After Rhode left the Land of Atonement, Nell had been responsible for training Joey and his team of Thieves, secretly watching over Sara's alchemy workshop, and monitoring situations around the fortress. Rhode had to admit that the ordinary Thieves couldn't be compared to Dark Elves. However, Nell's relationship with the others was limited, unlike Canary who had known Rhode for the longest period and was most familiar with him, which made her the leader among the people. Moreover, she was gentle, powerful, and despite her appearance not being the most beautiful, almost no one opposed to her commands. On the other hand, as Marlene and Lize were childhood friends who had slept with Rhode, so they imperceptibly formed an alliance. Of course, they got along well with Canary and Anne too, which explained why they weren't disgusted after knowing about their intimate relationships with Rhode.
Even though Lapis liked Rhode, their relationship didn't develop into 'that stage', so she was out of the picture. On the other hand, Gillian was difficult to read. As for Christie, everyone knew that Rhode treated her purely as a kin.
In the case of Nell and Sonia... They were less accepted by the other females. Even though Rhode didn't mention publicly his relationship with Nell and Sonia, the other females were extremely sensitive in this aspect. Therefore, Anne, Lize, and Marlene seldom interacted with Nell. On the other hand, Sonia was a member of the Light Parliament and the conflict earlier on by the entrance of the fortress placed her on their list of unpopular women. Canary held a superior position and clearly understood the position of these two women in Rhode's heart.
It was due to this that Marlene grumbled about the trouble that Nell had caused. This wasn't due to jealousy, but was due to their lack of interactions. Besides, Nell was in the wrong for attacking first. After all, it was too much for her to attack a diplomatic emissary from another country without logical reason!
Therefore, Nell was captured after her failed ambush, but Marlene didn't request to lock her up in the underground prison. Instead, she allowed Corina to detain her-one reason was to appease Corina while the other reason was that as Rhode's woman, Marlene disliked a Dark Elf like Nell. Fortunately, Marlene knew that Rhode wasn't emotionally attached to Nell. If Rhode were to be deeply in love with Nell, Marlene would surely explode in jealousy...
Even though Marlene didn't speak too badly about Nell, Rhode sensed the deep discontentment inside her. Just as Marlene thought, Nell was more like a tool for Rhode's physical desires. Previously, in order to make her yield and alter her soul contract completely, he had to 'make love' with her, which also fulfilled his curiosity for intimate experiences with the Dark Elves. In terms of emotional attachment, perhaps Rhode was more attached to Celestina than Nell because in his mind, Nell was nothing more than a servant...
It was due to this reason that Rhode didn't bother eliminating Marlene's and Lize's dissatisfaction toward Nell. This time, Nell had indeed gone overboard and left them in some trouble.
He listened and nodded firmly to their grumbles because he understood their characters. They complained about Nell for the sake of expressing their dissatisfaction and weren't using the chance to kick her out of here. It was especially so for Lize because she was training the church's Clerics and now that this situation happened, it left her in an awkward position. On the other hand, Marlene stepped in as the person in charge whenever Rhode was absent and had to handle the effects of this matter on an internal and diplomatic level, leaving her in an incredible headache.
Rhode consoled both of them and of course, this wasn't enough to solve the problem. This situation required him to take action personally...
No matter what, Corina was the Country of Law's representative, so Rhode had to meet her personally. However, the lack of a solution wasn't a problem for him.
After a series of preparations, Rhode quickly made his way to the church located inside his fortress. It was a tall, triangular building made of black bricks, unlike the magnificent churches that he saw in the real world. The churches in this world appeared low-profile and dignified like the merging of a bank and court. The most glaring object was the symbol hung above the entrance-a badge of two dragons holding a sword and scale each: the symbol of the Country of Law.
Corina lived in the church and didn't require any lavish living conditions as an Elf. After notifying the church of their arrival, Rhode and his men were brought to the courtyard where they saw Corina, and Nell who was locked up in the water cell.
The Elves' so-called water cell wasn't the dark, putrid prison that Rhode built under his fortress. Instead, it was a cube formed by a barrier of water. Rhode was rather curious because Nell didn't seem to be in any discomfort. On the contrary, she gritted her teeth and glared fiercely at Corina as though the latter had murdered her parents... However, wasn't it usual for the Dark Elves to annihilate others' families?
Corina turned to Rhode and shortly after, dubious glints flashed in her eyes.
Rhode didn't arrive at the church alone. Instead, he brought a surprising group of beings-apart from Canary, there was also Agatha, Lapis, and two petite figures wrapped in their white cloaks.
Gracier and Madaras.
"Greetings, Sir Overlord."
Corina felt rather dubious, but quickly stood up and nodded. Rhode bowed in response.
"Sorry for interrupting your busy schedule, Miss Corina."
Rhode lifted his head.
