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659 Uninvited Guests End

 Lauren sunk into silence.

If Lauren were to choose, he wouldn't be willing to end just like this. But he knew that he had no other choices left. If his opponent was merely a strong noble, Lauren would capture him for investigation. Even if the investigations were proven wrong, he would at most show up personally and apologize to the Munn Royal Family. But now, Lauren couldn't do that. Of course, he could choose to force his way through, but this young man had shown that he wasn't easy to deal with. Moreover, Lauren was concerned that this young man had more tricks up his sleeves. If Rhode's outstanding swordsmanship and confidence could still be considered acceptable, his capability in breaking Lauren's Mystic Realm had left the latter stunned. When Lauren thought that Rhode was at his wits end, three beings in the Legendary Stage emerged out of nowhere.

Lauren felt that it would only pose a thorny problem for him if the three beings were in the early phase of the Legendary Stage. Even though his Mystic Realm had been destroyed and he was still confident that his strength should be able to teach these people a lifelong lesson. Should be able to? Lauren twitched his brows. His instincts from countless battle experiences told him that this matter wasn't as simple as he thought. He had failed to lock onto the aura of the two petite Elf girls and felt from their blades that they weren't even worth a mention in strength. However, he couldn't feel their presence at all. Failing to sense the enemy presence was much more terrifying than failing to see them for a formidable being like Lauren. Besides, for unknown reasons, he felt a chill down his spine when he saw the two petite girls as though an instinctive reaction when a creature was in the face of a death threat.

Those two girls are dangerous!

As for the Battle Angel who stood before Rhode, even though she didn't appear to be as dangerous as the two Elf girls, her rich battle experience was obvious from her imposing manner and presence. Not only that, but the overwhelming holy aura emanating from her left Lauren hesitant. He was clear that one wasn't a simple figure when one had a Battle Angel by one's side no matter in the Munn Kingdom or the Country of Light. If Lauren had treated Rhode as an up-and-coming young star of the Munn Kingdom previously, he finally understood that this young man was definitely looked upon by the Munn Kingdom. If not, it would surely be impossible for a Battle Angel to serve a Human.

Moreover, Lydia was a real piece of work. They were in the territory of the Munn Kingdom and Lauren wasn't willing to make a huge fuss out of this situation. Although the relationship between the Munn Kingdom and Country of Light was terrible, both sides were still able to get along on the surface, after all. Besides, Lauren was unlike that bunch of politicians who couldn't wait for the Munn Kingdom to be destroyed and disintegrated. As a soldier, Lauren knew how important the Munn Kingdom's geographical location was to the Country of Light. If it was possible, he didn't wish to have a falling out with the Munn Kingdom. Furthermore, as one of the higher-ups of the Light Parliament, he understood everything that had happened in the Munn Kingdom and he had vaguely sensed that the incidents were linked to the Light Parliament in countless ways.

During such a sensitive period, he had better not go overboard. Besides, who knew what tricks that this young man had up his sleeves?

Lauren pondered in silence and withdrew his sword. The two Elf girls took a step back simultaneously. They slid smoothly like a stream of water to the left and right and quietly stood beside Rhode. Rhode gazed at Lauren calmly. The fatigue on Rhode was nowhere to be seen anymore. In Lauren's eyes, Rhode appeared much more confident now...

"What is your name?"

Lauren asked the black-haired young man. He had a premonition that this young man would possibly be one of the future prospects of the Munn Kingdom. Even though it would be tough for a person to influence the harmony of two nations, it would still be possible judging from the person's status. There were many outstanding young people in the Munn Kingdom. Royal Highness Lydia was only a young Archangel, but her iron-willed self was unseen in past Munn Kingdom rulers. Apart from her, there was also a rare magical genius as the heir of the Senia Family. According to the rumors and intelligence collected by the Light Parliament, the commander of the Royal Family's most secretive and ancient Royal Fleet was also a young man, but no one knew the commander's true identity.

"Rhode Alander."

"... So... It's you..."

