Volume 4 Chapter 172: A Little Interlude While Returning to the Darkness Sacred Region

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Deep within the hinterlands of the Sarnia Duchy, a battalion of more than one hundred thousand soldiers of the demonic army was swiftly closing in on their target. The demonic beings moved extremely quickly as they neither needed to rest nor did they have to set up a base camp. The flag that flew above the demonic army was the Lily Flag that belonged to the Sarnia Duchy.

  
Even though Bella had never intended to flaunt anything, she was too lazy to come up with a new flag and thus she casually decided to use the Sarnia Duchy’s flag as a temporary stand-in for the flag of the Darkness Sacred Region. This battalion was made up of guards who had been tasked to escort the Demon King Bella and the Blood Demon King Eleanor safely to the Darkness Sacred Region.
  
Bella rode on a White Bone warhorse in the center of the group with Lisha close by behind her. Her other girlfriends were there with Bella as well. Fortunately, there were no outsiders around. This meant that Ariel and the others who were beauties who usually covered their faces did not bother to conceal anything and kept their true appearances as they moved.
  
Anya and Annie were riding on the same warhorse. Under her sister’s bad influence, the assassin Anya had joined the gang as well. This had indirectly caused President Dinah to give in as she could not watch as her own vice-president sank further into depravity. Thus Dinah had no choice but to follow Bella’s team as they returned to the Darkness Sacred Region.
  
The defeat of the Beastman army did not change the battle situation at all. That batch of beastmen was just the vanguard, there were still at least one million other beastman troops approaching from all directions, waiting for the perfect opportunity to break through the Gabriel Empire’s line of defence. Furthermore, strange smoke spots had appeared at various locations along the line of defence during the counterattack. This probably meant that they had met with some unfortunate incidents.
  
The entire Darkness Sacred Region was in a state of battle emergency and there were many Demon Guards patrolling the roads along the way. Bella sat steadily on the White Bone warhorse as she planned her next move. Well… about retaliating against the beastmen, she had not really thought of the reason. To be honest, the actual reason that Bella was doing this was for the kemonomimi.
  
Of course, this was not a legitimate reason. The Sarnia Duchy had not suffered too many losses from the last beastman attack. At the most, only some parts of the outer walls had gotten some slight damage.
  
The journey back had not been entirely smooth. Along the way, Bella had found many destroyed remnants of battle. According to the reports by the demon guards, while Sarni City was being surrounded by the beastman army, various demonic beings of unknown origins had attacked the Darkness Sacred Region that was hidden deep within the hinterlands of Sarnia Duchy.
  
These invading dark demonic beings had fought against the demonic patrol team of the Darkness Sacred Region and had left those traces of battle. However, the corpses of the defeated demonic beings had already been cleared by the demonic beings that had emerged victorious.
  
“Honorable Demon King, reports from the investigative demonic beings revealed that there are humans who are currently fighting against the opposing demonic beings at the Cole Lake just ahead of us.”
  
“There are humans? How insolent of these humans to infiltrate the Darkness Sacred Region. This courage is truly… I shall go take a look. Arrange a small team to accompany me. Lisha, the rest of you will wait here until I return. It won’t be good for too many of us to head there either!”
  
One of the demon guards who was following Bella’s entourage had come up to report the situation. Out of curiosity, Bella decided to see for herself the humans who were bold enough to enter the Darkness Sacred Region, which was forbidden to any living beings.
  
“Bella, let me go with you. After all, this is the border of my country. If it was someone from the empire, I would likely be of some help!”
  
Kriss was adamant that she leave with Bella. As the princess of the Gabriel Empire, she would definitely have some clout when it came to the matters at the borders of the empire. Bella could not come up with any reason to refuse and agreed to her request.
  
The Cole Lake was located right at the outskirts of the Darkness Sacred Region. This thick, overgrown forest had already been stained red with blood. A group of human soldiers was currently fighting against the demonic beings. However, those demonic beings who were attacking the humans were from the opposing powers and did not belong to the Darkness Sacred Region.
  
