Chapter 148: Palace in a Devil’s nest

I continued onto researching the system then opened again the status window:


—– START OF STATS —–


« General Information »

Name:         Shen

Sex:         Male

Class:         Spirit Fighter

Primary Element:  Darkness

« Skill Points »

Health:   200.000

Mana:   10,000

STR:    307

AGI:    400

DEF:    400

VIT:    1.000

INT:    619

Avg Attack Power: 720/2.000 (AP)


« Status »

Soul Rank: Golden (Locked)

Pride’s Might: Awoken

One of the Seven Deadly Sins. Essence used by gods against gods.

Feeding on Prana: Regenerate 50.000 HP/s. In case of instant death, the body will be completely rebuilt in 100 seconds.

 

Curse of Vepar (Weakened)

Strengthens inner demons and Rosabhi’s awakening power.


Rosabhi’s Imprint

Your soul has been touched by the devil while your heart was stolen. Physical modifications will appear while the control of the elements of chaos and darkness are strengthened.


—– END OF STATS —–


I tried to focus on it some more or imbue it with energy, but there was no change. Then I looked at it again and felt like it still missed something.


How come it’s not telling me what armor or weapon I’m wearing and using? It is a game status after all, isn’t it? → Shen

[System Update]

Equipment:

Head: None.

Accessories: None

Hands: Pinned, fingerless, Gigantic Black Widow’s thread gloves. (Epic)

Top body: Dog-men tribe’s shirt (Rare), Red-eyed Demonic Boar leather Jacket (Heroic), Black scaled serpent cloak (Heroic)

Bottom Body: Regenerating Ogre’s black leather pants (Epic)

Shoes: Pigs-men Black Leather Boots (Rare)

Weapon: None.


“Oh?” → Shen

“Hm? Is there something wrong, Sir Shen?” → Fify

“Ah, nothing. Don’t mind me.” → Shen


At my surprised reaction, the little lighting fairy Fify turned around together with Darius. After answering back, I looked again at the status and observed a huge change: Right beside the long status window, another one was now appearing which showed a 3D appearance of me and details about every piece of armor, accessory or weapon I was wearing on me. With a swipe of my finger, I was able to turn the image around in all directions and observe the back, the front, sides, the top of my head and even from below the feet.


If I look from up to down at my character… God, those are some really scary eyes alright. → Shen


I felt kind of conflicted at the sharp and unfriendly gaze I had while looking upwards, but even so, the fact that I was now able to observe any kind of detail about myself just like this was kind of amazing and creepy at the same time.


If I’m able to see this, what about the gods who actually gave us this system? Are they able to observe us 24/7?… I don’t like this. → Shen


Even though it seemed quite useful, this system was more like a sword with two edges. I liked to know everything about myself, but not the others as well. From that moment, I swore that I’ll find a way to get rid of the system one way or another. And it seems that one answer has appeared:


[Host unable to shut down the system. Needed the assistance of an « Elder God » or above to close the system.]


Hoho~ so I first need to reach Elder God? Or rather, is not necessary to do it myself, is there? → Shen


I thought amused while continuing playing around with the system’s properties as I ran right behind the others.


After a few more days, we finally reached Victoria’s capital Donaria. At the great walls tall like mountains that surrounded the entire great capital for more than a hundred kilometers around, more soldiers of at least Great Warrior to Energy Master power-rank, stood tall on the walls, atop the great black-iron gate and even on bigger and fortified towers. For some reasons, the gates were closed at the moment while the number of guards were quite high.


The heroes looked confused, the elites had dark faces on, and even Jian had a more serious expression on.


“Hey. What happened? Why are the gates closed?” → Jinxy

“And why are there so many guards? Last time there barely were any.” → Kuma

“Something must have happened.” → Susan

“And surely this must be from the Queen’s orders” → Tom


The heroes and elites tried to understand what happened as we stopped on our tracks right atop a tip of a neighboring mountain, gazing in the distance at the great capital. Jian then looked intently and observed how the expressions of every soldier were quite rigid and serious, as if afraid to let even a fly pass them.


What are they so tense for… Hm? → Shen


Then he observed how they all turned with worried faces back toward their capital, but not necessarily at the central palace, but at the neighboring buildings or houses that surrounded the Royal district. Also, the place where the civilians resided. At that moment Jian remembered of something that also happened in the Jian Kingdom when he was younger and his father just raised on the throne:


“A coup d’état.” → Jian

““What?!””


Everyone turned around baffled at Jian’s words. Even I felt somewhat urgent as I rushed everyone.


