We were hiding in the room of Claine.
He was standing in front of his door for several seconds, but without calling the soldier in the veranda to confirm, he entered the room.
“…You are there, right?” (Zack)
Saying this, the General enters the room. He doesn’t stop.
Fumu, what an interesting old man.
I appear from the shadows and show up at his back.
“…Hm? Looks like my back has been taken.” (Zack)
“You have really good instincts.” (Solje)
“I have a pretty decently long military history after all. In the long past, I was a commander for the Varmoa Union. Now, I somehow became a general of Faris.” (Zack)
“I see, you have lived long as a soldier. You must have been prepared to be killed one day like this, right?” (Solje)
“Of course. But there’s the possibility…that I won’t be dying tonight, right?” (Zack)
That’s right, I have no intentions of killing this general. Why? …Because I understood that there won’t be any benefits in killing him.
“Face this way.” (Solje)
Zack turns in my direction.
Fumu..he was originally from the east, huh. He has grey hair, but there’s black mixed there, and also has black eyes.
“…The documents didn’t tell me that you were from the Union.” (Solje)
“I am not. I was the son of a shepherd in a small country that was conquered by the Union.” (Zack)
“…And now you are one hell of a general, huh. Climbing the stairs real well there.” (Solje)
“You could say that. Thanks to my style of fighting being cautious, I managed to obtain victories while avoiding death. I don’t think it is cowardly, and my martial arts skills are decent. But my weapon was that the units I led had incredibly low fatalities. That was evaluated highly.” (Zack)
“…That’s good. Avoiding the deaths of your comrades.” (Solje)
It may be really plain compared to killing many enemies, but it is also one of the highest of prides. As a leader, that kind of living isn’t bad. That means the chances of the soldiers who followed him returning to their families is higher after all.
“Yeah, that’s why I won’t be killed by you tonight.” (Zack)
Zack Claine says this calmly.
“…Seriously, intelligence is a really troublesome opponent. Our thoughts end up being read.” (Solje)
“No, if it were a man with truly no thought behind their actions, my head would have fallen already. You are far more intelligent than I imagined. That’s why you are problematic.” (Zack)
“Just how stupid did you think I was…?” (Solje)
“I did hear that you were a reckless berserker, and your records supplement the claims. Are you suicidal? At any rate, the type that values prestige. Those kinds of people are in the realm of the unexpected… But you might be a better leader than those kinds.” (Zack)
“…To think I would be praised.” (Solje)
“My way with words is also one reason for my promotions. Also, I love competency.” (Zack)
“You are strict with Shirley-chan though.” (Solje)
“He is in the middle of development. She is not well-done enough to pamper her. She was trying to take a terrible plan. Gathering our forces here and increasing our casualties under you.” (Zack)
“That is certainly a bad plan.” (Solje)
In my opinion, gathering those kinds of guys and cutting them all down, and on top of that, reinforcements were to come, I could use Zephyr to burn down this residence, and that would be the ‘best’ result.
“I am currently choosing the ‘ingredients’. Even if the casualties have been high, it is only the guards here. It looks like a lot of my guards have been killed.” (Zack)
“Sorry about that. I am ruining your image of losing only a few subordinates.” (Solje)
“It can’t be helped. I will just think of it as having a bad opponent.” (Zack)
“…Onii-chan, is it okay to not kill that?” (Mia)
Mia speaks to me while hiding in the shadows.
“…Impressive. I can’t tell at all where she is.” (Zack)
“That’s my beloved little sister. Don’t move carelessly, okay? She is the type that thinks of killing as art.” (Solje)
“That’s…even though it was such a young voice. How fearsome.” (Zack)
“That’s rude to the lady, you know?” (Solje)
What are you saying to my sweet little princess? Being killed by her fingers is the happiest way to go, I’ll have you know.
