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Recalling the hardship along the way, and how they’d made it safely, Aya felt like she was in a dream.
‘This is all due to Master Kukulkan!’ At this thought, she couldn’t help but grab the sacred crest in her hands, beginning to pray silently.
‘Mm, the imperial capital of the Sakartes Empire. If I can take that down and offer it to the master…’ An idea arose in Barbara’s mind, filling her thoughts. She wasn’t being greedy, everything was just happening too smoothly.
Although she’d brought less than ten thousand troops from Hope Stronghold, many natives suffering from sickness had requested to enter. Even those from the imperial army changed sides. On top of that, having obtained the news about the divine battle through some secret channels, even the nobles of the Sakartes Empire began to waver.
The consequences of this was that Barbara’s army kept expanding without needing to expend effort. They had even reached near the capital with effortless victories. Along the way, in order to obtain the ‘holy water’ and blessings from the feathered serpent god, many native refugees took on arduous jobs. The secondary army also suppressed rebellions to express their loyalty.
Knowing that Hope Stronghold lacked people, Barbara accepted all offers from refugees and armies. In a short period of time, the army had expanded by five times! There was now a native army made of 50 000 troops, as well as other refugees.
Tiff had initially been worried there might be spies who snuck in, but it seemed that the natives had no intentions in this regard. Rather, due to the huge numbers, making commands and logistics created a headache for them. There had been a few times where things were extremely chaotic.
The Sakartes Empire now looked to be done for, when it could not even take care of such an oversized army.
The continuous successes naturally raised Barbar’s ambitions.
“As long as I take down Dole City, the imperial capital will lose all its protection…”
Barbara planned in her mind, before watching the chaos at the city in the distance, stunned. Thick black smoke and screams could be heard from afar.
A knight darted over, looking to he had something urgent to report.
“Let him come!” Barbara waved her arms, and the guards that had held him back dispersed.
“Saintess, a few leaders in Dole City have joined hands to create a rebellion. They have now gotten control of the entire city and agree to giving up their faith to accept the feathered serpent god— But only if we give them the holy water as soon as possible, and that they hope we can take in people from the city that’s now in chaos…”
Barbara nodded and sent down the order.
At the very beginning, this sort of scenario had gotten her all excited, but she was now numb to it.
She was even feeling disappointment of achieving something herself.
However, at this moment, she had something more important to do.
The takeover of the city went smoothly. Under the threat of death, there were very rare cases of false surrender. Barbara had used her previous experience and sent a batch of people to help fight the fire. She then met with the few leaders and, after promising that the holy water would be provided, the entire Dole City was somewhat in her grasp.
The reason why it was only ‘somewhat’ in her grasp was because there were still altars and priests. These were also the last bit of resistance in Dole City.
When it came to battles stemming from faith, they were far from intense and terrifying than usual ones. For this reason, Barbara did not relent and headed to the altar.
“Saintess, the altar here is for the two false gods, the giant flaming horse Woods and the emperor who established the empire, Akeban. While the priests of the giant horse has lost all power, the clergy of Akeban still have support with divine force. They’ve managed to get a group of soldiers to guard them…”
One of the leaders who now sided them led the way with sly smiles. After changing sides, their totem godly spirit had immediately become false gods. If Leylin were here, he would definitely lament at the practicality of humans.
“I understand. Leave the rest to the church!”
Barbara watched the altar that was now treated as a defensive structure, and her beautiful brows furrowed slightly.
While she was disgusted at the betrayal of these leaders, she had no choice to take them in as examples for the rest.
After losing two demigods, the priests of the demigods could no longer handle the demand for healing required, and at this rate, death was certain. In Barbara’s eyes, betraying for the sake of survival was extremely understandable.
However, there was a batch of forces that would resist, which made things slightly troublesome.
“Get the warriors from the church over!” After walking through the defensive structure, Barbara finally acknowledged that the enemy’s elite forces were truly powerful, and similarly sent her own elite men.
