Instead of hanging around the entrance hall, we ended up in the hallway with Melantha and Jamie.
It seems like Melantha took over Alice’s body. Gale and Titan stand off to the side, watching over us and the entrance hall. Aly comes over, socializing with the two knights. Jamie chats with my siblings, giving them each a present. Brynhild stands beside me, conversing with me again.
“Hehe, yeah, earlier, I was supposed to tell you about the Dark Arts and other sorts.”
“Yeah.” I let out a slight chuckle escape my mouth, “Ended up telling my mom’s sad tale.”
“You need to know. Getting cursed is no laughing matter. Besides, you are her daughter. Anyways, before I end up repeating the same mistake, the Dark Arts was a way to bypass the leveling system. It was created by a dark entity long ago. You can say that this being was a genius.” She paused, muttering, “Or a moron. Even though the Dark Arts have notorious and vile skills, the user can easily level up.” I raise an eyebrow at this, Brynhild filling in the blanks.
“You see, certain beings can use Dark Arts naturally. It’s in their blood. Vampires, succubuses, werewolves, most creatures of the dark are users to this restricted magic. Undead are a different story, I shall explain that part later. Let me use the succubus as an example. They can naturally use the Dark Arts through their basic nature. If they were to seduce someone in their dreams or real life, the succubus would slowly steal one’s level. Kissing, having sex, these gestures, even if they are basic and harmless, and the user does not intentionally want to use the Dark Arts, can naturally start up the Dark Arts.”
I scratch my head. That’s… problematic.
“Why are you telling me this?” I ask.
“You might encounter these creatures. You are ignorant about the dangers of the outside world. Let me bring up another creature to talk about. The vampire. You know about their nature and what they do, but did you know they could use the Dark Arts naturally? If they bite you on the neck, even if it was an act of kindness, you will be cursed. You will be their servant till death. You have to attend to their every command. Some vampires might be aware of this, pitying the poor fool they ensnare when they are just trying to survive, but others would take advantage of one’s generosity and turn them into a slave. Generally, the Dark Arts are not entirely evil. It depends on how it was done and why.”
My gaze turns toward Melantha. Is Brynhild telling me that Melantha isn’t evil? Or that the curse on my mom was a natural trap?
“You will have to figure that out yourself.” Brynhild states, folding her arms, “Melantha has her reasons. You decide if it’s right or wrong. Every action has its weight to it. Society views it as they see fit. Individuals twist it into whatever they want. The leveling system blinds the majority into believing that everything is simple. Sadly, that is not the case.”
Brynhild’s mood darkens once the last words usher out of her lips. “Certain events led to destructions of cities, nations, and other things. People are too lax, lowering their guard. They only realize their doom when it is too late. The level system is an old hierarchy from the olden times. It has no purpose in this world. Especially when certain individuals can abuse it.” She emphasized the last sentence, letting out a sigh.
There was truth behind her words. I did not know much about the [Hidden Rank] perk. I did not know several individuals are exceeding that of a demigod. If these people were left unchecked, I might be dead. I shivered silently, shaking it off immediately. Luckily, my black knights are really strong.
“Is there a way to defend yourself from the Dark Arts?” I asked. Brynhild nods her head.
“Depends on your alignment and class. If one was an angel, they can nullify the Dark Arts. Passively. They do not need any protection buff or spell. If one was not an angel rank, then they can be attacked by the Dark Arts still. Once again, the Dark Arts are not just curses and hexes. Dark Art attack spells can target angels. Just that their curses and hexes will not affect them. If one was wearing cursed items, they cannot be affected either. Now, if someone is cursed already and someone placed a curse on them, depending on the level of the curse, they are affected or not.”
Giving my puzzled expression, she goes on. “Curses cannot be stacked on top of each other. The strong curse will either stay with the victim or overwrites the weaker curse. The curse on your mom can overwrite that of a vampire’s curse. It will release them from their servant-like state to their master, but the new curse will kick in. Stopping their leveling and sealing away certain skills and techniques. A vampire and werewolf curse is equivalent to each other. This may lead to a… mutation. When it comes to curses from dark beings, they are the same in level. Mutations may kick in if one has too many curses. You will have to study up on that later. And the last example, let’s say that someone tries to inflict a tickling curse on someone when they have a vampire curse. The vampire curse will remain. The tickling curse will no effect.”
“T-tickling curse? Are you serious? Or are you bullshitting me?” I gave a skeptic look. Brynhild was quiet for a bit.
“I-It’s an example. Gosh.” Brynhild answers. “Anyways, there are too many protections against curses. I can only cover a good tenth for today. With this information, you can be conscious of the Dark Arts. Be wary of certain beings and trend your path carefully. Even if you have a new sense of freedom, the outside world is dangerous.”
How many times must people emphasize on that? I know the world is dangerous!
Noticing my sour face, Brynhild flashes a charming smile, laughing at my expression.
“Frustrated at those repeated words? I know it’s a pain but bear with it.”
“I know, I know.” I sigh. “I assume that it was difficult. With you, mom, and your other friend, I guess you had a hard adventure as well, huh?” Brynhild’s eyes twinkle for a few seconds.
“It was sheer luck.” Brynhild closes her eyes, “We were foolish and lucky. We never thought to become geniuses until we bumped into her. Ah, it was fun though.”
“Oi, don’t reminisce now.” I warn, “You might end up revealing more secrets.”
“Amelia would kill me if I went too deep into our history,” Brynhild admits. Before she could say anything, Amelia steps in.
“Seriously, I question your concentration. Were you going to say something about our past now?” she asked. In her hands, she has two wine glasses. She gives one to Brynhild, the genius sipping it. She lets out a cheery hum, savoring the taste.
“Dragon’s Breath? I drank this before, but I must admit, this taste superb. How many years?” Brynhild asks.
“Ten years ago,” I answered.
