“What you’re wearing…it’s their armor isn’t it…damn…”
Sidney did not faint after losing his hand, he struggled to his feet and looked at the culprit; Eleanor who was clad in dark purple plate and wielded Dolores’ long metallic claws, to uninformed outsiders, she looked somewhat like an unholy knight.
“I hope you’ll remember this!…”
Sidney bolted as soon as he got on his feet, although he was possessed by the soul of Adris, Adris could only use the strength of the person that he had possessed; Sidney wasn’t very strong in the first place, probably not even able to beat Roland in a duel; not to mention the current Eleanor.
Eleanor was using Dolores’ weapon, made from a material which was able to damage the target’s soul as well as the physical body. If he got killed with this weapon, it would be the true end for him. If he had known that Sidney was all looks but no strength, Adris would have possessed someone stronger.
Sidney wasn’t able to run very far before Eleanor caught up, barely outside the room. Eleanor swung the devil’s claws attached to her hands, cuts crisscrossed Sidney’s back, the force knocked him to the ground.
“Help! A demon is after me! The knights and priests over there, please…”
“Eleanor, you can’t! Stop!”
“Get out, you fiend!
The familiar voice behind her made Eleanor hesitate for a while, but her resolve was unchanged; her right arm swung down and Sidney was split in half vertically, ending the evil spirit of Adris once and for all.
Bella was a little disappointed at this, as she had not been able to find out how the old gentleman produced his smoke. It seemed that the recipe for the smoke would follow the old man to the afterlife.
Eleanor turned around to look at the people behind her; the first thing she saw was Hayley’s angered face, besides the holy maiden stood the pseudodragon knight Leopold as well as a dozen or so of the Church’s knights. They had been fooled by Shadow Demon Tanpur earlier, and had split their forces into two; the fate of the other party was unknown.
“You’ve fallen Eleanor, you’ve sold your soul to the devil, and spilled the blood of your own kin. I can not forgive your sins, it seemed that I was wrong about you.”
“It’s not as it seems Hayley, I can explain…”
“Don’t bother, isn’t the armor that you’re wearing that of the female demons from earlier? What do you have to say about that?”
“My own suit of armor was destroyed…”
“Did you kill those demons then? Where are their bodies, present them and you can prove your innocence!”
“I… can’t do that; to me at least, they’re not the bad people.”
Seeing the furious Hayley and the grave Leopold, Eleanor was at a loss for what to do; she had ‘stripped’ Bella and Dolores and if they were to show up now, it would just make things more chaotic.
“You’ve even lost the cross of a Holy Knight! You’ve put on the heretic’s blood-red cross. Eleanor, we’ve been friends for so long; come with me back to the Church to repent, you might have a slight chance to redeem yourself.”
“Get out the way, we’re going to clear the monsters ahead!”
“You can’t! I won’t let you pass.”
“What are you hiding? Are you helping the evil beings?”
“I…I just won’t let you pass me, you shall only cross over my dead body!”
Eleanor stopped Hayley’s party from crossing because not too far ahead was the room where her knights were being kept; if the Church’s knights discovered their current state, she couldn’t imagine what would happen.
Hayley might not have any problems, but she couldn’t trust Leopold and his male knights. After experiencing the incident with Sidney, there was a growing hatred and mistrust for males in Eleanor’s heart. Even if they were all honorable gentlemen, she definitely wouldn’t let them cross; Eleanor wanted to protect the dignity of her knights, if males were to see them in that state, it might have some bad impact on their futures.
“Eleanor, why are you so stubborn? The Octavian Empire’s 10th princess, Octavio Lisha, has already led her Anti-Demon Knight corp to this location, the 30,000 monsters outside have almost been completely exterminated. I suggest you make way.”
The name of Octavio Lisha has only become known in the past few years, this princess of the Octavian Empire had fallen into the lake near which she had been playing; she had remained in a coma for a year after being rescued, even the Church’s archbishops had said that she would never be able to wake up, but after a year, she did.
What happened to Octavio Lisha after could be regarded as a legend, becoming a holy knight in only a year, becoming a dragon knight candidate; breaking her sister Octavio Felia’s record. Reported on the competition to become a dragon knight, she exposed her abilities in both magic and combat, ‘defeating’ her sister Octavio Felia. Currently, she had contracted a princess of the Golden Dragons, it was believed that soon the empire would have the continent’s first ‘Magic Dragon Knight’.
