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With control over the World Origin Force, the Lords of Baator far surpassed ordinary devils in strength. Even pit fiends could only tremble under one’s authority.
However, there was one rank of devil between the pit fiends and the lords. It was only awarded to the most beloved of an Archdevil’s subordinates, and it was known as the exception. They were called dukes!
Were a pit fiend to evolve to its very limits, with permission from its lord it could undergo a bizarre promotion. It would give them a special morphed form, distinguishing them by gender and allowing them to master an ultimate ability.
Dukes were the Archdevils’ most trusted confidantes, and given that there was a limited amount of origin force to go around they were very rare. Glasya was one such Duke!
She was Asmodeus’ daughter, the princess of the Ninth Hell. When she’d advanced to the peak of pit fiends, her father’s favour had allowed her to be moulded into a unique form. She’d become the Queen of Erinyes!
This change gave her the ultimate charm, and great influence. Her abilities approached the pinnacle of power, and she could be considered second only to an Archdevil.
“Tut tut, what a pretty little erinyes! I believe the nupperibo under me will be very fond of you…” The Hag Countess looked at Glasya. Her pit fiends were crowded around the duke as well, their eyes filled with a scarlet light.
“Has Asmodeus gone demented? Does he actually think that he can take me down just by sending a bunch of devils?” The Hag Countess’ voice grew higher and higher in pitch, until the very sound radiated an aura of absolute authority and might. The energy snapped the bewitched devils back to their senses, and their eyes now exuded a sense of fear.
The Hag Countess occupied the throne of Malbolge, and would forever be the lady of the Sixth Hell. How could she be easy to deal with? Her formidable power and schemes had been etched into the deepest part of these devils’ blood.
It wasn’t so easy to overthrow a Lord of Baator. They were powerful ancient beings in their own right, and on top of that they had the power to utilise Baator’s origin force. Within the Nine Hells, any of them could exhibit the strength of a rank 7 Magus. And similarly, in their own territories they were like true gods in their divine realms!
The only reason Beelzebub died so easily was that he ruined himself. When he projected his power out to external worlds, he’d been brutally suppressed by Leylin. Seriously injured, he’d been forced into a coma. If not for that, Beelzebub could have easily suppressed a demigod within Dis.
That was the same situation here. This was the Sixth Hell, the Countess’ territory. In addition to her powers as a rank 7 Magus, she could use Malbolge itself to suppress her enemies as if it was her divine realm. The only way to defeat her here, and even then only cause her to retreat, would be a combined attack of three other Lords of Baator.
Even if they managed to defeat the Countess and obtain the authority over this hell, there was a more difficult issue. Devils were a bunch of lawful creatures, whereas rebellion and foolishness were the domains of demons.
Although Glasya’s methods were unorthodox, the Countess had decided to teach Asmodeus a lesson that he would never forget.In any case, every lord had equal authority in Baator. With Glasya the one at fault, the Hag Countess wasn’t afraid of Asmodeus’ retribution.
“So this is the authority of Baator’s origin force?” Looking at the surging origin force and the powerful suppression that brought her close to death, Glasya’s eyes grew a little intoxicated.
“I’m the only one suited for such power and authority!” Two contracts flew out from Glasya’s hands, glowing beautifully in midair. The light they gave off completely eliminated the Countess’ control over the origin force, returning everything to peace and tranquility.
“How?”Sensing the suppression of her authority, and her disconnect with Baator’s origin force, the Hag Countess’ face warped with unbearable rage.
“This is a contract that you signed yourself!” Glasya’s lips curved into a smile. Her beauty seemed to momentarily transform hell into heaven.
“The agreement between the seven Lords of Baator was that you will all remain within your locations until Dis gains a new lord, and the unrest in Baator ends…” Glasya illustrated with her pleasant voice, but it caused the Hag Countess to break into cold sweat.
“Until the unrest in Baator ends, not Dis. Which means all levels of Baator are open for contest, and the winner will obtain eternal glory as a Lord of Hell!”