“You want a sip?” Brynhild moves the glass towards me, making me blush.
“U-Uh… S-Sure.” I brace myself, steadying my hands. Brynhild has her right hand around the glass still. Tilting it forward for me. I place my hands over her hand and the glass, making the wine flow into my mouth. I swallow the liquid, amazed at the fruity sweet taste.
Immediately after the first two seconds of the wine going down my throat, a stronger flavor blew up in my mouth. Literally. The flavor reminded me of ale but stronger. The intensity of this drink was getting to me, wiggling side to side.
Why the hell was it sweet, then turned entirely bitter with that alcoholic dosage!? I guess that’s why they called it Dragon’s Breath. A miniature ticking bomb that overwhelms every ounce of the mouth and throat. I am drunk or very tipsy. Leaning on the latter. Brynhild laughs at me.
“Heh, not a drinker? Are you?” she teases.
“Shut up. I can hold my own if I wanted to drink. I just… I never knew that this drink was that strong. Reminds me of ale. Isn’t this a wine though? Ugh.” If I knew it was this heavy, I would have avoided it. Shrugging her shoulders, Brynhild sips it again.
Wait, isn’t this an indirect kiss?
“So Aisha is not used to the strong stuff, huh?” Melantha taunts.
“Don’t tease the princess too much. It seems like she’ll explode from her blush.” Jamie pointed out.
“You two aren’t helping,” I state. Yeah… Drinking that Dragon’s Breath was not a good idea. Aly pops into the scene, saying, “Oh, Brynhild is here? Guessing I was right, you are using a clone to fool everyone. Is this a test?”
Turning our attention towards the archmage, Brynhild shakes her head.
“Not really. I hate dealing with crowds.”
“That’s a lie,” said Amelia.
“On another note,” says Aly, “Is it true you are here to give someone your perk?” Huh? Give? Right, Brynhild is a genius for… what exactly?
“Give?” I repeated.
“Brynhild is known for her perk ‘Defeat Inheritor.’” Aly informed me, “Apparently, she has a few pills that can give someone her created perk. I have no clue how you made it, but it’s a splendid perk that-”
“Are you trying to get it for yourself? Is that why you approach me?” Brynhild’s cheery mood was replaced. Her eyes are stern, glaring at Aly. The archmage raises her hands, shaking her head.
“No. I have no desire for such a perk. I mean, it is revolutionary and incredible, but I hate cutting corners. I rather earn it then obtain it easily.” Impressed by her answer, Brynhild returns to normal.
“I see.” Standing there, I still question Brynhild’s perk. Defeat Inheritor? An inheritor is a person who inherits something. Like an heir. Let’s say my father dies somehow (if that was possible), the first son will be his heir. He will become the king due to my father’s passing. He will possess everything that my father owned. The kingdom, gold, valuable items, and et cetera. With defeat in front of it, would that mean Brynhild’s perk absorb or somehow retrieve the skills of her defeated foe?
“So you gain skills from defeated foes?” I ask.
Brynhild seems surprised at my analysis. She flashes a smile, saying, “Close. Defeat Inheritor absorbs everything, not just skills. Perks, traits, skills, techniques, and other sorts will become yours.” Yeah… My eyes could have exploded out of their sockets from hearing that.
Everything?! If she killed other geniuses with this perk, wouldn’t that make her strong? Really, really strong. Stronger than Nero?! Hell, she was able to fight against all of them without breaking a sweat.
“Anyways, I want to apologize for my approach. I wanted to greet you and talk to Amelia.” Aly corrected, bowing slightly.
“Oh? What do you need?”
“No offense to you Brynhild, geniuses barely reveal themselves to us commoners. Knowing Eadric, he is not the main reason for your appearance. Along with that, he does not even have any connection with you whatsoever. If he did, he would be a tad closer than how he is now.” I glance past Aly, noticing how my father was being reserved. He would be close to special guests, sharing stories, and whatnot. There is a huge gap between Brynhild’s clone and him. Well, not just him. Guests kept a good distance away from Brynhild’s clone too.
“Heh. You are a smart archmage. You can connect the dots.” Brynhild hints.
“I figured.” Aly gives her a friendly smile, “So Amelia had contact with a genius? What else can you do?”
“Ah, figured something was up.” Several new faces appear before us. My face showed disgust.
Emperor Titus’ sons.
All of them are rank thirteen. They wear their best militaristic outfits. Looking like generals, these three sons bear the white and yellow colors of this faction. Buttoned-up coats cover their upper bodies, dawning ribbons and medals across their breasts. Wearing white pants and shoes, their belt sheathed their swords. The one with messy brown hair is Bush, the youngest of the trio. He stands on my right, beside the eldest son, Lazard. He has long blonde hair. His features can be described as an elf’s face. Sharp eyes, facial structure, and very slim body. And lastly, the middle son to the left of Lazard is Arnos.
I am a tad surprised to see all three of them here. Out of these three, I despise Arnos the most. His dirty blonde hair is swept back, revealing that huge forehead. He is the middle child of these three. Titus has many sons and daughters, but like my dad, he does not want most of his daughters to be warriors or give them free rein of their own lives.
These three princes before me have that same mindset. They view women as tools and desire power. I chat with Lazard and Bush before. I brought up the issue of slavery, having a heated discussion with the two. They brought up the same pros for slavery. Talking about economic benefits and free labor, I knew that they were like all the others.
They are not the ones for me.
After that incident, Lazard and Bush avoided me and vice versa. Arnos, on the other hand, tries his best to get me. And by tries his best, he does ANYTHING to get my attention. I have no clue what is so special about me. It would be fine if he did it in some casually way. But he does it brutally and sickeningly.
He visits our settlement from time to time. Maybe to stalk me. Whatever the case, I saw his actions toward the townsfolk. He would yell at the commoners if they did something wrong like bumping into him. He would abuse his powers, demanding discounts willy nilly.
