“Did something happen to Bell recently?”
Rhode gazed at Bell as she walked away and twitched his brows curiously . Then, he turned to Christie and asked . Christie pondered for a while, before explaining .
“… Recently… there are… more people…”
“More people? Is that a problem for her?”
Of course, Rhode was aware that as the number of immigrants increased, the population in Grandia had also become denser . But this wasn’t surprising at all . Even though Rhode had no intention of turning Grandia into an uninhabited, ghost town, he also didn’t want it to become a bustling city . He was satisfied as long as Grandia was effective as the political hub for the Void Territory . As for the military aspect, he had other areas to manage them . But even so, Grandia was considered a tranquil and peaceful city . However, he just couldn’t figure out what that had to do with Bell’s odd behavior . Could it be that she was a geek who wasn’t used to crowded places? But she didn’t seem like one before .
“… Many people brought their children…”
Although Christie’s voice was soft and almost inaudible, Rhode heard her effortlessly . Her words astonished him but shortly after, he understood the meaning behind her words . Perhaps because Bell always acted like an honest and reliable person, Rhode subconsciously forgot that she was only a child like Christie and Mini Bubble Gum . Besides, she was also all alone after the refuge she used to live in was destroyed and her family connections were cut off entirely . Right now, she didn’t have any kin and it could also be said that she was all alone in this world .
It was apparent that Christie sympathized with her . After all, her situation wasn’t any better than Bell’s and might be considered worse . In the refuge, Bell was loved and cared for by the elder, but Christie was rejected and attacked since she was born . If it weren’t for Rhode’s group who rescued her, perhaps she wouldn’t have lived until this day . Thereafter, Christie also encountered similar experiences as Bell . It didn’t matter if they possessed any power or not . as they were still children who yearned for loved ones who they could count on, after all . Maybe nothing was more important than this to them, not even for a wealthy child like Mini Bubble Gum who enjoyed splurging . Even though in the game, Rhode had also listened to Mini Bubble Gum’s complaints about her family, especially her father; he knew that sometimes all she asked for was an ordinary life, instead of having no one to speak to at home, eating expensive takeout by herself at a lonely table, and scrolling through her phone in boredom . This was also why Mini Bubble Gum was more than willing to splurge after joining Starlight . Because in Starlight, she was able to receive something that she desired and couldn’t receive in real life .
Of course, Rhode realized that Mini Bubble Gum had some feelings for him since a long time ago, especially after the ‘surprising interaction’ they had before . Thereafter, even though Mini Bubble Gum used all sorts of excuses to form gatherings to get Rhode to show up, Rhode didn’t participate . In fact, not many people in the guild were aware of his true identity, which was why Mini Bubble Gum had a hard time finding him . Besides, although Rhode and Canary were intimate back then, Rhode had never considered hitting on Mini Bubble Gum . He politely declined the opportunity to be caught by the police and thrown into jail for messing with an underage girl . Besides, he was also aware of the reason why Mini Bubble Gum pestered him . It was due to her mentality of “since no one cared about me at home, I might as well form a family myself” . If he were fooled by her, perhaps this little rascal would force him into marriage immediately after everything that was done… Judging from this point, Canary and her were entirely different types of girls .
Abandoned children or children in single-parent families were as though ineradicable diseases in society… Rhode didn’t expect to face the same problem after transmigrating to another world as it seemed like the contradictions in society were indeed similar . But now, Christie had blended into a new environment, while Bell was still wandering out there, unable to accept the truth . Rhode suspected that perhaps she was affected from deep down in her heart when she witnessed loving families with children .
But Rhode didn’t have any great solution . After all, Bell hadn’t joined them for too long and was a careful, reserved child . Unless she was willing to express her thoughts, he wouldn’t force her to do it .
“Got it, Christie . I will leave her to you . She only has you as a friend here now . ”
In the end, Rhode let out a helpless sigh . Some things would be hard to determine without taking the first step . He felt powerless and could only imperceptibly change her thoughts . And now, only Christie could be by her side .
“… Yes… I got it… Rhode…”
Christie nodded to Rhode’s words obediently as she understood what he meant . After receiving her confirmation, Rhode smiled and patted her head; he trusted Christie a lot . Perhaps others might think that she was just a child, but Rhode was aware that she was a person who was committed to promises . After she promised others to do something for them, she always gave it her best . And this time, she wouldn’t disappoint him too .
