Today is the last day. After today, any remaining devil will be drowned by the [Mother] who birthed them. This was precisely why the number of fleeing devils experienced an explosive increase. I stationed all my subordinates within 1 km at the base of the stairs in order to recruit these stragglers. Anyone who resisted was to be killed.
These were desperate times and any mistakes made could potentially be our last. In just 12 hours, the blood sea will engulf this region. By now, our group had gotten as big as it could possible get.
Over 2,500 small imps and 133 large imps.
The army-like group of imps stood behind me clamoring incessantly. They were an undisciplined bunch but I didn’t have the time to train them before today. It was a last-ditch gamble. While the overall number of devils on the stairs did not change much after Scar-face’s charge yesterday, the first few flights of stairs were noticeably weaker than before.
The small imps were broken up into four contingents and handed over to No.2, 3, 4 and 5 to command. As for the large imps, they were commanded by One-eye. While Scar-face’s group was under my command in name, they were essentially their own army.
After resting up yesterday, they went on their own recruitment drive and had gotten surprising results. By today, they were able to gather over 20 more large imps and over 300 more small imps. Along with their remaining forces from yesterday, they were a force to be reckoned with.
Due to yesterday’s battle, the first three out of the 13 steps were severely weakened, and had considerably less large imps and small imps. Their combined number came up to only slightly over 10 large imps, and as for small imps, there were roughly a hundred of them per step.
With this mind…
“One-eye, take the large imp army and charge through the first three steps. Once you reach the fourth step, I’ll send in the small imps.”
“Yes master. I’ll get on it right away.” He cupped his hands in acknowledgement and proceeded with his usual grandstanding. With a swish of his imaginary hair, he pointed his bone club at the stairs and bellowed: “Everyone charge! For the master!”
“For the Master!”
Over a hundred large imps charged in their own version of the blood sea’s tidal wave. As the first imp arrived on the first step, the curtains were drawn on what was to be a bloody battle for survival. The defenders began their retaliation atop their half meter high vantage point.
However, while this height advantage might have caused problems for small imps, it was nothing to the charging large imps. What’s more, they had my patented bone clubs as their weapons. With their superior range, they could easily hit the devils standing near the edge of the step forcing the defensive line back. With a breach quickly formed, the initial wave of large imps made their way up the half meter tall step. As they did so, they dragged any stragglers down to their comrades below to be beaten to death.
The small imp defenders were naturally no match for this wave of large imps and so the first step was uneventfully breached.
The devils on the second step tried to reinforce the first but were beaten unconscious by the bone clubs.
In a short span of 10 minutes, the large imp contingent had conquered the first three steps and was setting up a defensive formation in front of the fourth in order to prevent the devils from the uppers steps from retaking the first three.
“No.4, lead your contingent to the fourth step and get those scamps to hold down the fort while the large imps recover their strength.”
Our battle tactics were very simple, let the large imps take the weakened first three steps at which point the small imps will charge the fourth. Once the large imps are rested, it will be time for the large imps and small imps to attack the next step. The aim was to reduce the fatigue on the large imps while minimizing any loss of large imps as well.
The plan worked flawlessly for the first three steps with zero deaths.
No.4 balked slightly at my command, arousing my ire. With a swift kick to his shin, I shouted: “Move it!”
The little coward immediately charged with his contingent of over 600 small imps. Wave after wave of imps charged forward, stepping over the hundreds of corpses of friend and foe alike as they tried to breach the fourth step. The field of corpses did not scare these imps, but instead sent them into a bloodthirsty frenzy.
As expected of devils. They were truly the incarnation of chaos and bloodshed. The more bloodshed there was, the more excited they became.
The numbers on the first three steps combined were less than the number of defenders on the fourth step. There were 300 small imps and 20 large imps guarding this step. On our side, I sent forth over 600 small imps. They should be able to take this step easily.
“No.2, go harvest the souls and corpses. Souls for me while the corpses are to be handed out to the strongest small imps. I want to see more large imps being born.”
No.2 accepted the command and brought his contingent along to carry out the harvesting.
While No.4 was attacking the fourth step, One-eye brought his contingent of large imps to the second and third steps to consume the corpses. Upon seeing No.2 and his contingent, he threw his unfinished corpse to the first step and supported No.2.
Back at the fourth step, No.4’s battle wasn’t going as smoothly as planned. A small imp’s height was his fatal weakness. Asking these one meter tall imps to climb up that half meter high step was a pretty tall task for them. The enemy made use of this to defend against our superior numbers. Thankfully, our army had weapons. This included the small imps as well.
