"I expected someone to be here, but I didn't know that it would be you, Grand Mage Amund."
Rhode put away the letter in his hand, crossed his arms, and leaned back on his chair. Just a few moments ago, he calmly read the letter sent by the Light Parliament. The so-called 'calmly' referred to him not smacking the table furiously, ripping it apart, or cursing before throwing it into the flames-yes, he had indeed read the letter calmly.
"I don't understand what the idiots of the Light Parliament are thinking and I don't care at all, Grand Mage Amund. The front line is in an urgent situation and I have to stay here in case the Undead Army attacks. Moreover, I have a shortage of manpower. So, I apologize. I can't respond to the pleads from those idiots. They have to clean up the mess they've created and are better off using their corpses to defend against the Undead Army."
Amund displayed a bitter smile to Rhode's ruthless words. Of course, he understood clearly that this young man was evading the matter on hand. Everyone knew that the Land of Atonement held the most stable front line, where 150,000 troops were burned into ashes. Judging from the current situation, the Country of Darkness temporarily lacked sufficient troops to launch another attack. However, Rhode was smart to respond with this reason because the Light Parliament wouldn't have any other ways to retort.
"I'm sure you've also seen Her Royal Highness Lydia's suggestion..."
"Yes, Grand Mage Amund. Her Royal Highness Lydia has indeed 'suggested' it. If it is her 'order', I, as the subject, will have the obligation to comply. However, if this is just a 'suggestion', then I apologize. I won't send my people to die for the sake of the Light Parliament's foolish actions."
Rhode narrowed his eyes and swept a glance to the letter on his desk. He admitted that Lydia was an understanding person. In this letter, the Light Parliament explained that they were admirable of Rhode's abilities to repel the Undead Army. Currently, the Winter Castle was facing the threats of the Undead Army and in order to defeat them, they needed stronger reinforcements such as Rhode's forces. If it were possible, they wished to receive the support of the Holy Maiden Statues. Not only that, but they also hoped to receive help from the Munn Kingdom and other nations to form an alliance!
If this was all to the content in the letter, Rhode would have tossed it away. Lydia's suggestion was the only reason stopping him from ripping it up. She didn't mention that Rhode had to accept the Light Parliament's proposal. Instead, she tactfully 'suggested' for Rhode to take more considerations into this matter and stated a few reasons. For example, once the Winter Castle collapsed, the front lines by the border of the Munn Kingdom would need to be extended. However, the preparation by the rear wasn't ready yet. If the Winter Castle crumbled, the Undead Army could directly wrap around the defensive lines of Paphield-Grenbell, Dragon Canyon, Eastern Plains, and Sygram and launch their attacks on the Munn Kingdom. Rhode was aware that if the situation ended up in this state, it would be useless even if his fortress was secure.
However, this wasn't what made him curious. Instead, Lydia clearly hinted that this wasn't the reason she wished for him to head into the Winter Castle. As for the specific information, Rhode could ask Amund for them. It was apparent that there were some essential matters Lydia didn't reveal in the letter.
It was due to this that Rhode waited for Amund's explanation with crossed arms while totally neglecting the ashen-looking soldier around-from the start, Rhode didn't give a damn about this armored knight from the Country of Light. The knight held in his wrath as he listened to Rhode's disdain and ridicules toward the Country of Light. However, what could he say? Did he dare to refute? If it weren't for Amund, this knight wouldn't even dare to step into this ridiculous place. The Land of Atonement had become a place of devils and monsters to the people of the Country of Light. Whoever stepped into it would be cursed with misfortune!
But now, the knight finally couldn't tolerate anymore. He stepped forward perhaps due to his pride as the people of the Country of Light or because Amund stood beside him. He knitted his brows and said loudly.
"My apologies, Sir Overlord. I don't agree with what you said! The Undead Army is currently eying the situation covetously. We, as humans, should abandon our grudges and work hand in hand. This will bring us a chance to defeat the disgusting Undead Creatures!"
Rhode let out a grunt. The knight spoke forcefully with justice, but it was a pity that it didn't work on him. Rhode couldn't care less about the hackneyed arguments about humans joining forces against external threats, which was also why he hated Hollywood movies. The group of idiot scientists who were so-called exploring the truth provoked aliens who then attacked earth. After countless people died and finally defeated the aliens, the group of scientists basked in glory as though they were the ones who rescued the world. This made Rhode sick. If it weren't for the group of idiots from the Country of Light that deployed their army by the border, would the Country of Darkness see it as an opportunity to invade the Light Mainland?
Rhode didn't respond to the knight because the latter was just an unimportant character who wasn't worthy of his time. Rhode knitted his brows and gazed at Amund, hoping for an explanation. Amund let out a sigh and gestured for the knight to step back,to which the latter complied. The knight didn't understand why many people in the Country of Light hated this young man and now, he finally understood the reason. This young man held no respect and treated the Country of Light like a weak-minded concentration camp and disregarded the Light Parliament. This left the knight extremely dissatisfied. If he didn't come here with the identity of an emissary and if Rhode's reputation wasn't so notorious, he would have drawn his sword for a showdown-but he was also aware that his head would be hung on the entrance of this fortress if he lost his mind and made such a foolish decision.
After the door closed, Amund let out a bitter laugh and shook his head helplessly at Rhode.
"Mr. Rhode, you don't have to be this critical sometimes. After all, the problems with the Country of Light... Everyone is aware."
