Chapter 1174: Under the Dark Night Sky
The Country of Darkness.
Overlooking the boundless night sky of the nation, Erin couldn’t help but reveal a smile. Even though she didn’t like it here, the Country of Darkness was her home, after all. After roaming about for so long and finally returning home, this feeling was rather nostalgic. As the phrase ‘there’s no place like home’ went, although the Country of Darkness was riddled with problems, this was her home, after all. This was the only place where she could relax completely.
At this thought, Erin revealed a worried expression. As she flew her way back to the country, she witnessed several mobilizations of the undead creatures. She was concerned because judging from their direction, it was apparent that they were heading toward the border, which was obviously different from what Rhode had told her. As a matter of fact, Erin was also aware of Rhode’s dealing with the twin dragons. She didn’t think that her big brother would be that foolish to loot a burning house. But now, it seemed like her big brother had exceeded her expectations. Erin felt confused and furious at the same time. No matter what, Rhode went all the way to rescue her and yet, her big brother committed something like this behind their backs.
Despite that, even though Erin was dissatisfied, she didn’t denounce her big brother’s crime. On the contrary, she headed to the castle situated in the Moon Forest just outside the Darkness Capital.
The castle under the illuminating moonlight seemed as tranquil and picturesque as ever. This was one of the rarer locations in the Country of Darkness where undead creatures were non-existent. Erin had never favored the undead creatures. Although her big brother was the ruler of the Country of Darkness, he was a living being, after all, and also wasn’t favorable toward the lifeless undead creatures. That was why in Erin’s Moon Forest, dark elves and humans made up the majority of the population.
Upon witnessing Erin’s return, the dark elves who were guarding the place stooped over and bowed in reverence. Erin came to a halt and smiled at them in response, before turning around and headed to the entrance. Shortly after, a human servant scuttled over respectfully, opening the gate for her. It was only in Erin’s territory that humans and dark elves got along peacefully. If they were in another place, perhaps it would be an entirely different issue.
They didn’t know where Erin had been to because this wasn’t the first time the moon princess ran around all over the place. Ion also didn’t go around announcing her disappearance and that was why most beings in the Country of Darkness weren’t aware that Erin had gone missing earlier. It was the same even for these guards and servants. They thought that the moon princess went away much longer this time and wasn’t too mindful.
Shortly after, Erin realized something was wrong with the atmosphere. In the past, the Moon Castle was always in a peaceful quietness. Most of the servants were also dispassionate and calm. But now, they put up troubled expressions upon witnessing her return as though they had been on edge for a long time and finally relaxed after their strongest supporter was back. If it only happened to one or two of them, Erin would think that they might need her help for something. But almost everyone had the same expression. It was as though a castle being surrounded by heavily-armed soldiers finally witnessed the arrival of their reinforcements, giving them a chance to escape.
“Did something happen?”
Erin couldn’t help but asked softly. Upon hearing her question, everyone displayed hesitant expressions. However, Erin held a high reputation in their hearts. Therefore, after being undecided for a few moments, one of the dark elves stepped forth, bowed respectfully, and answered in a lowered voice.
“Reporting, Your Highness. During this period of time, His Majesty Dark Dragon is… expanding the armaments.”
“Expanding the armaments?”
Upon hearing the report from her guard, Erin blinked curiously, unsure of why they were so concerned about it. It had always been this way for the Country of Darkness and expansion of armaments wasn’t rare. Upon realizing that Erin didn’t understand the meaning behind those words, the dark elf gnashed his teeth, hesitated for a few seconds, and embraced herself.
“This was what happened… Your Highness. His Majesty Dark Dragon is turning living creatures into undead creatures. Right now, most of the living creatures residing around the Darkness Capital have been forcefully turned into undead creatures!”
Erin turned ashen instantly. She came to halt and stared at her servants in bafflement. She couldn’t believe what the dark elf just said. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t uncommon for the Country of Darkness to turn living creatures into undead creatures. But this wasn’t in the interest of the Country of Darkness. First, due to the forceful conversion of living creatures into undead creatures, their strength would be weaker than ordinary undead creatures. Two, due to the loss of vitality after a living creature was dead, its undead spirit could fuse with the corpse, allowing it to turn into a perfect undead creature. That was why in the Country of Darkness, they would only awaken human corpses after the imprisoned humans were dead (of course, it was another matter as to how they died). They could only use the other method of killing the humans, before turning them into undead creatures at once. But this way, it would only make matters worse for the Country of Darkness. It was because undead creatures weren’t capable of reproduction, which was why they needed a race like humans with reproduction ability to replenish the manpower. But once all humans were killed, bad days would surely be ahead of the country.
Even though undead creatures treated humans like livestocks, they should still keep a few of them for reproduction. As a matter of fact, humans weren’t actually livestocks, but were living creatures with their own thoughts. In the past, although the Country of Darkness treated them as slaves, at least most of them were allowed to live through their entire lives, which was also why they didn’t escape. But now with Ion doing this, he was outright forcing the living creatures to flee the country!
