Kelson charged at Michael with an abundance of faith and with such great momentum that it felt like the charge of thousands of cavalrymen. On the other hand, Dracula waited indifferently for Kelson to reach him and did not react.
"Judgement!" Kelson roared as he leaped and slashed at Dracula.
The power of faith circled around his body and the glow from the wings of Seraph on his back were even more blinding and intense, as if they could purify the world of filth by fire.
The weaker vampires in the surrounding turned to ashes upon gazing upon the Light Wings on his back, and those at baron level staggered back after countless wounds started opening up on their bodies. Even those who were Viscounts felt an unbearable pressure after looking at him and turned away.
What followed next made everyone take in a deep, cold breath—Dracula blocked the immensely powerful attack with only one hand. He wore a white glove on that hand, and Kelson's blow could not even slash it apart. Dracula then lifted his other hand, a small red magic circle appearing on his glove.
Dracula shouted slightly, his voice full of captivating power. As it died down, tens of thousands of swords formed out of blood shot toward Kelson from the surrounding area. The distance between the swords and Kelson was far too short, and they reached him in an instant.
Kelson gathered power from his angel's wings and faith to block the attack, before striking at his opponent with a blow from his shield. Dracula did not dodge, and the blow knocked his head cleanly off. His body, meanwhile, was shattered from the power of Kelson's faith. This result caused everyone to be dumbstruck—could Dracula really be defeated so easily?
It turned out differently from everyone's hopes; Dracula resurrected himself using a single drop of blood. He walked forward again, speaking with every step he took, "The millions of lives killed in the two great wars have become my own. Even though I've sacrificed more than half of them to break the seal, I still have around 36 million lives left. I want to see how many you can take at your maximum effort level."
"What?! 36 million lives? Can such an opponent really be killed?"
"Legend has it that Dracula can absorb any dead person into his pool of blood, thereby giving him an additional life."
All the humans present were shaken to their core. It turned out that Dracula was able to resurrect himself because of the huge number of dead from the two world wars, and now that he still had around 36 million lives left, how could they possibly fight him? Kelson, however, was not too bothered—such words could not shake his faith. He charged forth with a sword in hand again.
At this instant, Michael, who was behind him, struck as well. He slashed at Dracula with his sword that was engulfed in divine flames. His opponent lifted one hand, and a giant formed by blood bats appeared to fight with Michael. The vampire then crystalized his blood into a sword before using it to block the blows from Kelson's short weapon. Every time their weapons clashed, a huge energy shockwave would be created, and any place the unbridled red and white energies touch would become a devastated piece of battleground.
They had already exchanged thousands of blows in the blink of an eye, during which Kelson had killed Dracula hundreds of times. This was due to the fact that Dracula did not bother to defend—his moves were purely offensive in nature. Michael hand also slayed the giant with his flaming sword at this point in time and came swooping down toward Dracula.
Dracula summoned two blood prison hounds to deal with Michael again, but this time round his virtual image seemed to be enraged. He swung at the hounds with a powerful blow, the flames on his sword bursting forth and turning the surrounding air into steam. His sword directly cleaved one of the hounds into two, while the flames on his weapon turned its body into ashes. Michael then flung the Spear of Judgement out of his right hand, and the golden spear shot across the bloody skies like a streak of gold lightning, instantly passing right through the other blood prison hound.
The hound exploded into bits in the air, and Michael summoned his spear and holy sword back into his hands as he walked toward Dracula. Kelson increased the ferocity of his attacks and prevented Dracula from retreating by pressuring him with a few heavy blows, until Michael could join in the attack.
Upon noticing his opponent's plan, Dracula spread his bloody wings and swept them toward Kelson. The sudden attack forced him to temporarily stop attacking. Dracula looked at Michael coldly, seeming to bear an intense hatred of angels. He then launched a wild attack on Michael.
"Blood Prison-Demonic Feast!"
Dracula summoned a gigantic blood-red palm which grasped in front of him. Michael blocked the blow with a swing of his sword, before turning the demonic palm into bits with the flames of his sword. He then charged forward and stabbed at Dracula with his spear. The vampire returned the blow with his own blood crystal spear, and they exchanged hundreds of blows within a few seconds.
Kelson charged forward again with a huge roar, focusing the energy on his Light Wings on his sword and shield before attacking his opponent ferociously. Dracula blocked his sword with an arm before kicking away Kelson's holy shield with a sweep of a leg. The vampire then followed up with multiple attacks on Michael with his spear.
Michael was a virtual avatar created by faith alone, but his expression looked so real, as if he was truly enraged, and his attacks grew even more intense. He was already the most impetuous of the seven Seraphs and known as an angel of utmost righteousness—he would never allow any force of evil to get away with taunting him.
A blazing light burst forth from his body as he revealed six of his wings in his battle with Dracula. They fought with each other with sword, magic, and spear. To prevent Kelson from interfering, Dracula even summoned dozens of blood demons to handle him.
"Judgement of God!"
Michael shot high up into the skies after exchanging thousands of blows with Dracula. He then gathered all of his power in the Spear of Judgement before flinging it out in a ferocious attack on his opponent.
"Torment of Divine Destruction!"
