To be honest, that salamander’s speed wasn’t really that slow; it was just my irate mood that made me feel so uncomfortable.
In terms of its speed, it was at least at the level of a sprinting human male. Furthermore, as a creature of Purgatory, one could be sure that its stamina was sufficient to cover the entire three Li even at that speed.
However, when compared to Big 4’s flying speed, that impressive level of speed was a little lacking then…
Scooped up by Big 4 once more, the salamander didn’t struggle at all this time. Instead, it obediently allowed the devil to grab it and fly away. From this, along with all my other experiences so far, I could basically conclude that the creatures of Purgatory weren’t actually stupid…they simply weren’t able to speak the language of the devils and that resulted in certain complications. However, simple differentiation was still all right. Moreover, they all had one thing in common…they were pragmatic…
Looking at the soaring crimson figure in the air, I couldn’t help but sigh in frustration. ‘When would I ever be able to evolve into a Four-stars…also, you’d better not kick the bucket after I did all this for you…live and lay that egg of yours…otherwise all my efforts would have been for naught…come to think of it, what is a devil like me doing, saving another person…ahem, I mean salamander…’
Roughly ten minutes later, Big 4 came flying back. Because his flying speed this time wasn’t all that fast, I was able to get a good look at him along with…a horde of salamanders slowly appearing over the horizon, behind them was an even larger horde of wiggling Demon Fire Worms…
Truth be told, this was the first time I had seen so many salamanders and worms gathered together. All of them were sprinting as fast as they could and given how the worms had no limbs at all and had to crawl ahead by contracting and expanding its body…the sight that bombarded my eyes was a rather disgusting one…
Soon, the salamanders in front began to widen the distance between them and the worms thanks to their furious sprinting.
“Master, I’m back…” His face was a little pale as he landed; most likely this was the result of all the pressure he was under right now. Even though those salamanders weren’t likely to attack us, the pressure was still immense given how many of them there actually were…especially how those worms at the back looked like a horde of maggots crawling towards us…that pressure…it was as heavy as a mountain…so overbearing, it’s almost invincible!
Crawling up to me, one of the salamanders separated from the group and from the aura it gave out, it was probably a Four-stars. It was the largest salamander amongst its peers but when compared to that Six-stars…it was at most half of its size.
Still, it could be considered massive already, with its nearly 5 meters long body.
“Greetings, Devil, My name is Nozala, one of the salamanders living in the nearby lava lake. If it’s possible, I would like to start with the rescue operation immediately.” Even though its tone was polite, I could feel its eyes boring into me all throughout the conversation. I could tell that it didn’t trust me all that much. Should I even try anything funny right now, it and the horde behind it would undoubtedly dogpile me in a heartbeat. Still, in a real fight, we shouldn’t fare too badly. At the very least, we should still be able to escape even against such a horde.
“Alright, that’s exactly why I was looking for you. Honestly, I hope she is able to safely deliver the egg as well.” Truthfully, Nozala’s stare unnerved me somewhat but I wasn’t going to harp on this matter now. After all, them coming here was a risk for them as well. This entire situation could have easily been a trap that I had set for them…given the horrible reputation devils had managed to garner for themselves across the worlds…
I signalled for everyone to step aside in order to make space for the salamanders. Sinmosa quietly nodded her head and trotted over to my side. No.3 and Big 4 came flying to my side aside, keeping a safe distance from the salamanders.
“Hmm, we can’t move her…looks like we just have to die into an underground lava stream…this location isn’t half bad, let’s keep digging downwards then…” After inspecting the pregnant salamander, Nozala couldn’t help but sigh before commanding the rest of the salamanders to commence digging.
Prior to this, No.3, Big 4 and Sinmosa managed to dig a rather sizeable hole so all they had to do now was follow the general direction of their digging. Naturally, the over ten thousand strong worm army had no digging power to speak of. Moreover, those worms were still a good distance away because of their slower crawling speed so there really wasn’t a point in expecting anything out of them.
Upon making the necessary arrangements, Nozala then walked up to me, seemingly full of questions to ask.