“However much we try to guess what happened, we won’t truly know if we don’t go and see.” → Shen


If Queen Lorana falls now, then the alliance with Victoria will be nulled as well. And if it was only that. I wished to use Victoria as a starting point for the “Last Cause” and also a new base for me. I can’t let this place fall when my plans barely started moving. → Shen


I rushed in the air at top speed, ready to fly above the walls and guards. Leorio, Yuri and Jian saw me go first and they hurriedly tried to stop me.


“Mister Shen! Please wait a moment!” → Leorio

“Sir Shen! We can’t simply break in like that!” → Yuri

“Shen! If your first-image is too chaotic, then the alliance might suffer on the trustworthy part!” → Jian


After I heard “the alliance” part, my flight stopped mid-air then turned around while levitating.


“What the Hell are you all talking about? If I go and save the Queen now, won’t I be viewed as some kind of hero? As long as the Queen’s camp wins, there should be no harm befalling Antara, right?” → Shen

“…”


Everyone else had dumbfounded faces as even Leorio thought for a second.

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It can’t be that simple… Can it?… Well, I should be able to talk it out with the queen in case of anything. → Leorio


He sighed lightly then with a smirk he continued.


“Well, with your overwhelming powers we should be able to do it just like that. Alright, let’s go.” → Leorio

“Eh? Are you sure, Mister Leorio?” → Jian


Even Jian and Yuri weren’t that sure but Leorio gave the thumbs up and flew forward while showing to everyone the way toward the Queen’s place.


“HALT! Land down and state your business!”


A guard from atop the gate shouted agitated after feeling the monstrous aura emanated by us. Then Leorio shot out right in front of him and showed him a badge on which with a nymph singing at the moon was sculpted, completely made out of silver and gold. Then in a severe tone, he shouted so even the guards from behind the walls could hear him:


“I’m Elite’s Captain Leorio! Part of the Elites and the heroes’ party! I returned with news and I seek an audience with her highness!” → Leorio

“T-the royal badge?! Y-yes sir! Please excuse my impudence and go on!”


The guard bowed down then made way, showing to Leorio that he was free to go. Even though there was no need to explain himself, the badge being enough, Leorio still had some kind of camaraderie with the army, giving them the respect they deserve.


“Didn’t know you’re of such high rank.” → Jian

“Ah, no. The Queen gave it to me as the leader of the elites a while back ago when Yuri wasn’t present yet. Oh, now that I think about it, she should give you one as well, mister Yuri. This badge shows that the Queen trusts you and wishes to keep you close. Having this, you can go or do almost anything.” → Leorio


Jian asked somewhat surprised as Leorio answered in a hurry, then changed the subject toward Yuri who felt somewhat embarrassed after hearing that the Queen actually trusted him enough to give him such an important badge.


As we rushed forward we were able to feel the tension only raising as all the buildings or houses were completely sealed and closed shut. After a little bit more of flying, we finally reached the grand palace. However, we also saw that from inside some windows on the gigantic towers and walls of the palace, the fire was spitting out its flames to the outside while from inside some other rooms the fire just started. At this sight, everyone felt more urgent as I also felt my nerves tense. I looked back and shouted at the one I knew to be the fastest after me.


“Jian!” → Shen

“Yes.” → Jian


Having learned how to fly from the books inside the library and also how to use his lightning to boost his speed, Jian showed speed and agility comparable to a Semi-God like Ashura. Although his attack power was lower than a Semi-God, his combat might, techniques, and speed almost makes up for the low power-rank.


Having Jian behind me, I turned toward Leorio and Yuri then, without intention, my voice turned commanding as I ordered them both.


“Yuri! Through telepathy, you will tell Jian the queen’s location by using your [God’s Gaze] while I will try to put out the fire and incapacitate the bastards that started it inside the palace. Leorio! I will leave the explanations to you after everything is done with. The elites and heroes shall use their utmost to keep any kind of blood to be spilled from all around the capital! We are still not sure how many are revolting voluntarily and how many are simply following orders. Is the Queen’s duty to deal with the rebels so nobody must execute nobody! Use whatever you see fit to keep anyone from spilling blood! The less loses this kingdom suffers, the better will be for the alliance and for the entire Victoria itself. Now everyone, go and don’t you dare screw up!” → Shen


They all froze for a moment because of the imperial aura I emanated for a moment, but then nodded in agreement, either because of fear, respect, or of a feeling of duty. Jian and I then shot out with double the speed than before as Yuri then informed Jian of the Queen’s location: at the basement of the palace inside a secret chamber. It seems that chamber wasn’t all that secret, the Queen being now completely surrounded with just a few maid-servants and just a few dozen soldiers to guard her. Jian then accelerated even more as he flew with a booming sound then I did the same, rushing toward the highest floor that was now in flames.