When merchants are about, he would extort them out of their money and valuables. I think he asked his eldest sister to play as her girlfriend one time. They walked around like a couple, fooling some bystanders. From this action alone, I guess he wanted me to get jealous. That didn’t work though. Seeing the young son before me made me frown. Hopefully, the effects of Dragon’s Breath will not kick in. Cause if it does, I might end up killing the idiot.
His rank means nothing if I can land the first hit.
Staring at the idiot, I sigh to myself. I was having such a good time. Now, I am reminded of the idiots that are around me. They rarely group like this though. Clearly, they approach us to do some business. Especially with the obvious one with the notorious reputation.
“Ah. Such a crafty little trick Brynhild, but we are not fooled that easily.” Lazard states, having his honey-like voice ring in the air, “We would like to chat with you.” Everyone in our vicinity turns our way, watching the scene unfold. Some of the guests eyed between the real Brynhild and the clone, confused. The genius’s expression turns into a serious one, glaring at the three.
“Talk.” Brynhild’s tone sent chills down my spine. Why is she so hostile? Well, it should be obvious. The earlier misunderstandings with Aly and her should hint at Brynhild’s displeasure. And knowing these assholes, they will provoke Brynhild. I doubt that Titus’ sons can control themselves.
“As the sons of Emperor Titus, we would be humbled by your presence in our faction. Not only that, granting us your wonderful-”
“Denied. Get out of my face. Now.” Brynhild coldly replied. I just stare blankly at the group, staring at their awestruck faces. Heh, I was right. They would not take no as an answer. Bush and Arnos are calm though. Logan, on the other hand, tries to press on.
“B-But you did not-”
“Eldest prince or an emperor, understand that geniuses do what they want.” Brynhild emphasizes this, her eyes turning into daggers, “The reason why I have a clone is to ignore such pitiful requests. What do you think Eadric is trying to do? No, not just Eadric. Most guests are asking the same damn thing. And guess what, I will not grant you lot my perk. You are not worthy of my gift.” Lazard was baffled by this, standing there. Prince Arnos and Bush did something unexpected. They pulled out their swords, aiming it at her.
“How dare you!? You think you can do what you want?! You are just one person in unknown territory, we can just-” The atmosphere became cold. I can feel my body shaking a bit at the fury that erupts out of Brynhild’s eyes. Her calm demeanor has disappeared. She stands before the three sons, hands crunching into a fist.
“OH!? You plan to force my hand now!?” As if her stern nature was not scary enough, a twisted expression revealed itself. A vile smile is on her face, forcing them back, “Then I shall punish you idiots accordingly!”
In a matter of seconds, Brynhild appears before Bush, grasping his sword hand. With a simple motion, she twists Bush’s entire arm. The prince screams in pain, falling onto the floor. I heard several bones crack, staring at the gruesome scene before me. I squirmed in place, grabbing my arm.
That was pretty disgusting. The cracking noises got to me. Olivia covers Jennifer’s and Jessica’s eyes, Titan and Gale standing in front of my younger siblings so they do not witness the horrific scene. Screams fill the air. Almost everyone within the hall averts their attention to Brynhild and the sons. Prince Arnos slowly backs away, screaming, “F-F-Fire!” Several bolts erupt from the crowd and the second floor of the hall. The genius stood there, shifting her gaze to Arnos. The prince cowers, staring at the bolts around the woman. Brynhild froze the bolts in place before they pierced her.
“Tranquilizers? So that was your plan? If negotiations fail, make a scene. If violence ensues, make up a lie, and subdue the genius. Pitiful. What are your parents teaching you? To be corrupt? Sneaky? This will not save you from the strong!” The bolts turn around, flying into the crowd and second floor. Several bodies fell to the ground. Each of these bodies holds a crossbow in their hands with the tranquilizers in their bodies. Hearing this, everyone remained silent.
Excluding the idiot with a fucked up arm now. The deformed arm did not spill any blood. I wonder what Brynhild did exactly. Did she use martial arts? Or was it magic? Still, the way it looks disgust me. Seriously, I cannot steel myself to stare at the deformity for ten seconds. It is all coiled up, skin, and bone pressing too close to each other. It shrank in size, the arm stopping midway to his chest. His hand was jittering about, fingers spazzing nonstop. Bush’s face was covered in sweat and tears, screaming for help.
Answering his call, healers arrived at the scene. With their hands out, the healers cast a green light over Bush's arm. As they tend to the prince, they looked at each other in disbelief. Eadric realizes what happened, appearing before Brynhild. I never have seen my dad out of his calm state. Sweat runs down his face, saying, “B-Brynhild… That was a tad too rash! Even if they instigated-”
“You know full well that this is a huge crime. Especially against the Heavenly General of Enlightenment and genius of the Defeat Inheritor. I do not care if they are the sons of your emperor, they deserve this.”
Heavenly General of Enlightenment? Melantha appears beside me (in Alice’s body still), explaining her title.
“You know about the wars between good and evil? Heavenly General of Enlightenment, I would just shorten it to HGoE, is a high position entrusted to the fiercest and devoted followers of the light. They suggest tactical movements in the time of war, suggest reforms, and other sorts. Threatening a general of this status is a death wish. I am dumbstruck at the sheer bravery and idiocy of these princes. Seriously? Pointing a blade at someone with this much power? Let alone, try to capture a genius? Please.” She rolls her eyes. “Reason why I don’t like princes. Too narrow-minded and stupid.”
Brynhild had that much of an influence? There was something odd about Brynhild. Is it a special perk? I have no clue what to call it. Technically, it is not a perk like [Defeat Inheritor] or [God’s Realm], but individuals who are just out of this world will have this aura about them.
I have no clue what to call it, but Brynhild, the first time we met, had this strange presence around her. Just looking at her, I knew she was kind, nice, gentle, amazing, beautiful, se- Eh, getting off track, but yeah, she had this aura of being good. I have never met a high ranking individual of the light or dark side.
