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1014 Lost 1

 Sonia thought that this meeting was just to ask about Lilian's performance over the last few weeks. But she quickly realized that the situation wasn't as simple as she thought because the carriage wasn't driving toward the parliament hall. Instead, after turning a few corners on the streets, she finally arrived at a remote area in the south.

Why did they bring me here?

Sonia felt rather uncertain, gazing at the white tombstones. Of course, she knew where she was. This was a cemetery where the dead in Casabianca were buried. But why did they bring her here? Could it be that they wanted to get rid of her? Or were there other conspiracies? Sonia turned nervous instantly. She was only an ordinary human with some basic sword skills. Although her sword skills were considered impressive to the ordinary people, they weren't worthy of a mention in the eyes of these powerful beings. Apart from the sword skills, Sonia basically had no other means of self-defense. Besides, she never had any bodyguards around her in order to not raise any suspicions from the parliament. She also politely rejected Lilian trying to dispatch Battle Angels and protect her. But now, it seemed like she was truly in danger. For some reason, she felt uncomfortable and uncertain as though something bad was about to happen.

The carriage drove through the cemetery and finally came to a halt in the deeper parts. Sonia stepped out of the carriage, touching her neck for the necklace. After feeling the necklace in her hand, her unnerving emotions became much calmer. Then, she tidied the creases in her attire before fully exiting the carriage.

"Greetings, Miss Sonia."

To her surprise, it wasn't the guard of the parliament standing by the carriage and greeting her. Instead, it was a soldier clad in white armor and wrapped in a cloak. Sonia knitted her brows slightly. She couldn't recall seeing a soldier dressed up like him. Who exactly was he?

But since she was already here, there was no point in hesitation anymore. Sonia swept a glance at him, before lifting her head and gazing ahead. On the other hand, the soldier didn't continue speaking. He beckoned to her, before heading forward. Sonia followed him slowly and shortly after, they arrived at a small tomb that seemed ordinary yet stylish. Sonia saw a few familiar figures standing by the entrance made of white stone. It was Nakvard and the parliament members, clad in robes. They didn't seem like politicians at all. They looked more like pilgrims instead.

What exactly are they trying to do?

Sonia became much more suspicious of the situation. She knew that the parliament was divided into several groups that were suppressing one another, with newbies desiring promotion and seniors wanting to maintain their authority. And right now, the parliament members who stood before her were the most experienced seniors. They had been seated in their positions before Sonia was even born. They could be considered the roots of the parliament, hidden in the soil of the giant tree. The branches were deeply intertwined with one another.

Sonia gazed at them and didn't feel safe. Even though she tried to stay away from political conflicts within the parliament, she had unavoidably entered the 'young group' with her current age. After all, she wasn't even 20 years old. Although the Dragon Soul Continent was largely unlike earth, it was still rare for a young lady to stand on the peak of the political stage. One could count on one hand the number of young ladies who made it this far, including Sonia, Marlene, and a few others. Moreover, in this current political situation in the Country of Light, Sonia's identity and position garnered a lot of attention. After all, no matter what, she was considered the closest person to Lilian.

Despite the doubts in her head, Sonia quickly walked up to Nakvard's group and gave a deep bow.

"Greetings, Sir Chairman and parliament members... May I know..."

Sonia gazed at them with a puzzled expression. She couldn't be blamed since she was notified that the parliament had something to discuss with her. Then, she was brought to this place for no apparent reason, while the parliament members were dressed up like pilgrims and already standing here, awaiting her arrival. If the civilians were to witness this, who knew what reactions they would have.

"Hi there, Miss Sonia."

Nakvard nodded apathetically to Sonia's question. Even though he said welcoming words, he didn't sound passionate and sincere at all. But Sonia could understand because at this moment, Nakvard was already bombarded by problems. The conflicts within the parliament had given him headaches, not to mention the military being dissatisfied with him after Nakvard ordered them to take down the retired soldiers. Besides, the financial groups that backed him before also gave up supporting him because they knew that Nakvard couldn't last for long anymore. Although Nakvard continued to try, as soon as Greig submitted the proposal to the upper and lower houses for re-evaluation, Nakvard would surely be stripped off his post as chairman. He was a chess piece destined to be abandoned while the five largest financial groups had stopped supporting him. Despite that, he chose to look for Sonia now... Could it be that he decided to worship and support Her Majesty Lilian?

