“Those were my same thoughts as well, Master.”
‘So No.3 actually thought about the problem himself…now that’s rare…’
Suppressing my desire to make fun of him any further, I paused in thought for a second before asking: “Have you found anybody of use after conducting a headcount?”
In truth, there was a reason why I asked that question, and that was because No.3 actually had a hidden talent –talent scouting. Thinking back on the past, it was No.3 who recommended Big 4 to me. Thus, there was no doubting No.3’s loyalty towards me. Not only that, he had an eye for talent…of course, it could have all just been a coincidence.
“Master, speaking of talents…”
No.3 paused for a moment, brows furrowed as if he was mulling over a particularly annoying issue.
I furrowed my brows as well. Based on a quick glance, I could tell that he had escorted at least 800 Devils over. Being Devils, these newcomers all possessed their own inherited memories which came with their own unique differences.
Just like how humans were born with their unique traits despite coming from the same parents, for example, being a natural athlete or a brilliant scientist, Devils also possessed such uniqueness. In short, anything was possible in terms of talents…just like this certain pair of siblings I met on Earth who were so different from each other it was shocking that they were even related.
‘If memory serves me right, the Elder Brother was as skinny as a stick and the sister was basically a ball with four sticks sticking out of her and a sausage for a head.’
A famous German philosopher once said: ‘No two leaves are ever exactly alike’. In other words, even leaves from the same tree weren’t alike, let alone Devils or Humans.
What I was essentially furrowing my brows about was this: how could all 800 plus of those Devils be morons…there should at least be a couple of usable fellows…though such Devils would often be leaders…and the leaders were…basically squished to death by my Elite Abyssal Golems…
‘Hmph, who told those potatoes to be so full of themselves!’
In short, I was in a bit of a pickle right now.
“Master, there’s actually a Small Imp who claims to possess a unique talent, it’s just…”
No.3 paused once more. Looking at his hesitant form, my curiosity was immediately aroused after which I asked: “Just what?”
“It’s just that fellow has no combat ability whatsoever…”
‘A Small Imp that can’t fight? That doesn’t sound all that strange…hold on…from the Blood Sea to the Prison of the Dead and now to Sable Radiance…there’s no way that Imp hasn’t gone through countless battles. Not only that, he had to fend off his own comrades during times of hunger…feeding on the weak is the law of nature here after all.’
‘Come to think of it, there weren’t any Small Imps in the battle just now since they were just too weak. But didn’t No.3 just say that there was just such a being among the Devils he captured? Is he just a lucky survivor or is he hiding his true strength?’
‘Did I mention that he is still alive right now?!’
My curiosity was thoroughly aroused at this point. “How did you discover this unusual fellow?”
“That Small Imp appeared right after Master left…”
Through his explanation, I learnt of the rough situation surrounding this Small Imp.
After we split up, No.3 encountered two more batches of Devils. It was in the second batch that No.3 captured this peculiar Small Imp. To be exact, he didn’t capture said Small Imp, it was the Small Imp himself who intelligently chose to surrender…
In other words, that Small Imp immediately thought about surrendering the moment he laid eyes on the Elite Abyssal Golems. In fact, he even tried to persuade his comrades…
‘Perhaps it was exactly because of this smooth talking on his part that led to so many of the newcomers surrendering…’
In truth, that was exactly what had happened. Thanks to the efforts of that Small Imp, No.3 was able to bring back over 800 Devils. Lest one forgot, captives weren’t exactly the easiest of Devils to look after since they would escape at the drop of a hat. I had only given No.3 five golems with only one of them actually being combat ready. Essentially, he only had one golem who was capable of capturing those Devils, and that clearly wasn’t enough.
It was against such a backdrop that this glib Small Imp performed the crucial role of persuader…
‘A smooth talking fellow who isn’t good for anything else…that’s basically No.3’s assessment of him…that was probably why he didn’t treat him too well either…hmmm…No.3’s personality huh…if I was being generous, he could be considered a hotblooded Devil. If I wasn’t being generous, he’s just a musclebrain…ahh…brings back memories of how we first met…’
“Call him over…oh, seems like he’s already on his way here…’
Having heard all I needed to hear about this Small Imp from No.3, I was intrigued by this fellow. Yet just as I was about to summon him, I saw a Small Imp break off from the captive group. That little fellow first started off by warily glancing at the Elite Abyssal Golem standing not too far away from him. After realizing that it wasn’t going to do anything, he heaved a sigh of relief before breaking into the most innocent smile ever..not that an ugly creature like a Small Imp could ever manage anything resembling innocent. Still, he maintained that strange smile while walking towards us.