“Ah! NO…” The Countless snarled, pulling out the contract and noticing that it wasn’t just Dis.
“Strange isn’t it? Did the tens of thousands of years as the Lady of Malbolge rot your brain? Did you think nobody would ever challenge your authority again?”
Glasya waved her hand, “She’s lost the power of her authority for now, any strength she wields is her own. Kill her!”
The devils roared forth under the bewitching words of the Queen of Erinyes, their eyes an abnormal red.
“Dream on!” the Countess screamed, and a murky green metal whip appeared in her hands. A pit fiend was caught within the moment she brandished it, and she immediately smashed him to flesh and bones.
“Even without the power of Baator, I am an epic being of evil. You pathetic devils dare to oppose me?” The Hag Countess looked malevolent as she reached out with her claws, smashing two more greater devils to pieces.
“You’ll go to prison and be sold as a lesser devil, thrown into a pit of males. I believe they’ll be able to treat you properly…” Even as she made her threats the Hag Countess dealt heavy damage to Glasya’s army. In a mere moment the palace was riddled with corpses.
However, The Countess found that her threats had no effect on Glasya, who maintained a calm demeanour.
“Even without their authority a lord is not somebody I can face right now.” Glasya bit on her tantalising juicy lips, reaching out with her right hand to point at the second contract.
While the former contract was to reveal the loophole regarding Dis, this one looked rather archaic. It was covered in runes, and seemed to be from ancient times.
“This is why I’m so confident in taking everything from you,” Glasya purred.
“This is… the primordial contract! So you were holding on to it!” The Countess screamed in rage, and energy undulations radiated from her body.
“That’s right. My father fought the gods themselves for this contract, all in the name of Baator. All fallen souls shall belong to the Nine Hells.” Glasya’s eyes glowed with pride.
“This is why my father obtained great support from Baator’s origin force. This contribution alone will garner him additional support as the Nine Hells are being united. Although it doesn’t have power of authority like an Archdevil, it is enough to deal with you!”
The primordial contract was a legendary agreement signed between the devils and the gods. It stipulated that the Nine Hells would obtain all fallen souls that lost their lives in the prime material plane. This contract was the foundation of the devils, and of Baator itself. It also qualified Asmodeus’ claims to be the Supreme of the Nine Hells.
However, there had been severe changes since then. Baator’s World Will had broken apart, split into eight parts which were controlled by the eight different lords. Asmodeus’ true body had been gravely injured, so now he could only harness a fraction of his strength. The Nine Hells had splintered apart.
Still, Asmodeus was the rightful ruler of the Nine Hells. As for Glasya, his daughter, she had the right to exercise this power as well.
“You…The other lords will never let you off! Absolutely never!” The Countess was finally overwhelmed by the primordial contract and the wave of incoming devils. Right before her head was severed, she unleashed a final howl of fury.
“Sure! Even if they don’t come to me, I will be going to them!” Glasya grabbed onto the head that was still dripping with blood, as she cleaned the blood on her sword using The Countess’ corpse.
She looked once again at the unresigned look on the Countess’ face and smiled, before issuing her next orders. “Hang this ornament in my room as a decoration.”
The grave changes in Malbolge and the shift of authority there swept Baator as well.
Many devils clutched their heads in bafflement, such a series of events had never occurred before in their memory. In a single day, two of the Nine Hells had shifted rulers.
This would definitely lead to an epic change in Baator, and even incite the wild ambitions of other devils!
“Asmodeus!” Several livid roars were heard as three lords left Nessus in a hurry, immediately returning to their respective planes. They were seemingly shocked by the spate of events.
“Sixth Hell, Glasya huh?” Leylin felt the changes as well.
“As expected of the Supreme of the Nine Hells. Asmodeus is the most cunning and versatile Archdevil of the lot. Even as his plans for Dis failed, he’s obtained a third of Avernus and the entire plane of Malbolge!”
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