(TL: From now on, the hermaphrodite evil eyes will be referred to as “they, them and their”.)
Back when the evil eye set up the defensive array, a number of rodents managed to escape because their mind control wasn’t able to encompass such a large army. Given that all the exits were blocked by my subordinates, these same rodents were definitely still in the cave. Thus, having the actual architect of the cave, that evil eye, hunt them down was definitely the most efficient way to do so.
As for those nine rat lieutenants who surrendered, I planned to hand them over to the evil eye to manage. In fact, whether it was the Abaddon Rodents or any future fodder races, I intended to hand them over to the evil eye to control. They were, after all, my contracted slave. That meant that they would never be able to resist me and had no choice but to be loyal.
The soul flames we gathered up were divvied up as usual with me getting a slice of the total spoils. Truth be told, most devils wouldn’t be able to eat as much as I did without getting stuffed to death. However, the Grimoire of the Dead and I both had rather unique circumstances, it was as if our stomachs were black holes. No matter what they were, all food was welcome and our stomachs were never satiated.
For me, my appetite was a result of feeding Ferti’nier, as for the Grimoire of the Dead…my guess was that it had an instrument spirit within it. In other words, it might have been a semi-divine instrument at its peak.
Of course, it might just be a divine instrument as well.
Discovering the Door of the Dead here was a complete coincidence but since we already discovered it, there was no reason to reject this bit of serendipitous fortune. I decided to turn the rat nest into another base of operations for us. All matters regarding this branch would be temporarily handled by the evil eye. Their responsibility was to control the rodents and have them guard the Door of the Dead.
In light of that, I had Weslin stay behind with 1000 other lizardmen to aid the evil eye with their task. Undoubtedly, those rodents would fall in line once they saw the lizardmen.
Recently, our plans felt rather rushed; I didn’t even have the time to wait for the capture of those runaway rodents before enacting the next step of our plans. After handing out those instructions to the evil eye, I promptly left for our main base with Numila and the others. As we travelled, I would continue crafting more weapons for our troops while waiting for Habona’s good news.
Thus, a month passed by in the blink of an eye. Habona had finally managed to settle the lizardmen succession. Westley was successfully installed as their clan leader and those who resisted had all been sanctioned as well. As of now, all the lizardmen in the Prison of the Dead listened to one voice, and that was Westley’s or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that, they listened to the voice of Habona who controlled Westley.
At the same time I received that bit of good news, the evil eye sent news as well. With the aid of those 1000 lizardmen , they managed to bring all the remaining rodents under his control. Because of that, we now had 8000 rat fodders in our army. Also, they sent another piece of good news.
According to their report, the dogmen gathered up a 10 000 strong army to take advantage of the Abaddon Rodents’ misfortune. Not too long ago however, they were promptly trounced by the evil eye when they fell into their trap. The rodents themselves barely lost anyone while we managed to capture 3000 dogmen.
Because of their generous gift, the number of fodder under Evilin’s command crossed the 10 000 mark.
As for the lizardmen, their numbers weren’t that low either. From the report sent in by Habona, we now had over 8000 lizardmen under our control. Of those 8000, only 10% consisted of non-combatants such as children and there were barely any elderly lizardmen in that 8000. This was mostly because of the harsh environments of the Prison.
The infant survival rate was extremely low and the elderly who lost their combat strength couldn’t survive well either. Thanks to the unending wars between the various races over what meagre resources were left in this prison, the young and old naturally found it hard to thrive.
However, all that was about to enter the annals of history as soon, I planned to lead all those races who believed me out of this damned prison and become the first batch of lifeforms to truly leave this prison!
Throughout the past month, my preparations had never once slackened and by now, they were mostly complete. Truth be told, there was no such thing as too much preparation, however there was only so much we could do. We basically had to make our preparations blind because of the overwhelming amount of variables and lack of information we had of the Door of the Dead.
As of right now, all we had to do was wait for Habona and her lizardmen grand army to meet up with us. Once they arrive, we would march on the ratman nest together.
Yet no matter how much mental preparation I made, I was still overwhelmed by the surrealness of the situation. The moment I laid eyes on the 7000 strong lizardmen army, I couldn’t help but think to myself… ‘I actually did it…the me who always failed in the past actually succeeded…I successfully created an unimaginably large army…’ (Author’s note: 7000 because the remaining 1000 were the lizardmen sent to help Evilin.)
Right now, the most important thing was to leave the Prison of the Dead, enter Abaddon and find Yi Yi. For my future, for Nicole, for Ferti’nier and for my pee pee…
It was worth mentioning now that there wasn’t any real leader-subordinate relationship between me and Habona. However, she didn’t have any intention of fighting over power with me, compared to leading, she much preferred jumping into the thick of a fight.
“8000 lizardmen huh…that’s not a small number at all.” It was a reunion after being apart for so long, seeing Habona approach, I couldn’t help but get a little excited as I greeted her: “As expected of the mighty Habona, such perfect control over these lizardmen.”
Nodding towards me, her face was as placid as before and her voice as cool as always as she said: “You aren’t too bad yourself, I heard you subjugated a pretty useful slave.”
