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The deceit and slyness of the devils was something Leylin knew extremely well. If a devil had nothing restricting it, what sort of chaos would it bring to Baator? Just the thought caused him to shudder; there was never a lack of ambitious beings among the devils.
Leylin then thought of another possibility. ‘Of course, it might also be because the eight Archdevils are too scheming and powerful. They’ve divided up the authority that should’ve been sole property of the Ninth Hell, causing an equilibrium to be maintained.’
As he was considering these issues, he’d unwittingly released his aura. Along with his grasp of the authority, he’d alarmed a tremendous existence.
“Such an ancient and noble aura, this is a might only Archdevils possess. Who is it?” Loud draconic roars sounded out, and a gigantic five-coloured dragon crawled out of a cave. This cave was next to a skull that formed a huge base.
It had five sinister dragon heads, each of varying colour. Its huge claws caused tiny earthquakes with each footstep, making the legendary dragon Leylin had seen before seem like a baby.
“It’s the area’s guardian, Chromatic Dragon Tiamat.” It was obvious that the dragon strolled around the region regularly. The devils did not seem to panic.
Leylin had only leaked his aura for a mere moment before hiding himself well. Tiamat’s five huge heads smelt the air, but in the end could only shrink back without any other choice. Peace and order was quickly restored on the streets. Many people continued travelling, but Leylin stood looking at the cave the dragon had disappeared into, seemingly deep in thought.
‘Guardian of the Bronze Citadel, Chromatic Dragon Tiamat. She’s a humongous dragon with power comparable to gods.’
The A.I. Chip had managed to scan Tiamat in the short period she’d come out, and it now presented the information to Leylin:
[Chromatic Dragon Tiamat (Titanic) Strength: 40. Agility: 10. Vitality: 35. Spirit: 28.
Abilities: 1. Epic Dragon Breath: Each of Tiamat’s five heads can attack using different types of breaths, namely frost, acid, corrosion, lightning, and fire.
2. Fierce Aura: Tiamat’s presence alone causes unease in her enemies. This power is automatically under effect when Tiamat takes flight, charges, or attacks.
3: Spells. Tiamat is a rank 20 evil priest. She also holds the power of a domain as well as divine spells.
4. Magical ability. As a rank 20 sorcerer, she can use the following spells thrice a day: Command Plants, Control Weather, Darkness, Dominate, Fog Cloud, Gust, Arcane Mirage, Plant Growth, Suggestion, Swarm, Veil, Ventriloquism.
Feats: Alchemy, Deceit, Focus, Diplomacy, Intimidation, Draconic Knowledge, Sense Intent, Spell Identification, Survival, Battle Casting, Flying Attack, Heavy Damage - Adept, Instant Cast (coupled with power of domain), Acrobatic Flight.]
‘This is the might of a real legendary being that’s lived for a long time. Not only are all her stats high, she also has great experience and background. The abilities and feats alone make her comparable to demigods…’
Leylin had an interested look on his face, ‘Also, Tiamat seems to have male companions of five different evil races. When they act together, they’re strong enough to fight the God of Kobolds and the God of Sharks. Of course, that’s only outside their divine realms…’
Based on Beelzebub’s memories, the Bronze Citadel was at the very frontlines of battle between Baator and the abyss. It was often attacked by demons.
While many of them were chaotic and crazed like wild dogs, their numbers that were twenty times more than the devils caused great damage to the Bronze Fort.
Unfortunately for them, the devils depended on order and schemes and never allowed the demons to break into the fort. They had even planned numerous campaigns into the abyss, getting the upper hand in the battles against the demons.
However, when there had never been any distinct outcome in the battles between chaos and order, and some even suspected that this would continue till the end of the universe.
In addition, war over an extended period of time also gave Asmodeus the opportunity to lay his hands on Avernus.
He used a legion of eight elite devil generals and, during a siege by the demons on the Bronze Fort, he had obtained the authority to be stationed here and slowly taken over control over half the fort.
With the rumours outside, it was said that Tiamat had gradually been reduced to a symbol and protector of the Bronze Fort.
“The influence of the Bronze Fort is less than a third of Avernus, and he only took over control of half of the the fort…”
Leylin shook his head, feeling that Asmodeus title as the master of the ninth level was quite a joke.
