I decided to have Mother Black Ant settle down at the base of the palace. My plan was to locate a suitable location for her to lay eggs and then start her own nest. That way, she would be able to provide food for herself and ultimately grow the hive so as to provide us with poop.
In short, it was more convenient to have a nest of Black Blood Ants nearby once I decided to start manufacturing those exoskeletons. However, it had to be said that the environment wasn’t particularly conducive for these weak insects, given how many dangerous plants there were lying in wait.
Because of that, I decided to dispatch a sullen Big 4 to help them out in their initial phase of expansion. Once their numbers reached a certain threshold, his mission would then be complete.
Ignoring the unhappy look he gave me, I made sure to impress upon him the need to not squish the ants by accident.
As for No.3, his face was practically screaming ‘I knew I was the most trusted henchman of the Master!’. He gleefully gloated at his unfortunate compatriot who probably wanted to bite him so badly right now.
With all that settled, it was now time for me to prepare for the conquest of Sable Radiance.
First off, I had my other companions loiter around the garden while I searched the warehouses one more time. This time, I combed through the entire complex and subjugated every golem I came across. To my surprise, I found that there were actually 127 elite golems and there were 1325 ordinary golems!
Over a thousand of these golems were basically in mint condition. As for the damaged ones, I had them relocated to thr weapons factory for now. Once Mo Na picked up the necessary skills from that leather book, it would be up to her to repair these golems.
Having returned to the garden, I found Mo Na sitting quietly on a black patch of grass, busy pouring over the black leather book without a care in the world. That was how my little baby was: curious to the point of obsessing over anything new, and also thirsty for knowledge.
“Sweetie, isn’t Cinderel with you?”
“Cinderel is with her Mama, Mama. By the way, Mo Na has made a new finding!” As if she had just discovered the New World, she pointed at the leather book in excitement. “Look Mama, there are pictures of a black stone here. The text says that…these stones can actually mimic a portion of the Gem of Authority’s powers!”
My eyes drifted over to the portion of the book she mentioned and there I found a picture of a chestnut shaped rock. To be exact, I found a depiction of those black rocks we found not too long ago in that cupboard down below. At that time, I couldn’t help but notice their uncanny resemblance to the Gem of Authority. To think they were actually so useful.
“These stones are called Black Stones of Authority, they are replicas of the Gem of Authority. By holding a stone, one can enter and leave the palace freely…”
The main purpose of these stones was to allow the user to control those golems. Allowing a person to enter and leave freely was merely a side-effect. Given how the entire palace was basically guarded by golems only, being able to control them was basically a free pass.
Still, the Black Stone of Authority wasn’t actually the Gem of Authority. It wasn’t able to subjugate golems and its control level was inferior to the Gem of Authority. All it did was allow temporary control over the golems, it couldn’t actually transfer ownership to someone else.
These stones were meant to be given out as a reward to trusted subordinates. But just as the stones themselves were completed, Lucifer sent down a clone to wipe out Sable Radiance…truly a tragedy.
On top of all that was mentioned above, the Gem of Authority had one more function that the Black Stones didn’t possess: the ability to bestow temporary control rights to another person.
Because this entire region was guarded by golems and also because this region had been neglected by living creatures for 80 000 years, barring us of course, there was basically no food production source at all…
This was the second day since we arrived here and I had to say…we were positively famished right now. Such a state clearly wasn’t tenable for long and something had to be done soon or else.
Given that this place was an important facility for producing golems, we had no choice but to settle down here and turn this entire palace into a base of operations. Thus, securing food was of paramount importance and was most likely going to be the biggest trial we faced.
In truth, there was another matter that required my attention right now –whether or not my companions planned to stay or leave.
That was why I decided to call for a gathering.
“What’s the matter, Mo Ke?” Sinmosa asked as she came trotting up to us with her husband and daughter in tow. They were originally touring around the gardens and immediately came upon hearing the summons.
Sinmosa’s question so happened to awaken Nola who was napping quietly in a corner nearby. For some reason or another, this big salamander seemed to like the atmosphere of the garden a lot and would often find time to nap in it.
“It’s like this. All of you have followed me up till now in order to aid me. My original intention was to find a way to enter Abaddon and well…sigh…long story short, I don’t think there’s a way for me to leave Sable Radiance for the time being. That’s why, I’ve decided to take up residence here.” I paused in thought for a second at that point. In the end however, I chose not to tell them about my plan to take over Sable Radiance.
“What about you guys? What plans do you guys have?”
“Plans?” Sinmosa paused for a second there before exchanging a glance with Sasani. The two of them quickly communicated with their eyes after which Sinmosa slowly nodded her head and said: “I’m not sure as well. The clan definitely has no place for us so can we stay here for now?”