Beside Lake Virginia, the special dormitory district, the bathroom of Duchess Bellina’s exclusive dormitory building, the 1st suite. Bella and Ariel were in the water with their backs against the walls of the bath, sitting face-to-face. If it wasn’t for the fact that Ariel’s eyes were differently coloured from those of Kriss’, it was quite easy to mistake the two of them for each other, especially without the presence of one of the main indicator of their identities, their clothing.
“That mysterious store that you were talking about, it most likely isn’t recorded in ‘Strange Happenings of the Olsyvia Academy at Midnight’, that text only records the strange things that happen late in the night. That store has not only appeared at our academy, there have been reports of it happening in other areas as well, in fact, some of these reports pre-date the existence of the Olsyvia Academy itself.”
“Er, have you entered that store before? Why do you know so much about it?”
“I haven’t myself, but I think Elaine has gone inside before. Go and ask her when she returns from class later.”
“I’m not too familiar with Elaine, Ariel, I need your help. Neither Kriss or Lisha are experts in magic and neither Noreya or Elaine’s classes will end for a while.”
Bella had chosen not to enter the mysterious store earlier due to how scared Ivy and Marlie were, Bella didn’t want to leave the two behind in a street full of philosophers and so they could only return to their dormitories. However, Bella had been curious of whatever was in that store.
The strange ring that was given to her by the fake loli Charlotte was a product from the mysterious store, this was a hard-earned chance to uncover Charlotte’s secrets. So, after they had returned to their dormitories, Bella immediately began to assemble a new team to explore the mysterious store with her.
Both Kriss and Lisha held the title of hero and were quite renowned even within the Olsyvia Academy, it would be quite awkward to have everyone’s’ eyes on them when Bella wanted to keep this rather low-key. Due to her being the younger sister of the Euphemia branch’s student council president, Elaine would also draw too much unnecessary attention if Bella were to take her along.
It was a shame, as Elaine was probably the person most suited for the task, being skilled in magic as well as adept in the fields of the supernatural and curses, could there have been a more perfect person to bring along to explore a supernatural place? Noreya wasn’t really skilled in magic so she wasn’t the most ideal person to bring along, so Bella had to settle for the other mage of their dorm, Ariel.
“Bella, tomorrow I have to go and purchase some magic equipment and a magic pet, I don’t really have time to go with you tomorrow…”
“Ariel, your little brother Adelaide was stalking me and Kriss earlier, if you don’t help me this time, I’ll tell him about the your true looks that you’ve kept hidden from the entire world!”
“Bella, you… alright, I’ll help you just this once. However, don’t use this method to threaten me next time, or else you’ll lose me~”.
“I knew you’d help me, Ariel! Right, let’s get Noesha to tag along with us tomorrow! Noesha knows spatial magic and if we run into anything unexpected, it’ll be easier to escape.”
“Hmph, I know spatial magic as well. Whatever, call whoever you want.”
Ariel turned her face away from Bella, a slight look of disappointment quickly showing on her face before disappearing. She had wanted to go with Bella together, just the two of them because there were some things that she couldn’t talk about with more people around. Bella had lost herself in the beauty of Ariel’s tilted face and wasn’t able to notice the slight change in Ariel’s expression.
After getting her first kiss stolen away by Bella, Ariel had always bore some strange feelings towards Bella deep within her heart. Across all of her incarnations, this was the first time that she had lost her first kiss, the worst part about it wasn’t the kiss itself, but that Bella had mistaken her for Kriss at the time!
As for what exactly those strange feelings were, not even Ariel herself could describe it in words. Every night as she saw Lisha and Bella cuddled up together at night in bed while asleep, jealousy and envy gnawed at Ariel’s heart. In their dormitory suite, Lisha and Kriss quite evidently had feelings towards Bella and while neither Noreya or Elaine had expressed anything yet, Ariel knew that she had to do something soon before the number of competitors grew larger and larger.
The Euphemia branch’s Bruce Street. Early this morning, several girls arrived at the philosophers’ paradise. Due to it still being class time and most of the Euphemia branch’s students being still in class, the entire Bruce street was devoid of the hustle and bustle that Bella had seen the last time she was here, most of the stores had not yet opened up either.
The gatekeepers from the Brotherhood weren’t the same ones at last time, but just the same as last time, Bella and the other girls were able to enter the Bruce street without any obstacles. The Brotherhood’s higher echelons had heard about Bella’s pursuit of other girls and they were secretly in support of her actions.
The girls that Bella were after were all beauties and after they became ‘acquainted’ with Bella, they would no longer be interested in males, meaning that they wouldn’t be able to distract members of the Brotherhood from their philosophical arts. This was something that benefited both parties, one of the big reasons why the Golden Legend had their movements against Bella’s Rose Society was because the Rose Society was being secretly helped by the Brotherhood.