The change in Bell’s attitude was just an interlude . After leaving her to Christie’s care, Rhode shifted his gaze to the other direction . As a Creator Dragon, there were many things in the Void Territory that needed him to handle . Besides, they were much more important than Bell . Among the matters, the most troublesome problem was the unrest that was happening .
Some people would suffer together, but never share weal and woe; this was the situation in Rhode’s territory right now . With the easing of the situation, the Void Territory was starting to prosper and some problems that didn’t exist in the past gradually surfaced . And they gave him huge headaches .
“You said Dwight let the Grians in?”
Rhode’s expression turned grim after hearing Gillian’s report . The latter observed his expression and nodded .
“Yes, Master . But Randolf and Sol tried to stop them because we’ve decided to stop the Grians from entering our territory . ”
“Yes, I was the one who made that decision . ”
Rhode nodded to Gillian’s report . It was his decision to stop the Grians from entering the country . Besides, Mini Bubble Gum and Canary also agreed wholeheartedly . The Grians were a nomadic community who rarely stayed in an area for too long . The reason was simple; no one welcomed them . The Grians pretended to be extremely pitiful people, requesting for permission to stay in the territory as a group . Then, after the gracious permission was granted, they would settle down and never followed local rules and laws . Moreover, they stubbornly insisted in following their own customs and this wasn’t all . They also forced the locals to obey their customs and punished anyone who refused . This enraged many territories . The Grians were driven away countless times but never changed their ways . As players, Rhode, Canary, and Mini Bubble Gum also had personal encounters with them . The trio didn’t care if the Grians followed their customs, but it was an entirely different matter once they started harassing others . Therefore, ever since the Void Territory started accepting refugees, Rhode commanded sternly to never allow entry to the Grians . If anyone were to smuggle them into the country, they would be killed if they resisted .
Marlene more or less understood the purpose behind Rhode’s order . On the other hand, even though others didn’t understand it, they continued to execute since it was approved by Rhode, Canary, and Mini Bubble Gum, and Marlene didn’t oppose it .
But Rhode didn’t expect someone to be bold enough to disobey his order .
“What’s the exact situation?”
Rhode didn’t make a decision immediately . In the game, guilds had all sorts of conflicts, especially as they developed . That was why the veterans and newbies were always clashing with each other . Some members believed that they were with the guild since it was established and they deserved some credit for the hard work they put in . Also, the guild shouldn’t give them up whenever it pleased them as it would be too cruel . On the contrary, some members believed that the so-called ‘duties’ should only be handled by the capable ones . I am ranked higher than you, have more damage output and control in my moves than you, so why should you be the one to lead and not me? Besides, you only come online twice a week; you can’t possibly expect everyone to wait for you to show up before we raid a dungeon together, right? Who do you think you are?
This was a problem that many large guilds faced . A small mishandling could easily lead to more problems . If the guild leader leaned toward the veterans too much, the newbies would feel discouraged and unfair . On the other hand, if the guild leader supported the newbies more, the veterans would be dissatisfied, thinking that they had worked hard and performed a valuable service, so why must they bow down to the newbies? The newbies might have a sufficient skill level, but were they as passionate as the veterans in loving the guild? Could they guarantee that they would be loyal to the guild? Wouldn’t everything be wasted effort if they were headhunted by other guilds?
The Internet was a virtual world and it was due to this reason that people often lacked restraint in reality . In the real world, rarely were there people who were bold enough to smack the table and glare at their boss furiously . But in the world of the Internet, three sentences of conflict could leave one blacklisted . I have nothing to lose; who do you think you are?
This was also why several player guilds failed to prosper . One of the reasons was that everything happened in the virtual world . If all netizens met on the Internet, there was no basis for trust . But if close friends in reality formed a guild together, they would naturally lean toward the veterans and find it harder to attain new blood, eventually crumbling under the pressure of the other large guilds .
On the other hand, most of the large, developed guilds had some ‘beneficial ties’ in reality . For instance, the union of work studios or organizations that get paid dividends by working part-time . Starlight was no exception . The reason why the guild was able to climb to the number one spot was that apart from highly-skilled players, there was Mini Bubble Gum’s financial assistance . Besides, Starlight had also repeatedly received awards from winning official competitions of the game . Through that, they became a ‘semi-official organization’ that was wealthy, famous, and powerful . Gathering all these factors, they were able to expand and grow in strength to become the number one guild .
