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Chapter: 744

Bonus 688 The Blood Duke

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The tournament hosted and prepared by the MoonStar Sect has come to an end. It concluded with a flashy and exciting spectacle. Undoubtedly, everyone from the crowd was provided with a show worthy of their contribution. 

Whether it was the Trials in which the youngsters participated in, or the last stage where the Guardians fought and displayed their prowess.

Of course, there were some complications, mainly originating from the Dark Blaze Sect and John from the Ancient Federation. Nonetheless, Arthur dealt with those without inciting too much fear or distress.

There was a grand celebration for the crowd to enjoy, but neither Arthur nor the guardians were interested in participating.

After checking on Lucy and- despite her protest- using Life Energy to hasten her recovery, the couple met up with their team.

The six disciples were standing next to each other in an orderly fashion, and once their teachers entered the room, they performed a bow of respect.

Arthur softly smiled and nodded, proud and satisfied. Lucy, however, was frowning as she noticed the visible bruises on some of their faces.

"You fought?"

Her voice was bone-chilling and her eyes were narrowed to a dangerous degree. For a couple of breaths, none of the six dared to open their mouths.

"We… we sorted it out, teacher."

With a bit of mustered courage, Ardor spoke up but kept his head lowered. He knew that she forbade them from fighting each other no matter the reason. True, it wasn't a 'real' fight, but the fact that they resorted to violence was enough for her to be angry.

"It was my fault!"

Rosea took one step forward and bowed again, this time bending her head lower than ever before. She was a royalty, a Princess, but in front of Arthur and Lucy, she did not dare to act arrogant. She had indeed gone overboard, like Ho Qing, and because she was conflicted and doubtful, they had fought. 

Fortunately, everything had been, more or less, cleared up. Admittedly, Rosea and Ho Qing still refused to look at each other and the atmosphere was slightly tense, nevertheless, they chose to stay together… as a team.

"I did not agree to teach you just for you to end up fighting." Lucy raised her voice and swept her piercing gaze across all six of them. 

She let out a soft sigh and added, "You made many mistakes during the Trials and many things could have been done better. However… I am satisfied. For now, at least."

"You heard her. Cheer up. There's room for improvement and, as long as you're willing, I know you will achieve your goals. Be it becoming the strongest or gaining the respect of the masses."

Arthur's speech, which wasn't anything impressive, resonated with the youngsters. They responded with smiles and enthusiastic nods.

"We will resume training tomorrow! Go rest now."

After saying those words, which changed their expressions, Lucy left the room along with a grinning Arthur.

It was a long day for everyone, therefore, Arthur and Lucy planned to retreat to their room. However, they were suddenly called by Edward.

"Someone would like to meet the Madam."

The man maintained a safe distance from Lucy and muttered those words. He nudged the succubus next to him, thus urging her to continue.

"It's Xavier Lander, the Demon."

"What does he want?" Asked Arthur as a frown surfaced on his face.

Xavier was undoubtedly strong, but he was a man shrouded in mystery. He specifically wanted to battle Lucy and though, on the outside, he seemed kind and amicable, Arthur was wary of him.

He thought the Demon would leave after the competition was over but it clearly wasn't the case.

Lucy thought for a moment then looked at Arthur, who solemnly nodded. 

Before long, the two were in another room, in which Xavier was patiently waiting. The Demon was sitting on a sofa and fiddling with a half-empty glass of wine.

"Ah, greetings… again."

When the couple entered, the Demon, in appreciation, smiled at Edward and Fariya.

"I believe this is our first official meeting, Arthur MoonStar."

Xavier put down the glass and approached the parasite. He stretched his arm and kept the same smile, 

"I am Xavier Landres, the 29th Demon of Hell. My formal title is 'The Blood Duke'. Pleased to make your acquaintance."

He shook hands with Arthur then elegantly bowed. He did glance at Lucy but, aware that she disliked touching other men, he did not deign to get too close or say anything out of place.

"Would you please sit down?"-Xavier

The parasite and his wife sat across the Blood Duke, and after a brief silence, the latter spoke again.

"I was genuinely impressed by your prowess, Lucy MoonStar. Not to boast, but I am amongst the strongest of my kind… to be bested in front of so many eyes is a bit embarrassing, hahaha…"

"..."-Lucy

She looked at him in silence, still wondering why he had called them here. He did not seem like a bad person, but since she and Arthur had limited knowledge regarding the Demons of Hell, they couldn't properly evaluate Xander.

