Chapter 684 Asmodeus
Asmodeus, the undisputed Ruler of the Nine Hells and the progenitor of devils possessed a sinister aura, his duplicitous voice deadlier than any mortal weapon.
In his archetypal form, he stood tall, his skin a fiery red, draped in silks woven from the most bottomless abyss. His regal countenance featured a meticulously groomed goatee and a crown of pointed horns.
"The truth, akin to a contract, is a slippery entity. Rife with loopholes, contradictions, and exclusivity. My purpose is to define truth. Yours, to adhere to it — or face my wrath."
To hear the Lord of the Nine Hells speak was both a blessing and a curse. His voice effortlessly transitioned from terrifying authority to honeyed guile in an instant. His words held a hypnotic power, weaving a spell that trapped all who listened.
Asmodeus's eyes bore into those who dared to meet his gaze, akin to a predator eyeing easy prey, leaving one feeling exposed and vulnerable with just a glance.
Few had stood before such a being and emerged unscathed. Most became mere pawns in Asmodeus's grand schemes, ready to be sacrificed at a moment's notice, their fate sealed within the Lord of the Nine Hells's intricate plans spanning centuries.
Salister's laughter cut through the tension like a jagged blade. "Well, how do you like my replica of the Ruler of the Nine Hells? I sacrificed countless souls to create this imitation of Asmodeus! A fitting adversary for you, Princess. Consider it an honor."
Ren breathed a sigh of relief. So it was a replica, albeit a close match to the real thing.
If it had truly been Asmodeus, Ren doubted whether the Princess would stand a chance against such an entity.
However, if it was merely a fake copy, Princess Lorelai could surely handle it. Moreover, Salister preferred strategy over direct combat, leaving the fighting to his lieutenants.
Speaking of which, devilish entities began emerging from the shadows, surrounding them with an array of malevolent forces.
"Heh, heh, heh!" Salister chuckled darkly. "I hope you're pleased with this welcoming committee. I regret that I cannot personally entertain you, even after you've come this far. As you can see, I have a portal to open. You all can handle them for me."
Salister returned to his ritual, his focus unbroken, while the devils and the replica of Asmodeus prepared to engage Ren and the others in battle.
Princess Lorelai tightened her grip on her weapon, her voice ringing with determination. "Your madness ends now, Salister! In the name of Lorelai, the Princess of Renais, I will defeat you right here and right now!"
While Princess Lorelai bravely delivered her battle speech, Ren and Evie shared puzzled glances, prompting Elena to inquire, "What's with those strange looks?"
Ren crossed his arms, a serious expression on his face. "I was expecting her to use her full royal name, you know, like all royals do when they gave their speeches."
Evie nodded in agreement. "Exactly, something like Princess Seraphina Glitterbottom McSnortle III, the Royal Highness of Gigglesworth and Chief Sock-Slide Enthusiast in the Whimsical Kingdom of Chuckleburg," she said with a perfectly straight face and flawless pronunciation.
Elena found herself torn between laughter and exasperation.
"Everyone, be alert!" Princess Lorelai called out as she dashed towards Ren and the others, ready to face the onslaught from Asmodeus and the devils.
The chamber crackled with the sinister energy of the dark spell, and just as the beam of malevolent energy surged toward Ren and the others, Princess Lorelai sprang into action.
With the speed of a lightning bolt, she kicked them away, sending them flying through the air. They soared, arms flailing wildly, and collided with the wall in a cacophony of shouts and crashes.
Princess Lorelai flipped her hair with a heroic flourish. "Fear not, my loyal companions! Princess Lorelai is here to protect you!"
Ren and Evie found themselves plastered against the stone, their faces squished, as if the wall had given them an unexpected, albeit painful, hug. Their voices muffled as they shouted curses.
With a swift motion, Princess Lorelai swung her sword, slicing through the oncoming attack like a master chef dicing vegetables.
The dark energy split into two, dissipating harmlessly on either side of the chamber. She sighed in relief, realizing how narrowly they had escaped a grisly fate.
"Whew, that was close. You guys almost died there," she said, wiping the invisible sweat on her face.
"You almost got us killed!"
Ren and Evie struggled to peel themselves off the wall, grimacing as Elena worked her healing magic to mend their battered bodies.
Their HP bars had taken a severe hit, almost depleted from the force of being slammed against the unforgiving rock, courtesy of Princess Lorelai's heroic intervention.
Princess Lorelai, seemingly unperturbed by the chaos she had caused, had the audacity to question their predicament. "What are you guys doing? Why are you injured? Get up, they're going to attack us!"
"And whose fault is that?!" Ren and the others simultaneously shouted their voices, a blend of annoyance and exasperation, and pointed accusing fingers at the Princess.
Princess Lorelai blinked and bobbed her head to the side with a question mark over her head. "Huh? It's my fault?"
Ren and the others' faces were etched with irritation as they brushed off the debris from their clothes and skin, their expressions clearly stating they were far from amused.
The revelation hit Ren like a ton of bricks: every village or town that Princess Lorelai supposedly saved likely suffered more casualties due to her interventions. Ren was now convinced of it. She seemed to bring more trouble and devastation than the situations warranted.
"R-Ren, are you sure it's wise to bring her along?" Evie questioned, shaking her head to dislodge the remaining rocks and dust from her hair.
Ren sighed, a mixture of frustration and contemplation in his eyes. "I'm starting to have serious doubts about that decision." He glanced at Princess Lorelai, who stood there with an innocent expression that was far from convincing.
The Princess, seemingly oblivious to the chaos she had inadvertently caused, wore an air of absolute confidence as if the entire incident was just another day in her adventurous life.
Elena, in the midst of healing and chaos, couldn't help but let out a bemused sigh. "Thank the gods that she's strong . . ." her face then turned menacing, "Or I'll punch some sense into that princess's head."