In a forest in the Imperial city, near Chimseong Palace.
Alex, a knight who secretly stood guard a short distance from Chimseong Palace under Evelyn Agnes’s orders, suddenly turned suspiciously towards the crimson light emanating from Chimseong Palace.
The light originated from the training hall and gradually enveloped the entire palace.
Was it because of the colour? Alex’s brows furrowed slightly at the ominous presence exuded by the light.
“What is that? It seems like magic… but it doesn’t look like… they were attacked.”
The adjutant, listening to Alex while standing beside him, perked up his ears to the sound resonating from the palace.
If an attack had occurred, sounds of battle, such as the clash of weapons, should have resounded throughout the surroundings.
Yet, nothing of the sort was heard.
The adjutant thus asked,
“Hmm… should we report this?”
Alex was hesitant to report to his superior.
It was a report that would directly enter the ears of the Lion Princess, and he did not want to bother her with unnecessary details.
However, his thoughts were soon reversed by the sound he heard.
An eerie shriek rang out and seemed to cut off their breath.
Did this sound originate from a demon that had clawed its way up from hell?
Alex, who had instinctively raised his hand slightly, turned towards his adjutant and issued a command.
“Inform our superior immediately.”
The adjutant bowed his head and immediately departed, unwilling to cause even the slightest delay.
Alex stared at the adjutant’s fading back briefly before advancing towards Chimseong Palace.
* * *
The effect of this magic circle, which Zion pressed Priscilla to complete, was simple.
It would reveal the true form of the “enemy” within a certain range.
Two years later, just before a full-scale war erupted, humans developed this magic circle to expose the “enemies” that had already concealed themselves among humanity in large numbers and bore witness to its effectiveness.
Zion, who was staring at the enemy and those gathered around becoming increasingly dyed in red, spoke to a Priscilla sporting a puzzled expression.
“I need your blood.”
Priscilla had been questioning Zion, starting with the magic circle, as he kept uttering things that were incomprehensible.
However, Zion did not answer, just as he did not this time as well.
“One drop is enough.”
He simply gazed forwards, his eyes twinkling in amusement.
Priscilla shook her head twice before cutting her fingertip slightly and dripping a drop of her blood into the centre of the magic circle.
At that moment–
A chilling and monstrous shriek sounded from the direction of the gathered servants.
Priscilla retreated instinctively out of terror.
“I found it.”
A low voice came from Zion’s mouth.
What entered Zion’s eyes was Varen, the vice chamberlain of Chimseong Palace, screaming in a deranged voice.
No, it had originally been Varen, now no longer even a human being.
Tentacles extended from his entire body, and his arms and legs twisted in a bizarre manner.
“W-what in the world is that… thing?”
Zion briefly answered Priscilla’s question, who was tired of being whitewashed by the substances spewing from the demon.
That was the true ‘enemy’ of the Chronicles of the Hero of Frosimar, the enemy of all mankind.
It referred to all beings residing in the Demon Realm, including demons, devils, and evil entities that exuded hostility toward any living creature other than demons.
The ones who served the Demon King and ravaged the world.
I knew it, they were here too.
The demons in the Frosimar Chronicles were very meticulous beings.
They crept into human territory by order of the Demon King decades before the war erupted and gradually undermined humanity.
The demons’ methods were so ingenious that mankind was unaware of them until just prior to the war, when the disguised demons swept in and massacred humans, making it appear like a conflict between humans.
Mankind then chose the path leading to self-destruction and the world perished.
It’s one of the lower-ranking ones.
Zion thought as he stared at the demon whose true form had been exposed.
Chimseong Palace exerted very little influence to begin with, so they must have only planted lower-ranking demons here.
Rather, Zion was quite surprised by the demons’ thoroughness, as demons were planted even in such a place.
At that moment, the demon that had been howling leapt toward Priscilla.
“Why, why me…!”
In contrast to Priscilla, who showed a bewildered expression, Zion began to circulate his dark energy composedly.
He had predicted that the demon would attack her.
Her blood, termed ‘demon blood’, was akin to a heavenly elixir to the demons.
A year from now, she would have been abducted by demons for the demon blood flowing within her.
Kept in a state between life and death, she would have been used solely as a supply of blood.
That was why she was called the “Misfortunate Princess”.
Enemy Manifestation was normally only capable of detecting lower-ranking demons.
However, if Priscilla’s blood is used to amplify and maximise its effect, it is possible for even intermediate-ranking ones to be detected.
Therefore, there was no method by which a lower-rank demon could conceal its true form.
The demon lunged at her while ignoring the people in the surroundings, as if its eyes could perceive nothing other than Priscilla.
“Protect His Highness and Priscilla-nim!”
The knights, who regained their composure a moment later, swiftly placed themselves in the path of the demon.
However, they were not strong enough.
Dozens of tentacles sprouted from the demon, moving at a frightening speed and slashing the knights all over their bodies.
Within less than a minute, all the knights who rushed forward had died or been incapacitated.
This was a demon.
Even at the lower ranks, demons boasted overwhelming power that was incomparable to mankind.
There is a plethora of them in the Demon Realm.
Zion raised the edges of his lips slightly as he thought that and then began to move stealthily.
He melted into the darkness that had spread with the setting of the sun.
He materialised right in front of the demon.
Unlike those he had dealt with before, the demon immediately recognized Zion and thrust its tentacles.
These tentacles, containing a terrifying sharpness, were aimed at Zion’s vital points.
Zion’s body was pierced from various sides.
“Y-Your Highness Zion!”
Fredo shouted out urgently from further behind.
Zion’s pierced body scattered, as though dissolved in water.
At almost the same time, Zion reappeared behind the demon.
Darkness had taken form in Zion’s hands.
He thrust his hand and tore off one of the demon’s tentacles.
The demon cried out in agony and cowered.
In the meantime, Zion threw away the tentacle carelessly and extended his hand toward the demon’s exposed vital point.
The demon sensed danger instinctively and gathered all of his tentacles to defend against Zion’s attack.
The demon’s tentacles were coated with thick demon energy, but the moment Zion extended his hand,
The energy disappeared completely, as if it had never existed.
The demon’s eyes widened in shock as Zion’s hand easily penetrated his defense and pierced one of the demon’s hearts.
He has two hearts, right?
Not stopping there, Zion immediately began searching for the second heart.
At that moment, the demon regained its senses and desperately scraped together all of its remaining demonic energy before releasing it at once.
Since he was still unable to extinguish that much energy at once, Zion widened the distance between them to avoid the energy explosion.
As a result, the demon, who took a moment to catch its breath, glared at Zion.
Stuttering human words flowed from what seemed to be the demon’s mouth.
It had been 20 years.
The time the demon had spent here at Chimseong Palace after infiltrating human territory.
Nothing like this had ever occurred before, nor anything even remotely similar.
The dull humans were unaware of their true nature and the demon thought it would continue as such.
“That, what’s that magic circle?”
The moment he saw the crimson light radiating from that magic circle, he felt an intense and instinctive desire to shed the human skin he was wearing.
And the moment Lady Priscilla dripped her own blood on it, he lost his rationality.
The sole thought filling his head was craving for Priscilla’s blood.
However, there was something even more incomprehensible.
“What’s that power?”
The darkness that erased his demonic energy without a trace at the moment of contact.
He had never encountered anything like it before.
What was also unbelievable was that all of this occurred at the hands of Prince Zion, who he had been observing for over a decade.
“Who are you?”
That man standing before him was definitely not Prince Zion.
That was the conclusion the demon had reached.
The demon’s eyes suffused with doubt at Zion’s casual answer, but that did not last long.
Zion, who had enveloped himself with darkness, swiftly thrust his hand forwards.
The demon gathered all of his tentacles and created a huge drill, firing it at Zion while screeching.
