Now that Gillian had mentioned it… This scenery was on the 8th floor of the Infernal Abyss: a landscape of burning purgatory . The indistinct, visible tall building was the symbolic Atonement Tower . Actually, Rhode wasn’t any stranger to that place as he had led his men and ransacked the region before killing the Void Dragon . However, he subconsciously believed that this scenery should have been in the Dragon Soul Continent and didn’t think of that place as hell . Now, it seemed like this was exactly the same as what he remembered .
“Huhuhu, this is getting interesting, Master . ”
Gillian let out a chuckle and lifted her head . She winked at Rhode playfully . He knew what Gillian meant because no matter what, Christie had never been to hell and even if it was based on the little girl’s imagination, the depiction was too similar . If he didn’t learn about Christie’s past, he would have thought that she had been there before . However, that was totally impossible, as the burning purgatory belonged to the deeper levels of hell . Volcanoes erupted and flowed with magma while the air was filled with pitch-black billows of smokes and ash that danced like snow— Beautiful, yet deadly . No humans could survive there; not even players like Rhode . He was only able to survive due to him securing equipment that was immune to fire elements . If it was Christie, she would have turned into ashes immediately the moment she entered .
That was why Gillian thought this was getting interesting .
Accordingly to Marlene, Christie didn’t seem to be aware when she painted these sceneries and only when she finished them would she get a huge shock . So what did all this mean?
Rhode rubbed his forehead, feeling a little fatigued as another difficult problem rose before his eyes before he could even get a good night’s rest .
“What did the others think about this?”
“Miss Anne wasn’t interested and Lize was worried . As for the rest… they aren’t aware of this yet . I don’t think Christie would go around talking about it either . ”
Christie was popular among the mercenaries, mainly due to her appropriate behavior . Maybe it was due to her harsh childhood that she didn’t have the willfulness of girls of her age . She was obedient, clever, and everyone adored her cute appearance .
“Okay, we will leave it as it is for now . ”
Rhode shook his head hopelessly .
“How much money do we have on our hands?”
Marlene wasn’t sure . She tilted her head, closed her eyes, and pondered for a moment . Then, she unrolled a scroll in her hands .
“Currently, we have 53,600 gold coins, Mr . Rhode . Our main income comes from adventures and missions . And because you don’t sell our spoils of war, our income from this aspect is quite low . As for the blacksmith shop that you received from the Keller Family, after subtracting the basic fees, it brings us about 200 to 300 gold coins . That’s all . ”
Rhode was surprised . Marlene shrugged her shoulders helplessly while showing a bittersweet smile .
Perhaps Shauna and Kavos would have dropped their eyeballs after hearing Marlene’s report, as 50,000 gold coins was an unimaginable amount of money to a mercenary group . It wasn’t because they weren’t able to earn that much as a normal person could earn tens of thousands every year in modern society too . But, on average throughout the months, that amount would be pathetic . Not to mention the lodging and expenses on food — No one would feel that they earned a lot .
It was the same logic for mercenary groups . As long as the missions weren’t too low in grade, getting thousands of gold coins as remuneration was always possible . However, mercenaries needed to repair their equipments and also pay for lodging and food expenses . After all these deductions, every mercenary group could only save up a few pennies .
As for why Rhode’s Starlight was able to earn that much, it was partly because he didn’t have many members in the initial stages and there wasn’t much profit sharing . Moreover, the missions that they had completed were of high grades and risks . A series of missions from the association and his opportunistic approaches toward the president of the Mercenary Association gained him the financial results he saw today .
However, it was a pity that although this sum of money was considered a huge amount for normal mercenary groups, in Rhode and Marlene’s eyes, it was nothing . As a leading guild in the game, the cash flow into Rhode’s hands were in the millions . Not to mention that a mere 50k gold coins wouldn’t even be enough to capture his attention . Marlene, as the heir of the largest noble family in Munn Kingdom, only thought of money as mere worldly possession . In fact, ever since Marlene had joined Starlight, she never asked for a single penny as remuneration . According to her, since she was the one who wanted to join a mercenary group to sharpen her skills, then she should be responsible for herself . The mercenary group shouldn’t spend anything on her . All in all, money was never a problem to Marlene…
And because of that, both of them were dissatisfied with the current financial status of the mercenary group . It was just that both of them had different standards of reference for comparison .
After listening to Marlene’s report, Rhode let out a helpless sigh . He had initially planned to buy up some equipment from the auction market in Deep Stone City, but it seemed like he couldn’t even afford a single piece with that much money .
Don’t tell me I have to wear plain equipment for the Midsummer Festival?
Rhode wasn’t resigned to it yet and that was being human for you . If he didn’t obtain the Zero Refining Equipment, he would be fine going to the Midsummer Festival in this state . But now that he had received such godly equipment, it would be a huge waste if he wore it as an accessory with no other purpose . Since he didn’t have enough money for equipment…
I’ll need to play by ear then .
Rhode came up with a plan and decided not to ponder this problem anymore . He turned around and left Lapis’ room to catch a break . He was exhausted after being outdoors for so many days . Now that he finally had the chance for a break, of course he wouldn’t let it slip by . He temporarily threw all these headaches to the back of his head and plopped into bed . After leaving the historical remains, Rhode had to be on guard against those Druids who were enough to keep him restless . Now that he had finally returned to his comfortable bed, he fell into deep sleep immediately…
As for Marlene, she left Rhode’s room with a gloomy expression . Although Rhode was expressionless most of the time, he was energetic and seldom rested during the daytime . Marlene noticed the fatigue on his face, which piqued her curiosity . Could it be that something happened during the mission? Or, is he troubled over something? But…
Marlene left with this thought .
Even if it was Rhode, he was bound to be fatigued after going on an adventure for several days . It was almost evening when he woke up . The sun had almost called it a day as it lit up the horizon and white clouds were painted in a warm redness . Rhode stood and while he tidied his clothes, someone knocked on the door . Marlene’s voice sounded .
“Mr . Rhode, are you awake?”
“Marlene? Yes, come in,” Rhode said . The maiden pushed the door open and made her way in . Rhode quickly noticed her unusually gloomy expression . “Did anything happen?”
Marlene thought for a moment .
“Lize, Anne, and Christie haven’t return since they went out this morning to buy some painting materials . They should be back by noon, but…”
“You’re saying that they are nowhere in sight?”
Rhode glanced out of the window subconsciously . The sun had fallen below the horizon . This should be the time mercenaries returned, unless they went out to have a drink or two . However, Lize, Anne, and Christie clearly didn’t have such a habit .
“Yes . I dispatched someone to search for them, but…”
Before Marlene could finish her sentence, rapid footsteps could be heard from the hallway . In an instant, Joey barged into the room with a head full of sweat . He panted and pointed his shaky finger out the window in a pale expression .
“Miss Marlene, Leader, n-n-no