As for Octavio Lisha’s Anti-Demon knight corp, it was not a force to laugh at; within the corp were many skilled masters, in the recent clash against the invading demon army, the 10,000 soldiers of the corp had utterly crushed the elite vanguard of the demons, over 100,000 in number, single-handedly turning the tides of war, and kept beating armies larger than their own. Currently, the demons had been scared by this force and had chosen to halt their advance into Coristel continent; choosing to fortify their current positions instead.
Apart from her,【Magic Dragon Knight】Octavio Lisha also commanded many legendary heroes:【Shadow Thorn】Lola,【Berserker】Barthes,【Hand of Resurrection】Wulfe, and【Grand Enchanter】Hayden. The five of them formed a legendary party that had countless achievements and high merit.
“Hayley, stop. Even if I were facing Octavio Lisha right now, my stance will not change! Leave, don’t force my hand.”
“Next time we meet, we will be enemies; take care.”
Hayley sighed as she turned around, with this she and Eleanor were now on opposing sides; their decade-long friendship had come to an end. They no longer had a common purpose. Eleanor would become the first human to become Bella’s follower.
Leopold and the other knights followed behind Hayley as she left, it wasn’t because they didn’t want to fight; but because their current surroundings was a tight corridor, they wouldn’t be able to use their superior numbers here, along with the darkness that made them unsure if there were any monsters hidden in ambush near Eleanor. The safer bet was to leave and meet up with Octavio Lisha’s Anti-Demon knight corp.
“Eleanor, you didn’t have to do this. If you followed Hayley back, you wouldn’t need to be worried of not being able to explain, even if you’re wearing our equipment, and our cross; but human blood still flows in your veins!”
Seeing Eleanor sitting on the ground, Bella said with a little remorse in her heart. It was because of her multiple unintentional actions that had led to Eleanor being mistaken as an infidel and a heretic by the Church, she felt as if she had wronged Eleanor.
“I can’t explain spilling the blood of my kin, and I don’t intend to. Now that Sidney’s blood is on my hands, my family definitely won’t listen to me. My father had always been more caring towards his sons than his daughters, if I didn’t have some ability, he would have married me off as a pawn in politics.”
“Then what do you intend to do now, boss?”
“Bella, Dolores, and little Noesha, are you human?”
Eleanor looked at the three of them, they didn’t hide anything from her and shook their heads.
“Then you really are… then Bella you…”
“If I were…say I was a threat to humans, what would you do?”
“My life does not matter, but those knights are all important to me. I don’t believe that those hypocrites won’t have any thoughts towards them, can you protect them for me; if it’s possible, will I have to sell my soul…?”
“Eleanor, you don’t have to sell your soul; why do you always believe the rubbish that the Church spews? I will protect your knights, and you of course. I just need you to answer me, would you follow me? I think that you’ll be able to see a great new world.”
“I, the fallen holy knight Eleanor, hereby pledge my allegiance to Lady Bella; becoming Lady Bella’s guardian knight.”
Eleanor solemnly gave Bella a knight’s pledge, a strange magical formation formed on the ground. This happens when a contract with a guardian knight is made, but it was slightly different; it seemed that as the target of the contract wasn’t human, the array did not give off the sacred aura that it would normally, but one of death that was accompanied by a strong scent of blood.
Bella awkwardly looked at Eleanor who was on one knee, firstly because she didn’t understand this ritual to contract a guardian knight. Secondly was that she was still naked as she wasn’t able to find any clothes, and Dolores beside her was clad only in purple underwear. This was a devastating blow to the atmosphere of the rather serious ritual.
“Stand my knight, I hereby recognize you as my guardian knight.”
Following the basic gist of Octavio Felia’s ceremony of becoming a holy knight, where she was blessed by Hayley, she lightly kissed Eleanor on her forehead. It might have been a trick of the eye, but she seemed to see the blood red cross around Eleanor’s neck flash.
Noesha seemed to remember something but didn’t say anything. Her impression of Eleanor wasn’t bad and decided that this was fine. Afterward, Bella finally learned that because she wasn’t human, this ritual for contracting a guardian knight wasn’t the original one; but had become one that a demon god would use to appoint a demon king. When Bella realized this, however, she had already done this many times.
“Little Eleanor, there’s no need to call me mistress. You were my boss at one point, calling me like this is…”
“Then is Bella-sama preferable?”
Seeing as Eleanor was so obstinate, Bella decided to not correct her further. Currently, she had more pressing matters on her mind, according to Hayley’s words, her ‘real’ little sister, Octavio Lisha had come.
Just a while ago, Shadow Demon Tanpur had sent an emergency message that there were strong opponents outside and that Bella should retreat, while he and her other subordinates bought her time.