The demonic beings from the Darkness Sacred Region carried a standard insignia. In addition, they would not engage in any battles at a place like the banks of a lake. The various lakes and large bodies of water in the Darkness Sacred Region were the designated water supply for the higher ups of the region, such as the Demon Kings. It would mean utmost disrespect to the Demon Kings if the water were to be defiled by the blood of any lower level demonic beings.
  
A small team of around two thousand elite demon guards followed behind Bella and Kriss. Even though no one would ever doubt the Demon King’s power, if the Demon King was to personally interfere with such trivial issues, the demonic beings would not be able to handle it.
  
The human soldiers at the banks of Cole Lake were surrounded by attacking demonic beings had suffered heavy casualties. By the looks of their equipment, these humans were imperial soldiers from the Gabriel Empire. The demonic beings that they were fighting against were a group of mutated zombies. According to the demon lords under Bella’s command, they usually called these “Spitter Soldiers”.
  
These Spitter Soldier zombies, as their name would suggest, would spray a strong acid in the direction of their enemies. In close combat, this particular type of zombie was not as effective or strong as the typical zombies. They would be ripped to shreds if they encountered a demonic being that was just slightly more powerful than them. However, it would be a piece of cake for them to deal with regular human soldiers.
  
These regular human soldiers were wearing normal armor that had not been enchanted. In this Other World, no matter how tough the armor, if it had not been enchanted, it was practically useless. If met with an enemy, the fate of such soldiers would be the same as these soldiers from the Gabriel Empire. When Bella arrived at the scene, most of the human soldiers had already perished.
  
The remaining soldiers were fighting as hard as they could. They were protecting a beautiful swordswoman with moon-white hair. Even though the swordswoman was rather skilled, without the additional power of a dedicated enchanted weapon, she was clearly at a disadvantage when it came to fighting these zombies.
  
The armor that the swordswoman was wearing consisted mostly of light armor. Unlike the knight’s heavy armor, this type of light armor was not resistant to corrosion. The suit on her body was nearly gone. As the beautiful swordswoman had killed too many of these zombies, the acid that spurted out of the zombies when they were destroyed had caused her quite a bit of trouble.

  
“Tommy, the empire has treated you well, but you decided to sell out to…”
  
“Princess Khalifa, you only have yourself to blame. No one asked you to leave. A wise man submits to his circumstances, Princess. Since you neither wish to surrender nor die, you have really put me in a difficult position!”
  
Princess Khalifa’s left hand clutched at the wound on her chest, which was still bleeding profusely. She appeared to have been wounded by a concealed weapon. Her right hand gripped a bloodied longsword tightly.
  
A figure who looked like a human general was gleefully showing off the dismembered head in his hand as he stood in front of Princess Khalifa. Even though he was wearing the armor of the Gabriel Empire, the demonic beings around him did not attack him at all. It seemed like this fellow was a traitor.
  
“I have beheaded that intransigent fellow, General Gino. Seeing that you are the princess of the empire, I will allow you the honor of dying with everything intact!”
  
“You traitor… I…”
  
Khalifa froze. She looked up and saw that there were many demon guards in the sky. These demon guards were at least three meters tall and did not seem to have any limit when it came to height. They were all in completely dark equipment, as though they were married to sins and evil, with demon wings on their backs. Each demon guard was armed with a Demon’s Trident and a Blade of Evil Sin.
  
As higher level military type demonic beings, they were much stronger than these zombies that were low level demonic beings simply based on appearance alone. However, the thing that confused Khalifa the most was that each of these demon guards was wearing an armband with the emblem of a human empire. She could not understand how something like this could happen as nothing like that had ever been recorded in the Church’s history books.
  
These demon guards were not being sent as support to the zombies. Once they appeared, they began to ferociously attack the zombies. The Spitter Soldier zombies did not even have the chance to engage their air defence capabilities before hundreds of them were killed by the first few demon guards.
  
Once Khalifa came to her senses, she did not care if the water in the lake was blood red and she jumped right into the lake and began to swim towards the opposite bank. The banks on this side of the lake were already swarming with zombies that Tommy had gathered. There was no way out unless she swam across the lake. Seeing that their princess was getting away to safety, the final few soldiers from the Gabriel Empire that were steadfast in protecting their princess eventually collapsed in relief.
  
