In the mayor’s manor of the small town of Paknir, Baron Jeffrey was packing away all of his riches in preparation to leave the town. He had received a secret message from the Clement to escape quickly because this outbreak was the same thing that had caused the quarantine of Sakerid.
The number of infected wandering Paknir’s streets had increased dramatically. The mercenary companies and adventurers gathered here had chosen to use their weapons to force a way out. They had thought this outbreak was the result of a necromancer capable of using 《Undead Apocalypse》 on the loose, not some biological virus, as the concept of a biological virus simply didn’t exist in this world.
《Undead Apocalypse》 was a large area-of-effect dark magic used by necromancers that would revive those who had died within the area that 《Undead Apocalypse》 was cast in as zombies that would mindlessly attack normal humans. Normally, there was nothing that could be done against the zombies summoned through 《Undead Apocalypse》 unless there were clerics and mages who could use light magic present at the time. Unless one was powerful enough to clear the entire area by force.
In the manor of the dark suzerain, Clement, Bella’s entire party was hiding in an empty space at the centre of the courtyard. Mia had casted 《Devil’s Tear》 on this piece of land, setting up an invisible barrier in which the only things allowed to enter were those related to the dark side, other things wouldn’t be able to enter, even microscopic things in the air.
“Nee-san, there’s something sinister in the air, probably the culprit behind this outbreak. It’s fortunate that no one in our party is fully human, or else it would be hard for them to escape the fate of the other humans in this town.”
“Nee-san, I, uh… feel like I know the person who created this virus… it’s just that her virus shouldn’t have been able to spread so fast. I suspect that there is someone else who amplified the virus’ effects…”
Hearing Noesha’s awkward explanation, Bella was a little overwhelmed, it seemed that this was all something done by someone from their side. At this time, Clement appeared before them.
“Demon king-sama, 【Bone-corroding Duke】 Adrian has already taken his Bone Crushers and secured Paknir’s eastern exit, Demon King-sama and your friends may exit from there. I am sorry for this untimely outbreak that has disturbed the outing of Demon King-sama and I am willing to take full responsibility, once we return to the Dark Sanctuary, I will…”
“No, you did nothing wrong Clement, this was out of your control. Just keep serving the Dark Sanctuary and it will be fine.”
“Thank you Demon King-sama, this is an important piece of information that I have obtained from Baron Jeffrey, Demon King-sama might be interested.”
Bella’s subordinate dark suzerains had also assumed that this outbreak had been caused by 《Undead Apocalypse》, which was understandable as that was the only thing that they knew had the ability to cause such an outbreak of undead.
The only trouble Bella had right now was that all of their clothes had completely disintegrated, Mia’s dark magic, 《Devil’s Tear》 could only keep out the harmful particles in the air, and apparently whatever in the air that had dissolved their clothes wasn’t harmful. This virus seemed to be targeted towards humans, as the dark suzerains Clement and Adrian didn’t seem to be affected at all, and nothing had happened to their equipment either.
It was good that the beauties of Bella’s party weren’t normal humans. Even though they were a bit confused as to why their clothes had suddenly disintegrated, but at least they hadn’t fallen into a panic like typical girls. Noesha had quietly explained to Bella that this virus had a high rate of infection and it would be take a month at most before it would bring the demise of the Gabriel Empire(Swordsmen).
“Nee-sama, this virus has no effect on equipment of god-tier or equivalent. If you don’t have any, you should try summoning your exclusive equipment as demon kings for now.”
Although Noesha’s suggestion was reasonable, Bella didn’t plan on following it. Paknir was within the human empire’s sphere of influence and she didn’t want to make herself too noticeable. Apart from the six void monarchs that Bella had used a ‘special’ method to bring with her, she hadn’t brought any of her subordinate dark suzerains with her, mainly because she didn’t want to cause some unnecessary trouble in the humans’ territory.
“Felia-nee, I have some equipment that we can use for now, all god-tier too. It’s just that I’m not sure everyone here can use it.”
Only now did Bella remember all the pile upon piles of equipment within Lisha’s storage ring, all of them were god-tier equipment that Lisha had collected. Lisha had originally gathered all these to give to her hero companions, even she herself felt a little strange using it to help a demon king’s party right now.
“Thanks Lisha, we should be able to use it. You can call me Bella, its what they all call me.”
The people of Paknir had split into two groups that followed different routes of escape, the first was through the town’s largest western gates, that were being protected by Baron Jeffrey’s guards as well as the mercenary companies who had arrived in the town. This path was evidently not a good choice as large amounts of infected had already broken through the defenses here and most of those who had chosen to escape in this direction were unable to escape and instead joined the ranks of the infected instead.
