“Holy knight Felia! Aren’t you on the expedition party to Alfred continent? How come you are here?!” Archbishop Nicholas realized Bella’s identity after studying her for a while.
“You’ve got the wrong person, gramps. I’m the pirate queen Bella, not some holy knight Felia.”
Bella did not have any good feelings for this archbishop, as he was the one who sent Felia, on her ill-fated voyage to Alfred continent. According to Felia’s memories this archbishop only obtained his position through his family’s influence, his power was nowhere near the level of Archbishop Stanley – who had worked his way up the ranks.
“Sounds like you’ve been mesmerized by the devil. You are but one person, and you dare proclaim yourself a monarch?” Nicholas was about to laugh at Bella’s foolishness but stopped when he saw Bella make a gesture with her hand.
From her ship flew several ropes with hooks attached to their ends and these hooks found their place around the rails. Several figures, clothed in black, climbed aboard the ship using these ropes; they were naturally the undead that had been summoned by Angel. After boarding the ship, they immediately rushed towards the human soldiers while ignoring the demons. To these undead, demons did not give off the same ‘smell’ as humans; and since they hadn’t received any orders, apart from that of attacking the humans, they ignored them.
“You traitor! You’ve sold your soul to the devil! I will end you in place of the Church of Light!” The holy knight Isaac started a ‘Knight Charge’ towards Bella, who returned the favor by raising her shield and starting a charge of her own.
The force given off by the two holy knights colliding mid-charge sent the surrounding soldiers flying – both humans and demons alike. Isaac got pushed back several steps and tried to stabilize himself but Bella immediately started a second charge to drive home her advantage. Isaac was caught off guard and was sent flying further back for several meters this time around.
“How is that possible? You are able to continuously charge twice!” Isaac looked at Bella, whose face was unwavering, as he pushed himself off the ground. Isaac remembered that she had come from Bernard’s ship, and that she may have already defeated another holy knight.
“Why is it that all you holy knights have the same attack pattern?” Bella was surprised to see Isaac adopting the same defensive pose as Bernard had previously. It seemed to her that the profession of holy knight didn’t have many unique abilities. What she didn’t know was that most knights require a mount to unleash their full potential and abilities, unless they were a dragon knight, and they would be fighting at a large disadvantage without a mount.
Currently it was a chaotic fight on the warship between Bella’s undead pirates, the human assaulters, and the demon defenders. The undead had the absolute advantage in this chaos as they didn’t have to be afraid of any friendly fire, they swung their weapons wildly, aiming at whoever was closest to them.
Bella straight up ignored Isaac and approached Archbishop Nicholas. Isaac was preparing to head to the aid of the archbishop, when a flaming barrel landed at his feet – which sent him flying into the water.
Of course this wasn’t enough to kill him directly, in fact he was almost unscathed; after all, a holy knight’s defenses are nothing to scoff at. It was just that, he would take some time to swim back to the ship; it was their fault that they wore such heavy armor out at sea. The two knights should be graceful to their god if they don’t drown.
Bella had decided to eliminate the two holy knights onboard from the start, but she knew that it was difficult to achieve that objective of her. She had only managed to kill Bernard after she caught him off guard, and she knew that she wouldn’t be so lucky this time. Her goal was the archbishop.
“Holy knight Felia, put down your weapon and I can promise that nothing will happen to you once we return. Otherwise you will never be able to escape from the judgement of the Church…”
“Shut it! Don’t be so arrogant if you don’t have any cash. If you keep talking I’ll throw you to the fishes.”
Bella didn’t bother to waste time listening to his nonsense, and stopped Nicholas’ preaching. Bella secretly felt very pleased, when she looked at his conflicted face. Neither Bella nor Felia liked this guy. In Felia’s past life, this archbishop used to trick female believers to engage in intercourse with him, by proclaiming that they can be saved if they offer their bodies to god. Even Felia had almost fallen for it, before she realized his machinations.
“Are you crazy…? What do you think you’re doing?”
Nicholas started to panic, when he saw Bella walk towards the sealed girl. He had to maintain the sealing array and was unable to attack. He could only watch as Bella got closer to the girl; and prayed that the two holy knights, who fell into the sea could make it back in time to stop her.
The girl, who was sealed by the golden hexagram, had been roused by the loud sound of the two knights clashing earlier; and had been watching Bella the whole time. Her eyes shifted from wariness, to surprise, and then to shock as Bella walked towards her. The reason for such drastic changes in her expression was because this holy knight did not have any ill-intent towards her, and was also studying her closely.
The girl’s height was around that of Bella’s, just that her chest was possibly one whole size above. Even though her body was well covered by a suit of black armor, it was evident that she had quite the explosive body. Bella got closer to look at her face, wanting to see how a demon princess looked like first hand.
She had learned from the soldiers on the other ships that humans had encircled a princess of one of the four demon empires, Alf Dolores, 3rd princess of the Alfred Empire. Originally she didn’t want to get too deeply involved in the human-demon conflict, and only wanted to grab a ship and quickly leave the conflict zone. But there was basically no food on that ship; so she had raided all the ships in her way, all the way to the center of the encirclement.
None of the ships that she had defeated on the way had much food so Bella decided to try her luck at the biggest ship of both sides. It was the ship of a demon princess after all, there should be something worth looting this time. It wasn’t actually a surprise that she didn’t manage to find any food on those ships, as the human reserve fleet was still several nautical miles off, and carried all the supplies of the expeditionary fleet.