Hm, thinking about it, this could be handy when I go out into the world. Just sensing their aura could avoid strong enemies or help me befriend great allies. Note that aura is different from one’s rank. I remember an outstanding nun I bump into in the past. She was a rank three mage, but she was aligned to the light.
Wait a second, did those three idiots sense her aura?
“How did you know she was good? Before she states her title.” I directed this to Melantha.
“Simple. I am evil.” Melantha has a hand on her chest. “Evil and light do not get along. We can always sense each other even if we hide. Those of neutral alignment is fine. Brynhild calling me out was a clear indication that she was of the light. You might be wondering about the overwhelming sensations you are getting off of her, right? The first time you met, it made you feel comfortable around her, right? If you did, then you felt her aura. A lot of people brush this off, not realizing it’s a thing. Auras distinguish one’s alignment or natural charisma. However, one can use their auras to their advantage. Install fear, install security, persuade someone to fall into their sins, persuade someone to worship them, auras can be viewed like one’s charisma. This can be used out of good or bad intentions. Auras can be categorized as their own unique thing. It is not a perk, not a skill, or technique. You just get it naturally depending on…”
There was a long pause, “...the stuff you do. Auras are a weird outlier. Whatever divine being is out there hands them out willy nilly.”
Interesting. Brynhild showed her aura off earlier? Why? To appeal to me? That’s a tad strange. I doubt she needed it since she is a very close friend to my mom. With the recent activities with the genius, Brynhild is a friend in my books. She explained my mom's history, the Dark Arts, and revealed a fraction of her strength.
Huh, Melantha seems like an okay individual as well. Despite her evil alignment, she has been providing me with juicy information about certain topics. Using this new knowledge, I am guessing that Melantha has not used her aura in any way, shape, or form. If she did, I would be keeping my distance.
Evil and goodwill always fight each other.
I have no clue how it started, but I can only guess that the past lifeforms or divine beings suggested some sort of balance. You are either neutral, evil, or good. Obviously, evil and good cannot see eye to eye, maybe they can for a few cases, but ultimately, the sides will not cease their bloodshed. Some people theorize the reason for the constant fighting as a physical means to ensure balance. Some would say that it is within our nature to always fight. Others believe that it will please the divine being of chaos. I find that a bit puzzling. I mean, it’s straightforward and simple. But why must the divine beings want bloodshed? To entertain themselves? To have something to watch over? To gain worshippers?
Regardless, Arnos and Bush fucked up big time. I simply place these questions back in my storage, looking at the other prince. Arnos is on the ground, cowering in fear. Bush continues to scream, squirming about like a worm. Lazard's face is extremely pale. Surprisingly, he snaps out of it. A good shade of red engulfs his face.
“You. I do not care if you are a genius, you will regret this.” sneered Lazard.
“Enough!” roared Brynhild. In a few seconds, everyone was on their knees. No one could talk under this heavy atmosphere. I was struggling to fight against this force, unable to stand against this pressure.
What the hell is this?!
“So this is her [God’s Realm].” Melantha points out. She was struggling, her voice straining at her sentence.
This is her [God’s Realm]!? There’s a huge difference between my knights and hers. I can barely move, let alone breathe in this dense pressure. My sight is glued to the ground, unable to look at anything else. [God’s Realm] is used to neutralize or hinder one’s movements, but I never thought it would be so handy in something like this. The music, the loud chatter, the dancing, everything stopped. Brynhild's voice rings through the silence, stating her plans.
“I came here on my own accord. You, idiots, think to use me for your benefits!? Understand this, I plan to give my perk to one individual in this place. You will not stop me, and you will respect my actions. This gathering is over. There are no negotiations. Your princes dare to assault someone of my caliber! What they received is only a pity punishment for their transactions. Be glad I let them live. Anyone that does not serve the Graham or is not a family member of the Graham will leave this settlement immediately…” I start to zone out of Brynhild’s speech, wanting to test her [God’s Realm].
Yeah, to be honest, this is not a smart move.
I blame the alcohol.
Forcing myself to move under her pressure will funnily impact my body. Let me explain the differences between Brynhild’s and my knights’ pressure. My knight’s [God’s Pressure] made me kneel, but it was not that bad. If I had to describe the sensation, it was like a heavy backpack with a ton of textbooks pushing me down along with regular rope constricting me. It was not tight, I had my wiggle room. My breathing was fine although my sight was blurry. Once I got used to it, I could resist it a bit. Maybe for a few minutes.
Now, Brynhild’s [God’s Pressure] is on a whole new level. Not even knowing her rank, the pressure reminds me of Titan’s greatsword pressing down on me. No, Titan never placed any greatswords on my back, but I know they weighed a ton. Now, I am imagining that three of his greatswords are on my back right now, forcing me on my knees. I can barely move under this pressure, let alone breathe! Well, that’s if I remain still. Trying to push yourself off the ground. or resist this heavy atmosphere, will result in major injuries.
Knowing all of this, I still want to move and test myself against Brynhild’s [God’s Pressure].
Why am I being stubborn? Why am I doing something so stupid? It’s because of my curiosity… and again, the alcohol.
I try to push myself off the ground using my hands, feet, and knees. I barely moved, feeling a sudden pain course through my body. It feels like those greatswords are trying to push me back down. I could not usher out any sound whatsoever, shaking from that strange feeling. My bones let out some cracking sounds. Sweat rolls down my face for that brief action. All of my stamina being drained away immediately- Oh.
Yep, moving under this force broke something. This was extremely stupid. I question my sanity now.
Yet this did not stop me.
I continue to force myself upwards, pushing against the unseen force. Slowly, I lift my lower body off the ground. I was barely standing, trying to straighten my upper body. If I thought that I broke a good amount of my bones, I know I destroyed several of them when doing this.
