We had probably earned the ire of the Black Blood Ants. They were basically throwing the entire hive at us right now, having just climbed out of the entrance hole just moments ago and now already charging at us without a care for their lives at all.
Still, no matter how imposing a horde chittering giant ants might have looked, they weren’t that much of a threat to us at all.
The reason I hesitated about attacking not too long ago was because these ants were simply too disgusting…and I didn’t want to touch them for even a second.
In a sense, it was kind of like how humans treated cockroaches. Some might play with, some might step on them and some find a tool of some sort that allows them to squish the cockroach without getting their hands dirty. Then there were those that screamed and jumped back in fright…because cockroaches were just that dirty.
Sometimes, being ugly and dirty was actually a weapon.
It just so happened that I despised these ants for being both ugly and dirty. If it was possible, I wouldn’t even want to eat their souls…
But of course, reality always loved to play a trick on me…
Going back to the swarm of ants, I merely snorted disdainfully at them before grabbing Mo Na and Cinderel and running to hide behind Nola.
“Don’t worry, no matter how many that come, it won’t change their fate as weaklings to be controlled by the strong.” Nola confidently declared. With an absolute advantage in strength over them, she knew that she had the guns to back up that claim.
“I’ll leave it up to you then.” I stated simply.
Pulling out that same trick as before, Nola sprayed her flames all over the ants with a sway of her head. No matter what it was, general or soldier, they were all helpless before the roaring wall of flames rushing right at them.
Just like that, in just the span of a couple minutes, all the ants were wiped out.
As expected, the soldiers and generals all produced a complete soul upon death. Without a body to protect them however, their souls were already starting to show signs of decay and we had to harvest them right away.
“Mama, leave the gathering to me.” Mo Na admirably offered her services for this mission.
Ever since Mo Na fused with the Grimoire of the Dead, her talents, at least when it came to the field of Undead magicks, were unrivalled.
Because of her impressive talents in this branch of magicks, not to mention that she had a beautiful big sister teaching her in her dreams, her progress in Undead magicks improved by leaps and bounds with no sign of ever having a bottleneck.
For Necromancers, harvesting souls in an expedient fashion was the most basic of the basics. All they needed to do was pull a few parlor tricks and the souls would practically come flying to them.
Mo Na started to draw circles in the air with her finger neither too slowly nor too quickly. As each circle was completed, mana continued to flow into the circle until a tiny mana vortex was formed. Having taken a stable form, countless ant souls began to slowly drift towards the vortex and accumulate within its mystical swirls.
The massive collection of souls floated beside me like a filled up balloon and soon threatened to engulf me because of its sheer size. Faced with tens of thousands of souls left to harvest, Mo Na had on a rather troubled look as she said: “Mama, there’s too many of them, should Mo Na refine some of these souls?”
“Refine them?” That was the first time I had heard of this term being used in such a manner but I roughly understood what it meant right away.
“The black dress big sister just taught me a few days ago how to refine multiple souls into one. That way it will be easier to eat them.”
“Then let’s give it a try then.” I answered eagerly, clearly more than happy to see my little daughter show off her skills.
Mo Na was just as eager as well while she carefully channelled a tenth of the souls right into the vortex. Upon being sucked in by the vortex, these souls would rapidly break apart and disappear into the vortex.
Soon, the vortex began to show a strange reaction. At times, it would expand and at times, it would suddenly shrink in on itself. This process continued for at least ten seconds before finally, like ice that had frozen over, the entire soul mass and vortex coalesced into a Soul Pearl!
A Soul Pearl, roughly three cm wide hovered in the air before me, radiating with a strange light that made it seem more like an exquisite black pearl of some sort.
“It’s done, Mama come have a look, this is a refined soul.” Having been refined, the Soul Pearl slowly descended into the palm of Mo Na and she gingerly handed the black pearl over to me like she was offering up a treasure to me.
‘Why does this remind me of that black pearl I found when after killing that vengeful apparition?’
Naturally, calling the two of them similar was a stretch, given that the pearl I looted was dropped and the pearl I had now was crafted. While the two of them might have looked similar, they were actually different items entirely.
At the very least, I was quite certain that this pearl wasn’t able to enchant a weapon with some special property.