The moment he got close to me, he performed a particularly familiar action –wringing his hands. It was the kind of hand wringing you saw in a merchant when he was busy pushing his goods on you. Combining that with the image of a Small Imp…
“Greetings, honorable and esteemed Fallen Angel, this one is nothing but a lowly Small Imp. At Your Excellency’s leave, this one prays that he would be given a chance to showcase his talents.”
Just based on that introduction alone, the image of a merchant was firmly stuck to him in my mind.
“Master, that’s the fellow I was talking about just now…” No.3 cracked his knuckles in an annoyed fashioned as he glared at the Small Imp. “Who gave you permission to approach the Master?”
Faced with this hostile questioning, the Small Imp didn’t lose his cool for even a second and merely continued with his hand wringing as if No.3’s aura wasn’t affecting him at all. “Oh my, this one was just taken aback by this esteemed Excellency’s mesmerizing figure…just so alluring, so enchanting, so…”
“Shove it! I said so already, don’t even think about approaching the Master without permission, now SCRAM!” Being the direct Devil that he was, No.3 just couldn’t bring himself to like this smooth talking Small Imp who surrendered so easily. Seeing this annoying pest try to approach me, No.3 was just about to give him a good thrashing: “Since you can’t remember what I said, I’ll just beat it into your body!”
I halted No.3’s fist and, under the confused gaze of No.3, I continued evaluating this hand wringing Small Imp. Faced with No.3’s fist, he showed no sign of trying to evade at all.
Was he sure that I would stop No.3 or was he just so confident in himself that he could endure a punch from No.3? Either way…this Small Imp wasn’t just any old Small Imp!
“You mentioned that you wanted to work for me?”
Seeing me redirect the conversation back to the original topic, the Small Imp immediately broke into a confident grin below bowing towards me. “Esteemed Fallen Angel, this one merely wishes to labour on your behalf.”
“Is that so?” I smiled in a bemused fashion. “So you’re that confident then? Exactly what do you think you possess that is worthy of my attention?”
“This one believes, that with Your Excellency’s esteemed bloodline, none of these common Devils could ever compare. As long as this one is given a chance, Your Excellency would surely notice the countless shining points this one possess. This one is absolutely confident of that.”
“What an interesting answer.”
I smiled briefly. Yet just as I was about to say something, I noticed that the stunned look he had on when I smiled at him…
Perhaps he noticed the strangeness in tone but as soon as I said that, he dared not meet my gaze. Lowering his head, he confessed as such: “This one was just taken aback by Your Excellency’s flawless smile…”
Even though there was nothing coming from within my head, I was a hundred percent sure that that blasted hag, Ferti’nier, was laughing at me right now!
‘What are you laughing at, you old hag! The only reason this brother is in such a sorry state is because of you! Come to think of it, can’t you just continue playing dead like you always do, why even stick your head out like that?!’
Realizing how annoyed I was right now, she merely teased me for a mere second before returning to back to her silent state. Because she had basically ignored my griping, my mood was even worse than before.
“Your Excellency…was there anything else this one had to answer? This one would never withhold anything he knows…”
Seeing that subservient look on his face, my mood finally calmed down somewhat.
‘Bah, forget it, it’s not like he knows any better.’ With that in mind, I took a deep breath before exhaling, mood significantly better at that point.
“You mentioned that you were useful, can you fight then?”
Normally, a Devil was judged based on his combat ability. Because I knew for a fact that he couldn’t fight, I purposefully threw out that question.
“……” The moment that problem was mentioned, the Small Imp’s face immediately froze up. “Esteemed Excellency, is it possible not to bring up this matter.”
“So you can’t then.”
Having guessed this outcome long ago, the only reason I asked that was because I wanted to see that devastated look on his face. ‘Who told him to be such a bootlicker…’
Still, teasing was all well and good but enough was enough. I smiled faintly before moving onto the next question: “Well then, can you construct buildings?”
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.