Volume 1 Chapter 14: The Forsaken Land’s New Lord

At the southernmost part of the Coristel Continent, there was a strip of land that acted as a land bridge between the Coristel Continent and the Priestley Continent. Priestley Continent was where the beastmen had settled. As both continents were connected, the casualties caused by conflicts between beastmen and humans were equal in scale with those of the wars fought between humans and demons.

While humans and demons would only fight large scale battles every few decades, skirmishes between humans and beastmen forces would happen constantly. The fires of war led to an exodus from surrounding regions into one of the five great human empires, the Gabriel Empire(Swordsmen Empire). The Empire of Swordsmen, however, denied asylum to the fleeing refugees which led a large number of jobless and desperate people into a life of banditry.

There was an abandoned town near the north of the land bridge. The town of Nelson had once been a bustling place but all the residents abandoned it due to the constant raids by the beastmen. It was effectively a ghost town now.

Currently, on the mud trails outside the town, a party of knights was travelling. There were only a few dozen of them but each member was a female. Their armor and shield were crafted out of a dark-hued metal and none of them carried a lance typical of a knight. They were currently escorting a caravan of large horse-drawn carriages filled with resources. The leading carriage hoisted the flag of the Church of Light. It looked out of place and was placed very casually as if it was done just for the sake of it.

During their travels, there had been many suspicious figures who had followed these knights. It was rather hard not to attract attention with such a large convoy of resources in a region torn by war, especially a convoy that was guarded by female knights. Many bandit gangs had set their eyes on this lucrative target, wanting to take both fortune and the women. None of them realized their errors until it was too late.

Bella sat in the leading carriage with the lolis: Angel, Mia, and Noesha. Eleanor, with her knights, led the front while Dolores rode with the rearguard. Roland acted as the coachwoman with Annie as her companion.

“I didn’t expect this town to be completely free.”

Bella studied the map of the continent in her hands, feeling rather happy. A bar of gold was equal to a hundred gold coins and was worth more in border towns such as this one. Since it was more convenient to carry than coins, its price was raised by gold dealers to one hundred and twenty gold coins per bar. That cardinal had given her twenty gold bars. This was enough money for her to buy a decently sized house in the capital of any of the five great empires and still have leftovers for a year of standard living expenses.

The Church sure has money. While that cardinal didn’t seem like a very good person, he sure was open-handed. It would be so nice if I could encounter him again. Bella was reminiscing when the carriage suddenly came to a stop. There seemed to be a commotion outside.

“What happened? Who are those people?”

Bella opened the curtains and poked her head out through the carriage’s window. She saw a large group of armed men blocking the path ahead of the convoy.

“This is a robbery! Abandon your carriages and get lost!”

The head of these bandits, Joseph, had hesitated for a while when he looked at the Church’s flag on the carriage before finally deciding to throw caution to the wind. They were attempting to rob a convoy that flew the flag of the Church, so they would avoid killing as much as possible, or the Church might hound them if they crossed their bottom line.

“Don’t you know that we are the Church’s knights? You dare to try and rob the Church!? Scram!”

Roland’s intentions were to save the lives of these bandits but it was useless. Not one of them paid attention to what she said and paid dearly for their foolishness. Only two of Bella’s knights stepped out to meet the charging bandits

“Lady Bella… can we…”

“To be merciful to one’s enemy is to be cruel to oneself.”

After watching the two knights massacre the bandits, Bella returned to the carriage. The quality of these bandits didn’t even require Eleanor to take action. Very few people had the capability to become some of Bella’s ‘materials’.

Joseph’s gang didn’t hold out for very long before they were completely obliterated, and the convoy continued on. From the carriage’s windows, Bella would often see beggars on the sides of the road. She did not pay any attention to them as even though the convoy had large amounts of food and water, they did not have enough to feed every beggar. There was also a chance for the situation to go south.

Moreover, there were some gangs who would ambush caravans by pretending to be beggars. Bella did not want to take unnecessary risks; they were not the peacekeepers with blue helmets from Earth. Her eyes returned to the map on the table. She had bought the town of Nelson from Duke Viktor who owned the land prior, though she didn’t pay a single penny for it.

The duke’s wrinkled face had immediately lit up when he learned that Bella wanted to purchase the abandoned town. It was as if he wanted to get rid of the hot potato in his hands. He also gave large swathes of the desolate lands around the town itself. She wanted to give him several gold bars in payment, but he refused after seeing her missionary certificate. He offered the town as a gift to the Church and wouldn’t accept any money even if Bella had beaten him to death.

Bella picked up the certificate lying beside the map and studied it. The words on it were the same as the one that Stanley had given her, the only difference being a tiny red mark at the bottom left corner that looked like the thumbnail of a magic formation.

