In the beginning, Chaos ruled everything. But Order arose from the cracks like a light shining into the endless darkness. Five dragons were born within and their formidable powers forced the birth of a new continent in this endless Chaos. Life was born and Order was for eternity. The Five Dragons sacrificed their souls to protect this fragile world until it became strong enough to compete with Chaos. Ultimately, Order overwhelmed Chaos and brought a new century.
This was the first chapter of the Creation Poem. Almost every person on the Dragon Soul Continent was familiar with it and they knew how powerful Chaos was. The powers of Order were still weak before it and if it weren't for the Five Creator Dragon Souls that protected this world, they would be devoured by Chaos and turned into nothingness.
No one suspected the accuracy of this legend. After all, there were many places on this continent that had turned chaotic after losing the protection of a Dragon Soul. Anyone who had witnessed it would have no doubt about it.
Legend had it that when the Five Creator Dragon Souls were building this world, their bodies formed the surface and their souls formed the skies. The Four Main Elements became the pillars for the foundation of the Seven Fantasy Boundaries that supported the world from being devoured by the Chaos Forcefield. Those that were not protected by the Dragon Souls were the endless black flames and the Devils that lived within.
There weren't many people who had seen Devils in this world. It could also be said that there were none who had seen them. Therefore, it wasn't surprising that even Corina and Di had little knowledge about the Devils. In this generation, the Dragon Soul's protection was almost to perfection and Devils were mainly living in a bottomless abyss. They would rather kill Demons than to interact with humans on the surface. This was why apart from the few unlucky, lost Devils that had occasionally stumbled onto the surface, no one had the chance to meet Devils. Not to mention recognizing the Chaos Flame that were the symbol of the bottomless abyss. Although it was indeed recorded in the documents, no one would believe it unless they had seen it for themselves. Rhode became familiar with these after he battled in the seventh floor of hell and the bottomless abyss in the game.
The effects of the Chaos Flame gave him the biggest headache.
"Hmph!" The consequence of the Elderly Mage was a bad opening for everyone. Even though he was rescued by Rhode afterward, they sensed the substantial weakening in his strength as though he had fallen back into the Mortal Stage from the Legendary Stage.
According to the game, the Elderly Mage had dropped off more than 10 levels every time he was burned by the flames.
Many people had heard the rumors of the Chaos Flames and were lost for words after they witnessed its strange, yet formidable might. Powerful beings in the Legendary Stage could control and change the Rules to a certain extent. However, even though the Chaos Flams consumed 'Order' as its food, the flames wouldn't be able to devour presences as powerful as Lydia or the Five Creator Dragons.
"Troublesome," Rhode shook his head. He expected these responses from them. In fact, after entering the Bottomless Abyss and dropping off over 10 levels from the black flames, many of the top players didn't dare to advance any farther and they even thought of retreating to the surface. In the end, Rhode calmed their nerves and led them between the Bottomless Abyss and Hell to grind their levels back. At the same time, they snatched plentiful spoils of war from the Demons and Devils and their conflicts were finally resolved. Many other players knew that Starlight surged in strength after 'touring' the underground but they weren't aware that if Rhode wasn't able to carry his men, perhaps this invincible guild would split itself from within.
Rhode hesitated no more. He swung his right arm abruptly and scarlet flames rose from the ground. The Hell Hound sprung out from within and howled as it charged towards the middle of the hall. The black flames, as though detecting the presence of the Hell Hound, launched towards it. It struck the Hell Hound heavily and the Hell Hound let out a mournful lament. However, the red flames on the Hell Hound's body swelled suddenly and resisted the black flames.
Rhode heaved a sigh of relief. The flames from hell were the flames of Order and it countered the flames of chaos from the Bottomless Abyss. Rhode recalled the heroic, bloody battlefield with black and red flames colliding with one another. The Hell Hound was born from the seventh floor in Hell and it was the best choice against the Chaos Flame.
However, it wasn't powerful enough. Although it withstood for a brief moment, the Duke Fiend's Chaos Flame overpowered it.
It seemed that there was only one way left. "Miss Corina, shoot it to death!"
"Eh?" The Moon Elf widened her eyes in astonishment. She did notice that the strange black hound was summoned by Rhode, but this command from him sounded outrageous. The Elf had never heard of any command from a summoner to annihilate their own spirits.
However, Corina didn't hesitate for long. A silver bow emerged in the Moon Elf's hands and she released a golden arrow of light. In a blink of an eye, the arrow pierced through the Hell Hound's right eye effortlessly.
The Hell Hound collapsed instantly and at the same time, a glaring radiance blinded everyone, followed by a loud explosion and scorching heat that engulfed them.
