Although the most shocking moments were over for the mercenaries, they couldn’t help but felt amazed after Rhode led them into the Fortress and witnessed the neat, majestic and sturdy buildings . They were extremely surprised and pleased, especially when they realized that this Fortress belonged to them . Unparalleled pride emerged in their hearts at the thought of themselves being owners of this place! They firmly believed that they had made the greatest choice in joining this guild and devote themselves to this young man! Oh, Lord! He could even build up a Fortress in a blink of an eye . What other things could he possibly not do?
Apart from Rhode who welcomed them into the Fortress, Canary and Mini Bubble Gum gave the mercenaries a surprise . And their appearance proved a more logical speculation for the mercenaries towards this Fortress — After all, to the mortals, beings of the Legendary stage were not far from Gods . Many legends told that those who entered Legendary stage were omnipotent . Of course, this was only an illusion which those without the capabilities would see . This was why, after meeting the two ladies, many of them were suspicious . But, most of them were able to accept this reasoning — It wouldn’t be too difficult for both of them in the Legendary stage to create this majestic Fortress together .
This was, of course, a part of Rhode’s tricks .
After the Fortress was built completely, Rhode and Canary constructed the Summon Gates that were located in the stronghold and Fortress respectively . Rhode then removed the lock on the Sphere of Mystery and shifted it within this Fortress — Of course, unlike in the stronghold, the Sphere of Mystery wouldn’t need to be kept at a corner . Instead, Rhode placed it on the highest level of the Fortress which was also where his room was . Firstly, that would be the place where Canary and Mini Bubble Gum would live in and it would be much more convenient for them to protect the Fortress . Secondly, after activating the training grounds in the mirage, Rhode wouldn’t need to keep the precious Sphere of Mystery in the underground training ground anymore . After all, people would get to know of it and unlike previously when Starlight had lesser members . Considering the future, it’s best to be a tad more careful .
However, this gave Rhode a delightful surprise . After shifting the Sphere of Mystery, he accidentally discovered a special function in the territory construction system — The Fortress and Deep Stone City were wide apart in terms of walking distance . However, if the distance between both places was measured by drawing across a straight line, only a mountain distance away was between them . Of course, this unclimbable mountain would prevent anyone from crossing, but it couldn’t stop the system’s capabilities . In other words, the territory of the Fortress and the domain of the stronghold were linked together, which meant that the Sphere of Mystery could radiate its powers towards both locations . In other words, Canary and Mini Bubble Gum could shuttle freely between them!
Through this matter, Rhode was finally educated that the radiating range of the Sphere of Mystery was correlated to his own influential zone . In other words, the influential zone of both the Sphere of Mystery and Rhode’s territorial control were equal!
This was great news for both Canary and Mini Bubble Gum . Although Rhode’s influential zone in Deep Stone City was only the size of his stronghold, the system recognized the entire territory in the Land of Atonement . In other words, both of these ladies finally could put an end to their cooping-at-home lifestyles and go for leisure walks nearby — But of course, they still couldn’t go on long journeys and unable to assist him by his side too much .
On the contrary, Rhode didn’t intend to over-rely on both of them . After all, no matter what, Canary and Mini Bubble Gum were illusionary guards with limited powers that the Sphere of Mystery projected and weren’t real humans . Furthermore, according to Rhode’s plans, this Fortress was only expedient as his final goal was to seize the Land of Chaos . However, this didn’t mean that Rhode needed to give up his stronghold and Fortress . No matter if it’s the stronghold in Deep Stone City or the Fortress in Land of Atonement, he needed to protect all of them . And since he couldn’t give up these two places, he would need someone trustworthy to manage them .
Rhode had decided that after the Fortress was built entirely, he would pass the managing rights of the stronghold to Shauna and Kavos . Both of them were familiar with Deep Stone City and were once mercenary leaders . After the Fortress was built completely, the main functionalities of the stronghold would be to convey messages and assign some missions to Rhode . In other words, this stronghold would become an ‘office’ in Deep Stone City for Starlight Guild . And the true guild responsibilities would expand in Land of Atonement . Rhode would attempt to cultivate a trustworthy confidant during this period of time in order to have someone managing the Fortress when they needed to visit Land of Chaos .
