Suddenly, the two fellows stopped fighting. I don’t know who it started from but, both sides began to relax their stance as they slumped to the ground in exhaustion. The large imp was the first to get up after which he went over to support the hellhound as it stood up.
And then, the two of them formed a bromance…that’s right, they became a couple of sorts.
The large imp petted the hellhound’s black noggin while the hellhound leaned in on his chest. This sudden display of affection left me at a loss for words as my jaw sunk limply to the ground.
What the f***?! Weren’t you guys just fighting to the death? How did this suddenly transition into a boy’s love novel?!
“They’ve made up.” Violet Snow smacked her tiny paws onto the ground a couple of times as she said this, it was as if she had expected this outcome all along.
“That’s…that’s it?” I thought that there would be an even fiercer aftershow.
“Well, their combat strength weren’t that far apart to begin with, given that they aren’t allowed to kill each other, fighting up to this point is about their limit.”
“So they know how to hold back as well.” Having heard her explanation, I heaved a sigh of relief.
She threw me a strange look and said: “Don’t tell me you wanted them to fight to the death?”
“That…just forget it.”
The ensuing aftershow was a little surprising to me. That large imp voluntarily gave up the hellhound corpse and even promised not to do so again as a sign of friendship. That hellhound quickly dragged away the corpse before returning right away to the large imp’s side.
While they weren’t able to understand each other, the large imp was able to read into the hellhound’s actions. He wanted him to ride him. And so, the large imp jumped onto the hellhound’s back and with a clasp of his feet, settled down on his back.
This…they’ve fused together?
Ah, I guess it’s more of a merger…no wait…either way, one thought stood out very clearly in my mind: Cavalry, training complete.
A large imp riding a hellhound, isn’t this a cavalry unit?!
I’m not even sure if a dog from Earth is able to handle the weight of a mere 10 year old child but right now, there’s a dog being ridden by a large imp at top speeds.
As the hellhound sped around the empty space, the large imp held on tightly to the dog’s fur in order not to fall off. However, as time passed, the imp began to get used to the dog’s undulating gait. He began to loosen up as he let go of one of his hands and started waving it around while giving out a few meaningless screams of joy.
By now, my eyeballs were on the verge of popping out of their sockets; I never expected a hellhound to be able to support a large imp.
“They can support that much weight?”
Violet Snow didn’t answer me directly but instead threw another question at me: “What do you think?”
There’s no need to think, it’s happening right in front of me.
In fact, the hellhound didn’t seem to be affected by the large imp at all. Even with the imp on his back, his speed didn’t experience any significant decrease. Although, his agility naturally took a hit.
Cavalry units were an important force during the era of cold weaponry. Under the same conditions, a foot infantry stood no chance against a horseman. In fact, a squad of well trained cavalrymen are able to charge into an army ten times their size.
Not to mention that there were horsemen archers as well, whose accuracy even allowed them to hit a kite in the air while they rode on a horse.
As I thought about all the possibilities in my head, a warmth began to build up in my body.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to create a saddle and reins…
Just because the two of them were able to frolick around right now, didn’t mean that they were combat ready. In the heat of battle, the lack of a saddle stabilizing him might cause the large imp to fall off the hellhound.
Furthermore, the normal saddle and reins wouldn’t fit these hellhounds.
While the mouth bit doesn’t completely restrain their mouth, it would still severely hamper the hellhounds’ ability to attack with their mouths, causing them to experience an overall decrease in offensive power.
Just thinking about these problems made my head spin…don’t tell me my dreams of a cavalry squad will be dashed before they even start.
“What are you doing? Don’t you think that you look weird scratching your head even though you have no hair?”
I seemed to have discovered another evil side to Violet Snow…
While she voice was as calm as always, I was still able to pick up the malicious intent oozing from her words.
“I’m sorry for being bald…please stop making fun of me…” I felt like crying right now, being made fun of by a puppy was just…too damaging. What’s worse was that I had just discovered that I couldn’t even beat this puppy…
The loot distribution was a lot easier than expected. It was an even four way split of the souls, namely, one to the grimoire, one to the devil egg and the other two to me and Violet Snow.
In lieu of its callousness just now, I had initially planned on confiscating its portion but who knew that that little bastard was so vigilant. Upon picking up on my intentions, it immediately gobbled down its own portion.
This *****…unfortunately, I couldn’t even do a thing to it. Even now, I still didn’t understand this situation. Exactly when did it start having a personality?
Up till now, the devil egg was pretty obedient, whenever I gave it souls to eat, it would eat them. Whenever I didn’t, it wouldn’t cause a scene either. Standing side by side that grimoire, it’s obvious to see who had the better upbringing.
Another surprising thing was the fact that Violet Snow only ate souls.
