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Seeing the oncoming tank of an imp, my bodyguard immediately stepped forward to block the head imp, his shield raised and his broadsword pointed out.
With his arm still bleeding from No.3’s black sword, the sharpness of those swords were still fresh in his mind as he charged. Instead of blindingly charging in as before, he was prepared for Big 4’s sword, and dodged right as the black sword came within inches of him. With a swift sidestep, he circled around Big 4 and continued on.
Big 4 tried to turn around and retaliate, but his sword barely left his side before he was swiftly kicked away by the head imp in a fate similar to No.3.
With my bodyguards out of the way, the head imp had a clear path to me as he continued his lust driven rampage. As he reached out with his giant hands, his mouth broke into a wicked grin; his prize was within reach right at this very moment. If I don’t dodge now, it would be over for me…but I can’t dodge it. It’s not that my reflexes were too slow, he was just too fast. Plus, I didn’t expect Big 1 and 4 to be so helpless before him.
Am I going to be caught?
Just as I was about to give up hope, a strong force pushed me from behind.
Time slowed down as his arm barely grazed my face, as I fell to the side from that sudden push. As my figure toppled, the silhouette of my savior came into view…it’s her…that female large imp who has been hiding behind my back all this while…she was still in that pose from when she pushed me!
How is it her! How could it be her? Why would she push me away…wasn’t she always the one seeking protection…to think she would put herself in danger just to protect me…wasn’t she the timid kind…?
I wasn’t the only one startled by this sudden turn of events, the chipped horn imp was just as assured as I was of my impending capture; so my last minute escape had left him stunned as well. His brows furrowed as his face took a drastic turn from elation to fury. His fiery gaze locked onto me, who was lying on the ground a meter or two away. With a swift grasp of his hand, he captured the female devil, all the while staring at me.
He hadn’t given up yet. He still wanted to capture me.
However, his opportunity was gone. My plight hadn’t gone unnoticed, as One-eye and Nine-finger immediately disengaged from their opponents and rushed to my side. The ruckus caused by the fight had begun to attract the attention of my other imps. They streamed in tiny groups of twos and threes with the quickest already nearing the door of the chapel.
Seeing this, the chipped-horn imp knew that he couldn’t stay any longer. As he stood at the broken doorway to the chapel, he made the decision to retreat immediately. While his arm had been injured, his combat strength hadn’t been reduced by much. With one arm grabbing the female devil, he made his escape without a hint of hesitation.
I knew right away what he intended to do. As my hands tightened around the grimoire, I summoned a bone wall in nearly an instant to block the broken doorway.
However, his strength was greater than I had imagined. The head imp didn’t even require a running charge to break down the wall. He merely lowered his head and rammed it directly into the wall.
Truth be told, a hastily erected bone wall like that couldn’t be considered sturdy, but it should’ve at least been able to withstand one attack from the head imp…this outcome had totally exceeded my expectations…
The bone wall shattered instantly under the full force of his headbutt like a block of soft tofu getting punched…
He glared at me one last time before making his escape with the female devil tucked under his arms. In the blink of an eye, he circled around the chapel and left my vision. As for the reinforcements, they were still 10 meters away…
The remaining head imps quickly noticed the reinforcements as well, and immediately knocked down the guardsmen blocking them; even at the expense of taking a few extra hits. With all the obstacles gone, they decided on breaking through the walls in order to escape. In those few seconds, they cunningly made the decision to split up during their escape as well.
With a roar to signal their retreat, they scattered in multiple directions.
“You think you all can escape? All of you aren’t going anywhere!” There’s no way I would let them go that easily. I tightly clutched my grimoire once more and cast another bone wall in front of one of the escaping imps.
As the bone wall rose out of the ground in a cloud of dust and debris, the head imp had no time to retreat from the sudden wall that appeared in front of his face, and collided with a loud bang. The bone wall was cracked by the impact, but unlike that previous one, it held up. The resulting impact had dazed the imp slightly and caused to him fall over due to the loss of balance.
Looks like a normal head imp isn’t capable of breaking through the bone wall in one strike.
With this thought in mind, I repeated the same action with the other escaping imps, blocking them off. In a few seconds, my scattered forces finally arrived en mass. They stepped over the bone wall broken by the chipped-horn imp and streamed into the chapel.
I finally had the time to evaluate our current situation. Most of my guardsmen were defeated. As for my named imps, they were stronger than the usual imps so outside of No.3 and Big 4, there weren’t any serious casualties.
“Surrender or die.”
With my grimoire in hand, I coldly gazed at them from the middle of my assembled army of large imps. These head imps had, to some degree, sustained some injuries; with some still bleeding from their severe wounds.
A head imp roared in anger at my words and shouted back in a disdainful tone: “Let us go or we will capture you. Your henchmen are too weak and won’t be able to stop us. As long as we wanted to, we can break out of here in an instant.”
“Go ahead and try.” His obstinance instantly destroyed any desire within me of allowing them to surrender. As the flames of anger burned within me, I waved my left arm and gave out an order: “Shieldbearers to the front, saber wielders prepare yourselves!”
