It is easy to lose your sense of humanity when you are killing, especially when you are lopsidedly slaughtering the other side. Bella was surrounded by the enemy, but she had the upper hand in the fight; the enemy archers were afraid of friendly fire and were unable to attack, only able to watch allied foot soldiers rush to their deaths.
Bella didn’t know if it was because Felia had trained intensely while still alive, or if it was the blood that the body received during the ritual. Felia’s body was currently like a cheat character in games, the enemies’ attacks had no effect on her while she was able to one-shot any of them.
Bella had hesitated to kill at first, as she definitely would not have dared to do something like this in her past life. However, it was the other side who had initiated hostilities; if Bella had been a normal human, she would have perished in the sea of flames.
Within 10 minutes, the enemy lost a few dozen men; Bella grew more and more used to the slaughter while the enemy continued to lose ground. If you were to go around telling people that several hundred armed soldiers were being pushed back by an unarmored dame, they’d laugh at you, but it was a fact.
“Everybody fall back, I’ll stop this beast.”
Wounded, tired, and losing hope, the soldiers fought for their lives; in their eyes, beset by this singular demon in a dame’s guise. Promise arrived at their flank, reinforcements charging out from the cabin. It was a middle-aged knight clad in heavy armour; he appeared to be in his 40’s, but his face was marred by the wrinkles of a burdened man. The knight was armed with a long steel lance and large shield.
Richi Bernard was shocked by the youthful appearance of the intruder that looked like a girl no more than sixteen years of age; his view from the cabin had been obstructed by the clouds of smoke that obscured the battlefield and bloodied chaos she incited..
Bella was currently grinding ‘newbie missions’ when suddenly a middle-aged knight blocked her path. Without minding him, she just threw a punch at him, but he raised his shield, blocking her blow.
“Eh? This uncle has some skill!” Bella felt as if she punched a wall, but she didn’t feel any pain from the impact.
Bernard was even more shocked than her, he knew how powerful his defences were as a holy knight; it had been enough to kill several of his enemies through rebound, but the girl in front of him looked completely unaffected. It looked as if he would have to hold her here and wait for Shawn to come and reinforce him; this kind of opponent can only be dealt with by a dragon knight.
“Little girl, we have no enmity or grudges between us, why must we greet each other with weapons?”
“Shut up, you uncle, my only possession in this world was the boat that you guys just sunk; you say we have no enmity or grudges between us?”
“We can pay for your damages, is that okay?”
The surrounding soldiers were shocked when the holy knight Bernard decided to discuss conditions with the beautiful girl. A damn Holy Knight was frightened of a girl, was his title bought?
Bella was not convinced by the uncle’s laughing face; she had already killed dozens of his men; if that was so easily forgiven, world peace would have been achieved long ago. This uncle was probably the level of a mid-boss for newbies so there was definitely some way to bypass his high armour.
“There is no way for someone of your level to break through the defence of a holy knight, you should give up now!” Bernard strengthened his defence further after feeling that Bella’s hostility towards him had risen and began to radiate a holy aura.
Bella was a little surprised to find someone with the same occupation of Felia out on the open seas, she had thought that only the Octavian empire would have holy knights. However, his words gave away that there was a way to break through his defence.
When Bernard saw that Bella had stopped moving, he thought that he had managed to intimidate her. As he was about to keep talking to distract her, he saw Bella’s plotting grin. Bella immediately turned her attention away from Bernard and ran straight into the surrounding soldiers. Screams of despair could be heard on deck from where Bella had punched into their lines.
“You…” Bernard watched as Bella decimated the soldiers. He was starting to panic as this had not been part of his plan, which was to keep her distracted until further reinforcements could come and neutralize her.
“What’s there to be surprised about, Uncle? Even though I can’t beat you, you can’t stop me from beating up the other guys, right?” Bella taunted Bernard while one-sidedly pounding the soldiers, it didn’t take long for her to knock down another few dozen. Bella was confident that this holy knight didn’t have the ability to beat her, which was why he was trying to drag it out; if Bernard thought that Bella could be defeated, he wouldn’t be wasting time trying to keep Bella talking, he would be fighting.
Bernard knew that if he let this go on, even if Mister Stanley managed to arrive, his own reputation would be severely damaged so he could do nothing but fight. The role of a holy knight is to protect so if he is unable to do that, he has no existential value.
Bernard raised his lance and shield and rapidly dashed in Bella’s direction. Bella guessed that Bernard was using something similar to a ‘Charge’ ability like a typical knight class in MMORPGs.
Bella had been waiting for this moment, she had observed Bernard’s posture while she was decimating soldiers; Felia had been a holy knight before her death so she should probably be able to use this defensive ability. Well, there was no harm in trying as he wouldn’t be able to damage her anyways, even if she had failed to activate the ability.
“Heh, there’s no way an outsider can learn… what!” Bernard was about to laugh when he saw Bella adapt the stance that he had taken earlier, but he felt as if his Knight Charge had hit a metal wall.
In the moment that Bernard’s body stopped, Bella moved behind him and delivered a flying kick to his back. Afraid that he might have any cards up his sleeve, Bella had used every ounce of her power on this kick. When she was pounding the soldiers earlier she had not used much power, just hitting them normally.
