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677 Between Light & Light XV

 The Light Parliament members sulked instantly while others shifted their gaze immediately while holding their breaths. As the supporters and opposition of the Light Parliament, they knew what the Light Parliament's strongest and weakest points were.

And that was the Light Parliament's 'existential purpose'.

All of this had begun from the first establishment of the Light Parliament.

That was during the Creation War. Perhaps due to the first generation of the Light Dragon Soul being touched by the Humans' hard work in building their homeland, it suggested an idea to assist them, to allow the Humans to lead their own nations, selecting reputable people to form a team through various regulations to be responsible in running the nation. They represented the people and worked to fulfill the wishes of their people.

The Dark Dragon Soul despised it and considered that the Light Dragon Soul was indulging in its fantasy. The Dark Dragon Soul believed that people were just a herd of sheep, where there must be a shepherd and sheepdog responsible in restraining their movements and guiding them into the right direction. If not, they would only head down the path to destruction if they acted according to their own will.

All in all, the Light Dragon Soul founded the 'Light Parliament', an independent organization with administrative authority apart from the Light Dragon Soul and three Archangels. The Light Dragon Soul handed its authority to the Light Parliament and resigned from its leading post with the three Archangels.

In the first century, the Light Parliament performed well. It was all thanks to the wise leadership of the Light Parliament leaders that the Country of Light could possess such massive national land and power. But... Humans couldn't live for long. Their views on problems were vastly different with long-living presences like Angels, Elves, and Dwarves.

The Light Dragon Soul felt reassured to leave matters to the Light Parliament's hands. However, Humans had boundless desires. After losing the restrictions from the Light Dragon Soul and three Archangels, the respect that the Light Parliament had for the Creator Dragon Souls and three Archangels faded increasingly. As their ambitions grew, the Light Parliament treated them as a thorn in their side. The Light Parliament sharply sensed and manipulated the trust that the Light Dragon Soul had given them and came up with a series of schemes as though boiling the frog slowly, slowly shifting everything from the Light Dragon Soul to them. In the end, the Light Parliament succeeded in replacing the position of the Light Dragon Soul and became the ruler essentially.

If this happened in the real world, the Light Parliament would completely cripple the Light Dragon Soul and three Archangels, waving the banner of reform and making themselves the justified ruler of the Country of Light. Or perhaps, they could give the Light Dragon Soul and three Archangels the noble treatment, but disallow them from handling and intervening with political affairs. After all, no matter how sacred one's position was in the real world, one would only have a nose and a pair of ears, where one bullet would be enough to take one's life. However, it wouldn't work this way in the Dragon Soul Continent. The entire Country of Light was under the protection of the Light Dragon Soul. Without its protection, Chaos would infiltrate the world instantly and turn it into a dead land. Therefore, the Light Parliament didn't dare to go overboard. If they killed the Light Dragon Soul, they were bound to be doomed.

It was due to this that the Light Parliament had to linger on the edge of the victory cliff and recognize the presence of the Light Dragon Soul and three Archangels. However, the Light Parliament was clear that the Light Dragon Soul and three Archangels were deeply dissatisfied, which was why they gave their utmost in brainwashing the people, weakening the respect they had for the Light Dragon Soul and instigating the people against other races. This way, the Light Dragon Soul had to think twice about the feelings of the people even if it came up with any great ideas.

But there was a lethal, weak spot in the Light Parliament.

The authority that they held was 'delegated' to them from the Light Dragon Soul. This was clearly written when the Light Parliament was first being established and recorded in the Creation Pact.

Since their authority was 'delegated', it could naturally be 'withdrawn'. It was perfectly legal if the Light Dragon Soul wished to retake the Light Parliament's authority. If the Light Parliament refused to acknowledge and turned a blind eye to it, the Judgment & Ruling Twin Dragons from Country of Law would be the first to disagree. The Judgement & Ruling Twin Dragons existed to maintain the Creation Pact. The Light Parliament would be asking for death if they were to defy the Country of Law.

The Light Parliament knew about this, but they were powerless. All they could do was to refrain from shooting at the rat for fear of breaking the vases and intimidate the Light Dragon Soul into not regaining its authority. This way, the authority to rule the Country of Light would still be in the Light Parliament's hands, which was more than enough for them.