Amongst the natives, there were also exemplary professionals. The classics included forest hunters and amazon warriors, who had caused Isabel some trouble.
Now, many of those guarding the altar were these sort of professionals.
However, after building the Giant Serpent Church, Leylin too began to build a church that was militarised, now that he had a huge number of natives under him.
Now, a batch of half-naked and highly capable native warriors with devil tattoos arrived in front of Barbara.
“Saintess! The warriors of god shall heed your commands!”
“Good, warriors of our master! Use your fury to expel the last bits of filth of the false gods!”
Barbara stood in front and sent forth a command for them all to attack.
Almost at the very instant that the order for mobilisation was made, there was a huge change to these natives. They all began to row, muscles bulging bit by bit as they quickly became mini giants.
The luster of divine spells lighted up on their bodies, bringing with it the unique radiance from the feathered serpent god.
Under the illumination of such radiance, the devil tattoos on their bodies became more vivid, and their eyes shone with a devilish glare.
The abilities that only devils had were given to these warriors.
“For our god. Go!”
These native warriors with devil tattoos unhesitatingly charged forward, resulting in an attack similar to a tsunami around the altar.
“The number of warriors of our master has has increased by a huge degree…”
Barbara now looked reassured, boosting these warriors with divine spells alongside other priests.
As a church, priests and military strength was extremely important. Tyr, for instance, had a distinct professional pathway of paladins.
While combining what he knew of the Debanks Island with his own strength, with help with the A.I. Chip’s simulation calculations, he had also created a whole new strength pathway for his church. Devil hunters!
As the name implied, all professionals that had ranked up in this area could obtain sensitivity to devils and the unique tracking ability of hunters.
By activating the devil runes, they could even obtain an ability similar to bloodline abilities of devils!
This profession that was a fusion between warriors and bloodline holders was very powerful, but there were also flaws. The professionals had to meet extremely tough requirements when it came to their willpower.
In addition, the pain from branding devil runes was horrifying.
Thankfully, Leylin now had many subordinates. He had slowly selected beings from 300 000 people, and getting a few thousand devil hunters was not difficult.
Leylin had especially created something special for this strength system.
If a being could capture a real devil and seal them in their own body, the hunter would obtain much of the strength of the devil! Their ranking might even increase!
Only hunters with devils sealed within them were truly devil hunters!
For a certain reason, Leylin might not have a blood feud with the devils, but they were clearly mortal enemies.
The reason he created this profession was in preparation for the devils on the continent. Besides followers of gluttony, all who had anything to do with devils would be struck with fatal attacks from devil hunters! This would begin to weaken the strength of the Nine Hells of Baator.
In addition, devoting efforts to attacking the devils was politically correct for the faction of gods on the continent. Nobody would complain.
Barbara naturally knew nothing of Leylin’s intentions. Meanwhile, she was sighing in shock at the astounding abilities of the devil hunters.
Those who had retreated into the church and guarded the altar were obviously diehard followers of the false gods. There was no need to differentiate between them, and it was enough to kill the whole lot.
Once the altar was purged, Barbara grimly stepped inside the hall. The green flooring was now dyed in bloody red, but she did not find anything wrong with this.
For the natives, stealing everything from the opponent, including their lives, was something natural.
At the heart of the altar, there was an obsidian statue with a warrior riding a war chariot. However, the horse in front of the chariot had long since shattered days ago.
As if sensing that he was being disrespected, a terrifying pressure rose from the empire establishing emperor, Akeban’s statue.
“Hmph! False god!”
Barbara merely glanced at the emperor disdainfully and gripped the holy crest in her hands.
“Our master, feathered serpent Kukulkan! Please bestow upon me strength!”
Holy luster characteristic of Leylin emanated from the holy crest. White rays flashed, and the immense pressure from before disappeared, and there were even some cracks on the statue.
“Destroy the statue and purify everything that has to do with it!”
Barbara ordered solemnly.
Soon enough, statues, holy crests, books, and even drawings hung on the wall were torn down, turning into ashes from the flames.
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