Book 2, Chapter 112

Persuasion(3)

The archdevil on the throne showed no emotion at all. He stared quietly at the general below with his obsidian eyes, speaking in a grating voice, “Those humans have already left. They weren’t here just to massacre one of my armies, did they leave a message?”

Cardis pulled out a letter, written on high quality magic paper that could resist the corrosive atmosphere of hell. The general pushed it forward with both hands, and a ball of black energy took over and brought the letter straight to the throne.

“These invaders were all strong, headed by a female mage. The only reason she would let me bring this letter to you is if she had some suggestions for our attack on Norland, my Lord,” Cardis explained.

The archdevil nodded in agreement, “She can kill of an entire legion, and cut off one of your arms. Her advice would certainly be worth heeding. What was her name?”

“Sharon, Your Highness.”

“Sharon…” The archdevil muttered this name several times under his breath. He had exceptional power unlike the other devils under him, able to obtain a lot of information about a target through their name alone. He quickly opened the envelope, only to find two short lines.

At a single glance, the archdevil could tell that the first line specified the coordinates of a part of Norland. The information was so precise that he would be able to spawn his portal within ten metres of the specified location. As for the second line, it was some text sealed with magic, the meaning within being transferred directly to his mind. However, it somewhat puzzled him.

“Out the door and turn right.”

The archdevil pondered over this for an entire day, leaving everyone else waiting for the same amount of time. He eventually probed, “What else did this Sharon say, Cardis? Tell me everything.”

Cardis tried his best to recall. Greater devils were comparable to human grand mages in intelligence, so it was impossible for them to just forget things. He thought over the entire battle in an instant, “Right, she said something strange. ‘Sharon will be on the left.’”

The archdevil nodded silently, sending Cardis off to rest. A black flame sprung forth from his hand, burning the letter completely before he pointed to two of the leaders, “The two of you will lead this invasion into Norland. Take the first legion, and ensure to cause enough damage and reap as many souls as possible. The ultimate fall of Norland will depend on accumulated impact.”

The two lesser lords were surprised and excited, falling to their knees as they accepted the command.

With a wave of his hand, the devil on the throne summoned two balls of black energy that floated up to them, forming sparkling black gems that were embedded into their chests. At a critical moment, these gems would be able to bring the two back to this palace in an instant. Every lesser lord was a valuable asset, unlike the normal soldiers who were just cannon fodder. Every time their armies grew larger than ideal, devils made use of war to cull the numbers.

After some further contemplation, the archdevil commanded, “Once you exit the portal, all troops are to march right and attack. No matter what is to the front or left, ignore it all!“

Although the lords found the order very strange, they still indicated that they would comply. Devil hierarchy was quite strict, and one could never go against their ruler’s commands.

……

Moments later, the roar of a demon lord shook every corner of one of the levels of the abyss. All sorts of demons were left sprawled over the ground, not daring to move in fear of incurring their lord’s wrath.

A powerful demon was floating in mid-air above a lake of lava, with indescribable power. His powerful aura formed countless mysterious demonic characters that fluttered around him in the air. Across him was a magnificent ball of blue light, with a small lady floating within.

“SHARON! How dare you appear in front of me? Do you think there is no way for my fury to reach Norland?”

The legendary mage stuck out her tongue, chuckling, “Bermond Gauguin, I only came because I know you are already prepared to invade Norland. Come on, don’t be angry, you know it won’t help at all. You’re not chasing me away! Imagine how crushed your dignity would be if another fight like that broke out. The lords of the other levels would be talking about it for millennia!”

The demon lord snorted, licks of fire spurting out of his nostrils. “What are you here for?” he demanded in a cold voice, “To stop me, or to provoke me further?”

“Neither. There is little benefit for me to provoke you. I’m here to offer a deal,” the legendary mage said as she straightened her hair, “I can give you a set of coordinates to Norland. In exchange, your troops will have to abide by a simple rule when they go through. Also, I want the right to hunt in your lands.”

Bermond grew more suspicious, asking, “What rule?”

“Very simple. Out the door and turn left.”

The demon lord snorted once more. He didn’t agree yet, asking, “What’s on the right of the portal?”

“I am.”

“What about the front?”

“A legion of devils. They will turn right themselves before launching their attack. I doubt you’d want to fight them in a bloody battle in Norland, no?”

The demon lord nodded, “So the ones on the left are your enemies?”

Sharon broke out into a wide grin, showering him with high praise, “As expected of a demon lord, so clever!”

Bermond moved his body, the lake of lava below him starting to bubble and boil. “Alright!” he declared in a thunderous voice, “I agree. I shall forgive you for killing one of my subordinates in that earlier hunt, and you can hunt in my lands again. However, you can only take regular demons!”

“I’m off then! Here are the coordinates.” The legendary mage ejected a blue bead of light from her fingertips, shooting it towards Bermond Gauguin before flying out through the back. In just a few moments, she was dozens of kilometers away. She suddenly plunged down, fishing up a large demon before she escaped through a portal to the tune of Bermond’s furious bellows.

“It’s just a small repayment for the coordinates, don’t be so petty!” Sharon had already disappeared, but her crisp and melodious voice still echoed throughout the abyss.

Sighing heavily, Bermond Gauguin stopped short in his chase. In any case, even if it wouldn’t be hard to get coordinates in Norland he would have had to sacrifice dozens of such demons. And since the standards of measurement differed because of the laws of the planes, there were bound to be problems when they started building a teleportation gate. In the worst case, several of his troops might have died. He had actually gotten the better deal, with the legendary mage just taking one. It was just that demons were normally not that calculative.

As for the deal, Bermond Gauguin was determined to keep his word. Only lesser lords could pass through such portals, and this was Norland’s mainland they were heading to. If they turned right and ran into Sharon, they would most likely end up without a way to return. He didn’t want to return from a trip to a primary plane with nothing but a bloody fight with devils to his credit. Demons may love chaos by nature, but they weren’t completely senseless.

The only choice left now was to turn left.

‘The fellow on the left better pray hard,’ the demon lord thought to himself.

…… 

At that time in Norland, Gaton was walking out of a portal with his battered troops, returning to his family’s territory. Although he had lost a third of his rune knights, he managed to slaughter an entire legion of the devils. In the end, his gains outweighed the losses. Additionally, having experienced the cruel bloodbath in hell for four days and three nights, the survivors were all stronger than ever.

Breathing the fresh air of Norland once more, Gaton’s frown slowly disappeared from his face. Stabbing his longsword into the ground, he gazed into the distance. In that direction, behind a long mountain range, was a rich and fertile plain. This was the ancestral land of the Schumpeters, the most important of all their lands.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: SY

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA