Chapter 85:

The Battle of Themis (Part 2)

The Children of Eris

“Karak-Harth’s broken through the western gate with tens of thousands of undead!” A messenger informed Lawrence, Arieon, Lily and Christoph.Bookmark here

“What?!” Lawrence bellowed. “Is he still there?”Bookmark here

“No, my lord, he’s gone north!”Bookmark here

Arieon frowned. “Towards the palace.”Bookmark here

“He means to kill the royal family?” Christoph asked.Bookmark here

“No matter what he intends to do.” Arieon leapt up from his chair with impressive vigour and grabbed his staff. “We have to destroy him or else this will be the last day of the Holy Empire.”Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

As Dante landed near the gates, he decapitated two death knights with ease and then cut a bone golem in half.Bookmark here

Two more bone golems charged at Dante, but he shattered them into tiny pieces with a blast of air from his palms. A death knight stabbed at his back, but Dante leapt above the blade, landed on the death knight’s shoulders and kicked its head off.Bookmark here

The head went flying into a group of weaker undead and exploded, taking out more than fifty in a single attack.Bookmark here

“And here I was worried I’d be a bit rusty,” Dante mused, swinging his massive scythe effortlessly into droves of the undead.Bookmark here

The Arts of the Monster Hunters were a unique type of magic that manipulated the air around the user for incredible abilities, and it naturally enhanced the user’s physical abilities.Bookmark here

Dante was also able to make his attacks much more powerful by using his arts to guide his scythe in battle.Bookmark here

There shouldn’t have been an undead that could have posed a threat to Dante, yet, among the oceans that had broken into the city, he found one that made his skin crawl.Bookmark here

It was a tall, black knight standing separate from the rest of the horde in a clearing; it easily dispatched anyone who tried to fight it by cleaving them in two.Bookmark here

What kind of undead is that? Whatever it is. Dante hurtled towards it. I’ll destroy it now!Bookmark here

Dante swung his scythe at the knight’s neck, but the knight parried the blow and punched at Dante. Dante brought his scythe in front of his body to block the strike, but the momentum knocked him back a few feet. Bookmark here

Dante blasted the undead with his arts, but the undead didn’t budge.Bookmark here

The black knight sliced twice at Dante; they were so fast that Dante couldn’t dodge them in time and had no choice but to block them instead. Dante pushed the knight’s sword to one side and sliced at the undead’s stomach, but the undead easily blocked the strike with its hilt, knocking Dante off balance.Bookmark here

The undead went to stab Dante in his heart, but Kella appeared from the side and blocked the blow.Bookmark here

“You’re late!” Dante called.Bookmark here

“I saved your life, didn’t I?” Kella yelled back.Bookmark here

The two withdrew a few feet from the black knight, but the undead didn’t pursue them.Bookmark here

Instead, it moved into a defensive stance and watched them.Bookmark here

“What kind of undead is this, Kella?”Bookmark here

“No idea. How strong is it?”Bookmark here

“Well, let’s put it this way. I could cut everything else down here with ease, but this.”Bookmark here

“Oh.” Kella laughed. “That’s reassuring.”Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

Karak-Harth flew through the palace doors, blasting them off their hinges, before launching bolts of lightning from his palms.Bookmark here

The blasts electrocuted the guards inside and ricocheted into the walls, destroying the windows and paintings. Bookmark here

Not wasting any time, Karak-Harth continued flying through the palace halls towards the throne room, flinging countless spells at anyone he saw.Bookmark here

When he arrived in the throne room, he found it empty.Bookmark here

So, the royal family evacuated to somewhere safe already, he thought as he landed softly on the carpet leading to the throne. Bookmark here

Slowly, Karak-Harth ascended the stairs towards the throne where all the emperors and empresses of the Holy Empire sat. It was the oldest symbol of power in the Holy Empire, a luxurious chair made specifically for Saint Themis after the War of Unification.Bookmark here

“I remember the first time we came here, Themis,” Karak-Harth mumbled as he gently stroked the chair. “I remember the way you spoke about a utopia-like empire. One without war, without bloodshed, one that would know peace and happiness for an eternity.” Karak-Harth smiled somewhat remorsefully at the chair. “You were a fool, my dear.”Bookmark here

He turned towards the ceiling and bellowed, “My only regret is not being able to see your face as your dream dies!”Bookmark here

“And here I thought your biggest regret would be betraying her, Karak-Harth,” Arieon mused as he, Lawrence, Christoph and Isabella entered the throne room.Bookmark here

Karak-Harth’s neck twisted unnaturally around his body as he turned to look at the defenders who’d rushed to challenge him.Bookmark here

“Even her descendants are fools,” he grumbled, turning his body around to face them. “I’m insulted that you think I’m so weak.”Bookmark here

“Maybe it’s not that you’re weak, but we’re strong, traitor,” Lawrence said, drawing his blade.Bookmark here

Eight large magic circles formed behind Karak-Harth, sparkling with purple energy. Bookmark here

“Oh, I assure you, you’re wrong.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.