As the shieldbearers took up position, a series of sequential loud bangs echoed within the chapel as they shoved their shields into the ground. In a short moment, a shield wall formed of 15 heavy shields was erected. 15 reserves immediately rushed up to the shield wall and braced the heavy bone shields.
As the final piece of the formation fell into place, the Mo sabers stood ready at the forefront of the shields, their murderous aura clear for all to see.
Due to the constraints of my mana pool, there were still only 10 Mo sabers in my army, but all of these had been refined by me. Their killing power was leagues ahead of the old Mo sabers.
Another issue was the training required to wield these sabers correctly. Due to the width of the heavy shields constraining them, an inexperienced saber wielder would end up clashing into the others. Therefore, I decided to put off creating more sabers until the training was done.
In the few days after the stopover at the altar, I frequently got the saber wielders to participate in solo battles in order to train them. The length and refinement of the saber ensured that they were able to kill any undead from a distance easily; as long as they weren’t heavily armored.
By now, these saber wielders were veterans of the battlefield.
Perhaps they hadn’t expected me to reject them so decisively and take up a battle stance, but the imp who had issued that threat was now looking at his comrades with worry on his face. He turned around to check the exits left behind by some of his lucky comrades and instead of finding a hole in the wall, he saw a mass of club wielding large imps standing ready.
There was no escape for them now. They could either surrender or try to capture me.
“Let’s attack, there’s nothing to think about here. Rather than serving a lowly female devil, we might as well give it a last shot!”
*Roar roar!* “Kill!”
In the midst of their chaotic howls, the head imps charged at my refined bone shield wall.
What greeted them was the terrifying Mo sabers. With their boosted penetrating power, the two leading imps were instantly skewered by the saber wielders!
The head imps didn’t expect the saber wielders to ignore some of them and instead focus their thrusts onto a single imp. Over three Mo sabres descended onto each unprepared head imp instantly penetrating them. This sneak attack left the two with several holes all over their bodies.
The remaining 5 head imps collided with the shield wall. While they were all injured, their strength was still impressive, and was not something two large imps could hold back. The shield formation was instantly toppled by their charges. Thankfully, their target was me and so they didn’t bother with the other large imps.
The desperadoes stepped over the bone shields and large imps and continued triumphantly towards me.
I had expected the shield wall to topple so I made some preparations for my bone wall prior to their charge. With a large amount of mana already channeled into the spell, a nigh impenetrable wall of bones rose from the ground, shutting down their advance. Punch after punch landed on the wall, but it was all in vain as their flurry of blows did nothing to the sturdy wall.
This was a wall that I had ample time to erect, they definitely had no hope of breaking through it.
With their hopes of breaking through the wall dashed, they decided to circle around the bone wall. However, as they turned around, they discovered that the paper-like shield wall they had toppled was now erected once more!
The large imps worked together and slowly closed in on the head imps, driving them slowly into a corner with the furious thrusts of their Mo sabers. It was too late to escape!
By now No.3 and Big 4 had already recovered from their bout of unconsciousness and joined the other named imps in blocking off the head imps’ escape.
With the bone wall blocking them from the front, the Mo sabers closing in on their flanks, and the armed large imp army blocking off their rear; they had no way to escape. Soon a few more head imps were stabbed to death by a couple of sabers through their heads.
“I surrender as well…”
The final two imps knelt down and surrendered upon discovering they had no hope of escape.
The devils stopped attacking at this instant. They knew I enjoyed recruiting new subordinates. This time was likely the same as well.
As I dispelled the bone wall, I coldly smiled at them and said: “Surrender?”
“Yes, we are willing to serve you, great Master. Please accept our utmost loyalty.”
“Great Master, I’m willing to serve you as well.”
“Surrender? You should’ve done so earlier.” Without a hint of anger in my voice, I gave out a soft command as I turned around and left the chapel. “Leave none alive.”
“…nooo…I’m willing to surrender…”
“Spare me…Master spare my life…”
As both their tortured howls finally dissipated into the air, the village was quiet once more.
As for why I didn’t accept their surrender, I wasn’t sure either. My head was in turmoil at the moment and my heart was hurting badly.
I thought of that female devil who got kidnapped because she pushed me away. She was always quietly by my side like a shadow; never leaving me for long. While I had suspected that she had ulterior motives, I didn’t chase her away, but didn’t give her a name either.
After reincarnating into a devil, I had been saved multiple times by my subordinates, so I thought that I was already numbed to this fact. At least I thought I wouldn’t be as shaken as I was when No.4 saved me…he…I had always seen him as being the weakest and most cowardly subordinate among my named imps…but he still made the choice to save me, and for that….he died.
Even as he died, I couldn’t see a hint of regret or pain in his eyes. All I saw was the relief in his eyes upon seeing that I was safe…I don’t understand, I really don’t understand…I don’t understand why that memory always brought me to tears…
That relieved look on the female devil as she got kidnapped…it hurts so much. No.4…that weak and often bullied little fellow. Even though he had a name, his standing was even worse than No.5. In spite of that, he saved me, in order to save me, he died…
I don’t understand…why did these devils have the desire to save others even at their own expense?
What will happen to that female large imp who got kidnapped? Will she really become food for them?
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.