But now, the little girl sitting on the throne made a statement that scared the Light Parliament members witless.

Rhode wasn't sure how the Light Parliament had been dealing with the Light Dragon Soul. However, he had a rough idea of the situation after his meeting with Lily the day before. If it was true, perhaps it was premeditated for Lily to run into Lydia's imperial residence...

But now... Heh heh heh...

Rhode looked on as he enjoyed the show while the Light Parliament members froze with ashen complexion. It was especially so for the elderly chairman, where cold sweat dripped down his face like a stream of water. The Light Dragon Soul actually wanted to snatch away the sum of money that Lydia had presented!

Some of the Light Parliament members had the same thoughts as the elderly chairman. Even though it was humiliating for them when they first greeted Lydia, they merely lost self-respect and it wasn't as important as the tangible benefits. As long as Lydia was willing to hand over the money, they could fill their financial gap and that was the most important. But now, if the Light Dragon Soul were to snatch the money away, the Light Parliament would suffer a double loss!

The financial debt wasn't a small number. The Light Parliament had used the sum of money to support two to three of their territories and it added up to five to ten percent of the financial revenue of the Country of Light.

"Y-Your Majesty!~!"

Unknown if the elderly chairman was overly nervous or horrified, his shaky voice almost left Rhode bursting out in laughter. However, he knew that it wasn't an appropriate time for that.

"This... this... our Light Parliament has always been responsible in receiving it... Besides, we have came up with plans that require it. If you were to..."

"Please pardon my rudeness, Your Majesty."

Rhode sulked as soon as he spotted a young man stepping out in large strides from the Light Parliament camp. Rhode recognized him immediately, but the young man didn't seem to have noticed Rhode's presence. He bowed respectfully to the Light Dragon Soul.

"The Light Parliament has always been using the sum of money in aiding our people. In fact, we've came up with a series of plans that would benefit many people this year. Your Majesty, if you do this..."

Lily revealed uncertainties on her young, tender face. Then, at this moment, a calm, apathetic voice interrupted the young man.

"How interesting, Mr. Andre."

Rhode stepped out of the crowd and gazed into the young man's eyes. The young man was the disciple of 'Thunder Sword' Soderfast and also one of the 'Sword Guardians' members, Andre Kesot. Rhode met him in Fiat previously.

"This sum of money is presented to the Light Dragon Soul from our Munn Kingdom. In other words, it belongs to Her Majesty and I believe that Her Majesty has her reasons in managing it. I trust that Her Majesty wouldn't come up with ridiculous decisions. On the other hand, everyone in the Light Parliament..."

Rhode lifted his head and faced the group of the Light Parliament. He let out a snort without concealing his ridicule and contempt.

"... has set your hearts on Her Majesty's wealth as her people. Don't you think it's inappropriate?"

"You..."

This statement from Rhode came out as a devastating criticism. Indeed. Everyone present knew that this sum of money presented to the Light Dragon Soul would be used to fill up the financial gap by the Light Parliament. Although the Light Parliament had been doing so for years, it shouldn't be expected as a matter of course, after all. It was as though one had just received one's yearly bonus and it was taken away by another party as they didn't have enough money to repay their houses and cars. Besides, Rhode wasn't wrong in his statement. The Light Parliament was, in fact, an affiliate of the Light Dragon Soul and it should be the Light Dragon Soul who should decided on the amount of money to be passed down. But now, the Light Parliament had planned ahead before even receiving the funds? Everyone could see... the meaning behind this.

Andre displayed a strange expression. He blinked while gazing dubiously at Rhode. Logically speaking, he shouldn't have seen Rhode in the past. Even though they had clashed heads in the underground mine in Fiat, Rhode was disguised as 'Miranda Seren', after all.

Andre widened his ears as though the monster in his nightmare had materialized before him. He was stricken to the spot and couldn't speak a word in his pale expression.

At this moment, a deep snort broke the tense silence.

"Hmph!"