“What’s going on, aren’t we allies…”
  
Tommy turned and stared at the attacking demon guards with an incredulous expression as his world instantly divided into two. A demon guard dropped from the sky, raised its Blade of Evil Sin, and split the human traitor down the middle.
  
“You dare pollute the Sacred Region’s water supply? None of you will ever leave this place alive.”
  
Thousands of zombies had been obliterated within moments of being attacked by the demon guards. There were obvious differences between the higher and lower level demonic beings. Even though the lower level demonic beings might be in greater number, it did not matter when they were up against those of a higher level. Since the energy levels of a demonic being did not deplete, it was a pointless dream to even try to use large numbers as an advantage.
  
The Cole Lake was not too wide and it did not take long before Khalifa arrived at the opposite bank. She had no idea that behind her, the demon guards and zombies were already going head to head in battle.
  
“Finally… I’m safe…”
  
On the other side of the lake, Khalifa looked awkwardly at her surroundings. The wings on the nearby demon guards’ backs flapped slightly, seemingly mocking Khalifa’s ignorance. D*mn it! How could I forget that the demon guards could fly?
  
Khalifa took a cursory look at the situation behind her and found that this side of the bank was filled with demon guards as well. It was absolutely terrifying to see a large block of black standing there. She realized that she had been surrounded by demon guards, leaving no outlet for escape.
  
Escorted by the demon knights, a dark knight dressed in demon armor walked towards Khalifa. Similar to a suit of armor that a death knight would wear, it was engraved with many death curses. Based on the respectful and reverent attitudes of the demon guards, this death knight was probably their master.
  
Khalifa summoned up the last bit of energy she could and plunged her longsword right into death knight’s chest. Surrendering to demonic beings was out of the question since there was no precedent of demonic beings surrendering to humans either.
  
The death knight froze for a moment before her left hand shot out and grabbed Khalifa’s longsword. The immense force of her grip turned the top half of the longsword to dust. In the same moment, Bella’s right hand moved and pulled Khalifa to her side.
  
Khalifa’s strength was no match for Bella’s and her body crashed right into the other girl’s body. In the moment that both bodies collided, Khalifa could clearly feel the soft contours of the dark knight’s chest.
  
“You’re… a girl… Hold on…”
  
“Be quiet. What a rude little lass.”
  
With a single handed blow, Bella easily knocked Khalifa unconscious and her body fell into Bella’s embrace. By then, Princess Khalifa was covered in all sorts of bloodstains and Bella looked apologetically at Kriss. Since Kriss had just arrived at the scene, she had not witnessed the part where Khalifa had tried to stab her. However, she definitely saw the part where Bella had knocked Khalifa out.
  
It was hard to justify herself as she had just knocked someone’s sister out right in front of her. Nonetheless, her feelings of apology did not last long at all as she suddenly came to a revelation. Kriss belongs to me, right? This means that her sister was technically mine as well. Since we are all considered kin, then what do I have to be nervous about? Thus it should be perfectly normal to mete out a small little punishment to a younger sister.
  
“Bella, Khalifa is my… sister. Don’t you dare bully her!”
  
“Kriss, I didn’t know that you had such a beautiful sister. Well, it’s too late now. She nearly damaged my armor and must be punished.”
  
“Well… just be gentle with her. Khalifa just has a competitive nature, there’s really nothing bad about her.”
  
Without too much moral consideration, Kriss “sold out” her sister. Kriss knew how Bella was, she was just a demoness with a strong penchant for beautiful girls. Since there was no way to stop her, she might as well give in and let her sister “join the gang”.
  
Since Bella had used a rather light hand, Khalifa did not remain unconscious for too long as Bella’s blow had not caused her to black out completely. When she woke, they were still on the banks of the lake and large groups of demon guards were currently cleaning up the dead bodies around them and on the surface of the lake.
  
“You’re awake, my adorable little prisoner. Now tell me honestly, who are you?”
  
