Just like that, a week passed. It was the early morning of their planned departure and Dyon and Ri stood in front of a thousand men and women.
Nine hundred of them were Ri's army. She had spent years of her life diligently training them. In the end, she felt most satisfied with these ones in particular. Their cultivation levels had all stepped into meridian formation of at least the fifth level, and they were a good baseline.
The other hundred, were of course Dyon's demon generals. Their long white hair waved in the wind, the aura stifling.
Dyon nodded with satisfaction, addressing them directly, "This is Princess Alexandria Acacia. Her words are as much of your law as mine are. Our thoughts are one and our actions are one. If I am ever not there for any reason, you listen to her commands."
Although Dyon's father had never taught him much about the military, the one thing Dyon knew was how important seniority and hierarchy was within an army.
Dyon could always tell that his father disliked his disregard for authority. In fact, it often led to arguments, something Dyon unfortunately felt were among his few interactions with his father.
He could never understand why he had to respect people just because they were older than him. Dyon had always thought respect should be earned, not given. And yet, his father always had a different perspective on things.
So, Dyon thought in respect for his father's memory, he would hold sacred the art form he had tried to master his whole life – the art of war.
This was much of the reason why Dyon went out of his way to form a good relationship with Akash. He hoped his actions were pleasing to his dad, even in death…
A synchronized affirmation vibrated through the spatial world, causing shivers to go down the spines of Ri's army… it was clear they weren't used to this.
"Those who've grasped music will to the 3rd level, step forward."
Immediately, ten demon generals stepped forward. Six females, most fit, but also of varying heights. Four males – strong robust and determined.
"You ten will be our Vice Commanders."
Many were stunned by Dyon's decision. Choosing Vice Commanders based on music will? How odd.
Dyon didn't bother explaining. Actions spoke louder than words.
He immediately got to work separating the remaining nine hundred ninety into ten groups. Naming them companies. They essentially amounted to one hundred people each, if the Vice Commanders were included.
He then further split the companies in half, naming them platoons. Each pair of platoons was overlooked by the Vice Commander. However, Dyon also chose a lieutenant to pair with them. And, much to everyone's surprise, these lieutenants were also music will users, although they hadn't reached the third level.
Afterward, he split each platoon in ten more groups he called squads. These he didn't choose leaders for. Instead, he emphasized the idea of teamwork and building. Vice Commander and lieutenants were responsible for properly rewarding squads that performed well. If a squad lost a member, they would all be punished. If one of them succeeded, they would all be rewarded.
However, Dyon did add one extra layer of protection for the squads. By ensuring that for every two squads of five soldiers there was at least one demon general, he felt good about the distribution of power.
"I bet you're all wondering why I chose you Vice Commanders based on music will?"
The army was silent. Dyon smiled at this. Questioning your Commander was taboo, especially for foot soldiers. It seemed Ri trained them well.
Suddenly, Dyon's voice boomed, laced with a powerful compelling aura.
His crystal will bloomed before him, amplifying his words to the extreme.
"This is your home now. This is you, and you are it. You die by our collective will. You fight not for yourselves, but for each other. You are an army of demons. Your only goal is victory. Defeat only means death.
VICE COMMANDERS. SOUND OFF!"
"DEMON GENERAL GAYLIA, HERE!"
"DEMON GENERAL KAEDA, HERE!"
"DEMON GENERAL JASSIN, HERE!"
"DEMON GENERAL HALAENA, HERE!"
"DEMON GENERAL ITHIRAE, HERE!"
"DEMON GENERAL GRAEYA, HERE!"
"DEMON GENERAL MAALESHIIRA, HERE!"
"DEMON GENERAL AREDHEL, HERE!"
"DEMON GENERAL CELEBORN, HERE!"
"DEMON GENERAL KUORNOS, HERE!"
The blood of the army raged.
When Dyon's voice started, it was almost as though they had entered the pits of hell – and yet, they had no regrets. They wanted to fight and die with honor. There was no fear, no hesitation – there was only victory and death in defeat.
But, when the Vice Commanders amplified their wills out as well, the feeling resonated. It became more personal. It felt like they were brothers and sisters in arms. This was their family and they were willing to protect it with their everything.
Suddenly, Ri's faith seed raged. Her ten tails whipping violently in the air as her pupils narrowed into slits.
Her hair darkened, as she unsheathed her sword from her back.
The atmosphere reached its peak, the army looked forward at their pair of commanders with unmatched fervor evident in their eyes.
Dyon stood tall with his hands clasped behind his back, finally wearing his battle changpao. A sleek tight fit, its long white and gold tunic nearly touched the ground. It was hard, yet flexible – patterned as a robust leather instead of a soft fabric.
Ri stood right beside Dyon. Her blue-silver tails were long, whipping out at least five meters from her. She wore a white and gold armor, kilted chains of crystals gracing her as a skirt.
Only death in defeat? It felt like there never need be such a thing. With them, there was only victory.
The Demon Sage. The Demon Fox. A truly heavenly couple.
😊 Demons, yet somehow heavenly 😉