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669 Between Light & Light VII

 The journey was smooth thereafter. Even though there were still protests going on in the background, at least nobody was hindering them any longer. But even so, the atmosphere in the chariot wasn't all that nice. Marlene gazed out of the window gloomily and her eyes flickered in wrath. Lize puckered her brows and didn't hide her resentments from her face at all, which was rare to see from this meticulous young lady. On the other hand, Anne had fallen asleep in the comfy seat, drooling and snoring away.

Shortly after, the Light Capital, Casabianca, presented itself before everyone.

Casabianca and Golden City were somewhat similar in appearances-white, tall city walls, wide streets, buildings in picturesque disorder. However, Golden City had more natural, scenic views with lush forests under its golden castle and mountains that blended in with the calm, beautiful lake, forming a magnificent, picturesque scroll. In comparison, the Light Capital appeared more like the miracle of human civilization. The most eye-catching feature weren't its natural views, but high-rise buildings instead. A spotlessly white, towering building stood head and shoulders above others, announcing its heavy presence.

The most striking presence was the Light Dragon Temple situated to the east of Casabianca. Unlike the castles with distinct edges and corners, the Light Dragon Temple appeared more like a majestic flower with petals unfolding in all directions, revealing its pure, sacred stamen. On its sides, the circular pillars supported the temple that penetrated deep into the clouds. That was where the other two Archangels resided. Unlike Lydia, the two Archangels lived in seclusion. They secretly ensured the safety of the Light Dragon Soul while also commanding the remaining Battle Angel Army.

In the game, many players discussed about why the other two Archangels didn't establish themselves like Lydia. This was because if they also established their own countries like Lydia, there wouldn't be a need for the Country of Light. As long as the three Archangels worked hand in hand, they could establish a sacred nation that belonged to the Light Dragon and didn't need to lead such sorrowful days. This was especially so in the past. The existence of the two Archangels were close to nothing when the Light Parliament offered the Light Dragon Soul to the Dark Dragon, where almost nobody remembered that they had once existed. Under such circumstances, the two Archangels should have stepped out to protect their master, but they were nowhere to be seen. Some of the players concluded that they had been secretly annihilated by the Light Parliament, while some players claimed that they were discouraged after witnessing Lydia dying in battle and as a result, gave up on their duties and chose the fallen path. But even the players of the Country of Light weren't sure where the two Archangels had gone to.

Although the Light Dragon Temple emanated dazzling brilliance under the bright sun, for some unknown reason, Rhode felt that it looked rather dull, as though he was looking at it through a pair of sunglasses...

Apart from the Light Dragon Temple, there were two buildings that captured their attention. They were neither luxurious nor beautiful in appearance. But the extravagant, imposing round pillars surrounding and supporting the tall triangular dome, as well as merging with the quadrangular roof and rectangular walls as one, brought about a sacred and solemn presence. This was where the Light Parliament was located and it was also the political center of the Country of Light's parliament... Or perhaps their core.

But the Light Capital wasn't only famous for this.

Rhode shifted his gaze to the southern beach. He spotted a tall structure carved from stone in the shape of a massive right hand. It lifted a torch and stood far apart from the Light Dragon Temple.

That was the most famous structure in the country: the Lighthouse of Liberty.

It was built at the centennial celebration of the Light Parliament's establishment. Back then, the Light Parliament built this lighthouse to 'warmly celebrate the gained independence and freedom of mankind.' They no longer needed to take their cues from the Creator Dragon Soul and Archangels and could dictate their own future!

Rhode shook his head helplessly. He didn't know what was going through the Light Dragon Soul's head. As a Creator Dragon Soul who had taken part in the Creation War and sacrificed many in exchange for peace, hadn't the Creator Dragon Soul seen through the nature of Humans yet? Humans were filled with desires and essentially, Rhode wasn't much different from the Light Parliament. Humans yearned to receive authority, stabilize their forces, and dominate as much as they could. Why couldn't the Light Dragon understand this? Rhode didn't believe that the Light Dragon had low IQ. If that was the case, the Light Dragon wouldn't possibly be in possession over such a large piece of land after the Creation War ended. The land would've been squeezed into a corner by the Country of Darkness and Country of Law instead.

Why did the Light Dragon do that?

Perhaps only the Light Dragon back then in the Creation War knew the answer because its heir would only inherit all its wisdom and strength, and not its memories. Therefore, for the answer... Rhode wouldn't be able to hear it even if he asked the current Light Dragon Soul.

The chariot slowly came to a halt as it arrived before the Light Parliament entrance.

Then, the door opened.

Lydia exited the chariot and met the formally dressed parliament members smiling warmly at her. They revealed smiles one after another. Their smiles were from deep in their hearts, especially after they learned of what had happened just now. Apart from the Light Parliament members, several overlords and representatives stood on the long flight of stairs from both sides. They had differing expressions. Some appeared hesitant while others appeared to be mocking Lydia's group. Some even looked as though they were watching a good show from the side. It was apparent that they knew what had just happened.

"I represent the Light Parliament in welcoming you here, Archangel Lydia."

The chairman brought on a smile and bowed deeply. Then, he gazed at the group behind Lydia and revealed a regretful and apologetic smile.

"I represent the Light Parliament in apologizing for the disturbance caused. I seek your understanding on this. As a country of freedom, we have no right to stop the people's protest unless they take it too far. If not, we can't do much about them in order to prevent unnecessary conflict. But I believe that our people are reasonable and wouldn't behave recklessly..."

Most of Lydia's group sulked instantly.

No one who followed Lydia here was an idiot. They instantly understood what the old chairman's words meant. Even though he appeared apologetic over what happened, the fact that he defended the people's actions proved otherwise. He said that the people wouldn't behave recklessly, so that was to say that this protest was an organized, disciplined, and intelligent move by them. Wasn't he ridiculing them with those words?

