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784 Before The Battle

 Rhode could finally focus on the enemies with the help of a loyal and reliable pet like Sonia. Objectively speaking, Sonia was a capable person who possessed political talents judging from her position as the third executive officer of the Lockos Financial Group and a secondary parliament member of the Light Parliament at the age of 17. Although she was similar to Marlene in this aspect, she didn't possess extraordinary magical abilities and her sword skills were only average. She was just a wealthy young lady who received formal noble education. If it weren't for Rhode to uncover her strange fetishes, perhaps it would be tough to completely subdue her.

However, Rhode wasn't concerned because Sonia was an intelligent person. Even though intelligence was a good quality during most of these times, sometimes it might turn against them, like in the cases of Canary and Sonia. Both of them were intelligent, where they considered various problems despite some being unresolvable. Such situations would leave them dazed, but Canary walked out of her shadow and faced everything calmly. On the other hand, it was apparent that Sonia had fallen deeper and eventually lost herself completely. However, their wisdom brought them great results. Rhode didn't intend to make Sonia stay with him permanently. In the past, he indeed had this thought. But now, he had other ideas after witnessing how loyal she was. He had always hoped for someone to stir trouble in the Light Parliament and Sonia was doing just fine. Not only that, but she also had a strong backing and trump card. Besides, as a secondary parliament member, she should be able to officially join the Light Parliament without much issue. When that happened, she could participate in the elections, then... Possibly become the chairman.

If that happened, Rhode could destroy the Light Parliament effortlessly.

There were some difficulties, but it wasn't impossible.

However, this was a matter for the future, after all. Rhode only thought about it roughly and wasted no more time in ordering Sonia to investigate the reason why Lilian couldn't come to the Winter Castle on time. Therefore, he focused his attention on the Undead Army that was arriving soon.

Although the Winter Castle sounded majestic, its defensive line was nowhere near Rhode's fortress in the Land of Atonement. Their entire defensive line was messy and damaged. Their city walls were only two-storeys tall with five magic cannons. Due to the long years of neglect, the uneven city walls were full of filth and would perhaps collapse easily as soon as the Undead Army swarmed forward.

However, the defensive line wasn't as bad as Rhode thought. Even though the Light Parliament was naive, they also truthfully wished to stop the enemies. If not, they wouldn't humiliate themselves by asking for Rhode's help. Their military spent huge efforts in repairing the defensive line and the gorge that didn't seem to exist became somewhat useful now. This was a common situation with the border regions, where the Dragon Canyon's defensive line wasn't anywhere better than the Winter Castle's. Core cities like the Golden City and Casabianca were the only ones capable of securing their defenses. Although there were also well-equipped fortresses like Rhode's, they mainly defended the major roads and couldn't possibly be placed by the borders. Besides, with the current standard of civilization in the Dragon Soul Continent, it wasn't possible to build strong city walls or fortresses in uninhabited regions.

Rhode, who was used to living in his mighty fortress in the Land of Atonement, could no longer appreciate the two-storeys-tall city walls and magic cannons that he wasn't sure were still working. On the other hand, Anne also expressed that this place was too shabby.

In addition to the 5000 soldiers that Rhode led, the total number of anti-parliament soldiers reached about 15,000 people: neither too much nor too little. The overlord that Lydia mentioned whose territory was close to the Winter Castle brought about 2000 soldiers. The other overlords whose regions surrounded the Country of Light dispatched about 3000 soldiers individually. They had interests in recruiting private soldiers because they needed them for their own security, albeit with the Country of Light providing support.

Rhode felt that the world was unfair whenever he witnessed such a scene... He worked so hard and the number of soldiers in his entire territory was still less than 2000. On the contrary, the other overlords instantly dispatched thousands of soldiers and didn't seem concerned if all of them perished in the battle.

On the other side, the Light Parliament had sent out 20,000 troops and there would be about 60,000 Undead Creatures due to Archangel Serene's and Boulder's containment of Charlie. In fact, the predicted number of Undead Creatures on the battlefront shouldn't be this much. Based on the report Rhode received from Sonia, there should have been only 30,000 of them... It went without saying which idiots had given the enemies another 30,000 troops.

If the Winter Castle crumbled, Rhode was sure that the fallen soldiers would be awakened by the Necromancers as Undead Creatures and they would attack their fellow humans in the future. The only fortunate thing was that the reawakened corpses weren't intelligent and would only obey orders, unlike the Undead Creatures who lived long enough to possess a certain extent of self-awareness and wisdom. This was the only advantage they held over the Undead Army.

Frankly speaking, the Munn Kingdom's battlefront also had some issues. However, they were strong enough to turn the battle into a stalemate. Every time they retreated, they did their best to carry the corpses of their companions, in case they were turned into their enemies by the Necromancers. Not only that, but they also set fire to stop the Undead Creatures from advancing, at the same time burning the corpses into ash. On the other hand, the Country of Light instantly fled after they crumbled and didn't consider retrieving the corpses at all. In the end, the Necromancers seized the chance and reawakened the corpses as their forces.

