-Two years later.
"Good work Sigil. Your reinforcement has come a long way and your teleportation is much smoother. Your ability to manipulate light is impressive as well. You could probably take on a peak mid-class enemy or a low high-class one if you're careful." I happily say to the exhausted unicorn.
'I still have far to go.' He tiredly replied through telepathy.
"Yes, but you're still very young and such progress should be complimented. I'm sure your mother would be proud to see you grow so much." I reply as we both looked towards where her grave was.
'Hope so.' He quietly thought through our link.
I believe she would actually be proud.
Unicorns are not offensively gifted beasts. The natural abilities shared across their race revolve around concepts of purity and healing. Even their blood can save a being from a brink of death, but should it not be willingly given said drinker would be heavily cursed for harming them. Turns out they are also naturally gifted in light magic, but not naturally holy like some believe.
Sigil on the other hand had some additional abilities due to his familiar bond with me. Because of my very powerful bloodline influencing him, he gained a strong affinity towards space magic, going so far as gaining a natural blinking ability for instantaneous short distance teleportation. He was a handful to catch when he first gained that ability and was still a child. Sigil also managed to learn how to basically turn himself into a living lance by channeling space magic through his horn and basically forming a conic barrier which covered the front of his body, it would be his entire body but he isn't there yet, followed by physically reinforcing himself.
He is still very much growing. It'll take about another 6-7 years before he is completely matured, which matches up well for when the civil war should begin. Right now he is starting to shed his golden coat and gaining his silver one, while his horn is still fairly short. He can still channel his magic through it, but it will become much more effective once he reaches full maturity. (Basing his physical growth on horses)
Right now he is basically a very disciplined tween wanting to become a warrior. Slightly my fault, but in my defense it is my first time raising a child.
I'm a slight training and improving maniac, which at least makes it very fitting that I live in a place made for those, something Sigil picked up on and asked me why I did it. That led to some difficult talks where I had to try to explain the importance of strength, life and death, and also what happened to his mother. He later came back later and asked me to help him train. The rest happened naturally as he basically combined a desire to become strong and his race's natural temperament to become quite knightly in nature.
He's still a kid and gets excited when Liora makes his favorite carrot cake or when he gets to just run as much as he wants outside however. He has admittedly been a nice change of pace and helps me get my mind off of training or the coming conflict.
Speaking of my own training, i am proud to say I have officially become a true ultimate-class devil, even if I am technically a low tier one in terms of demonic power and physical might. I haven't unlocked any touki like Sairaorg, but my usage of demonic power and magic to reinforce my body mostly makes up for it. Can't slap magic away with that though, but I can still comfortably put down mid and some high tier Ultimate-devils.
When I add my [Space] I become certain I can take down anyone below Satan-class and only if I use Alphecca Tyrant can I truly fight them. Although this is only against those who haven't transcended our race's limits and become Super devils, I still believe that by going all out I should be able to match one of the current Satans, but probably not Grayfia or Euclid. Every step in that class is more akin to crossing a mountain than a simple step after all and one Satan-Class could be outmatched by another.
It is also partially because my Longinus offers more supportive abilities, but if used creatively they can certainly help me take down my opponent. Then there's the fact that I know those strong enough can resist and defeat my [Space], making it useful for those at my own level or lower, but gets stuck as a support tool against those much stronger than me.
As a result, I don't believe I can take on any of the future Satans at the moment, while Grayfia was said to equal Serafall and her brother was supposed to about match her before he basically became psychotic due to his internal conflicts from his yandere levels of love towards his sister and her 'betrayal' of his beloved Lucifer family.
I have been mastering very useful abilities related to my [Space] though. I've learnt how to manipulate other people teleporting, thank you Sigil, how to control momentum, began to contort physical objects without damaging them, and even began spatial telekinesis which I have been inspired by Trafalgar Law during its development. My spatial perception and awareness have also grown, with my range jumping to 1 km and 2 km, while I began to be able to feel what is inside as well as the surface level of things. I can also sense what is outside of the H.A.H from within now, which I found rather useful. This isn't including the ability to properly teleport pretty much anywhere in the Underwold, it's just not instantaneous like when I do it in my sensory range.