The Hell Hound exploded through the roof and the aftermath of the explosion spread across the hall. Perhaps any ordinary humans would be burned to death, but fortunately, those currently in Mithril Hall weren't ordinary mortals. Therefore, there wasn't even a stain of filthy dust on them after the explosion. However, as they scanned the surroundings once again, they were stunned to witness the magnificent black flames weakening. Also, there was a huge hole above Mithril Hall. Cracks spread wide apart and concrete started falling off the ceiling.
"What are you waiting for? Go!" Rhode swung his arm once again. In a puff of smoke, the Spirit Bird fused with him as one and he flew towards the ceiling hole with the Elderly Mage in his arms. Corina leaped up instantly and flapped her wings. She dodged the crushing rocks and caught up with Rhode almost immediately. On the other hand, Di gazed at Rhode with a mysterious smile. Suddenly, a gale erupted from nowhere and a large colony of black bats flew towards the hole like a dark cloud while letting out ear-piercing screeches. Rhode turned around and Di and the Undead Knight had disappeared from the ground.
The entire hall collapsed.
"Phew..." Rhode trembled slightly as he landed on the nearby mountain. After laying the Elderly Mage on the ground, he wiped the sweat from his forehead and gazed at the several flying figures. There were about a dozen representatives that were present and most of them had escaped and left this place. It was apparent that they had chosen to observe safely before figuring out the cause of the problem.
Rhode heaved a sigh of relief and stood on his feet. He gazed downwards and witnessed the earthquake spreading apart with the debris of Mithril Hall as the center. There were wailing civilians escaping from their houses that were collapsing. Some who weren't quick enough couldn't avoid the merciless black flames while some of them had fallen directly into the deep crevice.
It was a disaster.
Rhode was glad that he ordered Marlene and the others to leave earlier on. It could be said that it was unprecedented for the revival of the Duke Fiend to bring such a terrible disaster. Fortunately, Rhode had some experience in facing the Devils. However, if Marlene and the others stayed around when this happened, Rhode wasn't confident he could rescue them with his abilities.
But what should I do now?
The Duke Fiend was more than he could handle. In the game, Rhode had either weakened its Chaos Forcefield or lured it into a territory of Order successfully. However, Rhode's group was equipped with the Flame-resistance equipment when they lured the Duke Fiend into the Demon's Order Flames before starting the massacre.
But, what about now?
Rhode lifted his head towards the sky. At this moment, the sky mingled with black and white seemed all the more chaotic. Bolts of dark lightning struck the ground heavily. Strong gales whizzed and even the entire place seemed to be howling in grief. To make matters worse, this wasn't a land of Order but was the natural chaos formed in the crack between the Dragon Souls. This couldn't be removed and once the Duke Fiend emerged, only troubles would be left.
As a person who had experienced the Third Creation War, Rhode knew what kind of disaster the Duke Fiend would bring to this world once it invaded the surface. In comparison, it would be considered child's play if there were 10 Dark Dragons attacking the Country of Light at once. Could it be that Royal Highness Lydia sent me here to resolve this problem? It shouldn't be. She has seen my abilities and surely she wouldn't think that I can defeat the Duke Fiend? With my current strength, perhaps I will vanish into dust if I was brushed by it.
As Rhode was troubling over this question, he smelled a fragrant scent and heard a crisp voice behind him. "Mister, what do you plan to do next?"
"?" Rhode turned around and spotted Corina. The Moon Elf was looking down anxiously at the disaster that was almost as powerful as a magnitude 10 earthquake. She bit her lips slightly with her ashen expression. "So many civilians are suffering... Do we not have any ways to stop this devastating disaster from spreading?"
"... Miss Corina, why haven't you left?" Rhode gazed at the Moon Elf with a blank expression.
Corina swept a glance at him curiously as though Rhode had asked a strange question. "How can I leave when there's such a heavy, sinister presence amongst the power of chaos? Moreover, many of them didn't manage to escape. Even if it's just a little, I hope to contribute my part in eliminating the evil and chaos."
"..." Rhode gazed at Corina blankly which made her hair stand. Although she was a good-tempered Moon Elf, she was strongly dissatisfied with Rhode's gaze. These weren't the human eyes that were filled with admiration like she was used to. Instead, they were looking at her as though she were as an idiot. "Why? Am I wrong about this, Mister? If you have the time to look at me this way, why don't you let me hear your suggestion on how you will deal with this situation?"
"..." Rhode lowered his head and sighed. At this moment, he was full of grief and indignation. This wasn't right. In his memories, the Corina that served as the Moon Elf Knight was a calm, intelligent, decisive, and brave person. Why does this Miss Corina seem to be as foolish as Anne... Did she hurt her brain while trying to escape just now?
How can someone change this much? This isn't logical.
