Peasants in this new world had no surnames. That was because the nobility didn’t allow the masses to have a surname. For example, in this world, I am called Mo Ke but that’s only my given name. My surname isn’t Mo, and my first name isn’t Ke. Only those noble masters who had attained the rank of Viscount would be awarded a surname during their peerage ceremony. Some were bestowed one by a superior while some had the privilege of coming up with one on their own.
Usually, only the king or high ranking nobles were able to bestow a surname. The common practice was to give the noble two choices, to choose their own surname or to raise their original name into a family surname. Then there was also the situation where a completely new surname would be bestowed while the noble’s original name was retained.
A person’s nobility can be determined at a glance by whether he had a surname or not. Most of the time, those who did were either nobility or were a direct descendant of one. If they were not of nobility or were fallen nobles who had their viscount statuses revoked; their surname would be revoked. If they were still found using that surname, that person would be hanged for impersonating a noble, fraud and other similar crimes.
Some nobility derived their surnames from their ancestors. An example of this was when a person of noble status had performed meritorious services but had died in the process. That person’s family members would be awarded the rank of Viscount and have a surname bestowed upon them. Most of the time, it would be the name of the deceased family member.
Some of these nobility had surnames that were rather long. For example, I met a noble girl in the city who was called Annabeth. Apparently, her full name was Annabeth. Falmanseth. Mosby. Mosby was the name of her clan’s ancestor, Falmanseth was the name of the founder of her branch lineage. Of course, it could also just be her parent’s name…
Either way, names in this new world were complicated, kinda like those you see in western cultures. This girl…I get it, I get it…Nicole is getting annoyed by my lamp so it’s time to sleep.
————– From Mo Ke’s otherworldly journal <<Mo Ke, 4 years and 2 months old>>
(That was a journal entry from Mo Ke’s journal. This journal is currently in the hands of Nicole, but due to its contents being written in Chinese, only Mo Ke is able to understand it. At that time, both of them shared a bed, and his nightly activity of writing a journal always disturbed Nicole’s sleep. Also, because Nicole was unable to read Chinese, she always thought that he was drawing some strange symbols. Charming but strange symbols.)
While he was caught off guard by the shield bash, it had only caused his body to sway for a moment before he instantly regained his balance. His body whipped around in a roundhouse kick, squarely impacting the shield of his attacker. The shieldbearer had his shield ready and waiting, but the kick sent him flying, shield and all.
The saber wielders advanced upon Chipped Horn under the protection of the shieldbearers. With a shieldbearer separating each of them, four of the saber wielders thrust out their sabers at Chipped Horn simultaneously.
Seeing this, he violently latched onto the side of one of the heavy bone shields and lifted it up, bearer and all, blocking the incoming saber thrusts. The sabers rebounded harmlessly off the shield but the bearer wasn’t so lucky. The saber wielders didn’t manage to cancel their attacks in time, and he ended up getting skewered.
With four sabers sticking into him, this unlucky imp no longer had the strength to hold onto his shield causing his limp body to fall onto the ground with a thud. His body leaked blood from multiple wounds and he could essentially be counted as dead.
However, Chipped Horn wasn’t satisfied with just half-dead. He immediately slammed the heavy shield down onto the dying imp, smashing his head into pieces; killing him instantly.
The devils present balked at his savage display of cruelty. Not a single imp dared to provoke Chipped Horn. They didn’t want to be the next imp who had his head smashed in.
“What’s the matter with you lot? There’s so many of you and only one of him! Attack! Attack him together!” I have to admit, No.5 was an odd potato. He was like the sweet potato hiding among a field of potatoes. No matter how terrifying Chipped Horn was, he wore an expression that said “Come at me bro, I’ll counter whatever you throw at me!”
Even the sight of Chipped Horn crushing his comrade to death couldn’t dampen his excitement one bit, as he hopped up and down trying to raise our morale: “What are you lot doing? Don’t you want to protect our beautiful and noble Master?! Go on, attack! Protect the Master!”
“Protect the Master!”
In that instant, the adrenaline washed over them like a tidal wave as they let out a strange pant before charging, any semblance of a formation, gone like the wind.