Oh shit, this will not go well. I can hear my body screaming for submission. It wants to fall right back onto the ground. I refuse this though. It takes all of my concentration and willpower not to fall and ignore the pain.
Yep, this was not my best idea ever. My eyesight is extremely blurry. Using all my strength like that also sapped me of everything.
In the last few seconds, I realize I forgot to breathe, falling to the ground. I lost consciousness...
The Black Knights were forced to kneel. The intensity of Brynhild’s [God’s Realm] showed her true strength. Anyone below Demi-God rank cannot move in this. If they do, they will be knocked out. Worst-case scenario, someone might have broken bones Even angels, gods, or titled ones will struggle in this atmosphere.
Nero, being higher than a God rank, can move ever so slightly. His head scanned the room. Everyone was forced to kneel. Some individuals are knocked out, splayed out on the floor. Bush and Arnos were knocked out as well. The two main idiots that caused the entire incident. Nero sighs under his helmet. He averts his gaze at the only person standing in the entrance hall.
Nero looks over to Amelia, seeing the queen kneeling at the heavy atmosphere. Even though Amelia has [God’s Realm] as well, Brynhild was on a whole different level. The genius’ [God’s Realm] alone can overwrite theirs in an instant. Amelia cannot nullify a higher rank [God’s Realm]. The reason why Nero never activates his during that spar. Everyone’s head is down, unable to gaze at her. They remain silent, hearing her speech. What caught Nero’s attention was Melantha’s voice.
“Aisha, you fool!” He did not need to look at Aisha to understand what had happened.
Immediately, Nero activates several skills, spells, and secret perks to break out of Brynhild [God’s Realm]. This action would be a threat to Brynhild. Defying one’s [God’s Realm] meant resistance. A resistance would turn into a fight. However, Brynhild heard Melantha, wrapping up her monologue.
“...Now, get to it!” Lifting the [God’s Realm], Nero teleports to Aisha. He ignored his secrecy, rushing towards the princess. She was on the ground, knocked out. It was obvious that she moved under Brynhild’s realm. Using a secret perk of his, he analyzed her body.
Horrified at the scan, he turns to Amelia. She must have heard Melantha as well. Without any exchange of words, Amelia was pale. She must have her way of checking on Aisha’s status as he did. She has a lot of broken bones. He frowns at the results.
Why did Aisha do this? Maybe it was due to that stupid drink. Why did Brynhild allow the princess to drink such a strong wine?
He kept these thoughts to himself, knowing full well not to piss off Brynhild. Titan picks up the princess, Nero giving a nod to his knight. A silent gesture that he was taking the princess to her room as soon as possible. Moving swiftly and quietly, Titan teleports from the entrance hall, Aisha in his arms. Once again, they were not discrete about it. This could jeopardize their mission and their secrecy.
Luckily, everyone was dazed from the [God’s Realm].
“What happened?” Nero questions Melantha.
“Should be obvious.” Melantha dust the dirt off her skirt, “Aisha moved under Brynhild’s realm. I was impressed at her willpower, standing for a few seconds. After that, she became unconscious.”
“I will attend to her.” Amelia interrupts the knight. Nero notices the shakiness in her voice, “Make sure that the guests leave our domain.” Without another word, she dashes off towards the nearby staircase. She is worried about Aisha's well-being. Aisha is her pride and joy. Her everything. Maybe her prodigy. The knight bowed at Amelia’s command. The mom should keep her daughter company. Besides, it is better this way.
Brynhild appears before Nero, asking him, “What happened?”
“Aisha moved under your realm. She’s knocked out. Follow Amelia’s presence, you will find your way to Aisha’s room.” Without another word, the genius walks away. The leader shakes his head. He knew Aisha would do something reckless. However, the fact that she stood up for a few seconds reveals her strength. If she was that of a Demi-God, she could refuse Brynhild’s realm for a few minutes.
Why is that?
The leader struggled to move unless he buffs himself. Then again, he was a higher rank than most. Amelia's conversation flashed through his head. She told him that Aisha has chaos essence.
Did the chaos essence boost Aisha’s strength? Amelia said that chaos essence boost chaos magic. An uneasy feeling is creeping over Nero. Maybe he’s overthinking it, but the fact that its chaos, an uncontrollable and unknown force, it could do anything.
Even if it boost chaos magic, it could do other things as well. For a low level to defy Brynhild’s realm and rank like that is impressive. This did not sit well with Nero.
He will have to look into his old history book. One place comes to mind, however, that area is in enemy’s hands. Chaos essence sounds very familiar to Nero. He cannot put a finger on it.
For now, these are just speculations. Princess Aisha is alive though. And she will bring his faction back to life.
Interrupting his thoughts, a knight approach Nero.
“S-Sir! Prince Patrick is knocked out! Without him, we have no command. What are your orders?” Several knights attend to the knocked out prince, carrying him back to his room. Nero shakes his head, telling the man, “Get all available personals front and center. I will then give you the orders.” He nods at Nero, carrying out the command given to him. The eleven black knights approach Nero, waiting for their instructions.
“You six,” Nero barks out his command, “Walk the guests out of this mansion. You heard Brynhild! Gale, supervise them! Golem and Zen, assist the unconscious guests out of here! Get them to their carriages! Dan and Gallant, check up on Eadric and our fellow knights.” Acknowledging their commands, they left Nero’s sight. Melantha and Jamie approach the former general.
“It was fun.” Jamie waves, tipping the top of her hat.
“I doubt it will be the last time seeing you two.” Nero states. Jamie teleports before them. No one notices her flashy exit. Melantha, on the other hand, stands near Nero.
“Oh? You right about that.” Melantha laughs, “Know this, I am your ally. Aisha has caught my interest and I will watch over her as well. If she wants to venture out in the world, she will need all the help she can get. Before I go, I can sense a familiar presence nearby.” There was a long pause. “It’s her, isn’t it? Valarie.”
