|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
The end of our battle was inevitable, yet also sudden. Still, it did come to an end.
Mo Ning stopped releasing those fiery bursts and began falling to the ground. As she plummeted, those Vengeful Flamesouls and my Shadow Demon Guardian continued following downwards, maintaining that tight encirclement even as she landed.
Even though she had never experienced the power of my Nether Flames before, her instincts told her that this wasn’t something she could handle. That meant she had no way of breaking through the encirclement, especially not with that pesky Shadow Demon Guardian keeping a close watch on her.
Yet she did not surrender right away. She merely stood there silently, as if she was pondering whether or not to embark on that last hurrah. As for me, I had no intention of recalling my Vengeful Flamesouls until I had confirmation that she had lost. Either way, this victory was mine, so even if she chose to persist, I could just slam those Vengeful Flamesouls right into her. In the worst case scenario, I could just recall my Vengeful Flamesouls right before she died. As for whether or not that would permanently cripple her… well… since one was one the battlefield, they should have the required self-awareness as well!
This moment of hesitation only lasted two seconds before Mo Ning showed a change. Her gaze had hardened -seems like she wanted to fight it out then. Yet just as she was about to make her move, the voice of that shadowy Nightmare Steed boomed from above. “That’s enough. This battle is over.”
“She actually won… now that’s an interesting turn of events.” Crouched safely away from our battlefield, the Overlord cat licked his paws before tossing the Hellhounds’ clan head a nonchalant look. “That little fellow actually has three Original Sins.”
“I told you so. Even if I’m old, I’m not senile enough to make a mistake like that.” Having said that, the Hellhounds’ clan head suddenly asked, “So what’s your plan?”
The Overlord cat shrugged his shoulders. “Even our clan’s Cat King was helped up to the throne by her, what else can I do?”
The Hellhounds’ clan head knowingly nodded at that. “Speaking of which, it seems like a couple of our younger generation Hellhounds are on good terms with her as well.”
“Then let’s just leave it at that for now.”
Because the shadowy Nightmare Steed willingly admitted defeat for their clan, Mo Ning had no reason to risk that encirclement any longer. Instead, she coldly lowered her head and muttered, “I’ve lost.”
With the outcome decided, I finally recalled my Vengeful Flamesouls and my Shadow Demon Guardian. At the same time, the shadowy Nightmare Steed descended from the skies and landed between the both of us.
“A loss is a loss, since you’ve won this fight, then we will grant you the right to recruit any of our clan’s brave warriors to fight for you. The Nightmare Steed Horn will be sent to you shortly as well.” The shadowy Nightmare Steed eyed the other Overlord Purgatory Warhorse at that point. That horse then left the scene; probably to go fetch the horn. “Other than the Nightmare Steed’s horn, do you have any other request?”
“With regards to recruiting your clan’s warriors… I have no need of that right now, but I will in the future. Should your clan ever encounter any new Devils in the future, I hope that you would do your best to capture them alive, then send them over to me.”
To be perfectly honest, while I was only given the right to recruit their warriors right now, I could consider this as having conquered their clan. After all, allowing me to recruit their warriors was a form of recognition. For the time being however, I had no need for a massive army yet. I had no enemies in Sable Radiance, so the most pressing issue now was to repair the Exchange Array, and subdue more Devils.
“So you want them as captives.”
“That’s right. Best don’t harm them as well, they are going to be my important soldiers in the future.”
“Alright, we’ll settle on this deal then.” Even though this was an oral agreement, I wasn’t too worried. These horses seemed like a principled lot who wouldn’t go back on their words easily. Besides, capturing some lone Devil and sending him my way wasn’t all that difficult for them.
Just as we finished ironing out that deal, the Overlord Warhorse came back with a foot long black horn in his mouth.
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I reached out and gingerly took it from him, cradling it in my arms like it was some precious jewel.
‘So this is the horn of a Nightmare Steed, doesn’t seem all that special to me though. Still, at least it means I finally have one of the items required for repairing the array… Geez… it felt like a really long journey just to get this blasted thing. I swear I’ve aged a few years in the process.’
“Because each and every Nightmare Steed Horn is able to aid a Purgatory Warhorse in his evolution towards a Nightmare Steed, they are all regarded as treasures in our clan…”
‘Is he trying to tell me indirectly that he just did me a big favor? Please, I earned it fair and square, and you’re not getting it back either.’
For the time being, that was all the business I had with the Purgatory Warhorses. It was time to resume my journey to find the rest of the ingredients. However, I still needed a representative from their clan to accompany me. And I would much rather Mo Ning.
With that in mind, I openly broached this subject with the shadowy Nightmare Steed. “I still have other matters to attend to right now so I’ll be leaving. Before that, I hope your clan is able to spare a representative to accompany me. I just so happen to lack a mount as well.”
