Austere-Winter Dukedom, Province of St. Alexis, Pillar of Poison Fern.
Bella landed on all fours and sprinted on the ground.
She wasn’t a human but a werewolf.
Her spine wasn’t in the shape of a human but in the form of a wolf. Her limbs were deformed into animal claws at the elbow and knee joints. She had gray-white fur on her four feet.
She also had short gray-white hair, making her hard to spot with her white leather armor due to the snow.
She sprinted like a thunderbolt even in the snow, reaching a whopping 80 kilometers per hour. The protruding stones on the ground, the steep cliffs, and the broken stone pillars covered with dark green ferns could not hinder her in any way.
However, her dark golden pupils were filled with fear.
“You’re the only one left, defector.” An indifferent and hollow voice sounded in the air, with heavy echoes.
Bella’s hairs stood up immediately.
She changed her direction without hesitation, and she jumped up to a steep rock pillar 9 meters high.
Her silver collar shone brightly at the same time.
Countless black runes flowed out from the silver collar, forming hideous battle paints on her face and collarbone.
As the curse marks emerged, her figure suddenly became lighter.
Bella leaped from the top of the rock pillar covered with poisonous ferns without hesitation. Her feet stepped on the air, and ripples appeared. Consequently, her speed had doubled.
The wind visible to the naked eye formed a cloak behind her—supporting her body, allowing her to move freely and silently in the air.
Only “Windrunners” could achieve such a feat.
But at this moment, the sky went dark quickly.
Black clouds appeared; its speed in obscuring the sun was much faster than Bella’s speed in the air.
The howling wind came fanning on her face. Then, with the snow on the ground levitated due to the wind, a blizzard wall was formed, confining her in the core of the wind cyclone.
Bella looked up in horror.
Under the dark clouds, a short white-robed girl levitated in the air.
There was no emotion in her icy blue pupils. Instead, her half-open eyes were filled with deity-like indifference.
The long, supple, waist-length hair was no longer the harmless black color it had been when she was a child. Instead, there was a blue hue on her silvery-white hair because of her bloodline power.
She wore a white, tulle skirt-like robe with a hollowed-out silver crown on her head. On her slender and bare ankles, fine silver scales surfaced on her skin.
Of course, Bella knew who this formidable lady was — Princess Maria Austere-Winter. She was the Grand Duke of Austere-Winter’s only daughter.
She was also the current supreme leader of the Transcended institution “Winter’s Hand” of the Austere-Winter Dukedom.
A monster who had attained Gold Rank at the age of 17.
There was no escape.
In desperation, Bella let out a long wolf howl.
Her body enlarged rapidly and soon turned into a 2 meter tall, standing giant wolf.
She showed no signs of timidity and bared her fangs at “the Daughter of the Storm”.
But the next thing she did was to pull off her own tongue.
Facing a Gold Rank Edict Wizard, she didn’t have the confidence to control her body.
In the face of Bella’s futile resistance, Maria had no expression on her face.
She acted like she saw nothing happen at all..
It was not arrogance or contempt, but sheer indifference.
“You’re not spilling it out… Fine.” Maria whispered, “Then, you shall [commit suicide].”
There was magic in her cold voice.
Bella’s right hand reached out at lightning speed without warning, plunging into her own heart, and took it out.
Maria raised her head slightly in silence, watching the vigor escaping from Bella’s pupils. The victim gradually fell from the air.
At the next moment, Maria disintegrated in countless snowflakes, merging into the whistling snowstorm around her.
The snowstorm drowned Bella’s corpse, making it plunge into the ground swiftly through the falling snow. Then, as the storm gradually subsided, she was deeply buried beneath the surface.
In the Austere-Winter Dukedom, there might be Transcended corpses buried in every patch of thick snow.
Another violent wind came, and Maria’s body emerged from the pillar that Bella was standing on previously.
She pulled out a pure white jade card from her pocket — the initially empty card was suddenly filled with writing.
She looked at the letter from Vasily Manning carefully. Her long fluttering hair behind her gradually calmed down.
The Man in the Mirror?
As Maria silently recited the name of the new deity, there was no emotional fluctuation.
So, Michelangelo has succeeded.
That means… one can still ascend into a deity without the Book of Truth.
As long as I became a deity…
She threw her gaze into the distance.
At the end of where she was looking, it was the extreme north of the Austere-Winter Dukedom… That was a place termed to be the end of human civilization.
The materialized nightmare, the infinity of the Gray Mists, and the undead that lay within.
—As long as I become a deity, I can freely step into the Gray Mists.
“Annan…” She closed her eyes and murmured in a low volume.
A rare moment of tranquility occurred in her mind that pushed away the countless negative emotions that previously filled her heart.
“Good news.” After digesting the message, Maria replied indifferently, “Get ready to return home, Vasily.
“A ship with a blue canvas will arrive at Freezing Water Port in 10 days. You shall leave by that ship.”
Then, she sent the message out.
But soon, a new reply appeared on it.
It wasn’t the usual “Understood” reply she was familiar with.
It was intelligence on her younger brother, who had been missing for more than a year.
“So, Annan is on the Noah continent?”
What great news.
Annan isn’t missing, nor did the Rotten Man manage to take his life…
But soon, her heart was filled with intense restlessness, anxiety, and paranoia.
So, Annan has also become a Transcended.
But, how does he return home?
If the Noah Kingdom learned that Annan was trapped in their country, would he be forced to do something? Would he be imprisoned? Would he be tortured? Would Annan be detained in exchange for benefits from the Austere-Winter Dukedom? Would he be tortured in exchange for information? Would the Rotten Man go for his life? Could the Old Grandmother find Annan?
Her calm mood was instantly disrupted, and many possibilities that made her tremble and made her uneasy kept emerging in her heart.
“Annan…AnnanAnnanAnnanAnnanAnnanAnnan…” She repeated in murmurs.
Finally, Maria broke free from the restlessness that kept rising in her heart.
I shall tell my father about this no matter what.
…Do I need to return home?
Credits to MindMatrix for editing this chapter and improving the readability.
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