Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Over something so trivial?”
After listening to Icy Snow’s story, Rhode raised his eyebrows and slouched against the back of the chair. Meanwhile, Christie and Lillian couldn’t seem to understand the situation. Honestly, even if Rhode asked them, they didn’t know what kind of trouble they had gotten themselves into.
Fortunately for them, they had Icy Snow by their side. Even though Christie and Lillian didn’t have much personal experience in this aspect, Icy Snow was a veteran. To players, being approached by trouble-stirring and anti-noble hooligans was a run-of-the-mill occurrence. Thus, even though the other young ladies weren’t aware of it, the moment Icy Snow witnessed so many guards, she knew that a ‘quest’ had been triggered.
“W-What should we do…?”
If it were before, the young ladies might have been at a loss for words. But now, Rhode was right beside them, so despite them feeling panicky, they calmed down shortly after. And upon hearing Lillian’s question, Rhode shrugged and gave a breezy smile.
“What does it matter? Going out shopping and stomping on people is also a part of leisure and entertainment. Since we’ve nothing on after this meal, let’s treat this as a postprandial activity… Lilian, I’ll leave them to you then.”
“Huh? Leave them to me? B-But Big Brother Rhode… I…”
After hearing Rhode’s words, Lillian, who sat beside him, jumped up like a terrified rabbit. She stared at him with widened eyes, apparently dumbfounded. And upon looking at her frightened expression, he couldn’t help but laugh and wave his hand airily, interrupting her speech.
“I didn’t mean for you to attack them; it will be too humiliating for people on our level to fight with a bunch of guards. But don’t forget about your original self, Lillian. As the Light Dragon, there are many ways you can take care of those guys without relying on force. Of course, don’t make them feel too comfortable either. One will only remember and appreciate the pain after being spanked, do you understand? By the way, if you don’t do it right, you’ll just have to let me teach them a bloody lesson.”
Upon hearing his words, Lillian bit her lip and ended up not saying anything. She was also well aware of Rhode’s personality. He swept a city the size of Casabianca away without even blinking an eye. If he were to attack, perhaps none of these guards who surrounded the tavern would survive. At this thought, Lillian was determined to do this right, or at least not get them killed.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
The moment Lillian made up her mind, she heard heavy and rapid footsteps coming from the stairway. Soon after, more than a dozen heavily-armed guards strode up the stairs swiftly. They appeared to be well-trained and quick because in just a blink of an eye, they surrounded Rhode and the young ladies. Shortly after, a man who looked like the captain and had an imposing built strode over. He was clad in a suit of high-end armor, gripping the hilt of his sword with one hand, staring at the five of them with eyes as huge as light bulbs, snarling.
“Who obstructed the guards who were enforcing the law earlier?!”
No one answered. Rhode leisurely swirled his wine glass, squinting and admiring the scenery outside without speaking a word. Icy Snow and Christie, on the other hand, munched on the delicious food in front of them quietly. They had to admit that the food was rather flavorful, so they were able to divert their attention away from the captain. Meanwhile, Bell sat next to Christie and gazed into space. Looking at this scene, Lillian knew that she couldn’t count on her playmates anymore. She sighed inwardly, stood up, and gazed at the captain of the guards before her.
The moment the captain sensed her gaze, he felt his knees weaken and an urge to kneel down before her. It was especially so after looking into the soft glow emanating from her golden, unfathomable eyes. At that moment, the captain felt like it wasn’t a little girl standing before him, but was more like a towering mountain that he had to lift his head to look up to. He turned pale instantly. As the captain of the guards, he fought several battles. But even so, he was overwhelmed by the presence of the little girl in front of him and at a total loss. And just at that moment, Lillian’s voice reached his ears.
“Your guards have gone too far. How could so many of them beat up a child at once? Shouldn’t all of you be protecting civilians from harm instead? Look at what you did!”
Although Lillian sounded righteous, Rhode shook his head and sighed inwardly. He felt like she was still too inexperienced. With her status, there was no need to bother with these yokels in terms of reasonableness and morality. She could insist on whatever she thought was right and they just had to shut up and listen. However, she didn’t know how to express that. Even if she were to behave like an unruly child, it would still yield better results because children didn’t need reasoning. But she just had to reason with them when they were obviously here to pick on her, so what was the point of reasoning even if she were right?
As expected, it was fine when Lillian didn’t speak. But after she vented her frustrations, the captain felt the pressure on him diminished a lot—at least it wasn’t as overwhelming as before. At that moment, he revealed a smile and replied.
“Miss, you may not know, but that brat is a famous and shrewd rascal around here. Although he seems young, he is full of sneaky tricks. A few days ago, I heard that an old man was pushed into the river after he didn’t give that rascal toll. And that old man almost drowned to his demise. People like that bast*rd deserves to die. Even if he were beaten up, no one will even bat an eye!”
