“…” Violet Snow’s face darkened in an instant, I could see the unhappiness just itching to burst out right now.
In order to prevent the situation from getting worse, I immediately changed the topic: “Err…so what did you need my help with?”
“Turn this into something I can carry by my side at all times.” She pointed at the skull between us with her lower jaw, her eyes tearing up as she said so.
“An accessory huh…”
I gave a long hum as I mulled over what to turn it into. Violet Snow rubbed her tiny head against my finger and said in an almost pleading tone: “ I know you can transmute bones, those weapons your subordinates wielded were your works, weren’t they? Don’t deny it…”
“I’ll definitely help you.” I said, anxious to not let her misunderstand my silence as a sign of refusal. As I did so, I didn’t forget to pet her head once more. As I basked in the fluffy paradise, I didn’t forget to reassure her either. “I was just thinking of what to turn it into.”
I guess it has to be a dog tag.
But letting such an adorable dog wear a dog tag seems like a travesty of justice. Furthermore, doing that might just earn me a swat of her tiny paws.
“What do you wish for me to make?”
I glanced at her, throwing the problem right back at her. An accessory for a dog…with my limited creativity…all I got was a dog tag…maybe a toy bone?
“Turn it into a dagger, it’s fine if it’s slightly smaller, just make sure I can carry it with me.”
“A dagger huh.”
Based on her petite frame, the dagger would have to be at most five to six cm long in order for it to hang off her body which was smaller than most house cats. And there’s still the issue of a chain…
Well, I guess I can split the skull into halves and use it to make a chain. It will have to do till I find more materials.
It wasn’t long before the dagger accessory was fully crafted. There wasn’t anything fancy about it but she accepted it nonetheless as I hung it over her neck. Based on her current size, the dagger almost touched the ground as it hung off her neck.
I made it longer than needed in consideration of the fact that she will grow bigger with time but this still seemed a little too long. And so, I adjusted the chain and made it shorter.
She stared unblinkingly at the dagger shaped out of that skull, the sorrow clearly reflected on her face, thankfully, it wasn’t as heavy as before. Once I finished the adjustments, she gave her adorable puppy head a light swish, her face perking up as she did so as if she had just swished away her grief.
“If you find it uncomfortable, just come find me, I’ll help fix it up.” I gave her head a last pet before reluctantly withdrawing my hand.
“Thank you.” These two words were only slightly louder than a pin drop. Having said her thanks, she immediately turned away. Was it her pride acting up again or was it just a small tantrum.
“No problem, as long as you like it.” The thanks was kinda soft but since you were so sincere, I’ll be magnanimous and accept it.
“I…I like it a lot.” She raised her head and stared at the sky…or was it something else? Either way, it wasn’t at me.
“Oh right, are there any devils nearby?”
“You’re looking for devils?”
“Yup, it’s been a long time since I replenished my army. The battles are getting fiercer with our enemies getting stronger as we proceed further. Putting aside my case, the advancement rate of my subordinates are just too slow. If I don’t recruit new devils, I’m afraid I might not be able to leave this maze.”
Recruiting more devils was definitely necessary. Ever since I left the Blood Sea, my subordinates had undergone countless battles with me. Over half of them died as a result and we only managed to replenish our numbers once in the Land of the Dead.
If it wasn’t for that robed skeleton’s help and me finding the Grimoire of the Dead, I wouldn’t have even made it here. Or at the very least, I wouldn’t be able to get here so easily.
I don’t know how long the road ahead is but, there is one thing I’m sure of: without strength, even surviving is difficult. Since I had the ability to subjugate devils, why shouldn’t I use it?
“Nearby devils…hold on, I’ll ask around.” She thought about this for a moment before going off to find a certain hellhound resting on the ground.
Based on his appearance, he was a rather old hellhound. His fur wasn’t as glossy and black as the other hellhounds and there were even signs of balding.
She walked up to the senior hellhound and conversed with him in their language before trotting back up to me.
“This is the oldest warrior in our pack. According to him, there is a nearby clan of devils just west of us. But they are one of the larger factions in this region and number over a thousand.”
