The Southern border of the Gabriel Empire, the original capital of the Norlande Duchy – Nolan City, outside the gates of what used to be Duke Brandon’s residence at the center of the city.
Both sides began engaging in a heated confrontation. Bella only had three black robed witches and a few hundred puppet dolls on her side while Tania had more than a thousand elite Wolfmen behind her. There was too big a difference in terms of manpower. There was no question that Bella and the others would be able to make it out in one piece, but there was no way Princess Anya and the others could leave with them.
“Tania, His Excellency, the Darkness Wizard God Kenneth has ordered me to move these things as quickly as possible. If you insist on being unreasonable, you will end up causing delays to His Excellency’s schedule. Will you be able to take up that responsibility then?”
“Well… Can’t you just…”
“No way, I cannot show them to you!”
The more Bella refused to open up the boxes, the more Princess Tania felt that there was something fishy going on. Just as both parties could not take it any longer and Princess Tania was about to raise a hand towards Bella, a few Beastman soldiers rushed over from a distance. They approached Tania and whispered some things in the Beastman tongue.
Earlier, the Beastman allied army had suffered yet another crushing defeat at the hands of the Sarnia Duchy. The allied army had just been about to break past the outer walls when they had been pummelled with a shower of meteorites. Right there and then, more than ten thousand Beastmen had been smashed into mince.
This sudden change of events had caused panic to ensue within the Beastmen. The guards of the Sarnia Duchy had made use of this opportunity to fire their firearms in unison, shooting down the Beastman soldiers that were preparing to climb the walls. In light of their latest failure in taking over Sarni City, the Wolf King Springhall had returned from the frontlines and had sent out an order for the higher-ups of the Wolfmen to assemble and discuss their future military strategies.
Bella could not understand the Beastman language, let alone the Wolfman tongue. Princess Tania and herself had always conversed in the human languages. Although she did not know the language, Bella could tell that it was probably bad news as Princess Tania’s face had immediately turned ashen.
“One of you has to accompany me to Wolf King Springhall’s meeting. Now, the entirety of Nolan City is on high security alert. No one can leave the city without the King’s permission. Of course, if you can present His Excellency’s warrant, I will let you go as well.”
“Fine, I will go with you. However, I have one request. My fleet has to enter the city first. There’s no time to waste!”
Bella’s sudden change of heart had caught Princess Tania off guard. She had thought that Bella would resist her no matter what. Instead, she had agreed to her request without putting up much of a fight. She had wanted to use Bella’s lack of cooperation as an excuse to forcibly examine the boxes on Bella’s fleet.
Once Bella agreed, Princess Tania no longer had any grounds to check her boxes. She had no choice but to leave two hundred of her elite wolf knights to escort Bella’s fleet past the outer gates of Nolan City. Shortly after exchanging a couple of looks with Noreya and Elaine, Bella left the group.
The two hundred wolf knights that were ordered to follow Bella’s fleet had been taken care of at the city gates. Princess Tania did not have any knowledge about these puppet dolls and had underestimated their abilities. She thought that these wooden dolls were just gimmicky toys that did not have much combat ability and thus did not send too many of her underlings to follow the transport fleet.
Elaine appeared to be rather worried that Bella would have some trouble getting away later and had secretly slipped her a little doll. This particular doll was the only one that Elaine had ever made. In her many reincarnations, Bella was the first person that received such a gift from her.
Bella did not decline the gift. After all, she would not reject anything from a pretty girl. As Noreya did not bring a gift with her, she felt a little awkward watching Elaine present the gift to Bella.
“Bella… I’m really sorry, I didn’t prepare a gift… By the way, you have to mind your back, also… Forget it, it’s just a feeling. If i said it out loud, it would be against the morals of my profession.”
Noreya did not finish her sentence before leaving with Elaine. Before she walked away, she quietly wrote the word “assassin” in the middle of Bella’s palm with her finger. This lass was too cunning. Talk about professional morals!
Unless they were clearly on opposing fronts, assassins would not reveal the presence of their professional counterparts. Noreya had no choice but to remind Bella in a different way. Although these assassins that lay stealthily in wait were powerful, but they did not pose any threat to Bella as her gender was their biggest weakness.
The Southern border of the Gabriel Empire, the original capital of the Norlande Duchy – Nolan City, the city lord’s mansion that had been built by Duke Brandon.
Bella followed the White Wolf Princess Tania to the city lord’s mansion. Apparently, that “old fox”, Duke Brandon had built two different mansions. One of them was the palace-like structure that Bella had visited previously, the other was this current one that met the standard requirements of a city lord’s mansion.
Building a mansion into one that was the size of a palace was practically a death sentence. If the Emperor were to come down on them, many Dukes and Marquis would have some serious problems, especially those like the Grand Duke Brandon, who did everything but label it as a palace. Therefore, it was absolutely necessary to build a mansion that met all the standard requirements that would pass any checks that came their way.
