Species Name: Greater Illusion Demon
Original Sin: Envy
Tier Level: Seventh
Racial Characteristics: Controlling illusions, Dematerializing
Evolution Tree: Small Imp, Large Imp, Head Imp, Demon Child, Flame Demon Child, Infant Illusion Demon, Illusion Demon, Greater Illusion Demon
Interests: Tragedies, Madness
Attitude towards Humans: Those who are more handsome (beautiful) than me are all dead. However, your ugliness leaves me envious as well
——From <<Devils and Men>>
Atop the sandy beaches of Purgatory, a lone figure plodded on. It was a small imp covered in wounds and judging by his intermittent hobbling, a very tired imp.
An imp like him could only be described as the perfect prey for the denizens of Purgatory and this was proven once more as he got ambushed by a member of his own species. The imp swaggered from behind his rock into plain view as soon as he confirmed the injuries on his prey.
The injured imp finally noticed the newcomer and turned around in panic and ran. With a giant stride, he took off like the wind, his previously injured facade dissipating with the wind as well.
“No. 2! You idiot, you’re running in the wrong direction!”
Staring at the back of the escaping small imp, I jumped out and shouted at him in an exasperated voice. Thankfully, No.2 only ran a few more steps before hearing me. He suddenly recalled the plan we discussed beforehand and changed directions towards us.
However, the newcomer imp immediately realized we were comrades and beat a decisive retreat. His tiny back faded into the distance as he ran further and further away…
“No. 2, you retard!” The prey escaped and I wasn’t happy. I rapped his head with my claws, leaving a small bump behind.
Behind me, two more small imps walked out. One of them was similarly wounded while the other was perfectly uninjured. Like a pair of monkeys, they mimicked me in openly reprimanding No.2……
Ahem…I guess I should explain the current situation.
Remember when I had killed that large imp? There were three small imps who appeared shortly after. I originally wanted to kill them but those three potatoes bent the knee before I even had the chance to lift a finger….
And so, I came to possess three subordinates. While they were each dumber than the other, I didn’t despise them as a result of that. Like the kind and caring person that I am, I sheltered them and gave them succour. Furthermore, I even went through the trouble of giving them each a well thought out name: No.1, No.2, and No.3.
The injured ones were No.1 and No.2 while the uninjured one was No.3.
The one who was baiting that small imp but ended up getting smacked on the head was No.2.
After that fateful meeting, we made a pact. Whatever prey we captured, its soul would go to me while the corpse was theirs.
On a separate note, the severity of this potato’s injuries were all faked. His performance could only be described as oscar winning. If this was Earth, he would’ve been an A-lister in hollywood. Too bad, he’s stupid and couldn’t even lure the prey into the right direction…
Well being stupid is fine as long as he can be trained.
I led No.1 and No.3 to our new hiding spot while No.2 went off to bait more imps. No.2 looked at me with a slightly pitiful expression as he rubbed the tiny bump on his head as if to say he’s too hurt. However, I would have none of his crocodile tears. In the end, he obediently went off to be the bait.
Two minutes later, No.2’s running figure entered our sights. Closely behind him was another small imp. He did it! He ran in the right direction!
Awesome, he deserves a raise…
Just as I stepped out to kill that newcomer, an unwelcome sight entered my vision…why the heck is there two groups chasing No.2!?
In the front there was only one imp but ten meters behind it was another group of six small imps…Jesus, are you trying to get me killed!?
“Hide, quick hide!”
The beach was littered with several rock pillars which we quickly hid behind. Soon, No.2 joined us in hiding behind the rocks. Following closely behind him was the imp from the first group.
However, this imp didn’t attempt to find No.2, but instead continued running until he finally ran past us…
Is he not a comrade of those six imps?
Just as this thought occurred to me, the six imps ran past us as well, ignoring the fact that No.2 had simply vanished from their sights. Their dimwitted brains could not comprehend the implications of No.2 suddenly disappearing and was focused solely on chasing that red butt who was slowly fading into the distance by now…
Just as well, I didn’t intend on ambushing these six imps. We only had four members on our side and two of them were even injured, putting us at a numerical disadvantage. While they had all gotten stronger from consuming that large imp, No.1 and No.2 were still injured and were unable to fight at 100% of their power. Given this situation, retreating was the best option available.
