A lingering chatter droned on and on.
Peter stretched his body and distanced himself from the parchments in front of him. When he took off his glasses, he noticed his vision growing slightly blurry. But this was good for him... At least he did not have to see those annoying faces otherwise it would be difficult to imagine how he could continue.
A deep voice sounded and drowned the noise.
"Please, everyone. We're not gathered here to quarrel."
A man who wore a luxurious robe stood up and spread his hands.
"In recent months, there had been a string of continuous attacks on cargo ships near the border areas which caused not only the dissatisfaction of the Merchant Association but also a rapid increase in price in the Country of Light. We must develop a countermeasure as soon as possible!"
"What else can we do?"
Another person put down the parchments in his hand and helplessly spread his arms.
"We have already sent out an investigation group, but we still have not received a clear report of the situation. We need to find out what is going on in order to catch the culprit behind it."
"It takes time. After all, we only have a few clues so we need to continue to investigate."
"There's no time! The price increase is drastically affecting our public support. We must think of a way to reverse this situation right now or the whole country will fall into chaos soon."
What's the point of saying that? You've might as well say nothing.
Peter pressed his palm against his forehead and sighed. They had been meeting every day, but they weren't able to find a solution. At this moment, a dark figure stood up.
"I have something to say."
Hearing this voice, Old Peter suddenly grew interested. He quickly grabbed his glasses and readied the quill pen in his hand.
Borde was in his forties. His thick lips and golden hair meticulously combed to the back gave off a dignified feeling. Dressed in a simple black jacket, he stepped towards the podium, causing the noisy parliament hall to quiet down.
"I think this discussion is a waste of time. We should not be thinking how to solve it. No matter how we deliberate, we have to accept what already happened. Right now as we speak, the commodity price is still increasing. While the difference isn't big, it is still making the people unhappy. Haven't you guys heard?"
Borde proceeded to point towards the window.
"That's right. That's the sound of protest. We've been entrusted with a heavy responsibility — we cannot let them down now. While I agree that we still have to continue to investigate the attacks, our priority should be to stabilize the price to avoid further turmoil. This is what we're supposed to do!"
"But how do we do that, Mr. Borde?"
Hearing a parliament member inquire, Mr. Borde smiled.
"We can ask the Munn Kingdom for help. Let them solve our current shortage and re-stabilizing the market price."
"I also object!"
Someone immediately stood up and expressed their opposition.
"Our relationship with them is the same as before. There had been no response from the Munn Kingdom after such a long time. That simply means that they do not want to help us! If we take the initiative to request aid from them, they might use this as a foothold to force us to make future concessions and compromise!"
"That's right! That tyrant of a dictator... I don't believe that woman would be kind enough to help us without benefits."
"Why would she bother about whether we live or die? She's an evil being that wouldn't hesitate to kill her own people as long as she can stabilize her reign. How can this kind of person be an angel? It's just difficult to imagine. I object to this proposal, Mr. Borde. Our Country of Light's thrives on liberalism, I absolutely refuse to bow down to evil."
"Nevertheless, no matter what, the Munn Kingdom is ultimately still our ally."
Facing the majority opposition, Borde waved his arm passionately.
"We have no other option. The other countries neither have enough resources nor the ability to help us. We should send our messenger to express our goodwill to her Miss Lydia as soon as possible. As long as they are willing to trade with us with low rates, we can let them decide the requirements of the proposal. I hope everyone here can understand where I am coming from. Right now, our petty squabbles will put nothing on the table, and I'm sure you don't need me to remind all of you about the forecasted results of next year's election if we do nothing about this matter... I think all of you should understand what I'm saying."
Hearing this, those who opposed Borde's views appeared to quieten down. They looked at each other helplessly, seemingly unable to reply with anything constructive. However, there were still people who voiced out their opinion.
"But... but what happens if the people found out that we requested assistance from the Munn Kingdom? If this spreads, we will receive quite a heavy blow as well..."
"I think all of you needn't worry regarding this point."
Borde pressed his hands down.
"The people are mainly worried about the increasing prices. As long as we don't talk about it, no one would know where the food and goods came from. Bowing down to the Munn Kingdom isn't something to be proud of, but for sake of the people of our country, we must relinquish our pride."
Borde paused for a moment.
"They didn't know about our matters before, so naturally they aren't going to find out about this one now."
When the parliament members heard this, the anxiety in their eyes finally dissipated and was replaced by happiness. Indeed, this matter had bogged them down for so long; hence it was natural that they felt relieved. These members of parliament undoubtedly knew that as long as they could appease the public's anger, they would be able to clinch next year's election.
As for face? What's that? Can that be eaten?
"Then, Mr. Borde, the matter regarding the messenger..."
"I will go in person."
Borde puffed out his chest and said confidently, "I will show our parliament's greatest sincerity to Miss Lydia."
Then Borde held his head up towards the front.
"I hope the parliament will grant me this approval."
Facing Borde's resolution, the old man who was sitting on the top did not speak for a while. Then he sighed. After scanning the room briefly, he reluctantly nodded his head.
"I accept your request, the parliament will vote for it at the next meeting."
That old thing.
All the parliament members thought the same thing and glanced at the old man in disdain. He was already so old, how long did he want to stay in that position? Damn, if it wasn't for him, how could have the parliament become this passive?
Hmph. It looks like he's going to be pulled down on the next election. By that time...
As many of the members thought of this, they still maintained their attention on the man who stood confidently at the podium.
It might be the arrival of a new era.
At this moment, in the distant Deep Stone City, another scene was going on in the Mercenary Association.
"That damned bastard!!"
The mercenaries were surprised to see Billy. His face was pale as he slammed the door behind him. He stomped through the hall and left the Mercenary Association before entering a luxurious carriage just outside the building.
"What's the matter?"
A man who was hiding in the shadow asked.
"That guy denied everything."
Billy spread out his arms helplessly.
"Although I've have done it according to your request and showed every evidence and magical projection that could prove that he was the murderer, he wasn't moved at all and said that it was something that we fabricated!!"
Recalling Rhode's calm expression, Billy gnashed his teeth in anger. He really wanted to cut off Rhode's head by himself. He spent so much time, said so many words, and even revealed the evidence, but that guy actually reversed all of it.
"What's the Mercenary Association's response?"
"They said that they will continue to investigate."