Chapter 50:

Legendary Beasts

The Children of Eris

On the morning of his one hundredth day as the Demon Emperor, time froze and David was sealed inside a grey dome, just like he had been when he first arrived in this world.Bookmark here

It was time to choose his next general.Bookmark here

Despite the fact that he was going to be getting a new strong, potentially reliable, member of his army, all David could think about was how little he’d really achieved in one hundred days.Bookmark here

He had only taken over one castle and was far away from being able to establish an empire.Bookmark here

After a hundred days, I don’t have much to show for it in the grand scheme of things, David thought. If I keep going at this pace, I definitely won’t be able to overthrow the Holy Empire within a year. Even if I could take them down, what then? Bookmark here

I need more.Bookmark here

If David didn’t hurry his plans along, then the heroes Eris was planning to send would arrive and then he would truly be doomed. Bookmark here

“I can’t afford to skulk in the shadows much longer,” David mumbled with a heavy sigh. “I’ll have to take more risks if I want to have a chance of pulling this off and that means I need to be bolder.” He narrowed his eyes. “If I do that though, it raises the chances of us being discovered too early and ruining everything. How can I do both and-?”Bookmark here

Before he could finish that sentence, three stone tablets fell onto his lap, bouncing off his legs and onto the bed.Bookmark here

David raised an eyebrow. Only three?Bookmark here

When he had first arrived in this world, Eris had given him twelve tablets to choose from.Bookmark here

What was worse was that Eris had specified that he’d only be able to pick one general this time. Bookmark here

However, that wasn’t what concerned David the most.Bookmark here

“Why does each tablet have two names written on them?”Bookmark here

Arion and Pegasus - The Loyal Steeds of the MightyBookmark here

Cerberus and Cu Sith - The Hounds of DarknessBookmark here

Scylla and Charybdis - Beasts of the OceansBookmark here

Beneath each of them were a series of printed statements that raised even more questions.Bookmark here

1. Whichever tablet you choose, you will receive both of the listed generals as your servants. Bookmark here

2. - This is the only time where you shall be given two generals in a single tablet.Bookmark here

3. - While each of these generals are inherently monsters by nature, all of them are able to transform into humanoid beings.Bookmark here

4 - The general lots Lady Eris drew up are always fixed but the order they come up in is completely random. It is not based on your immediate needs or your performance, so do not attempt to manipulate the lots and try to trick Lady Eris.Bookmark here

5. - While it should be obvious, you will only be allowed to choose each general during their selection process. Any generals you don’t pick you will not get to pick at a later time.Bookmark here

David scoffed a little after reading them.Bookmark here

Lady Eris? What a joke.Bookmark here

“I can only pick one tablet but, no matter which I choose, I get both generals listed on it?” David whispered. “Even though Eris says that they are all monsters, they can all transform into humanoids as well? Meaning that I don’t have to leave the castle before I can summon them or risk losing my roof?” He smiled bitterly. “What a considerate Goddess you are.”Bookmark here

David lent back and stared up at the ceiling. Where the hell do I begin this time?Bookmark here

With the original twelve, David had three main priorities in making his choice: his immediate safety, the ability to gather information and to see whether or not the unique text on the tablets would give him stronger or weaker generals.Bookmark here

Abaddon was there for his immediate safety, Mimir existed to gather intelligence, and Mania was David’s final pick to see the effects of the unique text.Bookmark here

David had wanted to pick a general who could either fulfil one of those roles or that could give him an army, like Legion could have. However, based on the names he recognised on the tablets, he would be limited to only two single monsters this time. Bookmark here

They could be powerful monsters, but that might be it. Bookmark here

Cerberus never had the ability to summon kin to its side and Greek myths only ever talked about one dog. Further, at the end of the day, Cerberus was essentially just a three headed dog that was easily defeated by Herakles as his final labour.Bookmark here

That didn’t inspire much confidence in David.Bookmark here

To David’s recollection, Pegasi were in a few myths and so there was a chance he could get a whole pack or even an army of them, but, ultimately, they were simply flying horses. Having aerial superiority sounded interesting initially to David but then he remembered that the summoned heroes would be people from his world.Bookmark here

The second they hear about my air force, they’ll start advising the other nations on anti-air weapons and the like, David thought. The moment they start to be able to shoot my Pegasus out of the air effectively, they’re dead, if I even get more than one of them that is.Bookmark here

David looked at the other names on the tablets beside Cerberus and Pegasus, but David didn’t have any idea who they were.Bookmark here

The last two, Scylla and Charybdis, David knew a tiny bit about.Bookmark here

They were both great sea beasts in ancient Greek mythology that terrorised sailors. Some stories spoke of Scylla as a hydra-like beast with many heads and others said that Charybdis was a gigantic, underwater beast that swallowed ships whole. Bookmark here

He had first heard about them when he was fourteen years old and his English teacher was teaching them the origins of common phrases and how language transformed over time.Bookmark here

“How many of you have heard of the phrase ‘Between a rock and a hard place?’” Mr Graham had asked. Naturally, everyone raised their hands. “Then, what about ‘Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea?”Bookmark here