Luckily, guild and mercenary groups were different . As long as the guild could complete two guild missions with hard difficulty, the guild could spend their other time to do whichever they like . Of course, other than this, it was nothing more than for the purpose of maintaining harmonies between mercenaries . With regular rotations, there wouldn’t be any problems .
According to logic, during the first year when a guild was formed, they mainly would focus on setting up their prestige by warning other mercenary groups that from this day on, the territory belonged to them and they’d better be careful — This wasn’t much of an issue for most guilds because after all, before a mercenary group got promoted to guild, they were already the top mercenary group of their region and their reputations were naturally present… But, Rhode’s Starlight was an exception .
Although previously, Rhode’s Starlight indeed strived for the honor of Paphield Region and was considered the top mercenary group, after claiming the Land of Atonement and building a Fortress, in addition to two members in the Legendary stage as helpers, most people wouldn’t dare to go against him . But now, it wasn’t true that Starlight was invulnerable . After all, Starlight rose up too suddenly as if lightning . Although this might dazzle one’s eyes, as time past, Starlight’s deterrence might not be as powerful . Some things can only be done with capabilities, but some things could only be achieved with time .
“Got to say, this is a shocking miracle, Mr Rhode . ”
After appointing the energetic mercenaries to their rooms and allowing them to roam freely, Rhode finally returned to his ‘new study room’— Unlike the ordinary room in the stronghold, Rhode’s new study room was located in the middle of the fourth floor . The spacious study room and bedchamber had a completely essential difference as compared to the one in the stronghold . Starlight Guild’s banner hung grandly on both sides of the wall and all the sceneries within the Fortress could be seen through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows behind Rhode . The floor was laid with soft carpets and the surrounding bookshelves were pitifully empty — All these were naturally purchased by Rhode using the mercenary construction system .
Marlene quietly followed Rhode to his room and spoke after admiring everything .
“It’s for the best that all of you like it . ”
Rhode nodded towards Marlene before taking a seat behind the desk . Then, he beckoned for Marlene .
“Have a seat, Marlene . ”
“Okay, Mr Rhode…”
Marlene quietly sat down in front of Rhode as she lowered her head slightly . Rhode narrowed his eyes and gazed at the maiden before his eyes . Detecting his gaze, Marlene felt a little uneasy and she subconsciously twirled her silver-whitish hair-ends . After a few seconds, the maiden lifted her head and asked .
“So… You want to talk to me?”
“It’s only for a small matter . Since everyone isn’t here now, I think it’s a good time to discuss it . ”
Rhode leaned back in his chair . Just as he had said, everyone was immersed in happiness and shock of this majestic Fortress . Lize was hurriedly arranging the accommodation and patrolling schedules for the mercenaries while Mini Bubble Gum was bored stiff and looking for something that would interest her . Whereas for Canary, she went searching for Anne — That maiden was still asleep on the mountainside and seemed to not have any intentions of waking up . And using this opportunity, Rhode called for Marlene to his own study room .
“Maybe, or maybe not . ”
Rhode’s tone suddenly turned solemn as he sat up straight and crossed his arms while looking into Marlene’s eyes sternly .
“Marlene . Ever since we left Deep Stone City, you have been acting strangely . I didn’t have the time to check on you before, and I don’t think I should interfere with your personal problems . But now, it seems that the situation isn’t that simple . I think, maybe I should ask you what exactly happened . If you have any troubles that you might need my help for, you can let me know anytime . ”
After hearing Rhode’s advise, Marlene was slightly taken aback . The maiden gently lowered her head and quietly stared at her feet . After a few moments, the maiden finally broke the silence .
“… If I ask, then… Mr Rhode, will you really be willing to help me?”
“That’s for sure . ”
Rhode nodded kindly . After hearing Rhode’s response, Marlene slightly blushed and even revealed some nervousness .
“Then… Mr Rhode, I have a request . ”
“Hmm? What is it?”
Marlene bit her lips and lifted her head courageously . She looked at Rhode in the eyes with quirky emotions .
“Tomorrow night… Can you come to my room please?” Marlene asked .