[Devil’s Eyes]


My eyes turned red and observed how the smoke of malice, madness, and fear engulfed the entire palace. With my dark aura, I tried to engulf the gigantic palace and tried to feel the fire then cool it down until it was completely extinguished. At the same time, I tried to feel around for survivors. With my [Devil’s Eyes] I distinguished between the rebels who attacked them and the ones who worked for the palace. The difference was that the rebels, even though some felt guilty, sad, or excited with high morale, they all had the same shade of burning red color in their aura, showing their intent to destroy and kill.


Hm~ now at this time I should be able to use that devil’s ability… → Shen


I opened my skill window and searched through [Devil’s Set] from the [Darkness] element. In an instant, I whipped downwards through the ridiculous skills and found two skill that I needed, those being [Shadow Clones] and [Devil’s Nest]. After I completely engulfed the entire palace with some difficulty inside my [Devil’s Nest], I subdued my irritation at the uselessly huge palace and tried to create at least four shadow clone to where the rebels started the fire, to where the rebels fought against the survivors and to where there were any survivors left. Well, all in all, more than a few dozens of clones now suddenly appeared inside the palace which was surrounded by a dark cloud, red lighting flashing around in a violent manner, threatening to turn everything that approached or tried to leave into pulverized dust.


[[[POV CHANGES TO INSIDE OF THE PALACE]]]


Inside the palace, on the highest floor of the palace:


“Hahaha~! Burn it to the ground! Set it to flames!”


A soldier laughed maniacally as he used different fire-spells to set the entire hall aflame. Even the other rebels felt somewhat threatened by his flames as they started shouting.


“Oy! You damn pyromaniac! The commander told us to burn only the rooms in which survivors were hiding! Not the entire damn palace!”

“Yeah! What the f***?! Do you want to kill us all?!”

“Oh please~, nobody will know it was us.”

“… Just how did this guy become Count Gerald’s knight?”

“Good question…”


Six rebelling soldiers were now setting the curtains on fire of the servants’ rooms, be them empty or occupied. Ignoring the screams of pain or the pleas for mercy, they continued setting everything aflame while conversing freely.


“… Oy. Are the flames cold now? Why is such a chilly air blowing in here?”


The one who was setting everything on fire stopped for a moment and felt around, confused as for why the air was actually quite cold.


“Hm? He’s right. Is there a window open?”

“Are you dumb? Even if it was open, do you think it would still be enough to cool down this entire place like this?”

“Hey, I just asked.”


As they reprimanded one another the flames diminished in intensity, the burning power was also reduced, while the fire itself was slowly dying down. In less than a few moments, the air turned completely chilly as the flames died down completely.


“Eh? Guys, can someone use some light magic?-”


-CRACK~!-


From outside the window, a red flash and the sound of deafening thunder reverberated throughout the entire hall, making the windows to vibrate while making the soldiers jump in shock.


“O-oy! Something’s definitely wrong!”

“E-exactly! Since when is lightning red?!”

“And just what is this eerie feeling I get? This is creepy!”


The soldiers were this time completely terrified as they were unable to even summon or gather the fire-element and start at least a little flame.


“T-there! Look!”


A soldier from behind saw how from the shadows more and more silhouettes rose up on two legs, just like the undead from inside the earth.


“W-what are those…?”


Every shadow had the same silhouette while it was completely black, making it even more difficult to see them inside that darkness. They then opened their eyes and two red eyes shone threateningly, gazing intently at the soldiers with hate and malice. After more than 20 such shadows rose up, they all shot out together at the soldiers in an eerie silence, their auras like those of rank A beasts.


Although I intended to summon only 4 shadows per group, I never said that I’m also able to do so. This spell, in combination with [Devil’s Nest], is enchanted a few times, making the shadows only more aggressive and powerful. So the possibility of them turning more in numbers although I added the correct amount of mana, was already quite high, but nothing that I would need to worry about… I think.


“G-GHYAAAA~!!!”


The soldiers screamed out completely terrified as the shadows engulfed them and easily knocked them down by using martial arts. Some of them were harder to control as they actually even broke some bones by mistake.


This is harder than I thought, and the soldiers’ power-rank is at most Great Warrior… I should take it easier on them… and also, the numbers are so wrong hehe~… → Shen


I stood atop of a tower as the entire great palace was completely engulfed in a cloud of dark mist filled with red lighting summoned by me. Everywhere inside the palace, such screams of terror were resounding, not only from the rebels but from the servants and allied soldiers as well. Everyone was completely terrified by the threatening eyes and aura, together with their nightmarish appearance.

Even Yuri was somewhat shocked by the demonic aura, being able to see with his [God’s Gaze] some kind of red thunder inside the dark cloud that enveloped the entire palace, twisting and flashing like a mad dragon. Sometimes it would even appear as it stared at Yuri, feeling his gaze and roaring out in irritation and making for another thunder to resound loud enough to threaten the windows with breaking.


