Under the sweltering heat, facing Sol, Isis spoke with a calm but grave voice,
“Vira also had another name in the past. It was called — Faith coins.”
Sol’s eyes narrowed as he began to listen more attentively.
“Before I continue, you need to understand something. The territory of a demi-god is technically nothing more than a mass of land. You could say that it is a kingdom or the preliminary step of one at least. What’s more, the power of a demi-god is partially dependent on the size of their territory. But, just being bigger doesn’t mean it is better.”
She shrugged her shoulders, “The amount of control and the level of awareness a demi-god has on his territory is the most important. So, how do you think a demi-god can increase the level of control?”
He gave a smile, “I guess Vira is one of the answers.”
“Bingo! Training, talent, etc, are all important. But the most important is Vira. The more Vira is integrated into the territory the better. But here the problem is, divine beasts and their descendants are unable to produce Vira.”
Sol immediately caught the key point, “Produce?”
“Yes, Vira was called Faith coins because it’s a currency born from prayers. It doesn’t matter to whom. As long as it’s one of the Goddesses under the Mother of Order or Order herself.”
“I see. So…Those slaves?”
“They were captured to help produce Vira. The amount of Vira a mortal can produce daily is extremely limited. But what about having hundreds of mortals? What about thousands?”
“… And this is why the Phoenixes don’t just get rid of the bandits.”
She gave a smile of disdain, “Indeed. Bandits are basically the greatest support for divine beasts. They can keep their pristine reputation and enjoy the fruit of the suffering of thousands of people.”
She spat a little at that. She, of course, knew that divine beasts had absolutely no obligations to help mortals and she knew that she would do the same as them.
She simply found the situation incredibly ridiculous because of how they treated her like some kind of evil being when they weren’t all that good either.
“But, I never heard of such currency in the mortal realm.”
This time she laughed, “The current concentration of mana in the mortal realm is too low.”
Isis had a deep understanding of the structure of the mortal realm. After all, her father came from there.
In the past, there were no particular boundaries between the different realms. The numbers of Demi-Gods and Kings was far higher and war was commonplace.
Now though, Demi-Gods were basically forbidden from entering the mortal realm and mortals who ascended to that level were limited in the amount of power they could bring.
From what her father said, those rules were mainly put in place, not out of compassion but simply because the goddesses got bored of war games and decided to play SimCity.
Even now, she didn’t really understand the reference. Her father liked to make jokes with unknown references and would grow sad when he remembered that no one could understand those references. It didn’t help that his sense of humor was awful.
“Well, long story short, here faith is a currency. Demi-gods need that currency to become stronger. As long as the bandits do not go past certain limits, Gabriel won’t intervene. This is why most divine beasts allow mortals to live in their territories. The only exceptions are the beast of Lust, Pride, Kindness, and Humility.”
Many pieces of information swirled in Sol’s mind. He felt as if a new world was opened in front of him.
At the same time, he could make a lot of interference.
Smiling, he raised his hand to ruffle ‘Sheherazade’ head out of habit but stopped timely.
‘Sheherazade isn’t Setsuna or Lilin.’
Coughing in order to hide his movement, he asked,
“Let’s go back to the main topic. Who is the leader of the organization that attacked us?”
A strange glow flashed in Isis’ eyes, as a mischievous smile formed on her face,
“Name: Rio, Nickname: Dark sword, a rare metal type spirit. She has a companion beast nicknamed White sparrow. A rare breed of beast that is similar to Phoenix…The two of them are Duke ranked.”
“Still willing to go? Though you should really gi…”
The mischievous smile on Isis’ face grew larger. But, the moment she turned to take a look at his expression, her smile cramped immediately.
She had thought that she would see an expression of fear or at least hesitation. She had even prepared some biting words to mock him before asking him to beg for her help.
But what she was was neither fear nor trepidation, but only blue eyes blazing with fighting intent.
She was well and truly surprised and began to panic a little.
“Hey! Did you hear me? I told you there are two Dukes there, you know? They also have strong subordinates close to Duke level. Worst is, the two are definitely B or A ranked so they have awakened their horns. Are you really going to fight them?”
She wondered if Sol truly understood the situation.
Even though he was a dragon hybrid and was without a doubt extremely talented, she could see that he never received the appropriate training for someone like them.
Furthermore, it wasn’t as if the two targets were your average Duke.
Below the level of Duke, the difference of power was extremely blurry. A Knight class could face a Count class without too many problems.
But from Duke onwards, it wouldn’t be a mistake to call it a complete sublimation. The difference between two Dukes could be so massive that one would be helpless in front of the other.
