A night that should have been peaceful splashed in scarlet fresh blood and flames.
Screams and wails filled the dark sky as hungry flames devoured houses wildly. The Undead Fighters swarmed the burning houses and fields, brandishing their swords at the defenseless humans. They had no emotions and beliefs. They solely carried out orders to snatch the lives of others. This was their only value in existing.
"G-Get away. Get away!"
The ashen-faced farmer clutched the sickle in his trembling hands, facing the Undead Fighters marching toward him fearlessly. His wife and son huddled in the corner of the walls, but the Undead Fighters disregarded their screams and bellows. They advanced steadily with their highly raised weapons.
"Aaaa!" The desperate farmer charged forward to fend the invaders away from his wife and son. He stretched out his strong arms to hinder the Undead Fighters from advancing farther. He turned toward his wife and son frantically.
"Run!" The farmer let out a blood-curdling screech.
The Undead Fighters pierced their swords into his body without any resistance. The farmer grabbed the blade with his bare hands and used all his strength to look back at his wife and son who stumbled their way out of the house. "Get out of here! Run as far as you can. Faster..."
Those were the farmer's last words. His severed skull flew midair in a crescent trail of fresh blood and crashed to the ground heavily. His eyes were still wide open, fervently staring at the empty exit.
Perhaps it was a blessing to him that he didn't hear the screams and wails that came to an end abruptly.
"... This is wonderful..."
Celestina folded her arms, closed her eyes, and soaked herself in the melodious screams and wails from the village engulfed in flames. She trembled slightly as if every passing life was the pleasure of an electric current brushing over her spine. The joyous sensation sent a shiver down her spine like she had gulped a mug of ice-cold beer in the hottest period of summer.
"The end of lives... Such moments are when lowly lives are the most meaningful. I've had enough of these lowly swine-like humans rolling about in the mud. It isn't to my liking that they do whatever it takes to survive. Now, they finally provide their worth to me and even though the music that they played with their lives is rather gruff... It is still worth my time to appreciate and listen."
"Seems like you're enjoying yourself?" Rhode looked down at the village that had been submerged in a sea of flames.
The Undead Fighters pushed on much quicker than he had expected and the villagers had been massacred cleanly even before they were ready to put up a fight. The night breeze blew with the smell of burnt wood and humans...
"Of course, Master." Celestina spun around lithely and her luxurious, black openwork skirt fluttered along her movements.
Bloody, ripped open corpses with widened eyes laid around her feet. These were all her works. And even though Rhode felt that she wasn't as terrible in most aspects as her Demon compatriots, she was equally sick in causing pain in others.
"Nothing makes me happier than grasping and manipulating fragile lives in my palm in whichever way that I deem. They are like beautiful flowers that you can choose to carefully hold in your hands to preserve their beauty as a specimen or just watch them bloom and wither. But... I prefer to squash and pulverize the beautiful lives shimmering in faint radiance entirely..."
Celestina clenched her right fist. "The instant pleasure is incomparable and this is the strongest display of strength. A powerful presence who can mercilessly deprive a weaker presence no matter how hard it struggles or perseveres... And its only consequence will still be crushed... This is my favorite entertainment and nothing beats appreciating the struggles they put up before death."
"I don't doubt your thoughts, Celestina." Rhode gazed at the burning ruins while spinning the putrefied wooden stick in his hand. No one could see his expression through the white bone mask. "But what will Celia think about this? If she's here..."
"Ah, Celia." Celestina waved her hands in disinterest as though she didn't mind at all. "Master, you don't have to worry about that little fella at all. She may grumble at my hedonism, but I can guarantee you that the stupid child will not have any complaints even if you killed every single soul here."
"Oh?" Rhode twitched his brows and turned toward the young lady curiously. Frankly speaking, he asked because he merely wished to crack down on her overweening attitude and he didn't expect such a response. "Why is that so?"
"Ah, right. I have forgotten that you're not from that era..." Celestina rolled her eyes and placed her hand on her chest. An unprecedented might erupted from her as though a brutal King looking down from the heavens.