Upon hearing the captain’s words, Lillian fidgeted. She wasn’t blind; she clearly witnessed the expressions of the bystanders when the young beggar was being bashed up, so she knew that he was definitely a troublemaker. Now that she heard the captain’s frustrations, she was convinced that this was indeed the truth. But now, she knew she wasn’t in a good position to speak anymore. She bit her lips, stole a glance at Rhode, and felt regretful over the things she said earlier. If she didn’t say all those things before, the situation would have been better, wouldn’t it?
But children are children, after all. Even though Lillian was stumped by his words, she stomped her foot on the ground fiercely.
“Whatever it is, hitting someone is just wrong! Besides, you did it in front of all those people!”
“Hahaha, you’re right, Miss. We’ll be sure not to do it again.”
At that moment, the captain’s complexion seemed better than before. Previously, he rushed over without hearing the advice of his subjects. But now, all he could see was that these people were dressed luxuriously and elegantly. At a glance, it was apparent that they weren’t ordinary civilians and not quite the same as those rich merchants.
The Void Territory ran in a system whereby officials of various towns managed their own, while Marlene and the rest on the higher level had to ensure coordinated deployment and correct general direction. Hence, there were many times the officials only met acquaintances in their areas and rarely encountered outsiders and higher-ups. At that moment, upon sensing that these people were a tough bunch, the captain’s tone softened a lot. But since his superior ordered him to bring the outsiders back to the headquarter, he had to keep trying no matter what. Thus, after exchanging pleasantries with Lillian, the captain spoke up again.
“You have a point, but we don’t really understand what happened, after all. So if it were possible, would the few of you please come with us?”
Upon hearing his question, Lilian sneaked another glance at Rhode. And as expected, Rhode didn’t respond to her pleading gaze. After seeing his non-response, Lilian couldn’t say anything more. She puckered his brows, turned around, and stopped looking at the guards.
“I have nothing more to speak to you guys, so let’s stop here. We’re just here for a walk. We don’t want to go anywhere. You can leave now.”
After hearing Lillian’s reply, this time it was the captain’s turn to be left in an awkward situation. Frankly, he didn’t want to provoke these people with unknown identities. But the top had given a strict order and if he were to head back without them, he could imagine his position being replaced by others. Therefore, after some consideration, the pressure from the top prevailed. Anyway, it was the superiors who gave the order, so if there were any trouble, they would have to deal with it and not him. But if he didn’t bring these people back, he would be entirely out of luck.
At this thought, the captain restrained his facial expression and snorted coldly.
“In that case, don’t blame us for being rude. My sincere apologies. I know that all of you are of honorable identities, but we are on official business. Please understand our position!”
The captain announced and waved his arms.
“Men, capture them. Bring them back!”
Upon hearing the captain’s order, the guards acted immediately, reaching out their hands to pull Christie and Lillian away from the table. After witnessing their actions, the anger in Lillian surged. After all, everyone had their temper. She stood up abruptly, glared at them, and let out a grunt.
Along with her grunt, the mighty dragon’s prestige erupted all of a sudden. In the blink of an eye, the guards who surrounded the group flew back as if an invisible hand fanned them away. They fell off from the second floor of the tavern and landed heavily on the ground.
At that moment, no matter how stupid that captain was, he knew that he had messed with the wrong bunch. He looked at the group of people on the second floor, crawled up from the ground, and fled right away, leaving the guards under his own command where they were. The captain figured out that he wasn’t powerful enough to provoke them and decided that he might need the mayor’s help.
It was only after watching the guards crawl away that Lillian exhaled and plopped back onto her seat. After seeing her reaction, Rhode, however, shook his head and couldn’t help but chuckle.
“Lillian, it is indeed time for you to come out and walk around more. Look at you; you were almost captured by that slicker. I reckon if I were to let you out, without the power of the Light Dragon you would have been kidnapped and sold.”
“How can that be my fault, Big Brother Rhode!”
Upon hearing his remarks, Lillian became anxious instantly. She turned around to look at him with exasperation.
“Those people were obviously the ones who shoved false arguments down people’s throats. It was their fault in the first place! But I just can’t help it that they’re too quick-witted! It’s not that I wasn’t trying, but they’re just too crafty!”
After hearing her response, Rhode couldn’t help but spurt out a mouthful of wine.
And while Rhode teased Lillian, on the other side of the town, the wretched captain of the guards returned to the town hall, knocking on the door with an apprehensive feeling.
“What’s the matter?”
Upon seeing the arrival of the captain, the mayor’s expression turned gloomy. Despite that, he was considered quite polite. He was born as a soldier and had performed outstandingly in the strategic battle in the Land of Atonement’s fortress, which was how he became the mayor of this town. He took good care of his men and now, when he saw their miserable faces, he knew that they must have gotten into trouble.
