Generally, becoming a higher existence referred to a lower existence being sharing the records of the higher existence factions and becoming their member. An entity acquires more potential that way, and the faction would also increase its amount of records.
At first, there were no higher existence factions other than Heaven's Army. However, someone who felt disgusted about how Heaven's Army handles things decide to leave the Heaven's Army by piling up new records, and this was the beginning of the Army of Brilliant Light.
By mutating the records that any angel would have, he opened the possibility of creating fallen angels. With his power, he made all angels a potential candidate of fallen angels. He was the first traitor, and the leader of the second higher existence faction. The Army of Brilliant Light rapidly expanded in power and went against the Heaven's Army.
Meanwhile, the Destruction Demon Army was started by a monster that ate an entire world. Neither the Heaven's Army that emphasized balance, nor the Army of Brilliant Light, that went against them in attempt to raise a new set of rules, met the expectation of that monster, it wanted to devour all of the balance and rules as well.
The monster that eventually surpassed its limits with its endless desires gathered monsters that were like itself and established a faction, which came to be the Destruction Demon Army. All they wanted was pure destruction. The Heaven's Army resented them, but the Army of Brilliant Light cooperated with them from time to time. Of course, there was never any heartfelt alliance. What everyone wished for was different.
Lastly, the fourth higher existence faction, the Garden of Sunset, was started by… someone completely shrouded in mystery. Despite the fact that the world he lived in should have been under the jurisdiction of the Heaven's Army! The Heaven's Army only found out that he was extremely skilled in concealing himself.
They slowly, but surely, expanded in power, and eventually reached a realm where they were not lacking even when compared to other factions. They always came and went like the wind and did not easily show their full power, but it could be ascertained that their powers were not weak at all. Their members had characteristic and various abilities, and was hard to face against as well.
Erta shrugged her shoulders while watching the members of the Garden of Sunset that located themselves around her as while preparing for the ceremony.
Here, the 'ceremony' referred to the archmagic that would allow her to go from the Heaven's Army to the Garden of Sunset, and was a magic that the leader of the Garden of Sunset had developed after researching the mutation of records that the leader of the Army of Brilliant Light had previously made.
[To think I'd go through the ceremony like this.]
[You wish to go to our main headquarters, right? I know what you mean, but unfortunately.]
A higher existence that had the torso of a naked woman, and a lower body that was a snake's, Lisona, shook her head with a giggle. She was the sole 6th class being here.
[There is no such thing as a headquarters for us Garden of Sunset.]
[No? We believe in you already. The headquarters really does not exist.]
Erta, who originally planned to drag for time as Yu IlHan had said before, ended up being absorbed in the conversation.
[Is that even possible?]
[……It's pretty embarrassing to say, but.]
Erta slightly blushed while asking.
[Then, when I was a lower existence, what did they mean by making me the mistress of the Garden of Sunset?]
[The Chief Gatekeeper of the Garden, in other words, those that are often called 'Battalion Commanders' in other factions, sometimes act like they're the leaders. You were just deceived by one of them.]
It was too absurd that Erta became speechless. Lisona continued.
[After collecting the information from the ones that have claimed to have met the leader, we have made a conclusion. He's very whimsical, and unpredictable. The reason is simple. The 'leader' they have met are all different people.]
[Correct, that was the orders of the leader. In order to not show himself, he allowed the Chief Gatekeepers to refer to themselves as the leader.]
Erta both thought that it was utter nonsense, at the same time, it was undoubtedly very effective. As a result, the angels including herself did not know anything about the leader of the Garden of Sunset!
[However, one thing is sure, and it is that his powers are very strong, and compared to that, we don't have many restrictions imposed on us. Erta, didn't you look for us because you wished for that? Oh, is it not? Did you not mention that you were disgusted about how the Heaven's Army decided to abandon Earth?]
At that moment Yu IlHan gave her a call. Erta resolved tightly and replied.
[Let us proceed with the ceremony.]
[Good, you've chosen well…… everybody to your places.]
Everyone moved to their respective locations. The process of detaching the angel's wings from Era, and bestowing the records of the Garden of Sunset, began from then.
