Chapter 74
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When Dreu caught up to the children, one of the female demonic children had taken charge of the group. The child acknowledged Dreu’s presence but she showed no indication of handing over the leadership role. With no knowledge of the Demon Realm’s wilderness, the young man was fine with the situation. He doubted his ability to make the right call in a completely unfamiliar environment. During the run deeper into the wilderness, Dreu regularly checked behind him to make sure Aggich, Zog and the other seven demon worms were still there. His nine companions stuck to him like glue and kept up just fine. 

“We will take a break here before we proceed further,” said the demonic child. 

“May I ask for your name?” Dreu approached the child. “It would make communication easier in the future.”

“I am Ragellon,” said the demonic child with her head held high. “Daughter of Braglames.”

“Braglames,” muttered Dreu as he recalled the final battle at the capital.

“You have a vendetta against him?” Ragellon aggressively approached Dreu. 

“No, we share a common enemy so I look up to him. I was there during his final hour in the human capital.” 

Ragellon’s face beamed with happiness upon hearing Dreu looked up to her father. Her smile disappeared when her focus turned to the demon worms behind the human. 

“Why are they here?” 

Hearing the distaste in her voice, Dreu sighed. 

“I know demon worms aren’t known for their abilities on the battlefield. However, I believe that, given a chance, they can prove the old assumptions wrong.” 

Dreu turned his attention to Zog because the demon worm was two levels away from evolving. The evolution didn’t have to be amazing. Zog just had to prove everyone wrong by positively contributing to the battlefield. 

“If they slow us down, don’t expect me to wait for them.” 

The young man didn’t bother sharing his abilities. First, he saw no need to divulge too much. He was still an outsider and keeping trump cards could save his life. Secondly, he only grasped the bare minimum of his abilities so he lacked the expertise to explain matters properly even if he wanted to. Dreu snapped out of his thoughts when Ragellon led the group deeper into the unknown. With his companions in tow, the young man followed the confident demonic child. He had seen those who weren’t ready to be leaders and Ragellon wasn’t one of those. Her confidence reassured the other demonic children while her decision making thus far proved to be on point. The fact they hadn’t encountered any demonic beast was a miracle given the size of their group. 

Does she have a destination in mind? Thought Dreu. 

When one of the demonic children screamed, everyone turned to see half a dozen gnolls. At least, Dreu assumed they were gnolls given their hyena heads and humanoid bodies. 

“Demonic gnolls,” said Ragellon, cursing under her breath.

Dreu was about to ask the demonic child what differentiated demonic gnolls and normal gnolls when the markings on the demonic gnolls lit up. The markings gave off a violet light which gathered in the palm of the demonic gnoll’s hands. The violet light then transformed into either weapons or armor. Four of the demonic gnolls wield polearms while the other two boasted fine looking armor. Unlike humans, the demonic gnolls in armor had sharp claws as their weapons. 

This is bad.

While the demonic children hid behind Ragellon, Dreu found himself only covering one flank. Even if Ragellon somehow could hold off the attacks in front of her, he could only do so much supporting one flank. One of the demonic gnolls then shouted orders in an unknown language. Once in formation, the gnolls attacked. While two gnolls were assigned to fight Dreu and Ragellon, the other four approached the group through the vulnerable flank. 

Zog and Aggich! Take the other demon worms and hold the other flank the best you can.

Dreu readied his blade when Ragellon summoned a large soul stone. Dreu’s eyes widened at the sight of the massive soul stone. Even the demonic gnolls halted their attack upon seeing the soul stone. 

What is she going to do with it?

As if answering the question, Ragellon chanted loudly in an unfamiliar language. As she chanted, dark smoke emerged from the soul stone. The smoke embraced the soul stone while giving off a powerful aura. At the sight of this, the gnolls backed away a few steps. Their bloodthirst expressions were replaced with fear and terror. As Ragellon got to the end of her chant, the smoke formed a large silhouette of something neither Dreu nor the gnolls wanted to face. Before the demonic child finished her chant, the smoke suddenly dissipated. The gnolls regained their confidence and resumed their charge. 

Dreu waited for his opponent to be within swinging distance before he slashed at the gnoll. Faced with a gnoll armed with two daggers, the young man had a range advantage. By taking a swing as soon as the opponent got close, Dreu forced the gnoll to halt the charge to avoid losing an arm. He then transitioned to a stabbing motion which saw his blade going easily into the gnoll’s stomach. Dreu then slashed to his left leaving a nasty gash in the gnoll. His followup saw him beheading the gnoll. Before the gnoll head hit the ground, the young man turned to the other battles. 

Ragellon, undeterred by her earlier failure, proceeded to throw green fireballs at her opponent. The gnoll, with several burn marks, stood its ground as it braced for the incoming fireballs. The rapid rate Ragellon threw the fire balls held the demon at bay. Expecting the worst, Dreu turned to check up the weakest flank. With eight demon worms and one Cursed Fox, Dreu’s side held only a slight numeric advantage. In terms of quality, Dreu knew his side was literally scraping the bottom of a barrel. Except for Zog, the other demon worms had no combat experience. To make matters worse, they were the front liners engaging head on with the gnolls.