A hidden ravine located some distance from the city of Olsyvia. This ravine was a secret base for the mounts of the Octavian Empire’s dragon knights built by the Manasville Empire. Right now, however, the base had been blood washed.
The ravine was surrounded by a strange black fog and from the countless body parts scattered around the base, it was evident that there had been intense fighting. In one corner of the base, the demon world’s princess Hadias was looking at the body of a Red Dragon in a daze. Judging by the dried blood around the body, the Red Dragon had already been dead for some time.
Standing closely behind Hadias was a giant bird-human shaped evil being as well as another evil being that looked like a fusion between the upper-torso of a human and the body of a spider, only many times bigger. Behind these two giant evil beings were a horde of smaller subordinate evil beings. Grisbane and Yulysses didn’t think too much about the scene in front of them as there wasn’t much that could fit in their brains apart from killing and destroying.
“Someone did our job for us already, it seems. That’s strange, this dragon seems like it was killed instantly as well. There isn’t anything left behind that suggests that this was done by demons either.”
“Hadias, I think that we should contact demon king-sama! This place has already been blood washed by some other existence.”
“Grisbane, do you feel as if something is watching us from within that big black cloud in the sky?”
“I’ve been feeling it too, I’ll go check it out. Hadias, go and report to Bella-sama, leave this place to us.”
Grisbane spread its colossal wings and took flight with all of its subordinate flying-type evil beings, heading straight into the black clouds above them. All the Hadias could see after was as if something was rolling around within the clouds and the odd bright flashes of light.
The Olsyvia Academy’s knights arena located in the Academy’s northern branch, the Filomina Academy for nobles. The dragon knight Congreve looked warily at his opponent, he now realized that the blonde beauty that stood across from him wasn’t as simple as he had previously thought. After all, how simply could a knight be when their squire had been able to summon a monster of such a high tier???
Right as Congreve thought that Bella was going to use the [Fierce Dragon]’s peerless ground battle ability to crush him, Bella quite simply tossed the monster’s summoning stone to the onlooking Lisha.
“Nee… Bella-nee, you are… don’t you need this dragon monster to aid you in this duel?”
“Little dummy, this is my gift to you, consider it an apology for last time. Against this useless uncle, I won’t even have to use a mount to beat him.”
Bella lightly placed her hand on Lisha’s head, comforting the tense girl. When Lisha was going going to say some more, Irene and Luce walked up and took her away. Lisha looked back towards Bella and mouthed something Lisha’s voice was too quiet for Bella to here but using her mouth reading ability, Bella was sure that Lisha had just said something like ‘Thank you’.
“I remember now! That female knight is the 6th member of the Rose Society and just as rich as the other members, I had only heard rumours of her wealth before today but to be able to give away a SS-class sub-dragon monster so easily…”
“Is she still missing a squire or attendants?! I want to sign up!!!”
“Don’t even try, can’t you see her squire and maidservants? That squire is also one of the original 5 members of the Rose Society, Miss Shelly, I don’t suggest you going up and making a fool of yourself.”
Between the male students seated behind Congreve, a heated discussion was taking place. Within the Filomina Academy, the gossiping abilities of the male students weren’t that far behind the female students. Similar to how the female students knew everything about the ‘10 Most Handsome Students of the Olsyvia Academy’, the male students had gathered quite a bit of information on the wealth and beautiful girls within the Academy. The only impression that they really had of Duchess Bellina before today was that she had money, and lots of it, her ability and cultivation was still a mystery.
Scout sat rather far back among the male students with quite the conflicted look on his face. The female student that was dueling Congreve had stolen all of the limelight, leaving none behind for anyone else. All he hoped for right now was for Bella to lose as quickly as possible so that he would have the chance to enter the spotlight, however, that dream wouldn’t come to fruition today.
“Are you really not going to use that mount? That sub-dragon monster is at least of the SS+ class, even though I don’t want to admit it, I have no chance of winning against that thing on the ground.”
“There’s no need, I gave that mount to Lisha for her to use as a temporary mount, why should I ask for it back?”
“You would gift such a valuable mount to someone else… With that monster, you would even be able to apply to the Olivia branch for geniuses…”
“Stop blabbering and let’s get this duel over with, I still want some time to hang out with Lisha after!”
Seeing the lack of care in Bella’s eyes, even though Congreve secretly respected Bella’s ‘chivalrous’ spirit but still found it hard to accept Bella’s excessive confidence. However, if Bella didn’t use a mount, he was quite confident that he would be able to win.”
“Wait a moment, the two of you should at least use warhorses. We’re all members of the knight division and if the two of you duel without using mounts, some people might even thing we’re from the sword division!”
A knight’s duel was essentially the same as that back during Earth’s middle ages, with both sides on their mounts charging at each other with lances of the same size and the first knight to be thrown off their mount was the loser.
Even though the head chair of the Disciplinary Committee, Natasha, couldn’t stop Bella and Congreve’s duel but she could at least make the duel more official, at least enough to maintain the image of knights.