Only a few people raised their hand, making Mr Graham smile. Bookmark here

“Even though both of them mean the same thing, you don’t often hear the Deep Blue Sea idiom used unless someone is in a much, much more dire situation than a tough decision. It’s a phrase that’s begun to fall out of use over the years because between a rock and a hard place is a much simpler, and much faster, way of conveying the same feeling. Bookmark here

“This idiom’s meaning is a rather timeless phrase in a lot of ways. Unlike the Deep Blue Sea idiom, it’s still widely used and some scholars have even traced its origins back to the ancient Greeks. There used to be a saying between people like this which was: ‘Between Scylla and Charybdis’. Bookmark here

“There is a region in the Mediterranean called the Strait of Messina where a large whirlpool is located which is where many people think the phrase originates. Scylla was the name of a rock formation just opposite which we call today the Rock of Scillia and so the phrase related to the decisions sailors had to make when crossing the region.Bookmark here

“Between Scylla and Charybdis, which fate is worse?”Bookmark here

David had never been so happy that he’d been paying attention to Mr. Graham’s long-winded explanations.Bookmark here

It had fascinated him and he looked up both of them afterwards to learn more about them, and he discovered how the myths described them as monsters.Bookmark here

However, even with that knowledge, David hesitated to choose them.Bookmark here

Based on what happened with Abaddon and the others, there are a few things I can bet on for certain when I choose my generals. Each of them has some sort of personality issue which could cause me trouble and I haven’t seen them overcome those flaws yet.Bookmark here

What would happen if these two turned out to be massive gluttons because of their diet in their myths and required so much food a day that it runs us dry? What if they were only useful in combat when in the ocean? If their only strengths come from their monster forms, then what good are they to me?Bookmark here

Though, I could say that about the others although, unlike Scylla and Charybdis, they would definitely have some use on land at the very least, I hope. David picked up the Scylla tablet again and exhaled. Should I just pick the ones I know best and compensate for their drawbacks later?Bookmark here

Wait. David frowned and glared at an empty space beside him. What if Eris knew that I knew the most about these two and put them in here to mess with me? What if she put these two in here to tempt me into taking them and then she gives me the two weakest, most useless generals she can?Bookmark here

I definitely wouldn’t put it past her, and I definitely don’t believe everything that she’s written on these tablets. All of the information on here could just be a trap to make me think everything she says is true.Bookmark here

David winced a little and grasped his heart as a sharp, stabbing sensation hit it.Bookmark here

“I won’t accept it,” he muttered, remembering her cruel words from the Shadow Tombs. “I won’t blindly believe whatever you try to spin, Eris.”Bookmark here

Maybe I’m overthinking this, he thought, his mind growing wearier and wearier as he tried to wrap his head around Eris’s logic. Is there any point in trying to understand what Eris is thinking? She’s cruel and sadistic, uses twisted logic to justify whatever she does and commands absolute fear and power. Bookmark here

Could anyone, even another God, understand what goes on inside her head?Bookmark here

David closed his eyes and tried to get his thoughts back on track.Bookmark here

Until he picked his generals, he wouldn’t be able to leave this space and David worried that if he spent too long deciding, Eris would get angry and he didn’t want to imagine what she’d do if she did.Bookmark here

“I’ll just pick one,” he said with a shrug. Bookmark here

He looked down at all the names again, their titles, and quickly summarised what he knew of them all in his head, and then decided simply based on how much he knew about them all.Bookmark here

The only tablet David knew both names on was the Scylla and Charybdis one and so he chose it.Bookmark here

As he did, like last time, the tablet cracked and the other two vanished but, this time, two sparks of energy appeared, shooting at the ground and summoning his two generals before him, kneeling.Bookmark here

“Scylla, Beast of the Ocean,” the one on the left said, raising her head with a wide smile. “I present myself to the Dark Lord.”Bookmark here

The woman who had introduced herself as Scylla had turquoise coloured hair tied in twin tails and red eyes. Unlike David’s previously summoned generals, Scylla had no obvious weapons on her person.Bookmark here

“Charybdis, Beast of the Ocean,” the other woman said, raising her head with a gentle smile. “I present myself to the Dark Lord.”Bookmark here

Charybdis had long dark blue hair and red eyes, with a bow in her right hand and a quiver of pure white arrows strapped to her back. Bookmark here

They were both wearing tunic-like dresses with short skirts and sleeves, an outfit David deemed impractical for battle, just like Mania’s.Bookmark here

It might be worth trying to make the generals some armour, he thought. Even if they’re really strong, it couldn’t hurt to make them look like they’re ready for a battle. Bookmark here

“What are your orders, Master?” Scylla asked.Bookmark here

Before he could say another word, Eva knocked at the door.Bookmark here

“Excuse me, your majesty, but you haven’t had breakfast yet and-” she began to say as she pushed open the door, allowing the butler and tray of food to enter. They both paused when they saw Scylla and Charybdis kneeling before him. Bookmark here

“My apologies, your majesty!” Eva cried, bowing low to him; the butler did the same. “I didn’t know you-”Bookmark here

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“Don’t worry about it, Eva,” David said dismissively. “Instead, gather the council members in the throne room, and Hilda too. I want to introduce you all to my newest servants.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.