“Is there someone else here Kriss? I can feel a lot of gazes on us.”
As soon as she had entered Kriss’ pseudo-dimension, Bella could feel countless gazes focused on her and Kriss but apart from them, there was only a large multitude of swords in this pseudo-dimension.
“Is it that you can see the sword-spirits Bella? Each of the swords in here has its own and unique spirit, in Swordhaven as long as these swords were once renowned, they’ll automatically develop their own spirit.”
After further conversation with Kriss and under her instruction, Bella was finally able to see what exactly a sword-spirit was, beside each blade was a faintly visible beauty that shimmered in and out of sight. These sword-spirits had only shown themselves to Bella with a command from Kriss as before this, Bella could only feel their gazes.
These sword-spirits were different from the ghosts that Bella had seen, even though they both had the same shimmery appearance. These sword-spirits all had features that showed expression and intelligence, unlike the stiff and unchanging facial features of a ghost.
There were at least 10,000 swords in Swordhaven. If each of them had their own spirits, Kriss had at least 10,000 subordinates! What shocked Bella the most were the two blades that were situated at the top and bottom of the other seven central blades.
The dark sword and the white sword’s spirits looked almost exactly the same, apart from their hair that reflected the color of their blades; Bella would definitely believe that these two were twins if she had seen them anywhere else. Bella was rather envious of Kriss here, all of the sword-spirits were beauties and seemed to be intelligent existences.
All of the sword-spirits’ gazes were on Bella and Kriss, those who looked at Kriss were all filled with adoration, while of those that looked at Bella, half were curious and half were looking in awe. Those who looked in awe were mostly the spirits of the dark type swords.
According to Kriss’ conversation with Bella, she would often spend her time training with these sword-spirits in Swordhaven as she didn’t really have any friends outside. Each and every sword-spirit in here were able to wield their own ‘body’ and fight, this along with the fact that time spent in Swordhaven barely took up any time outside, letting Kriss train in here for as long as she wanted, made it hard for Kriss to not improve her swordsmanship.
Kriss would summon a random blade for each battle and wouldn’t use one of the nine special blades unless her opponent was unable to be defeated otherwise. As she used a different blade with different abilities each time, people were unable to get a ‘feel’ for her combat style and after a while, people stopped coming to challenge this unpredictable hero.
“Oh yeah Kriss, let’s solve your clothing problem while we’re discussing! Uh, can you tell me your three sizes? I can make you a set of underwear on the spot for now.”
“Uhm, I haven’t actually measured before!”
“Oh, then would you mind if I use my hands to measure your sizes?”
“No, go ahead.”
Outside the Dark Sanctuary’s demon king hall, a massive number of evil beings had gathered and within the hall, several hundred dark suzerains had gathered within once again and kneeled with their faces that were filled with awe turned towards the twelve demon king thrones.
There weren’t any demon kings present, they were kneeling to someone else. Beside the 【Demon’s Heart】 was a small loli lazily stretching her arms as if she had just woken up from a good sleep.
Above the【Devil’s Wisdom】 was another loli, sitting cross-legged in the air as if deep in thought. While the two lolis were small, the dark suzerains all looked at them in awe, because these two lolis were the【Demon’s Heart】 and 【Devil’s Wisdom】, their scents were all too familiar to the suzerains present
【Demon’s Heart】 and 【Devil’s Wisdom】 were only able to take the form of a human after meeting some very strict restrictions, mainly that they required that their owner and owner’s subordinates possess a large amount of dark power. The only other time their human forms had appeared was in 【Dark Creator】 Tracy Mystica’s dimension. It was evident how powerful Bella and her subordinates were.
“I’ve already received the news, this is a matter that concerns the glory of Dark Sanctuary, we’ll go with your suggestions as to what we do. Follow the command of the Eyes.
After she finished speaking, the loli beside【Devil’s Wisdom】 stood up and extended her right hand towards the sky and gestured with it. In the sky above the demon king hall appeared a giant pair of eyeballs that seemed to have the very fires of hell burning within.
After appearing, the two eyeballs moved around in the air as if they were alive. These ‘Devil’s Eyes’ were a type of evil being that was used as scouts to gather intel on enemy position and movements as well as providing non-combative aerial support to allied ground forces.
