[In the extreme North, in the land of frost, there used to be a Country of Snow, Mist Country. It had rich mines and specialized in producing magic crystals. The country was wealthy and the businesses were prosperous. They had a strong military force that allowed them to withstand the invasion of the Beastmen and Elves from the East and the Demon Abyss from the West for almost a thousand years. Its royalty had a rich tradition and the Princes of every generation served as generals. However, nearing the demise of the country, there was the birth of twin princes, an ominous foreboding. Afterwards, foreign tribes invaded them and calamity beset them, causing the fall of the country…]
"These papers are all bullshit!!!"
Every time I saw the description of Mist Country in that book on history commonly used on the continent, I felt nauseated. What kind of history was this? It was obviously the victors singing praises for their own war effort! What calamity were they talking about, it was obviously the doings of humans!!!
Allow me to recall the truth of the history that I compiled.
AD1518, 378 years ago, when the Beastmen and Demons invaded simultaneously to steal from the prosperous human world, the Mist Country had started a full-out campaign against them. Going by tradition, the East battlefront was led by Prince Roland while the West battlefront was led by Prince Karwenz. At that time, both Princes had only been 12 years old.
4 years earlier, when the tyrant, Caroni, had taken over the throne of Saint Fortrya, a neighboring country of Mist Country, his tyrannical rule had caused his people to live in fear. In order to divert away the problems within the country, he had pointed his sword towards the rich and powerful Mist Country and often caused trouble at the borders.
At that moment, seeing how the Mist Country had been short on manpower, Caroni had colluded with two other countries which had long set their eyes on them and invaded the Mist Country's only safe zone, its South border, putting Mist Country in a dangerous position.
Due to the urgent circumstances, Prince Roland, who had been a Holy Knight, returned to the headquarters of the Holy Church and on the joint conference of large countries, he accused those invaders of invading his country without any consideration for basic etiquette and requested for them to withdraw their enemy. However, the prepared Saint Fortrya instead accused him of being a heretic and having colluded with Demons.
Cardinal Ben Zuma, who had been bribed by Saint Fortrya long ago, adjudicated that Roland was guilty of heresy and he got arrested to await public punishment. Saint Fortrya had also secretly promised to split the right to develop the magic crystal mines to other countries in exchange for keeping out of this matter. If it wasn't for the fact that they went too far and word had gotten out so that the Holy Knights and Priests at the bottom of the hierarchy had started a violent protest, I might have been sentenced to death on the spot.
On the same year, Karwenz invaded the Holy Church Headquarters and killed countless guards to rescue the locked up Roland. Fresh red blood stained the stairs of Baine's Great Church and even the illegitimate son of the Pope at the time was included in the list of deceased. When news spread out, the event shocked the entire world and the Church lost its dignity. This incident came to be known as the 'Bloodshed of Baine'.
The Holy Knights and Priests Faction, which had been full of experts, had simply watched quietly at the incident. Two years later, Pope Saint Paul the 9th had taken on the blame and stepped down while Ben Zuma got exiled.
But, before the Pope stepped down, with the 'Bloodshed of Baine' as a trigger, the Mist Country and its royalty got stripped off their books on the teachings of the Holy Church and their entire country was adjudicated as a country of heretics. It was truly ironic that the country's East battlefront had been broken through by the Beastman alliance army while the West battlefront was in a savage fight with the Demons. The claim of us being heretic… it was really too hard to tell how we could possibly be considered heretics.
AD1519 spring, 377 years ago, the new Pope Saint Paul launched a 'Holy War' against the heretics. The countries who were extremely attracted at the possible profits from the magic crystal mines, the special product of the country and the slave trade actually quickly responded to the invitation to this ridiculous Holy War. At the same, the Holy Knights and Priests, under the suppression of the upper echelons of the church, could only helplessly remain silent.
On the same year, all of the battlefronts of the Mist Country were broken through. Under the summons of the royalty, all of the surviving citizens escaped into the only remaining city, the capital Diffindor. All of the scattered army retreated back to protect the capital.