After transmigrating to this world, Rhode instinctively carried out the same methods of managing Internet guilds . But he later on discovered that reality and the Internet were largely different . Besides, even though natives of this world also schemed against each other, the lower-class people were basically more loyal and pure and wouldn’t object unless the government drove them to revolt . Therefore, Starlight went as far as to build the entire authority structure . Rhode combined his thoughts with opinions from natives like Marlene and others to accomplish it and the results were wonderful . Perhaps due to the constant crises that gelled Starlight’s members together and a high amount of earnings, the atmosphere and morale of Starlight were high and peaceful .
But now, it seemed like what would come had arrived .
Of course, Rhode believed that Dwight was aware of the regulations because Rhode had a habit of explaining the reasons behind his actions whenever he announced new regulations, unless it was a secret conspiracy . If not, he would basically be honest with everyone . He didn’t force them to accept his ways, but only hoped that they could understand what he meant and that was sufficient . The Grians were a group of cancer and troublemakers to the continent . Once they occupied the territory in the west of the Country of Light, they flaunted their power . As the Country of Light tried to lay hands on them, they either started riots or resisted the ‘racial discrimination’ of the Country of Light, leaving the parliament battered . Even though the parliament tried to drive them out, their actions were ‘politically incorrect’ and could only stare helplessly at the cancer cells as they turned into benign tumors, malignant tumors, and eventually toppled the entire territory .
“Dwight thinks that Sol’s method was too violent . Besides, he also thinks that the Void Territory should accept these refugees who were fleeing from war . And…” Gillian said, revealing a prideful smile . Just like Rhode, as soon as this sly fox displayed a complacent smile, most likely there were no good news . “… many people supported him, with most of them being ordinary members . It seems like Mr . Dwight is really popular among the people . ”
Rhode scoffed . Even though Gillian implied her words, Rhode understood what she meant exactly . Previously, the biggest flaw of Starlight was that it started off as a mercenary group and most mercenaries were uneducated brutes with basically no cultural knowledge . Rhode still recalled back then, apart from Marlene and a few others, the entire mercenary group had a hard time doing basic mathematical calculations . Therefore, as the mercenary group developed, Rhode required much more ‘smart people’ . On the other hand, the mercenaries who were only experts in killing could only be promoted to intermediate positions like captains of the guard or trainers for new mercenaries . On the contrary, some of the talents were young and had more experience than the mercenaries . For instance, Marlene’s assistant, Ann, was a wealthy young lady who eventually became the financial officer for the entire Void Territory . She was younger than Marlene by one year and as a civil officer, she never joined the front lines or was involved with any killing . As for Sol and Sovann, due to their experience in leading their respective groups, they were barely able to take on intermediate positions . But that was the furthest they could climb as what Rhode needed was talents who could represent the country for international communication . And these duties were too tough to ask of the mercenaries . This was why it was almost a matter of course for newcomers to take up these roles . Of course, not everyone was pleasing to the eyes .
And now, the newcomers were apparently using this as a pretext to express their dissatisfaction .
But what annoyed Rhode wasn’t their opinion . After all, it was human nature to have such thoughts . Even in Rhode’s world, school bullies looked down upon top students and thought that they always behaved like obedient children to gain the likes of teachers . What else could they do apart from studying? This thought was the same since ancient times and no matter in which world . But what left Rhode discontented was that the newcomers used a totally unsuitable bargaining chip to express their opinions . The Grians were like a pile of dog feces, where one couldn’t fling them off the sole after stepping on them . Rhode would have a hard time eradicating the Grians if they seized this opportunity to settle down in the Void Territory .
“What should we do, Master? Do we need to chase them away?”
“… There’s no hurry . ”
Upon hearing Gillian’s answer, Rhode shook his head with a grim look . He wanted to prevent anyone making a fuss over this situation . If Ion knew about it, things would get troublesome . Currently, both sides were in conflict and if Rhode overreacted to this situation in his territory, Ion might bite back . Once that happened, the initiative would no longer be in Rhode’s hand .
Rhode made a decision at this thought .
“Let’s observe the situation first . ”Please download our sponsor's game to support us!