Just as a reference, the pearl I found then was able to give my weapons added sharpness and even cause a bleeding effect that couldn’t heal up right away.
“Sweetie, you’re sure this thing is really edible?” To be honest, its ethereal appearance freaked me out to no small extent. ‘It feels like something bad will happen once I eat it…’
“Of course, Mama. Here, Mo Na can eat it for you.” Clearly unable to discern my inner thoughts, she popped the black pearl into her mouth like it was some kind of candy. Because she was still small and had a small mouth, the black pearl immediately caused her cheeks to bulge out slightly as it took up the entirety of her mouth cavity.
She did her absolute best to try to swallow the pearl. *crack* A solid bite later, a strange, almost woeful cry emerged from within the mouth of my baby daughter. It was as if there were countless babies undergoing the most inhumane of tortures within her mouth right now. The sound alone was probably enough to cause nightmares all throughout the night. The kind where you would picture babies crying out in pain inside your head once you closed your eyes…
Up till now, I couldn’t figure out why she had to bite then… ‘When did eating souls become so troublesome? Shouldn’t it just be putting it into your mouth? Also, they aren’t physical objects so biting shouldn’t even be needed.’
‘Furthermore, what was up with that terrifying wail just now…and that bone crunching sound…’ At the side, Mo Na was currently clasping her cheeks in bliss as if she had just swallowed the most decadent of treats…
As my little baby swayed about in bliss, the wailing in her mouth grew even louder as if the tortures were getting more horrific by the second…
Honestly, this entire scene spooked me to no end, kind of like a horror movie that refused to stop playing no matter how much you tried.
‘…wait a minute, I’m a devil now…in other words, they are the ones who should be afraid of me…so why am I even afraid?’
“Mama, it was so good…Mo Na wants another.”
Seeing her act so adorably after that horrific spectacle truly wasn’t good for my heart… “That thing…is it really that good?” I asked after hesitating for a moment. “What I’m saying is…is it really alright for you to eat a thing like that…a thing that can wail…”
“It’s really good, Mama, Mo Na highly recommends it.” The moment she mentioned that pearl, her eyes lit up once more as she excitedly recommended the horrific delicacy to me. “Once you bite into it, it gives out that intoxicating wail. Also, that texture…it’s like crunching the bones of your prey. Coupled with that sublime cry of terror, simply perfection…Mo Na just loves that sound…if everything Mo Na ate was that wonderful…it would be paradise for Mo Na!”
‘Paradise? Ahh…why is my little baby turning out to be a dominatrix…’
“Mama, you don’t want some? It’s really good.” She asked, slightly puzzled by my troubled face.
“I’ll pass, normal souls are enough for me.” Having said that, I reached out and grabbed one of the souls floating beside Mo Na, and popped it into my mouth. The taste was rather average and because the ants themselves were weak, their Soul Force was low as well. Merely consuming one wasn’t enough to sate my hunger, clearly a lot more was needed.
Seeing me start to eat, Cinderel started consuming the souls as well.
Naturally, Mo Na tried to sell her newfound delight to Cinderel as well but the little puppy wasn’t all that sold on it.
With so many ants dead, the swarm finally quietened down, their leader probably afraid of us now.
By now, not only us three had started eating, so did the others as well.
Nola’s appetite could only be described as terrifying, especially given the fact that the majority of our food was given to her over these past three days. Of the remaining half of our rations, that had to be split amongst No.3, BIg 4, Sinmosa and Sasani.
I had to say though, hunger was the best spice for any food. Even though I couldn’t stand those ants, the hunger in me made even that palatable.
Just as we were immersed in our feasting however, the hive of the Black Blood Insect suddenly issued a strange sound.
First to pop out of that nest was an unusually large head and pincers that was at least the size of a….basketball.
The extended head peeked around the surroundings and so happened to stumble upon us feasting…
However, that really didn’t matter to us at all. Given how hungry we were, even the disgusting flavor of the ants weren’t an issue as long as we could fill our bellies, let alone having a spectator watch us eat.
As for that ant who was most likely the Black Blood Queen Ant…Nola merely glared at her and said no more; her meaning made abundantly clear without even having to speak.
Essentially, it was ‘don’t disturb us or I’ll murder you’ or something along those lines.