On the empty Bruce street, Bella and others once again stood in front of the mysterious store.=
The girls who accompanied Bella this time were: Ariel, Noesha, Mia, and Angel. Apart from Ariel who’s true power Bella didn’t know much about, the other four, including Bella herself, were all on the level of demon gods. If such a party were still able to be scared off by some supernatural beings, then they might as well hang themselves with a pool noodle, having lost all the face of the dark side.
As soon as they entered the mysterious store, Bella felt the temperature around them suddenly drop dramatically.
Bella turned back around to look through the door that they had entered from and saw that the scenery outside had completely changed. Different from the Bruce street, from just a glance Bella was able to tell that the street outside was some place that humans shouldn’t ever be.
The people walking on the streets had all turned into terrifying humanoid evil beings, similar to the western demons of Earth’s myths, horns and accessories included. All of the street’s stores were open for business, but what they sold were completely different from those back at the Bruce street.
“Nee-sama, this is Halifax, the City of Sin. A place of trade between the Worldbreakers and the Troublemakers, if one is lucky enough, they may be able to find some people from other factions here. Those that walk these streets are mostly the demon kings and demon gods of other dimensions. I didn’t expect for a gateway to open up in our dimension.”
Noesha was the first to identify the place they were in, seemingly quite familiar with the city, it was quite evident that this wasn’t her first time here. Mia and Angel also seemed to have been here before as well, as they didn’t seem very shocked by their surroundings. As for herself, Bella felt a little bit of familiarity with this place, it was possible that the “original’ Bella had been here before.
Bella’s eyes traveled to a mirror that was hung on the wall of the store that they were currently in. Reflected back at her was no longer the golden-haired female knight with blue eyes, but Bella’s true form, a black-haired beauty with mismatching eye-colours. She was also no longer wearing the knight’s light plate that she had been wearing previously, but a set of black mage’s robes.
In Halifax, the City of Sin, no matter what faction one was from, visitors would be forced to show their true human forms, a special ability of the location that the city was built on. Even if the visitor was several times stronger than the 7 Lords who ruled the City of Sin, they would be forced to do so as well.
Bella looked a little nervously at Ariel who was behind her, apart from the three lolis Noesha, Angel, and Mia, not even Lisha and Kriss with whom Bella was the most intimate with had seen Bella’s true form. Now that she had been exposed in front of Ariel, Bella didn’t know how to react.
Ariel’s looks had also undergone some change, while her hair was still the same flowing strands of silver and her pink irises were still the same, the demon wings that had sprouted from Ariel’s back were evidence enough that Ariel was a member of the dark side as well.
In Ariel’s hands was a tome with a golden cover that radiated pure and untainted holy power, seeming to be preventing Ariel from changing further. Meaning that this was, quite evidently, not Ariel’s complete tru form, the rest being sealed away by the golden tome’s holy power.
“You…are Ariel right? I didn’t expect for you to part of us as well…”
“You’ve misunderstood, I’m not one of you Worldbreakers… but… I’ll take my leave for now, I’m not used to this place.”
Ariel was about to look for a way back to the Bruce street when Bella came over and grabbed her hand. Ariel’s tone of speech was different from how she normally spoke, based on her experience with Lisha’s situation, Bella inferred that Ariel’s situation was very similar to that of Lisha’s, meaning that the Ariel that Bella saw normally wasn’t the true her. It was quite fortunate that Ariel’s true form was an ‘ally’ and that Bella hadn’t brought any other companions over, or else it would have been impossible to hide the fact that Bella too, had a true for as well.
“What are you doing? Let me go, Be…Bella.”
“Ariel, I have a feeling that we need to have a nice talk about your true identity.”
Right as Ariel was still struggling to get out of Bella’s grip, a slim figure walked into this store. The appearance of this figure stopped Bella and Ariel’s struggle due to the fact that this beauty exuded a strong aura that seemed to be a combination of holy and sin that stood out against everything else i the City of Sin, making it hard for people not to notice her.
“Eh, Samantha(Bella)-sama, Sherrill(Angel)-sama, and Lydia(Mia)-sama are all here, what rare guests! The last time you all were here was… almost ten thousand years ago!”
“You are… one of the City of Sin’s 7 Lords, Lucifer, right?”
“Jennette(Noesha)-san is here too? It’s a great memory that you have. However, Samantha-sama seems to have forgotten me, so please allow me to reintroduce myself. I am one of the 7 lords of Halifax, Lucifer, representing the head of the seven deadly sins, the sin of Pride.”
The City of Sin was controlled by 7 lords, each of which represented one of Earth’s seven deadly sins, also referred to as the 【Demon Kings of the Seven Sins】or just the 【Seven Sins】 , and despite their titles, they were actually demon gods just like Bella. Compared to the other demon gods of the Worldbreaker faction, the【Seven Sins】 weren’t as powerful or omnipotent as the others, being just stronger than most demon kings, however, their lifespans were truly eternal.
