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672 Between Light & Light X

 Frankly speaking, Rhode's statement was partially right and wrong because the people of the Country of Light could still ridicule them. At the very least, we have the privilege to be silly while you people don't even have the rights to.

Rhode was clear that both sides weren't wrong. The Country of Light's aspirations in establishing the parliamentary system was to prevent the emergence of a powerful 'dictator' like the Light Dragon Soul. If another powerful dictator were to emerge after they finally broke free from the Light Dragon Soul and became independent, they would be better off remaining under the Light Dragon Soul's guidance. Since the Light Dragon Soul was still one of the Creator Dragon Souls, it would be better than being under a Human dictator.

This was mostly so in the case of the Munn Kingdom. The reason why the Munn Kingdom was able to last throughout the ages was because the dictator wasn't a Human, but an Angel instead. Angels were born kindhearted and their positions were preordained that they wouldn't do anything cruel like a tyrant would (But this concept started to reshape through the emergence of an unusual presence like Lydia). However, Humans were different. Rhode had been educated on history. On Earth, there were no lack of great rulers building up a powerful, wealthy empire, but it was eventually destroyed by their muddleheaded descendants. The emergence of elections was meant to stop this possibility. There would no longer be a single family that ruled the nation. Instead, candidates would take up the post through competition and the most supported one would have the right to rule the nation. Although this sounded like a perfect solution, it was only an ideal, after all.

Reality was cruel.

There were differences in social classes, race, gender, and many other factors, which predetermined that they couldn't abandon the differences in one another. This was also why great rulers and leaders often emerged in times of war as only then would people temporarily abandon the differences in themselves to fight together as one. But they would once again confront one another after the war ended and the country entered a process of prosperity and peace. This was why aliens invading Earth type scenarios were the best at promoting peace among Humans.

The candidates couldn't possibly support the poor and wealthy, nobles and civilians, merchants and workers all at the same time as it was extremely difficult to find a perfect balance between the different social classes and statuses. Even if one had unrivaled wealth, one couldn't possibly satisfy every social class. It was due to this that every candidate would target a social class in which they would fully support. Just like the man whom Rhode's group had listened to-he had clearly announced that he would create more job opportunities and also increase their salaries. But where would the increased salary come from? An increase in the workers' salaries meant that the trade associations would fall lower in profits, which would leave the merchants dissatisfied. Of course, they could cut down on taxes to appease the merchants, but this sum of money had to be replenished. No matter how they replenished, there would be a social class that would take a hit and no one would be willing to be the victim. The poor had insufficient wealth to fill up the deficit while the rich were unwilling to suffer losses. But there would be debt if this deficit wasn't filled up and in the end, it would be like a dam crumbling entirely due to a crack in its wall.

There was no perfect solution for it. The merchants craved for more benefits while workers hoped for more rewards. The poor yearned for more welfare while the rich wished to gain more resources. The size of the cake still remained the same. The more you have, the less I have. Therefore, they would pick candidates who would represent them in fulfilling their wishes and oppose other candidates who wanted to damage their welfare. The conflicts between social classes became clearer. The workers berated the merchants for being heartless as they paid the workers little in comparison to the amount of hard work they put in. The merchants complained that the workers were a lazy bunch who craved for more rewards without working up to five hours a day. The poor wished that the rich would provide financial assistance. The poor roamed the streets in tattered clothes while the nobles wore luxurious fur coats. The rich believed that the poor should work hard in searching for jobs, rather than begging for help on their bums all day. Our money didn't drop from the sky! We worked hard for it!

It was due to this that conflicts between social classes were apparent. Every social class did their utmost in protecting and receiving more benefits while strongly resisting other social classes as they would possibly become the culprits that violated them. Although such situations more or less existed in every country, it was much more prominent in the Country of Light as the supporters of each social class might possibly be the next ruler of their nation.

And in a country with a strong government, the clashes between social classes were less prominent as no matter if one was a merchant, worker, civilian, or noble, one wouldn't have any advantage in the face of absolute authority. Just like the malicious increase in price in the Paphield region previously-Lydia gave a word to lower the price and those who refused were hung to death. She didn't need to consider the benefits of merchants like the Country of Light. Perhaps they might be resentful of her decision, but the peace and stability of the Munn Kingdom was far more important than the merchants' petty profits in Lydia's eyes. And she didn't need to wag her tail to express goodwill in exchange for the merchants' support.

