Rhode followed the female servant into the room and the scene before him made his heart skipped a beat .
Lydia laid languidly on the scarlet velvet sofa by the french window . Her white, silky dress set off her seductive curves as she stretched out her slim, long legs . Her blonde hair hung down lightly, pairing with her fair, delicate skin . She shook the paper in her hand playfully, but no one knew if she was scanning the report or she was just fooling around .
Got to say, any man who encountered such a beautiful young lady when he entered the room would be tempted to pounce on her and Rhode was no exception . He swept a quick glance over her and shifted his attention to her face . Rhode had met Lydia a few times, but he had never seen her dressed appropriately to welcome her guests . Could she be dressed up like this in the castle all these while?
Lydia displayed a smile to welcome Rhode’s arrival and gestured for him to take a seat . She adjusted her posture and placed the paper on the table . That’s strange . Lydia’s movements are drastic, but her dress doesn’t slip at all . Could it be that there is censorship even in this world?
“Long time no see . I’m glad that you’re looking fine, Baron Rhode… Gaya has a huge opinion about you,” said Lydia .
Rhode twitched his brows as Lydia mentioned Gaya’s name as soon as she spoke . He knew that it was impossible that Lydia didn’t understand his thoughts, but… Maybe things aren’t as bad as I thought? If that’s the case, this may turn out to be something better . Rhode gazed at Lydia silently and waited for her to continue . “I’ve heard the specific report from Gaya . Lize did well this time and to be honest, although I knew that Lize has potential, I’m surprised that she managed to take it that far . Of course . My adorable younger sister didn’t perform perfectly, but she’s worth the praise . Isn’t that right, Baron Rhode?”
“Of course, Your Highness,” Rhode said . “Lize’s performance has impressed me . It wasn’t easy for her to achieve this result, considering her situation . ”
“That’s right… Baron Rhode . I’m glad that I’ve handed her to your care . But…” Lydia narrowed her eyes . Although she was still smiling, Rhode felt an unprecedented pressure . “Baron Rhode, I don’t wish to see my adorable younger sister getting hurt, do you understand? We can’t avoid the fact that wars are cruel . She has her choice, but I don’t wish to see her sink into depravity due to the wars . I simply want her to live a blissful life . You do understand what I mean, right?”
“That’s for sure, Your Highness,” Rhode nodded slightly in agreement .
Lydia smiled with satisfaction and she picked up the sheet of paper from the table . Then, she withdrew her gracious smile . “Alright then . Explain to me the situation in the Grosso and Fiat regions, Baron Rhode . ”
This question is finally here .
Rhode sulked unnoticeably . But he hid his emotions and explained everything calmly . Of course, Rhode wouldn’t be foolish enough to inform Lydia that he had created the Undead Army . He used the common saying of the Southerners that he witnessed the Undead Army wreaking havoc in the Grosso region as soon as he arrived there . In order to not expose his identity, he kept himself hidden until the Undead Army was about to attack the city and he summoned Celia to get rid of them . Also, while the military forces were weak in the Grosso region, he quickly set fire to burn the entire place .
Rhode didn’t explain deliberately . Although Lydia should be aware that there was a Demon within the Undead Army, he had never exposed Celestina before Lydia . Therefore, Lydia wouldn’t think that the Undead Army had any relations with him even if she guessed . At least on the surface, that was .
The explanation was much simpler for Fiat . Rhode merely repeated the words that he had used to dupe Emily . Of course, he also mentioned the unexpected guest, Andre, who emerged at the very end . No matter what, Andre was a member of the ‘Sword Guardians’ who possessed the Neptune’s Sigh and he was up to no good to be in Fiat . However, this wasn’t something that Rhode needed to be concerned about . All he had to do was to ‘objectively’ report to Lydia about Andre and she would know what actions to take next .
Rhode’s explanation on the situations didn’t take too long and Lydia pondered silently while gazing at him . After 10 minutes, she finally responded . “Baron Rhode, what do you think is beautiful?”
Rhode puckered his brows and he didn’t answer instantly because he knew that she would continue her sentence . Indeed, Lydia leaned back on the sofa and folded her arms . She smiled and gazed at Rhode . “I think that this world is a beautiful one . Every life has its unique, glittering bright spot and these bright spots gather to form this dazzling world . But there will be shadows among them and this inelegance sets off the existence of beauty . I don’t deny the value of inelegance, but… the vulgar and filth will gradually pollute this beautiful world and cause it to lose its brilliance . Besides, all of these comes from fear… Baron Rhode, I understand your pursuit for victories and I’m thankful for the sacrifices and choices that you have made for the mission . But… Wouldn’t it be too sorrowful if you have to give up on something in order to achieve another?”
Even though Lydia beat about the bush, Rhode understood what she meant . It was apparent that this Archangel had a conclusion to Rhode’s account and this test was his final hurdle .
Rhode pondered in silence for a few moments . Then, he lifted his head and gazed into Lydia’s eyes bravely . “I’m sorry, Your Highness . I understand what you meant, but… I only pursue victory . I can understand the hard work, dedication, and sacrifices that losers put in, but I cannot accept such a defeat . Victory is everything to me and any failure will only bring me pain . I can accept to console the losers as a victor, but never the other way around . I understand your aesthetics, but I’m unable to agree with your thoughts from my standpoint . ”
“… In other words, you’re willing to sacrifice everything in return for victory, Baron Rhode?”
A trace of complex, yet curious glint flashed in Lydia’s eyes and Rhode shook his head unflinchingly . “I’m sorry, Your Highness . I’ve never thought of sacrificing everything to win . Victory isn’t an individual that exists, so why would I sacrifice everything for it? I don’t hope for such things . What I hope for is to enjoy victories with the people around me . I hate to be alone when I win because that would be pointless . In order to prevent facing situations where I’ve to sacrifice everything, I will ‘try all means’ to achieve my goals… Your Highness, please pardon my bluntness . The victory that I gain from abandoning everything is meaningless to me . If people can’t protect the things that they should protect and choose to give up cowardly, it means that they are losers through and through . Even if they stand until the very end, I don’t think that they deserve the cheers and honor . I admit that sacrifices are inevitable on the road to seeking victory . But they are nothing more than slaves of desire if they have to give up on everything . ”
Rhode gazed at the Archangel before him without batting an eye . Lydia looked at him quietly and displayed a smile . “Interesting, Baron Rhode . That’s very enjoyable… I admit that your thoughts have given me a breath of fresh air, so I won’t look into the incident in the Grosso region . I hope the spirits of the dead will be able to find their peace . ” Lydia paused and gazed at Rhode meaningfully . “Alright then . Let’s talk about the next matter . ”