Part 2: Pg 209

Two new pages in this update starting HERE!

Malthus and a crew of shadowy smokey demons discussing plans? This is fine. Probably.

And that’s it for Part 2! Part 3 is gonna be a wild ride, I hope you’re ready for angst and smut and exorcisms and new characters and more smut and sarcastic demons!

58 Comments
  • Remawolf

    Bring it on!

  • Stephen Hutchison

    Something wick-ed this way comes.

    And Eshu really does look like a burn-out case. Guy could use a couple buckets of aloe.

    • rgrayjoy

      Yeah, I think maybe he’s been going full burn for too long. Is he looking a little ashen to you?

      • NoiseShaper

        It’s a good think that Al has given up smoking for the moment.
        (Well, except for still being smoking hot!)

      • Stephen Hutchison

        I wonder what happens to a Collector when they burn out? Do they go on to a different job? Do they die? Do they get recycled by Lucifer into mulch for new baby Waifs?

      • Eshu’s waaaaay older than present company – the picture of a Collector on his last leg! ( ° ^ ° )

  • Stephen Hutchison

    Hmm. The breath-chain that they only show in Hell. The soldiers have smoke-chains on Earth, except the collectors have wicks that burn away, limiting their time to be there.

    It’s all on the edges of coming together into a Unified Demon Theory.

  • Batty

    Ruh roh. That doesn’t bode well for our lover birds does it.
    Also, Asmo, that’s rude as hell to leave it hanging like that. RUDE. Good thing we love you anyway 😗

  • Ivoriania Phillips

    Everyone else took the good foreshadowing comments, so all I’m gonna say is this: OOOOOOOOOOH SHIT

  • Jessica

    DUDE Ethans gonna meet Al’s brother! Whelp, getting caught in the sack is one way to meet your boyfriends family.
    Ethan: Uh Al, who is that?
    Al: Ah fffuuuuuck
    Malthus: Hello brother

    • Stephen Hutchison

      I think they’re from the same … what is it, batch? cohort? cauldron? When Lucifer makes up a bunch of Waifs out of whatever he makes them from, and they hang out together until they grow a personality and then an identity and then a self-image, and Al and Malthus were really close since they look like twins, and oops, there goes Stryder falling for this human so Malthus has GOT to rouse the rabble to make him STOP because it’s so EMBARRASSING.

      • Stephen Hutchison

        Related question: Names… Stryder has (if the evidence can be believed) turned into Al, but what’s behind such a naming? It MIGHT be a coincidence that Adrian Lafayette was Stryder’s partner, and that the two were the first (known) instance of a demon and bound partner falling in love (or its equivalent) and that they were casualties in the 1912 incursion. I expect this means “died” even though “casualties” includes any injury that takes someone out of the action.

        Random question: Ethan notes way early that he studied the techniques of Adrian Lafayette and Stryder, and that suggests they added more than one new technique to the arsenal of the exorcists before the 1912 incursion … but they were listed as cadets and casualties in Academy In Ashes:1912. So how long they actually been exorcising before things went sour? The only other reference setting a date for the “football scene” is the football pants, which were introduced during the 1880s.

        Which leads to an side-note about the age of American football. American football as a game in colleges split off from rugby when Walter Camp (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Camp) got the old Rugby scrimmage rule replaced with the “line of scrimmage” in 1880. He continued getting rules modifications into the game even after he graduated from Yale (in 1882) and moved to “civilian” life … he continued to be involved in the game as a coach.

        Malthus as a name MIGHT carry interesting connotations:
        Thomas Robert Malthus was a British economist who noted that population increases faster than the food supply, resulting inevitably in disaster, as only war, disease, and starvation could reduce the population fast enough to prevent the disaster. He held that morals could be used to convince people to have fewer children, which would work better than disasters. An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)
        He did not anticipate improvements to agriculture through technology, which have extended the curve.

        There’s a possibility that the Underworld has a resource problem. Lucifer keeps making soldiers. The Merchant was apparently hungry enough to want to eat demons, which suggests that either demons were originally their prey, or the things that Merch normally ate have become scarce.
        This gives rise to the whole “souls as demon chow” question. Is there a reason why the constantly increasing human population isn’t providing enough munchies?

        • ofwaterfall

          Interesting thoughts.

          I think The Merchant sees demons as a rare and valuable treat. How often would an opportunity come along to eat one? Didn’t The Merchant get three lives (worth, what? Thousands of potential years each?) instead of three years of Al’s life?

          I’m guessing those potential years provided more than food. They confirmed Al’s willingness to place a human’s life over those of his one kind. That deal was an exchange of information.

          One soldier would have served that purpose, though. So, what else does a life offer? I’m thinking power. Demon lives hold power. Consuming one might transfer that power the way that eating a PowerBar transfers energy.

          Humans, demons, and The Merchant’s people (naga?) seem capable of different magic and definitely come from different cultures. Humans recognize gods. Demons are created by and overseen by Lucifer. The other dominant beings of the known dimensions likely are created by other higher beings made of their own magic.

          Eating a demon or a human without a deal might not provide anything but trouble, like a general demanding to know what happened to his soldiers or a exorcists hunting down a predator.

          The Merchant might need a deal to gain demonic power he can use in trades.

          • Stephen Hutchison

            The Merchant got ten soldiers. Soldiers don’t have minds yet. They just have echoes of whatever thought their commander puts in their head.

            Stryder/Al can command legions. How big is a legion? Well, we don’t know because the numbers changed a lot over time as technology changed.

            The real question is, WHY do they need legions? Who will they be fighting normally?

