LS – Chapter 121: The development awaiting next

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“There’s endless undead swarming the walls. The reports state that they can’t see an end to them even now. There’s currently no worries of them breaking through, but once there’s not enough rocks and arrows, magic will finally end up being the main source of damage. What about the group of clerics from the Yugura Church?” 

“A unit of clerics has been dispatched from Mejis without issues. It should be possible to face them in rotations soon. They are scouting the surroundings just in case, but due to them being a large group, they are slightly slow, however, I doubt the Kuama army won’t last until then.” 

I was told the current situation by the representative of the Yugura Church’s Kuama Branch, Archbishop Seraes.

I -Zenotta Kuama- am already over 40 years old and it is already time for me to choose a successor, and yet, to think I would have to take command of such a large-scale battle… This is a real headache. 

“I have ordered the local lords to stay on standby. I plan on calling them when the soldiers of the capital are exhausted…but…” 

The threat of the countless undead isn’t despairing as of present. 

The monsters are only using the easiest route that is level ground, so they are all gathering at the defensive walls. 

The walls will hinder their foolish march, and the sniping attacks from above are serving as enough suppression power here. 

There’s the risk of the undead using the corpses as footholds, so they need to use magic with excessive firepower sometimes, but with the rotation of the magic units, they are not pushing themselves that much.

But even if we can deal with a battle of endurance, if this continues forever, our national treasury will take a hit. 

I want to settle this matter somehow, but the method is extremely difficult. 

It would be best to assume there’s no chance at present for the number of undead to be running out. 

In that case, there’s no other choice but to eliminate the Blue Demon Lord who is giving the orders to the undead. 

But there’s almost no chance for Kuama to breach through the Nether with our military force and reach the Demon Lord. 

We can’t even tell where the Demon Lord is to begin with, so I can’t just send soldiers to the Nether without even having a clear destination.

“It looks like there’s no point in sending scouts.” 

“Yeah. The undead are attacking regardless of time. Exploring every nook and cranny of a land where such monsters reside would be extremely difficult. In this current state where we don’t know the location of the enemy’s base and their total numbers, we are forced to stay on the defensive.” 

The only ones who enter normally to the Kuama Nether are skilled adventurers. Even those people don’t do life risking explorations. 

I have gathered the funds and hired some, but I doubt I can expect much from them. 

“—I got a report that the people in question are staying in Lilbe.” 

I place a hand on my beard and unconsciously groan. 

My mouth was wide open after just learning about the sudden revelation that the Demon Lords have resurrected, and yet, when I heard even further about it, the reality that the Purple Demon Lord was hiding in Kuama was disclosed to me. 

I hurriedly sent soldiers to all the companies of the merchants to investigate the details, and there were certainly traces of a woman of unknown origins moving from one point to the other.

It is to the point where the merchants that were hiding this information were confused themselves. It seems like she had infiltrated truly skillfully there. 

On top of that, the king of the neighboring country of Gahne was actually a Demon Lord. 

An otherworlder of the same planet as Hero Yugura has declared a 3rd Faction and taken in those 2 Demon Lords as allies. 

There’s way too much information popping up at once. This is even more than the amount of dust that came out from the mattress of the deserted house that I had made into a hideout in my childhood when I smacked it. 

That young man received the request for cooperation from Archbishop Seraes, and has come to Kuama, but he didn’t come to me but is staying in Lilbe which is nearby.

“You are referring to the resident of Yugura’s planet that has Demon Lords serving him, huh… Archbishop Seraes, why is it that they are not coming to this Kuama Castle despite having arrived at Kuama?” (Zenotta)

“The most plausible explanation would be that he is scheming something where the eyes of the king and me don’t reach.” (Seraes)

I would like you to talk about something that’s not foreboding for a change. At this rate, my sense of danger might numb. 

It seems like the highest authority of the Yugura Church, Pope Euparo, is taking the side of that young man, and Archbishop Seraes was suggested to just see how the situation unfolds for now, but you could say it was the right choice to do that. 

The Demon Lords that have left a deep scar in the world; he has taken in those sworn enemies of the world as allies and has declared neutrality. I can only see this as him being insane. 

However, there’s great value in asking for their cooperation when it comes to their uniqueness.

He has revealed the existence of the Demon Lords which have been acting in the shadows until now, and has turned them into allies, which you could say is a great achievement comparable to that of Hero Yugura. 

“We have no choice but to hold hopes towards the work of those people, but…we should carefully consider what to do afterwards, so not being at arm’s reach is a pretty worrying factor.” (Zanotta)

“Don’t worry. I have faced him before, but he is a coward that would avert his gaze just from glaring at him. But he is just a youngster that’s bringing about results because he has some brains and the blessing of knowledge from the planet of Yugura.” (Seraes)

So he is more of a small fry than expected, huh… My hopes are lowered with this. 