“Yeah, you are right. Cute lady, he won’t be killing me. Even if he did, the movements of the 5th division won’t be changing. I have properly made it so that they move in a set system. Rather…” (Zack)
“Rather, your death would simply bring more chaos into the battlefield, and create more deaths. That’s why, don’t kill him, Mia.” (Loroka)
“Okaay. Tell me if you change your mind, okay? …I will drop his head in two seconds.” (Mia)
“…There was a third one hiding? …Oh, and you are?” (Zack)
Loroka walks to my side. Looks like she wants to greet the General.
“Hello there, I am Loroka Sharnel. I am serving as the tactician in this time’s war for the Alliance Army.” (Loroka)
“Ooh, is that so. Fumu…those horns, a Diaros?” (Zack)
“Yes, I am one of the four great chieftains of the Diaros, the daughter of Gilliam.” (Loroka)
“I see. Were you the one who called the Unicorns?” (Zack)
“No, that was the deed of my husband, Solje.” (Loroka)
Loroka calls me her husband.
Fine by me, I will love you and Riel to your heart’s content!
“Hooh, so you two are in that kind of relationship” (Zack)
“No, I am jealous that you have such a beautiful wife.” (Zack)
“Fufufu, thank you very much.” (Loroka)
“…Loroka-san seems to have quite the good head. That was an interesting strategy. You purposely made them retreat, right? …If we had chased after them, something would have happened, am I correct?” (Zack)
“It would be boring to expose my own strategies, General.” (Loroka)
A probing between two tacticians, huh. A pretty interesting situation.
Zack Claine brushes his white beard and grins.
“But not saying anything here would be boring.” (Loroka)
“Right. Moments where you can speak with the enemy tactician in the middle of war are rare.” (Zack)
“Since we have the chance, how about we talk about maybes?” (Loroka)
“That would be interesting.” (Zack)
“…What kind of plan do you think I set up, General?” (Loroka)
“If we had chased after them unprepared just like that, we might have been attacked on the side by the unicorns hiding in the forest. Just thinking about it gives me chills.” (Zack)
Fumu, so he could even read the plan that Loroka had thought of at that time. Now, what’s your response, Loroka-sensei?
“Fufu, that’s right. When that happens, you would have spread your formation to both wings, and faced the unicorns.” (Loroka)
Is she right? She is smiling, but I wonder.
“Umu, that’s one option I had planned. You would have predicted this as well, right?” (Zack)
“Yes, that’s why I left 1,000 of the 3,000 at the centre.” (Loroka)
“Hahaha, piercing right through the front? Can they?” (Zack)
“Unicorns are quite strong, so they can pierce through.” (Loroka)
“To that extent, huh. I see. In that charge, your husband and his dragon would have provided support after all…” (Zack)
“Yes, with that…” (Loroka)
“…Umu, the main base I am in would have fallen and my head along.” (Zack)
“Yes, that was the plan. But…the problem comes after.” (Loroka)
“Umu, even if you take my head, the 5th division’s movements won’t stop. What will come after will be one muddy hellscape. It would end up with the most casualties from both sides.” (Zack)
“…As expected of the ‘Stone Fortress’. You have properly drilled into their heads the procedures in emergencies… They are like ‘plants’.” (Loroka)
Plants? I couldn’t understand that example of Loroka. They were talking about war and now suddenly talking about plants.
“…Are we plants?” (Zack)
“Aah, sorry… For example; plants would only burgeon in specific conditions, and would move their supposedly stiff leaves and trunks, right?” (Loroka)
Like how the sunflowers chase after the sun?
“Aah, I see, I see. It is true that I am teaching the units even the most minute conditions. They are indeed like plants. Even without the head that is me, they can function as normal. Just as if they are chasing the day and following the height of the sun.” (Zack)
“…Their hammered role divisions, their compliance to priority situations…rather than calling them strong, I would say they won’t lose.” (Loroka)
“Yeah, I can’t turn 30,000 into 50,000, but no matter how well your plans function, our 30,000 force won’t waver… If we fight, it will be a battle of attrition. When that happens, I don’t think our forces that double yours can lose.” (Zack)
What a problematic old man. This man is a whole lot more formidable of an enemy than I thought. But…that brings out one big question.