Rhode wasn't in the mood to think of the crucial battles that this Moon Elf lady would experience before she would shed off her naturally foolish nature and become capable. At this moment, Rhode knew only one thing and that was since Corina was here, it meant that his final hopes were thoroughly hopeless.
"I have the same thoughts as Miss Corina." A gentle, graceful voice sounded as countless black bats flew over. The colony of bats fluttered in the air before forming two human figures before Rhode and Corina. Di revealed his usual elegant smile and bowed respectfully to Corina before turning towards Rhode. "As the representative of the Munn Kingdom, I think you should have a perfect solution to this, right, Mister?"
"..." Rhode didn't respond and he remained calm with his natural temperament. At the same time, Rhode was praising the Country of Darkness's behind-the-scenes 'half military counselor' secretly. Di was as though a viper lurking in the bushes that only bite during the critical moments.
Rhode wasn't aware of how Di recognized him. But he could only force a bitter smile in response. Di was too smart for his own good. He always took steps with considerable thoughts and he had a long-term vision for everything. However, as the saying went, 'No one can avoid wetting one's shoes if one is always walking along the riverside'. He thought that Rhode had the solution to resolve this problem, but Rhode didn't have any idea at all. Even if various forces formed an alliance, they would only have a high chance of defeating the Duke Fiend in their dreams.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Di. I don't have a good solution," Rhode gazed at his blood-red pupils without any fear. This was required when negotiating with Vampires. After all, Vampires had the ability to manipulate one's mental strength through their eyes. One would become their slave entirely if one wasn't careful. Due to this, most of the humans didn't dare to lift their heads and gaze directly into their eyes. However, Vampires would, in turn, look down on these humans and judge them as weak, timid, and worthless even as their slaves.
Di was slightly surprised by the determined gaze behind the pitch-black mask as he didn't expect that this human was so courageous. But, even so, he smiled it off and adjusted his clothes. "Really?"
"..." Rhode shook his head and gazed towards Corina. The Duke Fiend was a level 80 creature that had broken through the limits of the Legendary Stage where even Gillian couldn't defeat it. If their battle was held in the Fire Elemental Plane of Existence, perhaps Gillian might stand a chance.
After all, there were divisions even in the Legendary Stage. In the Legendary Stage, there was 'Harmonious Domain', 'Order Dimension', and 'Mystic Realm'. Currently, Di and Corina were in the 'Harmonious Domain' and over level 65 at most. They could touch and use the Rules, but they couldn't grasp them. Once they were able to grasp the Rules, they could create a Spirit Boundary 'Order Dimension' that belonged to themselves. In a certain range, they could bring to and control those who were lower in levels in their Order Dimension. The Mystic Realm was the pinnacle of the Legendary Stage and was only one step away from the Gods. In this stage, they could create their own Rules and refine them into one of the Rules that governed the fate of the Dragon Soul Continent and the Rules system. From level 80 and above, it was divided into 'Elemental Heart', 'By the Gods', and 'Quasi-God'. This basically had nothing to do with the players as only the Elemental Lords would possess the Elemental They were level 85 at most. As for Lydia, who became a servant of the Five Creator Dragon Souls, she had a relatively higher level between level 90 to 95. Only the Five Creator Dragon Souls reached the hundred-level cap. In this world protected by their souls, they were omnipotent.
But the 'Mystic Realm' didn't exist for the Duke Fiend. No matter what level the Devil was in, its nature was still chaotic. Any Rules that represented Order were meaningless before it and were only worth destroying. Facing such a strength, any ordinary Order was useless. Only a presence like Lydia in 'By the Gods' could borrow the powers of the Creator Dragon Souls and annihilate the Duke Fiend entirely.
Rhode gritted his teeth at this thought. Is Royal Highness Lydia unaware of this? He thought that this was rather impossible. However, why would she send him here if she were aware? Could it be that she was concerned that her Duchess identity would bring disadvantageous political influence if she came here? What kind of joke was this? Rhode would never believe that this Archangel would give up her curiosity just because of such a small issue.
Initially, Rhode wasn't worried about this problem because if Corina could escape to the Country of Law and report this matter, the Judgement & Ruling Twin Dragons could come forth and resolve the problem. If this were possible, it would be the best for Rhode. But this foolish Elf lady didn't leave in time and the Chaos Forcefield had sealed and twisted the surrounding space. It was no longer possible to communicate with the outside, not to mention send her off right now... What should I do?
"...!" Suddenly, the powerful earthquake stopped abruptly and the surroundings returned to silence. However, no one was naive enough to think that it was all over.
At the next moment, countless bolts of dark lightning descended from the sky and formed a massive cage that shrouded the entire land.
And as though reacting to its summons, the battered land finally collapsed.
A pitch-black figure burning in flames from head to toe emerged before everyone's eyes.