"Counting this year, I am 12,521 years old and I have held my title for half that time. Excuse this unnecessary remark but I deem it necessary for what I'm about to say next."

Arthur crossed his arm and perked his ears, awaiting for the Demon to continue.

"It might seem ridiculous or too sudden, but, I believe that Madam Lucy and I share a connection. Please don't misunderstand… what I meant was; She might be my biological daughter."

"I beg your pardon?"-Arthur

"I believe a proper exposition is in order." Xander sat straight and cleared his throat, "Long ago, Katrina, the Matriarch of the White Specter Clan and I shared- for want of a better word- a special relationship. Now, I do not know for a fact that Madam Lucy is my daughter, but… recent affairs suggest she is."

He looked at Lucy and chuckled, "You arm. I saw how it can transform."

Xander Landres pulled his sleeves and, after a second or two, the strange scales and miniature holes appeared. It was strikingly similar to Lucy's devil arm.

"This is a unique trait for the Sanguis Demon Family. A heritage from my family. Only direct descendants can use this."

Arthur, surprised, looked at Xander's devil arm but did not speak. Lucy too, was startled, her lips opening and closing but not saying anything.

"I truly understand that this might be a shock and I did not come here to demand anything. In fact, I just learned that I have a daughter. Katrina did not deign to reveal the truth to me."

"It doesn't make sense, though." Arthur interrupted the Demon as he kept looking at his Devil Arm. "Lucy's father is confirmed to be Thordan."

"Yes. Thordan was indeed Katrina's husband and the father of her children. That's what I thought too. However, the Devil Arm could not be a coincidence."

"When I was young, there was an accident and I was lost. It was then that I was 'poisoned' by a Demon, or so Katrina had said." Lucy seemed composed as she calmly uttered those words.

"Mayhap she lied to you to protect you? Or did not want the truth to come out?"

Xavier looked a bit nervous, unlike his previous self. Seeing Lucy deny what he said and lack any kind of positive reaction made him less enthusiastic. Still, he did not burst out in anger or insist.

"If you do not mind, I have the means to confirm if we are related by blood or not."

He took out a triangular red device and put it on the table. "This is a practical magical artifact, often used by Demon Royalty. Once cleased, two people can sacrifice a drop of their blood and, in a matter of seconds, they can see if they are related or not."

"How convenient." Arthur snorted as he glared at the Demon, clearly not believing him. 

"I will not force you to do anything, Lucy. Even if we are related, I will not ask for anything. In your times of need, you can call for me and I will help you the best I can."

Xander let out a heavy sigh as he added, "You have your own life and family now and I am in no position to interfere. I just want to make things right and be responsible for a past mistake."

"Mistake?" Retorted Lucy as her eyes were fixated on his.

"Yes. It was honestly a mistake born out of inconvenient circumstances. Everything happened in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, having a daughter is a welcome surprise. Believe me."

"..."-Lucy

Sensing her getting a bit emotional, Arthur grabbed her hand and gently whispered,

"You don't have to do this, Lucy. Whatever you decide, I'll support you."

She turned her head ever-so-slightly and faintly smiled at him. There was a long silence, in which Xavier sat there and said nothing whereas Lucy gazed at the device resting on the table.

Finally, she stretched her hand and, with a simple gesture, a drop of blood fell on the triangular artifact. 

"Thank you."

Xavier bowed his head then did the same, which caused the artifact to rapidly spin then magically open; When it had stopped spinning, it magically opened and revealed an unfamiliar golden word.

Upon reading it, Xavier breathed a sigh of relief and said, "We are indeed related by blood. You are my daughter, Lucy."

"And? I don't think it changes anything."-Lucy

"You are right. As I had said, I demand nothing." The Blood Duke stood up and performed one final bow.

"I will remain here for a few days. If you want to talk, you need but call. By infusing that device with a drop of your blood, you can notify me even after I leave. That way, whenever you need help, I will come. That's all I can do. Now, if you'll excuse me…"

"I will not talk to him." Said Lucy, late at night. Her head was resting on Arthur's shoulder as they were soon about to sleep.

Arthur did not ask for her opinion or anything yet she voiced it nonetheless.

"It's fine."

"Still…" Lucy snorted and moved her head closer to his chest, "At least Thordan is not my father. I abhorred that man."

"I didn't like him either."

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