‘Is this the legendary dragon pride acting?’
She suddenly regretted trying to taunt him.
She just wanted to prank him a little, not bring him into true danger.
Normally she wouldn’t fear two Dukes, but since she was in Gabriel’s territory, she could not summon her army.
She was about to try to persuade him again when Sol waved his hand,
“Do not worry. I already told you, I am neither a hothead nor a hero. Even in the worst case where I am unable to win, I can still escape with no problem.”
She showed her frustration as she asked,
“What makes you so sure!?”
What answered was a bemused Sol,
“I mean…We are still in Gabriel territory, you know?”
Those words stunned Isis for a short while before she crouched down and held her head.
She felt so ashamed she wished to dig a deep hole and hide.
“You…? You seriously forgot?”
“Yeah! I forgot! What!? Is it a crime!?”
She raised her head and screamed out of shame and frustration. She had been ready to see him mocking her, but she was surprised to see that there was no laughter in his eyes, only a calm and serene smile on his face,
“Thanks for worrying about me.”
It took her a short time to understand what he meant before understanding dawned upon her.
Her flushed red as she stood up and walked with great stride,
“Don’t misunderstand, okay!? I wasn’t worried about you. I just…”
He caught up and stared straight in her eyes while asking with a cheeky smile,
Isis clenched her fists, stamped the ground, and humphed.
“I have no reasons to explain myself to you. Aren’t you ashamed about relying on someone else’s power? I thought men were supposed to be more courageous.”
She raised an eyebrow and asked sarcastically, she thought that this question would embarrass him a little, but all she received was a light laugh,
“Firstly, I believe that women aren’t inferior to men. Secondly, heh, all my life, I am used to being protected by women. In fact, at this level, I am pretty sure it must be some kind of talent.”
He shrugged his shoulders and shamelessly bragged.
Ignoring the dumbfounded expression of Isis, he took her in a princess carry.
“Now then, enough chit-chat. Which direction?”
Isis tried to struggle a little, but, realizing the futility of her action, she sighed and pointed in a direction.
“Well then, let’s go!”
Gathering strength under his feet —he jumped.
After a few jumps and many instances of Isis nearly vomiting, they finally reached a certain distance from the encampment.
On the way, they had seen some guards but Sol moved too fast and controlled the strength of his landing to avoid being discovered.
Jumping out from Sol’s arm, Isis wobbled a little and dry heaved. She had many times dreamed of being princess carried but, as always, reality was disappointing.
She somewhat regretted not telling him that she was half phoenix and as such could fly. Thinking about this and after getting her stomach to settle down, she asked,
“Why don’t you just fly?”
“I don’t know how to.”
She wanted to smack his proud face.
“As I thought, you are really stupid. You were never trained by a dragon, right?”
All she received as an answer was a shrug.
Sighing, she took a look at the encampment before squinting,
“So, what is the plan?”
This time, Sol stopped playing around,
“If possible, I want you to deal with the mobs. I will take care of the two Duke.”
She still thought that he was biting more than he could chew, but since he reminded her that they were protected by Gabriel, she understood that there would be no danger to their life.
“I guess, I will send them a greeting.”
The moment she raised her hand, Sol felt goosebumps.
Strand of energy focused on her hand before a golden ball of fire appeared. But it didn’t take long for the golden fire to change into a dark flame.
‘Amaterasu, is that you?’
His habit of making reference when he was surprised acted again at the sight of that dark flame.
The already high temperature rose many folds. So much that Sol even began to sweat a little.
Finally, once she was satisfied with the result, Isis threw it like a baseball towards the encampment.
Sol could already imagine everything burst into flame. But this was not to be.
The cry of a bird sounded in the air as a giant eagle-like monster appeared in the middle of the encampment. Even though it was quite far, Sol could see a woman with her torso nearly naked on its back.
Then, jumping from it and rushing toward the black flame—She cut it in two.
What was most impressive was that the black flames were then absorbed into her sword.
Seeing how easily her attack was dealt with Isis’ eyes narrowed for a short while before she relaxed.
“You asked for it. Good luck.”
The amusement in her voice was evident. Then, without waiting for him, she rushed in the direction of the reinforcements that were coming from behind. Clearly, she intended to do as he asked and let him deal with the two Dukes.
Looking at the large bird and the imposing woman on its back, Sol began to twirl his shoulder while murmuring to himself.
“Well, I guess it’s time to really test my full power.”
<<Dragon force: First Step>>
It was time to see what he could really do.