“What do you mean by [beautiful and noble]?” While it’s great that their morale was raised, but weren’t words like [beautiful and noble] used to describe a female?
No.5 licked his lips as he gave me that signature silly smile of his: “Heh heh…Master, don’t tell me you don’t find yourself beautiful?”
“…” I should beat him up…but he did good raising our morale so I’ll forgive him just this once.
What really surprised me was the fact he managed to raise our morale with just one sentence. Was he that talented, or was it that [beautiful and noble] phrase that caused this phenomenon?
Because of No.5’s incitement, the battlefield descended into chaos. The shieldbearers maniacally charged at Chipped Horn, not caring if they even had the offensive power to harm him or not. The saber wielders were slightly more level headed; they maintained their distance as they relentlessly poked at him with their long sabers.
The guardsmen were caught up in the heat of the moment as well. Like a swarm of bees, they swarmed the lone Chipped Horn in a flurry of swords and shields. Chipped Horn was slowly getting boxed into a corner by this incoming swarm. This was especially so for the guardsmen who wielded the deadly black bone sword.
Due to No.3 and the others evolving into head imps, their black swords were swapped for spiked maces. These swords were passed on to the guardsmen. Furthermore, we managed to obtain more soul pearls in the meantime which I immediately used to forge more black swords. All in all, the count of black sword-wielding guardsmen or black guardsmen rose to 12.
These black swords had once given Chipped Horn a serious wound that refused to heal up for a period of time; it was during our first encounter that he got a taste of these swords. He tried to capture me then, but failed, in the process getting wounded.
I had wondered if he would simply bleed to death over time, but given his enormous strength, that thought didn’t seem to gain much traction.
After all, devils were able to consume flesh and blood in order to heal their wounds. He even had a large imp captive handy for such an occasion.
Having experienced their lethality once, he definitely wasn’t eager to experience it again. Even at the expense of getting stabbed by the sabers, he swiftly reached out for a heavy shield and blocked the incoming black swords. With his empty right hand, he caught one black guardsman’s hand.
The imp howled in pain as his hand snapped like a pair of chopsticks despite him not using much strength…
As they say, once bitten, twice shy. Chipped Horn was no fool either. He immediately snatched the now ownerless black sword and wielded it along with his stolen heavy shield as he counterattacked.
Heavy shield clashed with bone shield as a guardsman was tossed aside by the tremendous strength behind Chipped Horn’s shield. With a swift kick, he sent another guardsman who had just gotten close to him, flying off into the distance.
As he wildly hacked around with the black sword, the ensuing bladestorm quickly took the lives of two guardsmen. His strength was simply too great for the pair as their hands soon became numb from blocking his sword swings. As their bone white shields fell to the ground, their heads fell alongside them…
In a style that was unique to his overwhelming power, he managed to take the life of one of my imps with every attack he made. As for my subordinates, they weren’t able to deal a fatal blow at all, any attempt was either evaded or blocked.
While there were a few instances of him getting wounded, none of these wounds came from the black swords. He would rather take a few hits from the Mo sabers than take a hit from the black swords.
As the battle wore on, his body became covered in wounds from our numerous attacks. However, this bastard didn’t play fair. While he fought, he would intermittently take a few bites out of my imps. As he chewed, those wounds would regenerate right before our very eyes!
In his hands, that black sword became an omnipotent weapon that smashed, hacked, slashed and bashed; all the while not showing a single sign of breaking…why did I forge them to be so sturdy…
“Master, the reinforcements are here.”
The battle dragged on for an unknown amount of time before No.5 suddenly announced the arrival of more devils.
As I turned around, the massive sight of 400 devils awaiting at the chapel entrance greeted me. Each of them were uniformly equipped with a bone club as their weapon. While we had the numbers advantage, Chipped Horn’s furious fighting style terrified me. Without a single thought given, I waved my hand and commanded them, a wicked smile on my face: “Everyone get in here! Dogpile him to death!”
As those words left my mouth, all 400 of the devils rushed into the chapel, ruining even the wooden doorframe of the entrance.
Their boorish shouts filled the chapel as they charged at Chipped Horn without any semblance of a formation. Wherever there was an empty space, an imp would rush in to fill that gap. Soon, Chipped Horn barely had any room to maneuver, but this didn’t stop me as I continued ordering them to dogpile him.
