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158 Escort service...

 A group of people wearing black robes emerged from the gates of the city.

A man in white sat on a litter, he was carried by the black robed men.

Dave watched carefully as the group moved away from the city and stood in the open desert. Then the man on the litter started dancing.

He was performing a ritual.

The sand shook and a living stone sphinx rose from under the sand dune.

It looked very like the actual Egyptian sphinx. Wearing a white pharaonic headcover, it had the body of a lion, the tail of a snake and the face of a beautiful woman.

Dave was too far away to get any information on the creature. He didn't want to risk getting closer and reveal his presence just to inspect it.

The sphinx shook the sand from its body and moved closer to the group.

The man wearing white stopped dancing and waved a hand, speaking to the people around him.

Four bruised and battered people wearing only chains were led toward the Sphinx.

The sphinx unceremoniously snatched them up and tossed them into its sensuously curved mouth.

The ritual was apparently over, the black robes retreated back to the city, carrying the man on the litter. The sphinx circled around itself a few times, then started shaking its body into the sand until it was covered and hidden from sight.

'That's a dangerous monster.'

There could be more of those things in the area.

There could even be one under Dave's regiment right now.

The units sent to scout the city reported in. They gave a detailed report about the numbers of units stationed on the walls and the number of catapults and anti-siege machinery on the walls of the city. There were also hidden trenches in front of the walls.

Bud appeared and reported what he'd found, "Many demons...priests. Do ceremony."

'If priests of the church are here, then this must be where they and the demons are going to summon the seraph. I can't let them do that, but we can't get in. Our regiment will be destroyed the moment we get near that gate. I have to inform Delvina or Du'Rhaza.'

"Thanks, Bud, we need to go back, this place can't be captured without siege equipment and weapons."

Dave led his regiment away from the city and roamed the black desert.

There might be other secrets to this area and he wanted to check everything before returning to the Red Fortress.

He would occasionally encounter packs of Painted Dogs and use the chance to grind his level.

Dave ground exp for more than 12 hours in-game increasing his level to 275. Earning EXP became more and more difficult as he leveled up.

Afterwards, they headed back to the Red-Fortress and Dave went in to the main building in the fortress to see Du'Rhaza. Finding him doing his usual, reading a scroll, Dave interrupted the Lich.

"Du'Rhaza, I have news."

The lich placed the scroll down and waited for Dave to speak.

"I located a city to the east of the Red Fortress,"

Dave reported to the lich the numbers of the enemy troops and the city defenses. He also told Du'Rhaza about the sphinx and the ritual, the possibility of it being related to the threat of the Ash-King.

"You have done well, I will inform the upper echelons of the legion to prepare for conquest. We cannot allow the seraph to be summoned."

Du'Rhaza summoned a death knight and ordered it to relay the information back to the Undead realm.

"Another thing, a summons came for you from the king.."

"I will be going then," Dave tore a teleportation scroll and appeared in the Dead Realm just outside the Bone Palace gates.

The City of the Dead was an amazing structure. Many buildings of exquisite design rose into the sky. It was a far cry from anything a person would think the city of the dead would be.

Undead walked the streets, running errands or tending to their businesses. The shops were open, customers entering and leaving, purchasing weapons or materials needed for their daily 'lives.'

Dave walked deeper into the city and arrived at the Bone Palace at the center of the Dead Realm.

Two Doom-Knights guarded the gate of the bone palace..

One of them respectfully ordered the bone gate to open for Dave and made way, letting him in.

Dave walked up the spiral marble stairs of the Bone Palace to the top where he entered the throne room.

The Undead king sat on his throne, waiting for Dave.

"Childe, you have kept your promise," the king spoke solemnly.

"Sire, you sound troubled. Was there a problem with Death returning your daughter?"

"No, she did indeed return our daughter, but she is changed, different."

A girl entered the hall, she wore a long silver gown and a golden tiara on her head. Her hair was pitch black and draped over her shoulders like a waterfall.

She had a beautiful face but there was an angry expression on it.

"What now your majesty? Do you want to imprison me here forever, father? "

'This is the king's daughter? She is clearly not undead.'

And she was angry.

"Daughter, you know well I cannot let you leave. We have many enemies and they would do anything to harm us. You are safe here, with the legion."

"I don't want to be stuck here all my life. With rotten Undead all over the place, and you are not my father! To me My father died a long time ago!" the woman's expression turned cold.

Eleanor of Arotsa

Tier: Epic

Friendly

Level 350

HP 350,000

DA 35,000

MA 35,000

Skills???

Princess of the fallen kingdom of Arotsa

'So, what he meant by different is that she despises the undead.'

"Daughter, I did what I had to do! It was all for the sake of our kingdom."

"You killed me with your own hands! You traded my life for what? To become like this? I hate you! I do not want to be kin to the dead!"

Dave couldn't intervene in a discussion between father and daughter.

The king had made a huge blunder in the past, the king knew it and so did Dave.

"You do not wish to remain with us? Aren't you afraid of the cruelty of the living?"

"You seem to have forgotten that one day you too were one of the living, father. I no longer wish to be a princess, it only brought misery and sadness. Where is Deadra?"

The king's fist tightened, but Dave spoke before he could answer.

"I beg your pardon majesties. Deadra died in battle."

Dave tried to spare the king from telling his daughter that he exiled and personally killed her lover.

"What? How did it happen?" Eleanor turned to face Dave.

"He sought a way to restore you to the living. He was a brave warrior and should be remembered as such," Dave replied vaguely.

The princess looked sad as she said "This is the fate of those who seek glory, father. Death. They all die of their arrogance and pride. The desire to conquer kingdoms and land. And for what end? To sacrifice your loved ones for that same cause?

"Father you have wronged me. I am not of the dead and do not ever wish to be. I want to live as a human, have children, grow old and die like one! The life of the dead is not for me, father. Let me go."

"You may leave, but I need to ensure your safety.

"Kis'Shtiengbrah. Take her to the land you came from, Moria. There are some who serve us there, they shall do your bidding and I will have someone to watch over and protect you. Daughter."

"No! I want to live life as I see fit! I want to interact with humans, not be coddled and protected by the dead!"

"They aren't Undead...they live," said the king.

The princess pointed at Dave, "What about him? I don't want even one of your stinking corpses around me."

"He is one of our valued liegeman. I trust him to keep you safe, but I have other tasks and responsibilities for this one. He will only escort you there, then he will take his leave. "

The princess looked Dave up and down with thinly veiled contempt, "He is just another rotten undead."

Dave's brow furrowed. He raised his hand. The Ring of the Death God glowed for a moment and his body became shrouded in a dark aura of death as he changed back to his human avatar. The black death knight armor vibrated and transformed, turning into bright silver plate-armor.

He'd changed from one of the Undead to a holy paladin

A system notification appeared in front of Dave.

Kill Order!

Player Bone Breaker has issued a Kill-Order on you.

Bounty 10,000gold

You must survive being hunted by the players for 7 days.

If the bounty is not withdrawn after the first 7 days, you will receive 10% of the original bounty amount for every day you survive the hunt.

'I forgot about the Kill Order. Well I would love to see ole' Bone Breaker come here and try to kill me.'

Dave looked at the princess and said, "Is this human enough for you?"

"Hmpf! It will do. Now take me out of this land of the dead."

The king has tasked you to take his daughter to the land of the living.

Destination: Dutch Brook's mansion in Moria.

Dave nodded at the king and gave the princess a teleportation scroll.

He tore it and she followed as the both of them appeared at Moria.