Judging from the intense reaction from her guard, perhaps this time it wasn’t only the humans who were killed and dark elves were also involved in the disaster. If not, they wouldn’t have reported this matter to her. After all, humans were like cannon fodders to the dark elves. Even though they got along peacefully with humans in Erin’s territory, it didn’t mean that they treated humans as equal.
“What exactly happened? Why did Big Brother do something like this out of the blue?”
The situation was unfathomable for Erin. Never did she expect her big brother to resort to something so peculiar. She was at a complete loss for words. What Ion was doing now was destroying the country’s foundation. If this news spread, perhaps the other races might have their own plans to leave the Country of Darkness. Right now in the Dragon Soul Continent, undead creatures could no longer rely on their past advantage to win wars. Erin thought that her big brother was a sensible person. Although the changes in Order in the Dragon Soul Continent brought upon a certain extent of influence to the Country of Darkness, the effects weren’t too huge, after all. As long as Ion made use of this opportunity to boost the strength of living races in the nation, it was possible for the Country of Darkness to match up against other countries. For instance, if they could reduce the number of casualties for a race like dark elves who had strong battle strength and a low fertility rate, resurrecting them after battles could turn them into sharp knives in the hands of the Country of Darkness, not even inferior to death knights.
But now, Ion actually killed them to turn them into undead creatures?
No wonder the dark elves were about to rebel. They had low fertility rate, in the first place, and if they were killed to turn into undead creatures, their race would definitely go extinct!
Upon hearing Erin’s question, everyone hesitated and exchanged looks with one another. In the end, the dark elf who spoke earlier continued.
“About that… Your Highness, you may not be aware since you’ve just returned. About half a month ago, His Majesty Dark Dragon sent out a legendary general to lead his army against the Void Territory.”
Erin was flabbergasted. She stared at the dark elf and asked in a heavy voice.
“How did it go?”
“… Our army was annihilated. His Highness Charlie was killed in the war.”
Even though Erin was mentally prepared for bad news, she felt dizzy after hearing it. She wasn’t surprised by the result of the war. During her days in Grandia, she sensed several beings who weren’t inferior to her, where even if the legendary generals turned out in full force, they would hardly be victorious. And now, Charlie died in the war. Two of the four legendary generals were dead. Balende was also injured…
“How are His Highness Balende and His Highness Garcia doing?”
Facing Erin’s question, the dark elf had a hard time telling the truth. Erin’s heart sank upon noticing his reaction. She guessed that most likely something bad happened to them. And indeed, she received an answer that left her completely helpless.
“… I’m not too sure of the exact situation. But I heard rumors that when His Majesty Dark Dragon made the decision to turn living creatures into undead creatures, His Highness Balende and His Highness Garcia objected fiercely. But His Majesty Dark Dragon had no intention of hearing their persuasion and even locked up His Highness Balende. His Highness Garcia escaped to his territory and angered His Majesty Dark Dragon. Right now, His Majesty Dark Dragon is gathering troops to attack His Highness Garcia’s manor…”
“I’m heading there now!”
Erin couldn’t keep calm any longer. The joyous mood she had from returning home already vanished to nowhere. She didn’t expect so many upheavals during her absence in the Dragon Soul Continent. This was totally unimaginable. She couldn’t figure out what her big brother was thinking. Two of the four legendary generals were dead, one was locked up, and the last one was compelled to flee. The dark elves were now considering their decisions upon the situation. As for the humans, perhaps it was too late for the Country of Darkness to recover the situation. As for the undead creatures, although they were watching from the sidelines, no one knew what exactly would happen, not even Erin. But she was certain that if this continued, perhaps the Country of Darkness would crumble on its own without anyone attacking them.
Erin couldn’t tolerate it any longer. She turned around and soared into the sky at a rapid pace.
She didn’t head to the Darkness Capital immediately, but went around to the Eternal Night Island instead.
The four legendary generals had their very own manors. Garcia’s manor was located in the Eternal Night Island. This was the largest gathering place for humans in the Country of Darkness. The Eternal Night Island was situated in the southwest sea of the Country of Darkness and the largest island in all of the nation’s territory.
Erin had been there a few times and it was indeed different from other places in the Country of Darkness. Even though it was also under the safety of the dark dragon soul protection, it was more lively and energetic compared to the lifelessness of the undead creatures. That was why Erin loved going on a trip to this place occasionally.
But now, the Eternal Night Island was unlike what she remembered. Blazing conflagrations surrounded every corner of the island, while sentries and gunboats enclosed the entire island. Looking at this scene, Erin couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief. The legendary generals lived up to their names, after all, and weren’t easily trifled with. Upon witnessing that the Eternal Night Island wasn’t broken through yet, Erin felt somewhat assured and quickly descended.
Swish! Swish! Swish!
