With the lifting of the ban, the mercenary groups sprang to business . Their objectives were more or less the same — begin warming up its members, and at the same time, commence missions to receive remunerations . Rhode's Starlight was no different, naturally . Starlight functioned rather clandestinely because Rhode didn't need to follow the points system in order to elevate to guild status . But Rhode still required to strengthen and polish his mercenary groups' aggregation through various missions . Furthermore, he also needed the remunerations to maintain the operation cost . After all, money doesn't simply fall from the skies, even for him . Since his mercenary group had grown in size, Starlight's financial reserves began to dip .
Thus, Rhode concluded that it'd be better to accept hard, yet less life-threatening missions, and at the same time, having high remunerations . But his requirements were slightly too demanding…
"Why do I feel like it's rowdier in here than before?"
Rhode frowned as he stood in the hall of the Mercenary Association while looking at the clamorous crowd . The place was literally in chaos . Waves of mercenaries crammed at the mission notice board, trying their best to seek out missions or requests that their group can accomplish . But this kind of scene wasn't surprising at all . After all, many of these mercenary groups had been financially starved so severely due to the ban that they couldn't afford to waste any more time .
But due to the previous incident, the mercenary groups had begun to follow the rules . They avoided dangerous missions and places that they weren't supposed to go . They accepted ordinary missions with low danger levels, and some even confirmed many times with the requestor that they wouldn't need to visit dangerous areas . Most of them accepted 2 Star-Ranked missions, leaving the 3 Star-Ranked missions mostly untouched .
That was good news for Rhode as no one would be snatching business from him . Now, he only needed to consider which mission amongst them would be most beneficial for his mercenary group .
Rhode had stopped considering missions that involved undead creatures because of the increase in numbers . Previously, as he had lesser people, his clerics could cover all of them with their holy spells . In this scenario, having an increase of members wasn't necessarily a good thing . So, this time, Rhode decided to accept normal missions .
But at this time, Rhode was sidetracked by a note embedded with golden edges . On the paper, there was a clear, golden scale .
The church logo?
The churches in Dragon Soul Continent were different, unlike the ones in reality . They did not worship any specific deity, but instead, chose to protect their beliefs and laws . In the Dragon Soul Continent, no matter whether the area was under the Dark or Light Dragon, every church belonged to the Country of Law's Twin Dragons . The church preached kindness, elimination of evil, respect for each other, and justice . Furthermore, they were responsible for expelling the devils and notarization throughout the continent . Since olden times, the churches in Dragon Soul Continent acted similarly as notary offices . No matter if it was trading among merchants, or the political exchanges between nobles, or even the conditions laid out between countries, the church supervised all of them . Therefore, as long as the church signed the pact, usually, nobody would need to worry about renouncing promises .
The Country of Law wasn't like Earth, where they borrowed religious influence to affect politics . Perhaps it was because of the status of the one who ruled over the church — who was one of the five creator dragons, and they were very much respected everywhere . Moreover, the Country of Law had never intervened with conflicts involving other countries . In the game, this neutral stand by the Country of Law had once aroused the Country of Light parliament's displeasure when they did not intervene when the Country of Darkness invaded the Country of Light . And in response to their cries of help, the Country of Law stated that they didn't feel that the Country of Darkness was evil, so they didn't attack them .
In fact, the Country of Law's definition of evil was vastly different from what the common people thought it as . From the people's perspective, killing was evil, but in the eyes of the Country of Law and churches, taking a life of another was only considered a crime which did not have any connection to evil . In their teachings, evil was referred to as destroying order and bringing chaos . Thus, when the Country of Darkness invaded the Country of Light, they continued to rule their own territory as the order was still apparent, not taking any action . Only when a country desecrates law and order would the Country of Law retaliate .
Other than maintaining social order, the Country of Law focused its efforts primarily on cleansing non-orderly regions . They often sent bishops and knights to chaotic zones to help the people defend and get through the threat, and at the same time, spreading their doctrines on building social order . Eliminating chaos was the most important goal of the Country of Law and its churches .