Someone who has the same knowledge of Yugura yet is half-baked and holds the risk of falling into the hands of the enemy…

“He is unreliable as an ally then. I can’t not worry like that.” (Zanotta)

“There’s worth in the power he has at hand. Also, he is easy to control. That’s what I meant when I said ‘don’t worry’.” (Seraes)

“I see, so that’s how it was. But is it so easy to hold the reins of this guy?” (Zanotta)

“There’s countless means. There should be no issues in wrapping my hands around the naive thinking of a single man that gets attached to even Demon Lords.” (Seraes)

Archbishop Seraes was an Archbishop even before Pope Euparo took post, and has contributed to the Yugura Church for a long time. 

His reputation isn’t as high compared to Archbishop Ukka who deepens his connections with nobles and the public. 

But the ones who know the origins of Archbishop Seraes would by no means be able to despise him. 

A religion can’t take ground with just pure faith. 

It is also the source of money, benefits, and unsightly desires. 

Archbishop Seraes has continued plucking out those problematic sprouts without the knowledge of society and has contributed in the shadows. 

There’s most likely far more evils judged and executed by him than those that have gone through the official procedures and judged. 

He most likely sees me as an easy to control king. 

But I also agree with his motivations and ideals, and I also respect him. 

He is a man that has worked harder than anyone for the sake of making this world into a clean one. Becoming an easy to use pawn for the sake of helping out in this shouldn’t be a bad thing. 

◇◇

“You are not going to Kuama?!” 

I explain my plans from here on in regards to stopping the invasion of the Blue Demon Lord.

The one who raised her voice at this was the one in charge of being the voice of reason, Ilias.

“The information of Kuama like the state of things and the maps are enough with just the documents that Lord Tokusado has prepared after all. It is also great that he readies them swiftly.” 

“T-Thanks for the compliment…” (Tokusado)

By the way, I have also called Lord Tokusado here.

The location has been moved from the prison to a fancy reception room, so the expression of Lord Tokusado is a bit more calm. 

“But won’t there be a number of inconveniences if we don’t go to Kuama?” (Ilias)

“No noteworthy issues as of present.” 

“For example…the need for more hands?” (Ilias)

“For the supplies and hands, it is enough with just borrowing the help of Lord Tokusado. If we are talking about hands in terms of fighting power, we can’t hope for much even if we went to Kuama.” 

“Why can you say that with certainty?” (Ilias)

“Kuama is the country where the influence of Archbishop Seraes is widespread, moreover, he gets along with the king of Kuama to a degree where they meet often.” 

It must be because of Archbishop Seraes that Kuama is still maintaining silence despite obtaining the information of the resurrection of the Demon Lords.

In that case, that would naturally make the king of Kuama an Anti-3rd Faction just like Archbishop Seraes.

It is a country that doesn’t request assistance from other country aside from through the Yugura Church despite being attacked by an army of the Demon Lord. They must be extremely wary of the military force of others. 

“It is true that they wouldn’t just readily hand over precious fighting force to someone they are not in friendly terms with. Even Lord Tokusado there would hesitate in dispatching troops to the Nether.” (Ekdoik)

“No, uhm, that’s…” (Tokusado)

“Ekdoik, don’t bully him too much.” 

“That’s rich coming from you.” (Ekdoik)

“You only attack in large numbers when breaking the enemy’s will to oppose, or take away their position and corner them.” 

“…I will keep that in mind.” (Ekdoik)

The less people playing the role of the hated, the better. It would also be bad for the education of Wolfe. 

“Let me explain this beforehand. Lord Tokusado only made the soldiers prepare for war and didn’t dispatch them at all because it was the order of the Kuama king.” 

“Really?” (Ilias)

“Y-Yes!” (Tokusado)

“The current state is that soldiers are stationed on top of the defensive walls, and are scattering them about so that the undead don’t crawl up through the corpses created by the long range attacks. That’s enough for mindless undead after all. And there’s a limit to how many people can be stationed on top of the walls.” 

“I see. If they were to gather the soldiers of the surrounding settlements, it would just increase the amount of soldiers that can’t fight along with wasting supplies on them.” (Ilias)

“That’s how it is. Once a good while passes and the soldiers of the capital are exhausted, or there’s a situation where it enables them to increase the amount of soldiers, they would immediately send a notification for them to dispatch their troops.” 

The total of undead is a whole ton. If the fight is brought to the other side of the walls, it will turn into a melee, and the soldiers will become expendable. 

Challenging an enemy with a seemingly endless number to an all-out battle is foolish. 

They should prioritize reducing the fatigue in the time when they have judged that they can still protect the walls, and shave away their numbers in an efficient manner. 

That said, this only works in the case the opponent aims to break through foolishly from one point only. 