As she ate the souls in front of her, she would meticulously and elegantly bring them to her mouth. What’s even weirder was that she wasn’t even slow despite that. Not to mention the fact that I still don’t understand how this puppy was able to elegantly feast on souls. Who can tell me which family this dog came from…they brought her up well…
Initially, I got my subordinates to bring her some meat and bones out of goodwill but she instantly snubbed it with a disdainful turn of her head.
“Don’t you like meat?”
“What? Is it that strange that I don’t eat meat?”
“Not really, it’s just that I’m not used to a doggie not eating meat.”
And then, that well brought up puppy stopped eating the souls and swivelled around to swear at me. “You’re the doggie, your whole family are doggies!”
“…” This change was just too sudden for me to bear.
“You don’t have to concern yourself with my matters too much.” Having left me these words, she wolfed down the remaining souls and left in an angry fit.
By the way, if you aren’t a doggie, what are you? No matter how you cut it, you’re a little doggie…
While this little comedy skit was going on, my subordinates had already began splitting up the meat.
The Abbadon Rodents were covered in a filthy coat of fur that reeked from a mile away. Once you got past this disgusting outer covering, you were left with a noticeably smaller chunk of meat.
After crunching some numbers, I came to an annoying realisation, the reward didn’t justify the risk we took. Essentially, we came out short whenever we hunted these skinny ratmen.
Thankfully, devils weren’t picky eaters. Even these disgusting piles of meat were delectable to them. It’s just that they gave off a weird odour whenever they ate the ratmen’s meat. Because I didn’t want to stay near these smelly imps, I even ordered No.3 and Big 4 [to just stand there and leave me alone for a moment].
After another half an hour, the battlefield was finally swept clean. All my devils managed to get their own share of the meat and the same applied to the hellhounds as well. Under Violet Snow’s supervision, they managed to evenly split up the hellhound corpses.
Having finished all that, Violet Snow sauntered up to me and with a haughty raise of her tiny little head, said: “It’s about time for us to leave.”
“Mhm, my subordinates have finished eating as well. Where should we head to next?”
“We should have a look at the ratmen’s nest.” Without even waiting for me to reply, she turned towards the direction the ratmen escaped in and trotted off.
“After such a long time, they probably escaped.”
I fully supported this opinion, after all, it had been a full hour since we stopped to clean up the battlefield, those rats must’ve fled by now.
Without turning around, she said in a solemn voice as she continued trotting along: “What I want…they can’t carry with them.”
Truth be told, when those ratmen fled the battlefield, I didn’t dare to chase them. That ratman boss was at the level of three-star and he still had a hundred over one-star rats. If we really forced them into a corner, the casualties would be tremendous on both sides. As they say, even a rabbit will bite when it is cornered.
It was for this reason and also because we needed to gather the loot, that I decided to halt the chase.
Those rats would’ve probably fled back to their nests first and carried away whatever they could with them as they evacuated the nest. While it might be a little late to catch these rats, they must’ve left some things of value behind, given that they didn’t have much time to flee.
With Violet Snow leading the way, we quickly navigated through the snaking maze and soon came upon their nest.
Because the entire Prison of the Dead was just a giant bone maze, there was no soil or plants to speak of. What I referred to as a nest was essentially a just a corner of the maze.
It was a dead end in some random part of the maze and was relatively wide. The area was extremely messy and was filled with a stench that stunk to the high heavens. Even spending an additional second here pissed me off.
The ground was littered with a bunch of trash that basically consisted of fur and bones that were picked clean.
The Abbadon Rodents had a degree of intelligence and so they designated a specific area to defecate and a specific area to dispose of the trash as well. The garbage point was at the entrance of their nest where a tiny mountain of bones was haphazardly stacked up to at least 10 meters high.
Violet Snow lightly jumped atop the mountain of bones and began sniffing around. She continued her climb until she finally reached the peak of the pile where a canine skull rested atop it.
The moment she came upon that skull, she solemnly lowered her head and gently rubbed her face against the skull while giving out a low whimper. As her frail silhouette stood atop that mountain of bones, she looked exceptionally sorrowful.
As she raised her head, she sadly howled into the moonless ceiling: “Aaawooof~~~”
Dogs go [woof woof] while wolves go [awoo], so what the heck is [awoof]?
As her sorrowful howls echoed in the chambers of the nest, the other hellhounds began to howl into air as well, that same sorrow permeating through their cries.
The doggies were…grieving?
While I’m not too familiar with their communal customs, I was at least able to hear the pain in their howls. And so, I chose not to interrupt them. Even the curious One-eye was stopped by me as he tried to inquire about this action.
After 10 minutes, the sound of footsteps suddenly echoed in what was supposed to be a moment of silence. It was the unique chattering sound that could only be produced by bones stepping upon bones. Judging from this sound, they were closing in on us.
In the Prison of the Dead, this meant only one thing: the undead have come.
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.