The center of the Sorro Hotel within the Swinburne Underground Exchange at the central branch of Olsylvia Academy.
The young master of the Blood Skull Organization, Randall, was shaking from anger as he saw two members of his party who were being tossed out of the hotel. He was infuriated. At least know its master before kicking a dog! Bella’s subordinates were not showing him any respect at all as they beat up his men right in front of his eyes.
Like Bella, Randall was wearing a mask and she could not tell if the handsome face under the black mask was contorted in anger. Either way, the Blood Skull Organization had sent killers after her before and this was the perfect opportunity to seek revenge on the mastermind.
“You! Just because you’re a woman, doesn’t mean that I won’t dare to touch you. I know people who are from the Horrorshow Group. Believe me…”
“All I know is, you’d be interested in getting to know the fraternities…”
With a single punch, Bella punctured the chest of one of Randall’s followers who had been standing in front of him and blood spurted out everywhere. The entire place fell silent. Those ruffians who witnessed the incident were stunned by Bella’s display of power. Somehow, a woman managed to pierce through a person’s chest with a single punch. That act was too violent for them to comprehend.
“You… get… get her… wait, stop… Stop it!”
Randall’s initial reaction was to ask his followers to charge towards Bella and attack her. However, he stopped in mid sentence. The assassin Noreya had raised her strongbow with one hand and had her arrow pointed right at Randall’s head almost like a gun. All she needed to do was to make a slight movement to touch the trigger and this man, who was the son of a mafia boss, would have his head blown to pieces on the spot.
There were many wizards amongst Randall’s followers. However, they were unable to do anything to help him. Their arms had been bound at the wrist with a transparent string at the exact place where their pulse was.
The puppet master Elaine sat with a quiet nonchalance, as though everything that was happening was none of her business. However, those puppet strings on the ground could be traced back to her black cape. It was impossible for her to say that she was not involved in this.
“Everyone, do not move. Let’s talk this through. Erm, Lord Randall, they are my customers. Could you let this go on my account? Just this once.”
“I will not get involved in your private matters. Since she already has her own group, I suggest that you back off! Once you leave the hotel premises, you are free to do whatever you want. However, while you are within my property, I will have the final say.”
The lady boss of the Sorro Hotel, Sally Roy, saw that the conflict was about to escalate and she quickly came out to resolve the problem. She had thought to help Bella and the others to repay their kindness as Bella had brought her a gift.
However, this was not a good time to return their favor. Sally Roy could not determine how strong Bella and the others were. If Randall were to die at her hotel, this would potentially affect the Eye of Darkness’ current relationship with the Blood Skulls.
“Let’s go… remember this, be careful next time.”
Indignant, Randall had no choice but to leave with his group of followers. They dragged the corpses along with them as they retreated. Bella did not hesitate to take advantage of the situation. She kept her own large diamonds and took Randall’s gold pieces to foot the bill with Sally Roy instead.
“Lady Boss, the bill please! Keep the change. It’s your tip…”
“You… dear guest, I’ve been in this business for a long time and you are the most… Anyway, please leave quickly once the bill has been paid. Also, use the back doors inside.”
An unexpected smile appeared on Sally Roy’s face. This little junior was too naughty, she actually made use of Randall’s money for her own interests. Her level of shamelessness was so high that it could almost be considered as a talent.
“Lady Boss, well… is there a vacancy for the boss? I might want to apply for that position in the future. I’m joking… don’t take my word for it.”
“You little sneak, damn it, don’t get any funny ideas about me.”
Before she left, Bella did not forget to tease Sally Roy. As she walked past her, Bella said something to Sally Roy in low tones and left as quickly as she could before the other girl had a chance to say anything.
“Charlie, do a full background check of that junior of mine, I want to teach her… no, I’m worried that Randall will seek vengeance on them.”
“Yes, Young Mistress.”
