Although his worshippers being in his divine kingdom would benefit him in the short run, over time they’d be whittled away. It’d be akin to a slow suicide.
However, Leylin didn’t care about that in the least. What he lacked the most was time, and the longer he could drag things out the more benefits he would get.
As long as he could finish becoming a God of Death before the faith from his worshippers dwindled to nothing, he would be able to bring his true body over and restart the Final War. The greater gods would be forced to deal with peak rank 8 Magi, and Leylin wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore.
‘But I seem to need something more to comprehend the law of death…’ Leylin’s eyes flashed, deep in thought, ‘It’ll go faster if more souls are provided as experimental subjects…’
However, it wasn’t easy to find the massive number of souls needed for the A.I. Chip’s simulation. Leylin estimated he’d need roughly ten thousand regular souls for every stage of progress, and the total count would need him to sacrifice all of his worshippers. Even he couldn’t do such a thing.
“I can only look to the prime material plane, the Abyss, or Baator…” Devils and demons were both formed from soul bugs, so they qualified for the A.I. Chip’s requirements. Leylin didn’t want to help the demons or devils start a bloody war in the prime material plane— even if it supported his comprehension of death and fit his role, it wouldn’t be of much benefit to him. After all, he was a god as well, unlike the other Lords of Baator.
There was no need to fight the demons either. He already had a third of Baator in hand, and with that amount of origin force sustaining his divine kingdom there was no need for him to dither around.
“With that said… It seems like I only have one choice left?” Leylin’s gaze pierced through his divine kingdom, looking at the edge of Phlegethos.
“They seem to be thinking the same…” The place was packed with an army of devils. Leylin’s worshippers recognised him as the Lord of Baator, so it was a given that he would take over the other levels as well. The remaining lords would definitely prepare against him.
Although all of them remained guarded against each other, and with their leader-in-name being lost scattering them further, they still maintained a unanimous front against Leylin. They’d managed to stop him from advancing into the Fourth Hell, the powerful Samuel most likely able to escape even if Leylin tried to use his flying city. By that time, the other lords would come to aid him and stop any other sneak attacks.
Now, the armies at the border had grown even more massive. They didn’t seem complacent in defense, instead going for the offensive as they moved to attack Leylin’s divine kingdom!
“Interesting… The armies of pride and lust as well?” The presence of the other lords’ aid was extremely obvious to Leylin’s divine will, “They finally decided to ally together against me, huh?” he smirked.
‘Even if Asmodeus was in peak form, he wouldn’t be able to bring them together like this. They wouldn’t join up even if I continued to parade as the Supreme… Furthermore, how could Asmodeus recover so swiftly without a greater god helping him?’
Leylin immediately understood the danger this time. Asmodeus had definitely obtained the help of a greater god, unifying the other Lords of Baator to deal with Leylin. The gods would need to train another ten thousand years to be able to scheme against him.
‘So then… Is it Gruumsh, or Mystra?’ Leylin had immediately listed out the greatest suspects, and his personal opinion shifted more towards the latter. ‘The chances that it’s Mystra are extremely huge. She’s been after me for a long time.’
Anger welled up in Leylin’s heart. He immediately saw through her intentions, ‘First she colludes with Kelemvor and stops my supply of worshippers. Next she uses the help of the devils and turns the tides to attack my divine kingdom… She’s prepared to bleed me dry until I’m forced to make a trip to Fugue. Then she’ll ambush me?’
“However… The only miscalculation you made was my strength…” he laughed coldly, his conscient travelling through his divine kingdom to bring two people before him.
“The devil hunters are prepared and awaiting orders, my Lord…” Isabel was dressed in crimson armour and what seemed to be a cape of flames, radiating an aura of valiance. She’d grown much more powerful than before, seeming like a massive beast of ancient times as the dragon blood in her body was further purified by Leylin. She was now at the peak of the legendary realm.
Beside her was the former Lady of Hope, Phoenix. The more devout someone was before their turn, the more power they would acquire with their fall. Rafiniya’s staunch faith had pulled her up to become a high-ranking legendary when she turned.
Although Phoenix could adopt the appearance of a pit fiend, Leylin ended up choosing to model her after Glasya. The erinyes form gave her strength equivalent to a greater devil, and Glasya’s expression if Phoenix eventually evolved to become an Erinyes Queen would be delightful to watch.
“Good! Remember, your mission is to defend and not step out of the kingdom’s boundaries. My avatars will assist as necessary.” Handing command of the devil hunters to the two of them, Leylin continued with his plans.
The greatest strength of devil hunters was in their ability to seal devils to use their powers. With a constant war against the other Lords of Baator ongoing, they would prove to be extremely beneficial. As long as they stayed within the divine kingdom and remained protected by its laws, they would only grow stronger with every wave of devils fighting them. And if they lost numbers? He could just recruit some more from among his worshippers.
Leylin had already considered all problems when he designed this profession, so the natural talent required of a devil hunter was not high. Their strength depended almost solely on the devils they sealed. Thus, the devil army was like paradise for those who wished to improve!
At the same time, the Queen of Lust was bowing towards an older devil in the endless void, “The preparations are complete, father,” the Lady of Malbolge said.
“Cough… Very good, Glasya…” The old devil seemed frail, wrought with illnesses. He had black eyes, a goatee, and a horn on his head. This was the Lord of the Ninth Hell, the Supreme of Baator— Asmodeus!
“Samuel, Levistus, Baalzebul, Mephistopheles… Thank you all for making it here, we Lords haven’t met in a long time…” Asmodeus looked at the figures of the other devils nearby. With all the remaining Lords of Baator gather together, even the space around them was screeching with agony under the burden.
“There’s a few faces lost and another gained. Beelzebub, Mammon, and the Hag Countess are here no more, but my beloved daughter is now amongst us!” Asmodeus spoke incoherently.
“Enough!” Samuel roared, flames of anger blazing on his body, “We’re gathered here for one purpose, and that’s to deal with Kukulkan!”
The other lords here may just be fulfilling their curiosity, but he himself could not remain relaxed. Phlegethos was right under Leylin’s divine kingdom, putting the greatest pressure on him. He’d had to hide within the depths of the Fourth Hell ever since Leylin slew Mammon, holing himself up in his fortified castle with curses and traps so he could retain a sense of safety.
“Indeed… We need to kill the God of Massacre, bringing Baator back to its former self.” Asmodeus’ expression hardened. Although he didn’t need to face Leylin’s pressure directly, the new god gave him a very strong sense of danger. Not to mention that Leylin’s worshippers declared him the Ruler of Devils in their prayers day and night, a resounding slap to his face as Supreme of the Nine Hells.
“Hehe…” A strange sound travelled, causing Glasya’s face to sour.
“I suggest we sign a contract immediately, splitting the tasks amongst ourselves and the united front. I can guarantee that I don’t need any of the first three Hells after the war, I only wish for Baator to regain its former self as we bury that God of Massacre in the dirt.” Asmodeus flipped open the black contract book in his hands.
The elated lords did not seem to notice the icy gaze hidden deep in his eyes.
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