1 • Allegiance

"They're here!"

A demon scout knelt towards the mouth of a cave. It was sunset, and the orange rays of the sun hit the cave in such a way that one cannot see the inside of the cave without the help of a light source.

A pair of red orbs appeared in the darkness, which were particularly eye-catching. These orbs acted more like eyes and seemingly stared at the scout as he reported his findings.

"Very well, you may go." A raspy voice echoed, its source from inside the cave.

As if his tail was on fire, the demon scout quickly scurried away into the shadows of the forest.

"So he found out where I am..."

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"Certainly, and he has a few of his friends with him. A demon hunter, an elf archer, and another cat mage."

From above, a bat-like figure dropped down and unfurled its wings. It was a tall woman in a black dress. She had a vicious gleam in her eyes, and accompanied by the horns on her head, created a rather malicious air around her.

"I can accompany you and lend you my orcs to fend off these trespassers." The woman said in a rather gentle voice.

The being in the cave pondered for a moment before replying, "It will be rather fun if you joined in, Alice. Although, it seems that your servants are rather... unwilling to participate in this endeavor." The being's eyes snapped towards a particular creature behind Alice.

The creature he referred to was of course, Balmond, who had come to serve his master albeit begrudgingly.

Alice chuckled, her tone becoming sharp as she turned to Balmond with a dangerous gleam in her eyes, "Your rebellious acts the last time around have told me your rather tenacious nature. I trust you that nothing like that would ever happen again, or else..."

Balmond felt his blood run cold as he was stared at by the blood demon. He stuttered as he suppressed his fear, "It won't h-happen again..." He cast a worried look at his fellow orcs lined up behind him.

A smile curled Alice's lips, "Good, be a nice boy now." Balmond lowered his head, his eyes still reflecting some fear.

The group heard hooves strike the ground as if an animal was galloping and soon enough, a horse appeared in everyone's view. Atop the horse are two figures, a man and a woman.

The man had long hair which covered half of his face, and donned a silver armor which fit well with the armor of his horse. Behind him was the woman, though one might not think of that when they glance at her.

She had pale grayish skin, and by the looks of it, was nothing more than skin and bones. Her hands looked more like claws, and a sinister aura surrounded her.

They soon arrived before the group, the horse kicking up a cloud of dust. The man reined in the horse as the woman elegantly dropped off of it.

"My army is armed and ready to cooperate with you, General Helcurt. I also have my best knight, Leomord, to accompany us in our endeavor."

Alice lips curled in displeasure, "Such elegance doesn't suit your current state, Vexana. Do you even know who we are facing against?"

Vexana, still dusting off dirt on her dress, looked up and stared at Alice in the eye. She calmly replied, "Of course. The scout that reported to Helcurt was one of mine, and as soon as I received the report I had Leomord escort me here to discuss our plan of action."

Alice was about to say something but Vexana cut her off with a glare, "You think I won't think of the fact that the boy Alucard has connections with Tigreal? Tigreal and the Monian army will clearly be somewhere nearby waiting for a signal to launch an attack. Are you still thinking that its easy?"

Alice spoke no further, but her eyes couldn't hide that she was displeased with the way Vexana spoke to her.

"I expect no less from a person who was once a queen of a prosperous kingdom. Alice, you should learn from her and how she manages her own army. You'll surely benefit from her." Helcurt, who was listening to their conversation, finally spoke.

As Alice and Vexana looked towards the dark cave, Helcurt's eyes gleamed with a crafty light.

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The sun soon settled, and darkness reigned on the Land of Dawn.

A white figure was swiftly moving about atop the tree branches. After some time, the figure stopped and took a closer look at the patch of land ahead.

'Finally, I found them!' He thought to himself..

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