Volume 4 Chapter 156: Clouds of War Cover the Gabriel Empire’s Souther Border

The South Region of Human Race’s Coristel Continent – the “Swordsman Nation” – Gabriel Empire’s southern border, the Sarnia Duchy.

The Sarnia Duchy was connected to the Beastmen territories via the Priestly Continent, which served as an overland passage for the Beastmen to invade and harass the Gabriel Empire’s southern region. The southern border, besides the Sarnia Duchy, which possessed the largest territory, there was also the Grande Duchy under Duke Brandon’s rule.

In the middle of Darkness Sacred Region’s central square of the “real” capital of Sarnia, a large crowd of demon lords was welcoming the return of the ruler of Sarnia Duchy, Duchess Bellina. The demon lords were ordered based on their strength; the strongest demon lords stood at the forefront of the welcoming committee.

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The leading position was occupied by Sky Demon King Dolores, who was wearing a dark purple dress as well as Blood Demon King Eleanor, who was wearing a dark red dress. Dolores’ temperament remained unchanged; she was initially a demon princess and was used to staying in settings similar to this Darkness Sacred Region.

In contrast, Eleanor experienced a drastic change in her demeanor. Although her personality hadn’t changed very much, staying for such a long time in the Darkness Sacred Region had matured her quite a bit; she could be considered a true Demon King now.

Standing behind the two demon kings was Liz, who was responsible for the religious affairs of the Sacred Regin. As the Holy Maiden of the Origin Darkness Church, she pulled all of her sisters over to the Dark Holy Maiden, thus severing all contact with the Darkness Church and safely joining the Darkness Sacred Region.

The Darkness Church had yet to respond to the defection of their holy maidens. They had neither declared Liz as a traitor nor had they admitted backing Liz’s actions. 

Standing beside Liz, was a long, dark blue-haired demon princess, Cornice. She wore a dark blue dress in a similar style to the Demon King Dolores’ dress. It only lacked the crown of a true demon king’s attire. At the moment, Cornice served as Dolores’ aid; she was pretty much a secretary.`

There was a podium in the middle of the square. A golden-haired beauty was directing the various demons to their places from the podium. She didn’t wear her demon king crown, likely due to her rushing for time. She was still wearing Olsylvia Academy’s uniform as she ordered around the various demons, lending a slightly humorous air to the atmosphere.

Although Bella felt that her appearance was rather “middle schooler,” but there wasn’t enough time for her to change. However, to the various demon lords, her presence was to be worshipped. To them, the aesthetics of the Demon King were unquestionable.

Sky Demon King Dolores and Blood Demon King Eleanor’s real thoughts were exposed by their facial expressions. The two beauties were barely holding in their laughter; to them, Olsylvia Academy’s uniform was too ugly.

Presently, the Sarnia Duchy had a total of two capitals. One was Sarni City, which was built near the border. This was the “fake” capital, responsible for receiving human messengers. The other capital was here, the “real” capital, the Darkness Sacred Region. This was the real core of the Sarnia Duchy, and humans were prohibited from entering.

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The girls that returned with Bella were split into two groups. Those who did not know Bella’s identity as the Demon King, such as President Ivy and President Britney, were left in Sarni City. Those who knew Bella’s true identity, such as Princess Lisha, followed her to the Darkness Sacred Region.

Atop the viewing platform, the Radiant Church’s Four Holy Maidens and the Radiant Pope’s successor, President Maria, were present. They each wore a complicated expression; this was the first time in history that representatives and clergymen from the Radiant Church would attend a Demon King’s meeting. Maria was even the Pope’s successor; this juxtaposition gave people a slightly extraordinary feeling.

Holy Maiden Hayley had the most complicated expression as she looked at her old friends. Originally a “Rose Knight,” Eleanor had matured into the Blood Demon King; Hayley didn’t know whether she should offer congratulations or should she intervene. Hayley herself was already half a step from becoming a Dark Holy Maiden even if she refused to admit it to herself. Now, she and Blood Demon King Eleanor were on the same side.

The Darkness Sacred Region was a melting pot city. Back when Bella had first left, the Mother of Creation had fulfilled their promise. Five Mothers of Creation had each constructed a support area within the Darkness Sacred Region.

These areas were: Creation God of Light, Vianne’s “City of Dawn,” Creation God of Darkness, Mistica’s “Dark Abyss,” Creation God of Dimensions (Space), Alfreia’s “Dream of the Other Side,” Creation God of Magic, Bethia’s “Sky Library,” and Creation God of Mechanics, Andrea’s “War Fortress.”

The largest region belonged to the Creation God of Mechanics, Andrea’s “War Fortress.” This area looked like a futuristic capital. There were barracks, manufacturing plants, aircraft hangars, as well as runways. Seeing the various robots and mechs walking along the streets, it gave people a sense of time displacement.