Likewise, Dracula concentrated a huge amount of bloody energy in his spear of crystallized blood before flinging it with great force directly at the Spear of Judgement. As the demonic weapon infused with the blood of countless beings clashed with the golden spear filled with the power of faith, it was as if an unstoppable force had smashed against an immovable object.
The shockwave from the clash of both weapons spread toward the surrounding area, and everything it touched was blasted into ashes. A huge crater with a radius of 50 meters appeared, and the humans began searching frantically for signs of Kelson and Michael. Suddenly, they noticed a figure whose body had been pierced through by a spear—it was Michael.
There were limits to an avatar, and its strength was no replacement for the real angel—Michael had been defeated. He kneeled down upon a knee on the ground as his body gradually disappeared into a shower of light. As for Kelson, he was coughing up huge mouthfuls of blood not far away. He had summoned Michael's avatar by concentrating his own power and faith, and his death had caused severe injury to Kelson himself.
Countless light feathers began drifting down from the sky, and eventually, Michael disappeared completely. Dracula had lost hundreds of lives during the battle, but their loss was inconsequential to him. He formed another spear of crystallized blood and continued advancing toward Kelson.
"Come at me with whatever you haven't used," said Dracula coldly.
"For my Lord and humankind, I'm willing to go to Hell. Come forth, the Holy Lance of Longinus!" Kelson roared, and a divine silver spear appeared in his hand, giving off a strange glow. There were blood stains on the tip of the spear that had not been cleaned off, and it looked more like a demonic spear rather than a divine weapon. The unholy aura emanating from the spear engulfed Kelson, turning his armor into black. Soon, the black demonic aura had spread throughout his entire body.
"Do you also choose to forsake your status as a human in a bid to defeat me? However, you're destined to die if you do that. That's because the power you wield comes from the same source as mine, and you won't be able to kill me."
A sense of loss appeared briefly in Dracula's eyes as he mourned for the Paladin. The Holy Lance was just a cursed weapon that brought its user into the pits of Hell.
"Let me end your sad life, a pitiful knight that has been discarded by your God," said Dracula softly as he walked forward, charging toward the fallen Paladin with a low growl.
The Holy Lance of Longinus was stained with the blood of Jesus himself, and anyone who held it would turn into a demon that could not be killed, unless the spear was knocked away from his or her hand. Clara and Wang Xuanming mourned for the brave fallen Paladin as they watched him battle with Dracula, as they knew there was no way to bring him back to the light no matter the outcome of the fight.
Kelson's capability to fight had multiplied by dozens of times with the Holy Lance in hand, and he adopted a strategy of attrition, since he could not be slain now. The might of the cursed spear was terrible, and each blow from it destroyed a good chunk of land, and any vampire that was hit with its cursed glow was instantly turned into a pool of blood.
Dracula roared in anger as he engaged Kelson. Within half an hour, they had already exchanged tens of thousands of blows, and each time they would slay each other only to be resurrected and fight again. Dracula went even further to sacrifice a life to heal himself from any wound he received.
"Mournful Hymn of Hell!"
With a roar, a huge amount of blood spewed out from Dracula into the surrounding air, and they crystallized into tens of thousands of lances, shooting forth toward Kelson. They pierced through the fallen Paladin, and he was killed again and again after being resurrected each time. In a short span of less than a minute, he had been killed thousands of times, and Dracula cut off the Paladin's hand with his sword when he had just been resurrected and still not react. The vampire then mashed the Paladin's hand into mush.
The Holy Lance of Longinus dropped out of Kelson's hand, and all of the unholy aura covering his body vanished—even his armor had regained its original redness, he crumpled onto the ground. Dracula walked over to him, saying, "Why did you throw your status as a human away? Wouldn't you have turned into a monster like me?"
"To defeat you..." replied Kelson weakly.
"But if you turned into a monster just to fight with me, wouldn't you have lost all honors? Don't you detest monsters the most? Why did you throw your status as a human away!" Dracula roared; no one understood why the vampire would say such a thing.
"For my faith. Faith is something that should be sought after throughout one's life, and man can become great because of it. Without faith, man is no different from the dead. I've found my faith and I'm willing to pay any price to upkeep it."
"Humility, righteousness, compassion, bravery, justice, sacrifice, honor, and spirit! As a Paladin, I've spent my entire life seeking all of these values, and now, I've done it. It's my honor to sacrifice myself to the Lord of my faith, and my spirit has not disgraced all that I've done."
"All of the Paladins present, listen up! Never betray your faith, and remember the oath each of you took when you became Paladins. Use all that's left of your lives to fulfil your promise..."
After finished speaking, Kelson turned into ashes and dissipated into the air. A voice reverberated throughout the land after he vanished, and all could hear it. Everyone remained silent and pricked their ears up to hear him as he chanted the Paladin's Oath in a firm and resolute voice---
"I swear to protect the weak!
"I swear to rally against tyranny!
"I swear to right all wrongs!
"I swear to fight for the defenceless!
"I swear to protect anyone who seeks my help!
"I swear never to harm any married woman!
"I swear to help my brother knights!
"I swear to treat my friends with honesty!
"I swear that the love to my partner will be undying!"