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928 Boiling City

 The temperature is almost there.

Rhode lurked in the shadow and revealed a smile while observing the scarlet blaze and smelling the burned smell in the air. At this moment, Highland City was like a wok of boiling water. As the temperature rose, the water boiled increasingly faster and the things hidden underneath would be revealed. If Gillian were to handle this, she would do a perfect job. However, Rhode preferred to do it himself. No matter what, he was a player and players were passionate about adventures. He hated staying in Grandia all day doing nothing.

And now, his setup was about to produce the results.

Rhode refused to believe that the Light Parliament wouldn't make any moves after his dragon soul protection had enveloped Highland City. Highland City's strategic and political significance was clear and important, so it was impossible that the Light Parliament had never thought of resolving this issue, especially after they had dispatched their men to check on the situation. They also couldn't possibly think that the people of Highland City were powerful enough to resist them. So, could it be that the Light Parliament wasn't prepared for this?

Rhode didn't think so. Also, he needed to give this city a thorough cleansing.

That's right. Cleansing.

It was just like what Lydia did to the Reformist Party; she let them indulge in their craziness until the point of self-destruction. That was when she struck and made those idiots realize what foolish acts they had done. This was also why no one in Southern Port dared to defy her orders. After personally experiencing the terror and cruelty of war, those people abandoned their glorified rhetoric, sought their most instinctive desires, and stayed honest and obedient. Only the ones who experienced war understood the value of peace.

Just like them, Highland City needed to be cleansed too. Rhode didn't know what those people thought of his rule but he didn't care.

And now was the time.

He had gotten news from Gillian that everything worked out as planned. He supposed that Mini Bubble Gum and Canary also couldn't wait to get in on the action.

To Rhode, sinking Highland City into chaos was only a means. After all, this city was overly rigid like a puddle of stagnant water that stayed constant. However, constant didn't mean that no changes could happen. After the people of Highland City had had enough of the riots, they would face the terrible mess that they couldn't restore. It was at that moment when Rhode would have an easier time gaining control of the city. Not only that, but the chaotic city also allowed the things hidden underneath the water to reveal themselves. Perhaps it was only for a split second, but as long as the hidden rats dared to show themselves, it would present a perfect opportunity for him. Moreover...

Boom!

Another loud explosion shook the ground. The merchants were baffled and flustered. At this moment, Shane finally appeared on the platform.

"Everyone stay calm!"

His voice wasn't loud, but he managed to suppress the clamors in the banquet hall. Shortly after, everyone turned to him and he revealed the confident smile of a ruler. He raised his arms and announced.

"Please remain calm! There is only a small accident out there. For your safety, I suggest that you wait here while we handle everything! I guarantee that the commotion will come to an end in just a while!"

Although the merchants were dubious, most of them didn't reveal their doubts. It was apparent that something was really off outside. Moreover, armored soldiers had sealed off the entire manor. As long as one wasn't that stupid, one would know that this was a precarious situation.

"Hmph!"

Shane gazed at the lifeless banquet hall and couldn't hold his anger any longer. He let out a scoff and shifted his gaze to the blazing flares in the near distance outside the manor. The flares were as though the burning wrath that was inside him right now.

"Have all the soldiers been deployed?"

Shane turned around and asked a mysterious man wrapped in black cloak. The latter nodded slightly.

"Hiss-- Everything is ready, Sir Shane. Hiss-- Those humans will stop acting so savagely soon, so please don't worry. They will fail and everything will go as planned by you, Sir Shane."

"Good."

Shane nodded. He turned around and entered the room.

"Remember, don't keep anyone alive. Since they desperately want to die, let them have an eternity of death!"

"Of course. Hiss-- My master."

The man in black cloak stooped over slightly for a respectful bow and said with a voice filled with unprecedented frenzy and joy. When he turned around, the flares were coming closer and there were also indistinct human silhouettes raising torches seen among the blaze. They snarled as they charged toward the armored soldiers who were their most hated enemies.

But...

"Slaves... will always be slaves..."

The man in black cloak muttered under his breath. He extended his right hand and the wide sleeve swayed in the wind. A few seconds later, the blazing flames surrounding the manor were instantly extinguished while an enormous shadow shrouded the entire manor like an enchanted field of darkness.

The man in black cloak revealed a mocking smile. Then, he raised his right arm.

He began a deep, mysterious chant where suddenly, the eyes of the stone statues above the roof and walls flickered in bright, menacing red. Then, they leapt off the buildings, howling and pouncing into the darkness...

Damn it! I'm too late!

Hidden in the dark alley, Clive witnessed the blazing flames and heard the fierce bellows. He gnashed his teeth and his complexion had turned pale. He didn't expect them to take actions so soon, which turned his plans into wasted effort. It was only yesterday when he finally met the Void Territory's representative and convinced them to assist in taking control of this city. In order to express his devotion, he had even accepted the bind of a soul contract. But he didn't expect that those guys were this quick. No, perhaps he had underestimated their insanity. They had completely lost their rationales and in such a situation... Damn it...