Even if undead are mindless, as long as there’s someone who can command them, they should consider the possibility of battles breaking out elsewhere. 

“But won’t this just turn into a stalemate?” (Ilias)

“It definitely will. In other words, this is exactly the scenario the Blue Demon Lord has drawn. There’s an overwhelming lack of information for Kuama to attack the Kuama Nether. The only thing Kuama can do is maintain the status quo, send scouts and adventurers to the Nether, and pinpoint the location of the Blue Demon Lord.” 

While at it, they are also waiting for us to provide them with some sort of information advantage to use and change the current state of things. 

But if Kuama were to do that, it would mean that our cards are always within their sight. 

Of course, I intend on having one or two plans that only we would be able to perform, but I don’t plan on performing them on top of Archbishop Seraes’s palm. 

“Is it okay to not coordinate with Kuama?” (Ilias)

“We are flexible here, so acting on our own while aware of their movements is enough coordination. Lord Tokusado has told them about our movements a long time ago anyways.” 

“Right.” (Ilias)

“Hiih!” (Tokusado)

Lord Tokusado got scared at how everyone’s gazes gathered on him.

Of course, it is easy to learn that Lord Tokusado has contacted the capital of Kuama with the surveillance of Ekdoik. 

If you plant chains with invisible magic, lo-and-behold, you can use those chains as a wiretap. 

There really is no one who beats Ekdoik when it comes to versatility. 

“I am not really faulting you for that. I don’t mind you doing your job as a mayor. It depends on the way you tell them, but you have a tight mouth on those fronts, right? You just have to tell them that we are vehemently against orders to bring us to the capital.” 

The reason we were purposely silent about it was because we didn’t want them to know we were keeping an eye on them. 

Lord Tokusado must have thought he sent the information secretly to headquarters, but now that it has been easily seen through, he can’t do any thoughtless exchanges with Archbishop Seraes. 

“Y-Yesh! A-And so, Envoy-sama, what will you do after this…?” (Tokusado)

“In the end, we have to do something about the Blue Demon Lord in the Kuama Nether in order to stop the invasion of the monsters. I plan on doing preparations for that.” 

“By preparation, are you referring to the lumber you requested before?” (Tokusado)

“Yeah, also, I would like to borrow the help of any free carpenters. You can call them, right?” 

“Of course, but…are the soldiers fine?” (Tokusado)

“The military force of Lilbe is the military force of Kuama after all. If I were to utilize them on my own volition, it might increase their already high hate towards me.” 

In the first place, we have come with a small number of elites, so  increasing our numbers would have the reverse effect of dulling our movements.

I can just have Ilias and the others deal with the things related to battle. What must be done is find the Blue Demon Lord. 

“Right, please request the blacksmiths to produce bows and arrows. What’s definitely decreasing at the walls are arrows. Once they run out and the soldiers have nothing to do, they will use the mages only and will soon come and request the dispatch of the troops from Lilbe.” 

“R-Right. I will do so at once!” (Tokusado)

Lord Tokusado bowed and left the place hurriedly. 

He must have felt uncomfortable because of the ratio of people here. Poor him.

“Fumu, is there anything we can do regarding the preparations?” (Ilias)

“A number of things. The busiest one will be Ekdoik though.” 

“Hmph, so I really am the most reliable within the people here.” (Ekdoik)

“Hoh, fighting words.” (Ilias)

Ilias responded with a bold smile for some reason. 

I can’t say it… I can’t say that she out of everyone has the least amount of things to do at present. 

“I will instruct you at a later time, Ekdoik. Mix and Rakura will help you out in the groundwork of it. Ilias and Wolfe, you two help me out on my side. It will mostly be manual labor. Is that okay?” 

When I confirmed with everyone, everyone aside from Rakura nodded obediently. 

“If you want to say something, I am all ears.” 

“Can’t I do the same thing as Ekdoik-san?” (Rakura)

Hmm? Hohohoh~.

Her competitiveness must be burning after what happened with Ekdoik before. Or more like, Rakura had a heart that could burn? 

Considering the difficulty, it would be faster to leave it to Ekdoik, but it is simple work in a sense, so Rakura can do it too. 

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to add a bit of something myself aside from my original aim. 

“That’s fine. If the workload can be divided, the burden to Ekdoik will decrease. But that will also increase the burden on Mix a bit.” 

“I don’t mind-desu zo! Rakura-dono being motivated is rarer than finding a shooting star after all!” (Mix)

“That bothers me somewhat, but thank you very much, Mix-chan!” (Rakura)

“…Hmph.” (Ekdoik)

On the other hand, Ekdoik looks as if he doesn’t have much interest in this, but judging from his state, I would say he is internally pretty hyped up here. 

Well, it is an extremely plain job though… But let’s not mention that. 

◇◇

At the palace of the Blue Demon Lord, the Blue Demon Lord was making a bored face despite having begun her invasion on the humans. 