“...yes.” Nero did not hide his answer. No point in hiding it. Melantha is evil and evil beings can sense each other. Valarie’s aura is strong. Anyone aligned to the dark can feel it.
“Why? You plan to join her or something?”
“Please. Valarie is very picky. I admire and adore Valarie for what she did and other sorts, but I will not join her due to her crazy followers. To be honest, I have a hard time describing her group. Best of luck to you. Aisha will resist her. I have a feeling you lot will do something about it. Bye-bye for now.” Waving her hand at Nero, she left.
Yeah, tonight will be the end of their everyday routine. Nero can feel the Death Knights nearby. Valarie will enter the scene soon enough.
It was faint. Really faint. Brynhild is in this settlement.
The carriage approaches our destination. As a busy genius and ruler, it was hard to believe in some of these letters. I have too many enemies. Those of the light and some of the dark, my girls tend to get themselves in a lot of trouble. I let a chuckle escape my throat.
Not my fault.
I let them do as they please. As long as they bring chaos, then I am fine with that. I am not responsible for their actions. My curse yearns for that chaos. It also yearns for sexual desires and other intimate things but I digress. Only my trusted and high ranking individuals are under my command. Thirty percent follow my direct orders while the other seventy percent are not.
Heh, I love how all the rulers criticize my leadership.
I would love to heed their words, but some of these rulers are hypocrites. They talk too much, sprouting about righteous things when they do the exact opposite. I lead by example, my people, my followers, are doing just that. I do what I want, and they do what they want. If they get into trouble, they will be responsible for what is to come. Controlling the masses, enforcing the law on my people- I shall not push these silly notions on them.
How many factions hate me because of this? Too many to count. I have so many spies in so many areas, I can ask them if this particular faction hates me or not. Eighty percent of the time, the faction hates me. Obviously, as their leader, I am the reason why my girls are so hectic. I just shrug this off though. If they want a fight, I can give them a fight.
“Do you really want to be here, your highness?” I snap out of my thoughts, staring at the little girl who asked me that question. Across from me, one of my generals, well to be precise, my head general, sits there with her black uniform. On her button-up military coat jacket, ribbons and medals are across her chest. White cords are wrapped around the girl’s right shoulder. The uniform is tight, hugging her body to show her slim physique. With black pants and boots covering most of her lower leg, she has one leg over the other leg. Her azure like eyes is locked onto me, awaiting my answer. With round features, one would think she was a cute weapon more than an evil person.
Heh. That will be one’s downfall. Her white hair is tied in a ponytail, the hat lying on top of her head. In the middle of her military cap, a metal decorative symbol of my insignia rests there. My faction’s insignia has a rose crossed by two swords and a shield behind it. I made this insignia after that incident with Amelia. The shield means protection, the two swords crossed over each other, and pointed up represents my willingness to fight, and the rose states my love for… love?
Something of that sort.
Pretty much, I allow same-sex marriages and love in my faction and will defend it and even fight for it. I was surprised at the masses of people at my doorstep when I made my first settlement and announced the insignia’s meaning. Oh, I should attend to my general before she places an adorable face against me.
Even though she’s young, she has a charm to her.
Sadly, she will be stuck like this forever. Once someone reaches demigod rank (fiend or saint depending on their alignment), their body will stay at the age and physique they currently have. At the age of eight, this child became a demigod.
This is impressive for a human.
Other beings like a vampire or werewolf can beat that by becoming a demigod at the age of four or five. It depends on their intelligence. Anyways, General X is a weird one. She is a reincarnated soul. This explains the steel resolution and tactical mindset. I mean, can an eight-year-old child beat the hell out of a thirty-year-old man with a stick.
A fucking stick?!
Under normal circumstances, no, but this child was different.
The bloodlust I saw in her eyes and the way she executed her enemies were relentless. It was like she was a demon trapped inside a girl’s body. Maybe her previous life was that of a demon? After seeing her, I decide to recruit her. Diving into a serious argument and a lot of talks, she joined me. Like a switch, she can display her smarts by suggesting strategic maneuvers and formations. When one of our armies was cornered and outnumbered, General X suggested several tactical plans to counter their army. Talking about the pros and cons of each strategy she suggested, General X became my number one general in a heartbeat.
Ah, I should answer my general before I pull up any more memories of the past.
“Yes. I need to see if this letter is real. You sense that overwhelming presence, right?” The child nods her head.
“No doubt about it. The [God’s Realm] was beyond my comprehension. This is a clear sign that…”
“It’s Brynhild.” I finish.
The message is from Amelia.
How long has it been since she left me? Staring at the letter, I understood one thing. No one can write this message in chaos runic writings except a select few. The select few being two people. Amelia and our tutor back in the Pillars of Gluttony. I came here personally to ensure that this was Amelia and see if the letter was right. Brynhild cannot hide her rank from me or her presence. We have been companions long ago. Our bond is strong despite our differences.
I wonder how she is fairing? I heard she got a huge promotion with the light side and all that.
“Should I call our elites?” ask General X.
“No. Brynhild is not an issue.” I replied, “Besides, we used to be close friends. Actually, we still are. Just that we had a falling out without one particular person. Long story short, we might be making up again. However, I need to carry out this plan an old friend of mine set up. If something bad happens, the two of us can handle it.”
“As you command.”
“Heh. Are you concerned about my safety?” I lean forward in my seat, hands cupped beneath my chin.
“Yes and no. As a leader, you cannot die on us. Yet you are the strongest being I have ever faced. Even Brynhild will have a hard time against you if you got serious. You are also the craziest person I ever worked for. I mean, cursing yourself? No curse can overwrite the one you made personally.” General X complimented.