Bella and the others returned to the room, the bound knights were still there; after hearing the footsteps their bodies were shaking, they probably thought that Sidney had returned.
“Miss Bella, they might not be able to accept the fact that I…”
“It’s fine Eleanor, we can convince them later. Noesha, hide them in your room first. We need to do something first.”
The female knights calmed down after hearing Eleanor’s voice. Although they were still tied, they no longer struggled. Noesha transported them to her room.
“Sister, there you are! Where are your and sister Dolore’s clothes?”
“You are… Noesha right? My memory of you isn’t very good.”
With directions from Noesha, Angel, and Mia who had been wandering the labyrinth for quite a while finally arrived. Bella looked at these two little sisters who had such innocent faces, and was unable to find a way to explain the issue with their clothes; after thinking a bit longer, she decided to not explain at all, as they would probably know in the future.
“Mia, Angel, do you know the situation outside?!”
“Yes, there’s a bunch of very annoying people; Fred and the others are almost at their limits, we wanted to ask sister on what to do!”
“It can’t be, my three strongest subordinates are getting beaten so hard? I want to see for myself, Eleanor you stay…”
“No, I’ve already become Miss Bella’s follower, it’s natural that I follow you.”
“Then, Noesha, can you see if there are any of the Church’s knights left in the crypt? If there are, strip them of their equipment. Mia, can you make us some masks?”
Currently, outside the crypt, the deployed 30,000 strong monster army had been all but wiped. A force of golden knights had encircled the remaining monsters.
“Hehe, the monsters this time are so large in numbers, it’s so satisfying!”
A burly barbarian, Barthes, said as he swung the giant stone pillar in his hands; destroying a nearby skeletal soldier.
“You barbarian, if it weren’t for this young master’s anti-demon enchantment that lowered the levels of these monsters, you wouldn’t have it so easy!”
“Young master Hayden, don’t forget about me, it’s very tiring reviving so many people!”
“Shut up Wulfe, you’re just an unneeded priest, we don’t need you to revive us!”
Not far from the hill that the three of them were, Octavio Lisha stood on top of a flying golden dragon, this dragon was easily 10 meters in length, it held the bloodline of dragon royalty. Behind Octavio Lisha, a female assassin was standing on air.
“Lola, what do you think about the monsters here?”
“Lady Lisha, the monsters here seem to be very different from the monsters we’ve faced previously and the demon army that we faced recently. Their will is scarily strong.”
“I feel so too, I hope nothing unexpected happens.”
Octavio Lisha looked into the distance, Skeleton King Fred was surrounded by anti-demon knights and his shield along with body had shattered in many parts, but he was still swinging his giant hammer without any sign of retreat. If it were any other demon or evil being, they would have run long ago.
“Lady Bella, your useless subordinate Tanpur is here; Skeletal Dragon Brant had already been killed by the female dragon knight, before his death he managed to test her armor, it is the lost god-tier armor, Absolute Defence, it is completely immune to most magic attacks. I plead that you all withdraw, I and Fred are willing to fight to the end.”
“You do not need to blame yourself Tanpur. I won’t retreat, if I back off here, I would be unworthy of all those monsters that had died for me.”
Seeing the bone shards on the ground, a flash of sadness flew through Bella’s heart; being a monster created by her hand, they had some connection to their creator. Through Noesha’s powers, Bella was able to see the fate of Brant, he had his limbs crippled by Lisha before a swarm of Lisha’s knights hacked him to death, while ridiculing how trash these monsters were.
“There’s an extent to how far you can go, monsters have dignity as well! I will avenge you, Brant, these people won’t leave here so easily…”
Bella’s group hid in Noesha’s parallel space and observed this battlefield, they had robbed two of the Church’s Knights of their armor, and now Bella and Dolores finally had some presentable armor on them.
“Bella sister, that female dragon knight is much stronger than me, those other heroes don’t seem to be simple either. I’m afraid…”
“I know, our strongest monster Brant was eliminated in such a short time. They probably have very powerful equipment, but we still have a chance at victory! Everybody, trust me.”
Bella really didn’t want to clash with Lisha here, Lisha’s party was shamelessly overpowered. She had an enchanter on her side, his enchantments suppressed Bella’s monsters. They also had a shaman who was able to revive teammates, reviving the Anti-Demon knights that had fallen. Bella still didn’t know what Lisha’s cheats were.
But a boss that sent low-level mobs to the heroes to help them level was definitely not a good boss. This time Bella was going to let Lisha’s party die at the ‘levelling area’, Bella looked soberly at the flag flying over on top of the mountain, this flag was fated to not be able to fly tomorrow.
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.