Compared to the dangerous western path, Paknir’s eastern path was much safer and secure. The path had already been controlled by the subordinates of 【Bone-corroding Duke】 Adrian, 【Shadowless Demon】 Tanpur, among other of the Dark Sanctuary’s dark suzerains. Countless skeletons and Bone Crushers patrolled the path, swarming any zombies that they encountered and breaking all of its bones. The undead were unable to keep rising without the support of their bones.
On one side of the eastern path, a large swarm of zombies were throwing themselves at the defensive lines set up by the skeleton soldiers. The skeletons didn’t show any cowardice, the ranks of skeletons at the front of the formation carried massive spiked shields the height of a grown man and formed a tight shieldwall. The charging zombies were unable to force these skeletons back even half a step.
Behind the shieldwall was a large number of skeletons holding three meter long pikes in several rows. Each time the zombie’s charge lost all their momentum on the shieldwall, the skeletons with pikes would thrust their pike through the gaps in the shield wall, accurately finding their targets.
Behind the pikemen were several dozen skeletal generals mounted on skeletal horses that were leading the defence and giving orders, melding various tactics together fluidly. The zombies had already launched themselves at the defenses no less than thirty times, and thirty times the zombies had been pushed back. There was also still a large number of skeleton soldiers being transported through several dark transportation formations being their ranks, increasing the advantage of the skeletons for every second that passed.
While the number of zombies were constantly increasing, the skeletal army’s ranks were being increased at an even faster speed. The zombies were unable to get a numbers advantage nor had any knowledge of military tactics and had already been pushed to the outermost regions of Paknir, it wouldn’t be long before Paknir was completely recovered at this rate.
As they were within the human empires’ spheres of influence, Bella wasn’t able to bring her larger units. If Bella had been able to bring the Dark Sanctuary’s ghouls and ogres here, these zombies wouldn’t have even been giving the ability to charge, being crushed underneath the Dark Sanctuary’s charge instead.
After Bella’s party changed into the equipment that Lisha had shared with them, they prepared to exit through the eastern path. The princess of the demon world, Hadias, was patrolling the skies above, the rest of Bella’s party were mounted on skeletal horses as normal horses had been affected by this mysterious virus and could no longer be used.
Noesha was unable to remember the name of whoever was behind all of this, Bella wasn’t sure if she had truly forgotten or if she was covering something up, but the culprit should also be a member of the Troublemakers just like Noesha. Bella decided that she would give this Troublemaker a good ‘lesson’ for causing their entire party to have gone commando. Either god-tier underwear didn’t exist or was rare enough that Lisha was unable to collect any, which meant that Bella’s entire party did not have any underwear on underneath their equipment.
The two important pieces of equipment that Clement had given her had already been sold by Baron Jeffrey to two other dark factions before Bella, one of them claimed to be from the Church of Light while the other seemed to be from one of the demon empires, both parties had bought a detailed map of Sakerid from Baron Jeffrey.
As one of the most important military towns in the Gabriel Empire’s south, this map should be a top-class secret, Bella didn’t know how a mere baron had gotten his hands on such a secret. However, Bella’s party also had one such map.
This map had been obtained by Clement from one of the top brass in the Gabriel Empire’s military, Count Spike, the amount of detail on this map was several levels above that of Baron Jeffrey’s. Apart from more detailed labelling of paths and roads, Count Spike’s map also showed several secret passages that Baron Jeffrey’s did not.
Bella’s current plan was to quickly gather her forces and go rescue Kriss and the others who were still trapped in Sakerid. Bella wasn’t sure as to why Kriss and the others were unable to escape but she had to save them nevertheless. As for the other two who had bought maps, Bella didn’t care that much. Everyone was technically on the same side after all, Bella didn’t want to intervene with their affairs more than necessary.
Outside of the town of Sakerid, the Church of Light’s templar knights had been defeated and forced back. Originally, this 10,000 strong detachment of templars shouldn’t have been defeated so easily but the toxic air coming out of Sakerid had suddenly increased in intensity. Those who came in contact with the toxic air were immediately turned into zombies, that were unable to be purified by the clerics present, throwing the templars into a losing situation where the enemy was being replenished faster than they were killed.
What was the finishing blow for the templars was that even though they had all been blessed using light magic, they were unable to resist being infected by the virus after it had increased in intensity. This was something completely out of the Church of Light’s expectation, the 1st holy maiden Sophia and the 4th holy maiden Daisy were already planning to make a tactical retreat. Even the 2nd holy maiden, Hayley, wasn’t as obstinate as she was before.
