there were many areas that needed to be cleaned up. The Battle Angels were responsible for clearing the remains of the Undead Creatures by stacking and burning them into ashes. Thereafter, they held carnival banquets to celebrate their victory. Apart from the Ocean Elves who weren't interested in festive occasions, almost everyone in the fortress participated and used this method to heal their pain in losing their family members and friends.

On the other hand, the '998' sales plan that Rhode and Gillian came up with succeeded. After confirming that the Undead Army was completely destroyed, the reinforcements returned to their territories to recuperate and regroup their forces. Before they left, their representatives asked Rhode about the Holy Maiden Statues. Even though everyone was aware of the Holy Maiden Statues' advantages and flaws, the situations that they were in were different from Rhode's, after all.

Rhode had a lack of manpower which was why he had no choice but to use the Holy Maiden Statues to make up for their offense. But this didn't appear as a problem to the reinforcements as they had sufficient manpower and assistance from the magic cannons. If they could also obtain this legendary artifact in their territory, they would be more confident in facing the Undead Army in future.

Rhode nodded and agreed without much hesitation. He passed the details to Gillian and appointed her and Ann for negotiations. The other party agreed to hand over the deposit first and pay the remaining amount after Rhode completed building the Holy Maiden Statues. There also weren't issues with the delivery. Although the Magic Fleet couldn't be used as cargo ships, it wasn't tough to search for a few floating merchant ships to transport the item.

At this moment, there were dramatic changes in the other battlefronts.

Unsure if it was due to the annihilation of the Undead Army led by Cullen, the other Undead Armies slowed down their pace and showed signs of hesitation for the first time. Even though the other defensive lines in the Munn Kingdom suffered different extent of damages, they were still stable and strong. Not only that, but the Country of Light's defensive line also repelled the Undead Army. It was also rumored that the Country of Light tried to recover their lost ground and Rhode was astounded when he heard this news. He doubted that his knowledge had been completely subverted by this world and only until he knew that the defensive line was guarded by Archangel Boulder and the Battle Angel Army that he let out a sigh of relief.

Thank goodness logic still exists in this world.

Rhode was neither happy nor depressed that the Country of Light defended against the Undead Army since they would either be destroyed by him or the Country of Darkness in the future anyway. He would be thrilled if the Country of Darkness were to defeat Country of Light and leave them weeping and howling desperately. But if the Country of Light defended against the Country of Darkness, he wouldn't mind taking matters into his own hands since he had done so in the game and wouldn't mind repeating reality once more. Although he wasn't hateful toward Lilian, based on his understandings of the Country of Light, he knew that it was almost impossible for her to accomplish and correct things.

Shortly after, Rhode threw this matter to the back of his head and shifted his attention to the plan before him. But he didn't expect that the aftermath from repelling the Undead Army being this tough to eliminate, where it had affected places of up to a thousand miles away.

Casabianca.

The heavy doors opened gradually. A young lady with an aqua-blue, waist-length silky hair stepped forth in her luxurious noble attire. She lifted her head proudly and confidence filled the gaps between her brows. She swept a glance with her pitch-black eyes and her imposing aura instantly muted the servants who whispered into one another's ears and lowered their heads humbly. She let out a snort and shifted her attention to the front-an Elf young lady in a white robe scuttled toward her with a vibrant smile.

"You're finally back! Sonia!"

"Yes, I'm back, Cheryl."

The young lady, Sonia, revealed a gentle smile. She spread her arms apart and embraced the Elf young lady. After a few moments, they separated.

"There are some troublesome matters this time. How is he doing?"

Cheryl's smile stiffened. She lowered her head and sighed.

"Not good... I think... You'd better see it yourself."

The clean, tidy room was in complete silence. The thick curtains concealed the vibrant rays of the sun. Andre leaned against the head of the bed vacantly with layers of white bandages wrapped around his chest. He no longer looked as arrogant and confident anymore. Instead, he looked like an ice-cold corpse.

"He has been behaving this way ever since the Dragon Soul Ceremony ended..."

Cheryl bit her lips and turned around unbearably.

