1 The Heroines of Old

In a distant place, unreachable by the Third Heavenly Dao, there was a religious sect of the Church of True Light called the Shining Crusade.

Hell-bent on "liberating" the creatures from outside the Heavenly Domain, they are either guarding the border of the Universe or outside its protection, fighting an endless war.

In a part of this border is a winged creature, only as big as a palm and is clad in a blue dress. She is a fairy, one of the families inside the crusade.

The fairy is in a massive fortress, bound only by great chains of magic. Jumping through space, she would recover her mana by flying between spatial jumps.

Finally, she reached her destination, an office atop the great fortress in space. Going inside, she saw a woman on a table, eating some sort of fried worms.

"Shallowheart, the Sumeaphines, and the Malneans have destroyed the borders of Section C Base A!" The fairy said.

"What? That piece of shit Ernesto can't handle the situation anymore?" The woman named Shallowheart laughed and bent her back, spitting food from her mouth.

"But Shallowheart, Colonel Ernesto was replaced by Brigadier General Abayomi." The fairy flew directly in front of her face and waved her hands.

Shallowheart froze. "Is that the new officer from the aristocrats?" Shallowheart gulped then asked. The fairy of course responded.

"He is."

The female general hurriedly threw her food then conjured a spell, forming patterns with the string of mana that she produced.

Floating above the table, strands of mana emerged from it, slowly turning into faces.

"Prepare your brigades and assist the bastard. I've already sent the coordinates, the positions, and what plant is to be implemented. I would be there soon." Shallowheart ordered while also preparing herself.

"Order received, Ma'am." The faces replied, each dissipating into the air.

"Inform Empress Cela of the minor problems that might arise," Shallowheart told the fairy whose eyes widened. "You are crazy Shallowheart, without an experienced officer in there, those pests would quickly corrupt that place and make themselves invincible! I say we push back our lines then regain the place later."

Shallowheart disregarded the fairy's plea and turned around, making a portal in front of her.

The fairy blocked her and summoned swords from nothing, slashing close the portal that Shallowheart made. She quickly charged towards the female general but she was slapped by Shallowheart.

The fairy fell, looking at Shallowheart with teary eyes.

"We might be best friends, Chun Hei, but I'm still your superior. We must not burden the Queen Mother." She turned around and hopped into a new portal, disappearing.

...

In the central world of the Wevarian Empire is the various headquarters of the Hundred Dynasties. One of these unassuming palaces is unusually busy today.

There are hundreds of people moving to and fro inside it, delivering messages from all over the universe. The rooms inside it are floating.

"The Empress of White Lake, Shallowheart, has sent a C5 message, Cela." A man approached a floating sphere and knocked at it five times.

It's located in the center of the palace, connected to hundreds of rooms. Millions of wires are attached to it, with pulses of light moving through them.

The sphere slowly opened, from which emerged a thin woman. She was thin, her bones tightly wrapped by her skin, but her beauty cannot be denied. She was tall, almost 6 feet in height.

"What is the message, Lankeus?" She asked while moving her palm along the man's long hair.

Lankeus looked up at her face then answered.

"There was a minor problem, according to the Third Empress. The aristocrats' new chess piece has caused a breach in Section C. Base A has been placed under lockdown and the whole Section is expected to give immediate reinforcements."

"If I remember correctly, Colonel Ernesto is stationed in there, right?" Cela asked then sat on the cold ground made of a golden material. Her legs crossed, she floated in the air giving a green glow.

Lankeus kindly gave way for Cela until she opened her eyes.

Cela looked at him, pondering for a moment. She then took a glance at the entrance before opening her mouth.

"It seems like the aristocrats and the Taoist sects have already infiltrated the Shining Crusade on a considerable level for us to not know where their pawns are placed. Go to Empress Jin Mu and tell her that the culling needs to be hastened."

Lankeus nodded and turned around, going for the entrance but not before being reminded by Empress Cela.

"You have done many note-worthy things for the Empire, Lankeus. I know that the Emperor has not given you the attention that you deserve but I believe that if you continue serving him, he will prefer yourself as the head of the 81 Benedicts."

Cela got into her space again, leaving Lankeus alone in the room who approached the entrance.

Lankeus turned his head around once more and said. "I know Cela, I know he loves me too."

He then proceeded to make the entrance platform descend but what awaited him was not the messengers but an army of Malneans.

Jet black in color with yellow eyes, they only measured four feet and are flying using six wings made of steel-like materials.