Over a thousand devils? Devils were stronger than ratmen and weren’t that cowardly either so they were definitely stronger than the ratmen we just chased away.
There’s still the problem of how strong was their strongest warrior. “What about their leader and what about their two-stars?” I immediately asked.
If these devils were significantly stronger than us, they would definitely pounce at us with little more than a few yells. Compared to being my subordinate, they would probably want to capture me more.
My ability to seduce devils wasn’t a 100% effective all the time. Just based on the recent events, I realized that it had mostly to do with my unique physiology. At least, I haven’t been able to find another devil who gave off the same fragrance as me.
Furthermore, the stronger devils all had the tendency of trying to dominate me the moment they lay their eyes on me…as a bonafide male, being coveted by a bunch of male devils was just…embarrassing.
In short, we had to be stronger than whoever we wished to recruit.
Of course, there were always exceptions such as the recently deceased Big 1 and One-eye who was currently commanding my devils. Their decision to join was a surprise to me and until today, I still didn’t understand why they did so.
Violet Snow conversed with the senior hellhound once more and said: “Their leader is a three-star demon child and has nearly a hundred two-star head imps under him. As for the one and zero-star imps, we aren’t too sure about that.”
“Three-star demon child…” Truth be told, this phrase still brought up unpleasant memories, that last encounter with Chipped Horn was just too traumatizing.
Not only was he able to kill Big 1 in just a few hits, his strength was just too overwhelming. None of my subordinates were a match for him and in the end, I had to steel my heart as I told them to dog pile him.
And now our target was just as or even stronger than Chipped Horn. Not only that, he had an army that was stronger than mine. How can I be anything but worried?
After all that fighting, my devil army was reduced to less than 300. While they had my refined equipment aiding them, a head on battle would still be a disadvantage for us. Not to mention, that three-star demon child…I definitely didn’t want to pluck the whiskers off a tiger.
“If you are worried about their three-star leader, I can help you with that.” Violet Snow looked at me with those prideful eyes of hers, an expression hanging on her face that said [you can ask me for help].
“While a one on one fight might be difficult, with you helping me at the side, taking him down isn’t as impossible as you think.”
“But he has too many small fries under him, plus he even has nearly a hundred head imps with him…” I had less than 300 devils while Violet Snow had only 56 hellhounds left. In a head on battle with their thousand strong army, we definitely came out short.
As for that battle with the Abbadon Rodents…that was nothing but a scam. It was that puppy Violet Snow who dug that pit for me to jump into.
Luckily for us, those ratmen were extremely cowardly and didn’t possess much strength in a head on battle. Once their leader fled, the other ratmen fled as well. That was the only reason why we won that battle. If they had chosen to fight to the end, we might’ve just died there.
“So you wish to fight and yet don’t? So exactly what do you want?”
She threw a cold, arrogant look before turning her head away from me disdainfully as if to say that I was nothing more than a coward who only knew how to talk.
“I didn’t say that I wouldn’t fight. I just don’t want to fight them without any assurances.”
In order to placate her, I immediately told her my thoughts. “Our armies combined are just too small. If we expend all of them, wouldn’t you be sad. We should first find a way to expand our troops.”
Hearing the phrase expand our troops immediately made her face freeze up. After a while, she finally said reluctantly, “ I will definitely not see the other hellhound clans.”
“I never asked you to do so.” I said with a slightly wronged look on my face, standing up as I did so. With a casual swat, I slapped at Vick who was circling us in an annoying fashion. While it didn’t hit him in the end, that sudden burst of violence scared him and he fleeted away with an even more wronged look on his face.
“Then what do you mean?”
“Are there any other clans nearby?”
Violet Snow still didn’t understand the intentions of my words and so I had to explain my devious intentions to her, “Best if they were timid and easy to subjugate.”
“Timid and easy to subjugate…you…”
She finally understood my intentions and immediately turned back to that senior hellhound. Ten seconds later, she told me in a slightly doubtful tone, “ There’s a dogman clan nearby. They number above 2000 and have a three-star dogman warrior as their leader. However, his combat strength is lower than the ratman boss so we should be able to take him easily.”
“Dogmen? It’s them then.”