“The curse…” Ah, I should stop. The curse I developed came from the same room that cursed Amelia. After Brynhild and Amelia left me, I went insane. My thoughts ran wild. I was alone. My lust and my well-being shattered. The two girls I loved left me. I knew why.
Amelia did not want to burden us. Yet she also hid her internal pain. The pain that she will no longer accomplish her dreams of restoring chaos magic. Brynhild, on the other hand, left me due to her alignment. She wanted to do something new. I did not stop her calling, knowing full well that we all had our rough starts.
After their departures, I felt loneliness. An overwhelming feeling I hated. My entire being went crazy from the lack of love in my life. I had to do something. I could have died from these feelings, but one feeling overwrite all of them in an instinct.
Amelia did not deserve such a curse. The act alone did not justify anything.
Why was there a curse in the first place? Who did this to her?
I diverted every ounce of sorrow into anger. My new goal was to find the bastard that did this. I will annihilate the person that did this. I used my knowledge about curses and hexes and visited that damn room. If I can kill this person, Amelia can be cured.
Browsing through the ancient books of old, I found something rather odd. It was a huge gamble though. No one would do such a thing, let alone perform such a feat. I can see why the overseers were reluctant to give me these books. The formula will drive anyone into a madman… or woman. I had to pull a couple of strings to get them to give me those books.
The history of curses and hexes comes from the celestial beings of darkness. The Discord of Envy curse a mortal woman that captivated the Divine Ascended Imperator. These are the titles of renowned celestial beings. Their names were not recorded in these books. This was the first recorded incident about curses. The higher beings did this for a long while until it finally reached the physical realm of the living.
A witch, name, and title not stated, spread her teachings to a selected few. These selected few became the founders of the supernatural creatures like the pureblood vampire and alpha lycans. When they bite someone, they curse them. Being gifted by this witch, their curse is passive and automatic.
Obviously, this was a huge issue.
Humans, lizard folks, merfolks, dwarves, elves, and other races found this as a force to be reckoned with. If left unchecked, they will be enslaved and cursed into their kind. Driven by fear, alliances were made and the Cursed Wars have begun. It was a bloody history, both sides taking heavy casualties. It stopped after one hundred years of bloodshed. In exchange for peace, the founders enlightened the other races about curses and hexes. Agreeing to this, the founders taught at their academies for a while, disclosing the knowledge about the Dark Arts.
This was where the juicy information rolls in.
The book contains the process of making a curse from scratch. The method, however, would make one question their sanity. It will drain the user mentally, physically, and spiritually. Secondly, they can die from doing this method if it does not go well. And lastly, if they do not die, they will most likely become a bloodlust fiend killing everything around them. The formula, itself, was not easy either. The ingredients are curses.
After I read this part, I had to pull more strings to get the necessary items. I swear the room I lived in transformed into a laboratory. Or more like a crazy monster pen. Either way, I did what I had to do.
In the next few months, I think I was sane and insane at the same time. The main formula to track the user of a curse was to create a new curse with all seven curses of hell. Envy, lust, gluttony, sloth, wrath, pride, and greed. To get one of these sins, you have to mix several curses inside of something.
Here's a problem after I reread the process.
What could hold these curses?
Those who tamper with curses have to blend everything in a pot or cauldron. Hell, one could think of a witch or herbalist creating their potions and other things.
But how do you get a curse from a vampire into a pot? Let alone mix a curse from a Lycan with a vampire's curse?
Killing them and mixing their bodies would not work. Their curse will die the moment they die. Having a piece of them would not work as well. Some curses can be created by certain ingredients or by fulfilling something, but these curses must be the one that the old beings had placed on their creations.
I struggled for a bit until I realize one crazy thing.
My body can be a cauldron.
Yes, my body was the pot and fire for all of this. To mix them, I also need to harness them. I have to make the curse bend to my will alone. At first, I thought having a high intelligence would help out.
The first big mistake that could have killed me or enslaved me.
I allowed a pureblood vampire to bite me. Relying on my intelligence, I failed to repel the curse. Inside my head, a voice told me to free the vampire. Of course, I tried to resist, but the overwhelming urge to obey the voice was rather high. The sensation was unbearable. I feel like I was fighting for hours against the pureblood's curse. And I did fight against her seven hours straight. She was withering my defenses and my mental focus, her curse draining my actual senses and logic.
I was going to lose. Around the seventh hour, I was going to follow her commands. Luckily, my goals allowed me to be in control for a brief moment. Well, it was more on my stubbornness and pure hatred for the asshole who hurt my dearest friend. I did not want this asshole to live. To be honest, I have no clue how to describe my comeback. I think the curse was like some net glued to my head.
All I had to do was find the part that was not sticking too close to my head and pull on it. After I obtain this net, I found myself wanting to eat it. The book said I have to harness it, so I thought, if I eat it, maybe that could work?
So I ended up having an imaginary mouth consume the net. Once I return to reality, I broke out of my trance. A sudden surge flows over me, stating that I am inflicted with the pureblood curse.
The vampire was smiling at me, hoping that I would obey her commands. Sadly, the vampire was never released. I went on with my work, collecting more and more curses.
If my battle against the vampire sounded crazy, the other battles were different as well. Each one was its unique scenario, making me dive through a lot of ridiculous things that would make any sane person question their existence. After my insane runs, I found myself going... bat shit crazy.
Worse of all, even though I am aware of a lot of things, some of my desires and wants had been emphasized. These curses weren't just a part of me. They were a living function for my existence. I had to do something about them or else I would die or become an insane being.
With these curses in my body, I can rewrite them, blend them, and conjure up a deadlier curse. I ended up making my theories using the ones stated in the books. I twisted them into my work, laughing as I did this.
I ended up testing them on the specimens in my room, making them go insane with my test runs. To be honest, I think I treated the females to a better punishment than the males. I am too sexist.
Back on topic, I ended up accomplishing my goal and finding the culprit who cursed Amelia. The last curse I had to be inflicted with was the one Amelia received.