“This was what happened, Sir. We received a report that someone was obstructing law enforcement. We planned to catch the offenders and interrogate them for clarifications, but we didn’t expect those little girls to be so powerful. Before we reacted, we were thrown out of the tavern…”
Upon hearing his explanation, the mayor’s expression changed slightly. He lifted his head and frowned at his subordinates.
“Those little girls threw all of you out?”
“Yes, it was really bizarre. They look like nobles and unlike mages…”
“How many of them?”
“Four… No, five.”
Upon hearing the mayor’s inquiry, the captain replied. But after some careful thoughts, he added another count.
“The four girls seemed really young. But there was also one in her 20s… Ugh… Yes, she should be a young lady, I suppose…”
The mayor who sat on the chair stood to his feet abruptly and stared sternly at the captain.
“Are you sure that was a lady?”
“Erm… She should be. It isn’t common to find such a beautiful young lady. But her dress wasn’t that of a common noblewoman…”
Upon hearing the captain’s words, the mayor turned pale instantly. He extended his arm and pointed at the captain with a trembling finger as if he couldn’t wait to cut him down with a sword. But in the end, he took in a deep breath and asked.
“By the way, where are they right now?”
“They are still in the tavern. I got my men to watch over them, so they shouldn’t be going anywhere soon.”
“You’ve even gotten your men to surround them?!”
Hearing this, the city lord’s voice was almost an octave higher close to screaming, and his two eyes stared as wide as a brass tomb as he glared angrily at the guard captain in front of him. And seeing his city lord looking so abnormal, that big black guard captain was no fool, and immediately spoke carefully to ask.
“Erm… Sir, did I do something wrong?”
“Y-You… bast*rd! G-Get los-… No! You’re coming with me! Prepare the hors-… No, no, no! I’ll go with you now. We need neither horses nor carriages! Hurry up and follow me, or I’ll kill your whole family!”
At that moment, the mayor blew his top, so much so that he stammered. He grabbed a coat along the way and dashed out of the town hall as if his butt were burning. Looking at his reaction, the captain’s heart sank. But now that there was no other way, he could only embrace himself and follow the mayor.
When the mayor arrived at the tavern’s entrance, Rhode had already eaten his fill, gave Lilian a profound lesson about ideology, and was about to head back to rest. As Rhode’s group walked out of the tavern’s entrance, the mayor who ran all the way from the distance was as white as a sheet. He ran in front of Rhode, fell to his knees, and stumbled over his words.
“Y-Your Majesty! I didn’t know you were coming… I… I…”
Unlike his bunch of idiotic subordinates, this mayor had spent some time in the Land of Atonement and was very familiar with Rhode. Or rather, the people who followed Rhode in the early days all knew that the most important characteristic of this powerful man was that he couldn’t be distinguished between a man and woman.
He had an appearance of a stunning beauty and yet, was a man through and through. Moreover, he hated to be called a woman, which couldn’t be clearer to the soldiers who fought against the undead army at the Land of Atonement’s fortress alongside him. After Rhode opened up the Void Territory, he rarely roamed the streets due to the change in his identity.
That explained why the number of people who met him personally declined drastically and they didn’t know what the Void Dragon looked like exactly. Of course, the veterans who followed him didn’t speak much about his appearance. On one hand, it was a taboo to speak about higher-ups, and on the other, it was a matter of politeness. So by far, most of the people living in the Void Territory didn’t realize the most apparent feature of their greatest lord.
However, this mayor was clearly aware of it. In fact, when he learned that some little girls threw his subordinates out of the tavern without making a move, his heart pounded hard. After all, as an ex-soldier of the Land of Atonement, he knew who Mini Bubble Gum was; that violent maniac tortured all soldiers in the Land of Atonement in the name of ‘training’ back then. And if he were to hear that a teenage girl in the Peak Legendary Stage showed up in his town, the first thing that would come into his mind would surely be the people around Rhode. The moment the mayor saw Rhode, the former confirmed his suspicions. He perspired profusely, rushed up, and sought forgiveness hurriedly.
Looking at the mayor who was drenched in sweat and confessing his sins, Rhode didn’t say anything much, but waved his hand airily instead.
“Alright, get up.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
After hearing Rhode’s words, the mayor stole a glance at him and felt relieved the instant he saw the expressionless face. If Rhode were smiling, perhaps that would be his last living day…
“I’m really sorry, Your Majesty. I didn’t know… That this could happen…”
“It’s fine. I’m not looking into it.”
Upon hearing the mayor’s explanation, Rhode waved him aside. But at the next moment, he narrowed his eyes and looked at the captain of the guards.
“But I do want to know who sent them over.”