|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
It had to be said that whenever the Black Blood Queen Ant presented herself before me, it was always in a submissive pose. Even now, as she wriggled her way towards me, she did so in a grovelling manner, as if that was the only proper way to show her loyalty towards me.
“Master… Mother Black Ant…hass…felt…the presence…of her kind….” As the Black Blood Queen Ant finished her choppy statement, she turned towards the direction in which we were planning to leave for. “Therrre…”
‘Presence of her kind? So there’s a Black Blood Ant Nest nearby then? Probably.’
As if by providence, the direction she pointed coincidentally aligned with the direction in which the Devils who stole that Four-star’s corpse fled towards.
“What luck then, another reason we have to have a search in that direction.” I smiled before gesturing for her to lead the way. “Go on then, we have no time to lose.”
Yet we barely took a couple of steps before the high-pitched screams of Mo Na and Cinderel’s yelping came crashing in from behind us.
“AHH…what do you think you’re doing…die!”
“Woof woof woof!!!”
My head whipped around in an instant, stopping just in time to find Cinderel viciously gnawing at a Devil whose leg was barely two meters away from Mo Na. Closely following that, Mo Na instantly summoned forth a tiny bone spear that looked to be less than half a meter, and tossed it towards the Devil, penetrating two inches into his chest without any difficulty whatsoever.
That Devil was the first Devil the Shadow Demon Guardian dragged to me like a pile of trash, the Three-star Head Imp. Because it happened so suddenly, I had no way of discerning what actually happened between the three of them. Still, it surprised me that he actually provoked them simultaneously into attacking him.
Chest still pierced, the Head Imp briskly pulled out that spear, fresh red blood still dripping down its bony exterior. Grisly though the scene might be, such a wound wasn’t much for Devils. As long as it wasn’t a fatal wound, injuries rarely proved a hindrance for Devils. With a forceful kick of his leg, he threw aside the little Hellhound who was adamantly gnawing on his leg. With another stride forward, he took off in pursuit of Mo Na who was furiously beating her wings to try and take off.
Faced with such a situation, and as Mo Na’s father, there was only one thing I could do: side with my daughter. While I still wasn’t sure what sort was animosity both parties held towards each other, I summoned forth my Shadow Demon Guardian without any hesitation and set it against that audacious Head Imp who was still trying to attack my daughter.
In the blink of an eye, the Shadow Demon Guardian appeared behind the Head Imp, raised its right hand which had transformed into a black razor, and mercilessly swiped at the Devil’s neck… an instant decapitation…
Just like that the battle was over. Mo Na flapped her way around the now headless Head Imp and barrelled straight into my embrace. She desperately clung to me, chest heaving as she took in deep breaths after deep breaths, body slightly warm, a clear sign that the short skirmish before had thoroughly startled her.
“Mama, that bad Devil wanted to steal Mo Na’s gemstone…” She finally complained after a moment to calm down, launching soon after into a detailed account of what happened.
It turned out that the Head Imp was pretending all this while to be subservient since he realised he couldn’t beat us. He knew that, based on his prowess alone, he had no way to ever beat us and our golems. What sparked his rebellion just so happened to be those same golems. More accurately, it was the Gem of Authority which could control them.
Not too long ago, he witnessed Mo Na subjugating the battered golem while it was chasing after himself using the Gem of Authority- truth be told, even I couldn’t be too sure whether this Devil was really stupid or just pretending to be stupid; he actually guessed that the gemstone Mo Na had could be used to control the Abyssal Golems. And what truly made him think that his plan had a chance of success was that, while Mo Na was a Four-star Lust Demon, the melee strength of a Lust Demon was… famously bad. Every Devil knew that, amongst all the strains of the Seven Original Sins, the Lust Demons had the lowest melee ability…
As the old proverb went, the common man was innocent till the day he came upon a windfall, if one owned a priceless artifact but lacked the ability to safeguard it, being robbed was only to be expected.
Based on this incident, it was clear that Mo Na needed work on her close combat skills. For a Four-star Devil to lose to a mere Head Imp was just… As for Cinderel… she just had to keep being so bloody adorable, that’s all. Speaking of which, where’s Cinderel…
At the same time that Mo Na was explaining, I suddenly remembered that the Head Imp had sent our little black Hellhound flying with a kick of his leg. I immediately scanned the surroundings. It was then that Cinderel came up scampering up to me. I hurriedly stooped down to hug the little puppy who was busy woofing in a slightly pitiful but oh so adorable manner.
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Still a little worried about the kick she suffered, I promptly rummaged through her fur to check for injuries. Thankfully, there were none.