Her full power was nothing to laugh at, Bernard flew right off the ship with a bang, travelling another few dozen meters in the air before landing in the sea. His armour had been completely shattered by Bella’s kick, its shards remaining on the deck.
It seemed that Bernard was rather manly, not even letting out any pained scream after taking such a powerful kick. Bella only learned later that Bernard had died on the spot so of course, he didn’t have any time to let out a voice.
“Uncle, coming out without a mount, you aren’t as strong as you bragged. Isn’t it common knowledge that a knight must have a horse? In any case, see ya!” Bella turned her head around with a swagger, looking at the shocked soldiers.
“She knows the abilities of a holy knight? That defensive skill was the one that Bernard-dono used earlier!”
“Holy knights don’t kill without reason, there is probably something wrong with your vision!”
“You guys done talking? If you are, let us continue!” Bella looked unsatisfied at the soldiers with her sword in her hand.
At this moment, a holy light shone across the entire deck; everyone on deck had their wounds immediately healed. The soldiers’ tense and nervous bodies also relaxed.
“It’s archbishop Stanley! Bless the omnipotent god of light, we’re saved!” A white-clothed priest appeared on deck, the remaining soldiers quickly got down on their knees in prayer. The priest’s age showed through his hair and beard that had become a light gray. His eyes, however, shone brightly, he was evidently not any common priest.
Bishop Stanley sunk into thought as he looked at Bella. This girl was definitely a holy knight; the ability that she had used against Bernard was a standard move for holy knights and was definitely not something that she had thought of in the heat of battle. The problem was that he was unable to detect any sacred energy that was customary of a holy knight from her; he didn’t know what changes she had undergone to become like this.
“Little girl, if there are any misunderstandings or problems that you have, this old man can help you.”
“No problem! I was just stiff from not exercising recently and was getting rid of the kinks in my muscles.” Bella didn’t recklessly attack like she did with Bernard, this was the first time she had encountered an enemy of the magic class; she did not want to fight without having any understanding of the enemy’s ability.
“Killing cannot bring salvation, little girl. Can you tell this old man your name?”
“Peace is not brought by mere words grandpa bishop, I’m nothing more than a pirate; my name is not worth mentioning. I’m merely trying to earn a living for myself and my little sisters.”
The surrounding soldiers were awed by her words, such a fierce pirate was probably worthy of the title pirate queen. One girl against an entire fleet; it wouldn’t be an overstatement to call this worthy of legends.
“I have some knowledge of all the pirate captains in this area, I’ve never even heard of a female pirate like you!” Archbishop Barry didn’t believe Bella’s claim that she was a pirate. The pirate captains that he knew off were all tough looking muscled men; it would be impossible for a girl like her to convince pirates to follow her.
“Hey uncle, I’m trying to commit a robbery here! Can you coordinate with me a bit?” Bella didn’t want to waste time talking with the old bastard. Villains had always gotten themselves killed by their own long speeches, she wasn’t so stupid as to fall for this trick.
“How much gold do you want?”
“Gramps, are you kidding me? You’re trying to barter with a pirate here; even a sea full of gold can’t be converted to food. I want a new ship as well as enough food to last me for a month.”
Bella almost got driven crazy by the old man, it was absurd that robberies could be haggled like a trade. She found out later that it was actually quite possible to barter with pirates in this world as the pirates wouldn’t make it difficult for their targets if they didn’t have enough currency.
Barry finally confirmed that Bella was no pirate. He knew the rules of the sea here; all the pirates would only take gold and other currencies. It would be a joke for any of them to rob food. He didn’t know why but he was reminded of the good times when he had argued with his deceased great-granddaughter.
Archbishop Barry had held his position for a long time, his son Stanley Bertram had gotten the position of Count with help from his father’s influence. Bertram received a large fief to rule and had been busy in the daily hassles of a feudal lord, so had no time to see his father. Luckily Barry and his wife still had a granddaughter who came around and visited often, keeping them away from loneliness.
The happiness didn’t last long, a few years ago his teenage granddaughter had died when a powerful necromancer had cursed the city. His son, Bertram borrowed the power of dragon knights to destroy the city in order to stop the curse from spreading. This had ruined the relation between Bertram and his parents. Barry’s wife had passed away from sickness caused by her anger not long after, leaving Barry in the world of the living to search for her beloved granddaughter.
Archbishop Barry was conscious of his position and was unable to bring himself down to talk to his son. He had spent his days within the confinements of his church all alone. Bella had managed to remind him of better times. He thought for quite a while before answering Bella.
“Alright, I can agree to your demands, do you have any other requests? Say it now, I can agree to it as long as it’s within my jurisdiction.”
Bella had thought that Barry was secretly preparing his ultimate ability due to his long silence and was about to make the first move. She was stunned by his response; this old man didn’t follow the routine either.
The soldiers were also shocked by the sudden turn of events. If Bernard heard about this from beyond the grave he would have cried until he fainted. He didn’t have to fight the monstrosity that was Bella and die if he had only tried a little harder at negotiating.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.