[Although it might hurt a little, bear it. It will only be for a moment that you fall to a lower existence.]
However, the opportunity Erta had to look out for was that precise moment. She closed her two eyes and focused her senses. The ones watching her giggled. They thought she doing that to bear the pain.
[Good, it's going smoothly……]
[It would have been good if they were wiped out by that dragon……. Now.]
The white feathery wings from Erta's back were slowly pulled out. At the same time, milky white blood shot up into the air. The proof that made her an angel, could not endure the records of the new higher existence faction and was being pulled out.
[Now endure for a mom……. What!?]
However, immediately after all her powers as an angel were pulled out, that power started to form a barrier around Erta. The magic formation she had engraved on her body beforehand was set to activate the moment her mana as a higher existence and the remains were pulled out!
"I've been inflicted with some contagious disease from a certain loner, you know."
The records of the Garden of Sunset that were trying to color her body and soul could not pierce through the barrier made by the remains of her angelhood and were deflected back. Erta recovered her vitality from the inside and made a leisurely smile.
"I'm also fed up with factions! Now!"
Yu IlHan's spear pierced the head of one of the higher existences that made up the magic formation. As this guy had died with a single strike, his concealment was maintained, and so, Lisona only noticed that Yu IlHan had attacked, but did not know where he was.
[Yu IlHan? It's Yu IlHan! The former contractor of Erta!]
On the other hand, Mir and Liera each attacked different enemies and as such, their concealment was dispelled. Na YuNa was giving buffs on them while being protected by Yu IlHan's Aegis quite far away from the battle zone.
With a surprise attack, three of the members died, and that instantly increased to four, then five. Yu IlHan's skills were too good to be considered a lower existence, and Lisona tried her best to find his presence, but it was impossible for her to even find his traces. Even though she could see her subordinates dying right in front of her! In the end, her rage directed towards Erta.
[Erta, you! How!? You said you'll stop being an angel!]
[But why are you scheming with a human!]
"I think you're misunderstanding something."
Erta touched the barrier she constructed and made a thick smile.
"I did not help Yu IlHan because I was an angel."
Even though she had lost her league, the realm of magic she had reached would not be lost. And right now, she was using the remains of what she once was as the material. Right now, Erta had the confidence to not lose against anyone.
"I only want to be with Yu IlHan."
Yu Ilhan's group killed all the ones that were involved in the ceremony, and so the magic formation could not proceed with the ceremony and crumbled down. Erta aimed for that time and changed her barrier to a different magic. She had even pulled the mana used in the ceremony and made a new magic!
That was an offensive magic that aimed for Lisona alone. The crystals of mana burning in the air drew in the surrounding mana to increase their numbers to hundreds, then thousands and all shot towards her. Lisona was shocked while seeing that.
[You, didn't you fall to a lower existence just now!?]
A lower existence who could not be looked down upon. That magic was a magic that Erta had used all her powers to use, with the mana of a higher existence! Lisona expanded in size and liberated the mana stored inside each and every one of the scales that covered her lower body and made a barrier for self-protection. To block Erta's magic, she could only bring out her full power.
Even while that happened, the members of the Garden of Sunset were dying to Yu IlHan's invisible attacks, as well as Yumir and Liera's visible, but still frightening, attacks. And this, was precisely what Erta aimed for.
[I did not do that! I didn't even know what was happening!]
"Is that so? It looks like the Garden of Sunset respects the independence of each entity, but groups always have a collective responsibility, no?"
Lisona finally understood that Erta had no intentions to join the Garden of Sunset at all. The price she had to pay for that was bone-aching!
[Yes, I shall tell you, what it means to, make an enemy out of a faction!]
However, just as Lisona dispelled her barrier after receiving Erta's magic and tried to switch to offense, a shadow appeared behind her back.
"Let me share a bit of information with you… that there's a loner that's more frightening than any faction!"
Of course, she could not notice that.
A single strand of spear pierced her abdomen - the part that connected her snake lower body and human upper body - a weak point that could only be exposed. Until now, it was under protection of the scales, but thanks to Erta, who realized that, and had attacked there, the scales were all consumed and Yu IlHan's attack could break in.