Before she landed on the surface, storm-like arrows were released, enfolding her completely. But as a night wyvern, such an extent of attack wasn’t worthy of her attention at all. She stroked her right arm casually and the arrows scattered and landed on the platform instantly. Shortly after, a dozen heavily-armored soldiers crowded over and surrounded her.
Upon noticing the soldiers, Erin was taken aback. She wasn’t astonished to see human guards here, but what stunned her was that she also witnessed a dozen death knights among them. But after some thoughts, Erin came to a realization that this was actually a rather normal situation. Balende was the commander of all death knights in the Country of Darkness, after all. Now that he was locked up, it wasn’t surprising that his men couldn’t put up with the mistreatment he received any longer.
At this thought, Erin let out a sigh. It seemed like the situation was rather thorny.
“Pull back. It’s Her Highness, the Princess!”
At that moment, a forceful, resonant voice reverberated. Then, a shadowy figure flitted across and Garcia appeared before everyone. He gazed at the surroundings, lowered his head, and bowed to Erin.
“Long time no see, Your Highness. I’m glad to see that you’ve returned in one piece.”
“What exactly happened, Your Highness Garcia?”
Upon seeing Garcia’s arrival, Erin asked urgently. She decided to check with her big brother initially, but eventually decided to ask Garcia about the details first. After all, she knew how stubborn her big brother was and didn’t know where to begin to persuade him. Upon hearing her question, the instantly of Garcia’s gaze changed.
“Your Highness, when did you come back?”
“A few moments ago. I came back with Her Highness Lydia and His Majesty Rhode. I thought of heading to the Darkness Capital to check on the situation first, but didn’t expect to hear this news upon returning to the Moon Forest. That was why I rushed over here. What exactly is going on?”
After hearing her response, Garcia let out a long sigh and waved his arm. Upon seeing his hand gesture, the guards dispersed. Until no one else was surrounding them, Garcia turned to Erin and said solemnly.
“Your Highness, you haven’t been to the Darkness Capital for a long time. Please pardon my rudeness, but I would like to ask you to not head back to the Darkness Capital no matter what!”
Garcia’s words piqued Erin’s curiosity. The former pondered helplessly for a few moments. Then, he stooped over and said.
“To tell you the truth… His Majesty Ion has… gone crazy!”
Erin was appalled. She widened her eyes in disbelief, staring at Garcia and seemingly unable to accept the truth of his words.
“You’re saying that Big Brother has really gone insane?”
“Yes, Your Highness. His Majesty Ion sent troops to attack the Void Territory earlier. But even with the absence of His Majesty Rhode, the Void Territory was equally as strong with the unprecedented and formidable strength of those young ladies. Charlie also died in the war. Thereafter, His Majesty Ion locked himself up, refusing to meet anyone. A few days later, he left the palace unannounced. We didn’t know what he was up to, but he has as though turned into a totally different person after his return, where he is only bent on eliminating the Void Territory. Not only did he begin to turn living creatures into undead creatures, but he also obtained a unique skill to strengthen the undead creatures. That was why he was motivated to attack the Void Territory again. Although Balende and I tried to persuade him to stop, His Majesty Ion doesn’t seem capable of listening to anyone. Not only did he lock up Balende, but he also dispatched troops to kill me. Fortunately, the instant I realized something was amiss, I left the Darkness Capital immediately. If not, maybe I would have ended up like Balende.”
Garcia said and couldn’t help but force a chuckle filled with unspeakable sadness. The Country of Darkness had reached this extent where he couldn’t even let out a sigh anymore. He didn’t know what caused the insanity in Ion for him to actually do something like this.
“Besides… judging from the intention of his words, it seems like this time, not only has he decided to attack the Void Territory, but he also wants to attack the Country of Light and Country of Law at the same time. We tried to stop him, but he… Sigh…”
“That really happened?”
Erin’s expression turned dreadful. Of course, she knew how urgent the situation was, but didn’t expect it to be this grave. Not only was Ion about to attack the Void Territory, but he also wanted to lay hands on the Country of Law?
But Rhode is already back! Based on his character, would he even let the Country of Darkness off if he learned about this?
At this thought, Erin said anxiously.
“I’ll head to the Darkness Capital now to stop my big brother.”
Before Erin left, Garcia couldn’t help but exclaim in panic, discouraging her hurriedly.
“Please think twice. His Majesty Ion is acting really strange right now as though he is a totally different person. Besides, the Country of Darkness is riddled with problems. I urge you to not return to the Darkness Capital…”
“Thanks for your kind reminder, Your Highness Garcia.”
But before Garcia finished his sentence, Erin shook her head and interrupted.
“No matter what, he is my big brother and I must check on his situation. If… anything were to happen, please send out men to inform His Majesty Rhode. I think… perhaps His Majesty Rhode will have a way to stop him.”
Erin said, turned toward the direction of the Void Territory, and withdrew her gaze.
Then, she soared and disappeared into the night sky.