Bella had never shown any tenseness or stress on her face and not even Natasha knew where Bella got her confidence from. Even though in her heart, Natasha wanted to see Bella lose, she also didn’t want Bella to drop out of the academy because of this, the two conflicting feelings had been bothering her this entire time.
In a rather hidden part of the observer stands, a golden-haired loli and an old man were secretly watching the scene unfolding within the arena. Due to the how well they were hidden, the students beneath them didn’t realize that the Filomina branch’s principal Arvis and student council president Lucia had already arrived.
Lucia looked at the two knights who were facing each other in the arena with conflicted looks, a little earlier she had received a magical message from Natasha saying that the problem student Bella had gotten herself into some big trouble and had asked Lucia to come and help absolve the situation.
As this was something between Bella and Congreve, who was one of the Academy’s teachers, neither the Disciplinary Committee or the student council had the authority to step in here. President Lucia could only bring her own grandfather over to help, she didn’t particularly like using her relations and it was largely unknown that the Filomina branch’s principal Arvis was her grandfather, even within the student council.
“Grandfather, they’re clashing again, why haven’t you done anything! Wait, why have you brought out snacks?! I didn’t bring you over to watch a show, hurry up and stop the two of them!”
“Why are you so worried, from what I can tell, that girl isn’t going to lose. Oh, didn’t your student council need a new secretary after the last one graduated? I think you should give that position to Bellina.”
“Grandfather, wasn’t that position reserved for Abbot? So why are we changing that now?”
“Do you think Abbot has anywhere near as much wealth as Bellina? Anyways, Bellina’s peerage is also higher than that of Abbot. I know that your council has been running low on funds and are barely able to maintain its daily functions anymore, if you don’t find someone wealthy enough to back you soon, are you going to come to me for money?”
“I also can’t trust all of those wealthy male students, they definitely have ulterior motives for joining your student council, in my opinion, a female backer is the best!”
Even though principal Arvis adored his granddaughter Lucia but he also loved his wealth. His personal motto had always been to ‘get the greatest benefits, without using any wealth’.
From Arvis’ perspective, Bellina was much wealthier than Abbot and wasn’t connected to the black market through Carlos’ Golden Legend, definitely the ideal choice for a financial backer. Most important was the fact that Bellina was also a girl and would therefore be a ‘safer’ person to have around his precious granddaughter.
Principal Arvis had already made his decision, he would find some time later to send someone with an invitation to Bellina, skipping through the branch’s student council president Lucia and vice-president Aurora’s approval, making Bellina the new secretary of the Filomina branch’s student council.
Back in the arena, the two knights on their white warhorses brushed across each other once more. In the split second that the two of them had met, the middle-aged knight’s wooden lance had accurately connected with the female knight’s body, while the female knight’s wooden lance had shattered after coming into contact with the middle-aged knight’s shoulder. No actual damage was done to the dragon knight as the shock had been absorbed by the dragon knight’s douqi that formed an invisible barrier around him.
Bella looked down at her shattered lance, some seriousness finally crept its way onto her face. She hadn’t expected for the defensive douqi barrier of a dragon knight to be so absurdly strong, it would be hard for her to win this easily if her strikes couldn’t even penetrate Congreve’s barrier.
Congreve was every bit as shocked as Bella was, all of his attacks had accurately landed on Bella but it still seemed as if she was unaffected by all those strikes. If it wasn’t that he could feel the impact that rebounded back through his lance, Congreve would have thought that all of his strikes had missed.
The body of Bella’s substitute, Felia, was already that of a demon king’s, meaning that it was much, much stronger than that of a normal human. The only thing that she really lacked was technique and combat experience but if she and her opponent were to stand in front of each other and trade punch after punch, Felia’s body would be able to steamroll that of a typical holy knight’s.
As for the strikes that Bella had landed back on Congreve in return, even though they had been mostly blocked by Congreve’s douqi barrier, he could still feel the massive power and impact behind those strikes.
“Knight Bellina, this is my final strike. Even though I’ll admit that you’re very strong but I will show you the difference between a dragon knight and those who aren’t.”
As soon as Congreve finished speaking, he became enveloped in a golden light, as if he had donned a large suit of golden armour that covered his entire body. This ability that made it hard to people to look straight at Congreve was one of the signature abilities of dragon knights, 《Possession of the Dragon God》.
Dragon knights who successfully activate 《Possession of the Dragon God》 would enter a state of being ‘unstoppable’, making the user unable to be knocked down or interrupted. When this ability was used alongside a flying mount, it showed the true prowess of dragon knights in a charge.
Historically, this ability had assisted the Octavian Empire’s dragon knights in toppling the high walls held by the demons, winning the sixth Anti-Demon war for the human alliance.
Bella immediately recognized this ability as it was arguably the most well known part of a dragon knight’s skill set simply due to how flashy it was. Most of the onlookers in the arena had been temporarily blinded by the golden light and were unable to see what was unfolding in front of them.