"But if I don't say it, they will act as though they aren't aware. This makes me sick, Grand Mage Amund. I have to criticize and infuriate them because it makes me feel great."
Rhode shrugged, spread his arms apart, and revealed a distasteful expression. All Amund could do was to shake his head with a bitter smile. However, it was this moment that Amund became more favorable of this young man. In the past, he had always seen Rhode in his cunning side. Even though most successful people behaved this way, Rhode was still too young and it wasn't great for him to put up a poker face everyday. Now that Amund saw him behaving this way, he felt that this young man had some stubbornness that young people should always have. Amund knew a lot about the matters in the Country of Light as the Court Grand Mage. However, due to his position, he couldn't say much even if he wanted to. He naturally felt great to hear Rhode mocking the Country of Light and Light Parliament. But he couldn't admit it, of course. Moreover, there were more important matters that they had to discuss.
"Alright, Mr. Rhode. This isn't the main discussion."
Amund let out a cough and lowered his voice.
"Regarding the contents of the letter, Her Royal Highness Lydia wishes for you to head into the Winter Castle and provide assistance to their defense. If you're concerned about anything, she can dispatch the Battle Angel Army to secure your fortress in the meantime. Besides, if your fortress is under attack, you can return immediately. Of course, regarding the suggestion to the Holy Maiden Statues, Her Royal Highness Lydia has also read it and thinks that it will be a good idea if it can be done. Sure, producing the Holy Maiden Statues requires money and it will be at the expense of the state treasury."
Rhode puckered his brows and gazed at Amund dubiously. It was rather strange that Lydia had given him so much respect, but this wasn't the reason that made him curious. He sharply detected the meaning behind Amund's words-it would be best that Rhode headed to the Winter Castle while Lydia was willing to send the Battle Angel Army to support the fortress?
This was the question that he was most concerned about.
Why must it be me?
Rhode ignored the words of the Light Parliament and treated them as farts. In fact, if he were an ordinary overlord, he could send a team of soldiers to the front line and express to the Light Parliament that he was occupied with other matters. Even if the Light Parliament accused him of anything, he wouldn't be hurt in any way.
But now, Lydia wished that he could head over personally and this meant that the problem was huge. What was so important that he had to head there personally?
"This was what happened."
Amund lowered his voice.
"Her Royal Highness Lydia was aware of this news before making this decision. The news was that Her Majesty will be heading to the Winter Castle to boost morale and observe the battle. So..."
So this is why!
Rhode's eyes glinted. He finally understood the reason now. There was only one person in the Light Mainland who was worthy to be called Her Majesty-the Light Dragon Soul Heir, Lilian.
Previously, Rhode couldn't figure out the reason because he didn't consider Lilian as one of the factors. In the game, Lilian's presence was almost close to none, where she didn't influence any situations at all and the players weren't too interested in her. But now, it seemed that Rhode had changed the story. After the Dragon Soul Ceremony, Lilian slowly shaped into the ruler and heir that she should have been. Of course, she didn't do a great job and some things were even done poorly. However, this was for the best that Rhode could change the future. More important, anything that Lilian did could be seen as a lethal blow to the Light Parliament. The Light Parliament would surely try all ways to stop Lilian from recovering her authority.
It was due to this reason that when he heard that Lilian was heading to the Winter Castle to boost morale of the soldiers, he instantly understood what Lydia had planned. Previously, it definitely wasn't an 'accident' for him to meet Lilian in Casabianca. Judging from Lydia's actions, it appeared that she looked favorably on their meeting and now, she even hinted to him to visit the Winter Castle. It was apparent that she wished that Rhode could influence Lilian even more. As the Archangel, Lydia couldn't often leave her territory, so someone had to do it on her behalf.
However, Rhode didn't expect that even though Lydia indeed had such an intention, the one who suggested that he headed into the Winter Castle was Lilian!
It was previously mentioned that Lilian was a kind, innocent child and the Light Parliament exploited this part of her. From the start, they stopped her from heading into the front line and naturally parted on bad terms. Then, the Light Parliament found another way. They agreed with Lilian, but at the same time raised a 'suggestion'. It was imaginable how an innocent girl like Lilian would believe in the good guys joining forces in dealing with the evil enemies. Moreover, the Light Parliament somehow managed to learn about the relationship between Rhode and Lilian, which they purposely suggested to Lilian to invite Rhode into the alliance. This was great news for Lilian because she would be delighted to meet Rhode, which was why she agreed without any hesitation.
See? We've received the authorization from the Light Dragon and this is her seal of approval right here. What are you gonna do about it, Munn Kingdom? Hahaha. You called yourselves the loyal subjects of the Light Dragon, eh? Surely you won't defy her, right?
This was also why the Light Parliament brazenly raised such a request.
Rhode knitted his brows. The Light Parliament had indeed forgotten their past pains after their wounds were healed and dared to provoke him. Since Lilian agreed to their invitation for Rhode, it meant that Lilian wished to meet him. However, she was still the Light Dragon, after all. If the Light Parliament taunted Rhode on purpose in the Winter Castle, things would be in big trouble. Lilian definitely wouldn't wish to see Rhode attacking the Light Parliament. If the Light Parliament manipulated her properly, they might even make Lilian dissatisfied with Lydia, which would surely influence the Munn Kingdom.
However, if Rhode submitted to the humiliation, the Light Parliament would definitely climb all over and vent their frustrations on him.
Their scheme is quite well-thought.
Rhode revealed a gentle smile.
"I got it, Grand Mage Amund. I accept the invitation."