The deceit and slyness of the devils was something Leylin knew extremely well. If a devil had nothing restricting it, what sort of chaos would it bring to Baator? Just the thought caused him to shudder; there was never a lack of ambitious beings among the devils.
Leylin then thought of another possibility. ‘Of course, it might also be because the eight Archdevils are too scheming and powerful. They’ve divided up the authority that should’ve been sole property of the Ninth Hell, causing an equilibrium to be maintained.’
As he was considering these issues, he’d unwittingly released his aura. Along with his grasp of the authority, he’d alarmed a tremendous existence.
“Such an ancient and noble aura, this is a might only Archdevils possess. Who is it?” Loud draconic roars sounded out, and a gigantic five-coloured dragon crawled out of a cave. This cave was next to a skull that formed a huge base.
It had five sinister dragon heads, each of varying colour. Its huge claws caused tiny earthquakes with each footstep, making the legendary dragon Leylin had seen before seem like a baby.
“It’s the area’s guardian, Chromatic Dragon Tiamat.” It was obvious that the dragon strolled around the region regularly. The devils did not seem to panic.
Leylin had only leaked his aura for a mere moment before hiding himself well. Tiamat’s five huge heads smelt the air, but in the end could only shrink back without any other choice. Peace and order was quickly restored on the streets. Many people continued travelling, but Leylin stood looking at the cave the dragon had disappeared into, seemingly deep in thought.
‘Guardian of the Bronze Citadel, Chromatic Dragon Tiamat. She’s a humongous dragon with power comparable to gods.’
The A.I. Chip had managed to scan Tiamat in the short period she’d come out, and it now presented the information to Leylin:
[Chromatic Dragon Tiamat (Titanic) Strength: 40. Agility: 10. Vitality: 35. Spirit: 28.
Abilities: 1. Epic Dragon Breath: Each of Tiamat’s five heads can attack using different types of breaths, namely frost, acid, corrosion, lightning, and fire.
2. Fierce Aura: Tiamat’s presence alone causes unease in her enemies. This power is automatically under effect when Tiamat takes flight, charges, or attacks.
3: Spells. Tiamat is a rank 20 evil priest. She also holds the power of a domain as well as divine spells.
4. Magical ability. As a rank 20 sorcerer, she can use the following spells thrice a day: Command Plants, Control Weather, Darkness, Dominate, Fog Cloud, Gust, Arcane Mirage, Plant Growth, Suggestion, Swarm, Veil, Ventriloquism.
Feats: Alchemy, Deceit, Focus, Diplomacy, Intimidation, Draconic Knowledge, Sense Intent, Spell Identification, Survival, Battle Casting, Flying Attack, Heavy Damage - Adept, Instant Cast (coupled with power of domain), Acrobatic Flight.]
‘This is the might of a real legendary being that’s lived for a long time. Not only are all her stats high, she also has great experience and background. The abilities and feats alone make her comparable to demigods…’
Leylin had an interested look on his face, ‘Also, Tiamat seems to have male companions of five different evil races. When they act together, they’re strong enough to fight the God of Kobolds and the God of Sharks. Of course, that’s only outside their divine kingdoms…’
Based on Beelzebub’s memories, the Bronze Citadel was at the very frontlines of battle between Baator and the abyss. It was often attacked by demons. Although many demons were chaotic and crazed like wild dogs, they outnumbered the devils twenty to one. They caused great damage to the citadel.
Unfortunately for them, the devils depended on order and schemes. They would never allow the demons to break into the fort, on the other hand even planning numerous campaigns into the abyss to gain the upper hand in battle.
However, with no distinct outcome yet in the battles between chaos and order, some even suspected that this would continue to the end of the world.
This extended war also gave Asmodeus the opportunity to lay his hands on Avernus. He took advantage of his eight devil generals, gaining control over the Bronze Citadel during a siege and obtaining the authority to station them here. He now controlled half the citadel.
Rumours said that Tiamat had gradually been reduced to a mere symbol, the guardian of the Bronze Citadel.
