With the help of Baalzephon the ‘traitor,’ Leylin was the first to enter the semiplane.
Powerful spatial force flickered in this place, and he could barely make out the world at the other side. This was a plane of lava, and at its heart was a massive devil deep asleep.
The chest of this veritable mountain heaved up and down in his slumber, his devilish wings and giant eyes quivering with a powerful life force.
“Beelzebub’s true body!” The pit fiends who saw this scene rejoiced loudly, the fire in their eyes blazing intensely.
In front of them was an unequaled throne. It was a position at the head of all devils, exempt from eternal damnation!
Yet Leylin slowed his footsteps, coming to a halt. He’d already fulfilled his goals the moment he entered the semiplane.
‘It’s so lifelike that it almost fooled even me, but…’ The A.I. Chip’s light flashed in Leylin’s eyes, following which he left and disappeared without the slightest hesitation.
With the domain and divine force that was repelling the pit fiends removed, they’d entered the semiplane as well.
“What do we do now? That god seems to have left, could this be a trap?” Zapan blinked. Beelzebub may have seemed strong here, but he still coveted this place greatly.
“How about we send some cannon fodder up to see if it’s the real thing?” A devil suggested from the side. Its body was spewing flames occasionally.
“You bunch of cowards, now its all mine… Haha…” Even as the rest of the devils grew indecisive, one of the pit fiends laughed maniacally and dashed into the semiplane. Following that precedence, the other pit fiends joined in as well.
“Pearza was the first one to enter. I’m not going to be promoted next year anyway…” another devil sighed, “I’m going to leave…”
Demons would have rushed in without thought. However, devils weren’t the demon horde. They were of the lawful alignment, and possessed great intelligence.
“I smell a trap as well. Pardon me, I’ll excuse myself…” The devils who entered this place were the unlucky ones, those who were going to fare badly in the next evaluation and thus wanted to prove their mettle. The others saw that the scene before them was too good to be true, and they planned to retreat.
“The god may have left, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a trap. Besides, if we combine our forces…” Even more devils grew restless, trying to persuade their peers.
*Rumble!* However, a terrifying change had occurred in the semiplane. It thundered loudly and distorted, as if turning into a terrifying beast. The entrance before them turned into a monstrous mouth.
*Bang!* Being the first one to rush in and touch the true body in the semiplane, Pearza exploded into a wisp of smoke. The giant figure of the Archdevil began to melt within the lava, turning into a putrid black liquid that clung onto the bodies of the devils and corroded them.
“Argh...This is…” The devils in the semiplane wailed. It was like they were being digested in the stomach of a strange beast, the black liquid being its stomach acid. This new beast roared out as a force of suction was formed at its mouth.
“Damn it, it’s a trap! Hurry and leave!” Zapan of the Dark Eight bellowed, but he soon discovered that the force had grown to encompass him. The giant mouth covered the sky and earth, as if wanting to swallow everything within. Many pit fiends died to the black liquid.
This beast only stilled after devouring many of them, emitting the evil energy it had digested in satisfaction. It then sent its energy to a certain location.
“What a pity…”
Ninth level of Baator, Nessus. Asmodeus was atop the great citadel of Malsheem, sighing.
Mammon, Samuel, and Levistus jumped at the same time. “Our subordinates, what have you done?”
“It was to complete a contract I had with Beelzebub…” Asmodeus shrugged his shoulders. “I never schemed against your men, it was agreed upon before Beelzebub entered his deep slumber. He laid a trap to invite an enemy in, and if he was able to successfully devour them, he could heal from his injuries and retain order in Dis. However, it seemed like the beast couldn’t fool that enemy…”
“Which is to say… You have been deceiving us all these while?” The frosty aura around Levistus had strengthened.
“Oh no, not at all my friends.” Asmodeus smiled maliciously, “The agreement sworn to the Styx is still in effect. If your subordinates had managed to grasp Beelzebub’s weakness and take over, I would have acknowledged it for sure. However, they failed and became medicine for a lord of Baator. It’s not all that serious, is it?”
“Which means we helped Beelzebub recover for nothing in return? Damn it!” Mammon and Samuel howled, “Let us return, it should be a mess at our side now…”
“I’m afraid not. After all, the pact has not yet reached its maturity…” Asmodeus blinked his eyes, as if everything in the Nine Hells was laid before him, “Please, let us wait…”
“So he wanted to devour me through this trap to recover?” Leylin’s figure appeared atop the Iron Tower, his divine force causing the area around him to still.
He looked at the beast devouring the pit fiends without a care in the world, and his eyes glowed. He had confirmed that this was a trap laid by Beelzebub, aiming to ensnare him so that the Archdevil could regain his lost authority and power.
However, even if Beelzebub’s plan had failed he’d managed to devour a lot of pit fiends. They now fuelled his recovery. Even if swallowing Leylin would have been most effective, this was better than nothing.
“Too bad… Your trap had one flaw, and an undeniable truth!” Leylin’s eyes smiled.
“The fact is that you’ve already entered a deep slumber. You could only lay this trap in a hurry, but couldn’t control it from the background. It’s a little shabby.
“As for your fatal error… The energy this beast sucked in is being transported to you through a tunnel to somewhere nearby!” One could not transport energy an infinite distance, and Beelzebub himself was a master of tactics. The most dangerous place would also be the safest one!
“But I still can’t sense your existence. There isn’t a trace of your aura in the plane…” Leylin’s eyes squinted, “There’s only one way for that to happen, the Manderhawke Plate. You used it to carve a small space out of the void, huh? That way, even if you’re not in Dis you’re still nearby.”
‘A.I. Chip!’ Leylin fiercely commanded.
[Beep! Bringing up data on the Manderhawke Plate…] the A.I. Chip intoned, sending a large amount of information to Leylin’s memory.
He’d made several attempts to replicate the Manderhawke Plate back in the Magus World, and now it seemed to have paid off. Elegant runes and patterns began to appear from Leylin’s fingertips, forming a complex and intricate pattern. The patterns had all joined together, forming a strange circular rune.
[Beginning replication of Manderhawke Plate, searching for similar wave bands…] Looking at the notification, Leylin descended to the ground and moved towards Beelzebub’s statue. The semiplane beast had ripped the entire palace to ashes, but this region had been spared that treatment.
[Beep! Search complete. Target’s location: 00] the A.I. Chip prompted.
“So it’s here!” Leylin did not hesitate any further, pressing the replica up against Beelzebub’s statue. The rune buzzed as it began to merge into the statue. It was like something being dropped in water as it opened up a mysterious space.
This place was extremely small, and the world seemed to be in grayscale here. There was an aura of extreme evil in here, being radiated by the body of a devil that was curled up in the centre.
“I’ve finally found you, Beelzebub…” Leylin muttered.
He’d never thought that this Archdevil would have grown so weak. Although he looked to be the same, Beelzebub had dropped to the size of an infant. Illusory tubes connected his body to the semiplane beast, absorbing the power it devoured.
A conscient awakened slowly, immediately beginning to give off feelings of fear and anxiety upon seeing Leylin.
“From the Magus World to the Purgatory World, and back to the World of Gods before the Nine Hells. Our feud is finally coming to an end…” Leylin looked at Beelzebub, sighing at the sight of his enemy. Crimson runes began to cover his body, as a vertical eye split apart his brows.
“Nightmare Absorption— Dream Eater!” Leylin used the best method of absorption he had for the World of Gods. Dark red dreamforce engulfed the entire space, forming an oval egg. The egg began to throb slightly, as if alive and breathing.
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