As she watched Bella and the others leave through the back door, Sally Roy instructed her servants to investigate that group. The Eye of Darkness was different from most of the other organizations. When Sally Roy and Samson were younger, they had a typical normal childhood. Unfortunately, their family was involved in a deal with the mafia and had been wiped out in the process.
Sally Roy had managed to escape along with her adoptive parents’ son, Samson. They were not related by blood and had both been adopted by the generous couple. After they ran away, everything changed.
Under Sally Roy’s instruction, Samson had been disguised as an orphan and had secretly been sent to live with another wealthy family. After that, she continued to be on the run alone. As there was no one else for her to depend on, Sally Roy was forced to rely on her survival instincts. After many rounds of slaughter, she had killed every single person who had come after her.
In that last battle, she was lying in a pool of her own blood. Sally Roy thought that she was going to die. However, in an unexpected twist of fate, she received some help from a random black shadow. The shadow claimed to be the remnant of the consciousness of an Underworld King who had died in battle during the armageddon around ten thousand years ago. Sally Roy did not care if it was telling the truth. All she wanted was to survive and avenge her adoptive parents.
In the end, Sally Roy made use of that Underworld King’s legacy and exterminated all of her enemies on a rampage. She did not rest until she finally established her own organization, the Eye of Darkness.
The secret word among the mafia bosses in the underground world was that Sally Roy did not know how to dress up properly as she was always in a men’s suit. In reality, she had no choice as the scars from her battles back then were too prominent and were an eyesore. She could not even bear the thought of wearing a normal dress like the other girls and revealing her scars.
If I could turn back time, I would have liked to be a good person. However, I did not have a choice. Sally Roy sighed as she lamented her past actions and continued to browse through her books on magic. All these years, there was something that she always felt helpless about. It might have been karma, but Samson, whom she had fought tooth and nail to save, had turned down the road of evil as well.
This was exactly the reason why Sally Roy refused to reconcile with Samson. Although she would admit that they were technically siblings, she asked anyone who knew to keep it a secret. It was hard to justify why Sally Roy and Samson, who were chased after by the evil powers back then, had now become the leader of a dark organization and a mafia boss respectively.
Sally Roy sat down for a moment before she suddenly jumped out of her seat, as though she had remembered something. If her memory served her right, Randall had passed through the hotel and left using the back door. Since Bella and the others left in the same direction, she might as well have sent them to their deaths.
“Hey, where are you dragging me off to… wait, I didn’t bring any money with me…”
“Miss Kleina, be serious. None of us are good people anyway. What are you afraid of…”
“I’m not… I’m not scared! Honestly, I’ve never done anything to hurt anyone before. In fact, I’ve never participated in any of my family’s experiments…”
“If you’re not scared, then why are your hands so cold? They’re sweating too…”
Kleina was the daughter of the Skeleton Tower’s master. Although Bella and the others were female, she was still feeling rather nervous. Earlier on, during their clash with the Blood Skulls, the few older sisters were far too practised, as though they were old hands who had been in the mafia for years.
When the group arrived at the back door, Bella was not in a rush to open the door. Instead, Noreya reached out and made three soft taps on the door. It did not take long before someone on the other side rapped on the door in the same pattern and Noreya felt that it was safe to open the door.
The back door of the Rosso Hotel led to a secluded lane. When the doors opened, Kleina’s senses were assaulted by the overpowering rusty stench of blood. As she looked around, she saw that the lane was littered with corpses, as though there had been a mafia bloodbath just moments before.
The killers from the Blood Skull who had been lying in wait at the back had been killed by Bella’s Demon Thieves. As the Demon Thieves were female bandits by birth, they were much swifter than an assassin when it came to killing people. At least, they were more determined than the latter.
Like any other big bosses, Bella liked to have an entourage of subordinates when on official business. Without them, any boss would be as good cannon fodder. Bella typically brought those who were of decisive action and could maintain a low profile. She was adamant against bringing those subordinates who often served as cannon fodder for opponents to gain experience.