‘The Bronze Citadel influences less than a third of Avernus, and he only took control of half of that…’ Leylin shook his head, feeling that Asmodeus’ title as the Supreme of Baator was quite the joke.
“The demons! The demons are here!” “Wild dogs! A wave of wild dogs is attacking!”
A shrieking alarm sounded out all of a sudden. Leylin frowned, his divine conscient immediately finding a large amount of chaotic power moving towards the Bronze Citadel. The demons obviously didn’t attempt to conceal themselves, and were spotted miles away.
“Begin preparing dinner.” Eight great evil auras rose up, representing the highest power in the city other than the pit fiends that were vassals of Archdevils.
‘The Dark Eight… Asmodeus’ loyal dogs are attacking… Does this mean this siege is a scheme to deal with the demons?’ Leylin’s eyes flashed. With the devils’ order and care, it was impossible for their lair to be attacked without warning. The only possibility was that they’d planned something against the demons, hoping to make use of the Bronze Citadel to wipe them out and reduce their might.
Such plans had been implemented many times already, but the demons still got tricked every time. Crazed as they were in their bloodlust, they did not even understand the concept of schemes, Besides, the glory of attacking the devils’ lair was the top priority in their simple minds.
However, Leylin soon found himself unable to laugh. Under the command of the Dark Eight, all the devils in the fort marched out, as if there was an invisible network that was passing orders.
Nupperibos followed lemures, who themselves followed spinagon. Under the lesser devils, they formed squadrons led by barbazu, imps, and excruciarchs, mid-ranked devils. These squadrons formed up behind greater devils like osyluths, barbed devils, horned devils, ice devils, and many others. At the summit were the Dark Eight, and everything combined into a hierarchy that distributed work like a beehive or ant nest. The army was very efficient, and worked in perfect harmony.
‘This is the power of authority.’ Leylin quickly understood how this network worked. There was a natural difference in the types of beings here, as well as the power of their authority. The Dark Eight were pit fiends, the highest rank of devils. They’d also received power from Asmodeus, gaining some access to Baator’s origin force. Although it wasn’t direct, the power they displayed when they banded together could overwhelm anything. It allowed the devils to maintain control of the Bronze Citadel.
By this logic, any Archdevil of Baator controlled the lives and advancement of devils that were pit fiends and below. Even if these devils were under the jurisdiction of other Archdevils, they would still feel a natural pressure arising from the same origin force.
‘The rules of Baator give some freedom to any other pit fiend inside the Bronze Citadel, but it still has to listen to the commands of the Dark Eight. However, it can still reject them at the cost of torture or demotion, depending on the Archdevil it follows…’
Leylin looked at the devils beside him. They all retained their wits, but still did not reject the commands of the generals. Even though these greater devils served different lords, they still carried out their orders in silence, as if this was how things should be.
‘This is the authority of the World Origin Force. Every difference in rank is like the gap between the heavens and the earth…’ He hadn’t noticed it closely before, but once he discovered the difference Leylin immediately sensed an enormous network through his authority over the origin force. An immense will from the depths of the network connected to the Dark Eight. The connection also gave Leylin some other information, but he ignored it.
[Beep! Discovered digitised network. Automatically obtained highest authority. Organising…] The A.I. Chip was now working at top speed.
‘If the eight pit fiends work together, they can take over the Bronze Citadel. Even Tiamat wouldn’t dare underestimate them. However…’
Leylin felt strongly that he could take over this network with but a thought, becoming an existence above the Dark Eight that commanded all the devils in the Bronze Citadel. After all, his authority came from the Archdevil of the Second Hell. Unlike the Dark Eight whose authority was second-hand, he had direct control,
Unfortunately, the moment he did that he’d expose his identity to the other lords, which didn’t serve his intentions. Once the A.I. Chip was done analysing the network, Leylin immediately commanded, ‘A.I. Chip, begin concealment!’
[Beep! Mission established. Beginning concealing process. Activating control behind the scenes] the A.I. Chip intoned loyally.
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