Under normal circumstances, the zombies summoned by necromancy would be significantly weakened during the day by sunlight. Here, however, the zombies were completely unhindered by the light whatsoever, the infection even seemed to be spreading faster than it had during the night. Even the Salon faction’s holy maiden, Daisy, was in a tense state, even though she was skilled in various branches of dark magic. This outbreak was something that she was unable to understand.
Even though it was a bright and sunny day, the humans who remained around Sakerid were unable to feel even a shred of warmth. After a few loud bangs came from underneath them, the ground beneath the last defensive line of the templars broke open and a giant flower shaped monster rose out of the ground. The 6 meter tall flower began spraying a pink mist in all directions after it had appeared.
“This mist is toxic, quick…”
The templars around the giant flower were hit by the pink mist before they could escape. Those who came into contact with the mist melted into a puddle before they even had a chance to let out a scream. Any human would have been scared witless by how terrifying this scene was, the templars and clerics who had been fortunate enough to have not been standing around the flower quickly put some distance between them and it.
The retreating templars caused chaos within the ranks of the Church of light, becoming the straw that finally broke the camel’s back. The already weak defence was thrown into total disarray, the zombies whom they had been fighting took advantage of this and quickly broke through the templars’ positions. The dragon knight Leopold who had been fighting at the very front chose to join in on the retreat. Leopold hadn’t brought his mount and it would be a waste for him to die here, he didn’t want to become history’s first dragon knight to be surrounded and killed by zombies because he didn’t have his mount.
During the battle at the Anola Clark Strip, Leopold had only survived the giant explosion at the end due to being in the magic force field that was given off by Lisha’s god-tier armour. Lisha wasn’t present right now and this flower shaped evil being was evidently something one shouldn’t mess with easily, the mountless dragon knight decided to retreat for now.
What Leopold didn’t know was that even a mounted dragon knight wouldn’t be able to defeat this giant flower, which was something not of this world but something that had been brought over from another dimension. It would take an entire squad of dragon knights to have a chance at forcing this evil being back underground.
“Hold your ground, the god of light is with us! … 《Judgement of Light》 eh… when did…!”
Hayley raised her staff and was about to use light magic to push back the oncoming zombies when a few thick vines rose out of the ground and wrapped around her legs. Hayley wanted to break free but the vine had small thorns that contained something that paralysed Hayley and immediately disarned her. What was stranger was that the vine also seemed to be coated in an unknown substance that had the perverse ability to dissolve clothing, making short work of Hayley’s holy robes that had been blessed by the pope of light.
Seeing the quick defeat of the 2nd holy maiden, the nearby templars ran before Hayley’s robes fully dissolved. Even though it had always been one of their dark and secret fantasies to have been able to see a holy maiden’s nude body, but now wasn’t the time for that, they probably wouldn’t survive if they didn’t make a run for it now.
“Hold on Hayley, I’ll come and save you.”
Out of Hayley’s expectation, Daisy who had always argued with her whenever possible chose not to abandon her, instead choosing to launch dark-type magic towards the vines that had intertwined around Hayley’s lower body, maybe this was what ‘disaster brings out the best in everyone’ meant. Hayley was also anxious, because her mouth had also been sealed by the vile vines, she was unable to open her mouth and tell Daisy to watch out.
She could only watch as countless vines made their way out of the ground behind Daisy, in only a second, Daisy followed in Hayley’s footsteps and had met the same fate. Seeing that two of the holy maidens had already been defeated, the remainder of the Church’s templars and clerics hastened their retreat. In their mind, holy maidens were expendable and the pope could always just choose more if they die. At life-threatening times like this, most people choose to think for themselves, The Church of Light’s faith was towards the god of light, it didn’t go against their faith to abandon a few holy maidens, or so they kept telling themselves.
Looking at the fleeing templars and clerics, the 1st holy maiden, Sophia, shook her head in disappointment, she had expected this to happen. She had chosen not to run, not because she wanted to took her life to save Hayley and Daisy, but because her acute senses had realized that this evil being had locked on to the three holy maidens present as soon as it had appeared.
Looking at this flower shaped evil being, Sophia knew that it had never planned to let her go from the very beginning. There was no point in running, she might as well bet her life and try to defeat this evil being. Even if she were to die trying she would at least not bring shame to her status as one of the Church of Light’s holy maidens. The Gabriel Empire’s royal guards who were just a bit of distance away from Sophia were unable to come to her aid, because they had ran into some serious trouble of their own…
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.