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859 The Chaos Projection

 "Lize, strengthen the defense! Everyone, don't look at the octopus's eyes. Lower your heads and kneel on the ground! Marfa, Anne, and team leaders, be aware of your surroundings. If any idiot goes berserk, knock him out immediately! Bow Knights, focus all your attacks on its eyes. Everyone, don't step out of the Order barrier! Lize, heal Bell right now. We need the strength of Order inside her to solidify our defense!"

Rhode gave the series of commands in one go. The strength of Order more or less had something to do with Bell's condition. Although she wasn't physically hurt in this latest teleportation, she was incredibly weak and became unconscious. The Clerics could only treat the symptoms and not the root cause, but it would be safer for everyone if Bell could restore her strength even by a little bit.

As Rhode gave the commands, his hands didn't stop moving. He raised and brandished his right arm to the side. Shortly after, two cards emerged in midair. The pitch-black and scarlet cards twirled continuously.

[Holy Sword Card 9th Position--Succubus]

[Holy Sword Card 6th Position--Slaughter]

The two radiances flashed and shortly after, Celestina and Shira emerged out of the air. At this moment, Celia, who rescued the mercenary, flapped her wings and descended to the ground silently.

"Devil again..."

Celestina curled her lips.

"Master, your luck is really terrible. I can't even remember how many times I've seen such disgusting, filthy creatures appearing before you. If you wish to see blood and corpses, we might as well kill some humans, which is much easier than dealing with these creatures. Damn it. I had my fair share of killing last time. To think that I have to do it again..."

"Hahaha... Hahaha..."

Shira's creepy, cold laughter interrupted the demon young lady, and the latter instinctively shivered and the mercenaries subconsciously shrunk. The instant they heard the creepy laughter, they felt as though they were powerless lambs tied by a belt and laying on the cold sacrificial platform while a horrifying shadow raised the butcher's knife and sliced into them. Some of the female Rangers even fainted without warning.

"Enemy?"

Shira tilted her head 45 degrees and gazed at the enormous octopus. Then, she shifted her upper body like a rusty puppet and swept a glance to Rhode. Her creepy green pupils let off an endless murderous aura.

"There."

Rhode said and pointed forward. Although he seldom summoned her due to her berserk personality, no matter what, she was still a person who he had intimate interactions with. Just like male and female protagonists who got to know each other for less than a week, they could acknowledge each other as the most perfect existence while being pursued by zombies.

"Hahaha... The devil... Great... Great..."

Shira widened her mouth into a scary, blissful smile as though she just received a beloved gift on Christmas. Then, in the blink of an eye, everyone witnessed a red storm whizzing across the horizon, sweeping toward that gigantic creature.

"Let's go."

Rhode ordered. It wasn't strange that the devils appeared in the Land of Chaos. After all, multiple foolish devils were also successful in sneaking through the gaps in places like the Devil Gulf. Therefore, it wasn't strange that devils emerged in such a place that was completely corroded by Chaos.

However, the Duke Devil usually wouldn't appear here that easily.

Just as the name suggested, no one knew how deep the Bottomless Abyss was. Back then, Rhode led a group of players down more than 800 floors and still didn't get to meet the BOSS. The devil bosses on every floor weren't easy to deal with either. But it was due to this that the devil bosses on every floor couldn't leave the Bottomless Abyss even if they wanted to. All they could do was to appoint one of its projections to leave the Bottomless Abyss and come to the main plane of existence. Although the projection wasn't as strong as the thing in itself, it was still terrifying.

Like now.

Even though it seemed like Rhode's group had arrived at a safe, peaceful place, he knew that this world was simply part of a large Order fragment controlled by Serras' projection. In other words, they were now in a thin, fragile sheet of paper while Serras was the kid holding onto it and it would take no effort to tear or rip it apart. The amount of damage was imaginable for Rhode's group, which was within the sheet of paper.

As for the reason why they were perfectly unharmed at the moment, it was due to Rhode's Order barrier. This could also be considered as Serras' mistake. The Order barrier could strengthen the Order within it and this enormous Order fragment became stronger due to the powers of Rhode's Order barrier. It was as though the sheet of paper suddenly strengthened into a steel plate. Therefore, it naturally became a tougher task to destroy it.

But it still wasn't entirely impossible.

All Rhode had to do now was to slaughter the enemy completely before it destroyed this Order fragment. No matter what, it was the projection of the Duke Devil and it wouldn't be an easy task.

A series of flashes emerged on the ground. The Bow Knights lifted their heads, raised their bows, and aimed at Serras' huge golden eyes. However, Serras swirled its eyes and quickly shifted the trajectory of the radiances that were powerful enough to penetrate heavy armor to its body. Shortly after, everyone witnessed rotten flesh shed off like a layer of disgusting skin.

"Continue attacking. Don't let it focus its gaze!"

Rhode had fought against Serras in the game and in its original form, which was why he knew how terrifying it was. In fact, Serras wasn't considered an exceedingly troublesome target to deal with amongst all the devils. Serras was a master in mental manipulation, mental attacks, and could materialize people's fears to a certain extent. Apart from this, its strongest ability was focusing its sight on an area and the people inside that area would be devoured by endless insanity, turning into its source of strength. This was why Rhode continued to order the Bow Knights to attack its eyes despite knowing that the attacks were harmless. Fortunately, it seemed like the Bow Knights understood the devil's attack style well. They followed Rhode's command and diverted Serras's attention swiftly. At the same time, the Half-Demons and Battle Mages raised their weapons and stared vigilantly at their surroundings. Not only that, but many of them had also retrieved a golden, curved box and attached it to the tip of the staff.