The support offered by each Creation God was different. The Dark Abyss was the demon production center. The City of Dawn provided Mysterious Power support. The War Fortress supplied various high-tech equipment as well as cutting edge demons. Andrea herself was within the War Fortress conducting research.

The current city was still in the planning and development phase, but Bella did not interfere. She trusted that the Mothers of Creation did not harbor any ill intentions. Furthermore, she had her trump card, Lolita; with her, Bella had nothing to worry about.

“How is it, my city isn’t bad right! You girls might be interested in the City of Dawn over there.”

“Bella, Do you really… not mind our status as…”

“President Maria, the fact that I brought you all here shows how much I trust you. There aren’t any secrets between us, right.”

Bella and President Maria’s group met on top of the viewing platform. Maria and her fellows felt somewhat conflicted after seeing that a demon-filled capital contained such a dense source of light energy in the City of Dawn. It’s presence defied their common sense.

In the reception area, Bella spotted Holy Swordsman Cynthia, who had reverted to her true form. She was currently sitting at a table piled high with snacks and delicacies. These products of the Darkness Sacred Region were made out of special ingredients.

Since demons never usually ate these types of food, the spread today was explicitly made to welcome Bella’s guests. In terms of taste and texture, they were superior to an Emperor’s meals. After coming to the Darkness Sacred Region, Cynthia could finally let loose and directly reverted to her true form.

“Cough cough, Cynthia, you’re still a Holy Swordsman of the Radiant Church, shouldn’t you at least keep up your appearance?”

“Bella… Lord Demon King, President Maria, and the others are already following you, why would I care about that? Also, didn’t you say you would take care of me? Are you trying to throw me away?!”

“Hou, in that case, eat slowly and don’t choke. Don’t worry. I’ll cover your room, your food, and all your other needs for the rest of your life.”

Bella gently patted Cynthia’s head while promising. The cross that used to hang from Cynthia’s neck had been replaced with an inverted cross. It was the same as Maria’s group too. After coming to the Darkness Sacred Region, their holy crosses had transformed into inverted crosses, symbolizing their betrayal.

The succubus waitress next to Cynthia had a face full of curiosity. It was her first time seeing the upper echelon of the Radiant Church in the Darkness Sacred Region, and one with the status of “Demon King’s Concubine” to boot.

 

After saying goodbye to Cynthia, Bella, and two other demon kings went to the meeting room to discuss some issues. Annie, Mia, Noesha, and Betty did not participate in this strategy meeting. They were all demon gods with extraordinary strength and did not like to plot or strategize, preferring to deal with everything head-on.

————PART 2————

Sarnia Duch heartland, Darkness Sacred Region, the “real” capital, the core region’s Demon King Chamber of Deliberations.

Bella, Dolores, and Eleanor sat in their places around a white table Atop the table, a very realistic map of the Gabriel Empire’s southern region displayed the current location of the Human Race’s army.

According to the scouting reports of flying demons, there were large numbers of the beastmen army currently invading through the Priestly Continent’s land passage. The exact numbers of the Beastmen were unknown since this army uncharacteristically did not display any flags.

The Gabriel Empire’s response was not slow either. Not far from Sarnia Duchy, on the Vaughan Plains, around 80,000 imperial soldiers were gathered under the command of one of the Three Great Marshals of the Gabriel Empire, Krisman. Besides the imperial forces, the other duchies had also sent reinforcements totaling over 70,000 troops.

The Human Race’s 150,000 troops were now assembled on the Vaughan Plains. However, the Gabriel Empire did not care about its border duchies. There were another 250,000 troops gathered behind its borders; the 150,000 troops on the Vaughan Plains were meant to be cannon fodder.

Of course, all of the participating duchies also left troops in reserve. It was similar to when Duke Brandon had attacked the Sarnia Duchy in the past, but his Grande Duchy had only contributed 30,000 troops to the attacking army.

Duke Brandon had barely brought 10,000 troops this time. Bella didn’t think for a second that he only had this many troops. According to her spies, Grande Duchy’s revenue could support at least 50,000 soldiers, and if he were willing to spend some money to hire mercenaries, Duke Brandon could easily bring 70,000 to 80,000 troops.

The other participating duchies were in a similar situation to the Grande Duchy. They had all only sent a fraction of their military forces.

The allied army’s messenger had arrived at the “fake” capital, Sarni City, with an invitation for Duchess Belina to lead a force and participate in the Gabriel Empire’s defense operation. Bella had 10,000 mercenaries stationed inside Sarni City that she planned to send to keep up with her appearances.

“Bella, the Beastmen are invading very aggressively this time. We estimate that they have over 500,000 soldiers. I feel like the Empire’s intelligence must be flawed! How could they have missed the presence of so many Beastmen?!”

“Eleanor, you’re mistaken. You humans always believed that the Beastmen’s supplies couldn’t sustain more than 200,000 troops. They aren’t wrong this time either; we don’t know how the Beastmen have supplies.”

