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Chapter 567: No more chains.

Locating Alucard was not a difficult task; Alexios had already memorized his signature pattern when he last visited him; he only needed to take two jumps, one to leave Nightingale and go to Earth and another to arrive at Victor's energy signature.

The man opposite Lilith was like a damn beacon, indicating that he had Alexios' special awareness.

Alexios ventured through the portal where he'd tracked Victor's signature and found himself in a ruined mansion.

"You came faster than I expected, Alexios."

Alexios turned towards the voice, and soon he saw... darkness.

An ominous, utterly abysmal darkness devoid of any light.

It was as if someone had cut off all the light in that part of the room; not even moonlight was allowed to trespass there.

Two blood-red eyes opened in that darkness and stared at Alexios.

"Were you expecting me...?" Alexios narrowed his eyes.

"..." Unfortunately, the man didn't get his answer; he just saw a smile full of sharp teeth appearing in the middle of that darkness.

"What do you want, Alexios?"

A little cautious by all this strange atmosphere, Alexios spoke:

"You made a huge mess, Alucard, and-."

"And Diablo contacted Vlad." Victor interrupted Alexios.

"..." The man narrowed his eyes even more. That wasn't what he was going to say; he was going to ask Victor to return to Nightingale.

"Let me guess." Several red eyes began to open across that dark abyss, and those eyes watched Alexios.

'The Maids...' The silhouette of Victor's body became visible; a red color mixed with shades of black was seen all over his body, and Alexios could see that he was seated on some kind of throne.

"I need to get back to Nightingale, Vlad will withdraw my title of Vampire Count, and I need to cease my meddling in the war, correct?"

"… The title part is debatable, but you are correct with the rest."

"Oh?" An amused look appeared in Victor's eyes:

"You are definitely a good subordinate, Alexios."

'With just those words, did he understand what happened?' Cold sweat broke out on Alexios' face.

Alexis kept silent and didn't add anything about Victor's observation; at that moment, he felt a strange sense of incongruity hovering throughout his being.

Looking at that part of the room, Alexios felt as if he were staring into the abyss itself, and the feeling was horrible.

But even with that feeling in his body, when looking at the silhouette, a sense of 'pride' passed through his body.

'Yes, I didn't make the wrong decision; Natalia is safe by your side.'

"A question, Alexios."

"…Yes?"

"What do you think will happen if you take me to Nightingale?"

"... Nothing will happen. Vlad will just talk to you, and you will have to step away from the war."

The sharp-toothed smile grew even wider:

"Alexios."

"If you take me to Nightingale now… The Royal Capital will burn at the hands of the three Countesses and their Heiresses."

Alexios' neutral face changes to serious:

"Is that a threat, Alucard?"

"No. It is a statement of fact. After all, I saw this happening with my own eyes." Victor's blood-red eyes change to a violet hue for a few seconds and then back to blood-red.

"..." Alexios shook his hand tightly:

'The power of Adonis... Has it awakened? No, it would be more accurate to say that he saw this event through Adonis' memories.' As one who was the King's right-hand man, he was informed about the most secret matters of the Clan of Vampire Counts.

Pondering the scenario that such an event could happen, he could only imagine one way this would all play out.

'Victor will refuse to return to the Nightingale; I would then use my power and bring him back. With his stubborn personality, he would not listen to Vlad. Knowing my King and his current state, he would get angry and would intend to, and succeed in, holding Victor until the stipulated time in the contract with Diablo ran its course. But that would, in turn, trigger those six crazy women to put aside their inhibitions.'

Alexios' face completely darkened when he thought of this high possibility.

With the same smile on his face, Victor continued:

"You are a good subordinate, Alexios."

"Loyal, honorable, and most importantly, you are a subordinate with foresight, and I respect that about you."

"... Alucard, can't you go back without causing trouble?"

"I fear it is too late, Alexios."

"Everything is too late." Victor gestured with his hand, and something landed in front of Alexios.

When Alexios saw the severed head of a Demon, he thought of the worst possibility.

