Princess Sonya froze like a statue and stared at glowing red eyes with a blank gaze.

There were drops of blood dripping down her palm. The droplets were vaguely visible before they were engulfed by the darkness enveloping Isadora.

The defensive formations helped out Sarah and Isadora against the Veyans but they still had some injuries.

Of course, compared to his injuries which included him nearly dying, they were much better off.

Isadora raised her palm and a thick killing intent began to gather.

"Now wait a minute," Varian raised his arm and stood between the two. "I have some questions. And then she's yours."

A sword materialized in Isadora's hand. With a light swing, it tore the space apart as it pointed towards Sonya behind Varian.

"Move." Her voice was filled with deep anger and madness.

"No." Varian's voice was calm but his resolve was as firm as hers. "The questions come first. Your actions, later."

Isadora's aura fluctuated violently, like the waves of a stormy sea and the sword in her hand kept shaking, as if it would go out of control at any moment and strike him down.

Varian gave off a small laugh but his sword hummed, a wavy red light emanating out of its blade.

"Seriously…" Sarah shrugged with a deep sigh and a sword of light materialized in front of her. "If you really hate her so much, killing her in a snap would render your entire revenge futile, wouldn't it?"

Varian craned his neck and glanced at Sarah.

'Using torture to resolve the standoff…I'm so proud of her.'

Her words had the intended effect.

"Wh-What?" Sonya broke out of her shock and took a shaky step forward. "S-Sister, is that reall—"

Varian's index finger pressed on her forehead, stopping her from moving forward.

"I'm sorry, but I'll have to cut the talks here."

"What are yo—heuk!"

A powerful spirit wave stuck her in a defenseless and heavily injured state. Princess Sonya fainted just like that.

Varian reveled in the prowess of his soul power.

Since the delicate soul would be protected deep inside any creature, it's not so easy to attack.

Other Soul awakeners could only attack from a far distance and would have to follow an entirely different battle style to come out on top.

But he could directly attack his enemies through physical attack. The spirit attacks were so much more effective.

With a swipe of his finger, the power of order and chaos flowed into the Princess before a seal formed deep inside her.

It was very shaky and was resisted by her aura. He couldn't even bring her down a rank.

'I should ask Maria for a stronger seal. Oh wait, she's Rudolph's fiancee, right? Oops...eh, I liberated her from a marriage. She's free now!'

Varian's expression didn't change as he glorified his actions without any hesitation.

"She can exert a low rank 7 strength at best. But this is only working because she was both injured and defenseless." He said with a disappointed expression. "I don't think the seal would've worked otherwise."

"The legacy has some information about seals," Sarah tilted her head and gave him a weird look. "But they don't work for someone on a higher rank than you. You being able to do this is already ridiculous."

He shrugged with a small smile. The darkness dissipated and Sia landed in front of them with a jealous expression. "Aren't you two forgetting something?"

"Forget…wait!" Varian's eyes widened.

He looked back into the fortress and spotted Baldur in meditation, beads of sweat rolling down his forehead.

Was this a coping mechanism?

"Baldur! Baldur!"

Varian's space power formed an invisible hand and poked him awake.

"Uh? Huh?" Baldur blinked in confusion and almost yawned. But he froze right in that state as he noticed the unconscious Sonya floating behind Varian.

He glanced at Sarah and Sia, then gave Varian a thumbs up with an admiring expression.

Varian wouldn't kicked him if not for the emergency. "Contact Theoron, what happened with the ra—"

Boom! Boom! Boom!

"…nk 8."

In the distance space, a spot lit up, and in just a few seconds, wave after wave of light along with violent spatial fluctuations swept them.

Varian opened his mouth to say something but after struggling, all he could yell was. "Are you fucking kidding me?"

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Another spot lit up and the waves followed. And then, another. It was getting closer and closer.

"Alright, we're leaving. Chances are, he could find Hortus. But fighting in Hortus is the only shot we got." He said with a grim expression.

In the far distance, the Veyan Captain's senses locked onto the three fortresses.

'This is where four of them just died. Oh, and that's the Princess. Both targets are secured. I should end this now.'

The Captain poured a tremendous amount of power into his palms and slapped in the direction of Merov's super space shuttle.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

This attack was much higher than any other and Merov must've realized he couldn't survive. He took an extreme decision.

The powerful purple light surrounding the spaceship flared and reached the captain.


The space shuttle exploded, throwing a bloodied Merov off into the distance.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The purple light that exploded on the captain was so bright that people would've mistaken it for daytime on a normal planet.

The light eventually dissipated, revealing an injured captain. His arm was gone and there were several holes in his abdomen as well as his chest.

But he wasn't even down to his 90%.

'Am I really going to die like this?'

While Merov paled, Varian sent away his women. They were tasked with evacuating Hortus in a few minutes, which they could hopefully get.

From the fortress' special observation formations that were still intact, Varian kept watch on the changing situation.

'Merov is going to die, I have to le—wait, what?'

The Veyan Captain looked in disbelief as a powerful blue flame surrounded him out of nowhere.


Merov's temperament had completely changed. His eyes didn't resemble an arrogant genius prince. But that of a true powerhouse.

A rank 9? A peak rank 9?

The Captain didn't know.

"I shouldn't be doing this but oh well, this foolish boy is used as a pawn by someone…" An old, majestic voice rang, without any emotion.

Even though the speaker clearly deemed it necessary to intervene, it was as if the situation didn't bother him much. He spoke as a spectator rather than a participant.

"Who are you? Why are you with him? Are you the kingdom's powerhouse?"

The Captain calmed down in the face of death and asked with a solemn expression.

He secretly activated a treasure that'd convey everything he was witnessing and send it encrypted back to his superior.

"Don't consider yourself too clever," The old voice was calm, plain, and sounded uninterested.

An invisible force struck the Captain and the recording treasure exploded.

The captain's body half-disappeared as he tried to teleport right away. The formless force struck him again and this time, the only thing he could do was gawk in surprise and regret.

'T-This old guy isn't as powerful as he showed…if I tried fighting him, I could've survived…'

With a big regret, the captain died an unwilling death.

'Too much reserves are used up. I would be significantly weakened in the near future.' The old thing lamented before turning to the fortresses.

In a blink, a blue pathway, made of blue light that appeared like flames, formed between Merov and the fortress.

The very next moment, Varian felt a familiar pressure fall on him.

The pressure he felt in the tower.

The pressure of a rank 9.