Bella’s team of Demon Thieves only consisted of around ten people. However, they had managed to take down more than hundred killers from the Blood Skull organization. Their impressive battle record left Kleina speechless. Could it be that she had gotten lucky and bumped into a hidden boss?
“What is this…”
“Twenty gold coins. Take them and find some place where you can engage a carriage to send you home. I will not keep you any longer…”
“Wait, aren’t we…”
Bella gave a handful of gold coins to Kleina in an attempt to send her away. As Kleina was unable to participate in the grave robbing, Bella planned to change out of her current outfit before recruiting more people to join her.
“Don’t be in such a hurry to chase me away! I… even though I didn’t bring any money, but I… I’m still pretty useful. You’re going to explore the Scripps Cemetery right? Take me along with you. I don’t want any reward, I just need one thing.”
Kleina held on to Bella’s hand, refusing to let go. She offered to work for Bella without claiming a share of the treasures she found. All she wanted was a special treasure.
Having a beauty work for her for free was supposed to be a good thing. However, this beautiful young girl in front of her was rather tricky. Bella did not know how the people of the Skeleton Tower would react to her accepting the young mistress of the tower as part of her crew.
When Sally Roy finally arrived at the back door of the Rosso hotel, the back lane was covered in blood and dead bodies. However, Bella and her friends were not among them.
“Charlie, send someone to tell Randall to pick up the bodies. It doesn’t matter if he comes in person or if he sends someone to do it. Also, from today onwards, that back lane will be abandoned. Prepare to switch to a different one.”
The path leading out from the back door was supposed to be used as an emergency escape route. At this point, too many people knew about it already and she had no choice but to make the necessary changes. Sally Roy closed her magic book and turned back into the hotel. Everything else would be handled by her subordinates.
Under the protection of the Demon Thieves, Bella and the others were able to move covertly to a private room within a small hotel nearby. This particular hotel had already been bought by Bella in secret. Currently, the hotel was being run by a group of girls from the Franks Commoner Academy who were helping at President Britney’s request.
A small hotel like this did not cost much. Furthermore, it was not in a prime location and did not have many customers anyway. After Bella bought the hotel to be used as a secret gathering location, she decided to give those poor girls at the Franks Commoner Academy a chance to earn a decent wage along with an opportunity to gain some work experience. The wages that they would earn at this unknown hotel were equal to the ones that were given to the service staff at those large hotels for the nobility.
Inside the small private room, Bella, Elaine, Noreya, and Kleina were currently discussing strategy while being seated around a small table. Because of the trouble caused by Randall, they had not managed to eat much before they had to pay and leave the hotel.
“Slow down… Miss Kleina. Take note of your image! After all, you’re…”
“I’ve been starving all day. Everything that asshole Randall gave me had strange medicines in them. While I was beside him, I didn’t dare to eat anything at all. In fact, I didn’t even take a sip of water…”
Kleina had already removed the fastenings on her cloak and revealed her true appearance. Bella’s guess was right. Kleina was really a beautiful young lady with long grey hair and matching irises. Strangely enough, her grey hair did not cause her to look old and had a gorgeous metallic sheen to it.
As she was well practiced in sorcery, Kleina’s skin was abnormally pale. She did not have the natural flush in her cheeks that most girls had.
Even if they did not participate in those terrifying experiments, most of the members of the Skeleton Tower practised sorcery in various forms. It was inevitable. As Kleina was more naive and did not have a cruel bone in her body, her abilities did not stand out within the Skeleton Tower.
This was the reason why the Tower Master had wanted his daughter, who did not have much combat ability, to marry Young Master Randall and solidify the relationship between the Blood Skull and themselves. Before that, the Blood Skull and the Horrorshow group had been checking each other out in secret. There was a chance that these three groups had plans to work together to destroy the Eye of Darkness.
The Eye of Darkness had only been established recently. In addition, their leader, Sally Roy, was a woman. This made many people unhappy about the organization. Bella did not plan to allow the Eye of Darkness to collapse as she was rather fond of the organization.