The one who appeared was Raheight in child form. 

“I have checked the state of the battle a bit. It is a splendid struggle for supremacy.” (Raheight)

“I can tell even without you telling me… Aah, I want to die…” (Blue)

“That said, why are you taking the route of only concentrating on the central defensive wall? You could have brought the battle to several locations if you had spread out your numbers.” (Raheight)

Raheight tilted his head purposely. 

There’s not a shred of cuteness even though he looks like a child. 

The Blue Demon Lord sighed at this question as she answered languidly. 

“You said it was the current plan, right? Why should I make crafty plans for humans? If I did something like that, it would be basically like me saying ‘I hold doubts in a competition of strength’. If they think of me like that, it would make me want to die.” (Blue)

“But if you attack like that, won’t it just consume your soldiers in vain?” (Raheight)

“…Consume? Having such stupid notions really does make you a human… Alright, I will explain to you for a bit… I want to die…” (Blue)

The Blue Demon Lord’s gaze moved around aimlessly, and she made a gesture as if beckoning something. 

When she did, a single undead appeared not long after. 

It is the same as the one attacking the defensive walls. It is below a soldier in terms of individual strength. 

However, normal attacks would get regenerated over and over by the mana inside of it, and would continue attacking the living creatures around as an undying being, so you can’t lower your guard against them. 

“It is the same lower grade undead that’s attacking the defensive walls as of present.” (Raheight)

“Can you defeat this? If you can, can you defeat it at once?” (Blue)

“Haah, okay.” (Raheight)

Raheight uses magic. 

An original spell of his where he sets a point where his mana drifts about and makes sharp crystals appear with one motion. 

The crystal that rose from underground easily pierced the abdomen to the back of the bent back undead. 

But the undead just flailed around and showed no signs of dying. 

Raheight walked over and touched the crystal.

When he did, the crystal shone white, and after the undead trembled, it stiffened, and eventually turned into dust, scattering onto the ground.

“That good for you?” (Raheight)

“Raheight, you used purification magic just now, didn’t you?” (Blue)

“I infiltrated as a priest in Mejis after all. I am turning the undead into dust just like the people protecting the walls are doing.” (Raheight)

“Do you know purification magic is effective on devils and undead?” (Blue)

“Well, yeah. Purification magic cuts off the mana, so if it hits the devils and evil spirits whose body is composed mostly of mana, you can destroy the bridge composing their bodies, and make it impossible for them to regenerate. The reason it is effective on undead is because the necromancy link between body and soul is easy to cut… Correct?” (Raheight)

“That’s right. If you cut off the body and soul that have been linked by necromancy once, the necromancy is dispelled. The reason they turn to dust is because the corpse was moved forcefully with the mana of necromancy, damaging the body.” (Blue)

The Blue Demon Lord said this as she pointed at the dust. 

The dust then visibly regained its shape and returned to its previous undead form. 

Raheight’s face turned somewhat serious seeing this. 

“…This is…” (Raheight)

“Dust is also a part of that living being’s body, so it is possible to utilize them as undead if you cast necromancy on them again.” (Blue)

“But that process just now, I didn’t feel like you activated necromancy though.” (Raheight)

Raheight was observing the Blue Demon Lord to not let any action of hers escape. 

But what the Blue Demon Lord did was point at the dust, and he didn’t see any signs of forming a spell or activating anything. 

She recasted necromancy on the dusted undead by simply being conscious of it. 

“It is nothing to hide anyways, so I will tell you. You know how Demon Lords create the mana to create monsters, right?” (Blue)

“By encroaching that mana into the land, a Nether is born, right?” (Raheight)

“My mana is the same quality as the one created by necromancy. It has the special trait of turning the dead into undead.” (Blue)

“That’s…” (Raheight)

Raheight unconsciously gulped. 

If what she just said is true, it would mean that the Blue Demon Lord hasn’t lost a single soldier in her army. 

The undead that are currently attacking the defensive walls are being turned into dust in this Kuama Nether that’s filled with the mana of the Blue Demon Lord. 

“Yes, as long as this Kuama Nether exists, I can create undead infinitely just by being conscious of it. I would need one little extra effort to make good quality ones though… But they take time and it is a pain… Aah, I want to die…” (Blue)

“But even if you can make them infinitely, won’t it just stay in a stalemate?” (Raheight)

“Did you not understand what I said just now? The defensive wall of Kuama is only going to last a few days more.” (Blue)

Raheight stopped speaking and thought about how the Blue Demon Lord would break through the defensive wall. 

And then, he reached a single conclusion.

“…I see. All you Demon Lords really are fearsome.” (Raheight)

“To think I would be feared by a child even if the inside is an adult… Aah, I want to die…” (Blue)

The Blue Demon Lord sighed again as she returned to staring into space alone.

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