“If you are that good at reading others, haven’t you felt like taking more aggressive tactics? Someone like you could have won in a brilliant fashion.” (Solje)
“I hate crafty schemes. When uncertain factors increase, you end up not being able to ‘see the battlefield’.” (Zack)
“…What an old man lacking in ambition.” (Solje)
“I have seen my fill of men who have tried to pull that off and have had the rug pulled below their feet. Walking the safe and careful path…that’s my philosophy. It is plain though.” (Zack)
“No, it isn’t bad. Thanks to that…I am beginning to see a way to protect this Zakuroa.” (Solje)
Claine looks at me with those black eyes. Calm eyes.
He must be trying to look inside of me. I am happy to see that you are that bothered by me.
- Chapter 112
“…Hoh, a way to win in this war where you have an overwhelming disadvantage in numbers?” (Zack)
Of course you would bite on this topic. You are a commander. Leaving aside whether what I said was true or not…there’s no choice of not asking.
“…You are talking about plans and whatever, but in the end, it depends on the strength of the soldiers. The intelligence match between Loroka and you will most likely end up being on par. As people who are specialized in defense, the countermeasures you made for each other must have been done already… I feel like we can offset your experience with our territory advantage. What’s left is whether your 5th division’s numbers win, or the Alliance’s quality wins.” (Solje)
“Fumu, you guys might certainly have the higher quality. We don’t have a dragon or unicorns.” (Zack)
“That’s why…in this short time…right, 1 hour. If in that hour we can shave off around 30% of your numbers… You would ‘withdraw’, right? …I don’t think the wounds that your soldiers received from the undead knights of Vashiri Nova have healed yet.” (Solje)
“Those undead…I thought the way they appeared was unnatural, but it was Vashiri Nova, huh.” (Zack)
“It is a given you wouldn’t be able to tell. Not like you can listen to the voices of the dead.” (Solje)
Unlike a weirdo like me.
“…The Zakuroa knights fell into the path of heresy due to their love for their country.” (Solje)
“I see. I don’t know what they did at all, but…you would even rely on the power of the undead?” (Zack)
That must be a place you are interested in, right? …1,000 undead killed 5,000 of your soldiers. There must be a lot more injured than that.
You guys must be scared of nights now, right?
“…In the nights of Zakuroa…a lot can happen.” (Solje)
I try insinuating something. I will use whatever I can. That’s what a leader of a small crew has to do!!
“You would even go for heretical means… A man like you?” (Zack)
“Say whatever you want. But just don’t doubt their patriotism. If it is for the sake of Zakuroa’s freedom, these knights were ready to become undead and pass an eternity of suffering. And this country is full of these kinds of people.” (Solje)
“That’s abnormal.” (Zack)
“Maybe. But there’s already a 1,000 who have actually pulled that off. Better not avert your gaze at reality, General.” (Solje)
“…I see.” (Zack)
Zack made a bitter expression.
Of course you would. Just how many of those tens of thousands of soldiers that you are fighting against are pushed by their fanatical patriotism?
Just thinking about it must be painful. Because it is a real threat that you have already experienced.
“…But I would like to feel hope for the fact that only 1,000 actually did so.” (Zack)
“What a positive old man.” (Solje)
I am a bit impressed. This old man reminds me somewhat of Garf.
“I have to, or I wouldn’t be able to handle being an Empire General.” (Zack)
A statement that makes me think that he doesn’t like his job that much. Then just quit… But don’t go retiring in the middle of the war, okay? We are in the middle of casting our spell on you after all.