Outside of my direct power level, my personal skills have grown well as I used my ability to 'free' my own martial arts talent, allowing me to make more progress in the last two years than i would have made in two decades, officially reaching the master rank in all the training golems. It was honestly mind blowing to personally experience my affinity towards the martial path improve so much as I gained inspiration or insight toward my goals from the oddest places like the horizon or swaying leaves. It made me realize that those prodigious talents truly lived different lives.
Meanwhile I have been maturing physically to my relief, looking almost exactly like the 17 year old prince Soma I based my appearance off of, but taller as I stand at 6'1 (186 cm) and sporting some sculpted muscles all over my body. I even made my cold-faced Fia have a nose bleed once she spotted me still wet from a shower, my hair loose and only having a towel around my waist. Unfortunately I won't be able to fill out properly until I stop growing, but I certainly can't complain with what I had now.
As for my lovely servants, they've been growing in different ways as well.
Fia grew to be around 5'7 (170cm), maturing into a cold beauty with a slim body and wonderful legs. Her style seems to have settled onto a black and white maid's dress while having her black hair tied up into a bun, leaving two strands to frame her face.
Beyond using her demonic powers for maid related tasks or acting as my personal servant, I managed to convince her to train for combat by mentioning that it would make her a better maid, that I wouldn't want her to get hurt and so she wouldn't feel like a burden should an event similar to a bandit attack happens. It certainly lit a fire under her. As a result we found out that she had an affinity for darkness and shadow magic, talents which I 'freed' to facilitate her training.
She couldn't train like myself, Sigil and Heltana could due to her duties as my maid, but she has managed to reach mid mid-class in combat strength.
Liora was the one who actually progressed the most overall. She hasn't grown in height, staying at 5'1 (152cm), but her bust, hips and thighs have, reminding me of a thiccer and taller Hestia from danmachi. Hell, she even makes cookies and has turned out to be the gentlest of my servants. On a day-to-day basis Liora keeps her curly brown hair in a ponytail, preferring to change between a beige shirt and brown pants when gardening to a homely green dress and apron when cooking or being indoors.
I've also asked her to develop some combat abilities, which was a bit difficult due to her kind nature, but her past experience convinced her that it was for the best. It did help that her passions actually corresponded to her natural affinities: cooking into fire and gardening into nature. This is actually when I discovered I couldn't 'free' someone more than four times at once, meaning I would have to return one of her freed talents to normal if I desired to free something else. Made sense to have a limitation like this and it linked to the four nails and the holes they pierced.
In the end she was able to combine her passions into her training, while also having more free time than Fia to train, reaching peak mid-class in combat strength.
Gila was the one with the least changes in terms of physical appearances since she was fully matured by the time she joined up, actually being the eldest amongst those around me, but never say that around her.
Still a seductive blonde with the most alluring body among my servants, her hair was usually done in a long braid down her back and she usually wore a primarily white with blue maid outfit. Convincing her to train was straight forward enough, she wanted to be able to beat down any guy who tried to fuck with her again, plain and simple. Her succubus heritage gave her an advantage in illusions, mind magic and direct energy manipulation, all three talents I had freed since she was the only one I hadn't done so before.
She became the trickiest of my servants to fight because of her abilities, but her power level itself would be lower than Fia's in the low mid-class category, even if she could actually be a troublesome opponent for Liora. She was close to mid mid-class however.
And finally we had Heltana. My lovely red headed huntress become a true athletic beauty with a perfectly toned and lithe body, standing at 5'10 (178cm), sporting a calm expression as she observed everything with her fiery red eyes and making sure to tightly control her red hair with a braid usually resting over her shoulder. Heltana prefers to wear the form fitting leather hunting gear she made herself, the quality of which has been constantly improving with practice and the strength of the beasts she takes down. The boots she wears make her legs look fantastic, while the tight leather pants are Heaven sent I tell you.