Initially, he was still able to make use of his superior strength and control over flames to take on multiple opponents, but as time wore on, he began to run out of stamina. The frequency of his attacks became lower along with the strength of these attacks.
“Kill him, the soul’s mine but his body is all yours!”
“ARRRROOO!” With the promise of such a generous reward, there were bound to be some brave takers. The large imps were whipped into a frenzy as they charged at the three-star demon child, hoping to get a bite of his flesh. These mad devils pounced at him without any regard for their lives as they bit down on his legs, his waist, his back, neck, eyes and whatever else they could get their hands on.
This all-in move by me scared the hell out of Chipped Horn. Despite his claim of being the strongest under the heavens, he knew that he was in a dire situation. He was able to handle 10, even 100 imps, but fighting nearly 500 imps was a different matter altogether.
As my subordinates swarmed him, he began to feel the creeping pressure of death bearing down upon him. He flailed his head around as he searched for an escape route, but none could be found. He tried to break out of the encirclement but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t shake off the devils clamping down on his hands and feet.
By now, he could barely move his arms and had to rely solely on his flames to defend himself. Unfortunately, imps were born with an innate resistance to fire, even small imps, it was just a matter of how resistant they were. The flames were only able to momentarily stave off the devils clinging onto him.
Even so, the relief was only short lived as more imps immediately squeezed into the now empty space. As they did so, the Mo saber wielders ruthlessly thrusted at the pile of devils, not caring if their allies were in the way…
It was a simple but shameless way to win. So what if you’re stronger than us, I’ll use my numbers to wear you out. So what if you’re faster than us, I’ll use my numbers to limit your mobility, let’s see where you can hide then. Through these simple but shameless tactics, Chipped Horn was quickly drowned in a sea of devils.
The bone clubs laid unused by the side as the ordinary imps piled onto Chipped Horn, biting furiously as they did so. No matter how much they evolved, their teeth would always be their most primitive but strongest weapon. Even a three-star Demon Child was unable to withstand a swarm of one-star devil bites.
It wasn’t long before the demon child finally breathed his last breath, but the biting didn’t stop there. Instead their biting became even more impassioned. This was the flesh of a three-star after all. An additional bite of flesh might just give them the boost they needed to evolve. In the face of such temptation, the scene slowly devolved into a chaotic fight among allies. As the imps died to their allies’ blows, the pile of meat grew even more.
“Everyone stop! One-eye get them under control, don’t let them kill each other!”
The chaotic scene shocked One-eye as well. He didn’t expect his normally obedient subordinates to display such a ferocious side of themselves. He immediately separated the frenzied imps from the pack. On the side, the more level headed ones came to their senses after my reminder and stopped fighting.
By the time the whole ruckus was over, Chipped Horn was nothing but a pile of bones. Only his horn had a bit of meat left on it, but that was only because the irregular shape of the skull made it difficult for the devils to get a clean bite. If I wasn’t so used to them feeding, I would’ve puked at this sight.
“Master, here’s the soul you wanted.” With the army finally under control thanks to One-eye, No.5 immediately harvested the soul and presented it to me.
Chipped Horn’s soul was a lot more defined than the other souls I had eaten before. As I stared at the wispy mass, I could clearly see his face imprinted within it. His terror, resentment and unwillingness were clearly visible to me as I grasped his soul in my palm.
“I bet you didn’t expect this ending.”
Chipped Horn was the strongest enemy I had faced so far. Even in terms of cunningness, only the skeletal assassin came close to him. Just from an initial inspection alone, I’ve lost nearly a hundred imps trying to kill him. Not to mention that Big 1, Nine-finger, No.3 and Big 4’s conditions were still unknown.
If only I could burn this bastard’s soul for 10,000 years!
However, just as that thought crossed my mind, a certain book that had been quietly resting in my arms suddenly sprang to life. Its body opened up, revealing the pages inside as if they were its mouth, and with a sudden leap, swallowed Chipped Horn’s soul in one gulp.
“My…you…you’ve stolen my food again! You damn rebel you!”
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.