This was the oppourtunity that Bella had been waiting for, two strange runes briefly appeared on her palm, the sign of her contract with two void monarchs. Of course Bella didn’t plan on summoning two void monarchs to fight for her, she planned on using another one of the abilities that demon kings gained by forming contracts with void monarchs, the ability for the demon king to use some of the powers of the contracted void monarchs.
Due to the fact that 99% of the audience had been blinded by the golden light, no one noticed that Bella had already thrown away the wooden lance. If one looked at Bella, however, they would see a morbid-green saw-edged curved blade that seemed have been wrapped around her right hand. Bella had temporarily integrated the power of 【Emperor Scorpion】 Gresham onto her hand, turning it into a deadly weapon.
Bella’s right hand wasn’t the only thing that changed, even though her left hand still looked like a normal human hand but it was made up of a somewhat translucent fluid instead of flesh and blood. This was Bella using the power of the void monarch Skryme, it might not look very deadly when compared to the fearsome blade on her right hand, but this hand had an intensely strong corrosiveness that had the ability to dissolve whatever it touched.
The true combat forms of pure demon kings and demon gods were basically all mashups of various beings that they had contracts with. Even though they also had a large amount of precious equipment like their heroic challengers, when fights got heated, the demon kings and gods would almost always go at least some degree of transformation.
The transformation of demon kings was also referred to as 《Demonization》, with most demon kings being able to have around 3 transformations active at one time, their power rising a level with each transformation. The transformation process of demon gods was known as 《High Demonization》, not only was it much stronger than 《Demonization》, it could also be used more times, with all demon gods being able to at least have 5 active transformations at once with the strongest demon gods being able to achieve 9 active transformations. With each transformation,, the power of the demon god would rise 2 or more levels, something that demon kings were completely unable to match.
Right now, Bella had only undergone partial 《Demonization》, only transforming a small part of her body. However, this was more than sufficient to defeat this dragon knight in front of her. All of Bella’s attention was concentrated on Congreve and she didn’t realize that no far behind her, Lisha who had been watching this battle hadn’t been forced to close her eyes by the light.
Lisha’s eyes had turned to a cold gold colour and even though she still had the appearance of a human but if one could see the right arm which she had purposefully hidden behind her, they would be able to see that her right hand had turned into what seemed to be the claw of a dragon that was covered with dark-golden scales.
The SS+ class sub-dragon monster beside Lisha, [Fierce Dragon], seemed to be dreadfully afraid of something and had fallen to its knees beside Bella. Even though its eyes had also been blinded by the light, its other sensory organs still functioned and it could sense how dangerous the beauty that stood beside it was.
The holy attributes of Congreve’s ability was too strong and already invoked some response from the bodies of those aligned with the dark side present in the arena. It was fortunate that the only one of Bella’s dorm mates here was the comparatively placid Lisha, who wouldn’t so easily lose control of her dark self. It may be a different story if it was Kriss or the others present here.
Congreve didn’t forget the reason for him activating his ability, he and his white mount turned into a golden comet that began to fly in Bella’s general direction. The dragon knights who used 《Possession of the Dragon God》 would had their own vision somewhat affected, albeit to a lesser extent, he had also failed to detect the changes that Bella had undergone.
Bella jumped off of her mount and faced the charging Congreve head on. In Congreve’s plan, even if Bella had managed to take his attack without being hurt, her mount would be knocked over regardless by the force of the impact, meaning that she would lose no matter what. He hadn’t expected, however, for Bella to jump off her mount on her own accord.
Bella used her left hand to grab Congreve’s lance, absorbing the massive force behind it using her gelatinous hand. In the second that Congreve’s lance entered the Bella’s hand and stuck itself there, Bella raised the curved blade in her right hand, turned it so that the blunt backside faced Congreve and slashed at the arm that was holding the lance.
After a green flash, a massive explosion erupted from the centre of the arena. Seeing that Bella had won, Lisha’s eyes returned to their previous clear sky-blue, her left hand also being restored to its original form. If it wasn’t for the still shaking legs of the [Fierce Dragon], no one would have been able to tell that anything had happened.
The thick smoke on the arena quickly cleared. The first thing that onlookers saw was Bella standing very casually in the arena’s centre with her mount standing not far behind her, completely unharmed. The warhorse of the dragon knight Congreve was nowhere to be seen, the only hint of its existence being the blood stains on the arena’s ground.
Congreve was still alive, as Bella had used the blunt end of the blade, but his entire suit of armour had been destroyed and he had also lost much of spirit, as if he had suddenly aged another ten years. It was quite the blow to his ego to have been defeated during his ‘unstoppable’ status.
“You… win, it seems that I’ve gotten too old. The future of this world belongs to you youngsters…”
Congreve forced himself to his feet and with assistance from his student, the dragon knight Shawn, he slowly hobbled out of the arena. Apart from a few, the onlookers collectively had a look of shock frozen on their faces, evidently having not yet recovered from the shocking scene that had just unfolded before them.
Bella turned to look at Lisha who was smiling at her not so far away and returned a smile, her mood improving quite a bit. The shadows that had been cast over her heart ever since she had suffered that massive defeat at the hands of the dragon knight Lisha finally began to dissipate…