Alf Dolores had long violet hair that came down to her waist, coupled with her irises of the same color; she was quite the charmer. Bella lost herself in Dolores’ beauty, and only returned to her senses after the princess looked away unnaturally.
“Excuse me, are you the princess, Alf Dolores? Can you work with me a bit here, I’m a pirate and I want you to tell me where you carry all the goods on this ship!”
Dolores froze after hearing Bella’s demands. Since when did human pirates originate as holy knights? Had the world changed to the point that holy knights had to earn a living by pirating?
As she saw Alf Dolores struggle to hold in her laughter, Bella was a little helpless; after all, she couldn’t yell at her and demand to know where the goods were, she might declare that she would rather die before telling a pirate. If that happened Bella would have wasted her entire day. If she had known that being a pirate required so much work, Bella would have never wanted to become one.
“Princess Alf Dolores, can you be a bit more serious about this? I’m a fierce pirate, if you don’t tell me where you keep the ship’s money then I’ll…”
“Miss Pirate, what if I don’t have any money?”
“No money? Why didn’t you say so earlier? Goodbye!”
“Eh? Pirate nee-san, don’t leave! I can give you anything else!”
“I’m not a pervert, what else can you give me?”
Bella gulped when she looked at the princess’ explosive body; sadly she was a girl and couldn’t do anything to her even if she had wanted to.
“If you help me… I’ll stay by your side until my father ransoms me.”
Actually Alf Dolores had ran away from her home to escape an arranged marriage. Her father had disliked her, as she was not of pure demon descent; and had arranged for her to be married to the crown prince of the Mephyr Empire, Mephyr Derek, in order to obtain some political benefits.
This crown prince was a renowned playboy in the four demon empires, and Dolores naturally did not want to marry him, so she ran away from home.
“No, I have morals too; I don’t take people, only money. I’m a pirate not a human trafficker!”
“Miss Pirate, if you help me I can promise you anything!” Dolores was panicking, afraid that Bella might actually leave.
“Oh well, I’ll take some losses this time…” Bella wasn’t cold-hearted enough to leave Dolores, after she saw that tears were forming in her eyes. She decided to lend her a hand.
“Felia! This is your last chance, get away from the demon. Don’t get tempted by the devil!” It was Nicholas’ turn to panic as he saw that Bella was actually going to help Dolores. He knew that the demon princess’ power was at least on par with that of the dragon knight Shawn, and if her seal was removed her first target would be himself.
“I’m nothing more than a mere pirate, things like holy knights are none of my concern, get out of my sight if you don’t want to die.”, Bella walked up to Dolores’ side and studied the flashing golden cross in front of her chest. It was probably key to whatever was sealing her power. It was a question of how she wore it as a necklace in the first place.
“Are you mad, woman? This demon sealing cross was personally blessed by the pope, Croft VI, it is not something that a holy knight whose soul has been lost can so casually desecrate…”, Nicholas almost laughed when he saw Bella reach towards the cross attached to the necklace, but his words were cut short by what happened next.
Bella easily pulled the cross of the necklace on Dolores’ neck. She then turned around and crushed the cross into powder.
“Oi, mister archbishop! I think your cross is a fake. It seems that the church is rather short on funds if they are giving their archbishops such useless equipment.”
“You,… remember this!”, Nicholas flew back to his warship when he saw Bella easily destroy the demon sealing cross that he had been so confident in, and once Dolores recovered her power she definitely wouldn’t let him return to the church alive.
“Why did you let him go? This human doesn’t look like one to be able to put down his grudges, aren’t you scared that he will trouble you after he gets back?”, Dolores easily broke through the sealing array on the ground, if it wasn’t for the demon sealing cross she would have been able to break through it long ago.
“Why would I let him go? That guy doesn’t even realize that his ship had already been taken.” Bella pounced on Dolores and pushed her to the ground while saying this, just as Dolores was about to question, a large explosion rang throughout the sea. The ship that Nicholas had just boarded had been broken into two pieces by the force of the explosion, one piece had already sunk and the other was inside an inferno.
Nicholas had stored quite a bit of strong alcohol on his ship, Bella had already let Mia and Angel board his ship to turn the alcohol into an explosive compound before she boarded the demon’s ship. They had been waiting for Nicholas to return to his death. The archbishop never suspected that his ship would be tampered with, and was killed on the spot by the explosion.
Dolores looked at the sunken ships in the distance, then looked around her. The remainder of the human fleet that had surrounded them was now fleeing, many of their number were now either enveloped in fire or sinking. The one who had done all of this, Bella, was standing right beside her observing her accomplishments. At this point Dolores felt as if she wasn’t the demon here.
“Pirate sister, how did you do it?”
“It’s a secret of the trade! Take care, I’m going to take my leave…”
“Can I ask something of you please?”
“What is it?”
“Take me with you!”
After quite a while, the dragon knight Shawn finally made it back to see the remains of the fleet, and the demons’ ship had long left. This naval battle later became the spark that lit the fuse for the eighth Human-Demon war. Humans lost four holy knights including Felia and the two that were thrown overboard, and an archbishop along with several thousand capable seamen.
On the demons’ side they had lost the 3rd princess of the Alfred Empire, Alf Dolores, whose location was currently unknown. According to the surviving demons who had managed to flee before Bella arrived, the Church of Light’s archbishop had already boarded their ship. It was most probable that the princess had already met her unfortunate demise.
Although some of the human sailors claimed that they also saw a female holy knight, when the Church sent Archbishop Stanley to investigate, they all simultaneously changed their claims and nothing ever came of it.
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.