AD1520, 376 years ago, after being trapped in the capital for 15 months, all of the rations and supplies had been running out. It wasn't long before the human kingdom Mist Country's final capital Diffindor was broken through by the human alliance army. Prince Roland led all of the remaining guards to fight to their death while Prince Karwenz had disappeared completely. That year, both of the Princes were just 14 years old.
The human alliance army, who had suffered great casualties, slaughtered the entire city to vent their resentment. However, the long period of war and the hatred of the civilians and soldiers at the brink of their death caused Diffindor to accumulate so much negative energy that it went beyond being a Cursed Land, converting directly into a Land of Death. The Knights who had died to protect their countries and the civilians who had been reluctant to die just like that, they all turned into the servants of death and started their vengeance against the living beings.
The alliance army got caught off-guard and suffered heavy losses. In the end, the missing Karwenz appeared once again. This time, he really had colluded with the Demon army and had started his revenge against the world of humans and the Holy Church.
All in all, the war lasted for 16 years. Numerous human kingdoms got destroyed because of the war and the entire human society was plunged into hell. In the end, the Demon army was destroyed and Karwenz was banished back to hell by the Holy Church. The Holy Church also ended up conducting a massive reorganization to its internal structure.
After that, under the Yongye Calamity more than hundred years ago, the different kingdoms who invaded the Mist Country were completely crushed. Many tribes that were blessed with longevity suspected that Lord Yongye was the Prince Roland from back then. After all, Mist's War Flag was too eye-catching. However, the Holy Church denied the claim with all its might and the matter closed like this.
Afterwards, the Mist Country was deemed as the dark history of the entire human society. In the case when it had to be mentioned, a simple and twisted introduction was left in the history books.
"… However, nearing the demise of the country, there was the birth of twin princes, an ominous foreboding. Afterwards, foreign tribes invaded them and calamity beset them, causing the fall of the country. Prince Karwenz colluded with the Demons and brought them into the country, causing the destruction of Mist Country and 17 other nearby countries."
The Skeleton Horse beneath me charges ahead. Looking at Mist's War Flags dancing in the air and the Demon army that were at the horizon, I felt like I returned back to the war back then. Thus, I lifted my broken Roland Sacred Sword. It was the symbol of the royalty of Mist Country.
"As long as I, Roland, live, the Mist Country will never fall!"
"Mist Country will never fall!"
Wasn't the one carrying the War Flags and charging ahead the Great Skeleton General Fayde? As a Royal Knight of the Mist Country and the top Sword Saint of the Red Hunting Hounds, he has experienced countless battles in a few centuries. His body is full of wounds but there isn't a single scar on his back. The reason? As the flag bearer, not mentioning whether the flag has fallen, the flag he carries has never even tilted before!"
"Charge, my Knights! Beat up these darned Demons."
That was the Mistress of Plague, Lich Kakana. She couldn't be blamed for that nondescript charging order to her troops. After all, she wasn't even military personnel. If it wasn't for the events that happened, she would have probably been an Alchemist Merchant selling beauty and nutrition products.
A portion of the 24602 remaining soldiers were the soldiers who had died for the country while the rest of them were ordinary civilians who gradually became soldiers. They came from many different places and their composition was messy. However, this bunch of unreliable colleagues had become the home for my soul.
My people were at my back, my Knights were beside me and this was where my kingdom is. Then, what do you mean by destroyed, what do you mean by demise? It is all a joke!
"Return to us, our kingdom, our capital — [Soul World, The Infallible Diffindor]"
Snowflakes started to fall slowly from the sky as a gust of strong wind whipped up the snow on the ground. Time seemed to have rewinded to the winter of that year.
My Soulfire burnt intensely. After paying a price, the first Soul Imprint to be awakened was the already damaged Ice Treader.