“Human language? What are you, a demon or…”
  
In this moment, Khalifa suddenly realized that all the equipment she had been wearing had been stripped off her. Also, her hands were bound together by puppet strings and pulled up above her head. Also, all the wounds on her body had been healed. Even those that had been caused by the zombies’ acid attacks were gone without a trace. The only thing that struck fear in Khalifa’s heart was the fact that she was hanging here by her wrists, stark naked. If someone saw her like this…
  
“I do not wish to ask you a second time. Tell me all your deepest darkest secrets. Otherwise I will have no choice but to leave you hanging while you wait for the human soldiers to arrive…”
  
“Don’t do this… I said I can’t right now!”
  
Khalifa was surprisingly frank and confessed easily. She did not want to remain hanging here, not when the current situation at the border was so chaotic and tumultuous. There was no way of knowing when the human soldiers arrived if they would save her or try to defile her…
  
Bella was still wearing the death knight’s equipment. This particular suit of knight’s armor came with a mask that prevented outsiders from seeing the knight’s true appearance. Khalifa did not know who Bella was and knew nothing about her, apart from her gender, which her voice had given away.

  
Bella’s initial plan was to take Khalifa back to the Darkness Sacred Region before interrogating her. However, in an impulsive moment, she decided that it would be fun to play a humiliation game like this in the wild. Among all the girls that Bella had taken hostage, Khalifa was one of the most beautiful, second only to the assassin, President Dinah.
  
If Bella’s memory served her right, Emperor Alfred the Third was currently offering a reward of one hundred gold coins and the title of viscount to anyone who brought Princess Khalifa back to him. If the person who sent her home was from a noble family, and held a title that was higher than a viscount, the individual would be awarded a third grade military credit.
  
At the sight of Khalifa’s svelte figure, Bella decided to defy the order. That body, the lovely features, those legs, the chest… One hundred gold coins was definitely “lowballing”. Alfred the Third, that old fox, was the worst. He wanted to exchange such a gorgeous daughter for a ridiculously cheap price.
  
The other nobles probably did not dare to have any errant thoughts about the princess, but Bella was fearless as she was not new to collecting princesses. Honestly, it had not really mattered before if she added Khalifa to her little collection of ladies, but she would mind it very much if she did not have her now. Bella would definitely not allow herself to let go of something that she had already seen.
  
Khalifa’s black irises were filled with confusion. This death knight’s actions are too… too gangster like. Bella sidled over to Khalifa’s side and cupped her chin, forcing her to look Bella directly in the eyes when Khalifa answered her questions. Her other hand had already begun to explore Khalifa’s body in all sorts of naughty ways.
  
Kriss hid behind the trees and watched as Bella took advantage of Khalifa. Despite the fact that she was not actually related to Khalifa due to her status as an interdimensional traveler, she initially felt that she had a duty as an older sister to stop something like this from happening. However, this scene seemed to awaken some strange instinct and mysterious sense of excitement bubbled up within her.
  
The elite demon guards behind Kriss were all on their knees with reverence in their eyes. The depths of her purple irises seem to flicker with a strange glow. After Lisha’s dark alter-ego, Demonic Dragon Emperor Alisha, had emerged, it was probably time for Kriss’ to make an appearance.
  
“That’s everything then! Mmm, I’m very satisfied. I shall take my leave…”
  
“What… you don’t intend to let me go?! How can you do this, I already told you everything. What else do you expect me to do?”
  
“I don’t benefit from letting you go anyway. Plus, I’m not willing to make a loss! Unless someone comes by to redeem you.”
  
After collecting all the important information, Bella did not let Khalifa go immediately. Instead, she decided to continue to tease her. Khalifa glared, furious, at that despicable death knight. She was supposed to be a knight, but was no different from a kidnapper. What a shame for the knights to have someone like her among their ranks.
  
Taking the current wartime chaos into consideration, the nobility near the southern border had already fled for their lives. Where would she find a noble lord to redeem her from this thug? Unless there were some that were still alive.
  
“Don’t leave, the lord of Sarni Duchy, the Grand Duchess Bellina, will probably be able to give you the ransom you want. You can send me to…”
  
“You should have said something earlier. It’s a deal.”
  
“Wait a minute, why are you taking out that black cloth… no, get away from me..”
  
    

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