"Do you know where you are right now, Alexios Alioth?"

"… Don't tell me…." Alexios opened his eyes wide and ran out of the mansion to confirm his dreaded suspicion. As soon as he stepped beyond the mansion's walls, his eyes widened in shock; he didn't even bother to hide his 'special' eyes.

The sight that entered Alexios's eyes was a sea of Demon corpses.

The Earth was painted with the blood of thousands of dead Demons, bodies of Demons impaled by ice spikes, bodies cut into pieces, and mountains and mountains of various corpses of giant Demons that had different types of damage on their bodies.

Organs, blood, and bones of Demons painted the walls, the asphalt, and the buildings of what was once a recent Human city.

The smell of the place was horrible; the stench of blood and the nauseating feeling of the Miasma that emanated from the Demons' bodies was horrific.

Even Alexios had to force himself not to vomit at the sight. He had seen Hell before but couldn't help but think that Hell appeared civilized compared to what he was witnessing now.

Alexios turned around and looked at Victor, who was standing a few meters away from him:

"How… How did you enact such carnage in such a short time!?" He asked the creature.

And the creature replied, looking at the sight before it, while its long black hair fluttered in the wind:

"I just…Killed."

"..." Alexios was speechless.

"Like pigs to the slaughter, I killed them all. One by one. From one Demon to the next. One demonic minion at a time."

"... Just what have you done, Alucard?"

"What was needed."

Irritation overcame Alexios' body, and he shouted:

"What about Lilith!? Don't you think that by doing this, she'll be in danger!?" Alexios didn't even mention the notion of bringing Victor back now.

With a glance into the distance, he saw what was left of a historical monument of what was left of Russia Sochi.

An ancient city on the Black Sea, with a population of over 300,000 thousand, this place had become just a big corpse dump.

But that wasn't the problem; the problem was the location he was in; it was where the focus of Diablo's movements was most intense.

The Demon King had made his base somewhere in these lands.

That is, they were in enemy territory!

'This man is crazy! He's alone here!... I mean, he's accompanied by a measly few, but still!'

"That's precisely why I did it."

"…huh…?"

"I knew that the moment I intervened in the war the Demons were waging, Diablo would contact Vlad."

"And I knew what Vlad would do next, and because of that, I took these actions." He gestured to the corpses of the eviscerated Demons.

"Now, it is far too late to resolve things with words."

"... That doesn't make sense..." He almost touched the frown on his face, "By doing this!" He pointed at the corpses of Demons.

"You're just putting Lilith in unnecessary danger!"

"You don't even know where she is! Taunting Diablo needlessly without a plan is just asking for dire consequences."

Victor looked at Alexios:

"...Who said I didn't have a plan? Who says I don't know where she is?"

"…Eh?"

"Alexios, they've kidnapped Morgana's daughter, and from the moment the woman cried into my breasts in helplessness, everything from that moment had been decided."

Victor turned around, and slowly his body started to return to normal; his full armor being revealed, along with his skin.

"What was decided…?"

"… What else?" Victor turned and looked at the man.

"I would rescue her and return her to where she belongs, a place that isn't with Vlad but with her mother."

Alexios narrowed his eyes as he sensed several figures approaching.

"I made a promise to myself, Alexios."

"If I'm going to follow the path we'd discussed in the past, the path of a Leader..."

"..." Alexios remembered the conversation they had.

"I will do it my way."

The figures arrived and were revealed to be several men and tall, tanned women. They each had muscular bodies and full body armor made of leather.

Only two stood out as sore spots in this group; they both had white hair and blue eyes, proving they were blood-related.

'... Elite Werewolves, the Werewolf Queen's own guard... The Second Prince of The Werewolves, Anderson, and the two progeny of the Leader of Clan Lykos, Leona and Edward Lykos...'

'This man, has he been working with the Second Prince from the beginning!?'

"Unlike a certain someone,"

"From the beginning, I was not in this war alone, Alexios."

"Even when I attacked the Vatican Demons, my Maids, someone I look up to as a Guardian, and a former Huntress were with me."