“Anyways, the equation for our victory is just as I said.” (Solje)
“Within 1 hour, 30% of us…in other words, kill 10,000 soldiers?” (Zack)
“That’s right.” (Solje)
“Fumu, do you guys have the power to achieve something like that in such a short period of time?” (Zack)
“We do. You are talking as if the 1,000 undead are all we’ve got for a while now, but…just how much of your own words do you actually believe?” (Solje)
“No comment. I myself don’t understand. It is so disjointed from common sense. People controlling the undead?” (Zack)
It is true that it is impossible in the realms of common sense.
But you have actually experienced an attack of zakuroan undead knights. That’s a factor an intelligent person like you cannot take off.
Vashiri-jiisama, we will be utilizing your work to the fullest extent.
“We have the power to pull that off, that’s what I have been telling you. And once that happens…you will have no choice but to retreat.” (Solje)
Now then, this weirdo of a dragon knight will be casting a real special magic on you, Zack Claine.
Those wise eyes of his were observing me intently.
Real interested, huh?
My Strauss blood that loves to stand out is stirring, you know.
After a while of contemplation, Claine once again asks me.
“…Why do you think we will retreat after losing just 10,000 soldiers?” (Zack)
“Because the Ludo Kingdom’s army is coming.” (Loroka)
Loroka-sensei comes with an assist.
That’s right, Zack Claine, listen well, okay? Now, my beloved second wife, let him hear it.
“… The result of the grand victory from the Ludo war was the annihilation of the 7th division. The Ludo Kingdom Army has completely antagonized the Empire. They won’t allow the 5th division’s survival.” (Loroka)
“…What do you mean by that?” (Zack)
Claine acts as if he doesn’t know.
He will act as if he is ignorant by saying ‘is that how you do things?’ and will buy time for thinking.
Too bad, this is not chess. As if we will give you time to think.
That’s why Loroka and I are in a tag team right now, you know.
“If Zakuroa is conquered…the Emperor will order your next invasion target…and that will obviously be the Ludo Kingdom.” (Solje)
That’s why the Ludo Kingdom’s army really is making a plan to destroy you guys. I am a vanguard component of those plans.
“Having fought a war in Zakuroa, exhausted, with your numbers lowered… Add to that the fact that you will eventually attack them. There’s no way the Ludo Kingdom would let an opportunity like that slide.” (Solje)
But I look at his emotions. My dragon eye won’t let it escape. A purple of anxiety is coming out from you.
“Your exhausted troops are the best kind of food for Queen Claris. Ludo’s existence is at stake here. Their fighting spirit will be that of a raging fire.” (Solje)
“Yes, there’s no doubt that Queen Claris will wipe you out while you are exhausted.” (Loroka)
There’s a lot of truth in what we are saying. That’s why Claine cannot cut through our duo synergy here.
We give him a moment of silence.
We both were all smiles. And Mia who is in the darkness was also smiling.
Mia winks to me signalling that ‘I can kill him anytime you want!’.
Don’t, Mia. Endure. He is our tool. Don’t kill him.
The Stone Fortress finally speaks.
“…If it is just to retreat from Zakuroa after winning, we can—” (Zack)
“Can’t. Isn’t that right, Loroka? The General might not know, but if we are injured and the unicorn cavalry is killed…there’s some who wouldn’t just stay with arms crossed, right?” (Solje)
“Who is it? Don’t talk about someone I don’t know about.” (Zack)
“Yeah, that’s— Eh? U-uhm…!” (Loroka)
Loroka got flustered. Because I suddenly pulled her close to me.
“S-Solje-san?! Hnnngh!!” (Loroka)
I kiss her soft lips.
Loroka seemed to be bothered by General Claine that was close by and was looking at him with reddened cheeks.
But she soon gave up and closed her eyes, then accepted my tongue and responded kindly with her own. She had already accepted my fingers caressing her boobs.
A young couple suddenly began to do something erotic, so General Claine coughed.
“*C-Cough!* …E-Ehm…you guys, aren’t you being…a bit bold in front of someone else? Get a room for those kinds of things, not my room.” (Zack)
The General pointed out the obvious, so I decided to stop. This is abnormal, right? But this is also a kind of trap.