I have to say, the curse is super strong. If I did not have a firm grasp on how to control these curses, I would have lost everything. The feeling was different as well. Instead of a net over my brain, it was a metal cage that wrapped around my entire body. Very tightly. It was harder for me to conjure up a hand to pry away the metal cage. It attacked me physically, mentally, and spiritually. I can feel my mind wanting to forget how to control these curses, I can feel my body weakening, and I can feel my skills and techniques leaving me. I had to counter this quick.
So I imagine that the seven sins I created in my body were demons with weapons. They somehow break the metal cage and allowed me to twist this curse into my own. Mixing the sins and the curse into one, I did an impossible feat and found the asshole who cursed Amelia.
“Valaire, you are spacing out again.” General X snaps me out of my thoughts. Right, this was a bad habit of mine. I blame Amelia and Brynhild for leaving me.
Besides, I miss their love. I wonder if I can find someone else to catch my heart? Actually…
“Sorry about that.” I laugh, “I will explain later.”
“You always say that.” General X sighs, “I assume you do not wish to disclose important information. I do not blame you. None of our escorts are our elite troopers, so they might just take said knowledge. May I ask why you hired a bunch of Death Knights?”
“Instructions from my old friend.” I stated, “It seems like I have to put on an act and curse someone.”
“You know, you abuse that curse of yours a bit too much.” General X pointed out.
“I do not!” I object.
“You do. I mean, you do it in the right way sometimes. But when the target is a female, you end up enslaving them with that curse of yours. You have a lot of enemies because you would take away a queen or some high ranking general. Even some pretty looking woman, you just curse them!”
General X was rubbing her forehead, “With all due respect, have some decency with it! I understand you need chaos, but the number of girls you have is too much. If you ever have a true lover, all of these girls will go ape shit on that person.”
“If they do, my lover must be strong enough to fend them off,” I replied nonchalantly. “There are only two individuals who are in that boat. And one of them will receive special treatment soon enough.”
Connecting the dots, General X deduced who it was.
“Amelia told you to come here? Are you sure it’s not a trap?” question General X. I hand her the letter Amelia sent me. General X has a puzzled expression on her round face. “What is this?”
“Runic writing.” I answer, “Chaotic runic writing. I only know two individuals who can write in this language. Amelia is one of them.”
“By the length of this message, this is no ordinary message. What does it say?”
“Amelia wants me to create a scene with the Black Knights. It has to be a convincing attack on these Black Knights. While this is happening, I need to curse her daughter, Aisha, and watch the magic unfold. If she cannot resist, then I will have to do something else. And you don't want to know what the other half is."
“Do you want me to engage the knights? I can do that,” said General X.
“No. I will oversee it. Everything has to be right or else there will be dire consequences.”
I need to make sure that the knight is on the verge of death after I curse Aisha. If I am too early, the plan will be ruined. If I am too late, I have no clue if the other Black Knights will engage me. Black Knights… It has been a long time since I bump into their group. Back in the Pillars of Gluttony, they were easy opponents. The bunch that protects Aisha is stronger. I will have to test them out. Amelia schemed this out thoroughly.
“Her daughter? Why is she placing her daughter under your curse? That sounds… wrong.” General X eyes at the letter again, confused. Heh, I know why Amelia is doing this. Even if she cannot obtain chaos magic, she wants her daughter to get it. She is still clinging to her past goal. Combining light and dark to make chaos magic, Amelia repeated these things back then. She was beaming with joy.
I know that Amelia is forcing this on Aisha. The requirements are high. My curse is two times stronger than Amelia’s curse. Instead of locking one’s skills and techniques, I can absorb them as long as I can subject them into a blissful state. Making them into a rank one again, I also curse them with a weekly lesbian lust.
This side effect was my doing. I created it. It makes the victim go on an uncontrollable urge for sex. Especially, They will want to have sex with a woman. If they are not a lesbian, they will slowly fall in love with me before this kicks in. Most of the time, they end up at my front door, asking to join my harem.
Now if they are into girls already, then the curse will only make them sex hungry when the time comes. Hopefully, they have someone to do it with. If not, I am always available. I usually reserve my body for lovers. It is a bit unfair for the majority not to touch this, but I make the rules here.
At least they can enjoy my touch. They savor that part. Heh.
“Stop making that face. Are you hoping that Aisha falls for you? I swear… another girl to add to your giant ass harem? Or more like a fucked up one. Girls would just start having sex in any goddamn are. I am glad I control the civilized portion of our group. I would surely kill half of those females for being… too much.” General X complains.
“I will… have mix feelings about that.” Honestly, I do not know what to say about me cursing her daughter. I still love Amelia and getting on her bad side is a no-no. I will also respect some of her family members. Some.
My entire being is insulted at the husband. Amelia should have stayed with us. Also, Brynhild would have hidden her presence no matter what. Assuming that it is the generic bunch over at Amelia’s place, I can only expect the usual knuckleheads and simple-minded fools residing in this country. Whatever the case, I will have to play my part in this act. Brynhild will give Aisha the ‘Defeat Inheritor.’
I have to come into the scene and grant Aisha my curse, then Aisha will unlock chaos magic. I let out a loose chuckle. Amelia says I am the evil one. She can be evil as well. She is playing as the puppet master right now. She knew that we will come to her aid. She knew that we will not deny her request. She knows damn well that we still love her. Although I can feel faint spikes of energy coming into this region.
“General X. I take back my previous statement. We might need the Executioner in the area. I want our elites to secure this place after I curse Aisha.” I play with my long dark crimson hair, “Unwanted actors are coming onto our stage. I wish to protect what is mine.” General X looks at me, folding the paper up and nods her head.
“As you command. I will have them on standby. I can sense them as well. This will be child’s play.” It seems like Brynhild’s presence attracted other geniuses within the area.
I will have my fun soon enough.