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180 Unexpected Turn

 If Rhode knew what Anne thought, then he would definitely have regretted flirting with her last night and should have just directly slapped her because it would be more effective. Luckily, he didn't know what was Anne thinking about because after he woke up, she acted the same as her usual self, giggling around. There didn't seem to be anything different. That's why Rhode also no longer cared about that problem; he was more worried about the next problem. Rhode and Anne immediately left the inn when the sun rose to avoid any unwanted attention and walked toward the Black Pine Ruins.

The ancient Black Pine Ruins was located in the depths of Black Pine Forest. Previously, it was a huge palace, but after some time had passed, most of it became buried underground, so it was remote and dangerous. Normal people wouldn't go there, although logically, there was no problem for Rhode to conquer this place by himself.

It was as if there were no one who came before him.

The mercenary group that the owner mentioned to him last night made him feel troubled. It had been a few days. Although the owner said that he didn't see them come back, who knew what might have happened? What if they were still in the Black Pine Ruins? What if they found the thing they wanted and left? No one knew what happened. That's why Rhode could only do his best. However, according to his understanding, they shouldn't have found the Mystery Ball because the stronghold quest could still be completed and there didn't seem to be any change. That's why there should be no problem... But since this wasn't a game, who knew?

Rhode was familiar with the Black Pine Ruins, so he quickly brought Anne to Black Pine Forest and arrived in its depths. Soon, they saw the ruins that were almost buried underground.

There was a huge tiled boulder, incomplete ruins, a palace entrance, and a cave hole. In the ground, there was a statue that was half buried in the ground and couldn't be seen clearly. Everything was so memorable and familiar that standing before these ruins, Rhode felt nostalgic. It was as if he had arrived back in the game world. He was even suspicious of whether he was dreaming or had transmigrated back into the game.

"Hey, who are you?!"

When Rhode and Anne planned to enter the ruins, two, three mercenaries suddenly appeared. They were holding swords and looked at them vigilantly with a heavy killing intent.

"This place has been sealed by our Diamond Mercenary Group temporarily, and no one can enter. If you guys wanted to adventure, it's better to change the place."

It's really nostalgic...

Looking at these mercenaries, Rhode couldn't help but sigh. In the game, there was a player guild that sealed the place to train and would drive away other players. It seemed that humans really were common biological creatures.

However... Diamond Mercenary Group?

Rhode thought for a while and realized where the problem lied. There was no mercenary group with that name in the Paphield region. Were they not local?

Thinking until here, Rhode couldn't help but be more vigilant. "Diamond Mercenary Group? I have never heard of it... You guys aren't from the Paphield region, right?"

"So what?"

Hearing Rhode's question, they only snorted since they didn't see him eye-to-eye. They were 60 people in total, and the opponent was only two. They actually dared talk nonsense in front of them; it seemed that the pair didn't want to live for very long!

"What does this have to do with you? Kid, I advise you to go away from this place; there's nothing good comes from making us mad!"

Hearing them vent their anger, Anne only smiled and shook her head. After that, she looked at Rhode. According to her understanding of Rhode, he would definitely stand still. Especially after hearing his plan last night, although she was focusing on the bread, but she could still clearly hear what Rhode was saying. That's why hearing the opponent provocation, she had already made preparation and was just waiting for Rhode's signal.

Unexpectedly, Rhode wasn't mad. To the contrary, he only nodded and left. This made Anne, who had prepared for battle, confused, but she didn't show it and left with Rhode. Although she didn't know what he was going to do, she was already used to trusting him unconditionally.

"Really is strange." After they left the Black Pine Ruins, Rhode stopped walking for a while and muttered to himself. "Diamond Mercenary Group? I've never heard of this name... Anne, have you heard of it?"

"Anne also... ah!!" Saying halfway, the girl suddenly remembered something and clapped her hands. "Anne remember! There seemed to be a mercenary group with this name. A few years ago, they came to Anne's former mercenary group to talk about something. Although Anne didn't know what it was about, that mercenary group was called the Diamond Mercenary Group."

"Oh?" Hearing Anne's answer, a light flashed through Rhode's eyes.

"Do you know where they came from?"

"Hm..." Hearing Rhode's question, Anne didn't answer immediately. She frowned and thought for a while, then answered in hesitation. "I cannot remember it well; I only know that they came from a weird place. Its name is very complicated, I cannot pronounce it... It seems to be called..."

"Leilakala?"

"Yes yes, it's that Leila..ah, I bit my tongue." Annie shut her mouth and looked quite pitiful. However, Rhode didn't have the mood to comfort her anymore, because after hearing Anne's answer, his heart sank.

That place definitely wasn't good.

As everyone knew that in Munn Kingdom, there were five region. Three regions were part of the King's party; in their opinion, if there were no nobles, then they wouldn't be the current Munn Kingdom. They thought that the Country of Light was the Munn Kingdom's biggest threat. Marlene's Senia family was part of the King's party, and they were very hostile toward the Country of Light. The animosity between the two sides had lasted for centuries and had escalated from hatred into conviction.

To the contrary, the two other regions were supporters of the parliament. In their opinion, the Munn Kingdom shouldn't oppose the Country of Light, since no matter what, both countries came from the same source and were both Light Dragon supporters. It doesn't make sense for them to oppose each other; they should listen to the Country of Light's suggestion and ease the relationship between two countries... Just like Clinton who appeared in the Deep Stone City before, they didn't take the Country of Light as threats, but future friends. They thought that the reason the relationship between the two countries became strained wasn't because of the Country of Light, but because of the Munn Kingdom. If they could repent their wrongdoings, then things wouldn't have escalated to that extent

Of course, the relationship between them had been like Mars colliding with Earth. The King's party thought that the parliament was the traitor who sold their country and the parliament thought that the King's party was too stubborn; because of past hatred, they couldn't see the problem before them... The relationship between them was just like fire and water-it was not only reflected in politics, but even in commercial industries, civil society, and mercenary groups.

If what Anne remembered was right, then that mercenary group came from the parliament area.

What were they doing here?

Thinking until here, Rhode couldn't help but be curious. Due to the difference in philosophy between the two parties, they were generally unwilling to go into each other's area. After all, they would be treated as traitors. That's why even if something happened to their mercenary group here, or if they mysteriously disappeared, no one would say anything. Although the parliament's party might protest, the Paphield region would never care for their protest. They represent two completely different political interest, so there wouldn't be any good as a result of succumbing to each other under such collision.

Leilakala was the parliament fanatic supporter area; there was one time they even declared independence from Munn Kingdom and was willing to become part of the Country of Light. However, it was all talks and no action. After Lydia sent her army to run several laps there and hung the idiot who clamored for independence behind the tail of a horse to parade on streets, no one actually dared to say anything in person.

That's why the people there didn't have a good impression toward the Munn Kingdom's ruler, but now they actually came to Paphield?

It was too strange.

Thinking of this, Rhode made a decision. He had only intended to take the Mystery Ball and leave, but now it seemed like it was necessary for him to find out what they were going to do in Paphield. He had finally managed to get rid of the people the Country of Light had sent here, and enjoy some leisure time. Naturally, he didn't want the people who were league with the Country of Light to look for trouble here. Since the mercenary group in the Paphield region was in a prohibition period, they didn't have the time and energy to manage this. But since he had encountered them, it was impossible for him to sit idly.

"Follow me, Anne."