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 The fortress restored its usual peace as the days went by. The reinforcements temporarily withdrew to reorganize their troops while the Battle Angel Army and Magic Fleet left to assist the other regional fortresses. All these were within Rhode's expectations and also the reason why he annihilated the enemies at once. If the battle dragged on for too long, the Battle Angel Army and Magic Fleet might possibly be mobilized to other regions and he wouldn't have sufficient forces to handle the enemies. But now, he got to enjoy a period of peaceful time and wasn't afraid even if the Battle Angel Army wasn't around to provide support. Although he had lost quite a number of soldiers, he wasn't concerned that the Undead Army would return anytime soon.

This wasn't a battle between the Country of Darkness and the Country of Light where only one side could survive. As soon as the Country of Darkness realized that their input and output weren't proportional, they quickly changed their decision. In the game, one of the reasons why the Country of Darkness was so powerful was that they could 'recruit' the dead on the battlefield. Every time they won, the corpses on the battlefield would turn into their replenishment-it was this snowball effect that was the most crucial in their growth in terrifying numbers. However, the Undead Army's snowball failed to roll as the Munn Kingdom was prepared beforehand, which led to the Undead Army lacking the low levels yet most important troops. As a result, they needed to mobilize their other forces.

The Country of Darkness' every movement was as though proving that Rhode's inferences were coming true step by step. They shrunk their military strength and defensive line like never before. It seemed that the Country of Darkness was at a loss after their continuous attacks failed. Rhode wasn't worried that the four legendary generals would finally turn up by his doorsteps. Previously, he was afraid of this possibility because the Country of Darkness's attack was like a hot knife through butter. Although the four legendary generals knew that this warfare would strengthen the forces of the lower-level families, this was the Dark Dragon's 'basic national policy' and they had no choice but to ensure that the operations went smoothly. But now, not only was the war in a surprising stalemate, but the lower-level families had also gotten themselves into trouble like how Cullen would be reprimanded for being incapable in commanding. On the other hand, his elite troops were all eliminated in this battle and these results might slowly be seen from the other battlefronts. When that happened, the four legendary generals would surely be watching the fire burn from across the river. After all, this 'basic national policy' was approved by the Dark Dragon personally and the middle to lower-level families were the ones who benefitted. Since that was the case, the middle to lower-level families would need to take up the responsibilities of failure and the four legendary generals wouldn't mind letting the Munn Kingdom eliminate the threats and annoying pests on their behalf.

Rhode predicted that since the Country of Darkness was pulling back, the next battle would likely develop in two possible directions: one, the Country of Darkness would pull back entirely, reorganize their forces, and start a war with the Light Mainland once they were ready; or two, after Munn Kingdom destroyed enough 'cake sharers' of power in the Country of Darkness and opened up new positions for the old, ancient families, this would force the Country of Darkness to abandon the following battles, conduct peace talks, and cease fire.

But no matter which direction the battle developed in, Rhode's fortress would have at least a three-months of rest in the coming year, which was extremely crucial. This was because his insufficient number of soldiers had decreased even more in the battle with Cullen. He had no choice but to recruit a large group of mercenaries from his guild into his private army. He previously planned to observe these people to see if they were qualified to join his army. However, after this latest battle, the mercenaries had proven that they were devoted and strong enough to stay behind, so there weren't any issues in recruiting them.

It was due to this that he roped in about two-thirds of the mercenaries from the guild, which was about 600 members, to become his private soldiers. The remaining mercenaries who were less than 100 in numbers continued to stay in the guild. However, he naturally wouldn't favor one and discriminate against the other. He promoted the remaining mercenaries as respective team leaders to lead the newly-joined mercenaries in serving the guild. As for the recruitment works, Shauna was placed in charge.

However, Rhode couldn't only rely on mercenaries to be his private soldiers. Therefore, he roped in the mercenaries and also recruited soldiers from Paphield in the name of Lydia's order. Of course, the soldiers weren't as powerful as mercenaries, but gaining numbers was his priority while quality could be improved as they received training.

"Interesting."

Rhode let out a snort after reading the content of the delivered letter and tossed it on the desk. His dense murderous intent filled the entire room that was in complete silence.

There was only one reason that could make him this furious-he received the letter from Lydia, which stated that the Light Parliament had dispatched an investigation team to his fortress in the name of observing Rhode and learning how they repelled the Undead Army. However, their true motive was to investigate the possible connections between the Munn Kingdom and the Country of Darkness.

It seems like the Light Parliament hasn't given up yet. They have gotten into trouble internally and externally, but aren't forgetting to smear our reputation. It seems necessary to destroy this country. If not, I won't ever lead a peaceful life on this continent. Rhode thought inwardly. Moreover, what left him speechless was that Lydia didn't obtain this information through her intelligence network. Instead, it was Lilian who wrote to her about it.

Rhode didn't know that the relationship between Lilian and the Light Parliament had turned sour after she had lost her temper in their meeting. However, even though the Light Parliament gave up in summoning Rhode and Lydia to Casabianca for investigation, they used their authority to dispatch an investigation team. This was where the Light Parliament was most sly in. In name, Lydia was Lilian's subordinate, so it would require Lilian's approval to summon Lydia to Casabianca. However, if this was requested in the name of the Country of Light's benefits, the Light Parliament could call the shots and didn't need Lilian's approval. Besides, the reason that they used was great-Rhode and his fortress repelled the Undead Army twice in a row, which proved that they had an excellent method of dealing with the Undead Creatures. Wasn't this information what the Light Mainland needed the most? Therefore, this investigation team had been sent to learn as much as they could in order to protect the people of Light Mainland.

Of course, Lilian knew what the Light Parliament was truly up to, but couldn't find any powerful reasons to retort. As a result, all she did was to write a letter to inform Lydia of their doings and the grievances that she suffered during this period of time. If the Light Parliament were to find out, they would surely accuse Lilian of having illicit relations with a foreign country.

Or perhaps having illicit relations with an enemy country.

"Hmph."

Rhode gazed out of the window. According to the letter, the investigation team had entered the Munn Kingdom and was heading into the Land of Atonement.

It seems like the Light Parliament has rolled up their sleeves. Alright then, I shall play along with them-I hope they won't regret it.

Rhode's eyes glinted with an ice-cold, evil smile.

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