The snow extended for tens of thousands of miles and in the great snowstorm, it was hard to look in the distance. The mountains and surface had been covered with snow. Thousands of miles sealed with ice and the frosty North wind, this was the North Winter that we were familiar with.
The Demon army which comprised mainly of Fire Elemental Demons shivered in this unexpected snowstorm that suddenly beset them. This world gave them a feeling even more dangerous than the Forbidden Spell from before. That was the frost from the natural world, it was something that mercilessly stole away all life and eliminates them.
At the moment when the Demons shivered, my Undead army laughed manically. Undead never fear the cold, needless to say these fellows who grew up in the Snow Country. Fighting in the snow, their fighting prowess would be increased significantly.
Yes, the Soul World that I was so proud of was only a purely support-based world. It was meaningless without my army. However, as long as my army and I existed, without doubt, it was the strongest one in the world!
Furthermore, this land of snow was just the start…
"I am the Lord of Undead, the Prince of Mist Country, the final Head Knight of the Order. I swear to protect my people and my land! I swear to never surrender to any invaders! I swear to change fate! I swear to bring equality to all life!"
That was the solemn promise of the Prince of an ancient destroyed country. Following it came the vows of the Knights.
"Your Highness, I am your kindest Knight. I vow to treat the weak with kindness and help anyone who requests it of me."
Slance, the kindest Knight. He escorted the refugees for a thousand miles to Diffindor. Amongt the entire group, the only one who had died of hunger during the journey was him, who had shared his portion with the group.
"Your Highness, I am your strongest Knight. I vow to stand bravely against violence, not regretting my actions even if I die a hundred times!"
Camisia, my prided Titan Warrior, the fearless vanguard. Even after he got decapitated, he had never stopped his charge.
"Your Highness, I am your most righteous Knight. I vow to correct every mistake, no matter where it comes from!"
Fanderk, my Holy Knight brother who had gone to denounce the injustice in the joint conference of countries. I had been saved by Karwenz but he was hanged on the squares of the Holy Light Church. Even to his death, he insisted on the justice in his heart and he refused to cave in to anyone, regardless whether it was to the Churches of the world or the Holy Light he hold faith in.
"Your Highness, I am your most useless Knight. I vow to fight for those without weapons, but I can only serve as a wall with my body."
Carlos, who dares to say that you are useless?! To save those escaping refugees, despite being exhausted, you have used your body of flesh to shield the civilians and guarded the rock bridge by yourself without every retreating. In the end, you've died from getting pierced by hundreds of arrows.
"Your Highness, I am your most brotherly Knight. I vow to help my Knight brothers to protect their families by using this body of flesh.
Lucas, you have succeeded in your aims. The families of everyone survived but the only regret which made everyone's heart ache was that you failed to protect the 15-year-old you.
"Your Highness, I am your most loyal Knight. I swear to follow you to the ends of time."
Bastian, my son of Wrath. From a pet dog, you've advanced slowly to become the Captain of the Red Hunting Hounds. Someone had said that you relied on the strong physical body that I granted you to climb to that position. Someone insulted you and claimed that you are just a brainless pug who only knows loyalty. But, you faced their insults and sarcasm with a smiling face and treated the dog-like loyalty as the greatest honor. Your claws and anger are always directed towards the enemies.
"Origin of Order, if these kind of Knights aren't qualified to become Heroic Spirits, then your eyes must be blind! If these kind of Knights can't be called Heroes, then those heroes in Myths are simply those who have deceived the world for their fame. Return and fight for me, my Knights!"
The Soul Imprints that represented my life started to awaken once again under the injection of my Power of Soul. The damaged Crown of Undead and Son of Light started to light up again. The Power of Order and Power of Chaos came into conflict and gradually, they merged together, forming a Light of Rule that changed everything.
Under the chants of my Knights and I, a light radiated and the entire world transformed, with my Soul World replacing the real world.