The command point of the Wolf King Springhall, the commander-in-chief of the Beastman army, was right here in this city lord’s mansion. The reason why Bella could not find this out previously was because they were looking in the wrong place all this while.
Along the way, Bella pestered Princess Tania with all sorts of questions. Since she did not understand the other Beastman languages and the princess was the only one who knew the human language, Bella would be bored to death if she did not make some conversation.
Princess Tania, despite everything, was rather naive. She did not think there were any problems with Bella’s intentional small talk. Soon enough, Bella knew the scale of the Beastman invasion.
This army of more than a million troops was made up of Beastmen and Dark Humans. This was not their full strength either. There were at least another one million troops that were awaiting orders along the continental tunnels. This current invasion plan was set to be the one that would bring the entire Gabriel Empire to its knees.
Based on the plan, the initial strike team of one million Beastmen troops would bring down every single duchy at the Gabriel Empire’s southern border. After which, they would force out the Gabriel Empire’s army on the frontlines of the border to engage in battle.
Then, the remaining million Beastman troops would take advantage of the battle situation and attack the Gabriel Empire from another direction. Human spies had already been planted along the various sections of the border in preparation for the oncoming Beastman army.
However, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. The Beastman army did not expect to meet with such strong resistance by the Sarnian guards from the Sarnia Duchy. By now, the Beastman army had already lost tens of thousands of men but the Sarnia Duchy stood firm. Before all of this, the Beastman higher-ups had thought that the Grande Duchy would be the most challenging to deal with.
Duke Brandon had close to one hundred thousand guards on hand. Compared to the Grand Duchess Bellina, the lord of Sarnia Duchy, he was much more mature and seasoned in battle. Based on the information that the Beastmen had gathered, the Grand Duchess Bellina was just a student knight.
It was absolutely shameful that the commander of such a large army was unable to defeat an army led by a woman. The Beast Emperor had already given the order that brave Beastman warrior who could break into the Sarnia Duchy and kill the Grand Duchess Bellina would be handsomely rewarded. That warrior would be bestowed the Beastmen’s greatest honor – the “Beamon Warrior”.
“To be honest, I do admire this Grand Duke Bellina. A woman who lead sixty thousand troops head on against an attack by nearly a million troops. If given the chance, I would not give up the opportunity to meet her!”
“Princess Tania, do you have your eye on the title of the Beamon Warrior or whatever you call it? If you do, I could…”
“No, titles like those are of no use to me. Anyway, call me Tania. The title of princess started from the humans, I don’t like to use it much. Oh honorable witch, I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. What’s your name?”
“You can just call me Bella.”
Bella did not follow Princess Tania into the meeting location as she did not belong to the higher-ups of the Beastmen. She had no choice but to wait until the end of the meeting before seeking an audience with the Wolf King Springhall.
Princess Tania sent Bella to one of the waiting rooms within the Grand Duke’s mansion and left. Before they went their separate ways, out of some ulterior motive, Bella retrieved a little snack from her storage ring and handed it to Princess Tania.
“This! Bella… I thought you Dark Humans do not really eat anything? Why would you carry such fresh food…”
“Tania, stop asking. Quickly, eat it on your way there! It’s really delicious. Don’t let any of the other Wolfman generals see it.”
“Alright then, thank you, Bella. I find that we get along quite well. We must talk again soon!”
After some conversation, the earlier tension between the White Wolf Princess Tania and Bella had eased off quite a bit. Bella was getting increasingly practiced at chatting up girls and building rapport with them. Furthermore, Princess Tania was part of the Wolfman race and was rather trusting and naive. Bella swore that she would be able to trick an innocent little wolf girl like her into bed at least three times.
Of course, the snack that Bella had given to Princess Tania was tainted. However, it was not toxic or poisonous. Bella had other ideas when she handed her the snack. Tania, without knowing that the snack was “poisoned”, would not realise that anything was off, other than it being especially delicious if she followed Bella’s instructions.
Bella cracked open a window and retrieved a pyrotechnic generator from her storage ring. Before she could throw it out of the window, a black shadow flashed by from behind her and stabbed Bella right in the back in an attempt to kill her.
As a demon king, her body was much more resilient than a regular human. Even though the assassin who had just tried to kill her had successfully pierced Bella’s chest, the assassin had been gravely injured by the intense backlash of energy. After Bella fell, the black shadowy figure dropped to its knees beside Bella’s body with one hand on the ground as support and the other clutching its chest.
This was an incredibly cool, stunning female assassin with skin so pale that she did not appear to be human at all. Her beauty was comparable to Noreya’s with a pair of alert purple eyes constantly checking her surroundings. Her long, gorgeous locks were a rare, metallic, silver-grey.