But there were also flaws in her policies. If not, the Munn Kingdom wouldn't have ended up in this sad state in the game. But... the world wouldn't be in your favor forever.

Many in the group had differing thoughts in their heads after experiencing the scene in the Freedom Square. Even though they more or less heard about the situation in the Country of Light, it was still shocking for them to experience it personally. This was because no such things existed in the Munn Kingdom. Perhaps people would head to the pubs to chatter, but they surely wouldn't make such a crazy speech in public. On the other hand, the nobles were even more cautious. They had to uphold their dignity before the civilians while also being aware of political spies. They surely wouldn't be blabbering such ridiculous words out in the open.

But as a qualified 'tour guide', Rhode wouldn't allow his group to continue sulking. Shortly after, he led them to another bustling venue-Glory Theater.

"This is... a theater?"

The group gazed at the building in astonishment. Derick turned to Rhode curiously.

"Earl Rhode, are you inviting us to watch a play?"

"Yes, Mr. Derick."

Rhode replied with a smile. A cunning glint flashed in his eye.

"I promise that this will be rewarding for all of you."

Watching plays was a popular entertainment activity in the Dragon Soul Continent. This time, the play that the group was about to watch was named 'Sword of Justice'. The plot was fairly simple. It told the story about a group of people living in Annas, a place in the Country of Light. The protagonist was an ordinary mortal who led a normal life in this small town of Annas. One day, their peace was broken. A group of red-skinned Demons intruded their town and not only did they kill the protagonist's lover, but they also set fire and burned down his homeland. Most of the victims died in the conflagration while the protagonist and his friends resisted and drove off the red-skinned Demons. But shortly after, they learned another truth: the red-skinned Demons had another tribe that was even more powerful and they were looking to destroy this small town. The residents of the small town united in strength and gave up their conflicts and clashes to protect their homeland by battling. In the end, under the protagonist's lead, the group defeated the red-skinned Demons and slaughtered their leader to save their homeland.

The play was so enchanting that it captured the full attention of the entire group. Anne was excited. She had a lively personality to begin with, and she couldn't help but scream and jump on her feet as she watched the fascinating play. On the other hand, Rhode sat in the corner and watched everything with a faint smile.

In the end, the story ended with the protagonist gaining the victory with his companions.

"Awesome!"

Anne skipped out of the theater while brandishing her fists.

"Anne has never seen such an interesting play. The residents of that small town are so brave when facing the Demons. They actually protected their homeland. Leader, is this real?"

"Yes. It is based on a true story."

Rhode shrugged. He displayed a mocking smile, but no one noticed.

"There is indeed a place called Annas in the Country of Light and this story is true, which was why the Country of Light has adapted it into a play."

"I didn't expect there to be people who are this brave in this country... Anne thought that everyone in this country is a bunch of baddies. It seems that they will still protect themselves by fighting with their all."

"That's right, but there's something that I must correct. In the original story, the residents of Annas were the intruders while the red-skinned Demons were the true owners of that piece of land."

"Eh?"

The group stared blankly while Anne who was hopping around suddenly froze like she was under an ice spell. Rhode shrugged.

"The story was true, but they didn't include the premise. The red-skinned Demons were the actual natives of Annas. Back then, the Country of Light sent out their men to Annas. The natives assisted them in passing through the turbulence of Chaos and successfully awakening the Light Dragon Soul. But everything changed shortly after. Country of Light dispatched their army and annihilated the natives of Annas. At the same time, they migrated their people to Annas to build their own homeland. However, it goes without saying that the original residents of Annas were unwilling to let their home soil be occupied by outsiders. As a result, the Country of Light once again mobilized a fully-equipped army to slaughter the remaining red-skinned Demons. Most of them were killed while others either escaped or captured to become slaves. Those who escaped regrouped and launched attacks on the Country of Light's soldiers in order to snatch their home back and you've seen the results for yourselves..."

Rhode spread his arms apart.

"They failed."

"That's shameless!"

Anne gritted her teeth and brandished her fist furiously.

"Those people are liars. How dare they lie to Anne. They're too much!"

"They're not lying to you, Miss."

Derick shook his head with a smile.

"They've only told you the truth since this is the truth, isn't it?"

"Hmph. Anne still doesn't like it. How annoying..."

Anne said indignantly. At this moment, a sharp, annoying voice sounded from behind the group.

"Eh, aren't they the lackeys of that prostitute Angel? What are they doing here?"