Other than Kleina, none of the other girls had taken off the cloaks which were used to conceal their identities. As Kleina was too active in the Underground World, it did not matter if she kept her appearance a secret.
“By the way, are we the only ones going?”
“Well, we don’t need too many people in our group. In fact, any extra people would not help…”
Technically speaking, the grave robbers in the Other World were similar to the ones from the novels in Bella’s previous life. Each of them had a role in the group. Typically, there were only a few essential professions in the group – a Breaker to destroy the booby traps in the cemetery, an Erudite to break any curses, and a Strongman for the physical work of digging the graves.
Other than those three essential ones, other professions were important as well. However, it did not matter to Bella as she felt that her two dorm mates would be more than enough. After much discussion, Kleina was allowed to join them but she was only allowed to assist the Puppet Master Elaine.
As Noreya and Elaine were acting distant on purpose, Kleina had assumed that they were Bella’s subordinates and did not think too much about them. All she knew was that they were students of Olsylvia Academy. Kleina had always been homeschooled by specialized teachers and did not attend classes anywhere else.
Once the jobs were assigned, Bella purposely arranged for her Demon Thieves to bring a message back to the “Pure White Heaven”. After that, she left on her own to McPherson Monastery, one of the last few territories that the Rose Society still had, for a quick visit with Third Generation Radiant Pope McPherson’s soul before rejoining the group. Bella did not mention anything about the contents of their conversation either.
Scripps Cemetery was located at the southern branch of Olsylvia Academy, within a quiet corner of St. Louis Church Academy. When Bella and the others arrived at the cemetery, it was dead silent. The only person around was the person in charge from the Church who was wearing a mask.
“You’re here… do you have your temporary alliance agreement?”
“We do not use that. Everyone here is a partner worthy of trust.”
The person in charge at the entrance was shocked when Bella turned up with just three other people. As Bella and the others were wearing cloaks and masks, the person in charge was unable to see what they looked like. However, based on their voices, it was obvious that at least one person in the group was female.
“Why don’t you recruit more people before you attempt to go in? So far, I have not seen any of the teams that have gone in come out alive.”
“No need, it’s much easier with less people. With too many in the group, I wouldn’t know who to split the bounty with later on!”
Bella was still negotiating with the Church’s person in charge when another large group arrived. When she saw the leader of the other group, Bella felt a little uncomfortable.
It was Randall, the infamous young master of the Blood Skull who was almost beaten to a pulp by Bella. Although he was wearing a black mask, that arrogant swagger was unmistakable.
“Captain Kleina, we meet again…”
“Don’t look at me, she’s the captain here. She’s the one…”
Kleina had immediately thrown Bella under the bus and hid behind her like a meek little girl. Her hands gripped Bella’s right hand as tightly as she could. Upon seeing that, Noreya and Elaine did their best to hide their laughter.
“We… why don’t we collaborate for now…”
Randall sized up Noreya and Elaine who had been silent all these time. Despite their scuffle earlier, the depths of their power had yet to be determined and Randall was feeling rather apprehensive.
“Collaborate? I don’t trust you… how can we work together?”
“This mission is not easy. No one has heard anything from the teams who had gone in earlier. The teams from the Horrorshow Group and the Skeleton Tower have already entered before us. If we delay this any longer, all the goods would have been claimed by them!”
Looking at the pitch-black entrance to Scripps Cemetery, Bella felt that Randall had a point. It was not a bad suggestion. However, she did not have much faith in the ability of Randall’s team. There was a definite possibility that they would end up being completely wiped out.
During her conversation with Third Generation Radiant Pope McPherson’s soul, Bella found out that the late pope did not know much about Scripps Cemetery either. Back then, this location was rather normal. He had not found anything wrong with the place before he was harmed by the Fourth Generation Radiant Pope.
At this point, Bella shamelessly handed a Magic Storage Card with no stored value to Randall.
“What do you mean by this…”
“Give me a guarantee of 100,000 gold coins. Transfer it to the account on this card and I will give it back to you when we return to the surface…”