Bella obviously did not die. The surrogate puppet that Elaine had given her not only took the blow for her, but also created a real body in the original spot to confuse any attackers. This would allow them to think that they had succeeded in their attack. Such body double puppets had all sorts of evil magics and space surrogacy magic imbued in them. Thus it could take the place of its master in an attack and bear the brunt of any damage.
In addition, anyone who owned the puppet could temporarily gain the ability to enter into a Stealth mode, not unlike an assassin. Any assassin on a mission would never expect their target to have a similar Stealth ability which could allow them to take advantage of the assassin’s slip-up and escape.
This silvery-grey haired stunning maiden was President Dinah of the Alexis Academy’s Student Union. She was also the current top assassin in the Assassins Union as this “Grey Reaper” had a perfect record on all her missions until now.
As Noreya merely put her name down in the Assassins Union and did not take part in any of the evaluation competitions, she ranked extremely low. Bella guessed that unless Noreya tapped into her dark abilities, her combat ability was on par with Dinah’s.
Dinah’s assassin stealth outfit had been damaged and she was practically half naked. Bella could not take her eyes off the revealed bare skin. Dinah could have been the assassin that had attracted the attention of the four-armed demonic human being, causing it to attack, back in Duke Brandon’s other palace-like residence.
The dark energy had left festering wounds on Dinah’s creamy pale skin. At the sight of her wounds, Bella felt a little sorry for her as such attacks, even after being treated with light magic, would leave a permanent scar.
Enduring the searing pain all over her body, Dinah fumbled around Bella’s fake body. Dinah had already been wounded by the demonic being’s magic. Now, she was caught in the backlash of Bella’s Demon King energy. This double whammy of injuries had nearly caused her to collapse.
If it weren’t for the fact that she was here to save her Vice-President, Anya, she would not put herself through all this torture! The mission to assassinate the Wolf King Springhall was a huge trap. The announcement had been up on the bulletin board for so long that the paper had begun to yellow. So far, no one had succeeded in their attempts.
Dinah’s infiltration did not go well at all. Along the way, she had been picked up by the dark wizards’ detection magical arrays. She had fought off a few rounds of the White Wolf Princess Tania’s subordinates before managing to escape. Right now, she could barely save herself, let alone be of any help to Anya.
Dinah heard everything that Bella had said to Princess Tania. Such important intelligence must be reported back to the Gabriel Empire. The front at the southern border was already unstable and the lie that the human allied army had emerged victorious had already been exposed by some malicious “rumors”.
The emperor had promised time and time again that the empire’s army was unbeatable, but those were simply lies to placate the masses. The Imperial City was extremely far from the southern border and the Emperor could not do anything but watch as the border was slowly being brought down by the Beastmen.
Although Dinah was a member of the Kristoff Empire on the western continents, she wholeheartedly agreed that the human race should present a united front when dealing with the enemy. She had no choice but to take the riskier path and attack a dark witch and steal their clothes.
Based on her observations, Dinah saw that anyone wearing the robes of a black robed witch or wizard, regardless of gender, was freely allowed to pass through the Nolan City gates. This was the best way to get in and out of the city as the other Beastman guards did not dare to stop them at all.
After ensuring that this black robed witch was already dead, Dinah peeled off the tattered pieces of her stealth outfit. She had taken off her clothes with barely any hesitation. This could have been an occupational habit as assassins were required to blend into different regions by wearing different types of clothes. It would not be beneficial for her profession if she were to change slowly.
Dinah did not realize that she had made a grave occupational mistake when she left her assassin’s dagger on the ground beside her. This was one of the worst things one could do, especially in enemy territory. An assassin’s dagger should be kept on his or her body at all times. The hilt of the dagger also contained a mechanism that would shoot out poisonous needles that were used when assassin saw the need to take their own life.
This was a fail-safe mechanism that only the best assassins would use to prevent being ambushed as these poisonous needles would release toxins into the owner’s body. Dinah’s momentary lapse in focus had given Bella the perfect opportunity. She was afraid that Dinah would use the dagger to kill herself and did not dare to tackle her.
The part that Bella could not stand was that Dinah actually went commando under her suit. Apparently, this top assassin was extremely open. Back then, when President Ivy had mentioned President Dinah, she was filled with admiration and respect for her. Ivy also said that Dinah was her spiritual role model. Bella wondered if Ivy knew that President Dinah had such an open personality.
This time, Bella had misunderstood Dinah. The only reason why she went commando was to allow her to engage in Stealth more easily and it had nothing to do with her personality. Just as Dinah reached out to pull the robes off the corpse, Bella timed her attack perfectly and lunged at her back. Dinah had never expected that there would be someone in Stealth mode behind her and she crashed to the floor before she could turn around.