The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 90: Inversion Cut
High-grade equipment and experts were the backbone of a country. Human countries could be separated into three tiers, a principality, a kingdom and an empire. The kingdom of Tarnia naturally belonged in the middle of that tier system.
It’s said that each country has a high-grade enchanted gear that stabilizes the fortunes of its country.
Epic enchanted gears are enough to support the formation of a principality while a semi-divine gear is enough to support the formation of a kingdom. In order to form an empire, a divine gear is needed to stabilize the fortunes of this vast country.
All these had an assumption underlying them. That was that the humans of the Western Human realms created their countries based on might. The founding monarch was usually a peerless expert of his generation. After this monarch dies, his high-grade enchanted gear would be passed down as a national treasure, becoming the support for future generations.
However why did they have to be experts themselves? On Earth, there were a lot of emperors who possess no martial prowess, there were even some who collapsed after taking two steps on their own. Didn’t they manage to keep their throne in spite of that?
Truth be told, it was a rather awkward subject.
It wasn’t a must for every monarch to possess an unrivalled martial might, but there was one thing that was absolutely necessary for these monarchs. They had to at least have a peerless expert standing behind them.
On Earth, there was no such thing as a person being able to stand up to 10,000 men. On the other hand, the Western Human Realms had such people...some of these people were even able to stand up to 100,000 men…
And that’s where the crux of the problem lies, if your family dared to set up a country without such an expert behind you, I could easily destroy your country on a whim. All it takes is for me to dispatch one expert to your country for a quick tour.
The expert merely has to go on a rampage, killing the citizens and any soldiers you threw at him. If he’s unable to handle the army, the expert merely has to retreat and continue his slaughter elsewhere. With his mobility, there would be no way for the soldiers to lock him down. Given time, your country’s collapse was a given. Given time, I can guarantee that that one person would be able to destroy your country by himself.
With all that said, it’s necessary to talk about the importance of high-grade enchanted gear. Long story short, gear superiority allows you to take on those at a higher level than you!
This is why both gear and experts are the backbone of a country, lacking one or the other spells certain doom for a country.
Now, there’s a piece of gear right in front of me that is said to be able to support the formation of a principality…
“You’re really giving this to me!?” I’m getting dizzy just thinking about this…
“This weapon is more suited for humanoids, in our hands, it will only hold us back.” Habona said in a forthright manner while nodding her head. “Besides, Harlow said he wanted to give this to you, since we aren’t using it, gifting this to you isn’t a bad choice either.”
“In that case, I’ll help myself to it, I’m still lacking a melee weapon after all.” I had nothing but gratitude for her show of goodwill. This was an Epic weapon! It wasn’t some random bone weapon you found lying on the ground. Since she’s so willing to give it away, it’s only right of me to accept it.
“Thank you all, I truly like this gift. If there’s any way I can help you in the future, please feel free to look for me.”
“Mhm.” This time, she didn’t say “You’re too weak” but instead proudly nodded her head.
Given that the weapon was roughly 2m in length, it was slightly awkward for my 1.4m frame to carry it on my back. And so, I decided to use the wrist chain on my left hand to secure Shadowfang to my body. As for the Grimoire of the Dead, I ended up letting it roam free, as a side benefit, it could even help me look after Shadowfang.
Recently, I’ve noticed a serious deficiency in my melee capabilities. Perhaps it was because of my eating habits but my strength was significantly lagging behind the other two-star imps, although my speed had received a corresponding boost.
Coming in at 1.9m in length with a 0.3m blade hilt, Shadowfang was a large weapon that I had to use both of my hands to wield. However, don’t let its size fool you, despite its ridiculous length, it didn’t hinder my normal movement. This was largely in part due to the floatation ability of the grimoire. With the bone chain secured to Shadowfang, I was able to hang it on the floating grimoire.
Thanks to that, I ended up with a rather unique bearing. With the bound grimoire floating high the air, all the while dragging a black katana attached to my wrist with a bone chain, I almost looked like a Magister with my martial and magical abilities. If...and that’s a big if, you ignore the red egg in my arms...
With that out of the way, my next objective is to impose on Mo En...err, I mean pay him a light hearted visit. Simply put, I REALLY wanted to have a look at this so-called Summoning Zone.
If I’m lucky, I might just get summoned into the Western Human Realms, and if I’m even luckier I might end up beside Nicole...fine, that bit of daydreaming was a tad unrealistic.
As comrades who had just gone through thick and thin together, Habona volunteered to escort us to Mo En’s nest.
The plan was for me to scout out the place. If it was suitable, I would bring my subordinates over. If something unexpected were to happen, Habona’s prowess should be enough to secure an escape route for us. As such, this trip was only limited to a small group of me, Violet Snow and Habona.
After swatting away No.5’s thinly veiled attempt at sexual harassment, I left some orders for One-eye, No.3, Big 5 and Baccarel to look after my subordinates in the meantime.
One-eye was in charge of the guardsmen, No.3 the reserves, the shieldbearers and the sabre wielders. As for Baccarel, he was in charge of the remaining half-orcs. The hellhounds were given to Big 5 to handle since he had a good relationship with them anyway. With Violet Snow leaving her own set of orders, he should be able to manage them.
As for my 30 skeletal archers, I left them explicit orders to remain still as a statue while I was gone. Even if they were attacked, they were not to retaliate.
Before leaving, the old werewolf reassured me that he would look after my subordinates. Even with Habona gone, the werewolves still had a number of three-stars in the clan. As long as they didn’t provoke a four-star, their survival was basically assured.