The sun gradually set.

Rhode stood on the shabby tower with his hands behind his back. He gazed at the horizon in the far distance expressionlessly while the fire elemental creatures stood around him. They were the strongest fire elemental creatures he could command: Magma Guards.

[Magma Guards---Their passion in battle melts steel]

As the most common fire elemental creatures in the Fiery Plains, Magma Guards held high offense and lower defense and weren't afraid of death at all. Even if they lost their physical presence, they would still return to their elemental plane eventually. It was due to this that they were reckless and their self-exploding traits left the enemies frightened.

Magma Guards held 8 defense points, but 7 offense points which seemed rather weak. However, they possessed magic spells like [Blaze Mantle] and [Fireball], which Fire Elemental Mages possessed. [Blaze Mantle] could form a barrier of scorching flames around them and any creatures who approached them would be inflicted with flame damage. On the other hand, [Fireball] was one of the most powerful elemental spells that Elemental Mages could utilize. They were as strong as grenades and came enhanced with the burning effect-the best solution in dealing with the Undead Creatures. Moreover, the fire elemental creatures were powerful, which made them the most suitable in defending city walls.

After the battle in the Land of Atonement fortress ended, Rhode realized that the summoned creatures, namely the Ocean Elves, had also leveled up! Previously, he used the Taboo Halo to upgrade them to level 30. However, he didn't expect them to level up after the battle ended. This was why he brought Agatha and the Ocean Elves here. There weren't too many Undead Creatures here and Rhode no longer relied upon these low-level enemies for EXP. However, EXP was essential for the Ocean Elves and Orchid Heart, especially for the latter. Rhode looked forward to her transcending into the Legendary Stage so he would have enough capital to show off his strength.

As for the Ocean Elves... Rhode had no intentions of sending them to their death like the Magma Guards. On the contrary, their purpose in the fortress would become much more valuable in the future. Since they could level up, he might as well bring them out for a grind, at the same time weakening the Undead Creatures.

At this moment, the Magma Guards stood in rows beside Rhode. They held flame spears and their eyes glinted in a faint, scarlet radiance. The human soldiers subconsciously kept a distance away from them. Even though they were now aware that the Magma Guards weren't evil demons, they still appeared too... dangerous.

On the other hand, the Ocean Elves were much more popular. Rhode witnessed many soldiers approached the adorable Elves. Although they also appeared rather strange, they looked more like humans and were beautiful. Not only that, but they were also mostly gentle, which attracted the soldiers' attention.

However, this wasn't the time for them to tease the adorable Ocean Elves. The entire defensive line was filled with a solemn atmosphere. All the soldiers clenched their weapons, stood above the city walls, and gazed at the horizon with uncertainties. Just a few moments ago, they received a piece of news-Undead Creatures were spotted.

They are finally launching their attacks.

Most of the commanders and soldiers in the alliance had basically not seen or fought any Undead Creatures before. At this moment, their hearts were pounding as they fixed their eyes on the empty horizon.

On the contrary, Rhode and his men seemed rather relaxed. He stood above the shabby tower with his hands behind his back and gazing forward. Anne stood behind him and looked around excitedly as though she couldn't wait for the battle to start. On the other side, the young lady with fox ears and tail sat nonchalantly and even held a cup of tea in her hand?!

What astonished the soldiers the most was that black-haired young lady in an odd robe. She leaned on the wall, yawned, and shut her eyes... Did she just fall asleep?

Oh my goodness. What kind of people are they...

Don't they feel nervous at all?

It seems that they have indeed annihilated the Undead Army...

Rhode waited for the arrival of the Undead Army patiently. He wasn't worried as to how they would deal with them because he would coordinate the Magma Guards' aggression with the Ocean Elves' defense and thereafter engage the holy spears in wiping out the battlefield. Besides, since he had so many soldiers under him, this situation was much better than before. He wasn't afraid that he would fail and suspected that the northern battlefront on the other side wouldn't successfully defend against the Undead Army.

No, he was sure about it.

Since the matter depended on the individuals...

Rhode turned to the other side of the Winter Castle where the soldiers stood above the city walls and everything seemed to be in order.

However, Rhode knew that they would definitely be in trouble after the Undead Army arrived.

Rhode wouldn't allow these people to survive this disaster that peacefully and was sure that the Light Parliament also held the same idea. They must be praying that he would perish along with the Undead Creatures. This way, they could 'mourn' for his sacrifice and cheer inwardly while tears flowed down their faces. However, what made them so confident that he wasn't thinking about the same thing?

"They're here!"

Suddenly, there was a commotion among the soldiers and Rhode turned his attention to the front.

Indeed. An endless shadow had emerged above the horizon-the Undead Creatures marched forward at an unswerving pace.

The final rays of the setting sun gradually vanished and pitch-black darkness enveloped the entire land.

The Undead Army is finally here.