"Because those swines aimed their weapons on their guardian foolishly.
"Because those swines chose to go against their masters.
"Because those swines gave up on their last honor... This is a rebellion! In compliance with the Creator pact, any traitor will be sentenced to death! Their spirit will perish in the flames for eternity and this serves as a warning for the later generations that they cannot resist, must not resist, and are not allowed to resist! Neither ignorance and incompetence are excuses. Nor are they reasons! No matter how they defend themselves, they can't erase their stigma as a sinner, and the sins that they commit can only be forgiven if they have experienced the most excruciating pain."
The scarlet radiance in Celestina's eyes beamed and she swung her right arm to eject a pitch-black thorny whip from her sleeve. She dragged a fleeing woman in the sea of flames. Her bare legs were scarred and burned. However, Celestina had no qualms and hung her high up in the air, squinting her scarlet eyes.
"This is a blood sacrifice and also a warning, Master. No one should betray their God and the punishment is severe. During the start of the creation, the Dragons relied on fresh blood and powerful strength to gain their positions. But... hmph. We can ignore the worthless Light Dragon. It isn't that easy to clean one's hands of blood. If it wasn't out of regard for my former ally, I..."
Celestina closed her mouth abruptly and shot a look at Rhode before lifting her proud chin. Two more thorny whips slithered out of her sleeves and wrapped the woman's legs, sliding upward like vipers.
"Master... This is my warning to you... Don't ever forgive rebellious sinners. Only iron and blood guarantee strength and power."
The two thorny whips struck between the woman's legs!
The razor-sharp thorns punctured the woman's body and blood spewed out from her mouth instantly. Her body was full of holes and she was shivering like a fish flapping instinctively and a putrid mixture of blood and body fluid gushed out from between her legs like a waterfall. The scarlet radiance in Celestina's eyes shone brighter as she swiped her right arm to the side and the thorny whips tossed the female corpse into a firepit like a ragged doll. Celestina clapped the dust off her palms and the malevolent, dangerous, murderous intent in her expression was replaced with her graceful, gentle smile. She lifted the ends of her skirt elegantly and walked down the corpse hill in a refined posture. "What should we do next? Master? Your goal surely isn't just this, right?"
"Of course not," Rhode shook his head. "This is only the start. Just like you've said, sometimes you must bite hard enough for them to know pain."
This was an unforgettable night.
And a nightmare for the Grosso Plain.
When news of the Necromancer lurking around the Grosso Plain spread, people were mostly nervous and uneasy, and some even thought of it as just a rumor. But now, the rumors had become a reality. In just two days, three villages had fallen into the hands of the Undead Army. Most of the villagers lost their lives, except for some lucky few who had managed to escape. This news set off a fearful whirlwind of death across the plains.
In an instant, everyone was in danger.
Although it was the harvesting season, there was no one in the fields. The farmers dragged their families and sought refuge in the big city of the southern hinterland in order to avoid the rumored Undead Army. Meanwhile, the wealthy merchants left their manors and farms in carriages and fled far away.
"Damn it!" Michael slammed his fist on the table hopelessly after reading the letter before him.
It had been two days since he requested for urgent reinforcements and he almost coughed out blood upon reading the response from the Southern Parliament. Due to the lack of manpower, the Southern Parliament had refused Michael's request and they even ordered him to 'ensure' the extermination of the Undead Army that wreaked havoc in the Grosso borders. Moreover, the only assistance that the Southern Parliament provided was them 'allowing' General Michael to recruit militias?!
Michael wished he could slap that bunch of idiots.
Recruit militias? Those big-bellied, dumb idiots think that we're dealing with bandits? The enemies are the Undead Army and what can the militias even do? Besides, the villagers have escaped, so where do they expect me to recruit militias?
Hundreds of lives in the three villages have perished. What chances do I have if that horrifying Necromancer manipulated the corpses into his troops?
God damn it. If I had a way to contact the Battle Angel Army...
Michael reached his hands out subconsciously, but his expression gloomed instantly and he slouched back on his seat like a deflated balloon.