A burly middle-aged man strode forward. He was towering above others in his 1.9 meters height. However, it was his face that had left the deepest impression in others. Just like a vulture, thin and dangerous. His imposing aura struck their faces as he lifted his chin and looked at Rhode in disdain.

"Young, ignorant brat. There's no need for doubts about our Light Parliament's loyalty to Her Majesty. Your baseless slanders are smearing our reputation! As a member of the Munn Kingdom representative team, don't you think you should restrain your arrogant attitude before Her Majesty?!"

Rhode narrowed his eyes as though a viper revealing an ice-cold glint.

"You shouldn't simply speak of your devotion to Her Majesty without any actions, Sir Soderfast. As a member of the Light Parliament, do you think that you're wiser than Her Majesty to doubt her decision before everyone?"

"... Hmm?"

Soderfast stared blankly as he didn't expect Rhode to not falter to his imposing pressure.

"You are..."

"Rhode Alander... I'm the overlord of Grenbell in the Munn Kingdom."

Rhode unrolled a warm, vibrant smile that he hadn't shown for a long time.

"I apologize for my lack in manners, Sir 'Thunder Sword' Soderfast. But it's a pity that I don't intend to take back my words."

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

Almost everyone in the Light Parliament including Soderfast sulked as soon as they heard Rhode's self-introduction and their eyes spewed flames. This young man could be considered the biggest enemy of the Light Parliament over the last year. Not only did he crippled the Mist Sword Saint, but he had also messed with the Cyan Goshawk. Apart from that, this young man was involved in the series of failures for the Light Parliament's schemes. To the Light Parliament, Rhode was second only to the hatred they had to the Archangel.

"Enough!"

Suddenly, a loud voice numbed everyone's ears. Archangel Boulder stepped forth in big strides, pressing his hand on the fiery sword hanging by his waist and glaring at the crowd furiously.

"What are you thinking causing a racket before the holy throne?! Shut your mouths!"

"Yes, respectful Archangel Boulder. Please pardon my lack in manners."

Rhode turned around and bowed respectfully before stepping back. On the other hand, even though Soderfast was sulking, he had no choice but to dwindle his hateful expression and bow deeply. He turned back and returned to the Parliament camp.

Although the sacred place had restored its tranquility, everyone knew that the conflict between the Munn Kingdom and the Light Parliament had completely been incited-public confrontation.

The atmosphere turned strange, yet dignified. Lily restored her calm expression. She lifted her head and gazed at Rhode with appreciation. Then, she broke the awkward silence.

"Parliament Chairman, do you still remember what you told me in the past?"

"Y-Your Majesty?"

The elderly chairman lifted his head and gazed dubiously at Lily.

"Haven't you told me that the Light Parliament exists and works hard to make everyone lead happy and blissful lives? That was why I left everything in your hands. Besides, you've also promised me that there wouldn't be any issues. Isn't that the case?"

"Y-Yes, Your Majesty."

Even though he wasn't sure why Lily asked this question at such a moment, he braced himself in giving an answer. Then, this was the first time that Lily revealed an angered expression. Even though the little girl's furious expression wasn't anything threatening, the drastic difference from her usually emotionless expression was frightening.

"So then, why wasn't it the same as what I've seen, Parliament Chairman? I've seen so many homeless people without any proper clothing, curled up in the dark alleys, and living lives bleak of hope. Parliament Chairman, you've never mentioned this to me before!"

"Your Majesty?"

The elderly chairman looked up with an ashen expression. He widened his eyes unbelievably.

"Your Majesty, where did you hear these rumors from? I can guarantee that such things don't exist..."

"I've seen it for myself! Yesterday!"

"That... When did you... No, it's impossible. This... Weren't you preparing for the Dragon Soul Ceremony with the three Archangels yesterday..."

The elderly chairman turned around and quickly spotted Lydia with her delightful smile. All of a sudden, the elderly chairman felt powerless. That's impossible. According to the informer report, Her Majesty has been in the palace all day and shouldn't have left at all. Why...

The elderly chairman let out a long, helpless sigh.

He knew that nothing could be redeemed anymore.

At this moment, Lily's voice once again rang in his ears.

"I've made my decision. Do you have any objections, Parliament Chairman?"