It was an endless snowfield under the starry skies. Smoke and war cry surrounded us, this was the scenery of a battlefield. In the faraway distance of our vision, the city named Diffindor was still burning fervently. That was the home that we had always longed to return to, but could never reach.
This was Soul World [The Infallible Diffindor]. Under its effects, we had returned back to 376 years ago. On the day when a snowstorm rose in the night, at that moment, Diffindor had yet to fall and my Knights and I were still struggling.
The descent of my Soul World meant that reality was being rewritten. My knights were no longer in the form of the ugly-looking Skeletons and Corpses.
The flag of a tornado flew up high. But below the flag were lively faces. Their healthy and fit bodies were equipped with superior equipment with the insignia of a tornado on it. They were no longer normal Undead. They were the incarnation of the wills of Heroes after their deaths. They had been granted an immortal Soul Body by the Origin of Order and there was even a nice name to go along with it – Heroic Spirit.
There was a boundary between Heroic Spirits and Undead. In my Soul World, the Knights that had been loyal to me were the only Heroes worthy of the title of Heroic Spirits.
Right now, they were overstepping the limitations of the incomplete body of the Undead with the centuries of strength and experience they had accumulated. With a perfect physical body that was suited for them to exert their strength, their fighting prowess would be increased by at least three folds.
Looking at the sudden change, the fearless Demon army started to tremble and back away. Going by logic, every Heroic Spirit was at least a Legend-rank existence. They had no chance at victory.
"Demon Count? Far from being enough. Bring out a Demon Prince or Great Duke!"
The Heroic Spirit Knights have already started sweeping away the Demon army. The frenzied laughter of Camisia, Bastian and the others echoed on the battlefield.
The flag-bearing Great Sword Saint Defays danced in the midst of Demons. His 18 sharp swords floated around his body and slaughtered the enemies. Despite being just a single person, he seemed to be like a Sword Formation. The body of the Heroic Spirit granted him the ability to use his will to control his swords, allowing him to better display his skills as compared to when he was still an Undead.
In this moment, the Three-Headed Hellhound Wrath had shown his powers. Standing together, Ah Bao and Ah Bas combined together in a spatial distortion and their emerged. The Three-Headed Hellhound started to chant the Choral of Hell and the gate leading to the Death Dimension opened. This was Wrath who represented the Grim Reaper.
Leading the charge, I was already deep within the territory of Demon army. The gigantic Demon Kakajil stood in front of me. However, I smiled happily and swung the Roland Sacred Sword which somehow became complete again. I swung the reins and the gigantic black War Horse Yongye increased its speed with a loud howl, leaving after-images in the battlefield.
In this world, I was still that Holy Knight Prince Roland and not the Lich Roland who only had an incomplete and damaged body remaining. I was the Head Knight of the Order!
At this moment, Adam, who had already been fighting with Kakajil, looked at me reinforcing him, he was stunned for a moment before smiling.
"As expected, it was you, Big Brother Rolo. Why? Have you finally thought it through and decided to come meet me for the last time?"
Yes, I had regained my looks of the past, albeit at a different age. Nevertheless, the face shape should be very similar to the Big Brother Rolo in his memories, confirming the guess that he was confident of.
"Sigh, I intended to send you off with my face after I fully revived. Let's cut the crap for now, someone elese waiting for us. So, do you need help?"
"Of course, don't duel if you can lynch. Isn't that what you often said?"
Old enemies? Old friends? Old brothers? I haven't been able to say for sure for a long time now.
We smiled mutually at each other. The crimson-red God sword and the Silver longsword crossed by each other in midair and sparks were produced from the friction. In the next instant, we slashed at the Demon Count at the same time.
"The Severance of the River of Time!"
"Holy Light, that enemy is worth a fight!!"
PS: Roland had been upped a tier because he used the God Equipment Origin of Codex. In order not to affect the reading, I didn't mention it in the main text. Also, the reason why his Soul Imprints and Roland Sacred Sword became complete again was because he burnt his soul. That's a kind of suicide, but there's a reason for that.1