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1013 Turmoil in the Imperial Capital

 The emergence of the 'Royalist Party' happened before the church spread the news. The so-called Royalist Party was in fact the people who supported Lilian. Among them were politicians, military representatives, and civilians. This wasn't too surprising. After the bloody incident that happened in the square, many were displeased with the Light Parliament. The church criticized the parliament for the riot in Casabianca, while foreign nations ridiculed them. In the parliament, some opposition leaders seized the opportunity and placed pressure on the parliament. Not only that, but the military was also discontent. They thought that the parliament went too far this time. Besides, the military constantly sent out soldiers to protest against the parliament. With the presence from the Mercenary Association, Alchemist Association, Royal Magic Association, and Mage Tower, the parliament expressed that they were under a lot of pressure.

Sometimes, politics was as though two children bickering, with one pointing the finger at the other, screaming: "I'm not gonna play with you anymore! Go play with someone else!" And now, while the civilians were dissatisfied with the parliament, a new political group quietly appeared: the Royalist Party.

Under the banner of supporting Lilian, they protested the parliament's arbitrary actions and asserted that they should help Lilian regain her authority. Of course, they weren't that foolish to call for the disbandment of the parliament and let Lilian gain full power and whatnot. Instead, they traced history and requested the parliament with evidence to give up their authority and allow the original decision-maker to regain her position. Of course, Rhode was clearly aware that those scoundrels were unlike Lydia who worked purely for faith. Instead, they were more like Cao Cao[1] who 'held the feudal overlords and controlled their vassals'. They made their own political demands through supporting Lilian. Rhode had to admit that those guys were rather smart because Lilian didn't usually get involved with politics. If it weren't for the blown-up incident involving the retired soldiers, Lilian wouldn't have gotten herself involved.

But the observant politicians found something that they wanted from within.

Lilian was a pure ruler who was free from desire. She might be smart, but she wasn't passionate about having power. For instance, after managing the incident with the retired soldiers, she did what she should and didn't use the chance to demand for more. If she were greedy for power, she would have used the opportunity to wipe out all the parliament members and appoint her trusted aides in their places. But she didn't do it. She let the parliament handle and clean up the aftermath themselves, which explained how apathetic she was. Well, this was fine too because through this way, the practical power would still fall into the hands of her subjects. Second, she was basically a figurehead in the Country of Light due to the parliament. If the 'King's Party' could help her ascend her rightful 'throne', they would also be benefited greatly. Gilding the lily wouldn't attract enough attention, but sending charcoal in a snowy weather would save lives. When that happened, their power and position would become much stronger.

The final and most important point was that Lilian wasn't an empty shell. In fact, she actually possessed true, powerful strength. But the strength didn't come from the various military armies. Instead, it was from her direct dependents, the Battle Angels. Although the parliament once did their utmost in spreading the 'Angel Threat Theory' and tarnishing the reputation of Battle Angels, it was undeniable that no one wanted to fight the Battle Angel Army. On that fateful night and in the face of a hundred Battle Angels, the city guards didn't even dare have the thought of resisting them. This went to show just how powerful the Battle Angels were. It might be hard for a Battle Angel to take down a thousand enemies, but it wouldn't pose an issue to deal with only a hundred enemies.

Lilian was pure, innocent, and a ruler who lost her authority. She also lacked the desire to rule despite the strength in the palm of her hands, and she could resist the parliament. With such an attractive opportunity hanging before them, it was normal for people to have designs about her. Even if they were to fail, they could still use the strength of the Battle Angels under Lilian to avoid a massacre. No matter from which aspect, there were a hundred benefits without a single harm.

The parliament was awfully busy handling the earlier incidents. Facing the requests to resign and apologize for his offense, Nakvard firmly refused and expressed that he would stay in office until the next election. On the other hand, the opposition group led by Greig was resolute in Nakvard's immediate resignation. They were even prepared to start a demonstration to force Nakvard into abdication and also announced that when necessary, they would trigger both houses to re-evaluate Nakvard's elected legitimacy. These messy situations threw the parliament into a turmoil and now, the appearance of the Royalist Party, raising flags and shouting to reclaim Lilian's legal authority, left them even more frustrated.

