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146 Follow your Hear

 Facing the impulsive Marlene, Rhode could only sigh in helplessness.

Rhode didn't have the intention to sign a contract with Marlene from the very beginning. Although this missy had lots of positive results, contributions, and could even be considered a vice leader from a certain perspective, Rhode was very clear that it was impossible to keep Marlene.

The reason was simple. She's Marlene Senia.

To nobles, their surname was more important than the first name.

Frankly, this situation felt like a daughter of a rich family working in a fast food restaurant. If she worked for only a short few months, the boss wouldn't have any objections and may even help her gain more experience. But if she decided to work for many years - none of the bosses would be able to accept it.

Moreover, Marlene's role in the mercenary group was different from the rest. Neither would she get a share of the mission rewards, nor did she actually care about it. Her motivation was to acquire real-life experiences and nothing more. Although Marlene performed well in terms of commanding and reassuring the team, those actions weren't for material benefit,s but just purely her daily behavior as a noble. Sometimes when Rhode was too busy, Marlene would take over the command temporarily.

As an assistant, Marlene was very competent. However, as a mercenary, she was simply no good. As such, Rhode had never considered drafting Marlene a mercenary contract.

Of course, he could still choose to use the contract to tie this genius mage by his side. However, Rhode was very clear the consequences of doing this. Although the law would still protect all him based on the contract, the Senia Family wouldn't give a damn about such things. If he manages to stir their ire, it wouldn't be a good thing for Rhode. Moreover, the Senia Family was the backbone of the King's Party, so Rhode didn't see the need to invite potential trouble for himself.

"I think you should be very clear about your identity, Marlene. You're a mage; not a mercenary."

As he said this, Rhode gestured for her to calm down.

"Besides, your Senia Family will not agree to this. Regarding the contract's content, I'm pretty sure you've already seen it. You, as a successor of the Senia Family, will you be able to accept?"

Marlene's face changed and slumped on the chair as if she lost her energy.

Without a doubt, she was very aware that if she was just 'Marlene', there wouldn't be any complications. But if she had to decide as 'Marlene Senia' then it would be very difficult.

Rhode knew this all along, so he didn't consider drafting her contract from the start. But by doing so, it was equal to not giving her a choice to choose between the mercenary group or her own family. And knowing Marlene, Rhode knew she definitely wouldn't choose the former. Marlene was a reasonable person who had been under strict education since young, and priority of matters had been clear-cut to her. Under this situation, she wouldn't let her emotions make the decision.

Instead of making both parties awkward, it'd be better to not mention about the contract. But Rhode could understand well why Marlene was questioning herself not receiving a contract. After all, she'd been in Starlight for such a long time, and had naturally developed some feelings here. Now that Rhode had given everyone a contract and left her out, so of course she would have some complaints. It was normal.

Rhode wasn't sure himself how long could Marlene stay within the mercenary group. But he knew that the duration wouldn't be too long. Honestly, to have a genius mage by his side would lessen the burden by a lot. If possible, he hoped to find a few other real mages through Marlene to join the Starlight mercenary group. The level requirement wasn't too high as Rhode believed that those acquaintances of Marlene shouldn't be too weak. Since this rich missy was a very proud person to begin with, she wouldn't mix around with those 'ordinary' folk. Hence, the people whom she recognized as capable shouldn't be a problem.

But Rhode did not intend to mind about these things as it wasn't the time yet. He believed that when it's time for Marlene to leave, she would also think of this problem since she was a very responsible person.

Contrary to his expectations, Marlene's reaction gave Rhode a huge surprise.

She sat on the chair silently for a long time. And when she finally lifted her head, she said something that gave Rhode a shock.

"So that means, if my family allows me to stay then I'll receive a contract like... Lize?"


Rhode was stunned speechless for a moment. Never did he expect Marlene to care so much about this matter. It just doesn't seem to be beneficial for her.

"Things aren't as simple as you think. Miss Marlene."

Rhode decided to come clean and speak the truth once and for all.

"After spending a considerable amount of time with us, you should understand the nature of being a mercenary. I can tell that you don't have interest in being a mercenary apart from going on adventures. So, I don't think she should sign this contract as this would bring no benefits to both of us."

"I... I am aware of this."

Marlene nodded with unwillingness.

"But... I still hope to receive the same treatment as Lize. Besides..."

Marlene suddenly realized she may have said something wrong and quickly shut her mouth. Rhode started to suspect something after hearing her words.

