Chapter 676 Between Light & Light (XIV)
Dragon Soul Ceremony .
The grand ceremony to praise the Light Dragon Soul . After two days of anxious and anticipated preparation, it was finally about to begin .
Everyone gathered in two rows in the spotlessly white palace hall with solemn expressions . The Dragon Soul Ceremony wasn’t open to the public, so the Light Dragon Soul wouldn’t step out and speak to the people like Lydia in the Midsummer Festival in the Munn Kingdom . This was also considered a small resistance from the Light Parliament as they were afraid that the Light Dragon Soul would mention ‘inappropriate’ topics that weren’t favorable to them and it would be in a huge headache if chaos broke out in the people . On the other hand, the Munn Kingdom didn’t care about such minor details and nodded in agreement . But the Munn Kingdom had bad intentions of their own . According to their conditions, in every annual Dragon Soul Ceremony, every person in the Light Mainland would be given three working days off to express their gratitude to the Creator Dragon Souls, which left the Light Parliament as disgusted as if they were forced to swallow a housefly . Rhode knew what the Munn Kingdom was plotting . This was just like how people remembered Children’s Day, Labor Day, and National Day clearly as these days more or less provided them with benefits and holidays . As for a celebratory day like the Youth Day which didn’t provide them with a holiday, most people would forget about them . The Munn Kingdom requested for the Light Mainland to provide three working days off for the people during the Dragon Soul Ceremony so the people would surely remember this ceremony in their heart . Whenever people asked about it, they would know that the three days were meant to thank the Creator Dragon Soul, which entirely destroyed the Light Parliament’s hopes of wiping out the Dragon Soul’s existence .
Rhode stood in front of the representative team with Grand Mage Amund in the first row . Marlene, Derick, and Gaya stood in a row behind them, while Anne, Lize, and the others positioned themselves at the back . Even though Lize had the right to stand at the front in terms of identity, she didn’t like standing out in the crowd and she had to look after Anne well, just in case she caused any troubles in this grand, solemn ceremony .
Even though the ceremony was closed to the public, there was still a huge number of overlords and representatives under the Light Dragon Soul protection . But even so, the spacious, bright hall was more than enough to accommodate them . The brilliance of the sun spilled through the coloured-glass on the dome in the ceiling, bringing a fantasy-like radiance to the serious atmosphere .
Even though it was a solemn occasion, Rhode’s thoughts weren’t revolving around it . Instead, he scanned the crowd curiously to find any familiar faces and as expected, he found some friends and even enemies . Overall, enemies made up the majority .
The groups in the hall had indistinctly been divided into two camps . The Anti-Parliament camp led by the Munn Kingdom massed on the left while the Light Parliament camp stood on the right . The neutral parties stood at the end to draw a distance from both camps and express their standpoints .
Rhode noticed a skinny, elderly man putting up a gloomy face at the corner of the Parliament camp while maintaining a distance away from them . He glared menacingly at Rhode and let out a snort after detecting Rhode’s gaze . Then, he turned around as though nothing had happened . But Rhode knew why this elderly man presented such an expression .
The elderly man was Walter Chelis, the patriarch of the Chelis family, and also the overlord of Barce .
What a gathering for sworn enemies .
Rhode shrugged helplessly . He remembered clearly when he annihilated the third heir of the Chelis family in Deep Stone City for the sake of regrouping his mercenary forces . The heir used money to gather the Jade Tears Mercenary Group and went against Rhode . However, the fallen ritual turned him into a Devil and he was sent to his grave by Rhode, caringly buried underground mine below Deep Stone City . Thereafter, Rhode dug deep for the clues to the schemes of the Country of Light that caused the Ocean Trade Route incident and Paphield battle . However, Rhode wasn’t too vigilant toward that elderly man . He merely swept him a glance and shifted his gaze away . If it were other overlord representatives, perhaps Rhode would have taken it to heart . However, Rhode held no high regards since the elderly man was from Barce .
The reason was fairly simple . The Barce Dominion was an extremely unpopular existence .
Unlike the groups that were willing to seize risky opportunities to gain benefits, the Barce Dominion was forced into being a neural party instead of being self-willing .
This was because neither the Parliament nor the Anti-Parliament camp welcomed them .
Barce used to be part of the Anti-Parliament camp and was considered an ally of the Munn Kingdom . Barce had a tradition of resisting the Light Parliament . They were situated in a commerce-rich region and gathered a whole of of wealth . As a result, Barce had been looking to break out from the Country of Light and become an independent nation . For this reason, they once launched an armed rebellion against the Light Parliament and it was during that period when the Anti-Parliament camp led by the Munn Kingdom had joined in .
The Light Parliament sent out their troops to suppress Barce’s armed rebellion, but what happened next stunned everyone .
In the start, Barce Dominion’s army was able to put up a fight against the Light Parliament . However, as time passed, their fallen soldiers retreated while the Light Parliament’s army infiltrated them . But, the General leading Barce Dominion’s army didn’t give up and he continued to fight while seeking assistance from the Munn Kingdom . Back then, many territories of the Anti-Parliament agreed to his appeal for help and sent out reinforces . If the war was successful, perhaps it could start a prairie fire against the Light Parliament and perhaps more territories would be willing to break free from the Country of Light .