“Sister, this is a ritual array for summoning demons from other worlds. It’s just a beginner level array; however, there are much more complex ones out there.”

After learning the meaning behind the symbol, Bella was more puzzled. Why would a certificate from the Church of Light have something like this on it? Bella decided that she would ponder about this later since the current priority was to settle in the new town.

Bella didn’t think about looking for revenge against Lisha. She did not want to get involved with any more reincarnators after she faked her death at Anola Clark Strip. Therefore, she chose a place far away from Octavian Empire (Knights Empire) to expand and develop.

Count Harold was not implicated by the disappearance of Eleanor and Sidney. Most likely, he had made some sort of ‘deal’ with the Church for sanctuary. It seemed that the Church’s authority was greater than what Bella previously thought.

___
After exterminating over a dozen bandit gangs, there weren’t any more bandits left who dared to look for trouble. Maybe the news about the incident had spread through the region and deterred any other bandit gang from setting their eyes on it.

“Hmph, these bandits won’t be around for much longer.”

Bella’s convoy entered the deserted town of Nelson and headed straight for the church in the center of the town. Bella planned to continue hoisting the flag of the Church and decided to set up her new base here.
“You girls can put that box over there. Alright, you’re all dismissed for now.”

Bella directed her knights to carry a large box into the center of the church then followed the instructions that Mystica had given her to undo the box’s magical seal.

The box turned into dust soon after the seal was broken. A large and dark thing that looked like a massively enlarged human’s brain was left behind. It looked alive with the flow of blood visible on the giant organ.

This was something called【Devil’s Wisdom】, also known to some as ‘Demon Brain’. It was one of the more important things that Mystica had given to Bella. The【Devil’s Wisdom】was a living thing and had its own intellect. Its main purpose was to grant greater wisdom to higher tier monsters. It could also command all the monsters within a very large radius. It was one of the must-haves for running a dark realm.

After the【Demon’s Wisdom】appeared, it immediately gave off a weird aura that encased the church within a blink of an eye. Bella and the others weren’t affected by it at all. This aura did not cause any harm to females; most likely because its previous owner, Mystica, was also a female.

“Eleanor, bring in the box that holds the【Demon’s Heart】as well. I want to rebuild my dark kingdom here!”

“Understood, Lady Bella.”

Bella planned to rebuild her dark kingdom in this region. She would first revive all the Cadre level monsters who had sacrificed themselves for her in Anola Clark Strip. This time, she had learned the true way to create monsters from Mystica; it was about time she put it into practice.

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Outside the church, Roland and Annie had mixed feelings as they looked at the happenings inside the church. They were currently the only humans left in Bella’s party as Eleanor and her knight corp had already accepted a demon-god’s power and could no longer be considered human. They were currently witnessing the rise of a new dark kingdom and had some very complicated feelings about this as they were still human.

___

A month after Bella arrived, an army of over a thousand mounted soldiers approached the outskirts of Nelson Town. Although they rode warhorses, their armor was lighter than the heavy plate armour of knights. This wasn’t a mercenary guild since they flew the flag of Gabriel Empire(Swordsmen).

“Ivy, something feels off about this town, I can’t put my finger on it but I think we should remain cautious.”

“Susan, didn’t Duke Viktor say that someone from your Church had built a church here then why are you so nervous?”

“Those who built the church here are from the Salo faction; they don’t get along well with the Alan faction that I am part of.”

“I don’t get what’s with the Church. You guys represent one faith but are split into three factions. Oh well, let’s continue.”

Elena Ivy was a daughter of the head of the Ignaz Family, one of the Gabriel Empire’s(Swordsmen) three great families. Ivy had come to this dangerous region in order to hunt monsters. Her good friend, the Church of Light’s third Holy Maiden, Antonia Susan, accompanied her.
In Coristel Continent, the supply of magic cores found in monsters could never keep up with the demand. The magic cores of lower level monsters were already selling like hot cakes, not to mention higher level monsters whose cores were sold at an astronomical price and one might not even be able to buy it with gold.

In this region that connected the two continents, there was a massive monster-infested forest. As it was unnamed, people just called it the ‘Unnamed Forest’. There were tales of terrifyingly powerful monsters that were hidden in this forest. Although no one was able to confirm whether these terrifying beasts actually existed, the mercenaries who lived to tell the tale brought news that there were already high tiered monsters merely on the outskirts. It was hard to tell what kinds of existences might be deeper within as either none who dared to venture far in had returned alive or they didn’t wish to talk about their experiences.

“Susan, are you really not going to visit your colleague? You are part of the same Church, after all. It might be rude to not greet them.”