Shen? Are you… mad for some reason? → Yuri

Have you seen something inside my dark cloud? → Shen

Yes. → Yuri

Then don’t worry. This is the devil’s power. Together with it, the devil’s rage and fury will show itself in different forms. Whatever you see, don’t worry, is not from me. → Shen

I see… But will you be fine? → Yuri

His power is under my command while his will is locked. He won’t be able to even lift a finger without me knowing. → Shen

G-good to know then. → Yuri


Yuri was able to feel some malice from me while talking about the devil, so he tried to change the subject in a hurry.


I talked with Jian! He said that he found the queen but her guards showed some malice. → Yuri

How did he deal with them? → Shen

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Well… → Yuri


Back in time when Jian just entered inside the palace while I was enveloping it with the dark cloud. Because of the darkness caused by the mist, Jian was able to easily sneak inside and knock down any and all rebels that tried to kill or take the servants as prisoners. Because of the loud thunder that resounded now and then, some of the weaker rebels also ended up frozen from fright, giving Jian enough time to take action in less than a second. He then rushed toward the throne hall that was right in the middle on the ground floor. While lightly stepping behind the great door, he gazed inside and saw more of what seemed to be rebelling nobles and soldiers, discussing something with nervous expressions as they glanced outside the great windows, toward the dark mist. Taking this moment of unawareness, Jian sneaked inside and hid right behind a great pillar. As he was doing so, he listened to some words from the noble in the middle of the group:


“Hmm… Let’s wish that this mist is just an effect of some kind of plant that is now on fire while the red lighting only a chemical combination. This palace has quite the unique plants after all. We can’t mess this up after reaching so far. The moment our troops push the queen’s guards to change their course to this place, we will catch them right in our palm.”

“Indeed, Count Gerald was wise to think of such a plan.”

“Hmph. Don’t be so humble with me now, Viscount Foxrot. If not for your men finally finding out the secret tunnels, this plan would have never been able to be executed this smoothly.”

“Oh, your majesty is flattering me.”


A strong looking dragoon was talking with a shrewd-looking wildcat. They didn’t seem to be in such good terms but their alliance was strong and true. Jian sharply glanced at them as he listened while hiding his presence skillfully. In the end, he retracted his gaze and hid even better.


Yuri. Which way to the underground? → Jian

K-king Jian, your abilities are incredible. Now I understand why Sir Shen asked you to rescue the queen. → Yuri


Still far away, Yuri used his [God’s Gaze] to follow Jian’s movements, but was dumbfounded by his agility and accuracy, leaving behind a trail of knocked out soldiers which were hidden behind dark corners, then sneaking inside without even starting a fuss.


I thank you for the compliments but this is not the time, mister Yuri. → Jian

A-ah! R-right, forgive me. King Jian, please go toward the wall behind the throne. The secret underground chamber has three entrances. The first one is from her highness’ room. The second from inside the outside royal garden, while the last one is from inside the throne hall. It seems that the queen used the one from her room while the rebelling nobles used the one from inside the garden. → Yuri

How come you know so much about the secret tunnels inside this palace? A normal foreign minister could never have such sensible information. If Queen Lorana really trusts you this much, then with all my respect I say, she’s foolish to give you just the rank of a foreign minister. → Jian

Ah, no, please don’t misunderstand. Simply because my eyes are stronger than those of any other Soul Seer’s I was able to detect every secret room or tunnel without any difficulty. → Yuri

… What a fearsome character you are, Sir Yuri. → Jian

Ahaha~… → Yuri


As Jian continued onward through the shadows of the tall and wide pillars towards the wall behind the throne, the rebelling nobles separated the group in more sections as they heard noises from the outside. Not long after, Jian reached the wall while hiding behind the throne then asked in a hurry.


Alright, now? → Jian

Smash the wall. → Yuri

Excuse me? → Jian


Momentarily baffled, Jian froze stiff while in front of the wall, his eyes wide-open. Yuri understood his reaction but he continued to rush him.


There is a complicated mechanism where you have to press more stone-bricks in order, but I don’t know the order! Just trust me, bash the wall. I will be able to make an illusion surrounding the area one meter around you to seem as if nothing happened. → Yuri

From such a distance? No, I’m inclined that you players can do almost anything. You are indeed a friend of Lord Shen and King Ryu. Your unicity is just as amazing. → Jian

N-not really anything, but thank you. → Yuri


Then with a confident smile, Jian punched the wall with a thunderous sound, and more stairs going downwards appeared right behind it.


“What was that?!”


Even though the illusion was activated by Yuri, the noise created by Jian’s blow still resounded loud and clear through the already noisy hall because of the nervous rebels.

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