“Devil, till now I have no idea why you are helping her, what is your motive? Exactly how is this benefiting you?” Before I could answer however, Nozala shook its head and said thusly: “If you are trying to use her as bait, I don’t think you will even be able to find a juicier target than her, so what exactly is your motive?”
“I don’t care if you believe me or not but I really have no ulterior motives here. I just couldn’t bear to see a mother suffer…” At that, I sighed. “If it hadn’t been for me informing you of this news, she would’ve been dead by now. Before this, none of you even knew about this situation.”
“That’s right. She’s an outsider. I’ve asked my other clan salamanders, they did, in fact, spot her passing by the outskirts of our territory. We assumed she was only passing by and had no intention of stopping at all, seeing as our territory is unable to support her needs anyway…” By now, it seemed like Nozala was starting to warm up to me: “I’m sorry, perhaps I was being overly sensitive. Perhaps you truly have no ulterior motives…”
“It’s understandable but I hope you get a few things straight here, we are all trustworthy, and the most important thing right now is to save her.”
“Speaking of that, her wounds are too severe…we can’t ensure her survival…if only we had some Flamegrass..”
“If it’s about the Flamegrass, I think we can help you out there, probably…” Seeing Nozala wag its tail so anxiously, I decided to break this bit of good news prematurely: “I have a companion out searching for Flamegrass, if it goes well, I’m sure he will be back soon.”
“Is that so? Then I couldn’t be anymore grateful…I’m truly sorry for doubting you back then…” Nozala’s attitude instantly improved the moment I said that.
“No problem, truth be told, her injuries were in part due to me as well…”
Faster than I could say ‘oops’, Nozala’s expression darkened. Its eyes took on a sharp, dangerous glint as it stared daggers into me: “Exactly what do you mean by that?”
“Oh…honestly, I found her fighting with some Warhorses and because those Warhorsesspotted us, they turned their attention tous instead and right at the very end, we managed tochase away those Warhorses and happened on her and…” I hurriedly explained myself. Unfortunately, my words were a little minced together so I wasn’t all that sure if Nozala understood them. “When we met her, she was already severely injured and highly suspicious of us. She thought we were trying to ambush her so she refused to let us pass through…so we ended up fighting and she lost…”
“Then why didn’t you kill her and instead save her?”
“It’s not like we have some kind of deep seated grudge. Besides, bullying a pregnant mother…an injured one no less…is just…” With no other way to explain my intentions, I said thusly: “Either way, you just have to know that we mean you all no harm…”
“But it’s also a fact that you injured her, am I right?”
“That’s right. No matter what, we did have a part in injuring her.”
With no way to proceed with this conversation, the both of us fell silent and the mood instantly became heavy. The salamanders continued digging as always but I could now feel a certain portion of them keeping their eyes on us. Judging from their wary, battle-ready stance, their target would most likely be me…
No.3, Big 4, Sinmosa, Mo Na and Cinderal, all noticed the strange atmosphere as well, each entering an alert stance. As of right now, both sides were just a hair’s breadth away from fighting; all we were missing now was Nozala’s command.
A well-intentioned act that ended up going awry…those weren’t all that rare. For example, it wasn’t rare to see a person trying to do a good deed but ended up achieving the opposite because of his incorrect methods or bad communication skills. What happened to us now was the perfect example of just that…all I did was let slip something and the mood instantly took a dangerous turn.
Both sides waited with bated breaths, as if a pin drop could trigger an all-out war between the two sides. Yet just as I thought that Nozala was going to pull the trigger, it suddenly relaxed its aura.
“Forget it, even though I find it hard to believe myself, I feel that you mean us no harm. After all, if you hadn’t told us about her, there was nothing stopping you all from just consuming her.”
‘When he put it like that, I really must say…I’m such a moron…there laid a perfectly helpless piece of Six-stars salamander meat and I just had to open my big mouth and summon a whole army of salamanders instead…right now, we are basically caught between a rock and a hard place thanks to this blasted mouth of mine…’