“The demons! The demons are here!”
“Wild dogs! A wave of wild dogs are attacking!”
All of a sudden, a shrieking alarm sounded. Leylin frowned and, with his godly intent, immediately found a large amount of chaotic power shifting around towards the bronze citadel.
They obviously did not make any attempts to conceal themselves, and had been found by their enemies from a long distance away.
“Begin preparing dinner!”
Eight large and evil auras rose, representing the highest powers amongst devils and only second to the pit fiends that belonged to the vassals.
“The eight devil generals! The loyal dogs of Asmodeus are acting. Does that mean that this siege is a scheme to deal with the demons?”
Leylin’s eyes flashed. WIth the devil’s order and care, it was impossible that their lair would be attacked without them having any warning. The only possibility of that was that the devils had planned something again, hoping to make use of the Bronze Fort and wipe them out to reduce their might.
In actuality, this plan had been repeated many times already, but the demons still got tricked every time. These demons who had become crazed from evil and bloodlust did not understand the concept of schemes. Besides, the glory of attacking the lair of the devils was the top priority for them with their simple minds.
However, Leylin soon found himself unable to laugh.
He found that with the commands of the eight devil generals, all the devils within the fort began to move out orderly, as if there was an invisible network carrying out orders.
Soul shells lagged behind the lemures, who then followed the spinagon. These lesser devils formed an orderly squadron. Their leaders consisted of the bearded devils, imps, and pain devils who were mid-ranked devils, and then followed the greater devils such as bone devils, barbed devils, horned devils, ice devils and many other to form a huge squad. At the summit were the eight devil generals, thus forming an hierarchy like the distribution of work within beehives or ant nests, where the worker bees, drones and queen bee did their own work. This formed a highly proficient group who worked in perfect harmony.
“This is the power of authority!”
Leylin quickly understood how this network worked. It was a natural difference in the types of beings they were as well as the power of authority.
The eight generals were pit fiends and were the highest rank amongst devils. Also, they had gotten power from Asmodeus and some access to hell’s origin force indirectly! While this was not direct, the power from the eight devils banding together could overwhelm everything, allowing the devils to take control of the Bronze Fort!
WIth this logic, any vassal of hell had the ability to take the lives of and promote or demote high-ranked devils like pit fiends and below them. Even if they were devils under the jurisdiction of other vassals, they would still have a natural pressure upon them. This was because they were affected by the same hell origin.
“Based on the rules of hell, if there’s another pit fiend within the Bronze Fort now, it can have some freedom but still has to listen to the joint commands of the eight generals. However, this can be rejected, at the price of torture or demotions. It really depends on the decision of the vassal that it’s loyal to…”
Leylin looked at the devils beside him. They had all retained their wits, but still did not reject the commands of the generals. Even while these were high-ranked devils under another vassal, they still quietly carried out the orders as if this was what they should be doing.
“This is the authority of the world origin force. Every difference in rank is like a gap between the skies and the ground…”
He had not noticed this closely before, but after discovering the difference, Leylin immediately sensed a powerful origin force network from his authority.
Immense intent appeared from the depths of the network and then connected with the eight generals. Leylin was also given some information, but he ignored that.
[Beep! Discovered digitised network. Automatically obtain highest authority. Organising.] THe A.I. Chip was now working at top speed.
“If the eight pit fiends work together, they would be able to take over the Bronze Fort. Even the five-coloured dragon Tiamat wouldn’t dare underestimate them. Unfortunately…”
Leylin had a strong feeling that with just one thought, he would be able to take over this network and become an existence above the eight generals, commanding all the devils in the Bronze Citadel.
After all, the authority he had access to had come from the vassal of the second layer, Beelzebub. Compared to the generals, who had been given this authority second-hand, his was a higher rank.
Unfortunately, if he were to do that, he would definitely expose his identity to the other vassals, which did not match with his intentions.
“A.I. Chip, begin concealing!”
Once the A.I. Chip was done analysing the network, Leylin immediately commanded.
[Beep! Mission established. Beginning concealing process. Activating control behind the scenes.]
The A.I. Chip intoned loyally.
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