Not only that, but also the church's announcement was like a nuclear bomb being dumped on Casabianca.

According to the church, only those who worshiped and revered the dragon soul protection and dragon soul heirs had the rights to be resurrected. If that were the case, it would be a huge blow to the parliament. Although it was only limited to accidental death and dying of natural deaths didn't count, who wouldn't be involved with accidents in their whole lives? Besides, according to the intelligence the parliament received, the military seemed to be the most earnest. This was something that the parliament hated to see. Soldiers were their only trump card, but if they chose to worship the Light Dragon... what would be left of the parliament?

"... How annoying."

Sonia said softly, knitting her brows and gazing at the golden invitation letter. She extended her arm and tossed the letter stamped with the ancient family seal into the fireplace. Ever since the Royalist Party was established, Sonia had received endless invitations from everywhere. Some were from nobles, financial groups, and even militaries. Although the wording was respectful, Sonia knew clearly what they were plotting. These people might be members who formed the Royalist Party and were roping her in. After all, Sonia was considered one of the closest people to Lilian now, serving as her personal megaphone. If they could rope Sonia in and make use of her close relationship with Lilian, things would be much more smooth-sailing.

Especially after the church announced the news, the invitations had become much more passionate and urgent. It had reached a point where even Sonia's father hinted to her that if it were possible, he hoped that she could 'find another way out'. Considering the fact that her family supported Nakvard back then, it wasn't surprising that they were looking for a new backing and partner as Nakvard had fallen greatly. It was apparent that based on the current situation, Sonia's father had decided to use her as an advantage to be 'served first'.

As for what Sonia should do next, she didn't give it much thought. She decided to observe the situation for a while more. Unlike the outsiders, she understood Lilian more than anyone after spending days with her around the clock. Lilian was innocent, but wasn't a fool. Actually, Lilian was far more mature than most people imagined. She knew what she was doing and the reason behind her actions. For instance, the reason why she tolerated becoming the parliament's puppet was that she trusted that they could handle situations better than her. But when the parliament failed to live up to her expectations, she knew that it was time to take action.

Therefore, if Sonia were to be up to something, she might even be noticed by Lilian. When that happened, all the hard work that Sonia put in would go down the drain. Rhode's mission was the most important to her and not the so-called 'future', 'alliance', 'political assets', and whatnot.

Sonia knew the reason behind the chaotic mess in the Country of Light now. Indeed, the parliament had done a lot to weaken the power of the Light Dragon. But now, a single matter could change everything. Even though resurrection didn't apply to those who died a natural death, who was confident enough to say that one would never get involved in an accident? This was especially so for the nobles and merchants, where chances of assassination and being poisoned were endless. Besides, there was no price to pay for worshiping the Light Dragon. One didn't need to fork out half of one's assets to show one's loyalty or kill one's child, placing the child on the altar and begging for forgiveness. As long as one revered and worshiped the Light Dragon wholeheartedly, it would be enough.

Sonia didn't think that the church was spreading lies. First, it wasn't necessary for the Country of Law to do so. Second, there was no benefit for them to preach support for the Light Dragon. In this case, it should most likely be true...

What exactly should I do next? Perhaps... Her Majesty Lilian has other intentions?

Even though Sonia had been waiting for Lilian to make a decision, the latter seemed to be really annoyed by this news and didn't give an immediate response. Instead, she knitted her brows and pondered deeply. It had been a few days ever since the Country of Law announced this news. During the past few days, the smile across Lilian's face was nowhere to be seen.

Knock knock.

The knocks on the door interrupted Sonia's thoughts. She looked up at the door before her.

"Please come in."

"Sorry for the intrusion."

Shortly after, a guard entered through the door and bowed deeply to Sonia.

"Madam Sonia, the parliament has urgent matters to discuss. Please head to the meeting hall immediately."

Again.

Sonia let out a sigh, before standing up and nodded in affirmation.

"Got it," she said.

[1] A strategian and warlord from the Three Kingdoms period.