Loroka had her lips and tongue released, and with a reddened face, she complains to me with a ‘geez’. She didn’t really dislike it though. She was all into coiling her tongue around.
Well, this should be enough of a set up.
“…Sorry about that, General. You see, we are married. Being in the battlefield heats me up. I have to discharge it every now and then.” (Solje)
“Is that how it works? Good grief, the youngsters these days are just…!” (Zack)
The old man is amazed.
It is true that we are basically engaged.
Kissing and fondling boobs in front of someone, moreover, an enemy general? Just what kind of idiot would do that.
It would have to be like one of those perverted bastards that appear in the erotic novels of Sharon.
“I wanted to show you how much Loroka and I love each other.” (Solje)
“Geez, S-Solje-san…!” (Loroka)
“We loved each other a whole lot last night, you know?” (Solje)
“W-Wait, Solje-san?!” (Loroka)
“…Hey, tell the General just what I did to you, Loroka. You were happy, weren’t you? Being done from behind, and you didn’t dislike my fingers, right?” (Solje)
“…S-Stop it, Solje-san… It is embarrassing…” (Loroka)
“Hahaha, I may be old, but it is not as if it doesn’t catch my interest.” (Zack)
The old man is also a man of culture it seems.
That’s good. I want to become that kind of old man!
Now then, leaving aside the joking.
He must be waiting for it, too… It is time to tell him the important part.
“Hey, General, celebrate it with us… In this soft body of Loroka…there’s the northern king being raised.” (Solje)
The long thin face of Claine reacts to my words.
His eyebrows twitch, and looks intently at my hand that is rubbing her stomach.
“Fumu…the ‘northern king’? In other words, the Garuna noble that is a Strauss dragon knight with the daughter of a Diaros chieftain? Fumu… It is certainly a good combination to become the King of this region.” (Zack)
“That’s right. Father Gilliam has entrusted me with his daughter. The reason he lent us as far as 3,000 of his unicorns was because of that.” (Solje)
“Chieftain Gilliam is trying to expand his territory to the south. If you were to defeat us, they will gain a valid reason for the public to go to war. The other four big tribes will stop their long internal conflicts, and would try to get revenge from you people. A Diaros’s oath is stronger than any internal conflict.” (Solje)
“That’s right. If we are injured or die in this war…my father, Gilliam Sharnel will lead the four great tribes, and attack the 5th division. If that happens…” (Loroka)
Now, it is sinking time.
Zack Claine, just how many seconds will it take you to speak out the ‘already set answer’.
I am counting.
“North we have the unicorn soldiers, and south we have Ludo, huh.” (Zack)
“Yes, at worst, you would have the army along with Queen Claris entering the fray while abandoning the capital of Ludo. They would take back this conquered Empire lands, and create an Alliance government in this land. And then, the Diaros, Zakuroa, and the Ludo; an Alliance with these three will be born in this northern lands, and a giant military force will rise.” (Loroka)
“My Loroka will be giving birth to their King.” (Solje)
“Usurping the royalty? …Will it really go that smoothly?” (Zack)
“People that don’t know Chieftain Gilliam would say that, I understand. But think about it, Zack Claine. The chieftain of the secluded Diaros is entrusting a Garuna Dragon Knight his daughter… That can only be done as a premeditated act with some sort of ambition behind.” (Solje)
Talking about someone you don’t know is scary, right? The unknown makes your imagination go in bad directions.
Especially in a moment of war, where the stress of having the life of your subordinates in your hands weighs so heavily.
“…That may be true… It does feel strange that the chieftain would allow his daughter to have a husband of a different race.” (Zack)
The General glares at Loroka’s blonde hair and the crystal horns poking out there which I am rubbing with my fingers.
Kukuku, this is looking nice.