Lauren nodded in surprise. Even though he didn't recognize Rhode, he had long heard about the big name of 'Mercenary Overlord', After all, he and the investigations team had been roaming around the Munn Kingdom all these time. This young man's background was like a legend, but Lauren was clear that a young man who had attained such achievements in a short period of time didn't rely only on luck and support from the Royal Family. Lauren had thought of investigating how special this young man was too.

And now, this young man appeared before him...

Lauren shot a glance at Rhode once more. Then, he turned around and approached his men.

"Let them go. We're heading off!"

"Sir?"

The man in heavy armor questioned.

"We can't do that. There's a high chance that these people are related to the incident. As long as we carefully investigate, we can surely find some evidence against them..."

"Enough!"

Lauren let out a bellow. He glared at the man beside him and let out a hopeless sigh. Lauren wasn't no longer as furious as before. Instead, he appeared seemingly worried. After his clash with Rhode, he realized that the situation was getting out of hand. Currently, even though there wasn't such manpower from the Munn Kingdom here, they had eminent statuses, possessed youthful vitality, and threats. Once they identified that the Country of Light was their enemies, how would the situation develop in future? In contrast, even though the huge financial groups had no lack of young talents, they were rarely put in charge. The Light Parliament was lifeless and every member was 'striving' for the sake of gaining power and self-interest. On the contrary, the younger, vigorous group was dissatisfied with the fact that the older, conservative group only cared about their own money. The younger group sought opportunities to overthrow the conservative group to build their reputation while the conservative group clashed with the younger group in order to protect their benefits. Among them, the various financial groups were completely unscrupulous in order to take their share of the loot. The military was also involved and tried to strength their army... Currently, the Light Parliament was ununited. The senior chairman's reputation had fallen rapidly. The support he received locally had dropped to its lowest point. But even so, he hadn't given up serving another term of office... Lauren felt downhearted as he gazed at the people around him... Haven't they figured out the situation?

But at this moment, Lauren heard a voice that he didn't wish to hear. Not only did the man beside him not execute his order, but he also blocked him from moving ahead.

"Please pardon me, Sir Lauren. Your doings are tarnishing the supreme honor of our Light Parliament. We will never succumb to any threat of oppression or violence from the outside world. I, as the representative of the Light Parliament, have no need to comply with the threat of those dictator's lackeys! You are the invited guest for this investigations team, but I'm their commander. I will not follow your order. I want to detain these people here for interrogation. If they dare to defy, execute them on the spot!"

"You...!"

The corner of Lauren's eye twitched and at this moment, Rhode's stone-cold voice sounded.

"It seems that your subordinates have different opinions."

"..."

Lauren turned to Rhode and saw that the latter raise his arm.

"But, it doesn't matter. It isn't as if I'm unprepared."

Rhode placed the tip of his fingers between his lips and blew a sharp whistle.

"-!"

The crisp whistle resounded.

Figures appeared from the back of the snowy hills one by one and encircled the investigations team. The Rangers lifted their longbows and aimed at their target. The warriors held shields and swords, standing solemnly. Spell-casters in white robe behind them chanted and magical radiance flickered in their hands.

We're surrounded!

Lauren looked at Rhode with a fearful glint. He didn't know how many people had surrounded them, but it seemed that the young man was well-prepared. Even so, this young man didn't released this trump card during their clashes no matter how unfavorable the situation was for him.

"I hope you will reconsider your choices, Mr. Commander."

Rhode said with an apathetic tone. However, the crowd felt a chilly sensation from his voice. Terror held them like a vice-like group. They convinced themselves that it was due to the cold temperature of the atmosphere in this ice field.

"D-Do you know what you're doing?"

At this moment, the commander had lost all arrogance. Previously, he was presumptuous as he thought that he had the upper hand in manpower. Besides, the young man appeared miserable during his clash with Lauren. Even though the young man had some impressive performance, any outsiders who witnessed the battle could see that Lauren was overpowering. However, he didn't know why Lauren had chosen to give up. He had about 400 people including Mages in his force, and it wouldn't be a problem dealing with these people. Moreover, he had kept a group of Cavalrymen captive, so why would he hand them over just because of Lauren?

