A huge balor stepped over the body of an orthon. “I, Jesdric, am the strongest!” it yelled out, its huge demonic wings flapping as blood spurted out of a wound on its chest.
The orthon was a greater devil, and its sneak attack had caused a certain amount of damage. The balor’s chest was in a complete mess, the price for killing its opponent. Scales were upturned with flesh and blood on them, and one could even see pale bones and a thumping heart within. Although such injuries were not fatal to demons, the balor would still take some time to recover.
Jesdric was a powerful demon with a noble bloodline, and many devils eyed it with greed; there were even demons that did the same. As long as a demon could kill it, it would obtain a portion of Jesdric’s power. It would allow the attacker to rise in rank, even becoming a balor!
Next to the body of the orthon were also torn up demons. These were the demons that wanted to steal the kill; of course, they were torn into tiny bits.
“Come! Give me a little more flesh and souls so that I can advance!” A layer of blood-red energy appeared on Jesdric’s body, and large amounts of lava formed tiny blood vessels that covered it. This balor was evidently at the brink of advance, and perhaps just one more high- opponent would allow it to please the abyss’ World Will and let it advance to the peak of all demons, a flame balor.
Hold Monster! Sudden spell light halted the enraged roars of the balor. Its eyes filled with anger and astonishment, it saw the figure of a devil emerge from the shadows. This enemy had sinister horns, it was evidently a greater horned devil.
Fireball! Greater Entanglement! The other party did not give Jesdric a chance to speak. Powerful flames drowned the balor with a wave of the arms, and were followed by the light of a summoning spell.
Summon Devil! Leylin’s lower devil underlings appeared, attacking the balor with all their might.
“Haha, concealing spells and a sneak attack! You devils are despicable!” The balor roared, and vile energy caused the weak devils to quickly retreat.
“I’m a devil anyway. What should I do, play knight?” Leylin snorted, and a black dagger plunged into the eyes of the demon.
“AAAHH…” Pitiful ear-splitting cries sounded out. They were followed by terrifying snarls, “I’ll kill you! I’ll pinch your skull into powder!”
Red flames burst forth from the balor’s eye, the great heat melting the dagger into liquid.
“It– It’s about to evolve!” One of the lesser devils under Leylin exclaimed in astonishment, and was quickly grabbed by the crazed balor. Terrifying flames erupted into the sky, forming a bright torch of fire.
“You will all die!” Another wave of fire shot out as the balor bellowed, and most of Leylin’s underlings died in an instant. By the time the flames reached him, Leylin used a Greater Teleportation scroll to leave the battlefield.
“Don’t even think of escaping!” With the flames now burning on its body, Jesdric looked no different from a flame balor. Catching sight of Leylin from the corner of its eye, it roared and pursued him in a frenzy.
Be it a devil or a demon, anything in its path was minced apart. Jesdric created a bloody trail behind it.
“Darned devil, don’t run!” Making use of the only eye it had left, Jesdric found that the vile devil had already escaped to the fortress wall, seemingly about to return to reinforcements. Furious, it charged forward, disregarding any danger.
*Bang!* However, a sudden trap on the ground caused Jesdric to lose its centre of gravity. Its enormous body fell into a deep pit that appeared out of nowhere, creating a small earthquake.
Dimensional Scan! Water Shower! Ice Breath! Devils appeared out of nowhere to surround the pit, flinging spells at the balor in the centre with vigour.
“Sir!” Hanalin headed to Leylin’s side. He’d informed her earlier to set up this trap, but she’d been surprised that the target was a balor. No, one could even believe that this was a flame balor! In that very moment, Leylin’s might was deeply imprinted into her mind.
“You did well!” Leylin nodded to show his approval, and then glanced at the balor that now had pieces of ice all over its body.
‘A.I. Chip, how’s the data gathering going?’
[Beep! Flesh sample obtained. Physical and soul scan completed] the A.I. Chip loyally intoned.
“Okay, you’re useless now.” Leylin leapt forward, and a thin black line crossed the balor’s neck. An interwoven soul attack caused the chaos in its eyes to completely die down.
“No, it’s impossible… I, Jesdric, am the most powerful demon. I still need to evolve into a flame balor… How can I die here…” it muttered, and its huge body collapsed.
The moment he killed the demon, Leylin sensed a tremendous amount of soul energy pouring into his body. He could even sense the favour of Baator.
‘The Blood War is still the best way to evolve…’ While this bit of strength was nothing to Leylin, if he really was a devil this would have given him most of the soul energy required to evolve.
‘High risks beget high rewards. As long as I survive the Blood War between devils and demons, I’ll definitely be able to advance greatly. Its no wonder that the Dark Eight will risk complete death to lure the demons into a fight…’
Devils normally used crafty schemes and machinations, changing the battlefield to anything but the Nine Hells. There was a secret to this that only Archdevils, now Leylin, and well-informed pit fiends knew of. If a devil were killed in Baator, that would be a true death. There was no way for them to be revived, unlike from other planes where it only had a price.
In other words, the devils that died in this Blood War could not be revived, even if Asmodeus himself wanted to do so. Having taken such a huge risk, the Dark Eight were definitely eyeing something huge.
*Rumble!* Just as Leylin came to a realisation, a terrifying explosion rocked the heart of the battlefield. A storm of flames whistled past the region, tearing everything apart as it formed a red mushroom cloud.
‘It’s the self-detonation before a balor’s death. It looks like the Dark Eight succeeded.’ More huge explosions rang out, and Leylin was certain that four flame balors had died at the hands of the Dark Eight.
The only ones who could dodge these attacks were the pit fiends, who used Greater Teleportation. The remaining greater devils were wiped out alongside numerous demons.
‘Victory is decided. Four flame balors have died in succession, as well as a pile of powerful demons. Even the Archfiend of the abyss will lose his morale and mourn this for a long time…’
It was not just Leylin alone who understood this.
The moment the first flame balor exploded, an ear-splitting scream sounded as an enchanting succubus darted out of the siege of the four pit fiends. At the price of grave injuries, she streaked across the horizon while leaving a blazing trail behind.
‘That should be Red Shroud, the commander of the demon army. She’s also the most beloved daughter of the Incubus King, the Archfiend of the abyss. Unfortunately, this defeat might put her status in danger…’
Powerful beings had died, and the commander had fled. This was a fatal blow for the enemy army. As many greater devils entered the battlefield and massacred the weaker demons, time was only counting down to the demon army’s complete destruction.
Most of the demon army was killed in the battle, the only escapees being Red Shroud and a small number of lucky demons. This included four flame balors! The disgrace of the abyss’ demons was carved into the Bronze Citadel once more. Such dazzling achievements were rare even in the history of the Blood Wars.
Chromatic Dragon Tiamat had persisted to the end of this battle, blocking the fort walls. She deserved credit for her work. Leylin saw parts of her tremendous body caved in, with signs of burns all around.
A headless male dragon nearby also looked sluggish. They’d taken on the frenzied attack of the demons that were in a hurry to retreat, and the explosions from the flame balors at the end had injured them gravely.
Leylin now understood why they’d worked so hard. The Dark Eight had promised to hand over control of the Bronze Citadel to Tiamat, acknowledging her as its ruler.
He smelt a conspiracy afoot. Control of the Bronze Citadel was something Asmodeus had schemed for over a thousand years, but now he was handing it over so nonchalantly. Even a lemure could tell that something was off.
Devils only compromised as such in the face of even greater profit.
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