Right... The Battle Angel Army has become our enemy now...
Those morons in the Southern Parliament are to be blamed for everything!
A raging wrath exploded in Michael's heart. He grabbed a piece of clean paper and wrote urgently. Then, he struck the loud alarm bell and an orderly entered his room swiftly. The orderly realized that usual steady and calm General Michael had become ashen-faced and murderous-looking.
What's wrong with him?
"Deliver this letter to the Southern Parliament and tell them that I will quit if they don't agree!"
By evening, his express delivery had delivered on the table of the Southern Parliament in the Southern Port. At the same time, the Southern Parliament was holding a meeting regarding the series of events that had happened.
The situation at hand wasn't wonderful for the Southern Parliament.
The bombarding of Brenhill Fortress was rather successful and afterward, Lydia's silence and the Battle Angel Army's disappearance allowed the politicians and nobles to lay down the final worry in their hearts. This was why they dared to invade Paphield and 'release' it under Lydia's 'despotic rule'.
However, it was then that the Southern Parliament realized they had stepped on a road full of thorns.
The battle at Paphield had lasted for several days, but the effects weren't obvious. Even though the Reformist Party had been gathering military strength and acquired a large portion of the Southern Legion, the frontline troops in several regions of Paphield faced stubborn resistance. Although they had occupied a part of Paphield's territory, they didn't establish a strong frontline post to consolidate their results, which made the Reformist Party anxious as they learned that Lydia was gathering and reorganizing her troops. As a result, the Reformist Party hoped to invade all of Paphield before Lydia's military strength was ready. If they could successfully occupy most of Paphield's land, they could unilaterally declare an armistice and seek mediation with the Country of Light's Parliament. As a subordinate of the Light Dragon, Lydia naturally had no authority to reject...
This hopeful result was within reach of the Reformist Party. However, the reality was far from it. The Country of Light's attitude had changed. In the beginning, they said that they would provide assistance in manpower and supplies to the Reformist Party after the uprising. But now, they would only provide a portion of supplies and they wouldn't provide powerful troops as reinforcements. This was bad news for the Reformist Party and they couldn't figure out why the Country of Light went back on their words. Of course, they naturally didn't have the means and capacity to question them now.
Unfortunately, this wasn't all the trouble that the Southern Parliament faced.
The sudden appearance of the Necromancer in the Grosso region gave them the most pressure. Three villages were destroyed and the frightful villagers fled into the city, which added more variables into this unsettling situation. In the past two days, crime and chaos in the city had risen and the city guards were overloaded.
With an influx of refugees, the Reformist Party heard a popular opinion among their people: they shouldn't be independent! Before they left the Munn Kingdom, the Undead Creatures never dared to step onto their territory so brazenly while under the protection of Royal Highness Lydia and the Battle Angel Army. And now, these Undead Creatures made such a grand appearance for themselves! This showed that the choice they made was a mistake!
The people had different opinions on the fact that they had been separated from the Munn Kingdom. Although many of them did hate the King's Party after being brainwashed by the Reformist Party for years, they were still reluctant to sink into the chaos of war. And now, the appearance of the Necromancer made these people even more nervous and restless. This also made the Reformist Party more passive and if they couldn't find a good solution to prove to their people that they could protect the country themselves from the Undead Creatures without the Angels, they would be completely done for!
Although the Reformist Party had explained to the public that these Undead Creatures might be part of the King's Party's plot to trap them in the Angel's rule and called on them to remain calm, they weren't successful. Even though their excuses were close to the truth, the people didn't believe their views, which put them in a difficult situation. Furthermore, the Necromancer was still a threat to them. Although they didn't know if the Necromancer was sent by the Country of Darkness or just one who appeared alone, this danger had to be eliminated.
At this moment, General Michael's second express delivery presented itself before them.
This always gentle and kind-hearted senior general had flown into a terrible rage in the letter. He bluntly told the Reformist Party that his current manpower was definitely insufficient to beat the Necromancer. He needed reinforcements and if the Reformist Party insisted on not sending them, he would consider temporarily withdrawing from the Grosso Plain!