"Of course I understand the situation, Mr. Chairman. It is a difficult challenge to manage a city or a country."

Lydia spoke as though she didn't realize the nuances in the chairman's statements. Then, she stretched out her right hand gracefully. But she wasn't about to shake his hand as a greeting; instead, she placed her hand before the chairman's face with her palm facing down.

"..."

This time, the Light Parliament members glowered, while the overlords and representatives widened their eyes in astonishment!

They knew what Lydia meant by that. She was getting the chairman to kiss her hand!

On the Dragon Soul Continent, a kiss on the hand was a solemn and formal custom of the upper class. But, this was where the problem lay.

A kiss on the hand was an etiquette between the top and bottom class among the upper class. Lydia's actions signified that her position was higher than the elderly chairman and that she was the direct subordinate of the Light Dragon Soul and one of the three Archangels! It was like saying, 'on the contrary, you people are just underlings! Your statuses are lower than mine!'

Lydia had never behaved this way in a previous Dragon Soul Ceremony!

If the elderly chairman followed suit, he would need to be half-knelt to kiss Lydia's fingers. An ultimate humiliation of the Light Parliament in public!

They had worked so hard, but in the end, the representative of Light Parliament had to fawn an Angel!

The reputation of the Light Parliament would be swept to the ground if he obliged! But it would undoubtedly mean that they were officially breaking off their relations with the Munn Kingdom publicly. Lydia was the ruler of Munn Kingdom. If the elderly chairman were to refuse her, their relationship would completely shatter before the eyes of the overlords and representatives!

The Light Parliament members didn't expect that karma would come so soon after they mocked Lydia's group. This was a formal diplomatic event-what should the elderly chairman do before the observant eyes of the bystanders? Lydia had placed her dewy hands before his face perfectly and he had no time to hesitate. Lydia's strength was only second to the Creator Dragon Soul while the elderly chairman was an ordinary mortal. In terms of level and attributes, he wasn't even level 10.

It was impossible for Lydia to let him off the hook.

In an instant, the air froze.

Rhode watched on amusingly. The representative group around him also presented righteous smiles to the Light Parliament. Lydia was an Archangel who served the Dragon Souls and it was only right that the mortals greet her with a kiss to her hand due to the major difference in identity. Besides, she was doing them a favor by not requesting them to kneel down fully.

The air became incredibly dense. The bystanders looked on in disbelief as they didn't expect that both parties to clash as soon as they met. Currently, all eyes were on the elderly chairman. Would he do it?

No one knew.

Many of them were aware that the elderly chairman's position in the Light Parliament was shaky due to the string of muddleheaded policies and decisions that he had implemented. The support he received in the Country of Light had fallen to its lowest, where even the internal Light Parliament department had discussed the possibilities of replacing him. And now, if he were to yield, it would mean that his hopes serve for another term of office would be dashed. A person who abandoned the traditions of the Light Parliament in public views had no right to manage this country.

But what if he refused?

The hostilities between the Light Parliament and the Munn Kingdom would instantly be materialized. Perhaps they might face an obstacle in the form of the Country of Darkness due to it and not only that, but it was also almost for sure that Lydia would reduce the sum of money to be presented to the Light Dragon Soul. This would undoubtedly be a huge blow to the Country of Light, which had sunk into financial crisis! If they weren't able to replenish the financial deficit, it was pretty much predictable what riots regions that didn't receive fundings would put up in the coming year. Perhaps they might even affect the entire stability of the Country of Light!

Should I go for my political prospects? Or for the future of the Country of Light?

The elderly chairman lifted his head and looked at Lydia's gentle, yet determined smile. That was her answer. She was firm and unwavering. The elderly chairman gazed past her and spotted his old rival, Amund, supporting himself with his erected staff, watching in silence. Behind him were young people who observed the show quietly. Their eyes were filled with resolute and definite will.

So they're the Munn Kingdom's future...

The elderly chairman let out a long, inward sigh. He finally understood why Lydia didn't bring members of the three largest families this time. Instead, she brought along a group of young, determined people. Besides, they had also experienced the torturous trip in the chariot... So then, what would become of our Country of Light's future? The elderly chairman didn't turn around, but he sensed the gazes from his companions. Glinting with hatred, helplessness, worries, and ridicule. Were they doing it for the country's benefits? They believed that the elderly chairman's strategic decisions were frivolous, which brought the nation to this current state. But what else could they contribute? They would always come up with hundreds and thousands of excuses to protect their benefits. But what else could he do? Could he defy them? Could he ignore their opinions? He would be seen as a tyrant if he did. Perhaps he might be instantly fired, not to mention serving another term in office. And now, even though it concerned the honor and pride of the Light Parliament and the entire Country of Light, they weren't even standing on the same side as him. In contrast, some of them were even treating him as a joke?

Could it be that they've forgotten that they are also a part of the Light Parliament and people of the Country of Light?

I'm already old...

This thought cropped up in his mind. Then, he felt his breathing became heavy. He knew what he should do now.

He lowered his old and white-haired head.

The bystanders' pupils shrunk. Some clenched their fists and took half a step forward subconsciously while some gaped in disbelief. But, they couldn't stop the elderly chairman. He stooped down and got down on one knee!

The parliament members behind him felt chills all over. They widened their eyes in disbelief.

This embarrassment had ruined the Light Parliament's pride and glory over the centuries!

Does he know what he's doing?!

"I welcome your arrival, Your Highness."

The elderly chairman greeted with his hoarse voice. Then, he softly held Lydia's right hand and kissed her fingertips.

Everything ended in this moment.