Perhaps the demon instinctively knew it was his last attack, as the attack was completely incomparable to any before it.
With this, I can pierce that darkness…
However, Zion’s hand, which had been destroying just about everything until now, shifted in a strange manner.
Zion’s hand gently pierced through the demon’s tentacle drill that burst forth like a snake swimming in water.
Then Zion’s hand moved at a strange angle and gently lifted it up.
The demon’s tentacle drill soared upwards, as if it had been struck by lightning.
Zion, immediately capitalising on the opening revealed to him, thrust his hand towards the heart he had discovered a while ago without hesitation.
A shattering sound resounded, the demon laying down after both of its hearts were destroyed.
The last sight he saw was that of Zion’s eyes, slightly-narrowed as if in amusement, and a single black star circling within them.
Had Astral Darkness not risen to one star, this would have been difficult.
Also, demon species that infiltrate human territory truly don’t leave any trace of their bodies when they die.
Zion thought as he stared at the gradually disappearing corpse of the demon.
He was strong.
The first demon he encountered was very strong.
If the lower ranks were this strong, how strong were the ones above them? That thought excited him even more.
The stronger the opponent, the greater the wall, the more thrill Zion felt.
I think it was around here.
After staring at the body for a while, Zion raised his hand and stabbed it into the demon’s neck, which had yet to disappear.
He heard something shatter.
The Demon Realm embedded two countermeasures into the demons hiding in human territory.
One manifested in the disappearance of their corpses, which was happening now, and the other in the transmission of information.
The moment a demon died, all that the demon had seen and heard was transmitted to the Demon Realm.
Zion had destroyed the core responsible for the transmission.
“What happened… You awakened, right?”
A trembling voice clearly resounded in Zion’s ears.
The sight of Priscilla staring at him with shaky eyes appeared before Zion eyes as he turned his head towards her.
Not only that, but the appearance of knights with pale faces and servants collapsed on the ground, their spirits damaged by demonic energy, also came into view.
Their expressions betrayed their utter incomprehension regarding what had transpired.
“More importantly, the… thing that just disappeared…”
As Priscilla was about to open her mouth once again to question Zion further, unable to suppress her curiosity, a sharp noise rang out, interrupting her.
“Your Highness Zion!”
A group of knights rushed into the training hall, almost breaking the outer gate while opening it.
These knights possessed a higher level of strength and loyalty than the knights in Chimseong Palace.
Perhaps they were escort knights Evelyn secretly appointed near the palace after her previous visit.
One of them, a man who seemed to be the head of the knights, realized that the incident had concluded and approached Zion, bowing his head.
Your Highness Zion, my name is Alex, of the Order of the White Lion.
May I ask what happened, by any chance?”
Zion, who looked at Alex without much regard, quietly opened his mouth.
“I was just thinning out the enemy.”
More confusion filled Alex’s eyes, but Zion’s mouth was now firmly shut.
It could not be revealed yet.
If this fact became known, the demons that were hiding would delve deeper into the shadows.
I can’t let that happen.
Not until I hunt them all down.
Zion thought so and turned towards Baekseong Palace, which appeared as a speck in the distance.
You'll Also Like
Bring Back The GloryChapter 6 10 hours ago
New Rome When Great Caesar Strike AgainChapter 4 10 hours ago
The Worlds Strongest LV1 Dungeon MonsterChapter 2 10 hours ago
The ExTinction of HumanityChapter 10 11 hours ago
One Piece The Strongest WarriorChapter 10 11 hours ago
Monster associationChapter 2 11 hours ago
Heroic ReincarnationChapter 3 11 hours ago
Immortal Ascension TowerChapter 8 11 hours ago
The Immortals SivaChapter 7 11 hours ago
Thundery FlamesChapter 10 11 hours ago
The NPC Was Once Again Frightened By MeChapter 7 20 hours ago
Looking for the Villainess Who Spent the First NightChapter 1 20 hours ago