Overall she had the least amount of growth on paper, but that is simply because it becomes harder and harder to get stronger the further up you get. In the last two years she managed to grow from peak mid-class to mid high-class by improving her wind and body magic, while also becoming deadlier and deadlier with her bow. Lately she realized that she needed some close quarter options and found a talent for the knife and spear, two weapons certainly linked to the 'hunting' talent I had freed in the past.
What was interesting was that during the last two years she's gotten some fame as a skilled huntress and even began forming her own group of hunters, or huntresses I should say, as she basically did what I did by either rescuing some girls who then had no place to go or being asked by some huntresses who wanted to be like her. That last one is because it is actually a big deal for someone who isn't from any sort of house to become a high-class devil, being a woman on top of that made her a sort of idol for young women. The group gained the name 'Hel's huntresses' as they began traveling outside our forest to hunt around the Underwold. She had 7 members beside herself already, ranging from high low-class to mid mid-class in power, which really wasn't bad. I made sure to ensure their loyalty to Heltana since it was her group and decided to free only their hunting talents as an investment of sort.
Heltana still comes back frequently to deliver meat and train. The group even had a home base made near the forest, something they paid for through their own efforts.
I look forward to see how they will develop in the future. I might even make Artemis want them in the future.
But now that I've reached a level of strength which would virtually guarantee my safety, it was time to begin the next steps to my plans.
And part of that was setting up what is needed to rob the Houses of Leviathan, Asmodeus and Beelzebub blind.
There's going to be many steps in between and this is only going to happen when the civil war is in full swing, but the ultimate goal is to take everything and make everyone think the Satans hid their wealth before loosing so the rebels wouldn't get anything.
The second goal will take quite a while as well since I need to travel around different territories and input some gradual and timed commands into people of all professions.
I will need devils to populate my own territory later after all. One can't become a true power with any sort of foundation.
Sure I can be feared for my personal might, but people will be much more careful if I also have powerful allies and subordinates behind me. It's mostly why the dicks in each faction or pantheon aren't being being killed. Even if they're annoyances or dangerous, they still represent a part of that group's strength, meaning they will usually be protected to some degree by the group. That's why gods like Loki, who's actual job/destiny/desire is to begin the literal end of the world or Asgard, aren't just killed.
This is why I will build my own base using the knowledge and wealth of the Satans to push things along whilst poaching future members of my territory from those who would either die during the war or lose their safety from the house who's land they lived on because said house no longer exists or has been disbanded.
Self profiting, but still a good thing. Maybe done in a dickish way too, but it will actually give them a better future.
Plus its not like I don't have any more plans.
With manpower, wealth and knowledge secured, the last major component needed is security.
I am just one person.
And even with my [Space] allowing me to go pretty much anywhere I choose, I cannot be everywhere at once. Therefor, I will also be 'convincing' those who had fought in the Great War, soldiers unsatisfied but how they are treated by their lords, mercenaries, bounty hunters and even just some I see potential in, to gather under my flag once the time comes.
The easiest ones will be the mercenaries due to being able to make it look like my interactions and abilities inspired loyalty into them. The second easiest will be the bounty hunters because of my existing reputation. But the rest will most likely have to happen during the civil war itself.
It's going to be a busy few years that's for sure.
"Girls we are going to be going to Lucifaad for the next few years since my power has reached a proper stage." I announced to my four servants as we enjoyed our dinner.
""""Lucifaad?/Eh?/Truly!?/Master?!"""" The four responded simultaneously.
"I'll answer questions one at a time." I simply stated as the four had looks which told me they wished for some clarifications, "Fia first."
"Thank you for indulging me master. But why go to the capital so suddenly? Is something wrong or urgent?" She calmly asked.
"I know I haven't really talked about it, but my goal after reaching a certain level of strength was always to go to the capital. I have many objectives to achieve their after all. But we will also be traveling around the Underworld as well during the next few years." I answered in a way which seemed to have satisfied her, "Gila."
"So we are really going to the capital!?" She excitedly asked as she stood up and leaned over the table to which I nodded, "Yeah! Imagine all the shops they should have! All those places where even the Satans have their clothes or products made! I can't wait!"
"Glad to see you're happy." I wryly said as I thought about the rather substantial amount of money I had made from robbing bandits and bounty hunting. "Any question Liora?"