During the game's mid-point, when players developed their individual territories, the Country of Law would always provide them assistance . Rhode was no different . He managed to receive his territory with the help of the Country of Law and its churches . Therefore, he always had a favorable impression of them . And if this were still the game, the Country of Law would undoubtedly be ranked top three among the most popular forces .
Because of this, when Rhode saw the churches' announcement, he read the note thoroughly while revealing an engrossed expression .
The request wasn't very complicated . The church requested the mercenary group to head down to the Blackrock Depths to search for a missing ancient holy relic . It was said that the relic belonged to the church's legacy which somehow went missing in the Blackrock Depths due to unknown reasons . Now, the church posted a request on the notice board in hope to recover it .
But… the Blackrock Depths…?
Rhode frowned upon when the name rang in his mind . He completed this mission before, and the church was always ever so generous with their remunerations . Although there was some danger involved, it wasn't to the extent of life-and-death . Referring back to Rhode's requirements, this mission seemed to suit him a lot, but the only problem was…
Thinking about this, Rhode turned over and asked Marlene who was standing beside him in a soft voice .
"Miss Marlene, do you know how to craft Fire-type scrolls?"
Marlene was slightly taken aback by Rhode's sudden question . She pondered for a moment and nodded her head .
"If it is a low-level scroll for blasting flames, I have no problem . But I don't have any tools at the moment, so it may take a while to craft them . "
"How long do you need to craft one?" Rhode asked almost immediately .
Marlene sank into thought for a moment before answering Rhode, "Erm… roughly three hours . " .
After hearing Marlene's answer, Rhode remained silent as if considering something . A while later, he shook his head .
"We shall see . If there's not enough time, we can purchase them . We need around a hundred…"
"But that would be very costly . and there's no guarantee that we can find them . "
Marlene shook her head . As a mage, she knew how much the scrolls were worth . In the market, the cheapest magical scrolls also required at least a dozens of gold . And that wasn't all, as there weren' many mages who would sell magical scrolls, the quantity was very scarce . A big city like the Golden City might have more of them, but Marlene didn't feel like there would be that many magical scrolls in a small city like Deep Stone City .
"No matter what, we shall see the situation first . "
Rhode shook his head as he brought Marlene to the counter and tapped lightly on the table . In no time at all, Old Hank ran out and displayed a warm smile to the two of them .
"Why, isn't this Mr . Rhode and Miss Marlene? Are you two here for the missions as well?"
"Something like that . It seems like you guys are very busy . "
Rhode glanced around while speaking . The mercenaries were shouting and screaming as the secretaries toiled and recorded their accepted missions and mercenary group names .
"Yes, we are currently swamped . But this is great too as it has been a while since we had a crowd like this . This is what the Mercenary Association should be like . "
The busy Old Hank appeared as though he was rushing for time, so he stopped his casual chat with Rhode and went straight to the point, "So, Mr . Rhode . Which mission does your Starlight group intend to take up?"
"I would like to know more about that mission . "
Rhode pointed to the golden note on the notice board .
"A three Star-Ranked mission? You people in Starlight are truly competent . No one even dares to take up a three Star-Ranked mission, and there you go, taking one as your first mission after the lifting of the ban… buuuuut… then again, this isn't your first time taking a three Star-Ranked mission . " Old Hank nagged and lifted his head towards the notice board . "I can't help but recall the time when you guys came and took on a three Star-Ranked mission for the first time . To be honest, we thought that you guys were just throwing your lives away…"
Old Hank yapped endlessly . A while later, he finally realized which mission Rhode referring to . "Oh… So you wanted to attempt the church's request?"
"That's right . "
Rhode nodded his head .
"When did this request appear? Had any other mercenary groups accept this?"
"This mission… hmm…"
Old Hank frowned and tried to recall if anyone had taken it .
"It should be within the past few days . There shouldn't be anybody else who had accepted it . "
Rhode went silent after hearing Old Hank's answer . But at this moment, a hand suddenly stretched from the side and slammed on the table .
"Uncle Hank, I'll take this mission . "
A voice sounded .