The small town of Paknir was situated in the south of the Gabriel Empire(swordsmen), it was a sparsely populated place close to the larger military-based town of Sakerid. When light broke over Paknir today, the town’s residents discovered that there were quite a number of visitors and guests to their small town, all either mercenaries and adventurers.
The residents didn’t find this too strange as a detachment from the Gabriel Empire’s royal guards as well as quite a few of the Church of Light’s templar knights had passed hurriedly through their town just last night. The residents of Paknir guessed that the beastmen were making mustering their forces once again on the border, it wasn’t that rare of an occurrence lately.
The Gabriel Empire had sealed off any news of the terrifying outbreak of undead in Sakerid, as such a large-scale and seemingly unstoppable outbreak would surely strike unrest into the general populace. Just like when the Laerte line had been captured by some unknown forces of evil, there were some news that just couldn’t be shared publicly.
“Hey, did you hear? They’ve discovered some treasure from the previous dynasty in Sakerid, the royal family and the Church are working together to hide this valuable information from the public.”
“Where’d you get this fake news, you dimwit, I heard from my cousin who is one of Sakerid’s town guards, that the Empire and Church discovered traces of when the god of light had descended down to our world in Sakerid, and that any light mages that go there to train for one day will beat training normally for a year! Not some dumb past dynasty’s treasure.”
“Shut up, you liar, your cousin was transferred to the Laerte line last year, how the hell did he tell you about what’s going on in Sakerid?”
“Stop arguing, I’m one of our mayor, Baron Jeffrey’s personal guards. The mayor had received notice that some very dangerous monsters had appeared in Sakerid and the Empire needed to hire all these mercenaries to help in the subjugation of those monsters.”
Within the Azure Wind, the most luxurious dining place in the entire town of Paknir, a fat man in extravagant clothing was discussing with a well dressed gentleman. They had ordered an entire table covered with plates of the most expensive dishes that the Azure Wind had to offer for just the two of them, it was quite evident that there was no way that they would be able to finish all of it.
The fatty with the greedy look on his face, golden rings on all ten of his fingers, and a thick necklace set with sparkling gems around his thick neck, was the mayor of this small town, Baron Jeffrey. He was a greedy person who only sought to enrich himself, willing to do anything for money, there was even an unconfirmed rumour that he had previously sold information about the military town of Sakerid to the enemy beastmen forces.
“Sir Clement, I’ve already ordered my men to spread the rumours, now there should be at least a few dozen different sayings about what’s happening in Sakerid right now. Except, will the Empire investigate me after this?”
“What are you scared of, Jeffrey-dono? I’m sure that the empire’s upper echelons would rather you spread even more confusion among the peasantry, so that they can keep secret whatever is truly happening in Sakerid. Anyways, I’ve also bribed your boss Count Spyke as well, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Here, this is a little bit of my appreciation for you.”
If an outsider were to see this scene they would definitely be shocked, as a baron of the Gabriel Empire was paying such respect to a mere Knight, who was below him in terms of nobility. This was something that was against the strict hierarchy of power in the empire.
This Knight, Clement, was someone who had only came to the limelight in the underground of the Empire over the past month. As Knight was only an honorary title, with no fief, anyone with enough money could purchase the title of Knight from any noble with a fief. However, Clement’s political relations were quite complicated, knowing much of the higher class nobility within the empire.
Apart from his connections, Clement was unnaturally wealthy, being very generous indeed. His ‘little bit of appreciation’ for Baron Jeffrey was a small box filled with gold bars. In all of the human empires, gold bars were used as currency for beneath-the-radar transactions, it could be said that behind each gold bar hid a dirty transaction.
“Knight-sama is quite generous, here, I still have two important pieces of information to sell you. Except, this might be betraying the agreement I had with the previous buyers, you see…”
“Speak, we’re good friends, are we not!”
“This is… Clement-sama, it’s like this…:”
Seeing the beautiful pure-white gemstone on the table between them, Jeffrey immediate threw all sense of virtue behind him and quickly spilled the beans, betraying all those who had purchased these two pieces of information before Clement.
After quite a while, Baron Jeffrey left the Azure Wind with a look fulfillment on his face, holding on tightly to the diamond as if it would disappear if he loosened his grip. It seems that the deal had been completed.
This little fatty is quite useful, just a bit greedy. Demon King-sama should be arriving soon, I should hurry and go welcome her and tell her what the human just told me.
Clement left through the door soon after Baron Jeffrey, no one would suspect that this well dressed gentleman wasn’t a human at all. Clement was one of the most welcomed subordinate dark suzerains of the Dark Sanctuary’s demon kings, 【Master of Faces】 Clement. Clement was currently carrying out demon king Bella’s orders and had infiltrated the Gabriel Empire several months ago and had gathered large amounts of valuable information as well as using large amounts of wealth to buy countless ‘connections’ within the various tiers of the Gabriel Empire’s nobility.