When other demon gods were somehow killed, they would disappear forever. The 【Seven Sins】, however, could revive an unlimited number of times. Even if the rest of the Worldbreaker faction was destroyed, the 【Seven Sins】 would still exist. It was said that as long as the 【Seven Sins】 still existed, the Worldbreaker faction would never disappear.
The 【Seven Sins】 were the foundation of the entire Worldbreaker faction, from the first generation chieftain to the current fourth generation chieftain Tiesta, Bella’s true older sister, the 【Seven Sins】 had witnessed it all and they could be considered founding members of the faction.
The 【Seven Sins】’s first sin, 【Pride】’s Lucifer was a handsome female in white plate armour, with radiant gold hair and beautiful blood-red eyes. Lucifer did not show her wings, meaning that her current appearance wasn’t her main combat form.
Lucifer was currently holding a demonic lance or rather artisian worksmanship and after confirming the identities of Bella and the others, her hand that was holding the lance relaxed quite a bit. Due to the golden tome which radiated a divine aura that Ariel had been holding earlier, Lucifer had thought that there was someone from the Saviour faction who had infiltrated the City of Sin and she had come to subdue the intruder.
Apart from the eye-stealing pair of white demon’s horns sprouting from her head, Lucifer was virtually indistinguishable from a beautiful human female. Different from the beautiful girls that Bella had encountered previously, Lucifer was more of the mature, elder-sister type, possessing a charm unique to older women that none of the girls that Bella had encountered before possessed.
“*cough**cough*, Samantha-sama, why have you and Auriemma-san come to visit this humble city?”
After noticing Bella staring at her for quite a while with no sign of stopping any time soon, Lucifer interrupted Bella’s state a little awkwardly. In the eyes that Bella was looking at her with earlier, Lucifer felt a strong similarity to the gaze of another one of the 【Seven Sins】, 【Lust】’s Asmodeus, even though Lucifer was on good terms with Samantha, but she still found it a little hard to stand Bella’s fierce gaze.
“Ariel and I… we’re here to explore… no, we’re here on a date. Doesn’t your city have a bunch of stores, we’re just going to go shopping as part of our day.”
“Going on a date in the City of Sin? That’s the first time I’ve heard something like this, follow me, I’ll show you around to some of the more reputable shops.”
【Pride】’s Lucifer didn’t really know what a ‘date’ entailed, as ever since the beginning of her existence, she had never gone on a date with anyone. If she had known this earlier she would have called Asmodeus over to show Bella around, as she seemed to know a bit more about dates.
All Lucifer could do right now was take Bella and Ariel to the stores that she ran herself, because she really didn’t know what stores couples normally visit while on a ‘date’, but there shouldn’t be any problem taking them to her own stores?
Even though Ariel wanted to say refute Bella’s statement but the words seemed unable to come out of her mouth. She was currently using her true form, that of Auriemme and under her true form, Ariel wasn’t as much of a tsundere as she normally was and she decided that since she didn’t dislike Bella, there was no reason for her to refute Bella’s flirtatious statement.
Not longer after Bella and other others left with Lucifer, another member of the 【Seven Sins】 appeared in the store. Seeing that Bella had already left, 【Greed’s】Mammon was a little upset. This was one of the stores under her management and when Bella and the others had appeared earlier, Mammon had just happened to be attending some business in another store, allowing Bella to be led away by another member of the 【Seven Sins】.
“Lucifer-nee sure is a bully, stealing my business from my store! I have to go and invite Samantha-sama back to my store, she’s the most wealthy person in the entire City of Sin!”
Under Lucifer’s lead, Bella and others began a day long trip through the City of Sin. Due to this plane’s special existence, it had a different sense of time from the world that Bella had entered from, a day here would only be just over a hour back at the Olsyvia academy, meaning that there was no need to worry about being missing for too long and getting in trouble back at school.
Based on Lucifer’s introduction, Halifax was a place designed to provide various services for the demon kings and demon gods of the Worldbreaker faction. Each member of the 【Seven Sins】 managed a certain type of store, selling completely different things from each other.
The humans who had accidentally entered here earlier were mostly killed by the numerous demon kings wandering city and the few who were sinful at heart had successfully reached agreements with members of the 【Seven Sins】 and obtained various items and powers, only pretending to be crazy when they returned to their original world.
After following Lucifer for a while, Bella was able to feel several mysterious gazes following her and the others. Due to the fact that none of them bore any hostile intent, Bella didn’t confront Lucifer about them. Lucifer seemed to know quite a bit about Samantha, so Bella wanted to find a time to secretly ask a bit about her own true identity.
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