Zibal had served Prince Edan—the traitor who killed former Emperor Juander and then got killed. People naturally thought that Zibal had been driven out of the empire. Yet he was working with the Red Knights...? It was surprising that a traitor was still present in the empire.
“Weren’t you in a position where you would be executed for guilt by association...? It seems that even the great empire appreciates your ability.”
The imperial family hadn’t told the world about the grandmaster. The people only knew that Imperial Prince Edan had rebelled, and the emperor had been replaced in the process. It was the same for the Yatan Church. The damn Edan stopped their deal in the middle, so the Yatan Church couldn’t figure out the details. Consequently, the Yatan followers naturally thought the Red Knights in front of them were part of the empire.
“Didn’t the new empress declare that she would aim for world unity? I know there was a proclamation of no more one-sided military intervention. Yet it seems the empire hasn’t changed since the days when it occupied other countries’ territory with force. Rather, it just became more insidious. Is it different for our church? How about using this chance to establish a relationship with our church?”
Rose still had room to act. Yatan’s followers were gathering here from all over the continent. It was Rose’s judgment that with the ever-increasing troops, she could easily break through the Red Knights and complete her mission.
“I don’t care if you curse the emperor or the empire. You have to step back here.” A knight pointed her sword at Rose. Her name was Susan. She was a great beauty, but unfortunately, there was a terrible wound on her forehead.
“Oh...? Isn’t this reaction strange? Is the rumor false that the loyalty of the Red Knights to the emperor and the empire is as deep as the sea?”
“Filthy Yatan’s Servant, do you intend to mix my words forever? Turn away or die.”
“Your tone is as ugly as the scar on your forehead. It is clear you haven’t learned anything.”
“Did you choose death?” Susan’s sword stretched out in a straight line.
Other rankers couldn’t respond to the sword that was as fast as light, but Rose responded fully by opening the Diamond Shield. Rose was a top-rated ranker and had been thoroughly prepared from the moment she saw that Susan’s name was gold. However, Susan’s skills were better than Rose expected.
‘Destroying the Diamond Shield in one strike?’
Susan’s sword shattered the shield. Rose recovered it and fired it up again at a much faster speed than before. This time, Rose determined it would be hard to block and gritted her teeth in preparation for the pain. Frodo, who was standing by Rose’s side, swung a spear and blocked Susan’s sword.
“She is a bad opponent for you. Step back and provide cover.”
“This filth can’t stop me!” Susan swung her sword more vigorously. Her plan was to wipe out the Yatan followers in front of her, but it was surprisingly difficult. Frodo had a very high level of creativity. “A Servant?”
“That’s right. You are a single-digit knight.”
The battle started to expand to the scale of a war. Thousands of Yatan followers, including Rose, cast black magic to cover Frodo while the Red Knights rushed into the Yatan followers and started wiping them out. There were only 20 against thousands, but the knights were worthy of their high reputation.
‘No, isn’t this more than what I’ve heard?’ Rose’s expression darkened. It was because the Red Knights weren’t only masters of swordsmanship but also magic. They easily blocked the black magic because they were casting protective magic and buff magic extremely quickly.
‘Why do the Red Knights know magic? Furthermore, it is the first time I’ve seen these spells.’
Rose stepped back a bit further. Her judgment was excellent for someone who reached this position.
‘The average skill difference is too big. I will lose half my troops before reinforcements even arrive.’
She didn’t know the identity of the ‘master’ of Zibal and the Red Knights. If their master was above the level of the empire’s dukes, then the odds of success were low for the Yatan followers even if the reinforcements arrived. There was also something she couldn’t overlook.
‘What if their master is Marie Rose?’
What if they had a cooperative relationship? The Yatan Church would be destroyed by the Red Knights and Marie Rose. Rose thought up to here and used Fly magic. She was going to flee. The quest? She would give it up for now. Since she was armed with items obtained in exchange for summoning the great demon, death was the worst variable that must be avoided.
‘I don’t feel good. Tsk, I just lost time.’
Rose’s body rose in the air. She was confident that she could retreat while Frodo and the other followers were focused on the enemies. It was a misjudgment.
What was this? Had a meteorite fallen from the sky? Rose, trapped on the ground, was thrown into confusion by the shock that she couldn’t handle. Her vision flashed red as her face was buried deep in the ground.
‘This... What is it?’
A huge shadow covered her. It was like a mountain.
She didn’t know what happened to her. Rose was unable to control her chaotic spirit and barely turned her head. Then she saw it. A giant pillar had penetrated her body and the ground at the same time, and a white giant was now pulling it out very slowly.
“Do you know who I hate the most?” Zibal’s voice rang out from behind her. He leaned on the shoulder of the magic machine retrieving the spear and pointed a finger at Rose. “People as selfish as you.”
“Do you know how many people suffered every time you helped Benoit summon a great demon?”
“It... is sophistry. I’m just doing a quest... Cough, cough. I just did it. The emergence of the great demons are an inevitable story. Cough. If it wasn’t me, then someone else... Cough, cough. You would’ve done the same thing.”
“Right. I would’ve done so. Even so, would someone else be as shameless as you?”
“The time when the Overgeared Kingdom declared they would kill you... I got goosebumps when I saw you appear on TV while crying.”
“A rat should die. You shouldn’t have complained about your pain if you harbored the slightest bit of guilt for the millions of people who died because of you.”
“Are you crazy? I was just doing a quest. Why should I feel guilty? Moreover, I’m a person. I have the right to complain if I’m offended.”
