The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 163: Spoils of War (draft)
From the moment I defeated that ratman overlord, the look everyone gave me changed.
In the past, they used to treat as a commander cum auspicious item...truth be told, I kind of deserved that label seeing as my combat strength wasn’t anything to write home about. Even after obtaining Shadowfang, I wasn’t able to unleash its full power because I didn’t possess the ability to use its corresponding skillset, and also because of a variety of other minor issues.
Even after mastering that flashy Revolution Slice, Shadowfang was in its sealed form. However, at least my combat strength received a substantial boost since I learnt a skill that suited it.
Just look at those quivering ratmen. In the past, they were only afraid of the influence I wielded, now they were afraid of me because of my influence and strength.
“Chit chit chit...”The ratman overlord used his unintelligible chits to try and communicate with me as before. However, this time I didn’t need any translation to know what he was trying to say.
Hmph, isn’t it too late to beg for your life now, little ratman? I chuckled mentally to myself as I sneered at the rodent.
“It’s begging for its life.” Once again, Violet Snow chimed in with her highly appropriate translations. “It only wants to live, no matter what you want, it’s willing to offer it to you.”
“I don’t want to listen to its nonsense, help me translate this to those nine ratmen, if you guys want to live, kill off that idiot together, if you can’t do it, you can join him in death.”
“Alright.” Violet Snow turned to the quivering ratmen lieutenants and in the midst of their astonishment, passed down the message I gave her.
To kill or not to kill? In the face of death, was there even a need to hesitate? After exchanging a brief look with each other, all nine lieutenants came to the same decision…
Ten minutes later, there was an unrecognizable rat corpse lying before me.
Having done their ghastly deed, the nine ratman lieutenants turned towards me in unison and gave me a submissive smile. Needless to say, their intention was clear to me --none of them wanted to be the next sacrificial lamb.
Knowing the futility of resistance, their eyes burned with ingratiating fervor as they did their best to present their useful side to me.
“Go settle in your own subordinates, as for those slain ratman lieutenants, I’ll leave it to you all to split the spoils.”
Seeing that I had no intention of settling past debts, the lieutenants breathed a collective sigh of relief.
After expressing their endless gratitude and thanks, they hurried off to gather the rest of their subordinates. Looking at them try to outdo each other, I bet they planned on stealing some subordinates in the midst of this chaos so as to better serve me.
As for me, I didn’t particularly mind them gaining more subordinates. After all, with that terrifying Flametail under my command, there wasn’t even a need for me to fear a revolt given that one blast was all it took to wipe out a thousand ratmen.
Besides, if they weren’t able to defeat me with over 10 000 elite ratmen, I doubt any one of them would dare to even think about rebelling now that they had suffered such heavy casualties.
Thus, the battle truly came to a close and the battlefield tally was quickly compiled.
From that battle, we gained almost 6000 ratman slaves. However, over a thousand of these slaves were severely injured to the point where they would never recover. Thus, there was only one fate awaiting these burdens: “ration duty”. The worthless didn’t deserve any pity from me.
Once we harvested their souls, bones and fed their flesh to our warriors, we would be left with nearly 5000 ratman slaves. Of these 5000, 9 were the four-star lieutenants I had just interacted with. Over 500 of them were three-star warriors while the rest were two or one-star warriors.
Honestly, I had to hand it to Violet Snow. Her guerilla tactics worked out splendidly. Thanks to her constant taunts, the rats were thoroughly incensed to the point where they emptied their nest of elite rodents. Their plan was to wipe her out but we all know how that plan ended…
The severely wounded rations were herded into a corner after which I left it to the medusas to handle their processing. Seeing as they didn’t eat souls, there was no risk of them sneaking a few bites.
However, the moment some of the other prisoners saw their kinsrodent get dragged off so violently by the medusas, they became agitated. Some of the more hot blooded ones even tried to rescue them. Unfortunately, in the face of overwhelming might, resistance was futile and these foolish rats ended up sealing their own fate.
“Drag out all the rebels and process them as well.” Naturally, the medusas didn’t show any compassion as they carried out instructions. To them, these rats were nothing more than food.
It didn’t take long before the dissenters were dragged out, their limbs broken and dislocated before being tossed into the pile of heavily wounded rations.
Seeing that, the nine ratman lieutenant grimaced.
Well, tough luck, with that ugly mug of yours, how do you even expect me to forgive you guys? Don’t you know that being handsome makes it easier for you to be forgiven?
An hour passed and the harpies in charge of moving the souls began delivering ball after ball of freshly harvested souls right into my waiting arms.