However, before I could give the order to retreat. That idiot No.3 had a lapse of sanity and rushed out at the leading imp of that second group. As he collided with his target, they tumbled onto the ground violently. The imp who had been ambushed had no time to react before his head collided with a nearby rock.
As expected of an SSS ranked rock, the small imp was knocked out after that collision, allowing No.3 to chomp down on his neck unopposed.
No.3 was the only uninjured one who ate the large imp’s flesh so the strengthening effect on him was especially pronounced. His body was brawnier than the other two and naturally possessed a higher strength. To him, ripping a normal imp’s throat to shreds was as easy as breathing.
However, No.3 did not finish off his opponent. After confirming that his opponent was incapacitated by his bite, he got up and glared at the other five. He roared at the five imps who were still stunned from his sneak attack, his mouth dripping with fresh blood.
The combination of his roar and the blood painted a truly terrifying sight.
Damn, that roar’s as good as a crowd-control skill.
Seeing that No.3 had temporarily stunned the other five imps, I ordered No.1 and No.2 to attack. Upon receiving this order, they fearlessly charged into the fray and pounced on their respective targets. As for me, I charged one of the imps, with two rocks waving in the air.
With three of the five imps being taken by my subordinates, the remaining two enemies turned towards me. However, before I could retaliate, one of them was bravely intercepted by No.3. With an additional imp to deal with, this battle heated up quickly. As they say, two hands are less than four, and No.3 was quickly forced into a defensive posture. Thankfully, it didn’t look like he was about to fall.
On the other hand, No.1 and No.2 were unexpectedly fearless as well. They swapped injury for injury as they relentlessly clawed and bit at their opponents.
As for that meat head No.3, I honestly felt that he thought his muscles could accomplish anything…
Being the smart little imp that I was, brute strength was beneath me. Naturally, my fighting style was more technique based. After all, all those years training under Nicole and Roscar weren’t just for show. With the skills gained from my tireless training, even a pair of rocks could be turned into a pair of makeshift daggers, with deadly effect.
A small imp’s techniques were limited to a clawing attack and bites. From time to time, they might throw in some kicks and headbutts, but ultimately all of these were inferior to my human techniques. With a flashy flying kick, I sent my opponent flying and followed up with a relentless rain of strikes until he was unable to move.
By now, No.1 and No.2 were in a precarious position, especially No.2. He had several close calls with his neck nearly being bitten at one point. Just as my eyes fell on him, he was sent flying by a kick and fell to the ground with a thud. It was a severe blow. His body was riddled with injuries prior to this and with this kick, his wounds opened up once more and blood streamed out of them.
I didn’t dare to tarry any longer. I swiftly rushed to his aid, ambushing his opponent with my trusty rock. With a single smack of my rock to his head, his body trembled as his eyes rolled back. That strike had nearly knocked him out.
However, I wasn’t done yet, *smack smack smack* I unleashed the raw destructive power of my rock upon his head another three to four times. Soon, his head was nothing but a bloodied mess of brains and cerebral fluid…disgusting.
Having killed my opponent, his red soul was absorbed by me. However, the effects were significantly less. I only felt a tinge of warmth from this kill. It seems like I’ve reached a bottleneck.
With the enemy dead, No.2 finally had time to recover. He threw me a worshiping look before rushing off to help No.1. With the combined might of these two scamps, their opponent turned into a living punching bag.
As for No.3, his situation had deteriorated since I last saw him. While he was stronger than No.1 and No.2, he was still just a small imp. If he was facing a single small imp, he would have trounced his opponent, but he was facing two instead. Given that he wasn’t a large imp yet, facing two at once was difficult.
I rushed forward and ambushed one of his opponents, injuring him. With the pressure on him significantly reduced, No.3 had no trouble suppressing his sole opponent. By now, our victory was a given and within a minute, the battle ended. Outside of some light injuries, it was a complete victory for us with zero casualties.
