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201 Negotiations with Dark Fang

 Rhode remained calm as he assessed the masked killer in front of him with a stoic expression.

"Mr. Shawn, I'm not a curious person." Rhode shook his head, "But even so, I need to ask you this question - since you are willing to pay such a big price, why not do it yourself?"

Shawn paused for a while; then he answered with resent in his voice, "... Because I'm unable to get near him."

"Magic is a very troublesome thing. I think you of all people should understand this point, considering that you have a mage in your group. Carody is terrified of my revenge, so he acquired a unique magical item which would alert him to my presence once I get near him. It's not as though I hadn't tried, but I failed every single time. So..."

"So you hope I could do it for you."

Rhode didn't hate it even though Shawn intended to use him. While he wasn't interested in the grudge between Shawn and Carody, since Carody belonged to the Country of Light, then killing him would only bring him additional benefits. And doing so makes him feel good... Yes, that was the most important reason to Rhode.

Rhode respected his opponents, but not traitors. He could still endure the Country of Darkness's invasion, but he would never accept the cowardly Country of Light's surrender. During the battle between the two countries, the Country of Light gave up shortly and offered compensation to the Country of Darkness. But the wealth they had wasn't enough to stop the Country of Darkness from invading, and in the end, they decided to give up the Light Dragon in order to protect themselves. According to their reasoning, they felt that the neverending fight between light and darkness was an issue, thus, they wanted to end it once and for all by handing over the Light Dragon.

What is this? Is this what a human with average intelligence would do?

At the birth of the nations, the first Light Dragon elected the parliament and gave them the authority to run the country while she would lay low. According to her, this was a country built by her people, so they should decide which direction to move toward to. As long they bear the heavy responsibility of developing a nation, their country would prosper in both peace and security.

The Dark Dragon thought otherwise. He felt that he, as one of the five creator dragons, and as the leader of the Country of Darkness, should bear the duty of guiding his people towards the future. In his eyes, these mortals were too shortsighted and childish. They could only see in the present, and not the future. If they were to lead a country, then one day, they would eventually lose themselves in the ocean of time. Therefore, the Dark Dragon felt that the Light Dragon's decision to pass the authority to her people was a cowardly and timid move.

Of course, this was just a clash of ideology and there weren't any contradictions that couldn't be harmonized. According to the internet about the five creator dragons, they were harsh with their words, but they never moved against each other using physical means.

However, as time passed year after year, the Dragon Soul's successor changed from one to another, and their ideology began to shift as well. The Country of Light and Dark had countless of conflicts in the meantime. As the Country of Light saw how powerful the Country of Darkness came to be, they grew terrified. They were afraid that one day, the successor of the Light Dragon's soul would be like the Dark Dragon's successor, who stole back the authority from its people.

Because of fear, they began sowing their treacherous seeds of evil. Using their authority, they started to brainwash the local populace about the unimportance of the Light Dragon's impact on their country and the continent. Thus, in the present, most citizens didn't know what the Light Dragon signified and how vital its presence was to the land. At most, they knew that the sky was the symbol of the Light Dragon, no one knew what was going to happen after losing it.

Meanwhile, the Country of Darkness emphasized the importance of necessity and existence of the Dragon Soul to its people, explaining to them the reason why they could live peacefully on this continent. Because of the Dragon Soul's power, it was able to regulate the chaos energy which restored order to the world. Of course, the Country of Light loathed it and refuted this belief. They thought that the Dark Dragon wanted to utilize propaganda to strengthen itself, so it purposely proclaimed that to claim its rights to dictate over the country.

On the other hand, the successors of the Light Dragon didn't have any power nor authority. To put it nicely, they were like flowers in the greenhouse - but realistically, they were like pets who were raised by the parliament, only to be summoned when needed.

Later on, Lydia's method of ruling the Munn Kingdom made the Country of Light fearful. They were afraid that their people would admire their way of ruling, and request for the Country of Light to reform so that the Light Dragon would recover its power. If that happened, their hard work and effort to brainwash the populace would be undermined.

This made Rhode suspicious. He speculated that the reason why the parliament would use such an idiotic rationale to justify the surrender of the Light Dragon was due to a pact with the Country of Darkness. The Country of Darkness might have offered to give these parliament members their rightful authority after obtaining part of Country of Light's domain. These old geezers from the parliament held no regrets in selling their dignity and glory of the country to cling on to their seats.

When players accepted the quest to defend against the Dark Dragon's invasion, even when they completed their quest, the fate of the country was already sealed. However, after Rhode's guild destroyed the Country of Light's parliament and led the players to rebel against the Country of Darkness, the Player Alliance immediately displayed unexpected unobstructed progress without interference from the remnants of the parliament. They reached all the way to the heart of the Country of Darkness and eventually wiped out everyone.

There were only two possibilities to this situation. First, either the parliament was too incompetent, which would only increase the burden on the players, or they had purposely used up their strength just to favor the future leader.

If it was the former, it wouldn't be that bad, but if it was the latter, then it was unforgivable.

In other words - the parliament must die.

So, with regards to Shawn's request, Rhode approved it. He was even grateful for Shawn's warning, Although Rhode was already prepared for the Country of Light, if someone were to provide additional information about his enemies, that would be better than wading through the river and groping at stones all by himself, wasn't it?

"I understand what you meant now."

Rhode's expression remained the same despite agreeing with Shawn. After all, the other party was requesting for help, and if he seemed to be overly passionate, he might be taken advantage of next time. To Rhode, this was a mission. And since it was a mission, he should squeeze every single drop out of it, which suited his identity.

Rhode's stance on the matter caught the attention of Shawn. Frankly, ever since the two of them met, Shawn felt that this young man was becoming increasingly mysterious. At the Mercenary Association meeting, Rhode displayed the strategic side of him. However, Shawn was very clear that this young man was a steadfast man under the veil of arrogance. Now it seemed that his steadiness had gone a step further beyond Shawn's initial judgment. Even so, Rhode wasn't the least bit worried, and not a sign of worry was on his face. As a killer, Shawn was an expert in examining the expressions of people, so he could verify that when he mentioned the Country of Light, Rhode's calmness wasn't fake and was genuine.

Of course, the killer didn't know that Rhode had already wiped out the whole of Country of Light back in the game. So, naturally, Rhode didn't experience much shock when mentioned about these things.

Shawn was certain of what Rhode was thinking, so he didn't hesitate to extend his arm. In a flash, a black dagger appeared on his palm.

"Mr. Rhode, this is my 'Black Ivory'." Shawn said as he placed the dagger on the table, "It served me for many years and has always been a deadly weapon. I'll give it to you now as a deposit... and furthermore, I guarantee that in the future, if you require intelligence reports, we the 'Dark Fang,' will provide this service to you for free."

Rhode nodded.

Although Dark Fang was just a mercenary group, they seem to resemble a hitman organization. The fact that they could gather secret intel from the Country of Light proved their strength in this field. If Rhode could acquire their help, then it would naturally be an advantage for the Starlight guild in the future.

However, Rhode's ambition didn't stop here. But he knew that some things shouldn't be brought to light now.

"I hope we will have a pleasant cooperation."

Rhode said as he extended his right arm.

Shawn glanced at Rhode's outstretched arm and calmly shook on it.

"Yes... of course. Pleasant cooperation."