Chapter 1028: At The Center of Chaos
While the outside world was causing an uproar, there was a totally different scene in the center of Casabianca.
Damn this weather.
Andre stood on the balcony and gazed at the sky. Unlike the natural disasters of neighboring regions, Casabianca was relatively peaceful. There weren’t any untimely disasters falling upon the city. But for some reason, Andre felt restless. He puckered his brows and sighed as he looked at the sky. He didn’t know when it started, but the sky above Casabianca felt a little strange and disturbing as though it was in a hue made from the mixing of various colors. Unidentified soldiers donned in white robes thronged the streets. Even though it was officially asserted to the outside that they were direct soldiers of the parliament, Andre felt like they were rather peculiar. But… he didn’t have the time to think about this problem any longer because there was a much more important matter that almost crushed him. A few moments ago, he received unbelievable news from the parliament: Parliament member Sonia Lockos has led the Light Dragon in escaping Casabianca and was heading to the Void Territory. After investigations by the parliament, it was announced that Sonia was a spy planted in the parliament by the Void Territory. Everything that happened was caused by Sonia.
Andre couldn’t accept this news. He couldn’t imagine how Sonia was a spy, an undercover agent, and a traitor of her country. But that was the truth proven by the evidence collected from her home. Although Andre could console himself that the parliament was trying to frame her or perhaps Sonia had no choice but to do it, he just couldn’t convince himself to accept the truth no matter what. Why, Sonia? Why did you betray the Country of Light?
Andre had no answer. But now, the answer wasn’t important anymore. What was more important was what he should do. No… perhaps he couldn’t do anything now.
Scanning the white-robed soldiers standing guard, Andre gnashed his teeth and let out a sigh. After Sonia was convicted of treason, the people who had close dealings with her were imprisoned by the parliament and prohibited from leaving their rooms. Even though Andre attempted to receive intelligence regarding the outside world, he couldn’t do anything else apart from waiting.
“Cheryl? Come in.”
Andre turned around and said. Shortly after, the door opened and the young elf lady entered the room with a tray of steamy porridge and bread. She revealed a smile, before placing the dishes on the table.
“You haven’t eaten for days, Andre… Have some food…”
“Thank you, Cheryl.”
Andre said, forcing a smile that lasted for only a second before restoring his depressed expression. He went up to the table, grabbed a piece of bread and placed it in his mouth. It didn’t seem as though he was eating. Instead, he appeared to be executing a mission. The fragrant, delicious bread was tasteless in his mouth. After two to three bites, Andre didn’t have the mood to continue eating anymore. He put the bread down and let out a sigh.
“Sorry… I have no appetite.”
“I… I understand. Me too…”
Cheryl gazed at him and didn’t know what to say. Andre and her were the ones who suffered the most trauma from Sonia’s treason. Like Andre, Cheryl had never expected the young lady who was like her blood-sister to abandon the Country of Light. She refused to believe that this was the truth, but the evidence provided by the parliament had proved her wrong. She was incomparably depressed, but… humans had to look forward eventually.
“Casabianca has been terrible lately.”
Cheryl changed the topic at this thought. No matter what, she thought that they should avoid discussing Sonia.
“I heard about it earlier; the parliament has sealed up the entire city. No one is allowed in and out of the country and nobody knows what is going on outside the city. Besides, the white-robed soldiers have controlled all areas in Casabianca and civilians are also restricted to certain areas for activities and can’t leave. I also heard… that someone tried to escape and was slaughtered on the spot.”
“It’s that serious?”
Andre was astonished by Cheryl’s words. Even though he expected the parliament to take extreme measures, he didn’t think that they would actually take things this far. Wasn’t the parliament afraid of causing dissatisfaction in other forces by doing so?
“The parliament dares to do that? Did the military not respond?”
“At least from what I heard, most areas are sealed up except for the parliament. Not only for us, but also for the Mage Tower and church. I heard the white-robed soldiers clashed with the church’s holy knights and eventually took control of the church.”
“Took control of the church?”
Andre was baffled. He couldn’t understand what exactly the parliament was planning. Wasn’t taking control of the church the same as slapping the Country of Law in the face? Why did the parliament do that? He couldn’t figure out the key reasons for it, but Cheryl had a different view.
“I’m… really scared, Andre.”
The trembling fear in the young lady’s words caught Andre’s attention. He lifted his head and realized that the young elf lady had turned pale. Her eyes were filled with indescribable concerns and uncertainties.
“I don’t know what happened here, Andre. But I feel that Order is slowly crumbling and an unknown, evil energy is affecting the city. I’m an elf, so I have sharper senses than humans. I can feel that the city is being corroded by an unspeakable chaos. Let’s leave this place together, Andre. If not, I don’t know what terrifying disaster will fall upon us next.”
Suddenly, Andre recalled that dream. One that hounded him: the city turned into ruins with scarlet flames blazing and enfolding the sky. Blood-curdling screeches and wails were heard everywhere and the enormous, intimidating, pitch-black steel striking flag before his eyes. As time passed, the dream didn’t gradually fade away from his memories. Instead, it became much clearer in his head like a foretelling sign…
That’s right! A sign! Andre’s eyes glinted. Yes, the Void Territory was the cause of everything. Andre could never forget the cross-shaped star on the pitch-black flag in his dream. Now, Sonia had led the Light Dragon away from Casabianca and headed to the Void Territory. Thereafter, terrifying changes were happening to Casabianca and the Country of Light. Everything is due to the Void Territory! That’s right. Sonia must have been forced to do it for that scoundrel! That overlord of the Void Territory is a despicable man. He has always treated the Country of Light with hostility. In this case, it isn’t impossible that he instigated and even intimidated Sonia into bringing the Light Dragon away and caused the Country of Light to fall into this chaos and disorder!
This must be a sign for me!
Andre clenched his fists. Why am I so naive? Why didn’t I think of this earlier? If I thought of this earlier, perhaps I could come up with ways to remedy the situation. No, it isn’t too late yet. This is my country; I will not abandon my home!
“I’m sorry, Cheryl. I can’t leave.”
Andre pondered for a few moments, before answering in determination. Cheryl looked at him, ashen.
“Why, Andre? It is…”
“I know it is dangerous, Cheryl. I also know what is going to happen next. The signs have shown me everything that happened, but I was too naive to not realize it. And now, since I already know who the main culprit is, I will not leave this place. This is my country, my home; the place that raised me up to who I am today. In order to protect this place, I will never back down! I will find the parliament and see if there is anything I can do. Just like you said, it is meaningless to wait here. We have to take actions to smash the haze shrouding our heads.”
“But now, the parliament…”
“Now is not the time to worry about this small issue, Cheryl.”
Andre shook his head.
“I know it may be hard to rely on me to solve the problems. But I am prepared for it. I will not let this city turn into ruins. I will use my strength to prevent it!” Andre revealed an unwavering expression.
“This is my mission and duty!”