But now, his thoughts had wavered. No matter who it was, no one would feel great being surrounded by fully-armored men. Besides, the other party seemed to have a lot of manpower. If he continued to put up a fight, perhaps he would be the one to suffer. Even though he was a firm activist of the Country of Light and he wholeheartedly felt that he did nothing wrong, he had to reconsider if his choices were worthy.

But I've just spoken my thoughts. If we leave now...

"Enough! Russell!"

Lauren snarled. He knew what the commander was thinking and he wasn't willing to risk it. Lauren was sure that the young man would surely take actions if this stalemate continued! After Lauren heard Rhode's name, he knew that he shouldn't mess with him. Previously, this young man had even crippled the Mist Sword Saint before the representative of the Light Parliament, so it meant nothing for him to eliminate another investigations team!

"Let's go! This investigation mission has ended! We should return to the Country of Light!"

"... Yes, Sir."

The commander no longer refused the smart suggestion. He hesitated for a moment, but eventually took half a step back and lowered his head in fear.

Then, Rhode's voice sounded once more.

"Good. It seems that you've made the right choice and saved yourself from being murdered. You should really thank him for his barely working brain."

"You...!"

The man sulked and lifted his head subconsciously. However, a ghastly whiteness spread over his face the very next instant.

The two Elf girls emerged before him in an ice-cold flash. They kept their daggers pushing against his neck. They lifted their heads and smiled gently before pulling down their hoods to hide their delicate, adorable features and revealed only their chins. They took a step back and vanished before their eyes in the whistling wind.

"..."

The place was left in complete silence.

The commander looked with an ashen expression. Sweat filled his forehead and he subconsciously caressed his neck. The other soldiers behind him exchanged astonishing looks. They didn't realize when the two Elf girls appeared before their commander. Their appearances were so striking it was impossible that they didn't spot her.

"Enough. Let's go!"

Lauren lowered his voice. He swept a glance at Rhode. He had never felt this nervous and frightened ever since stepping into the Legendary Stage. But when he witnessed the two Elf girls withdrawing their daggers on his subordinate's throat, his heart skipped a beat. He couldn't sense the aura, murderous intent, or movements of the girls at all. He even had the misconception that the girls had purposely emerged before his eyes. If not, perhaps he wouldn't even have noticed if they assassinated that commander.

The group from the Country of Light fled hurriedly with their heads down. They felt humiliated, indignant, and they had to lower their arrogant heads. They felt insulted and the honor of the Light Parliament had been tarnished. When was the last time Country of Light soldiers had fled from someone? After the White Cloud Summit incident from 70 years ago, the proud Country of Light soldiers had never lowered their heads before anyone. They swore that they would use their blood and lives to defend everything they had. But now...

"Hmph."

Rhode let out a snort after the Country of Light soldiers disappeared from his view. He recalled his Holy Sword Cards and approached John's group. In fact, Rhode had merely created a misconception. His manpower had been divided to both sides and they stood wide apart from one another to make it seem as though there were countless men.

"Sir."

John scuttled forward and bowed solemnly. He knew that his performance wasn't impressive today. Not only did he not successfully carry out his role in battle, but he had also ended up in this miserable state. As a person who had lived in the South for almost all his life, John knew that the people of Country of Light were arrogant and terrifying. He was sure that Rhode would surely offend these people. What if they...

"I'm dissatisfied with your performances, John."

As expected. Rhode spoke as John hurriedly lowered his head.

"I'm really sorry, Sir Overlord. This was an error in my judgment. If I were a little more careful, this conflict wouldn't have happened. If this incident causes inconvenience for you, I'm willing to bear the responsibilities!"

"No, no, no. You've mistaken."

But as John was reflecting on his actions, Rhode waved his hand.

"I don't care about that bunch of idiots from the Country of Light. I'm talking about you, John."

"Eh?"

He doesn't care whatever happens with the Country of Light? Then, I...

"You shouldn't have surrendered to their threats, John. Perhaps you haven't been with me for a long enough time. But now, I want to tell you clearly..."

Rhode paused. Then, he spoke with a firm tone.

"My men don't need to kneel down to the Country of Light."