Rose secretly took a potion and started casting magic. She was counting the time in her heart, waiting for the moment when Zibal’s magic machine stopped working. Zibal shook his head. “Your quest caused people to die. Did you take their position into account at all?”
“Ah... I see. This is really heartbreaking. What’s up with you? The pain of the dead? I have goosebumps. Aren’t you overly immersed in the game? Are you an otaku?”
Rose, who had been making an unfair expression, suddenly smiled. She appreciated Zibal due to the magic machine. Without it, she wasn’t afraid of Zibal. Furthermore, the operating time of Zibal’s magic machine had now been reached.
This was Rose’s ultimate magic. It was the ultimate black magic that dealt powerful damage to all targets in range and also dealt five or more debuffs. The entire space designated by Rose started to distort. At the heart of it was Zibal. Rose imagined Zibal screaming in pain...
The white giant—the magic machine—swung its spear and knocked the black hole back. Zibal laughed at the shocked Rose. “Isn’t your thinking still premature?”
The day that Edan died, Zibal escaped from the imperial palace with the grandmaster and accepted the grandmaster’s offer of cooperation. Zibal couldn’t miss out on the biggest performance in this changing world. This was the result. He had developed further with the help of the grandmaster.
“W-Wait a minute. I’m actually sad. I always feel sorry toward those who have been harmed by me. I just couldn’t speak honestly because I was ashamed!” Rose yelled, looking really sad as she wept like a chicken pooping. She seemed to be speaking the truth.
Nevertheless, it was useless. Raider’s spear pierced Rose’s body once again, and she turned to gray ash. It was the end. Suddenly, a huge explosion occurred in the direction of the forest. The explosion was a mixture of fire and demonic energy, and it blew away more than half of the forest.
Zibal’s expression stiffened. ‘The conversation didn’t go well?’
Grandmaster Zikfrector, who identified himself as an incarnation of the seven malignant saints, told Zibal many truths. He said his purpose was to meet the ‘expelled gods’ and deprive the ‘fallen gods’ of their authority. This meant he was disliked by both the fallen gods and the great demons. He insisted that he should gather strength to fight against them.
Then Marie Rose, the vampire duke, woke up. Zikfrector had high hopes for Marie Rose. Since she hated the great demons, if she lent him her strength, it was likely he would achieve his goals. That’s why he followed her whereabouts. However, would Marie Rose, who was fundamentally a demonkin, work with Zikfrector? Zibal had doubts about it, but he still came here.
Then Susan cried out behind him, “Zibal! Leave this place to us and go help Master!”
“Son of a bitch.”
Why was she sending the weakest one? Zibal clicked his tongue and rushed into the forest as a high difficulty quest emerged.
Roaring flames destroyed the forest. There were three people at the center of the shockwave. They were Vampire Duke Marie Rose, Vampire Marquis Fenrir, and Grandmaster Zikfrector. Marie Rose’s red eyes stared at Zikfrector. “You’re very strong. I’m reminded of Chreshler when I look at you.”
“I’m a bit different from him. My body might be human, but my soul isn’t human.”
“You talk in a roundabout manner. It is a nasty habit.”
“I am the incarnation of the seven malignant saints.”
“I am the soul of the sixth evil Zik, who was filled with the sin of sloth and reached the end of his reincarnation cycle.”
“I dream of revenge against not only the fallen gods but the great demons who joined them. My long-cherished wish is to pull down the gods who sinned against the seven of us and to tell the truth to the world.”
“Hey, don’t talk nonsense,” Fenrir interrupted. He thought Zikfrector’s words were so ridiculous they were a lie. It was a very normal reaction.
Zikfrector ignored him and stared only at Marie Rose. “In order to achieve my cherished dream, I must find the whereabouts of the expelled gods. Finally, I found a place that is closely related to their whereabouts.”
“Then investigate that place.”
“That’s right. Still, it isn’t easy on my own. I need a man who could win the favor of the gods and avoid their doubts. Or the cooperation of people with overwhelming power against a great demon.”
“So, the latter is me,” Marie Rose said, feeling intrigued. She spoke on the assumption that Zikfrector was telling the truth, “Then does a person who belongs to the former category exist?”
“Who is it?”
“That...” Zikfrector shut his mouth as he was about to answer. Marie Rose’s and Fenrir’s gazes were already headed toward a different place.
A black portal was opening in the sky. This was a portal with the smell of hell. It was the appearance of a hell gate connecting hell and this world.
Fenrir reacted furiously. Those who could freely open a hell gate were uncommon even in hell. Who would be able to do something that a single-digit great demon couldn’t do easily? Only one person came to mind.
The absolute monarch of hell...
Both Marie Rose and Zikfrector had hard expressions while Fenrir expressed the name with extreme hatred. They started gathering magic power as they focused their gazes on the hell gate.
“Who are you?”
A man with green hair emerged from the gate of hell. It was Agnus. He growled out when he saw Marie Rose, Fenrir, and Zikfrector, “Where did the black thing go? Tell me before I tear off your limbs and kill you.”
“...Baal’s Contractor?” Marie Rose’s eyes sparkled. One of the biggest reasons why she woke up was her annoyance at Baal’s Contractor. “Fenrir, remove that bastard’s heart and erase Baal’s imprint.”
At the same time, in the capital of the Overgeared Kingdom, Reinhardt...
Great Sage Sticks came to Grid and declared, “Mother is looking for you.”
Grid knew Sticks’ age and was surprised. “Your mother is still alive?”
“The world tree. He is talking about the world tree,” Lauel explained on behalf of the speechless Sticks.Previous Chapter Next Chapter