Old and intelligent…and if he is in the middle of a campaign in the north, he must know…the fearsome culture of the Diaros. Someone besides their beloved touching their crystal horns means death.
But because Loroka is seriously in love with me, she is actually in ecstasy by my touch. That’s why the convincing power that we are lovers increases for the General. It makes what we are saying more realistic.
Just this night alone, I am grateful for the untouchable culture of the Diaros.
Thanks to that, the words of us having a baby are doing a nice job in adding fear to the intelligent General.
“…The love between us is the real deal. But her father has a part of him that pushes him to use Loroka as a tool to further his own ambitions… Gilliam Sharnel is one fearsome guy.” (Solje)
“As her daughter, I view him as a kind father, but…it is true that he does have his scary parts.” (Loroka)
“…Solje Strauss.” (Zack)
In order to act like a big shot, and to pull his curiosity, I purposely didn’t introduce myself, but…it looks like my name is pretty well known.
Having my name accurately spoken out is an honor for us knights.
“What is it, General Zack Claine?” (Solje)
“…Why are you telling me all this? …Wouldn’t it have been easier for your so called ‘northern king’ to be born if you didn’t ? If I were to report your ambitions to the Empire’s upper echelons, you guys will be interfered with in a variety of ways, you know?” (Zack)
It is going well.
It is great that he has an interest in us. You are beginning to get scared of us. Nice. Bite even more, Claine.
“Of course, it is to have you move as we plan. As a Papa, there’s no way I can leave all the work of the future to just my son, right?” (Solje)
“…I see. In other words, for the sake of activating your victory factor, huh.” (Zack)
30%…in other words, if we kill 10,000, you will begin to worry more about preservation than battle. Being chased by unicorns that you won’t be able to escape from, while being pincered by the Ludo Kingdom’s forces from the south.
“Yeah, because you are a man that can be talked with… If we tell you each side’s hidden rules of this war, your range of action narrows, and it will be more advantageous for us.” (Solje)
“Are you saying we will be moving as you guys plan?” (Zack)
“You will only be able to move as we plan. Because you have now learned about what kind of people we are.” (Solje)
“Just as you think, when I enter the offensive, I won’t show mercy. If it is just this war alone, well, you might be able to win, but…if it is for the sake of giving birth to a country that my child will rule…I will happily drag 10,000 down to hell with me.” (Solje)
“…You want to make us retreat?” (Zack)
“Of course. If we reduce your numbers by 10,000, you guys definitely won’t be able to survive. With that understanding…it doesn’t sound so difficult to drive you guys off. We have 13,000 soldiers who surpass you guys in quality, after all…” (Solje)
Are you getting a bit scared here, Zack Claine? Your pride, your chivalry, doesn’t allow pointless deaths for your soldiers, right?
…With your knowledge of this ‘hidden situation’, you wouldn’t be able to ignore it, right?
“Well…now that we have both made contact and spoken with each other, what should be done has already been decided though.” (Solje)
“…Umu, a charge at the break of dawn. That would be the thing that you would dislike the most, isn’t it, Solje Strauss?” (Zack)
“That’s right. But…I can say that right back at you.” (Solje)
“Indeed. Zack Claine, we will clash as the sun rises. That has already been settled.” (Loroka)
The scary smile of Loroka-sensei…she really nailed that one -I won’t say that out loud though.
- Chapter 113
“…You are quite the ambitious man yourself. Are you going to become the father of the Northern King?” (Zack)
General Claine is praising me.
But he must be misunderstanding.
It is not as if he knows my everything.
I am a lot more evil than you think I am.
“…For the beginning, that is.” (Solje)
“Oi oi, not enough? Ruling Zakuroa and the northern sphere is something that no one in the world has been able to accomplish, you know? …I didn’t expect you to desire political power though.” (Zack)
His black eyes were looking at me, trying to learn more about me.
It somewhat reminds me of a dog. Aah, not in the bad meaning. He has eyes that are really amicable to people.