Before Sonia thought about the situation clearly, Nakvard said.

"This time, I invited you here to resolve the troubles that we're currently facing."

I knew it.

Sonia nodded slightly to Nakvard's words, but the latter didn't continue speaking. Instead, he turned around and entered the tomb as Sonia looked at him blankly, which she eventually followed. What made her dubious was that this tomb didn't look like one at all on the inside despite its exterior appearance. She didn't find any coffins nor statues of distinguished people around. On the contrary, there was a deep passageway that led to the underground. Torches were lit, hanging on both sides of the wall. Sonia was surprised as there were many people dressed up like the soldier clad in white armor who greeted her when she exited the carriage. Even though they were in the dimmed passageway, they were still wrapped up in cloaks.

Could it be that Nakvard has decided to start a coup?

This ridiculous thought cropped up in Sonia's head but was quickly denied. Nakvard could never defeat the Battle Angel Army, no matter how powerful his soldiers were. Besides, the military would definitely not sit idly by and watch Nakvard rebel. Nakvard should be aware of this, but...

"Miss Sonia, I'm sure you're aware of the recent happenings."

All of a sudden, Nakvard spoke, and Sonia pondered for a few moments before answering softly.

"Yes, Sir Chairman."

"Do you think this will affect the Country of Light and parliament?"

"This..."

Sonia was speechless, but Nakvard seemingly didn't answer as he continued speaking.

"I'm aware of the impact this will have on the Country of Light. The hard work of our parliament over the centuries will be destroyed entirely. Even though humans aren't willing to believe imaginary beings, nothing will make them change their minds when they see the benefits."

"You're saying... that you believe the church? That as long as one reveres the power of the dragon soul, one can be resurrected..."

"Of course, Miss Sonia."

Nakvard came to a halt and turned to face the young lady who asked the curious question.

"Actually, the parliament is always aware of the relationship between the dragon soul protection and dragon soul heir. We know where the dragon soul protection comes from and are also aware that it shelters us from the corrosion of Chaos. As long as the people worship the Light Dragon, they will be protected and rescued. We know everything about it."

"What..."

Sonia was stumped. She had never expected Nakvard to say this. In fact, even Sonia was doubtful about this matter. This was because the parliament had been brainwashed for years and they were skilled in manipulation. In this case where Lilian couldn't display her sacred and imposing presence, people naturally wouldn't worship her as a God. But now, Nakvard actually told Sonia that the parliament always knew that what they were spreading was always lies?

"Just as you thought, Miss Sonia. We're clearly aware of it, but that doesn't mean that we will accept our fate. Just like what the parliament has always been claiming: humans should control their destiny and not to pray and hope for a certain figure to watch over their safety. Humans are a mighty race. We will never tolerate not having our destiny in the palm of our hands! For the sake of this goal, we have been searching for a solution since a few centuries ago."

"..."

Sonia didn't say a word. But for some reason, she had a bad feeling, especially at this very moment when Nakvard suddenly told her about this matter. Sonia feared instinctively. Even though she believed that this might just be a misconception, the feeling deep inside her had as though erupted and couldn't be removed.

"Although we have decided to start our preparations at a more opportune timing, the church has disrupted our plans."

Nakvard said, pushing open a door beside him and entering. Sonia followed him closely. It was a round hall and Sonia discovered strange incantations carved on the walls, as well as a twisted ritual drawn on the floor. Placed around the ritual were six magic crystals floating in midair, faintly glowing into an energy barrier. At the middle of the ritual was a golden gem that was as tall as a human. For some reason, Sonia felt that this golden gem was similar to the one on Lilian's chest.

"... Sir Chairman, what are you trying to do?"

"Simple."

This was the first time Nakvard revealed a proud smile.

"Dragon soul heirs who possess self-consciousness are unreliable, but humans need protection from their power. For that, we have been researching a method to transfer and imprison the dragon soul power into another object. And now, we have finally succeeded! As long as we imprison the dragon soul power into this crystal, our parliament will not be threatened ever again! We shall once again control the nation entirely and our people will not be threatened by the dragon soul heir! This strength should have been controlled by us humans a long time ago!"

Nakvard extended his arm and said to the dumbfounded Sonia.

"And now, we need your help to complete the final step of the ritual... Miss Sonia."