As usual, I was given a ride on Habona’s shoulders. In my arms were the devil egg and a resting Violet Snow. Habona maintained her blistering speed as always, even so, she was able to fend off any patrolling undead with ease while looking after me.
The surrounding areas had been cleaned recently and so there was hardly any meat to be found. Thanks to that, Habona had to rely on the magical exchange array to procure meat for herself. As for me and Violet Snow, things were much simpler as we could feed on souls.
“Being a devil sure is convenient.” She said as she looked enviously at me studying Shadowfang while wolfing down the meat she procured from the exchange array. “Just having the ability to feed on souls means that you don’t have to worry about food in this maze.”
The resting puppy in my arms immediately turned her head at Habona’s sigh, snubbing her. Clearly, that “mutt” comment by Habona still stung her.
“It’s an ability we were born with, there’s not much use being envious about it.” I shrugged. Seeing that Habona had finished her meal, I gingerly drew out Shadowfang from its floating scabbard. As I did so, I noticed strands of black lightning crackle across its three finger wide blade. Just from its chilly aura of death, it looked like a peerless weapon that devoured souls.
“Shadowfang has got to be the best looking weapon I’ve ever seen.” Regarding my new weapon, every second not spent looking at it was a loss. Whenever I had the chance, I would pull it out to give it an admiring touch and stare.
“You know how to use this kind of weapon?” Having finished her meal, she patted her hands clean and then straightened out her fur, removing any traces of blood from it. As she did so, she gave me an intent stare. “I know that devils all have inherited memories however these memories aren’t omnipotent either.”
“Mhm. I do have some expertise with weapons but my inherited memories do not possess knowledge on such blades.” I gave it a couple of test swings but each time I did so, I felt some resistance that prevented me from wielding this strange blade as I wished.
After trying a couple more times, I confirmed the existence of that unnatural sensation and decided to seek Habona’s help. “Do you know the method to wield this particular blade?”
Due to me standing up to test out the blade, Violet Snow had to leave her resting spot atop my legs. As she landed on the floor, her face soured as she glared at me with her beautiful ruby eyes. In response to her displeasure, all I could do was smile helplessly.
Both of us had a close relationship but Habona was also a comrade who had gone through thick and thin with me.
It’s fine if the both of you are having a tiff, but don’t drag me into that pit please.
“When I was young, I saw my mother use it.” She said with a reminiscing look on her face, her eyes closed as she paused there for a long while. I didn’t dare to interrupt her and signalled for Violet Snow not to do so as well. The both of us stood there quietly not daring to move too much or breathe too loudly.
Several minutes later, she opened her eyes revealing a pair of golden wolf pupils that radiated killing intent.
It was as if a stone had been thrown into an ocean, stirring up waves from an otherwise still surface.
The sudden burst of killing intent, nearly scared me into slashing out of reflex. Violet Snow had been visibly affected as well with her ice magic ready to fire off from her mouth.
A short while later, the still Habona returned to her normal state, her killing intent completely withdrawn. Having confirmed several times from a distance that she had regained her senses, I immediately lowered Shadowfang and signalled for Violet Snow to relax as well.
“Don’t scare me like that, suddenly radiating killing intent wasn’t nice at all.”
“I recalled a matter from my past.” She abruptly ended her sentence, not intending to explain any further. She took a few steps forward, stopping two meters from me and suddenly swiped at me with her cold gleaming claws.
I stared with open eyes at the approaching claws, it was simply too fast for me to react!
Noooo...getting ambushed by a comrade was simply too disgraceful of a death…
However, that reality never came to pass. Just as those deadly claws were about to rip into me, the oppressive aura was suddenly lifted as my breathing became a lot easier. A few seconds later, having determined that I was still alright, I looked up to see her standing 5m away from me.
“What do you think you’re doing!” Not waiting for an explanation, Violet Snow swiftly shot out an ice ball at Habona having labelled her as an enemy.
A cold glint flashed across her eyes as she stepped backwards and with a swipe of claws, cut the ice ball in half. An instant later, she appeared in front of Violet Snow without so much of a trace of having moved.
“That’s...that’s...unscientific…” Why did it seem like she advanced even though she retreated and how did she retreat despite having advanced!
During her initial attack, I clearly saw her rush me but at the end of that attack, she ended 5m away. When she faced off against Violet Snow, she definitely stepped backwards and yet a second later, she was suddenly in front of her. This doesn’t make any sense!
Not expecting her sudden appearance, the proud puppy immediately dodged backwards, firing off an ice spike at Habona’s legs. Habona repeated the same move once more, stepping backward before mysteriously appearing in front of the puppy.
Unlike the previous time, she didn’t intend to let her go. She lifted the little puppy and swung her around rapidly. Ten seconds later, she finally stopped and put down the puppy.
Violet Snow immediately slumped to ground head first, clearly stunned by the violent shaking.
“That was amazing!” Having no time for Violet Snow’s plight, I immediately focused my attention on Habona, my eyes practically radiating admiration. “What’s that technique called!”
“Inversion Cut! Just from the name alone, I can tell that it’s some ultimate martial art!”
Ignoring my obvious excitement, she half-closed her eyes before asking me in a solemn tone: “Do you want to learn it?”
ED: Cat here, I'm sorta back, currently working on building a new WordPress based website since wix is giving us and everyone else cancer. So I can only speed proofread at the moment. Chapters will remain as drafts for a few weeks more until I am done then I will go back and clean them all up.
Special thanks to Steve Granger!!