Is this the quality of a general? He can even direct interest to someone he sees as ‘scary’. What a great personality.
“Aah, desire for political power? I don’t have that.” (Solje)
Yeah, who cares about political power.
It is the opposite.
I even think that it would be better if all kinds of political power were to disappear.
“What I have to create…is not on the size of a country.” (Solje)
“…Fumu, you want to form an empire like Yuandart, and become an Emperor?” (Zack)
Loroka-sensei giggles at the words of the General.
Yeah, this old man is certainly having a big misunderstanding about me.
“Solje Strauss, what kind of dream are you looking at?” (Zack)
“Dream… What a nice word. The dead children I talked with recently said something similar.” (Solje)
“You can speak with the dead?” (Zack)
Yeah, I am strange after all.
“Yeah, with this eye that has the mana of a dragon.” (Solje)
I slide my eyepatch and look at General Claine with this dragon eye that can see even the things outside this plane.
The golden fiendish light breaks the darkness of the night.
“…How fearsome.” (Zack)
“That’s right, what my Captain Solje is aiming for isn’t something as small as a country or an empire!” (Loroka)
That’s my second wife for you. She really understands me well.
“…An Empire is small, you say?” (Zack)
“You are making a face as if you haven’t thought about something like that before.” (Solje)
“Obviously… It is just abnormal. You are just way too—” (Zack)
“What I want is the world.” (Solje)
The black eyes of the General open wide.
He probably hasn’t seen an adult man talking about something as weird as this.
How humiliating. But I am fine with that. I am a handsome dragon knight with a strange eye that can see the smiles of the dead children after all.
“I want the world. A world where everyone can be free.” (Solje)
I don’t need any other world. I will destroy it!!
I have already promised it to the children of Arianrhod.
“That’s right. Hey, intelligent old man, you know about how the children born with ‘crevice’ blood are treated in this world?” (Solje)
“…Of course. They become targets of discrimination. The Blood Hunt of the Empire is an extreme one.” (Zack)
Yeah, Blood Hunt, a shitty practice.
The one about how they would execute all that are mixed blood of humans and demi-humans. One of the Empire’s plans for race purification…
“You know, I…simply cannot ever forgive that.” (Solje)
“…Righteous indignation?” (Zack)
“No, it is probably not such a cute thing. Despair, rage, humiliation, and a prayer.” (Solje)
“Prayer… Your heart wishes for it so much that you would line them up on the same level, huh.” (Zack)
“Yeah. By mixing those feelings into one, it will create a pitch black something. I don’t know what to call it, but I do know the name of something that reflects that amalgamation.” (Solje)
“I am really interested to hear about it.” (Zack)
“Demon Lord.” (Solje)
Destroying this crazed world with force, and creating the desired world.
“…Hahaha, you are aiming to become the Demon Lord…and use that power to change the world…?” (Zack)
“God ain’t doing it after all. I want to create it. Old man, in this Zakuroa, there was a forest where the unfortunate children could freely play in as undead.” (Solje)
The dark, cold, and really warm forest the crazed holy maiden Arianrhod and the great knight Mistral continued protecting for a long time.
“It sounds like a fairy tale, but…I can’t think of it as a lie.” (Zack)
The heart of Claine that has touched into the undead of Zakuroa begins to draw that white forest of sad love.
But the old man understands.
The more adult you become, the lower your ability to draw fantasy is. He noticed that he couldn’t create this ‘Forest of Freedom’ in his heart, and wished for the continuation of the story. Just like a child.
“…What kind of forest was it?” (Zack)
“There was a dangerous and kind Goddess there. She pitied the children that faced misfortune and died.” (Solje)
“Fumu, a compassionate Goddess with a precious heart.” (Zack)
Yeah, a really beautiful Goddess…in heart.
“She thought that maybe she could do something for the dead children. And so, she realized that she could revive them as undead.” (Solje)
When Arianrhod realized she could do that, she must have been happy.