"Whew, I succeeded with the skill, but I still couldn't kill her…… 6th classes are something alright."
Seeing that his enemy didn't die with a single strike, Yu IlHan grumbled while pulling out his spear. He could not kill the enemy even with the 'Spear of Untraceable Trajectory Overlap' that he had found a grasp on when he killed Echjar, by overlapping all of the strikes into one, and naturally, his concealment was dispelled.
Of course, he was planning to dispel his concealment around this point. If he didn't, meaning, if he didn't expose himself, the 'guest' couldn't find him.
"Hhaaaaaaaaap! Shockwave strike!"
At the moment Lisona's movements momentarily stopped due to the shock, Liera and Yumir's attack broke in as well. Two heavy blows shook Lisona's body, and all that shock was amplified by Liera's shockwaves and started to destroy all her internal organs.
However, the reason Lisona was shocked was not because of physical reasons alone. Not only Yu IlHan, Liera and Yumir's attacks were on her as well - she realized what this meant.
[How, can this……?]
In the few minutes where Lisona spent focusing on Erta, all the other members of the Garden of Sunset had died!
This was no time to just be wary against Yu IlHan. The 6-year-old infant dragon, and the woman who gave up her 6th class for love, were plenty monstrous to massacre higher existence by themselves!
However, everything had just begun.
With Spiera's shout as the beginning, the entire camp of the Heaven's Army frontier camp had arrived. They, who would had been wiped out by Echjar, and the other Destruction Demon Army members, had retained the majority of their fighting force!
[Oh my, so you were here. There are a lot of other guests too……. Such a prankster, you wanted to call me here? To think you'd push me around…… I don't exactly hate that violence.]
The second special guest of today, the 7th class Succubus Queen Helièna. Disregarding the three pairs of wings and a tiny horn on her forehead, she was not that different from a human, and she was quite a beauty too. The charming body and the frilly dress that barely covered her body was very unbalanced-looking.
[Oh my, you're beyond my expectations. Hmm, I like it. Both of them.]
"That bitch dares to……"
Her outer appearance that scattered strong charm towards Yu IlHan and Yumir from the moment of her appearance was truly bright. Lisona widened her eyes after noticing her with in her half-dead state.
[The second Batallion Commander from the Destruction Demon Army……!?]
[Oh my, I didn't want to be found out by the others. This is all because of you darling. You will take responsibility, right?]
Helièna winked towards Yu IlHan. However, Yu IlHan tilted his head. It didn't seem like the options on the helmet had activated, but his heart was as calm as ever.
[My my, this is going to be difficult. Isn't it too early to bear your fangs, Helièna? Can I take this as you breaking off our alliance, right?]
[The 8th wing of Brilliant Light Natière!?]
For the third surprise, the Army of Brilliant Light showed up as well. And the one that showed up on top of their heads was a 7th class Battalion Commander who had the same amount of might as Helièna! As they knew that the enemy was Helièna, the Battalion Commander from the Army of Brilliant Light was also a female. The three pairs of black wings were flapping proudly behind her back.
[This war, will……]
And Lisona's life was severed there, and as if waiting for that moment, another giant fissure appeared in the air!
[Dareu is the land that we have prophesied. Negotiations not possible. Top tier defensive measures activate.]
The one that appeared from the fissure was a gigantic shark covered in thick metallic armor, and was of course, 7th class.
[Chief Gatekeeper of the Garden of Sunset, Kelatuke, shall participate in this fight.]
And now, Battalion Commanders from three factions had ended up in Dareu! Yu IlHan, who vaguely expected this to happen, still collected Lisona's remains anyway. War was war and remains were still remains!
[……You, isn't what you just took a gatekeeper of our Garden of Sunset?]
[Fufu, such greediness. As expected, you're the perfect fit for our Destruction Demon Army.]
He felt the gazes focusing on him and made a small bow.
"Everyone do your business here leisurely. I'll just take my leave."
And naturally, they would never let him do that.
Now that four factions and a loner gathered in this place, the war for Dareu started to run to the climax.
Author's notesYu IlHan got found out while trying to sneak away. Do your best Liera! Protect IlHan's chastity!