[....] The aforementioned people displayed small smiles in Victor's shadows.

"They kidnapped the daughter of a friend of mine, a woman I respect greatly."

Footsteps were heard, and before anyone knew it, the aforementioned friend, a Succubus, was near Victor.

'Morgana... And Jeanne.' Alexios saw the blonde standing next to Morgana with a neutral expression on her face.

"They kidnapped the little brother of a troubled guy I see as a friend."

"..." A small smile appeared on Anderson's face.

"Alexios."

Alexios looked around at the group of Vampires and Werewolves, two races that were entirely hostile to one another, working together just for the sake of one person.

"From the beginning, sitting back and waiting for Diablo to finish his whole 'grand plan' was not an option."

"...."

"Due to Vlad's recent changes, I'd expected him to attack the Demons alone, but… Diablo managed to check him."

"I don't know what that old man wants, and I don't know the 'real' reason why he took the deal, and I don't care either."

"..." A dark look appeared on Alexis' face.

"That Demon is making waves in the world, and I… No, we won't stand by and be swept away by that wave." A wave of darkness erupted from Victor's feet and spread throughout the city.

The Werewolves behind Anderson twitched and went on guard, but it only took one look from Anderson, and they were back to normal. Soon those Werewolves watched in shock at what happened next.

The intimidating shadow absorbed all the blood and corpses strewn across the city.

[Ohhh! Thanks much for the food! Master has a whole new supply of souls! Hehehehe~!] Roxanne was very happy.

Victor smiled internally as he outwardly spoke with the same neutral tone, but which contained all the seriousness he could muster:

"I refuse to play someone else's game."

'The feeling of being dragged into something you don't want to be a part of is just annoying.' Victor thought.

"Alexios Alioth, The Right Hand of The Vampire King."

'What's with the formal tone all of a sudden?' Alexios wondered internally.

"Tell the Vampire King, Vlad Dracul Tepes, these words." Victor pulled out a black-colored Magic Contract from the shadows.

'... That's... How does he have that? Only the King can have this! The only ones who know the location of these contracts are me, My King, and...-'

Alexios looked at Jeanne and Morgana.

Seeing the slight smile on Jeanne's face, Alexios wanted to scream now: 'That woman! Of course, she knew; she was the bloody Queen before!' Just thinking about the headache he'll have when he gets home.

'Ugh, I want to retire!' Before he could complain anymore, he remembered:

'Oh, the contract can only be broken with the King's permission.' But what happened next wholly shattered Alexios' thoughts.

"I, Count Alucard, deny all privileges granted by the Title of 'Vampire Count'." The black contract suddenly opened and started to glow.

"I, the Leader of Clan Alucard, Victor Alucard, through all witnesses present, deny my status as a 'Vampire Count.'"

The contract began to glow brighter, and the signature with Victor's name on it began fading.

'How did he do it!?' Alexios screamed in internal shock.

Victor felt an existence orgasm now; he hadn't even realized that his existence hated being 'bound' to something.

'No more chains.' That thought echoed through Victor's entire existence, and without Victor knowing it, that existential statement caused changes within him.

Victor laughed internally in pride: 'Seriously, Aphrodite was one of the best things that could happen in my life... Who knew I would think that nowadays.'

As a Goddess, despite not being a Goddess of Death, she was still very experienced in Souls. Teaching Victor to 'protect' his Soul so that the Witch's contract could not damage it was utter simplicity. Not to mention that Victor's Soul was several times stronger than it was at the time he signed this contract and said Soul was growing stronger ever still with each day Victor spent eating these Demons.

Victor had just slapped both the Witch Queen and Vlad.

The contract floated toward Alexios, and the man caught it.

"See you another day, Alexios." Victor turned, looking towards Anderson, and nodded.

Anderson understood Victor's gesture and looked to the subordinates that his mother had lent him.

Victor then turned to look at Jeanne, Morgana, Edward, and Leona.

""Let's go."" Victor and Anderson spoke simultaneously, and soon the entire group disappeared from Alexios' view.

.....