"He didn't speak a word after he woke up. Although we have gotten the Archbishop from the church to dispel his curse, he has become an entirely different man. I think... He still hasn't stepped out of his trauma from the Dragon Soul Ceremony. He blames himself for the death of his men and Teacher Soderfast's injuries. I... I don't know how to console him."

Sonia knitted her brows and gazed at the man before her. Then, she bit her lip before greeting softly.

"Andre?"

"..."

Andre didn't respond. He gazed forward in silence like a dead man.

"Andre!"

Sonia raised her voice, but the man didn't move at all. Then, she stood before him, held his shoulders, and stared straight into his eyes. However, Andre continued to look blankly.

"Look at me, Andre! What happened to you? Do you intend to stay this way forever?"

"..."

"I know you can't accept that painful failure..."

Sonia felt her heart skipped a beat. Back then in the Dragon Soul Ceremony, she personally witnessed the tragedy and empathized with his failure. She had met many of the Magician Knights where they cracked jokes about her and Andre, which left her fuming and helpless. But it was those familiar faces that vanished entirely in that bloody ceremony. The knights who smiled at her became ice-cold corpses. This nightmare of the bloody arena and the demon standing in the middle bothered her for a long time and she often experienced night terrors...

"But it is all in the past!"

Sonia raised her voice, but didn't know if she was encouraging the man before her or feeling embarrassed for her fears.

"We can't live in the past, Andre. This is what you told me. No matter how tough it is, you must stand, step forward, and overcome the obstacles. You're still alive and you're capable of lifting your weapon once again. Mr. Soderfast doesn't blame you; nobody does! If you want to seek revenge for them, you shouldn't be here like a coward. You should be facing the nightmare and defeating it!"

Sonia held her hands on his cheeks gently.

"Do you remember what you told me? We will change this country and turn it into the true Country of Light. Isn't this your ideal and wish? I will wait for you, Andre. I know you can pull yourself together. When that day comes, I will tell you my..."

The young lady pondered for a few seconds. Then, she let out a sigh, stood up, and exited the room.

The door closed behind her and Andre's finger twitched. A trace of hope glinted in his eyes, but was quickly extinguished.

"Andre isn't looking good."

Sonia puckered her brows.

"The parliament is changing their attitude toward him. You know it... Those people always loved to push the blame onto others. Cheryl, I'll leave him in your care. I believe that Andre will pull himself together. He isn't a man who will be defeated so easily."

"I will, Sonia."

Cheryl nodded with might and gazed at the door with sorrowful eyes.

"I will do my best to take care of Andre. Back then, if it wasn't for him who rescued me from the slave dealer, perhaps I would also be in the darkest abyss now. It is my chance to repay him for what he has done for me."

"It's the same for me."

Sonia revealed a bitter smile.

"Without his support, maybe I would still be a puppet in my family. But now, I'm independent and own my status and identity. It was all thanks to his help and I'm willing to do my part for him. After hearing your words, I'm more assured to leave this place now, Cheryl."

"You're heading somewhere?"

Cheryl asked curiously while Sonia nodded with a stern expression.

"That's right. I've received an order from the parliament earlier on. I will lead a team to Paphield-Grenbell to investigate their possible connections with the Country of Darkness."

"Paphield-Grenbell?"

Cheryl instantly recalled a terrifying figure.

"Isn't that..."

"That's right."

Sonia nodded and couldn't conceal her anger and murderous intent.

"I know. That's why I took the initiative to head there."

"But Sonia, that's too dangerous."

Cheryl said worriedly.

"That man isn't easy to deal with. Have you forgotten what happened to Sir Lauren's investigations team? This matter still gives Sir Lauren a huge headache even until now."

"Don't worry, Cheryl."

Sonia unrolled a confident smile.

"The situation is different now. Besides, I have the support of the Lockos Financial Group and am officially sent by the Light Parliament. The Light Parliament has also agreed to my request for Sir Aiken to join us."

Sonia bit her lip, clenched her fists, and her eyes glinted in determination.

"I won't let Andre suffer in vain."

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