“It’s fine Ivy; the Salo faction always liked performing all sorts of mysterious rituals. If we run into them in the middle of some weird ritual then…”

Ivy and Susan bypassed Nelson Town, heading towards the Unnamed Forest. They found it rather strange to have not run into a single bandit, not even a scout. This region had been notorious for banditry, but now they were nowhere to be seen. Had they all turned a new leaf in their lives?

As the region was fraught with dangers, ordinary mercenary groups wouldn’t take commissions for this region. This place was directly connected to the land of the beastmen and wars between them and humans were common. There was a possibility that they could be ambushed by beastmen armies at any time, making commissions in this region that much pricier. As for higher ranking mercenary groups, their commission price was too high and Ivy didn’t want to spend any unnecessary money. Instead, she used her family’s power to obtain a regiment of guards to assist them.

On the forest’s path, Ivy and Susan finally saw living people. There was a small wooden shack on the side of the road. Outside the shack were three little girls huddled around a table playing a card game that they didn’t recognize. The little girls all wore gothic lolita dresses that were beautifully designed. It was their first time seeing such clothes.

“The Church’s cross? The three of them are members of the Church!” Even from a distance, Susan could see the dark silver crosses that hung around the necks of the three lolis. Although the color of the crosses was a bit different, they were definitely the ones that the Church’s sisters had to wear. One thing that threw Susan off somewhat was that the girls did not wear the garb of a sister which should have been customary.

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Near the three little girls were ten mountless female knights in black armor standing at attention. On each of their arms was a strip of cloth with an insignia representing their identities.

“The insignia of the Salo faction? These are the Salo faction’s people!” Susan saw the insignia on the arms of the black knights and hesitated. Her faction had never seen eye to eye with the Salo faction. While they might be able to control their temper in big cities due to the large number of onlookers, there was no telling what might happen in a secluded place like this.
“Susan, look at the pile on their table… am I dreaming!?”

Tracing Ivy’s shocked gaze, Susan also looked at the table and froze. The tabletop was filled with magic cores of multiple colors, evidently belonging to monsters of all elements. Many of them also had the gleam that only the high tiered monsters had. Each of the lolis had a pile of magic cores in front of her. Even more shocking were the numerous large burlap bags casually strewn at the feet of the lolis. As their mouths were not closed, they could see the magic cores within.

The army that Ivy had brought was stupefied as well. Even the dumbest of them knew the value of all these magic cores. If it wasn’t for Ivy and Susan, many of them would’ve already charged at them to snatch as many as they could before fleeing. There were only three sisters and ten female knights guarding them; they wouldn’t have cared whether they were robbing the Church or not. If they could escape the Church’s hunting, they would be able to live the rest of their lives in comfort.

Ivy and Susan exchanged looks. The two of them gestured for the guards to stay where they were and walked towards the wooden shack.

“Halt, Hu… outsider! This is not somewhere you should be.”

A female knight in black armor intercepted them, barely managing to swallow the words ‘human’.

“I am the Church’s third Holy Maiden, Antonia Susan. Can you let me see those sisters over there?”

While speaking, Susan took out and showed the cross that was the proof of her identity as a holy maiden of the Church of Light to the female knight that blocked their way. Even though the Salo faction didn’t get along with her Alan faction, she still had a cavalry of thousands at her command.

Susan couldn’t determine the cultivation of the ten female knights. However, since they guarded such a fortune in a place notorious for bandits, even without their mounts, they were probably at least at the level of a holy knight.

“You two can. As for the others, especially the males, they’re not allowed or…”

Susan and Ivy didn’t understand why males couldn’t go while females could. The cavalry that acted as bodyguards for the two were fuming. They felt their dignity being tread upon by her words. They would definitely let the knight have a piece of their mind if they had received the order to do so from Susan or Ivy.

“Airplane! This round is my definitely my win.”{1}

“You’re too naive Angel, bomb!”{2}

“I’m sorry Mia, but I win this round, rocket!”{3}

“…”

“I’ll get you in the next round! I want to raise the stakes by threefold!”

As Mia was talking, Noesha took the small pile of magic cores at the center of the table and placed them in the pile beside her. Afterwards, she placed another small pile at the center. When Noesha turned around, she saw the petrified Ivy and Susan.

“Do you sisters want to play Landlord as well? You two don’t seem to have any chips with you; I can lend you some if you want?”

— TL —
{1} 2 or more three-of-a-kinds in a row, 444555 etc.
{2} 4 of a kind
{3} big and small jokers, the highest hand in Landlord


Cultivation Novel, 7x chapters per week. Book Mark Now!!

Title: Omnipotent Overlord | Tags: Cultivation, Second Chance
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.
"Where?"
"Earth!"
The Great Galactic Era had begun.


- my thoughts:
Just Edited
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