"I guess you're aware of the reason why I'm here, Miss Corina. I sincerely apologize for my subordinate's unruly behavior toward you. It is all due to my negligence. Please accept my apologies."
"This isn't the problem, Sir Overlord."
Corina's expression turned solemn instantly. She puckered her brows and gazed in resentment.
"I'm deeply disappointed in you. I thought that you were a great friend to us, Elves, but now... You actually mixed with a Dark Elf. This has baffled me. What do you have to say for this?"
"I think this is just a misunderstanding."
Rhode twitched his brows slightly before answering.
"Nell is one of the captives I captured from the previous battle. She became my devoted subordinate. I understand the grudges Elves hold against the Dark Elves, but please pardon my rudeness, because the grudges don't seem related to a human like me. As for the loss and shock that this matter has caused you, I sincerely apologize and am willing to offer compensation. Apart from this... I can't promise anything else."
"She's a Dark Elf, Sir Overlord. Even though she doesn't look like one... You should know what the Dark Elves represent."
"Of course, Miss Corina. I won't try to convince you about the Dark Elves, but Nell is my subordinate, after all. No matter if she's a Dark Elf or not, anyone is the same as my subordinate."
Corina didn't respond immediately. After all, the people around him were overly convincing. If there were only Dark Elves around him, Corina would believe that he was finding excuses for himself. However, she was speechless after witnessing the other Elves surrounding him.
Rhode gazed around him and felt rather amused because this could be said to be a historic gathering of the Elves-an elemental Elf, Moon Elf, Alchemy Elf, Dark Elf, and two White Elves-the Elemental Elves were the earliest to branch out from the Elves and enter the elemental world. The White Elves were the most ancient and honorable race. The Moon Elves took over the White Elves' honor after the Creation War. On the other hand, the Alchemy Elves and Dark Elves separated themselves from the Elves in order to avoid the terrifying Creation War.
"But I would like to remind you that the Dark Elves are different from the other Elves, Sir Overlord. They are evil, brutal, and..."
Out of a sudden, Nell snarled. She glared at Corina from inside the water cell.
"You are the ones who are evil and brutal! You slaughtered our family and children on the surface and forced us into the dark underground! You call us the betrayers, but in fact you are the ones who were the most hypocritical and evil betrayers! Despite us having a brand new start in the dark underground, you have never given up on eliminating us. We craved peace, but staining your blades with our blood is your only answer!"
Corina widened her eyes in disbelief.
"The Elves who defied or held different values were expelled and annihilated. These were the hypocritical doings of you surface Elves! All we could do was to hide in the shadows of the underground and mix with the demons and spirits. It was all due to your vicious doing!"
Lapis revealed a rather affirmative expression. The Behermes Family was expelled for having ideals to modify nature and life, which eventually led to their destruction. Judging from this point, Lapis and Nell were on common ground and it went to show that the Elves weren't as innocent as Corina made it out to be.
On the other hand, Agatha watched everything in silence. As elemental Elves, they had been living in the elemental world, so the clashes and wars on the main plane of existence had nothing to do with them. On the other hand, Gracier and Madaras tilted their heads curiously. After all, they could be considered the ones who had personally experienced and created the existence of this conflicting history.
"This is only a lie that the Dark Elves fabricated!"
It seemed that Corina had never expected to receive such an answer from a Dark Elf and she was flustered.
"Back then, you abandoned the battle against the enemies and escaped into the underground! It had nothing to do with us! What you just said was a bunch of nonsense!"
"The victor's history."
Rhode shrugged, turned to Canary, and said. The latter smiled in silence. In fact, no matter the Moon Elves, Dark Elves, or Alchemy Elves, they held a certain extent of subjectivity to the records of history. In this aspect, perhaps only the Elemental Elves and White Elves held enough right to speak their minds.
However, Rhode didn't come here to help the Elves align their views on the right history.
"Alright, both of you."
He stepped forward to intervene. Then, he turned to Nell and said with a gloomy expression.
"Miss Nell, I guess you understand that it isn't the dark underground here. No matter what sort of a past the Dark Elves have, it has nothing to do with us. You're my subordinate now and the grudges between the Dark Elves and Elves are long gone in the dust of history. I don't wish to see you causing trouble in my territory for this matter anymore."
Nell gritted her teeth and lowered her head. At this moment, Rhode turned to Corina.
"Miss Corina, I'm sorry for the danger you faced. I guarantee that I will punish Nell and ensure that she stops this unruly behavior of hers. If you need anything, please let me know. As a form of compensation and as long as it is within my means, I will gladly do it."
Corina knitted her brows as she gazed at Rhode. Then, she shifted her gaze to Gracier and Madaras. After pondering for a few moments, she nodded helplessly.
"Alright, I hope you can keep your promise. I will not look into this matter anymore and won't report this to the Country of Law. But I don't wish to see such an incident again. I shall take it as you owe me a commitment, Sir Overlord."