At the entrance to the town of Paknir, a party of adventurers were walking in, the reason why people knew they were adventurers and not mercenaries were because of the fact that they weren’t wearing any armbands that signified what mercenary company they belonged to. Normally, mercenary companies would be given special armbands by the mercenaries’ guild with their company’s emblem as well as their company’s level, from F to SSS there were a total of 9 levels, with SSS being the highest level.
What drew all the attention towards this party of ‘adventurers’ was that the party was composed entirely of girls. The party had six knights, one archer, one assassin, and four lolis that seemed to be their servants. It was a shame that their faces were masked by ugly looking clown masks and their figures were hidden by a large black cloak. If it wasn’t for the weapons in their hands, it would have been hard to determine what profession these girls were in.
Bella looked a little depressed as she rode upon one of the warhorses that they had just purchased, this time, apart from the two ‘princesses’ of the Dark Sanctuary, the two lolis Lilith and Lilian; all the other girls of the Dark Sanctuary were now accompanying her. The party was comprised of six knights: Bella, Dolores, Eleanor, Irene, Lisha, and Roland, the archer Annie, the assassin Lola, as well as the three goddess level lolis and the princess of the demon world. Hadias.
After receiving Kriss’ call for help, Bella had quickly assembled the Dark Sanctuary’s beauties to create this ‘rescue party’. Bella was rather mad that she had been interrupted at such an important moment, but because the one who had interrupted her was Kriss, Bella couldn’t exactly take out her anger on Kriss.
It was fortunate that Bella was already around 70% done the ‘conquest’ of Lola and Irene, on their chests was a mark that only demon kings could see, that mark was something demon kings gave their subordinates when they were given the title of general within the ranks of the demon king’s army. Bella had learned the steps for doing so during her time in Lisha’s memory world, based on when Lisha had bestowed the title upon the demon marshal, Rebecca.
Irene joining the Dark Sanctuary was something that Bella had planned for a while, Lola was more of something that came as part of a ‘package deal’ with Lisha as her follower, as Bella and Lisha had made peace with each other already Bella couldn’t deny the addition of Lola to the Dark Sanctuary. Anyways, Lola was one of Lisha’s best friends as well as something akin to a personal servant for her, if Bella conquered Lisha, Lola would naturally be unable to escape the her fate anyways.
Right now, both Irene and Lola averted their eyes from Bella, as they had been just narrowly avoided being completely eaten up by Bella. Even thinking back on it now, they could feel their face heating up.
“Nee-sama, were you doing something fun just before? Why didn’t you call take me with you! Just call me and I’ll be there in seconds.”
“Nee-san, weren’t Lisha and Lola our enemies, why are they with us now?.”
“Nee-san, there’s something strange, before I didn’t notice because of the distance but I can feel something familiar from Lisha-nee, the last time that I felt something like this was from Kriss-nee.”
As for the questions that the three lolis: Mia, Angel, and Noesha were throwing at her, Bella could only answer them one by one. Because they had asked their questions quietly while beside Bella, the other girls in the party who were following behind them weren’t able to hear the questions that the lolis were asking Bella.
“You adventurers over there, our mercenary company has already booked this entire inn, if you want to… woah…”
A burly man who had blocked Bella’s path wanted to say something, but Bella grabbed his hand before he could finish and threw him across the room, cutting the burly man off before he could finish his words.
“This friend over there, our Tempest Mercenary Company doesn’t…”
“Cut the blabbering, we’re here to make trouble. Hurry it up, we’re in a rush here.”
A middle-aged swordsman in heavy armour blocked Bella’s path, he was the leader of the Tempest Mercenary Company and he couldn’t exactly just stand and watch as his men were getting thrown across the room, even if Bella had made quick work of a high-tier swordsman.
“There’s going to be a show here, the Tempest Mercenary Company is a level C mercenary company, there are a few hundred of them here in Paknir right now, these girls might be in for some trouble.”
Seeing the possibility of a fight, quite a few mercenaries and residents of Paknir surrounded the inn to watch. The security of Paknir wasn’t great, the number of the town guards were few, along with the fact that personal conflict between mercenaries and adventurers were something that fell within the jurisdiction of their respective guilds rather than the town’s administration, meant that fighting between mercenaries and adventurers as well as other mercenaries were quite commonplace.
Looking at the hundreds of burly mercenaries that had surrounded their party, Bella wasn’t worried at all. No one in her party could be considered weak and it wouldn’t be hard for them to wipe the floor with these mercenaries, it was that there were just too many onlookers at the moment and it would be a bit annoying for Bella’s party to show their true power at such a time.
“Can everyone do this old man a favor and stop the fighting? There are more inns than just this one here. To the fellows of the Tempest Mercenary Company, I’m sorry for what these adventurers have done because I was the one to hire their help, they’re still young and you know how hot-headed young people are, right? This was all just a misunderstanding.”
The Knight Clement showed up in the nick of time to stop the fighting, seeing that it was Clement who stepped in, the onlookers all dispersed. Right now, everyone with a bit of connections in the Gabriel Empire(swordsmen) knew who Clement was and how he had quickly taken to the limelight in just over a month and had connection with many members of the Empire’s nobility.