Seeing the heavens rain souls, I was suddenly struck by a conflicted emotion that I couldn’t really put into words.
Speaking of which, the mouths I had to feed with souls seemed to have grown. First was those three distinctly different harpy witches, Numila, Elena and Eugenia. They didn’t consume any meat and only subsisted on souls. That was the reason for their fragrant scent.
Second was Violet Snow for who some unknown reason, didn’t eat meat as well. Next was Mo En’s family. Other than Mo Xixidi, Mo En and Mimiya rejected meat and only consumed souls because of Julia’s insistence. In the past, Mo En wasn’t used to this lifestyle and would sneak a few bites of meat from time to time. However, his body gave off a foul odor whenever he did that which resulted in Julia kicking him off the bed every time...after that, Mo En learnt to be obedient.
Because Mimiya was a female devil, Julia tried to groom her from a young age to be a refined lady. Unfortunately, she was too wild for Julia’s re-education. Getting her to abstain from meat was the limit of her success.
The first thought that came to mind when I learnt of that was: serves you two right for spoiling her.
A flurry of feathers later, over 5000 souls were brought before me and dumped into a corner of the maze. Looking at the dazzling pile of souls, I suddenly felt like a rich devil. Yet the moment I feasted on 500 of the one-star souls...nothing happened…
I know that I’m a three-star and eating a bunch of one-star souls won’t give me much of a boost but shouldn’t the quantity have made up for the quality? That was 500 souls for crying out loud!
If I fed that terrifying amount of souls to a one-star, I could promote him all the way to two-star and perhaps even three-star. Yet, the moment I swallowed all those souls...nothing happened...that made no sense at all!
In order to solve the mystery of my bottomless appetite once and for all, I fished out the soul of that ratman overlord.
Unlike the other ethereal souls, his four-star soul was noticeably more corporeal as it was an actual physical object.
The moment I swallowed that soul, my body began to heat up and two seconds later...it stopped...it was as if what I consumed wasn’t a four-star soul but rather a warm cup of coffee…
Why didn’t it increase my mana? Disappearing like that goes against the laws of conservation of energy, dont’cha know!
Hmm? Wait a minute…isn’t Ferti’nier hibernating in my body…
Truth be told, I had consumed quite a sizeable amount of souls recently. In order to craft those weapons, Julia and I would basically convert all the souls we ate into mana while we were in the base. Because of that, I barely gained anything from consuming them especially given my notoriously slow leveling rate. We were busy back then so I didn’t pay much attention to it but now that we were out of the base…
I bet all the energy from the soul I just ate was converted into energy in order to feed Ferti’nier…
Bah, forget it. She’s my savior after all and was even assigned to protect me by Yi Yi. Besides, she’s a pretty lady so I should at least give her some face.
Because we had no way to store souls, exposed souls tend to dissipate rapidly. The speed at which they dissipated was related to their star level while they were still alive. For the higher starred creatures, their souls tend to be stronger so they had a more corporeal look to them. That was why that ratman overlord’s soul was noticeably different from the other souls.
Based on looks alone, one could essentially tell the grade of a soul.
However, it wasn’t true that all environments chipped away at exposed souls. Certain environments were able to incubate souls. Under those conditions, not only would they not get worn out, these souls would even get refined. Given enough time, these souls would turn into soul flames and if their corpse was still around, the soul flame would be bound to the body, creating a zombie. If the flesh had rotted away completely, a skeleton was created instead.
As for vengeful ghosts, their formation was more special required certain conditions being met.
Regarding the undead, their formation wasn’t exclusive to the Western Human Realms. Even on Earth, there were such legends: ghosts, etc.
I still had no idea when was Ferti’nier going to wake up. In fact, I didn’t even know how many more souls she required. Thus, I had no choice but to accept the situation as is and slowly accumulate, consume and digest more souls. As long as I consumed enough souls, she was bound to wake up one day.
However, I wasn’t the only one who needed souls, the Grimoire of the Dead needed a vast amount of souls as well. Needless to say, the grimoire was extremely important to me so starving it wasn’t an option.
As I continued feeding it, it became more and more lively to the point where I was beginning to suspect that some kind of beautiful girl would pop up the moment I fed it enough souls.
Because over 5000 Abaddon Rodents died in that previous battle, we weren’t lacking for food at all. Thus, there was no need for me to be shy about consuming these souls. Of course, my other subordinates, namely Numila, Elena, Eugenia, Violet Snow and even my guardsmen had their own share as well.
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