But… this was only perhaps .
When the Anti-Parliament overlords gathered their army and were ready to give a beating, a piece of news left everyone dumbfounded: Barce surrendered .
This piece of news came as a bolt from the blue . It was unacceptable and even treated as an inappropriate joke . However, it was the truth . Barce didn’t wait for the reinforcements while suffering from the Light Parliament Army’s aggression . Instead, their knees weakened and not only did they give up instantly, but they also handed over General Lorraine . Of course, he was eventually sentenced to the death penalty .
This black comedy had left everyone in the Anti-Parliament wide-eyed and completely speechless . They discovered that Barce was only a paper tiger who was only great at growling, but was, in fact, terribly weak . This large-scale battle that might possibly turn into an independence battle ended abruptly . What made the Anti-Parliament even more furious was that Barce actually handed over the documents regarding the Anti-Parliament to the Light Parliament in order to express his devotion . This had caused the Anti-Parliament to be suppressed by the Light Parliament for a brief period . Fortunately, the Anti-Parliament had the Munn Kingdom as their pillar; if not, they would have been extremely miserable .
It was due to this that Barce Dominion wasn’t well-liked in the Anti-Parliament camp . Enemies were meant to be detested, while traitors were meant to be hated… Thereafter, many of the territories belonging to the Anti-Parliament camp severed ties with Barce entirely .
Judging from another perspective, perhaps Barce could be considered the lackey of the Light Parliament, right?
Even though their desires for independence had failed, Barce couldn’t forget the potential ‘great feats’ if they broke free from the Country of Light . Even in the Country of Light, the territorial wealth of Barce was considered huge . Their wealth had been used by the Light Parliament to assist territories in poverty, which strongly dissatisfied Barce as they believed that the large sums of money were meant for them to receive more support from the Light Parliament and not meant to be donated . As a result, they wanted to be independent from the Country of Light for using their money to support the poor people . But this time, they only spoke about it without taking action . However, the problem was that this thought had been spread by the overlords of Barce in public venues . Not only that, but the prominent figures of Barce Dominion also used their own way in expressing that Barce should be an independent country and not a territory of the Country of Light . The Light Parliament became aware of this and detested Barce Dominion to the core . However, they couldn’t take actions against them . After all, these ‘rumors’ weren’t illegal . But it was as annoying as a swarm of houseflies flying around their ears . Not only that, but also on large-scale gatherings, Barce Dominion would fly their own flag and not the flag of the Country of Light, which placed the Light Parliament in a horrible position . Many of the parliament members complained about why they didn’t get rid of this bunch of worthless bastards .
The Anti-Parliament watched a good show from the sidelines at the Light Parliament’s predicament . But once bitten, twice shy . They were obliged to watch the show, but never in favor of recruiting Barce back into their forces .
Rhode shifted his gaze and narrowed his eyes . The atmosphere in the hall was tense . At this moment, the Anti-Parliament members were also displaying stern expressions as they knew that this wasn’t as simple as dividing the camp . It could be considered as the only choice to divide between enemies and allies .
The deep, loud bugle horn filled the hall . Rhode and the crowd turned to face the wide, scarlet carpet that led to the large doors . Shortly after, the grand doors opened gradually and two Battle Angels emerged with the flag of the Light Dragon Soul .
Unlike Munn Kingdom, the Battle Angels mostly had their tails tucked in the Country of Light . Battle Angels seldom reveal themselves in the public of the Munn Kingdom due to Lydia’s self-discipline . After all, it would be disturbing for the people if Battle Angels were to fly around in the sky all day . But Battle Angels were still highly respected in other territories apart from the Munn Kingdom and Country of Light as they possessed powerful strength, were kind-hearted, and willing to assist the people . However, the situation was different in the Country of Light . After years of brainwashing by the Light Parliament, the Country of Light people were exceptionally vigilant against the Battle Angels, where they treated them as presences like Demons and were unwilling to accept their kind gestures . They believed that the Battle Angels had ulterior motives in their kind gestures and that was to make the people recognize the rule of the Angels . However, the people would never give up their prides as Humans!
It was due to this that Battle Angels basically wouldn’t appear before the people in the Country of Light . Rhode had even heard that almost two-thirds of the Battle Angels in the entire Battle Angel Army had been assigned to Lydia . Of course . In name, they existed to exterminate evil presences and maintain peace and harmony . But Rhode was clear that even Buddha would be furious to face such treatments . Battle Angels weren’t respected in the Country of Light so they were better off going to places where they would receive the respect that they deserved . Taking down evil presences was nothing more than an excuse . Everyone knew that the nobles of the Country of Light were the ones who were most closely linked to dark magic, curses, and Demons on the entire Light Mainland .