“If it isn’t Sir Clement! I’ll do you a favor and take my men elsewhere for now, except that this friend of mine has a family at home that depends on…”
“Here is a little piece of my gratitude for you and your men, captain-sama!”
Seeing the heavy bag of gold coins that Clement handed over, the captain of the Tempest Mercenary Company knew that he should stop and accept it. This bag of gold was enough for three months of their company’s expenses even if they didn’t take any commissions during that period, it would have taken the Tempest Mercenary Company at least half a year to make this amount normally. In times like this, it was the intelligent choice to now towards the power of the wealthy.
“It seems that you’ve fit in quite well, Clement! Was a bag of gold all that it took to bribe those mercenaries, isn’t that kind of cheap?”
“This… demon king-sama and the honoured guests of the Dark Sanctuary, this subordinate has already prepared the things that were requested, please come with me to the manor.”
Clement couldn’t really answer Bella’s question as he was just a dark suzerain who was a bit smarter than his peers. Clement didn’t have much interest in human currency and if it wasn’t for the fact that the demon king Bella had some interest, Clement wouldn’t have bothered collecting such a large amount of human currency.
In all of the human empires, common peasants probably wouldn’t ever need to use gold coins, which were the exclusive currency of the rich and nobility. Amongst the commoners, those who used silver coins we’re already considered well off. Bella didn’t have any use for human currency in the Dark Sanctuary so she didn’t have knowledge of what an entire bag of gold coins meant to a small group of mercenaries.
In a wooded area outside of Paknir, the Tempest Mercenary Company had met their end, the gold coins that they had received earlier were all taken by their attacker. The company’s captain looked towards something with a look of terror on his face, the last expression that he ever showed on this world, because not long after he made this face, his head separated from the rest of his body
“That damned Clement, always making me do this kind of stuff for him. I don’t understand humans, what’s so important about a bag of metal circles?!”
【Bone-corroding Duke】 Adrian sent the severed head on the ground flying with a kick, still holding the bag of gold coins in his hand. At this moment Adrian looked more like a bandit chief than a dark suzerain.
“Adrian-sama, there’s something strange about these corpses. Look, they’re getting back up and attacking us!”
“What the hell? Turning undead in front of me, a dark suzerain? Sound the signal, gather all the Bone Crushers in the area, the upper echelons of the Dark Sanctuary are in town today, it’s time to show them our loyalty!”
The members of the Tempest Mercenary Company who had been slaughtered began rising up one by one, the scene here bore strong resemblance to that of Sakerid, when the town’s residents had been killed by the undead and joined their ranks quickly after.
“Adrian-sama, these undead seem unfazed by our swords, they’re even trying to bite us!”
“Grind their bones to dust, I want to see how they’re going to get back up without any bones!”
The virus that was the source of the out break didn’t have any effect on Adrian and the special evil beings, Bone Crushers, under his command. The thousand Bone Crushers made quick work of the several hundred newly risen undead, who were no longer able to continue getting back up after having every bone in their body ground to a pulp.
Back in the small town Paknir, isolated cases of zombies had already appeared, with the occasional scream of terror being heard. It seemed that the virus had already spread from the military town of Sakerid, the current state of the Church of Light’s templar knights and the detachment of the empire’s royal guards which were deployed around Sakerid was unknown.
“Adrian-sama, undead like these have started to appear in Paknir, what’s our next course of action?”
“Immediately gather all the Bone Crushers, we’re going to go help demon king-samas. These filthy undead aren’t deserving of being ended by the demon king-samas, it’s best to leave the dirty work to us. On your way, find and tell 【Shadowless Demon】 Tanpur to keep an eye on the situation in nearby towns and villages, he should be in the area.”
In a rather elaborate manor within the town of Paknir, Bella and the others were waiting. This manor was owned by one of Bella’s subordinate dark suzerains, Clement. Currently, the manor’s gate was locked and blockaded from the inside with furniture and other heavy items.
Bella and the others had started to hear the screams from outside as soon as they had entered the manor’s gate. It was rather fortunate of them to have entered the manor when they had, the streets outside had fallen into a state of chaos, with infected seeking out and attacking those who were still human, increasing the ranks of the undead.
In reaction to this sudden outbreak, the town’s mayor, Baron Jeffrey had quickly ordered all of the town’s guards back to his manor and barricaded themselves inside. Jeffrey chose to ignore what was going on outside his manor’s walls, the town guards numbered only 100 and there was no way that they would be able to suppress all the undead outside.
Although Bella had heard from Kriss quite a bit about the strange outbreak in Sakerid through the communication stone, but she hadn’t expected that this outbreak to spread so fast across such a large area.
If the virus was allowed to keep spreading, Bella might actually have to go borrow some nuclear weapons from 【Machine Creator】 Andrea to try and put an end to virus and stop it from destroying the entire world before Bella got a chance to explore it all.
What was worse about their situation was that Bella’s party were now in the same dilemma that Kriss and the others were in, their clothes had already began to darken and started to show signs of fading away. If they didn’t figure out something soon, they would end up unclothed in no time at all, meaning that they won’t even be able to leave this manor’s gate in case some lucky pervert was still alive outside.
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.