As they climbed up the step, they engaged whoever they could with their clubs. After throwing down close to a hundred of the defenders, they finally breached the fourth step’s defensive line. The fifth step immediately reacted by sending in reinforcements. Soon, the battle reached a stalemate. Looks like No.4’s contingent won’t be able to conquer the fourth step. I must send in reinforcements.
Where is Scar-face? Why haven’t I seen him yet?
As I searched for Scar-face, I noticed that One-eye and the others were mostly rested. I guess this was to be expected. The first three steps were sparsely defended and only used a little of their energy. While this deviated slightly from the original plan, looks like there’s no other choice.
I shouted at the one-eyed large imp who was grandstanding once more: “One-eye go conquer the fourth step.”
“Yes Master!” Upon receiving the command, he shoved No.4 aside as he rushed up the step. “Move aside, I’m going up…for the Master!”
“For the Master!”
The hundred over chanted their slogan as they rushed forward; raising their morale. They roughly shoved the small imps aside and charged onto the fourth step. With them reinforcing No.4, the battle quickly changed in our favor. The defenders only had a small amount of large imps and were clearly not a match for us.
“No.5 march ahead first. Once the fourth step has been conquered, replace One-eye’s contingent and attack the fifth step.”
No.5 slowly opened his sleepy eyes and stared at me groggily…You are still freaking asleep?
I slapped him on the back of his head. That seemed to do the trick as he immediately woke up and stood at attention. I didn’t bother repeating myself and merely pointed at the step: “Attack.”
No.5 looked at me blankly, the word stupid written all over his face, before nodding his head and heading off to the step. I guess it’s my fault for expecting anything…
I slapped him once more: “Bring your contingent along.”
“Oh okay…everyone follow me.” No.5 pitifully nodded and led his contingent forward. He only managed a few steps before I slapped him once more.
This time the word stupid was capitalized.
“Get a move on it. Stop dragging your feet.”
Seeing him finally attack the step, I turned around to face my remaining subordinates: “We’ll follow them as well. No.2 get your contingent to pick up the corpses and leave them on the step. After that, get ready to swap with the next contingent.”
No.2 was a competent subordinate and was very loyal as well. He executed my orders without any hesitation. Even if it was an order to charge, he wouldn’t hesitate.
As for me, I brought my contingent up to the base of the step but didn’t step onto it. The step was pretty vast but it’s surface area was still limited in the end. There was no way to accommodate all my subordinates. As such, unless our forces decreased past a certain limit, I won’t join in the fight.
The fourth step was finally conquered, but No.4 had lost half of his scamps. Luckily One-eye reinforced him in the nick of time or he would have been wiped out.
As we pressed on, the number of large imps defending the next step increased. On the fifth step, there were at least 30 large imps!
After conquering the fourth step, No.4 and One-eye retreated while No.5 took the lead. However, the enemy’s forces had exploded in numbers as well. There were around 400 small imps on the fifth step alone.
Damn it, the previous plan had some mistakes. I had assumed the enemy’s forces only had about a hundred large imps. To think they knew how to hide their forces…If you added in the large imps who died on the previous steps, there were at least 70 large imps already. What are we going to do about the later steps…
The next batch of souls had just been sent over by No.2 and I consumed them ravenously. My body began to burn and that damned fragrance began wafting out once more. It was as if every pore on my body was emitting this strange fragrance. The devils besides became excited as a result.
The fragrance became even more apparent as I continued consuming the souls. When I consumed the last soul, my body exploded with a loud bang. I lost consciousness for a few seconds, or was it a few minutes, I was completely out of touch with the flow of time right now.
The next time I got a look at myself, I found that I had grown taller. My limbs were slender while my skin was red with a tinge of purple, giving a strange sense of beauty…
However, what concerned me the most was the other parts of my body. I lowered my head and looked. Chest…nope nothing there. I spread my legs and…cried. My pee pee still isn’t there…
I evolved. After eating a thousand souls, I finally finished my first evolution.
While I didn’t have the time to fully inspect my status, I knew that the evolved me was different from the normal large imps.
Upon evolving into a large imp, their bodies were supposed to become bulkier while their limbs were supposed to become thicker. That was the complete opposite of my situation, my limbs had shrunk instead, becoming slender.
Am I an exception? Or did my body undergo some change that I wasn’t aware of? After saving Yi Yi that fallen angel, I should’ve died…
Why am I in Purgatory? Did she revive me?
Countless questions swarmed around in my mind. Questions that I had no answers to. As they began to give me a headache, Scar-face’s surprised face appeared next to me, an eager look mixed into that surprise.
“Do you require anything of me?”
Didn’t this fellow disappear? Why did he suddenly appear? And why is he so eager?
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.