“I thank the two princess-samas for your support. My colleagues, right now there is another evil force ready to make trouble in our territory, this is an affront to the Dark Sanctuary! Currently, the demon gods and demon king-samas are preoccupied and unable to deal with this, what should we do as their subordinates!?”
“You don’t even need to ask, Mercedes-sama; my colleagues, this is time for us to show our loyalty and dedication to the Dark Sanctuary!”
Seeing the explodingly high morale of the dark suzerains below, the two lolis weren’t very interested at all, they had only taken form to be able to see Bella and the other demon gods. As for this battle, they felt as if it was already in the bag, even though the opposing evil force would be a tough nut to crack, but as long as they finish creating those ‘Void Monarchs’, the battle’s outcome would definitely end in the Dark Sanctuary’s victory.
“Hey Heart, come and help me a bit, I want to create a few void monarchs.”
“Are you sure that you want to create those void monarchs, Brain? Nee-samas aren’t present, isn’t this…”
“I’m not stupid like you, I asked nee-sama for a few extra drops of blood when we were forming the contract; using Bella-nee’s blood, the void monarchs we create won’t be of any problems. Because they will be created using Bella-nee’s blood, they’ll all obey her commands.”
“You’re smart, I’ll admit it this time, let’s go! When nee-samas get back they’ll love this surprise we’ve prepared for them! Maybe Bella nee-sama will even reward us with some pretty clothes~.”
Bella was currently unaware that someone had already steered the Dark Sanctuary into a war, even though the two lolis didn’t mean anything bad, but Bella preferred to not be left in the dark in such matters. After this, Bella set up a ‘shift’ system for the demon kings of the Dark Sanctuary, so that there would always be at least one demon king stationed at the Dark Sanctuary at any given time to supervise. It would be hard to implement this system right now, however, as there were only three demon kings currently.
“How is it Kriss, does it fit well?”
“It does, but this style…”
“It’s fine, you don’t need to care about anything else! As long as it fits comfortably!”
The underwear that Kriss was currently wearing was the one that Bella had personally created for her using the softest skin of the deep-sea serpent’s underbelly. Bella chose a more ‘sexy’ style while making it and the result was an elegant but scantily clad design that looked like Kriss had black scales covering only her most private areas. Bella had referenced some of her earlier works for Dolores and that may have contributed to the small surface area covered.
Bella looked satisfyingly at her creation, she felt that if she had used dragon leather instead, the aesthetic effect would have been better. What satisfied Bella the most, however, was that while she measured Kriss, she had taken her time to feel her up; just thinking about how a demon king had ‘tainted’ a hero sent a shiver of ecstasy down Bella’s spine.
Bella didn’t tell Kriss about the clothes that she had fished out of the water earlier, she planned to bring Kriss back to where Noesha and the others were downstream and let Kriss change into clothes that she had designed. Bella had a more selfish reason for doing this, the clothes that she designed all had a special resonance magic formation weaved in, even in the underwear.
This resonance magic formation didn’t do any harm so even if, by sheer chance, someone discovered it; most people wouldn’t bother removing it. The only thing that this formation had was that those who had resonance magic formations on their clothes would be able to sense the other one they were within a certain radius of the other, but only if they knew how to use it of course.
While she was in Swordhaven, Bella made short eye-contact with a few sword-spirits and from the gaze of the darkest blade in the centre, Bella was able to see an event that happened in the past.
For a split second, she was able to see Kriss in black armour with twelve blood-coloured energy wings spread behind her. She was swinging at the air in front of her wildly, wielding the demonic blade. Each time she slashed, a large blade of 《Jian Qi》 flew out, the land in front of her was engulfed in a sea of flames as if judgement day had come. Around Kriss were countless shimmering shadows, most likely her sword-spirits aiding her in battle.
This definitely wasn’t the past that a hero should have, Bella didn’t expect Kriss to have such a dark past, she just didn’t know if Kriss herself remembered this. If there was the possibility that Kriss had destroyed a world before, they should be part of the same side, perhaps the two of them would be able to avoid a confrontation in the future.
All of Kriss’ sword-spirits were able to take human form and wield their own sword, letting the sword reach the extent of its abilities. If Kriss wanted to, she could destroy this world with her 10,000 ‘Sword Maidens’ alone. Bella didn’t have too much time to think about this, it was possible that she may have discovered something more interesting had she stayed in Swordhaven for a while longer.