"*cute head shake* Nothing comes to mind master. But do you think we'll be able to go to different taverns and shops? I want to see if I can get any inspiration." She shyly asked as she poked her two indexes together.
"Sounds like it would be fun." I warmly responded which made her light up. "What about you Hel?"
"Would it be alright for me to continue hunting master? I doubt you will need me to supply any meat whilst in the capital. But I am ready to serve as you desire should you need me." She seriously answered.
"My only desire from you during our time at the capital is for you to continue growing stronger and gaining more allies Hel. I feel some storms coming in the future and I want to be ready for it." I replied to my red headed huntress.
"Your will be done master." Heltana said with the utmost discipline.
"Good. Now if that is everything, we will start our journey tomorrow. No need to pack since I will obviously be taking our home with us, but do change into some traveling clothes." I said as finished up my meal. "Delicious as always Liora."
"You're welcome master!" The brunette happily replied.
I then headed outside to talk to Sigil.
"So we're going somewhere new?" The young unicorn asked curiously.
"Yeah. You won't be able to go out as much, but after some more training I think it would do you some good to travel and train yourself in the wild.
You'll be able to come back anytime and contact me through the familiar contract, but this would help you grow." I told him seriously as he began to think about what that would entail.
"When would I be ready?" He simply asked.
"I'd want you to reach at least high-class in strength. After that you can go test yourself against other magical beasts." I straightforwardly answered.
"Alright. I won't disappoint you." Sigil replied with great determination.
"I know you won't. You're part of my family after all." I responded with a warm smile on my face as I stroke his budding mane.
The kid began to act all embarrassed when I was doing so, which made me laugh a bit as he kept trying to act cool through it.
'A few more years and we'll take the Underworld by storm.' I thought as I could feel my desire to understand just how powerful I am on the battlefield.
EXTRA AUTHOR NOTE:
The next chapter is going to be going through a few more years and hopefully I can start getting to the civil war stuff soon cause I want Lith to interact with actual characters.
But what do you guys feel about his general plan to gain power in monetary, intellectual and social ways?
I think I covered most of the bases while he can gain connections to the pillar houses and the future Satans during the war itself. So getting ready before hand feels like the right move.
Regarding everyone's power levels:
Lith: Low tier Ultimate-Class but can take on Peak Ultimate-Class devils from Satan families.
Fia: Mid Mid-Class in strength, can take on Extra House devils of the same rank due to her talents being freed. Needs more training and experience.
Liora: Peak Mid-Class combat strength, can actually take on Pillar House devils due to her already very high affinity with her elements. Needs more experience.
Gila: Low Mid-Class strength, but can actually give Liora a very hard time due to her tricky fighting style and abilities. She lacks raw power however.
Heltana: Mid High-Class strength, can take on a Pillar devil of the high high-class level due to her experience and skills. Lacking big moves.
Sigil: High Mid-class strength, but can take on Peak Mid-class and possibly Low High-Class due to the advantage his light element has on devils and demonic beasts. He is growing this fast because of the familiar bond and him being in his growth phase.
Just as a heads up, High-Class devils should actually be quite impressive in Devil society in general. Even if DxD canon almost treated them like canon fodder in general, many, if not most, Pillar family devils don't actually go beyond it for their entire lives, much less ordinary devils who should be in low-class, while some stronger ones under noble families or in military forces should be in the Mid-Class range. High-Class devils should basically be the core soldiers for Devil armies, while Ultimates are basically trump cards capable of affecting the entire battlefield on their own.
So when I saw things like Heltana being an idol to female devils for being 'ordinary' and still becoming this strong, it should be very possible. Gotta remember that ultimates should be able to match weaker gods and are very few in numbers while the majority of high-class devils are from noble houses.
Felt the need to mention this when I remembered that Hades somehow mass produced them using Lilith.
That's also why, compared to some other fanfic MC's, Lith is technically growing 'slowly' if we are going chronologically.
And finally, the gap between what I consider Ultimate and Satan-class is actually a very large one. Any Satan class can take on a group of Ultimates, that's why Lith could only take one on in Balance Breaker.