“Alright, I’ll let you have your pick of some of our finests young horses.”
Having said that, the shadowy Nightmare Steed was just about to go off and call the other Warhorses when I suddenly stopped him. I pointed at Mo Ning and said, “It’s fine, I’ll just settle for Mo Ning.”
The shadowy Nightmare Steed was stunned for a second. “You choose Mo Ning?”
“Mhm, I think she’s an excellent choice.”
“I object!” Having stayed silent for a long while, the corporeal Nightmare Steed finally spoke up.
‘Oh? Now that’s quite a big reaction from you there. Don’t tell me you’re still bitter about losing the bet? Well, too bad. I’ve decided on Mo Ning, so I’m definitely getting her.’
I deliberately put on a scornful expression then replied, “Didn’t you horses just say that I have the right to freely recruit within your clan? I haven’t even left yet and you’re about to go back on your word already?’
“Your request violates our ancestral rules.’ The corporeal Nightmare Steed vehemently countered.
Seeing as that corporeal Nightmare Steed was dead set on objecting, I turned my gaze towards the shadowy Nightmare Steed. Faced with my silent question, he shook his head. “It is inappropriate as he says.”
“It violates your ancestral rules?”
‘Ancestral rules? But all I’m trying to do is make her my steed. How is that a violation of your ancestral rules? Didn’t he just say that he would call over their finest horses to let me choose?! I swear you horses change your mind faster than you change your saddles! How about having some principles for once?! How cheap are your principles anyway? Are they sold by the kilos? Are they cheaper than that blasted cat’s?!’
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Just as I thought that we had entered a stalemate, Mo Ning suddenly stepped in, “I agree to being your mount, let’s sign the pact.”
As she said that, the expression she had on looked rather strange -actually, I can’t differentiate their expressions so what am I even saying? Even so, I could vaguely sense that she was a little sheepish as she said that. She even avoided direct eye contact with me… What’s going on here exactly? Do you feel insulted by my request or something?
“Mo Ning… are you sure you wish to sign a pact?” The corporeal Nightmare Steed shot her an incredulous look. “This Devil… you’re sure you choose her?”
“Positive.” Her answer was firm, as if she had just made a life-altering decision right then.
‘Hey. What’s with that look of righteous resolve on your face? Is becoming my mount really such a terrifying thing? Who are you acting all self-righteous for exactly? I’m still the appointed successor of this region, don’t cha know? Have you ever heard of any of those demons who became a mount for other immortals ever being beaten to death by Sun [email protected] in the [email protected] to the West? Just go read about the other demons in that book, tell me how many of them had a good ending?’
‘You know what? I know you’ve never read that book… but I still hope that you will understand one thing: being my mount is an honor. Understood?’
The shadowy Nightmare Steed and the incorporeal Nightmare Steed exchanged a look with each other. Who knew what went on between the two of them then, but the next time I got a reply, it was the shadowy Nightmare Steed who spoke up. “Since Mo Ning is willing, then we have no reason to object then… I’ll host the ceremony then.”
After what was basically your typical villain trying to steal someone’s bride scene, Mo Ning and I signed a non-binding pact under the auspices of that shadowy Nightmare Steed. And it really was a non-binding pact -except for the part that Mo Ning would now spend her life with me, till death do us part.
The moment that pact was signed, the Overlord cat immediately began smacking his paws against the ground uncontrollably as he proceeded to fall over forwards in laughter. In fact, he tumbled on the ground a little, not at all caring that he’s supposed to be an Overlord.
Not only was that Overlord cat acting strange, even that normally stoic Overlord Cerberus seemed to be on the verge of laughter as he eyed me strangely, as if I had just done something incredulous.
‘Wasn’t that just a non-binding pact? It didn’t even state what I had to fulfill on my end; it was completely all on Mo Ning. For example, if I were to die, Mo Ning would be seriously injured and even die… so that was clearly me getting a better deal here. Why the heck are you two laughing your furry butts off here?! What’s going on here?!’
“Even though Mo Ning said that she was willing, since the both of you signed this pact, I hope you will treat Mo Ning well in the future as well, got it?”
Now that the signing was done, the glare that corporeal Nightmare Steed gave me wasn’t just his usual disdain, it had a hint of approval as well. How should I describe it? It was like if a dog was looking at you, but it saw you as its own kind.
Strange though this whole chain of events was, I still solemnly answered, “Since Mo Ning is now my mount, I’ll definitely treat her well.”
Strange. Truly, strange. Not only was that corporeal Nightmare Steed giving me a strange look, everyone else was as well, like I had just done something unbelievable…
If you liked my work translating Devil’s Evolution Catalog, feel free to check out Song of Adolescence. Also, every comment is appreciated even though I might not reply. I do read them.
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