Rhode sensed as though the atmosphere in the entire hall had frozen, which made him feel rather uncomfortable . Shortly after, the two rows of Battle Angels raising the flags stood before the crowd and formed a barrier to keep the people away from the red carpet . Then, two Battle Angels holding white bugle horns in their hands flew into the hall and spun above everyone before quietly landing on both sides of the empty throne . Once they were in position, they blew the bugle horns .
00… Oo… Oo…
Two long notes followed by a short one .
A petite figure emerged from in between the large doors under everyone’s watchful eyes .
I knew it .
Rhode twitched his brows and revealed a smile in his eyes for a split second .
Unlike her outfit yesterday, Lily wore an exceptionally glorious white silk robe that dragged along the carpet up to three meters . Not only that, but she also wore a wide triangular hat and held a white staff that was taller than her . Standing beside her were the three Archangels .
Lydia wore her usual luxurious dress, while the other two Archangels were dressed differently . Archangel Serene wore a baggy, judge-like white gown . She appeared to be about 30 years old . Even though she wasn’t as young as Lydia, she emanated a mature and grandeur aura . She held a thick, golden-edged, red book and had a gentle and calm look .
That should be the Book of Law in the legends .
As a devoted follower of the Light Dragon Soul, it went without saying that Archangel Serene possessed unique abilities . Rumor had it that the Book of Law recorded the treaty and rules made during the Creation War, the operations of the entire continent, as well as the development of the statutes . In the game, players heard rumors that this Book of Law could alter the laws of this continent to a certain extent . If that rumor was true, Serene’s abilities would be comparable with Lydia’s . However, what was strange to the players was that even though she held such a formidable legendary artifact, her presence had always been close to nothing . In the game, she disappeared to nowhere after the Light Dragon Soul died . Before that, she seldom emerged on the battlefield and before the public . No one knew what her true job was .
Archangel Boulder on Lydia’s right was entirely different . He was a handsome, charming man with a head full of red, fiery spiky hair and a stern look on his face . His brows were knitted tightly and thick lips sealed closely as he gazed solemnly at the crowd . One could feel like he was like a ball of flames that was unapproachable just by looking into his eyes .
But… this Archangel… in Rhode’s eyes…
Rhode shifted his gaze to the sword completely burning with flames hanging by Boulder’s waist . The scorching flames materialized into the shape of a blade from the sword hilt, emanating extreme heat . However, it didn’t set his white armor and cape on fire . Then, Rhode pondered in silence before looking away .
At this moment, Lily slowly approached the throne at the farthest end of the palace under the three Archangels’ escort . The little girl sat down with a serious expression, but Rhode could sense some emotions hidden behind that facade .
It was apparent that the shock to her earlier was a huge blow .
Rhode lifted his head at this thought . At this moment, his gaze came into contact with Lydia’s and the latter winked playfully at him . Her eyes revealed some praise . Rhode was slightly taken aback . But shortly after, he understood what was going on .
It seems that a good show is coming up soon .
At this moment, Lydia stepped forth with an alluring smile .
“Everyone . It is the sacred Dragon Soul Ceremony today . Under the Light Dragon Soul’s protection, we’ve gathered here to express our gratitude to the Dragon Soul who has been selflessly protecting us from Chaos and evil, and to offer our most sincere greetings and respects to the supreme existence on this continent…”
Lydia turned around and half-knelt to the little girl before her .
“Your Majesty . These are your people who are offering their supreme honor and respect . With your protection, your people are able to live such blissful, peaceful lives . Perhaps we may have faced difficulties, but with your protection, we will walk out from the shadows of failure and darkness and return to the holy radiance . ”
Grand Mage Amund stepped out with a stern look . He held an exquisite box and stood behind Lydia, lowering his head and extending his hands respectfully . Everyone knew that this scene would happen in the Dragon Soul Ceremony . Lydia would present wealth from the Munn Kingdom and this sum of money would undoubtedly be accepted by the Light Parliament .
Shortly after, the elderly chairman tidied his clothes and stepped out in large strides from the other side . He stood before Lydia and nodded before extending his hand…
“Please, wait a moment . ”
Suddenly, a childish, crisp voice broke the solemn atmosphere .
Everyone lifted their heads and gazed at the little girl in astonishment . Lydia revealed a rare look of anxiousness . But shortly after, the worry in her expression faded away .
“Serene, accept this gift on my behalf . Just as Lydia has said, I think it’s about time to present this wealth… For much more meaningful purposes . ”
Everyone were rooted in their place by this bold statement!
The elderly chairman sulked instantly . Not only him, but the crowd behind him widened their eyes in disbelief . Most of them had participated in the Dragon Soul Ceremony more than twice, but they had never seen the little girl speak a word before as though she was nothing more than a decoration for the throne . But now, she actually made such a firm decision before everyone!
Everyone knew that the wealth the Munn Kingdom presented every year would be taken by the Light Parliament to fill up their financial deficits . But now, the Light Dragon Soul actually decided to take it away .
What would happen to the Light Parliament? What should the Country of Light do? No, most importantly…
Why did the Light Dragon Soul make such a statement?
Could it be that she has decided to snatch back her authority that was stripped away from the Light Parliament?!
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