Will this be enough?

Rhode had fused with the Spirit Bird and was currently flying in midair, gazing at the mercenaries beneath him. Then, he shifted his gaze to Serras. Although they were in a precarious situation, it was the same for the creature. The stupidest thing that it had done was reveal its true self, which led to both sides being in a stalemate now.

"Celia, go to the left side with Celestina. Remember, attract its attention and attack its eyes!"

After activating the 'Taboo Halo', the summoned spirits around him were instantly enhanced in strength. Rhode turned around and clasped his daggers, soaring to the right side of the octopus like an agile bird.

"---"

Serras's three-meters-wide, round eyes swirled along with Rhode's movements. Then, it shrunk out of a sudden.

In an instant, a mysterious, pitch-black spatial crack emerged behind Rhode, which spread toward him quickly. Rhode knitted his brows and dove swiftly to avoid it. But at this moment, a gigantic tentacle struck from below.

"Hmph!"

Rhode sulked. At the same time, a shadow clone flew out from him and sliced the tentacle into half. Rhode came to an abrupt halt and brandished Madaras in his hand.

Madaras collided with the ambushing dark crack chasing from behind. Then, Madaras flickered in magical radiance before melting the dark crack like snow under sunlight. Rhode swiftly retreated without turning back, dodging another tentacle that propelled from the side. At this moment, Madaras spun and streaked an arc in midair before returning to his hand.

On the other hand, someone else seemed to have a better idea.

"Hahaha..."

Shira let out a twisted laughter. The three razor-sharp steel chains in her body shot out and penetrated the thick, viscous body, spiraling and wreaking havoc within. At the same time, she raised her arms and the steel chain tugged the huge sword on her back into her hand.

Shing!

The huge sword in her hand erupted in a scarlet radiance, splitting the tentacle before her into two, where a repulsive liquid spurted and shrouded her entirely. It was apparent from the purple liquid and its loathsome stench that it wasn't a harmless substance.

However, Shira didn't dodge at all. Instead, she continued to charge and slash through the tentacle with her blade, slicing it off entirely.

"Hahaha... How amusing... So painful... So fun..."

She tilted her neck and revealed a broken smile. The purple liquid burned several holes on her already tattered robe. Not only that, but there were also countless blisters and scars all over her dewy skin. However, not only did she not seem pained, but her smile also widened into a grin. At this moment, the steel chains had pulled her to her destination.

Boom!

The enormous octopus shuddered like a rock being thrown into the dead puddle, where ripples emerged across its soft, gigantic body. At a single glance, there was a pitch-black, ghastly wound on its right side. Shira stood up with a twisted smile, where her body was filled with shredded tentacle flesh and putrid blood. Her huge sword had penetrated deeply into its body with only the hilt showing. Then, she let out a laughter that had one's hair standing on end as she pulled out the blade. This seemed more like a game than a battle for her.

"Hmm..."

Celestina witnessed the terrifying scene from the other side. At this moment, she was using her negative, dark flames to deal with the fluttering tentacles while Celia leaned against her back, holding onto her silver-whitish sword, gazing vigilantly at the enemy.

"Big Sister Shira is still as sick as ever..."

Celestina said, brandishing her right arm where the thorny whip struck for the octopus' eye. But shortly after, three tentacles showed up and denied the threat. However, Celestina didn't give up just yet. She narrowed her eyes and the whip erupted with dark flames once again, and the octopus shrieked upon sensing the menacing force and swiftly retracted its tentacles. Celestina gnashed her teeth and swung the blazing whip on the creature's rotten body, causing it to mourn in pain.

"Argh... Shameless lower-class race, now you know our might as demons! How dare you stop me! You deserve to be punished!"

In this world, nothing was deeper than the hatred between devils and demons. As Celestina was immensely pleased with herself, the fuming octopus swirled its left eye and stared at her. Shortly after, its eye exploded with Chaos flames, attempting to engulf its prey entirely.

A silver radiance flashed.

Celia clutched her blade and her spotlessly white wings shined ever so brightly. She slashed the barrier formed by the Chaos flames, but she wasn't interested in getting close to that disgusting being.

The reason was simple. They were waiting for an opening.

"Sir, it's ready!"

Sol nodded to his men.

"Do it according to Sir Overlord's command. Get ready!"

The Half-Demons and Battle Mages raised their weapons and aimed at the enemy.

"Fire!"

There wasn't a single beam of light.

There also wasn't any sound. Only the ones who raised the magic weapons shook and flinched as though they were pushed back by a force. But not only did the tip of their staffs not emanate a magical radiance, but the beams of light also didn't exist at all. It seemed like nothing had been cast.

But at the next moment, they heard a mournful shriek.

Serras instantly let out an unprecedented, frantic scream, fluttering and smacking its eight tentacles on the ground in all directions.

At the same time, a dozen shimmering, golden ritual circles bloomed like flowers and shrouded it entirely.