He realized that Marlene had been mentioning Lize since the beginning of the conversation as if it wasn't fair to only issue a contract to Lize and not to her. Marlene should be very clear about Lize's status in this mercenary group so why would she carry such childish thoughts?

Something's not right.


Under Rhode's gaze, Marlene coughed awkwardly and her face blushed slightly.

"I can understand what you mean, Mr. Rhode. But no matter what's the reason, I contributed plenty to the Starlight mercenary group too, therefore I should have the rights to receive similar treatment. As for my family, you can rest assured. I think they wouldn't be too affected by this matter. No matter what, I hope I can become the most special one in here."

"... I will consider."

In the end, facing Marlene's persistence, Rhode eventually nodded his head.


After returning to her room, Marlene leaned onto the door as she let out a long sigh. She placed her hand on her chest and felt her heart pumping really fast.

As a smart woman, Marlene was well aware that she was behaving a little unreasonably since she knew Rhode meant well for her. But for some unknown reason, when she witnessed Lize's and Anne's excited expressions when they were discussing their future-deciding contract, she felt a little upset. The feeling of being outcasted made her feel uncomfortable.

Being outcasted wasn't anything unfamiliar to her though. Even more so as she was the successor of an influential family, and as a genius mage. Other people whose status, wealth and titles that weren't as good as her, hid from her. Those people whose talent and abilities that weren't as good as her, outcasted her. But these matters didn't affect Marlene. She didn't feel outcasted. Rather, she felt that this proved that she had succeeded.

However, when she joined the Starlight mercenary group, Marlene's thoughts regarding this matter slowly eroded away.

She got along well with everyone here. Lize, Anne, and the others. Although she didn't regard the other mercenaries as friends, they bonded better than her classmates in elite schools. The mercenaries weren't too bothered about her family and identity. They treated her well purely due to her abilities which made Marlene feel satisfied. She felt that her decision to join the Starlight mercenary group was the best decision ever.

Nevertheless, she could understand Rhode's reasons for not giving her a contract, but even so, she still hoped that she could be treated the same as the rest. Marlene clearly understood that human relationships were built on common interactions. Now that she was comfortable here, naturally, she didn't hope to leave.

But Marlene clearly knew that these were all excuses.

And her main reason was...

Marlene quickly shook her head and threw those annoying thoughts to the back of her mind. She then took in a deep breath and calmed down. Later, the maiden took out a badge from her pocket and placed it on the table. She softly chanted a verse after closing her eyes.

The mosaic gem on the badge started shining, then, it released a gentle light which formed an illusionary human silhouette resembling a man of his fifties. He stood upright and swept all his hair back with a comb. A trimmed black robe revealed the man's tall and huge body. His hand held a white staff, gazing sternly at the maiden directly in front of him.

At the same time, a deep majestic voice sounded.

"It's been a while, my child."

"Yes, long time no see, Dad. You still look great as always."

Marlene lifted the hem of her skirt lightly and bowed towards the man.

"You too, my child. I'm glad to see you full of energy."

The man revealed a slightly warm smile. Although the smile was not obvious, Marlene could feel the care and warmth from within.

"I heard from Mr. Sereck that you've joined a pretty interesting mercenary group. So now that you've contacted me, is there any matter?"

"You're right, Dad."

Marlene cleared her throat with a slight cough and proudly said.

"The reason why I contacted you was that I have two matters to report to you."

"Oh? What about them?"

"The first matter. Regarding my current progress, Dad, I can confidently say that I have breakthrough the middle circle's 6th layer and almost reaching the 5th."


The man's expression revealed a shocking and happy expression.

"So quick? Seems like you're doing well my child. But you have to remember to be humble in the path of magic. Although you've improved considerably in such a short time, you must remember not to be arrogant or rash. Building the solid foundation is also important."

"Yes, Dad. I will remember it in my heart."

Marlene bowed deeply. She was already conditioned to her father's advice. In the beginning, she felt that he was being naggy, but as she matured, she understood that this was just an act of love.

"So then, what's the second matter? You have given me good news so far, let's hope the next one wouldn't disappoint."

"No, it's nothing like that, Dad. I think you'll be very excited about the second matter."

Marlene lifted her head with a little flush across her face, but in between her brows were strong emotions that couldn't be spoken.

"I can confidently say that I have already found the destined King of my life. The knight that our Senia Family have always been waiting for!"