“Cinderel was so brave just now, protecting your big sister like that.” I praised her while patting her on the head. I was immediately rewarded with the sight of her little Hellhound eyes closing in sheer bliss as she enjoyed my gentle pats.
With Cinderel safe and sound, I commanded the Shadow Demon Guardian to fetch the Head Imp’s soul before offering it up to Cinderel. Not one to stand on ceremony, she happily gulped down the soul. Having done that, she stretched her tiny paws and laid them on my chest before stretching out to give me a tender lick on my head… that was her way of showing gratitude.
“All right, all right, that’s enough for now, Cinderel.” I smiled as I declined her little face washing service. Placing the two little scamps on the floor, I continued, “We still have work to do so you two be good, got it?”
“Mhm, Mo Na’s will be good!”
The two kids then raced off towards that same battered golem; clearly they weren’t affected at all by that little scuffle.
‘No wonder they say that Devil kids are a brave lot…’
By now, no one should be stupid enough to try and steal Mo Na’s Gem of Authority, right? I emotionlessly swept my eyes across the remaining Imps, only to find that they were already tightly grasping at each other while shivering profusely. Sensing my gaze upon them, the four burly Large Imps instinctively shuddered.
‘Exactly how scared of death are you guys…’ Well, it wasn’t like they were scared without reason.
That Head Imp used to be one of them, and in the rulebook of Devils, the sin of one was the sin of many -all had to be punished equally… That was to say, if Devils even had a rulebook… On Earth, that was commonly known as collective punishment.
Strictly speaking, collective punishment wasn’t a concept amongst Devils. Basically, what they were really afraid of was being implicated in the wrath of another. It wasn’t uncommon for those of a superior status to kill those below him on a whim, especially if there existed a huge gap between the two, more so when the one being killed had no background whatsoever…
“Please…spare us…we didn’t know he would…would….” Under my withering gaze, their instincts immediately took over, forcing them to their knees as they begged.
Well, it wasn’t like they participated in that tiny rebellion, they probably didn’t know about it either. I wasn’t maniacal enough to vent my anger on them either.
“You may all rise, none of you took part in his betrayal so I’ll believe in your innocence, but don’t let there be another…or else…”
“…Yes…someone else tries to do that, we’ll kill that betrayer before you even lift a finger…”
Yet no matter how much they pleaded, I had no sympathy for their plight. The only reason I gave them a free pass this time was because of what I said earlier: I didn’t want to vent my anger on another. But if they ever dared to touch my precious daughter, let there be no doubt that I would grind their bones into dust.
“I don’t want a repeat of that again.”
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They vigorously nodded their heads, knowing that they successfully escaped death this time around.
With the curtains lowered on this little drama, we proceeded onwards. Roughly ten minutes had passed like that when we spotted something out of blue as we climbed a tiny hill. Peering down from the top of the hill, we spotted a cluster of black dots a couple hundred meters away. The dots were all closely packed together like a black cloud as they crawled over six or so corpses…
“Master…same…kind…Mother Black Ant…”
What she meant was those were all Black Blood Ants. As for the corpses, they were without a doubt the corpses of Devils.
“Your kind eat meat as well?” Leaning forward, I took a closer look at distant ants busy dissecting the corpses of those Imps.
‘Were they planning to eat them? I thought they only ate minerals infused with mana?’
Garbled though her words were, I roughly got the gist of it. They were probably omnivores by the looks of things. Naturally, they wouldn’t say no to meat either, it was just, as a slave race of Sable Radiance, it wasn’t all that appropriate to eat the meat of a Devil who was the master race…
Naturally, that ended when Lucifer decided to whisk away all the Devils in the kingdom. Yet the golem patrols remained, so for tens of thousands of years, there were no large-scale migrations into the former capital of Sable Radiance. In the eyes of the other Purgatory races, the empty capital was basically a death zone…
To be honest, those roving golems were probably not the only reason why the other races didn’t dare to act up. Another crucial reason was that the clone of Lucifer was still hibernating in the palace of the capital…that right there was a catastrophe-class entity. Exactly who would be so sick of living that they would try to disturb him? While not all the surviving creatures might know of Lucifer’s existence, surely there would be those who were strong enough to sense the existence of Lucifer’s clone, right… even stupidity had its limits.
“How about we pay them a visit, Mother Black Ant?” I pointed at the distant ant blob. “Can you control them?”
“No…they are not… Mother Black Ant’s…children…”
The queen ant unambiguously shot down that thought. By the looks of things, there was a major limit on the scale of her control, and that had directly to do with bloodlines.