Clive clenched his fists in anger and helplessness. He didn't know what he should do next but he was aware that if this continued, everything would turn out worse than he had imagined. He thought that those people would take some time to come up with a plan before starting riots against the Alanic Family. Meanwhile, he could open the city gates and lead the troops from the Void Territory to suppress the violence and uproot the entire Alanic Family from the city. Thereafter, he could rely on his trusted aides and represent the city in submitting to the Void Territory before the Country of Light dispatched their soldiers.

Clive wasn't without a political mind. He knew that the Country of Light's army was weakened from the war with the Country of Darkness. If he could settle the city's ownership before the Country of Light attacked, the Country of Light surely wouldn't risk forcefully launching an attack on a city within the Void Territory. In fact, this was also another reason why Clive wasn't supportive in submitting to the Country of Light. Apart from the wonderful Void Dragon soul protection, the other reason was due to the current state of the Country of Light. If the Country of Light was wealthy and powerful, he might be hesitant with his decision. But now, the Country of Light was in a terrible mess after war. Perhaps Highland City would be exploited even more if they continued with this arrangement, so it wasn't too difficult for him to make this decision.

But now...

Clive shivered at the sight of the massive human wave. If the Alanic Family realized that they couldn't handle the riots, Shane would surely seek reinforcements from the Country of Light. On the other hand, if Clive failed to get help from the Void Territory before the Country of Light's reinforcements arrived, everything would be done for!

However, another cause for concern was that the Void Territory was still a new territory. What gave him a bigger headache was that it would take a longer time for reinforcements to come from the Void Territory than the Country of Light. Would they be here just in time?

"Wait for a while more."

Rhode showed a wicked smile. Now wasn't the time yet as the Alanic Family's trump card hadn't been revealed. Even if Rhode didn't have the dragon soul powers and only possessed legendary powers of over level 60, he felt no pressure against the rioters. Although the rioters appeared aggressive, a single person could be more than enough to take them all down. Even Marlene in her pre-awakened form could defeat them because they were only humans. After all, they lacked spiritual powers and precious magic armors and weapons to protect themselves. They were nothing more than critters in the face of a powerful Mage.

So...

Finding the balance is an art.

Rhode extended his arm and two cards flashed in his hand.

"I'll leave them to you, my princesses."

"Hehehe..."

Crisp giggles sounded and the window behind him burst open with its curtains fluttering in the breeze. The adorable voices gradually faded away and into the other end of the dark, night sky.

"Stand up, brothers!"

The leading rioter snarled as he witnessed the armored soldiers and enormous manor on the hills. He held a torch in his left hand and a bloodied sword on the other. Behind him was a group of people filled with anger and murderous intent. They were mostly young and middle-aged men who were miners. They were once incredibly afraid of this place as though it was the demon lord's home. But now, they no longer needed to fear the ones who enslaved them because they were about to use their blood, weapons, and turn their lives into the screams of their souls to make those bastards learn their wrath and power!

"Stop right now and leave this place!"

The captain standing at the top of the watchtower shivered at the sight of the masses. He clutched his crossbow and couldn't calm down at all. The streets were filled with people and flares like slow, flowing lava. Not only that, but he also realized that his soldiers were exceedingly nervous. Damn it! You guys aren't any country bumpkins! You're the elites of the Viper Gang! What's there to be tense about some slaves!

"Push forward and block the door. Get ready for battle!"

The captain kicked one of his soldiers fiercely and ordered in panic. Shortly after, the defensive line was formed by the powerful elites from the Viper Gang, Shane's direct subordinates!

"Hiss--"

All of a sudden, the captain heard a sinister and ice-cold voice from behind which made him shiver. He turned around hurriedly and witnessed a man who had his entire body wrapped in a black cloak. The captain turned from a fierce bear into a docile lamb instantly. He quickly stooped over and bowed.

"Sir."

"Those slaves are still unwilling to leave?"

The man in black cloak gazed at the group of rioters gradually approaching.

"Yes, Sir, I've warned them many times. Those damn rioters... I wonder why they are so bold today..."

"Hmph."

The man in black cloak let out a scoff and the captain instantly shut his mouth. The captain looked cautiously at the other man and asked.

"Sir, what do you intend to..."

The man in black cloak didn't answer. Instead, he extended and swung his right hand.

Boom!

Several enormous, pitch-black stone statues descended from above and crashed into the crowd. The group of rioters came to an abrupt halt. No matter how angry they were, they were still surprised by the sudden appearance of monsters.

"Foolish. Lowly. Shameless."

The man in black cloak gazed coldly at the people as though they were a bunch of brainless animals.

"Although I don't know why you lowly slaves suddenly have the guts for this, this is the end. You've crossed the line so be prepared to pay with your life."

The man's voice sounded so sinister that it brought about an unprecedented, cold breeze. Then, he swung his arm and let out a snort.

"Kill them all."

He ordered. The enormous stone statues widened their menacing jaw and growled as they pounced at the rioters.

The slaughter began.