With Bella’s instruction, the deep-sea serpent’s corpse had been transported by zombies to where Noesha and the others were downstream after Bella and Kriss had left. What Bella thought was strange was that Tanpur who had been following her previously had disappeared, something probably came up back at the Dark Sanctuary, Bella guessed.
While the two girls travelled downstream, they didn’t see a single zombie, as the zombies that Bella summoned earlier had already retreated out of sight and keep watch on their surroundings.
“Nee-sama, you’re back! We had thought that you fell into the water with how long you had been gone…eh, who is this beautiful sister?”
“Kriss? why are you here?”
Ivy immediately recognized Kriss, a former friend. This was the first time in a while that Kriss and seen so many strangers, out of shyness she hid behind Bella, one hand holding onto Bella’s. Seeing the sheepish Kriss, if Bella hadn’t seen her ‘cheats’ first hand, it was hard to connect this girl with her identity as a hero.
After exchanging introductions with the other girls, Kriss temporarily joined Bella’s adventuring party to Ivy’s surprise, her impression of Kriss in the past three years was that of an introvert and a loner. But the current Kriss’ shyness completely threw Ivy’s impression of her out the window, Ivy needed some time to get used to this Kriss.
As they were all beautiful girls, Kriss was easily able to fit in with the others. Apart from being rather scared to communicate with Ivy and Susan, she was quickly able to make conversation with Dolores, Eleanor and the other girls that she had just met.
It was probably only around Bella where a demon king was able to converse peacefully with a hero. Towards Kriss, Angel and Mia didn’t show any hostility, their eyes showed their curiosity towards Kriss.
“Nee-sama, Kriss-nee has the scent of an enemy, but also that of an ally. You might want to pay more attention to her, she might be able to join our side~!”
“Noesha, do you know why she is like this?”
Seeing Noesha run away with a trickster’s grin on her face, Bella was annoyed at how the loli ran off before clarifying what she had been talking about. If there weren’t other girls here and Bella had to preserve her good impression, Bella would have grabbed some rope and ‘educated’ Noesha on why she shouldn’t leave Bella hanging.
Bella’s party was still currently relaxing in the water; after Bella had left earlier, Noesha and the others dug a half meter deep pool beside the stream and then diverted some of its water into the pool to create this artificial pool. They had just finished when Bella returned so Bella had very fortunately not missed the ‘service’ of bathing with the beauties.
The serpent’s body had been carried here by zombies long ago, although this serpent looked terrifying, its entire body was a treasure. Its meat alone was a rare delicacy, as water-dwelling monsters were harder to catch than their land-dwelling counterparts, the price of a water-dwelling monster was much higher; equal to that of flying monsters.
Apart from the serpent’s meat, the poison was also very useful, if it needed to be. After finishing their shower, Roland and Annie helped set up a fire while Eleanor prepped the meat. It was easy to leave this kind of stuff to them as all three of them had wilderness experience while Mia and Angel were responsible for collecting everything of use from the serpent’s body. As there weren’t any outsiders here, the girls only wore their underwear to prevent from getting their change of clothes dirty.
While Bella listened to Ivy briefing them about ground dragons, she enjoyed the forest’s scenery. Ground dragons, as a pseudo-dragon, didn’t have wings but were had the signature tough scales of dragons that were undamageable by normal weapons. While they couldn’t cast any magic, ground dragons were able to use their body’s natural magic, such as its fire breath.
Killing monsters was quite different from hunting them, killing was much simpler as all you had to do was kill the monster and didn’t have to care about anything else. Hunting a monster required to keep the body and magic core as intact as possible, making monster hunting not very suitable for high damage classes such as mages as they would damage the monster’s body too much.
Because of this, Bella purposely brought Annie who was an archer. While hunting monsters, assassins, archers and other classes who were able to deliver a fatal blow with a relatively small wound was high in demand. Bella currently didn’t have any assassins so she had to make do with only an archer. As for weapons, Bella didn’t have any weapon designed for dragon-slaying but with the addition of Kriss, they would be able to utilize the countless blades within Swordhaven that definitely carried a few for dragon-slaying.
“Hey Ivy, why do you need a core? You don’t seem like the type that lacks money, your not a magic user that needs it either. Susan’s light magic doesn’t specifically need this core, there are a lot of lower level monsters whose cores would work much better for her.”
“Actually Bella, it isn’t me that needs the magic core, it’s the school’s entrance assessment that requires 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.