So, her journey begins. A journey where she hugs 10,047 with her many arms.
Filled with love, and ending in despair…even so, she continued her journey of salvation and mercy.
“The Goddess was letting the now undead children play in that forest.” (Solje)
“That must have made the children happy…” (Zack)
“Yeah, they weren’t loved to such an extent when they were alive after all. And of course, there were ‘crevice’ children there as well.” (Solje)
“…Must be. They are not blessed by this world.” (Zack)
“And so, you know, I made a promise with those kinds of children. I told them…that I also believe in the future…” (Solje)
“…I see. I now understand the source of your overwhelming anger…and your strength.” (Zack)
Is that so, Claine?
“That’s why I really want to become an ultra cool dragon knight… I don’t want to break our promise. If I were to do something against that promise, my knight’s code would crumble.” (Solje)
“…Fumu, that’s your way of life…the way of life of the Demon Lord.” (Zack)
“That’s right, General Zack Claine. I will become the Demon Lord, and change the future of this world.” (Solje)
“Is that why everything gathers around you?” (Zack)
“Not that many are gathered around.” (Solje)
“I heard that you made the battle slaves of the empire into your allies in the Ludo War. And this time, you have a Diaros wife, and a grand force of unicorns…and maybe undead and a Goddess… You really are a Demon Lord.” (Zack)
‘You really are a Demon Lord’, words that should be taken as an insult. But for some reason, I felt pride from it.
Maybe because I know…that this old man is praising my way of life.
Zack Claine walks.
Mia didn’t kill him. Because my little sister can properly read the atmosphere.
The General stretched his hand towards a bottle that was on top of the fireplace.
“…I got some nice wine, you see. But it is expensive and rare, so I have been bringing it along to each battlefield for more than three years without drinking it.” (Zack)
“That so. Are you giving it to me?” (Solje)
I like expensive stuff. And also alcoholic drinks.
“No, I won’t let you have it alone. It is wine I bought after all.” (Zack)
“Showing off your collection then?” (Solje)
“If you want it, win the war and steal it away…is what I want to say, but I want to drink this together with you. Is that okay?” (Zack)
“Yeah, I love me some alcohol.” (Solje)
“Really? Then, let’s drink some good old wine. It is vintage wine, you know?” (Zack)
“Sounds delicious.” (Solje)
“Red wine. As red as your hair.” (Zack)
“The maker must have made it with me in mind.” (Solje)
“No, it was to enjoy meat.” (Zack)
“Don’t discriminate alcohol. Alcohol goes with all food.” (Solje)
“…If we exchange drinks…will it make it difficult to kill each other tomorrow?” (Zack)
“No way. The Strauss household didn’t have such a wimpy education.” (Solje)
My mother often told me: ‘Die and become a song’.
“I will kill you mercilessly. I don’t take pleasure in bringing pain.” (Solje)
“I will also learn from you and do the same. Bringing unnecessary pain is ill natured.” (Zack)
“Yeah, it doesn’t go well with this wine.” (Solje)
“Of course. Let’s put our all in our war…” (Zack)
“…Only one of the two will survive…” (Solje)
“That’s why this drink…” (Zack)
“…Will obviously be delicious.” (Solje)
——A secret exchange of drinks that won’t remain in history.
This high grade drink of strong sourness was exchanged by only the Demon Lord and the Old War Veteran.
Both of their paths flowed to two different sides, but their hearts are similar.
Solje Strauss…your heart resonated in his.
——When the time for the war to end comes, you will definitely be sad.
And be happy at it, at your victory.
We are the wicked beasts that nest in war.
Even so, our esthetics shine, and even have the length and capacity to exchange drinks with the enemy.
——That’s the blood of the beasts.
The red alcohol flows down the old and young beasts’ throats.
They show their fangs and speak out its exquisiteness.
It must be because of the nice moon tonight, is what the beasts sing…and they both return to their own nests.