          • ofwaterfall

            (Sorry I’ve been away.) I thought it was three legionnaires? Where did you see that they don’t have minds? Al was surprised that his legions remained loyal to him, which implies sentience.

          • ofwaterfall

            [deleted for better threading]

          • Hmmmm I’m debating how much to say about legions and their purpose and what Al’s deal with them is because we’re kiiiiinda sorta treading into Story Spoilers™ with this discussion haha. (ԾεԾ|||) But yes, soldiers in legions are just following a simple directive and aren’t very good at doing much else. Legionnaires are different, but we get a scene where that’s discussed a bit more in Part 3! And Merchant was just being an opportunist (and a giant dick) – 10 soldiers sounded a lot more enticing than 3 standard years of life haha ୧(☉□☉)୨

          • ofwaterfall

            I’ve wondered about the legions, too. Is it a precaution, like a standing military?

          • Stephen Hutchison

            It’s been there for over 800 years (Al’s age) and probably thousands of years … we don’t know for certain how many of our cultural and religious traditions about the Underworld are true in the EA universe.

      • Al called it “Kiln”, what they were made from. He could have been speaking figuratively. Maybe, maybe not.

        • Stephen Hutchison

          A Kiln is basically an oven that you cook ceramics in, which is proper for Hell and could be a call-back to Phyllis Eisenstein’s “Sorceror’s Son” where demons (elementals) were bound to a ring and bodies were created by sculpting them from clay then “firing” them in a kiln with the demon’s element. In this story, they’re bound to bodies by mantra and the use of a “binding collar”.

  • Justa Virgo

    can NOT wait for this next update! I am going to be soo hyped. •U•

  • Finzz

    Wow, awesome can’t wait Asmodeus. Best webcomic ever!

  • Kuroeko

    That is one hell of a way to end part two o.o

    Also, this came out on my birthday! This makes me so happy to get to read more of my favorite comic today! :3

    • NoiseShaper

      Happy birthday! 🎂 😁

      • Kuroneko

        Thank you!

    • Happy birthday!!! ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

      • Kuroneko

        Thank you 😀

    • Merry day of having been born‼

      • Kuroneko

        XD Thanks!

  • genericblogger

    HELL YEAH FUCK ME UP ASMO

  • Ok… Going back to the other page, but one Q first.

    How long is a wick?

    • I don’t have a specific length in mind for each wick, because it varies depending on how old the Collector is – but a Collector can’t stay very long in the human world before he burns away!

      • They kill themselves? Just to hang out on earth?

        • They have important roles to fill when they’re hangin’ out with the humans – we just haven’t seen that happen yet!

  • TwilightDreamer

    Oh no! End of chapter!!!!! D:
    …I mean!! Oh no, Malthus is coming for Al…!! <..>….
    Cliffhangers, oh so cruel ;P

  • I see square jaws and no boobies on all those guys in the background.

    What if Al wasn’t just fucking with Ethan – what if there ARE no female demons? An interesting thought.

    • NoiseShaper

      Since they are apparently created and don’t procreate themselves, either Lucifer is just a sexist asshole (not that that could really hurt his reputation much any more) or maybe the demons choose their human(oid) forms themselves out of partiarchal convention. But given that incubi can apparently also appear as female succubi, gender may just not matter that much to them…

      • If gender doesn’t matter to them, then why appear as male? (On another note, does this mean that all demons are pansexual?)

        • NoiseShaper

          I wouldn’t be surprised!

          And since Al has put this on the table (well, to bed, actually, but not really! 😉) I guess we’ll learn more about that…

          It’s peculiar, though, that there seems to be a significant over-representation of gay (and bi?) exorcists among those who are deemed “compatible” for a demon pairing… 😎

          • I think the high ratio of queer exorcists may be author bias LOL

          • NoiseShaper

            No doubt about that, and I’d be the last to complain! 😁
            But it looks as if there might possibly be some in-universe reasoning, too.

            That said, our straight couple is really cute and lovely as well!

          • Little bit of column A, little bit of column B, haha

  • Micha Johnson

    So. Al stole your boyfriend too?

    • Kyle Hamilton

      Al allowed 10 demons to be devoured by the Merchant. Betcha his boyfriend was one of them.

      • Stephen Hutchison

        He should be so lucky — Malthus murdered Adrian after all.

  • Helle Stenberg Sørensen

    Can I just say, this Taphras dude has a friggin awesome looking design! And he’s not even clothed yet xD Very nicely done face characteristics! 😀 Can’t wait for Part 3!

  • Angel Rosemond

    Let’s see how many demons there are that look to be in Al’s class (B?) ….. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… Including Al, 7? Seven demons… Seven deadly sins?

  • SpectreWulff

    Asmo, I know I’ve said this before; however, I must say it again. Your artwork and your creative storyline are outstanding! Thanks for sharing it with us, your fans.

    • Thank you so much for reading it! (°◡°♡).:。

  • Brittany

    What exactly is a “wick” when they talk about it like this? 😮

    • Think of it like a candle wick – Collectors can only stay on the human plane for as long as their wicks burn, but once they’re gone they return to the underworld! Wicks have a finite amount of times they can be burned, and Collectors eventually will burn through their bodies, which is why your boy Tephras here is almost at the end…

      • Brittany

        Oooh, so does that mean when the body is burnt up they just return to being… Evil spirit energy in the underworld or something? Or they just gotta ask dad for a new one? LOL

        • Ohhh ho, those are questions we’ll get to down the road in the comic, haha! ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

          • Brittany

            Oh boy that should be fun x3

  • Akamar

    Heeheebutt

  • AAAHHHHH