Sky Demon King Dolores, as the former Demon Race’s princess, understood the thought process behind the human’s decisions. In the first place, the Beastmen’s reason for invading the Humans was to raid the Human Race’s “Great Granary,” the grain-producing region of the Gabriel Empire.

“This is the Gabriel Empire’s problem; it doesn’t concern the Sarnia Duchy. If those barbaric Beastmen want to attack the Gabriel Empire, then that’s their problem.”

“Right, how many troops do we have in our army, have you done a tally?”

“Lord Demon King, I have a census ready. In the entire Darkness Sacred Region, we have 9.8 million demon troops equipped and ready for battle. By the time the battle starts, we can have over 10 million troops.”

Inside the Chamber of Deliberations, besides the three demon kings, there was also the one of the Origin Demon Princesses, Cornice. This dark blue-haired demon princess was extremely familiar with army logistics and management. When Bella had rescued her, she had picked up a treasure from the ground.

“Princess Cornice, you’re very knowledgeable! Come, sit down with us and talk us through your thoughts.”

“Lord Demon King, this position…”

Princess Cornice hesitated a bit. Bella had pointed her to sit in a seat that only Demon Kings were allowed to sit. Bella knew what this gesture would mean. To the side, Dolores and Eleanor both gave her encouraging looks.

“Princess Cornice, this seat is one that many can’t even dream of sitting on. Why are you hesitating?”

“Okay, then… Lord Demon King, I understand.”

“You don’t have to call me Demon King in the future. We’re all equals.”

It was currently midnight in Sarnia Duchy’s “Fake” Capital, Sarni City. As always, lights burned brightly within the city. The residents of this city were all refugees of the border wars.

The city lord of Sarn, as appointed by Duchess Bellina, was Countess Eleanor, also known as the Blood Demon King. Eleanor was originally a respectable Lady of the Human Race; impersonating a Countess was a simple matter.

Sarni City, under the leadership of Eleanor, had developed from a broken down town of less than a thousand people to a bustling border city of over 80,000, all in little over a month.

The reason for this swift expansion was the fact that food and labor were not an issue for a demon king. The people living here had all come to accept the presence of demons.

Humans traveled the opulent streets during the day, while demons come out to walk the nights. These human form demons did not attack humans. These demons were laborers, transporting various goods to the city. After they finished dropping off their goods, they would hurry out back into the night to continue farming; these hard workers didn’t have any time to waste attacking humans!

The residents of Sarnia Duchy all wore a peculiar black cross. As long as someone wore one of these crosses, demons would not attack them. In the streets, there were quite a few clever merchants busy helping tally and sort the fruits of the demons’ labor.

In the entire Sarnia Duchy, agricultural production was entirely taken care of by demonic labor. Humans mostly worked as servicemen and merchants.

In the opulent City Hall, Bella rested her hand on a railing while she enjoyed the nightlife of Sarni City. Behind her, with a face full of admiration, was Blood Demon King Eleanor. Bella looked delighted with her hard work.

“Eleanor, you’ve worked hard. You’ve managed this city very well. Even though it’s a fake city, but still… Oh right, have you told them yet? The battle will start here soon!”

“Bella, I’ve already issued an announcement in your name. The citizens expressed great willingness to fight for your lordship. No one wanted to escape; if you provided some equipment, then we could have 60,000 battle-ready troops.”

Although demons controlled Sarnia Duchy, the basic welfare and living conditions were superior to other human cities. There were no taxes, and the availability of various goods was plentiful. Anyone who lived here for some time would become a citizen of the Sarnia Duchy.

On top of the city walls, a blue warning flare erupted. In the next instant, large groups of black-armored guards had already gathered up next to walls. The people in the streets hurried back into their homes only to come back armed with weapons and headed for the walls as well. No one retreated in fear.

By the time Bella and Eleanor arrived at the walls, the battle was already over. Several tens of black-clothed corpses were strewn across the wall tops. Each corpse was riddled with spears; the defense force’s ambush had killed them.

Outside Sarni City roamed countless invisible Departed Spirits. They served as the best sentries at night. If someone wanted to launch a surprise night assault on Sarni City, they would have to sneak past these countless invisible eyes first.

“Duchess and City Lord, these people were trying to infiltrate the city, but we have already taken care of them.”

“Eh! Good job! Every participating soldier will receive a reward.”

“Many thanks, City Lord.”

Upon lifting the mask of one of the corpses, Bella blanked. Underneath the mask was the ugly visage of a Beastman! If the Beastmen vanguard had already reached this city, then what happened to the 150,000 troops on the frontline? Were they wiped out?

- my thoughts:
And Volume 4 Begins! I hope you enjoyed it. With the start of Volume 4, we will be opening an event where we'll give away free Villains Merch to any fan who wins an upcoming competition. I just want to know if you guys would be interested in Villains Merch. Let me know in the comments! Thanks.
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