That slave she was referring to was probably Evilin. Honestly, they were rather capable if I had to say so myself. Even before submitting to me, they were able to control over 10 000 rodents just by themselves. Though they were merely a mastermind working in the background, that was still an achievement that couldn’t be denied. In the future, they just might end up as my military strategist assuming there were no better candidates then.
“The reason I called for you is because I think it’s time we assault the prison exit. There’s no second chance so we have to bring to bear all our forces. If we don’t succeed, we die.”
At that, Habona didn’t refute my words but merely asked in a calm voice that almost seemed like she was about to take a stroll around some picturesque attraction instead of a potential deathtrap: “Have you finished all your preparations?”
“It’s impossible to finish preparing, there’s just too much variables and I can’t guarantee everything will proceed as planned once we step into the Door. Too much preparation might end up as wasted effort so I decided that rather than prepare any longer, we would use our absolute strength to overwhelm the exit!”
I wasn’t sure if there had ever been an assault on the Prison exit with over ten thousand troops but there was absolutely no doubt in my mind there was never or ever will be, an assault like this.
Over 8000 lizardmen, over 1000 demonic werewolves and medusas combined, 4000 over devils under my command or under the command of those under me, 8000 over ratmen, 3000 dogmen and finally 6000 odd harpies.
Adding all that together, our army came out to an astonishing 30 000 plus…with such a grand army, we could easily sweep through the entire prison unopposed!
‘With that much power, why should I cower before the Door of the Dead? Because of that legend that it was unassailable? No way, no one will ever be able to dampen my resolve to break out of this prison!’
Thus far, our operation had been conducted under tight supervision. By the time our grand army arrived at what was once the rodents’ nest, we were greeted by the evil eye leading a portion of their dogmen and rodents. From the looks of things, they had been waiting there for a while.
“Master.” As they floated in the air, Evilin whipped out a feeler and slapped it against their chest before performing what was probably a bow: “Your humblest servant, Evilin, welcomes your arrival.”
“Are the preparations complete?” Without wasting any words, I immediately cut straight to the point: “Our army is too large now and would be a drag on resources if we have to maintain a supply line for line. If it’s possible, I would like to minimize any time wastage and march on the Door of the Dead.”
“Understood, Master.” They turned around to lead us into the cave.
What we were about to face was an unprecedented challenge. In order to streamline our command chain, I had my troops separated beforehand and each of my subordinates were already given their respective duties.
The four thousand over devils, hellhounds, demonic half-orcs were all a part of my faction and were assigned to my side to protect my safety. Numila, Elena and Eugenia were put in charge, as before, of their clans while Habona, on top of commanding the werewolves, had to support the lizardmen as well. After all, Westley was still more accustomed to Habona’s command and not mine.
Naturally, it wasn’t possible for Evilin to control over 10 000 rodents and dogmen so I dispatched No.5 to help them as well. His job was simple, command those 3000 dogmen and ensure that when the time came, they were willing to risk their lives for me.
By now, my guardsmen division grew to over 500 devils. They were still commanded by No.3 and Big 4 as always while One-eye was given command over the remaining 3000 or so devils. Violet Snow’s command over the hellhounds and the riders was unchanged as before.
As for the demonic half-orcs, they were still commanded by Baccarel. While there were only 41 of them left, their individual combat strength was not only impressive, they knew how to cooperate well with each other. Given their explosive strength, I had them assigned to my side as well.
The medusas, under the command of Manasha, were to cooperate with the werewolves as part of my special forces. Because of their impressive combat strength, their main purpose would be complete some of the more unique missions. Besides, their numbers were low to begin with so they wouldn’t be able to endure the losses involved in a direct battle.
Mimiya had the ability to fly so I made her my communications officer. Julia was my personal assistant and as for Mo En and Mo Xixidi…they were mostly here to act cute, though these two ugly potatoes weren’t cute at all…
That was basically how our manpower was organized.
It didn’t take long before we reached the cavern where the Door of the Dead was located at. Thanks to the efforts of Evilin, that ominous green fog was mostly gone by now. All we had to do was push open the Door of the Dead and enter.
Standing before the Door, I took a deep breath and slowly breathed out as I suppressed the furious thumping of my heat. It wasn’t just excitement that made my heart race, even more so, it was fear of the unknown.
Seeing that I didn’t move for so long, Habona coldly spat out a word: “Afraid?”
“No…” ‘That’s called hesitation not fear, alright?’
“Why are you hesitating?”
“I…I’m just slightly worried…I’m not sure how many will die…”
“If I die, I won’t resent you because it was my choice.” A furry claw reached for my chin and roughly lifted it up and made me look at the owner of said claw: “No matter who it is, they have to be responsible for their choices.”
“That’s right, Master Mo Ke, you don’t have to worry so much. We all don’t like the Prison of the Dead in the first place. If given the chance to leave, all of us would naturally take it. For freedom, we’re willing to sacrifice a lot. Joining your army was our decision. Even if it means dying before making it out, we won’t regret it!” Harlow spoke up to console me. Though it almost sounded scripted, it did in fact touch me.
Speaking of freedom, I was suddenly reminded of a certain poem from Earth: Liberty, love! These two I need. For my love I will sacrifice life, For liberty I will sacrifice my love (Author’s Note: Sándor Petõfi <<Freedom and Love>>)
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