In front was a gayamur, with jet black skin and a spine extending from outside its back and elbows. It bent its back in laughter as Lankeus scrambled to close the entrance. (1)

"It's the Neglected Consort! How fitting of you to be here! The sacrificed and the neglected, just put a male lead and the drama's done!" the creature said, chuckling, before landing on Cela's room with a loud crash.

It disrupted the network while the Malneans flew in, cutting the wires with their razor-sharp wings and fire magic.

Lankeus fell on his back, trying to back away from the gayamur. It slowly walked towards him, each resounding step in his ears.

"You pitiful soul. Can't you see it Lankeus? Your wits, loyalty, and power would be deeply appreciated by us. I told you this a million times already! Meanwhile, the Emperor has all the beauties and handsome men he could ever get, he will never think about you." The gayamur said, using its spike-like arms to raise Lankeus' head.

"Now tell me, would you accept the offer now?" The gayamur continued.

"I- I don't know what you are talking about, I don't know you. What I do know is that the Imperial family lives forever!" Jumping from the ground, Lankeus pounced at the gayamur, stabbing its chest and head with a blade extending from his wrist.

Blood spilled as Lankeus decapitated its head and resumed cutting the gayamur piece by piece while casting various spells on the Malneans.

It was a quick but tiring fight. He then fell from exhaustion, closing his eyes for a few seconds. His nose clogged from the blood of the corpses around him.

"I loved, I loved you, I really loved you~ Well, that was true back then, but whatever." It was the gayamur.

"You! Gabranth Shade!" Lankeus was motionless, still tired from earlier.

"You're right my lover! At least in the past, I was Gabranth, or was it? Wait, it is. Bleh bleh bleh, who cares?" Gabranth smiled, his curved lips almost reaching his eyes.

Gabranth disappeared on his spot, later appearing outside the palace.

"Bomb the palace!"

...

In another place, a secluded world far from all life is also lively. There are only two structures here, one in the west being a room, and the other one in the east being a huge house.

"Mistress Jin Mu, may I invite you for tea?" It was a man, robust and tall. He has long hair, braided into dreadlocks. His most notable feature though was the protruding limbs on his back, almost similar to a spider or a crustacean.

He sat in the chair, picking the cup gently. In front of him was a woman, one with an indescribable beauty.

"So I'll assume that at least ten of the main consorts have surrendered their marks to you to get into this world?" The woman, previously called Jin Mu, asked.

"You're right." said the man.

"But they were tough nuts to crack, you know?" The man continued, sipping his tea. They were in the darkroom, with only one opening, a window with thick white curtains.

The man stood up, opening the curtains to reveal gigantic silhouettes, but their bodies themselves were nowhere to be found.

"Voidwalkers, huh? I guess the Empress of Riddles is the one behind this? But I understand her, no one can understand the pain that she has gone through." Jin Mu forced a smile.

"No! No. On the contrary, she told me that this would save the Emperor from true death and demise. Ahhh, but for all I know, Cela was just justifying her actions. I mean, I would've taken revenge from what the Emperor did to me if I was in her position." The man sat on the chair again, this time, so did Jin Mu.

"She decided to become one with the Eye, no one forced her to do so." Jin Mu said while brushing the rims of the cup with her fingers.

"That's not what I heard, someone told me that the Emperor did not tell her the risks of the fusion with the machine. Imagine not having the child you so dreamed of just so you can spy and monitor all living things under your husband." the man replied.

"You do know that His Majesty would've pardoned you for your sins, Damon?" Jin Mu slightly raised her head, the hanging crystals from her crown hitting each other.

"He wouldn't, Jin Mu. That insufferable bastard never really cared for his people. For example, you." Damon smirked.

"It seems like I can't convince you anymore." Jin Mu sighed, placing down the cup.

As the cup touched the saucer, it exploded with a bright light, so blinding that the whole world was engulfed under its warmth.

Time stopped, and Jin Mu walked over the window, breaking it in the process.

"Hear me! My people! Do not mourn for this is only the start! The Queen Mother of All lives forever. We shan't surrender until our last breath!"

Then Jin Mu shone with a golden hue, disintegrating into dust while killing everyone on the planet.

...

"Now that I have shown the Host the core memories left in me, would you like to accept my offer?"

"I have failed them in my past life and I would regret to fail them again this time. Alec is your name, right? You can do it."

"Thank you for trusting the System, host. The System will be successfully bound in a moment."

"Welcome, Nicholai Cromwell."

***

(1) A gayamur is any being that resembles the gods' body. A gayamur is basically a humanoid but who are we kidding? Are humans really that important to even call the other races humanoid? That's just crazy. That elf is older than your first ancestor and you would describe them as someone similar to you? That's messed up man, humans should be called elvoid or something.