“Keep that away…it’s dangerous…”
Her voice tense, her nerves clearly rattled by the deadly Nether Flames. Could she be blamed for that though? After all, a couple of Five-stars Demonic Flame Sprites and a Six-stars Flame Devouring Fish were all wiped out not too long ago by said flame without any hope of resistance whatsoever. One had to know that all three of them were flame based organisms…for them to be burned to death like that was truly ironic.
Even though Nola’s resistance to flame was ludicrously high, she was no fool. She naturally knew that an ordinary flame simply couldn’t be compared to Nether Flames. For her to be so fearful was only to be expected, right?
Seeing her acting with such trepidation was truly a new and intriguing experience for me. One that couldn’t help but bring a cheeky grin to my lips as I said: “So even Nola has times when she is afraid.”
“Who said I’m afraid…I just don’t want that THING to touch me…” She desperately tried to deny it. Unfortunately for her, her ever softening voice was a dead giveaway.
However, I could roughly tell from her expression that this joke had almost run its course by now. Thus, I cut off my mana supply, causing the Vengeful Flames to disperse into nothingness in a puff of black and red…
“Phew, that scared me.”
‘Who knew she was actually that scared of Nether Flames…’
Still unaware that she just let the cat out of the bag, Nola immediately glossed over the whole incident while giving me a quick look: “Next time, don’t mess around with a toy like that, I ended up being dragged into this charade too.”
“Toy?” I twisted my wrist a little in a summoning motion. “So you really aren’t afraid then?”
“Why would I?” She proudly raised her chin. “There’s just no way.”
“How about I call it out again then?”
“Let’s…let’s not…” Staring at her stiff smile, I didn’t know whether to be exasperated or to laugh at her obstinance.
However, that was enough horsing around for now. With that little episode behind us, I turned my eyes to Mo Na.
“Sweetie, Papa’s mana is a little special so this spell belongs only to Papa. How about we change the name as well? Just to differentiate them.”
Since she was the creator of this spell, I felt I had to at least consult her opinion on such matters, even though I knew that she would definitely support me.
“Okay~ What does Mama want to call it then?” As expected, she agreed while clapping her hands in glee: “Since it’s based on the Vengeful Soul, with flames added in, how about we call it Vengeful Flames?”
‘I wonder if it’s alright to blatantly steal the name…’
“Hmm, is the name bad?” She tapped her lips while tilting her head to the side. “Mo Na thinks it’s pretty good.”
“Ahem, it’s decent, but maybe we shouldn’t use this name…” The last thing I wanted to deal with was a copy strike, even though there were no heavy-handed corporations in this world…
“Then what name does Mama want?”
“Name huh…” I gave it some thought before finally coming up with something more basic: “How about Nether Flame Soul.”
“Nether Flame Soul?” Mo Na repeated the name to herself several times before suddenly rolling her eyes at me. Then, with all the seriousness in the world, she said: “Mama, that’s such a middle school name!”
As the two of us continued with our banter, time marched onwards tirelessly. Second by second, minute by minute, time pressed regardless of our will. By now, roughly eight hours had passed since our last battle. Nola had finished resting, the initial features of the safety zone was done, and we had successfully set up a communication pipeline between the salamanders and us. Simply put, there really wasn’t any reason for Nola to stay behind anymore, at least that was she reckoned.
No matter how much we wished for her to stay, she was adamant about leaving. Given that she wasn’t going to change her mind no matter what, I decided it would be better if we just let her go then.
“I’m off then.” With half her body submerged in the lava lake, Nola turned around to look at me before declaring as such with a deadpan face: “This time, I’m leaving for real.”
‘Just go then, you don’t have to repeat yourself.’ I purposely put on a relaxed face as I waved at her to leave: “I get it, I get it, I won’t stop you.”
“…take care then.” Nola nodded her head before sinking into the lake, her body stirring up a huge wave in the process as if she was a giant ship taking a nosedive. Soon, her body disappeared entirely into the lake without a trace.
‘So she decided to leave in the end…’
However, now wasn’t the time for me to mope about because of her departure, I still had important matters to attend to. According to No.3, that teleportation zone would periodically spawn new Devils. Those were my current targets. By enslaving these newcomers, our faction would balloon in strength.
Clearly, that was a good thing. At the very least, I had never heard of anyone being resentful that their power grew stronger, especially given how much I wanted to become stronger.
In order to enslave them, I would have to prepare a food source for them, and that was the safety zone I was building right now. Even though the worms that had split up weren’t able to sustain us with their soul fragments, their meat should suffice in feeding this army.
After all, souls were kind of like diamonds for the lower starred Devils –a luxury.
“No.3, I’ll leave this place in your care for now. I’ll give these four Abyssal Golems to you to guard the entry. I’ll head back to the capital with No.6 first. As for the safety zone, just follow the current setup and expand it as needed to connect the two points, got it?” With Nola gone, my mind was now in full gear working out a plan for the future. “Also, I’ll leave those Devils who surrendered here for now. Weren’t there three Flame Childes who surrendered to us? Have those three manage the newcomers, as long as nothing happens, it’s fine.”
Having taken in all my instructions, No.3 had a look of despair on his face as if the entire world was about to come crashing down upon him. “Master, you’re heading back? Without me?”
“Our mission here is too important, you’re the only person I can trust…we just don’t have enough manpower…” I sighed, interrupting No.3’s incoming pleas. I then turned around to face the sniggering No.6. “Let’s go then, first we have to find Sinmosa and Sasani, I still want to check if there are any new Devils that teleported in while we were busy…”
“Understood, Master.” No.6 wringed his hands together like a perfectly trained lackey before throwing a glance at No.3. The taunting look he had in eyes, coupled with his conspicuously raised eyebrows, infuriated the helpless No.3
In terms of intelligence, No.6 was truly leaps and bounds ahead of No.3, even the timing he chose to taunt the latter was perfect. He knew that even if No.3 wanted to lash at him, he couldn’t do so right now. In fact, No.3 tried to do so several times already but held back in lieu of me being so nearby.