With the battle over, the three little scamps anxiously rushed to collect their prizes; the corpse of the dead imps. As for the souls, they were absorbed by me long ago.
Prior to this, an event happened that corrected some of my misconceptions. I learnt that absorbing souls wasn’t some hack ability given to me, but was instead an innate ability of devils. Even the puny small imp had the ability to store souls.
The unlucky scamp killed by No.1 and No.2 was absorbed by No.1 who handed it over to me after the battle ended.
These six imps were probably part of a team. While I did not know who their leader was, judging from their actions, they definitely had one.
If I was right, this meant that the other small imps were beginning to form teams. This also meant that any solo imp would now become the target of these teams. An alliance of small imps wasn’t something to scoff at. Given enough members, even a large imp had to prostrate himself before them.
As my subordinates had their fill, I chose to distance myself from them. I still had some reservations regarding cannibalism. Or perhaps, I should say eating humanoids. Furthermore, gory sights such as this made me uncomfortable so I averted my eyes whenever I could.
It wasn’t long before I spotted an interesting sight. As I distanced myself, I spotted that imp who had ran away at the start, peeking at us. As our eyes met, that fellow actually tried to run.
He probably wanted to wait till both our parties were severely injured before jumping in to reap the benefits. Unfortunately for him, we had an overwhelming victory.
Hah. Poor kid must’ve been scared shitless. Don’t worry, big brother is coming to bash you!
That small imp had definitely intended to run away. However, after taking two steps, it mysteriously stopped. As he turned around to face me, his knees fell to the ground…damn it, he kneeled…
…How should I describe my current feelings…well, the end result was, I’ve gained a new subordinate——-No.4.
The addition of No.4 didn’t cause much of a stir among our group. Err…perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he was bullied the moment he joined us. He seemed a lot more timid and immediately turned into a punching bag for his three new seniors to help digest their previous meal. After a round of hazing, he knelt down to show subservience.
After another round of bullying, they finally got bored and let him go. As the four of them stood in a corner talking, they pointed at me from time to time. A moment later, their peaceful conversation turned into a slight scuffle as No.4 started showing signs of rebellion. No. 1,2 and 3 immediately renewed their bashing, however, it didn’t seem to be working.
After a while, I could no longer stand the sight of them hitting No.4 so I walked over to stop them. Seeing me step out to save him, he immediately hugged my leg and refused to let go.
His action caused the other three imps to stare at him, their eyes wide open. A look of envy and hatred clearly visible in each of them…
Did they get into an argument? Weren’t they getting along just fine? I don’t get it…well I’ll just leave it to them to settle it among themselves.
I was worn out after such a busy day, and in-fighting was the last thing I wanted to deal with. After sternly warning them not to fight, I led the team away from the blood sea. As soon as we came upon a cave, we scoured the insides. After confirming that it wasn’t too deep nor was it dangerous, I ordered the four scamps to stand guard at the cave entrance while I rested.
Purgatory did not have a day and night cycle. It was eternally day here. However, the clear blue skies were instead replaced by a dark red sky. Once you’re tired, you rest. Once you’re hungry, you hunt for food. This was the lifestyle of a devil living in Purgatory. A life filled with fierce competition and murder.
Is this the life for me? Can I adapt to it? No matter the answer, I’ve decided to live on. Perhaps I’ve really received the favor of the heavens; perhaps I could immediately reincarnate whenever I died. However, this wasn’t an excuse for me to give up whenever I encountered adversity. This is why I must try my best to live on…
As I closed my eyes, my mind began drifting off. The silhouette of Nicole appeared before me. She seemed to be looking for me…I wanted to tell her that I’m fine, that I’m okay. But my stretched out hand merely passed through her shoulders…
As I awakened, I stared blankly at my hand. With this hand, I wanted to touch Nicole but…I failed. After all, it was just a dream.
A bitter smile graced my lips as reality proves once more that it was a cruel mistress.
So begins my second day in Purgatory…
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.