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 Duran stepped out of the black smoke. The sacred air left him uncomfortable. If it was possible, he didn't wish to lead the army in the battlefront personally despite his close relationship with Cullen. But it was a pity that this wasn't a request. It was an order instead. In a nation like the Country of Darkness that respected hierarchy, orders were above all else. Even though Duran, Burks, and Cullen were similar in rank and strength, Cullen was the commander, after all. Since he was the commander, he had the rights to command them. Although Duran was dissatisfied, he could only nod in agreement.

Damn it!

Duran gnashed his teeth. His crimson eyes glinted in faint radiance at the thought of his fallen men. He scanned the place that was full of lowly, weak humans... Then, he turned to the soldiers who rushed toward him with a raised weapon.

The soldiers were baffled to see this mysterious man appearing out of the smoke, but they hurriedly raised their swords and charged ahead. Then, they realized that this enemy was on a different level.

"Heyah!"

One of the soldiers brandished his sword and the razor-sharp blade streaked a glaring, silver arc in midair. But it was immediately stopped by a pitch-black, armored hand that clutched it firmly. The soldier realized that no matter how hard he tried, his sword just couldn't break free from that menacing hand. The soldier looked up and all he saw was a crimson radiance.

Duran swiped his other hand in front of him as though running his fingers along piano keys. Then, the soldier was as though struck by an invisible, gigantic hammer, which blasted him away and blood from his ghastly neck wound splashed in a perfect arc. At the next moment, the blood arc solidified in Duran's control. The soldier shriveled like a deflated balloon and the solidified blood arc turned into a lethal whip. Duran lashed at the surrounding soldiers and sent them flying off the city walls.

"Hmph, lowly humans."

Duran laid his hand down and gazed at the soldiers in disdain. With his abilities in the Legendary Stage, these soldiers weren't even worth his attention. The other soldiers came to an abrupt halt. They looked at one another in hesitation.

Then, a proud voice filled the sky.

"Get lost! Useless trash!"

Duran turned around and saw a pitch-black arc erupting from the crowd which pounced on him. The engulfing wave of air pushed the soldiers off their balance and this time, he finally wiped off his look of disdain. He sulked and leaped back, at the same time extended his pale right arm which instantly turned pitch-black and ice-cold sharp, iron scales struck on the black chain sword.

Clang!

An ear-deafening collision rang. Duran sensed a mighty force from the chain sword which indicated that the enemy was also in the Legendary Stage. He swung his right arm forward and three sharp, crescent black blades shot out from his hand. The enemy let out a snort. It swiftly retracted its viper-like chain sword and transformed it into the shape of a solid shield to negate his attack.

Up until this moment, Duran finally saw what his enemy looked liked and was flabbergasted.

Celestina clutched the chain sword and lifted her head proudly. She narrowed her scarlet eyes which revealed glints of contempt and arrogance. If it were others who looked at Duran in this way, he would have taught them a lesson. Moreover, despite being in battle, she wore her usual pitch-black, luxurious nightgown, which was so clean that there weren't any blood stains at all. Duran took two steps back in vigilance and the reason that explained his behavior was simple-Celestina's bat-like wings and pitch-black, long tail clearly displayed her identity.

A high-class demon?

Duran questioned inwardly. As a noble in Country of Darkness, he had interacted with several demons and knew that demons generally lacked interest in this surface world because they focused all their attention on the endless battles with the devils. Even though it wasn't taboo to summon demons in the Country of Darkness, no one would like to find trouble with them out of boredom as demons were sinister. Compared to the demons, the Undead Creatures in the Country of Darkness were much less sinister. Demons viewed Vampires just like how Vampires treated humans-full of unparalleled sense of superiority.

But... Why is there a demon?

Duran swept a glance to the side subconsciously.

That's right, this is the Light Mainland. If I recall correctly, the Light Mainland treats demons and devils with the same attitude, don't they? The Munn Kingdom is a nation ruled by an angel, so why is there a demon here?

Duran knitted his brows, staring at Celestina hesitantly.

"You are..."

"Cut the crap, lowly species. I don't have the time to chat with you. Go to hell!"

Celestina clearly wasn't in the mood for chitchat. She interrupted his words cleanly as though proving that she was truly rushing for time. She brandished her chain sword and the chain sword as though a viper, revealed its fangs and pounced on Duran.

"Hmph!"

Duran sulked. No matter what, he was the proud patriarch of his family. Celestina a high-class demon, but her strength was also around the same level as his. Since she attacked without talking things out, he didn't need to hold back anymore! Duran's eyes glinted. He extended his right arm and clenched his fist-the blood on the walls rushed forth and formed a shield around him which defended against Celestina's attack. Shortly after, sparks flashed as her black chain sword clawed the shield.

After transcending into the Legendary Stage, one's rule power would materialize. Duran's rule power was the 'blood', which was one of the most common talent Vampires had. But it was apparent that he wasn't one who would take a beating without retaliating. After negating Celestina's attack, he let out a grim laughter and swung his right hand in the air-the blood shield erupted instantly and bit into her chain sword like a blood monster. Celestina didn't expect this move at all. Before she reacted, the blood had flown along the chain and rushed toward her.

"Lowly one, how dare you!"

Celestina knitted her brows and snarled. She treated her enemy as a lowly race and it was only right that he abided by her orders.

It is only right that you crawl to my feet for me to hit you and lay your head before me for me to kill you. How ridiculous that this lowly Vampire not only defied my orders, but also retaliated!

Celestina's trains of thought weren't logical to begin with...

She flew into a rage. Her chain sword was bit into tightly by Duran's blood monster, but it didn't leave her panicky. Instead, she glared fiercely at Duran and a faint radiance glinted in her scarlet eyes.

---!

Suddenly, black flames burned on her body and flowed along her chain sword which swarmed the blood monster. The black, mysterious flames didn't extinguish. Instead, the blood monster howled in grief after being tainted by it. In the blink of an eye, it collapsed and fell apart and this left Duran baffled!

As an experienced and knowledgeable Vampire, he had read about legends and documentary records about the black flames-the negative flame!

It was rumored that this black magic flame came from the core of the burning hell-pure and dangerous. Unlike ordinary flame, this black magic flame was full of negative energy which would devour every magical flow related to the rule powers. It could also be said that this was the nightmare of every legendary being because after entering the Legendary Stage, one of the privileges that they held was the ability to attack using their rule power, where they would simulate magical flow in order to manipulate the rule power.

To the contrary, the negative flame was entirely different, where it could forcefully change the magical flow and return it to zero. For example, if a legendary being who cast its rule power was like how one drew a picture on a white paper, the negative flame could turn the picture to nothing and return it to the state of the clean, white paper before burning it in flames.

Why did she have such powers?!

Duran had no doubts that it was the negative flame. But why was it here? The documentary records clearly stated that the negative flames were completely sealed after the Creation War. How did this woman possess such powers?!

Unfortunately, he wasn't granted the time to search for an answer because Celestina brandished the chain sword that was burning in black flames at him. Duran gritted his teeth and braced himself. He had no way of retreat now.

In the blink of an eye, scarlet and pitch-black colors collided, erupting in dazzling sparks.

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